Can you ram a robot in unprotected zone - discussion of official Q&A answers

Various official Q&A have been answered regarding this, and it looks to me like the end result of the related Q&A would be “there is a high chance of a DQ due to a variety of things”. Is that what others are seeing as well? It is a tangled mess, IMO, where some vague non-answers refer the reader to a whole cascade of “referred to” posts.

My overall understanding of what could cause a DQ for ramming a robot in the unprotected zone:

  • If A rams B and B touches the goal zone / barrier: SG3D violation. A gets a warning. If the result is match-affecting A gets a DQ. If A does this repeatedly over the match or day, A could get a DQ.
  • If A rams B and B touches a scored stack: SG3B violation. A gets a warning. If the result is match-affecting A gets a DQ. If A does this repeatedly over the match or day, A could get a DQ.
  • If A rams B and cubes from B go out of the field: SG6/G14 violation. A gets a warning. If the result is match-affecting A gets a DQ. If A does this repeatedly over the match or day, A could get a DQ.
  • And of course A should be careful of trapping and entanglement. (refers to 432)

  • meaning of indirect contact remains the same
  • My reading of this is ‘yes - if you touch a robot that is touching it’s goal zone/barrier, this is indirect contact and you have violated SG3-D’.

  • indirect contact depends on context (but IMO in this context it is pretty clearly the robot doing the ramming who is doing the indirect contact) (refers to 353 and 288)

  • notes particularly SG3-B (don’t contact scored cubes) and D (don’t contact goal zones/barriers) (refers to 288 and 296 and ref training video)

  • again, notes SG3-B&D; also says that “if parts B and/or D have not been violated, then no SG3 violation has occurred”
  • My reading is that the use of “have not been violated” indicates that if those HAD been violated, an SG3 violation has occurred - so if you indirectly contact scored cubes or goal zones/barriers, it is a violation of SG3D.

  • basically saying that SG3-B is for match-affecting

  • non-protected zone descoring is SG3B and hitting the field perimeter counts as indirect contact (Q refers to 462)

  • playing defense on unprotected corner and knocking cubes out of the field is a combination of SG6 and G14 violation
  • My reading is that intentionally and repeatedly causing cubes to leave the field by ramming a robot trying to stack in the corner is a violation of SG6 / G14.

  • putting a small stack up in auton and then knocking it down and having cubes leave the field is a potential violation of SG6.

basicly it is up to the head judge if it is allowed or not


Quote from QA 467(the scenario described by you if listed as one of the scenarios for clarification)

It is impossible to provide blanket answers that would apply to all hypothetical scenarios captured by the snapshot descriptions you have provided. These interactions are highly dependent on the context of the Match, the event, any previous warnings/violations, any previous interactions in the Match, etc. In general, we would point to the answers provided in the two Q&A’s you have linked as our overarching direction to Head Referees for guiding their judgment calls. The dynamic sport of competitive robotics inherently includes “gray area” situations that cannot rely on black-and-white rules, and must therefore rely upon the in-context and on-the-spot judgment of human referees in these cases.

Basically depends on how the referees interpret the rules and how they connect all QAs together. It would be a fun time at Worlds’ drivers meeting


Remember that SG7 (oh how we love SG7 /s) (cubes are a part of the robot) also applies here, so a robot that has cubes which are contacting a goal zone, barrier, or scored cube is also invulnerable.


Team TX, my understanding of all of this matches yours. It’s going to dramatically affect defense, as the region I head ref in hasn’t been nearly this aggressive in calling indirect contact. It’s a wild and wacky year to be a head referee, that’s for sure!


yup, just make sure they are still touching their cubes.

Judges don’t really have a say in enforcing the rules, they are busy with interviews for judged awards. The head referee, on the other hand…


I think you mean G12d

<G12> Don’t destroy other Robots. But, be prepared to encounter defense. Strategies aimed solely
at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of opposing Robots are not part of the ethos
of the VEX Robotics Competition and are not allowed. If the tipping, Entanglement, or damage is ruled
to be intentional or egregious, the offending Team may be Disqualified from that Match. Repeated
offenses could result in Disqualification from the entirety of the competition.
a. VEX Robotics Competition Tower Takeover is intended to be an offensive game. Teams that
partake in solely defensive or destructive strategies will not have the protections implied by
(see ). However, defensive play which does not involve destructive or illegal strategies is still within the spirit of this rule.
b. VEX Robotics Competition Tower Takeover is an interactive game. Some incidental tipping,
Entanglement, and damage may occur as a part of normal gameplay without violation. It will be
up to the Head Referee’s discretion whether the interaction was incidental or intentional.
c. A Team is responsible for the actions of its Robot at all times, including the Autonomous Period.
This applies both to Teams that are driving recklessly or potentially causing damage, and to
Teams that drive around with a small wheel base. A Team should design its Robot such that it is
not easily tipped over or damaged by minor contact.
d. Game elements in possession of a Robot are an extension of that Robot. Therefore,
Entanglement (e.g., grasping, hooking, attaching) with Cubes that are in the possession of an
opposing Robot is a violation of this rule.

Bolded d section of it

I think tower play will likely become slightly more competitive now. Interesting rulings. I feel like this will end up enforcing the tray bot meta even more than before because now DR4B’s going for towers will be targeted by defense. Sad.


No, I mean SG7. Entanglement/tipping/damage under G12 is not relevant here. See Q&A#423.

So what I’m hearing is that this is now illegal? I did like this manuver…



This just killed most dr4b strays for playing defense over there. This just reinforces the tray meta and makes it more about getting that full 10-12 stack in that corner instead of sacrificing a cube or 2 to actually put the stack up


It seems it goes against the knocking cubes out and ramming them into the barrier so idk if this would actually be a dq or not

It would most certainly be a dq now. Both because they’re purposefully pushing cubes out of the field (the cubes have nowhere else to go) and because the offensive robot is touching the barrier.

sorry thats what I ment.
its been a long day lol

What @Sylvie posted is indeed illegal, but it is not necessarily a DQ. That would depend on whether it was match affecting, how many warnings the team had previously, etc.


It would be VERY hard to determine if something like that is match affecting, especially if it happened early in the match. Who is is say that that team wouldn’t have scored a massive amount of points using towers if they were able to get that stack up?

I would say that Ref’s should be erring on the side of the offensive robot here and unless the match was completely one sided otherwise, this would almost always be match affecting. Use this defensive strategy at your own risk!