Answered: <SG9> Hoarding cones simultaneously with mobile goals

Hello,

I have a question concerning <SG9>, specifically the “Note,” which is below:

In my state, there is a defensive bot that expands to the full 36-inch limit. One of their main strategies to push 1 or 2 of the opposing teams’ mobile goals and hoard the mobile goal(s) in one of the corners nearest the parking tiles. I know previous Q and A’s and the rules have stated that hoarding mobile goals is fully allowed. My main question is about the cones that they also entrap. In the process of hoarding the mobile goals, they often push anywhere from 6-12 cones into the corner too, removing access for any other robot to get these cones. The robot stays in the corner throughout the match, protecting/hoarding the mobile goals and cones, preventing their opponents from scoring both the mobile goals and cones in that corner. Would this hoarding of cones be considered a violation of SG9? Would it still be a violation even if the robot was not directly touching the cones, but still trapping the cones in a corner of the field?

If so, would the hoarder’s opponents have to attempt to get the cones from the corner in order for a penalty to occur? In some situations, regarding hoarding or SG11, the referee has ruled that the team violating a rule should not be punished because the opposing alliance didn’t make an effort to get or use the illegally defended cones or mobile goals.

I know there have been multiple questions concerning hoarding asked before, but I think the situation I am asking about is somewhat unique. Thank you in advance for answering my questions.

While it is always difficult to provide a blanket ruling based off of a written explanation, remember that per previous Q&A’s and the referee training video, Cone hoarding has two criteria:

  1. Intentionally plowing multiple Cones at once

  2. Actively keeping those Cones away from the opposing Alliance

This act sounds like it satisfies both of those criteria, so yes, it would be considered a violation of SG9.

If an opponent has not attempted to go retrieve the Cones, then it is likely that the hoarding was not Match Affecting. Thus, even though it is still a violation, it would likely just be considered a warning. This is why it is difficult to provide an absolute ruling without the full context of the match, as there can be many other factors that come into play.