At a recent tournament, a large amount of teams from my club were given warnings and/or disqualified for violation of rule S1. The ref gave the reasoning that loading balls into moving intakes was unsafe. I recognize that the interpretation of this rule is to the ref’s discretion, and for good reason. However, he was calling this rule violation even on teams who’s intake involved slow spinning wheels and/ or tread, which is clearly is not unsafe. (You probably wouldn’t even get a rubber burn from the wheel spinning on your hand) so my question is this: is this ruling being implemented elsewhere and is there something I can do to challenge this ruling in the future?
Answered: Rule S1 and driver control loads
This is up to the referee’s discretion. Student Drive Team Members are permitted to break the plane of the field to load Scoring Objects, however we don’t want fingers in dangerous proximity to high speed spinning objects. Referees will use their best judgement to determine if loading is taking place in a safe manner. Here’s a previous Q&A addressing a similar topic.