During the finals of a recent competition, the bridge broke - a piece snapped off and the bridge malfunctioned. I’m curious about what the rules state - does the match begin again with the hexballs reset and robots back to their starting positions or does the time get paused, the bridge fixed and the match continue?
According to the game rules:
**<****R14> The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:
a. **Those that could potentially damage playing Field Elements, specifically the Hexballs.
So… if the bridge broke due to a robot’s mechanisms, it could be grounds for a DQ.
If it broke due to a rough impact from the robot, that would be the fault of the driver. Students must be aware of the possibility that the bridge can come apart, and drive accordingly.
If the bridge broke due to incorrect assembly of the bridge, it is a different story. It seams unlikely that the bridge would survive the entire competition only to break in the finals if it was assembled incorrectly.
I think the most important game rule is G1:
**<****G1> **When reading and applying the various rules in this document, please remember that common sense always applies in the VEX IQ Challenge.
So, if the bridge failed in a way that was not caused by a rough impact, or a robot’s mechanism, then the Event Organizers could have decided to replay the match. I don’t think there is a fair way to pause the match, stop the robots, fix the field, then resume the match, it all happens too fast.
In 2015, at the VEX IQ Highrise Indiana State Championship, 1 drive team member drove for the entire 60 seconds, however, there was a glitch that kept the 35 & 25 second warning bells from playing, so the organizers decided to replay the match, instead of DQing that alliance, which was the common sense thing to do.
Last year, the “fence” at the scoring zone would often come lose - which would completely impact the match. However, not once, was a match replayed because of it. It was simply the luck of the draw.
As a result, I always told our students to make sure that the fence was properly anchored before starting a match.
This year, the bridge is very very error prone. Those magnets often come lose from the field. I am expecting lots of issues with the bridge this year, and I am telling the students to be prepared to deal with it in real time.