Bots that don't pass inspection


I would like clarification on Bots that do not pass inspection for whatever reason and matches start.

According to page 28 and on page 31

Rule <T03> a.
If a Robot cannot report for a Match, at least one Student member of the Team should report to the field for the Match. If no Student Team members report to the field, the Team will be considered a “no-show” and receive zero (0) WP, AP, and SP.

<R2> Every robot will be required to pass a full inspection before being cleared to compete. This inspection will ensure that all robot rules and regulations are met. Initial inspections will take place during team registration/practice time.

There is a debate on whether or not team members of a bot that has not passed inspection can show up to a match without their bot and then garner points if there alliance wins.

Also if a bot passed inspection and then no longer passes inspection and is attempting to get the bot repaired or configured properly to pass a new inspection, how is that handled if it misses matches until it passes once again?


I consider this to imply that a team would still get points, even if the robot isn’t present. I’ve never had to go through re-inspection, but I would think that this would vary from event to event. One event with a lot of staff might have an inspectors’ table open at all times, while others may ask you to consult an EP to be re-inspected.


If a bot hasn’t passed inspection by a certain point, I don’t include them in the match lists


There are a number of factors that influence an EPs decision to remove a team and generate a schedule without them. I think the most important is if the team has shown up and checked in, then I would err on helping them get past inspection as quickly as possible. Remember, we are not here to punish teams who make their best efforts to compete. Similarly, if you get a call from a team that is going to be half hour late, I would probably not scratch them. We are in New England, so weather can be factor in travel time.

Now if a team is building a robot that morning - well, another set of factors come to play - how new is the team? If it is a novice team and their first competition, I would enlist helpful teams to get the team on their feet. We had such a team with only two wheels on their drive… They did not give up and teams helped them get running…

Its the nuance of running events. Get kids out to the field and dont send them home if you can prevent it.


There is nothing in the rules to stop a drive team member from showing up without their robot if it hasn’t passed inspection. It is up to the Event Partner whether a team that hasn’t made a timed deadline for passing inspection will be removed from the tournament rolls or not.

If the Event Partner has added you to the match schedule, show up for your matches even if your robot is not allowed to take the field.


So here’s my take on it…

In over ten years of inspecting I have yet to see a team that intentionally broke a rule, or refused to make a correction to fix a non-compliant part when the appropriate rule is brought to their attention. I’m sure others have seen it, but hopefully it is an exceptionally rare event. So generally we’re dealing with a cooperative team, usually novices, who inadvertently made some sort of mistake. Rarely is the mistake dangerous to the field, humans, or other robots.

In this case (inadvertent/clueless error, no danger, cooperating to fix it) I let the kids play, so long as they continue to work towards fixing the problem. I make sure that they know that they won’t be eligible for elimination rounds unless they have cleared tech, but if a team plays their first two qualifying rounds slightly oversize, I’m not too worried. They get the added “fun” of having an inspector coming by their table every fifteen minutes or so, inquiring on their progress and making sure that they are working on fixing the problem. No additional stress there. :slight_smile:

The benefit is that their alliance partners aren’t disadvantaged by their error, and their opponents have more balanced, entertaining matches. Perhaps the biggest advantage however is that the kids (and their coach and parents) feel supported and included, rather than punished and excluded.

Rarely do we have teams take advantage of this courtesy more than once, and everyone is informed in advance that it is not available at the Provincial Championship. I think once or twice we’ve had a team unable to fix the problem and have to withdraw from the alliance selection process, but when you’re at the back of the pack of a big tournament that isn’t exactly a sacrifice. Usually they come by at the end of the day to say “Thanks” for letting them play, to apologize for not being compliant, and promising to do better the next time.

Really, the teams that don’t pass tech tend to be newer teams, unlikely to advance to elimination even once they’ve passed inspection… but if they learn from the experience, have some fun, and keep coming back… well, maybe next time.

I like to balance R2 with a bit of D2. No… wait… that’s G2. R2G2. That’s how I do it.


This is what EPs are here for.


I took my teams to an event where an EP team did not pass inspection. I dispatched a group of students to help this team rebuild and pass, particularly since 4 of our robots played with them at some point. They didn’t want much help and never passed inspection. The worst part was, they were in line to be an alliance captain after never playing a match because of a very lucky draw. They declined to play in eliminations and were left out of the bracket. That was the gracious and equitable thing to do at that point. Super unusual situation, but it has happened.


Event Partner Here. I want to share something my REC rep okayed for our big open tournament:

All new teams, who have not been to a competition, and don’t know the ins and outs of what they need to be ready, will be matched up with nearby mentor schools who will visit the new school and veryify that they will have an inspection-ready bot.

If you are a veteran team and fail an inspection more than 15 min before inspection closes, the TO and/or Head Ref will assess the work necessary for your bot to pass inspection and prepare a checklist. If the amount of work is sufficiently little (making a few cuts or changing code, NOT redesigning a subsystem), they will permit your bot to pass inspection, but DQ your bot every match until it is complete. You may participate in any match you are slotted to play in, despite being DQ, if you decide that it is a better use of your time than preparing your robot to pass inspection.

