Ball lockout - critical flaw in game design?

One of the kids discovered this today, quite by accident. You can hit the corner balls and they will jam tightly on the backside of the corner goals. This could have devastating consequences on robot design, game strategy, and overall goal of building/competing/etc as this sort of ‘shortcuts’ the anticipated game flow.


5 second video showing ball being jammed into corner:


I’d this scored? I would think so, but I would like to debate. Also, can it be described? If not, you could make a goal yours for the rest of the game. Thanks for sharing this.

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And the ring spacing is dead on. Precisely 6.13". These things wedge tightly enough you sometimes can’t remove them by hand (gripping from the sides using friction, you must get a finger behind them). FYI, the balls we have are not concentric. The diameter at the seam is ~6.1 and the ‘dimples’ is closer to 6.25.

It is scored. Top ball is clearly below top ring. Bottom ball does NOT have to touch the floor to be scored.

You could:

  1. make goal ‘yours’ for entire game

  2. lock 2 opponent balls under yours, thereby denying them access for entire game


Game design needs to review and act on this ASAP. I see 4 outcomes.

A. refuse to comment, practice is allowed
B. make intentional doing this illegal
C. make practice legal
D. change ring spacing to negate ability to do this, which improves other game problems as well


This is actually pretty scary. Being able to lock nearly half of the goals on the field could have serious consequences. How easy is it for robots to push balls all the way into the corner like that? Is it really impossible to remove them?


It’s VERY easy as they self-center as they are pushed backwards. It’s almost impossible to get them out with an intake/etc. They are simply too far back (approx 4" further than designed). They are wedged tightly. You can’t get access to the sides of them, being blocked by the pipes at the back.

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Jeez. This will make strategies super weird then. I guess all 4 corners are easily accessible in autonomous, but if a team doesn’t lock their corner, there will probably be a huge fight over control of the unlocked goal. A while ago I considered hiding opponents’ balls on top of already scored goals, but decided it wasn’t worth it because you can always descore the goal to bring it back down. But with this locking thing, it would be much more difficult to retrieve those balls. Probably impossible for snailbots.


In TP vex put standoffs in front the flags at worlds to prevent them from spinning too far. They’ll probs just put a stand-off in that corner or something along those lines


wait but on the edge goals the two bottom rings are closer together than the diameter of a ball, how can a ball fit there? does it not go all the way between the rings?

if this turns out to be an issue, than that will change strategies a lot. it will be all about getting the bottom balls in the corners, and jamming them in deep so they can’t be descored.

Tbh I’m a bit annoyed with the design of these goals. The point of the game is to be a back and forth game, which it will not be if you can plug up the bottom just by pushing balls in deep. and these goals are more annoying than challenging to descore from. The choice to make the tolerances below the ball on the edge goals was a poor one imo, because it means that minor variations in the goals will dramatically effect gameplay, and the fact that the goal is held together with just friction means that after hundreds of descores, the rings might start to drift apart again, which will be an issue in having a consistent field. Also the balls and rings will get very scuffed and damaged from constant descoring.

In my opinion, the negative tolerances on the edge goals adds nothing but annoyance and problems to the game that will detract from the intended gameplay.


Agreed with all points.

This ONLY works for the corners.

They could change the 6.13" spacing and ALL these problems would go away. Change spacing, trim pipes a little, DONE!

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Change spacing and trim pipes. For every field that’s been sold so far. Which probably means people will have to buy more. And they’ll have to produce more field parts. Field parts which they normally keep ready for shipping months before the game reveal because they know how long it takes to manufacture


What exactly was the deal with the standoff thing in TP? I’ve heard of that before, but what was the problem?

Basically the flags in TP had a stopping mechanism so that if a flag was turned to one color, it couldn’t go any further. However, shooters were so powerful by the time worlds came around that flags were getting shot through that stopping mechanism.



no, you can easily change it without any modification to any of the parts at all. All they have to do is make a slight modification in the rules so that the rings are spaced farther apart. If any gdc members are reading this topic, I would implore them to make this change. The spacing is going to have a lot of negative effects:

  • the variation might cause confusion among new teams, who could set up all their goals to have good tolerance, and then won’t be able to descore at their first competition.
  • the field elements might get damaged over time.
  • minor variations in field setup will have huge effects on descoring.
  • balls can get stuck in the corners, which goes against the entire back and forth nature of the game.

haha catapult machine go brrr


Shhhhhhhhh. I was hoping to keep this a secret. Now my game winning strategy is ruined!


Ngl I’ve been trying to be positive about this game but stuff like this is making it kinda hard


Game design committee… I am available for consultation. :slight_smile:


You would need to trim the ‘front’ pipes a little. Otherwise they would either stick out the bottom or top slightly. Might not matter much… would look nicer if trimmed flush.