Answered: Ringmaster Game rule < G16>

Ringmaster rule 16

Hi, I am new to the forum so I might have posted my question under the wrong topic.

​Do you need to push both latches on the bonus tray before you can touch the rings in the tray?
​Can you do the following: push one latch, slide something through the rings while driving next to the tray and push second latch to release the rings?
​In this example the robot will touch the rings but not remove them from the tray before the second latch is touched. At the end of the game the definition of released is met because both latches were pushed and tray is empty. The robot did not remove any rings out of the tray before both latches were pushed.

​There is a gray zone, what if a ring rolls out when they try to slide a beam through the rings. This was not the intent. Is this a violation of the rule?

​Or does rule G16 mean do not touch the rings before you push both latches on the bonus tray. In this case I cannot touch the rings before second latch is pushed and I can just catch them after they roll out of the tray. Here there is no gray zone.

​Our team is still in the research and planning stage. I want them to develop a strategy before they start building an actual robot, but at the same time I want to make sure they read the rules correctly.
​Thank you.

Good questions. Let’s take a look at the specific verbiage of rule <G16>, with a portion bolded for emphasis:

<G16> Robots are not allowed to remove Rings from the Bonus Tray when it is not Released. Minor violations of this rule that do not affect the match will result in a warning. Major (score affecting) offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion.

Everything hinges on the moment when the Bonus Tray becomes Released. Let’s take a look at the definition of Released to find out when that is:

Released – The Bonus Tray is Released when both Latches have been activated such that there are no more Rings contacting the Bonus Tray (i.e. the Bonus Tray is empty).

This means that the condition for the Bonus Tray to be considered Released is not just when both Latches have been activated. Rather, it is considered Released when all Rings have exited the Bonus Tray without external influence (such as through a violation of <G16>).

It is always difficult to issue a blanket ruling on hypothetical design concepts. However, what you are describing would be very difficult to do within the confines of <G16>. Hopefully this helps to answer your question - if not, please feel free to clarify and re-submit.

For the sake of clarity, the definition of Released was modified in the August 17th manual update to state the following:

Released - The Bonus Tray is Released when both Latches have been activated and its Rings have begun moving towards the field due only to gravity (i.e. not due to contact by a Robot mechanism).

The above answer still applies, though the constraints of this hypothetical mechanism have shifted slightly.