Answered: Referee trumps rules?

Hello,

According to this post, it is legal to start with the preload touching the short grey post in either the red or blue base, based on rule <SG2>.

https://vexforum.com/t/answered-legal-preload-clarification-cheater-cube/27030/1

However, at team’s competition today, the judges told the team that because they did 40 previous matches making this illegal, that they would continue to do so through the rest of the competition.

So my question is basically, do the referees have the power to trump the game rules?

Yes, this is correct.

Referees are expected to enforce the rules as they are written and within their stated intents. Referees should not be ignoring or changing the rules in the Game Manual.