Answered: [Q Set 2] Definition of Pinning

Hi Karthik,

Concerning the definition of pinning:

  1. In this ruling, you specifically stated that blocking a robot off against the field is not a pin if the robot has approximately at least 2 feet by 2 feet, or one foam tile, to move around in. Do I imagine correctly then, that a robot trapped in a 2 foot by 2 foot square perimeter would not merit a pin call on the trapping robot, providing no other rules are violated?

  2. Is this 2 foot by 2 foot definition covered by these cases:

2.a Trapped robot is centered on one foam tile, but there is a perimeter around the robot, including [an] opposing robot[s] and one field wall that keeps it from moving to any other field tiles

2.b Trapped robot is centered on one foam tile, but can move parallel to the field wall to another full foam tile adjacent to it, with similar blocking of motion out of this two foam tile area.

2.c What about trapping with free movement similar to the above conditions but inside three foam tiles?

Thank you,


Yes, this is correct. However, please note the use of the word approximate. Our referees will not be taking instantaneous laser measurements, they will do their best to estimate the space available, using the foam tiles as an obvious guide.

Yes, the would be on the edge between a legal and illegal pin.

From what you described, the trapped robot has more than a 2’x2’ area to maneuver, thus this would not be considered a pin.

Please see the above answer to your question 2.b.

Thank you!

One very last question (I promise!): “Double Pinning”

When a robot from Alliance A runs into a robot from Alliance B in a case of unfortunate timing or field geometry as to result in both robots wedged against each other and unable to extricate themselves for a period of more than 5 seconds. Assume they have field objects such as goals or the field wall to their backs.

Would this case be ruled (given referee discretion) to be a disqualification of both alliances for pinning each other? Or might it be a DQ of only Alliance A for initiating the contact?

This is one of those hypothetical situations where it is impossible to issue a blanket ruling just based on a snapshot. It will be up to the referees’ discretion to make a ruling. From what you’ve described the most likely calls are either no DQs or a DQ on the team who initiated the contact/pin.

Alright. Thank you Karthik for answering all these questions!

You’re welcome!