The new change in rules allowing WPs for the alliance partner of DQd teams has made it much more flexible for TOs and Referees to hold participants to the rules and expectations of the game.


This is not supported by the Game Manual rules - the robot should never be placed on a field until it has passed inspection - technically it is not a Robot per Game Manual definitions.

I know people are trying to get around this - but don’t, it is not fair to participants of the event. I am surprised that the RECF RSM allowed this as no modifications to the Game Manual of this sort are permitted (e.g., creating a DQ scenario that should not happen - if you know the robot did not pass inspection, it should not be allowed on the field).

Given that - there is nothing prohibiting in the rules prohibiting a representative from showing up. The pile of metal can’t be put on the field as it is not a robot.

I think if you want an official modification post it on the Official Q&A.


Thank you, I will change my policy accordingly. The Rep okayed the DQing ahead of time pending a simple change that could be done in less than 30 minutes, as well as pairing up new teams with mentors. They did not, however, okay putting a non-inspection passed robot onto the field.

Can you verify if conditionally accepting a bot into qualifications as long as they are able to comply with inspection conditions within a reasonable amount of time, which could possibly lead to its not being allowed to participate in a match?

Also, I may need to check for an official answer if I can DQ no-shows, to save their partner an almost hopeless loss (unless they can carry that hard)


I believe that is why they will receive a DQ.

This person’s execution is out of the ordinary and perhaps a loose interpretation of the rules, but I don’t see anything they’ve done that is expressly forbidden.

I’ve passed teams that are just barely out of the 18" size requirements, and have had EP’s pass my students when they were just a hair out of the 18".

I simply told the team we let pass that they should keep trying to fix it throughout the day, and that at State they would need to be inside the limits. They were only out by 1/16" and we need to get the event underway, they were also new.

I am also by no means a strict constructionist…


I may have misperceived the situation - what was implied is that a Head Referee knows the robot has not passed inspection and allows the robot to be placed on the field in order to DQ them. This is not the role of the Referee to be punitive - hence my surprise that a RECF RSM would move ahead with a scheme that would knowingly place a team in a position to be punished.

The error in my view is allowing the team you know to be non-compliant to act in a way that will give them sanctions.


I personally believe that it is not fair to constantly dq teams because they did not pass inspections. If the worst comes to worst the event can just prevent them from competing to not put the constant disqualifications on the teams record.

Another thing to regard is that it is up to the team to build a robot that is capable of being within the dimensions, and it is not the RECF’s fault that the team didn’t pass the inspections. We can also discuss that there are some colleges that ask for your team number in which they may see the teams record and question why a team has constant disqualifications in a tournament, but I have no experience with those type of colleges so I don’t know what they will actually see of a team.


I mean has anyone actually known a team to be completely unable to pass inspection?

This mostly feels like a improbable hypothetical


Here is a scenario - team X comes in with a robot that failed inspection because it has functional material not permitted for competition - for example, oversized zip ties used to interact with game object. If their alliance partner can not win without team X on the field, it is match effecting. This is why you should not let a robot that has not been inspected or failed inspection be on the field - it gives the advantage to team X for the match just by having it on the field.

agreed that it is not a fun feeling for team X’s alliance partner in that case.

Now as others have mentioned what if the robot is 1/16" over the size limit… It depends, if they need to readjust the robot subsystem and subsequently it is not able to perform the scoring it did before, the size indeed impacts the scoring of the match.

It is nuanced, and you will get arguments in any case, someone will be unhappy. You do the best to be fair to all. Following what is permitted in the Game Manual is a good guide. If you deviate from the Manual, then you need to be sure all the teams will be on board with it.


That sounds like the perfect policy.


At Worlds, novice team from outside the US were pretty clueless - I sent my team to help them out by following them through inspection and work with them until they could pass. Right thing to do early on - at Worlds you have the time to do it. At other events, not so much.

Also, know of a couple of teams in our region that just could not get their robot together.

So, it is not so hypothetical.


For reference:
<R2d> d. Referees or inspectors may decide that a robot is in violation of the rules. In this event, the
team in violation will be disqualified and the robot will be barred from the playing field until it
passes re-inspection.

To me this is pretty clear. If a robot has not passed inspection but they are still part of the match schedule, they will be disqualified from any match they are in until they have passed inspection. Teams are not allowed to put a robot that has not passed inspection on the field. Disqualification means that the team receives no Win Points, Autonomous Points, or Strength of Schedule points. It is the same effect as a “no-show”, but there is a different option to choose in TM. Teams should not receive points earned by their alliance partner even if they have a representative at the field.

It is easy to see when a team has not passed inspection, because their team number is red on the match preview screen before the match starts.


Not all event partners record if teams have passed inspection or not in TM.