Clarification on SG6

My team was wondering if our robot was holding a mobile goal as in the picture and another robot came in to play defense and knocked rings off the mobile goal would it be a violation of SG6?

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It’s a little bit fuzzy at the rules currently stand.

<SG6> Rings on the Alliance Mobile Goal are “safe”. Strategies intended to remove Rings which are Scored on or in an opposing Alliance Mobile Goal are prohibited. Examples of “intentional strategies” could include, but are not limited to:
• Robot mechanisms or actions solely intended to “lift off” Rings from Mobile Goal Branches.
• Robot mechanisms or actions solely intended to “scoop out” Rings from Mobile Goal Bases.
• “Knocking over” or otherwise forcefully manipulating an Alliance Mobile Goal such that Rings become removed.
Minor violations of this rule that do not affect the Match will result in a warning. Match Affecting offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion.

The unclearness of this rule comes from the fact that it relies on an intent to descore rings for it to be a violation.

by ramming into you, did your opponent intend to descore rings? or did they just intend to knock you off course, and a few rings popping off were simply a side effect of this action? The rule is not clear whether an intentionally strategy (ramming you) that results in rings being descored is actually in violation of the rules, if the strategy didn’t directly intend to descore those rings, it was only meant to ram your robot.

however, the way this has been mostly ruled by referees so far is that descoring rings, even unintentionally, will result in a warning if it isn’t match effecting, and a disqualification if it is match effecting. But the fuzziness of the rule means that different referees will be interpreting this in different ways, and I wouldn’t count on this rule being interpreted any particular way, after all the rule does specify “Strategies intended to remove Rings”, and it’s debatable if ramming an opposing robot falls under this.

having some more clarity on how accidental or indirect ring descoring should be ruled would be nice, perhaps it would be a good thing to ask on the official q&a.


I’ll go do that then

Soccer has guidance - knocking off things / pushing / hurting - might be covered under “reckless” … something that might fit in this scenario - are you “unskilled” or “gaming the system?”

until such finesse is specified in the game manual, be kind (aka sportsmanship (we need new term !!!)

in my book - the ruling would go in favor of “offensive” (another term to get rid of) in favor of “defensive” (another term to get rid of!!!) play per game manual.

Be kind of the team that has an game plan to score - if you can’t score, do not be that “team:”

One additional factor that a referee has to take into account in this situation is that the goal appears to be held quite precariously by your robot. If an opposing robot incidentally bumped your robot and caused the goal to slip out of its grasp, I would have a hard time ruling against that other team. Of course that might change if it became clear that the other team was continually doing this on purpose,

Overall though, I suggest you make sure your robot is durable enough such that light interaction with opposing robots does not result in your robot dropping the goal it is carrying, as in the event that an opposing robot does knock a goal out of your grasp then you would have a much stronger case in the eyes of the referee


Sorry, in this case focus should be on the team that is attempting to score aka “offensive” vs team that is unskilled or trying to play “defensive”.

Rules are clear in this case, referees must favor scoring “offensive” team vs defensive.

Based on this discussion - I would caution those edge cases “sorry I bumped into you while you spent 30 seconds to add points”… well the rules specifically favor unskilled teams trying to score vs unskilled teams playing defense or other - referee has no other recourse to favor teams trying to play the game vs others for whatever motive.


In most situations, a robot carrying an Alliance Goal filled to the top of the Branch with Rings (or carrying a Ring just on the Base) will likely jiggle a Ring to a Descored state with what might otherwise be a “reasonable” amount of “ramming”.

Fortunately, very few matches are decided by 1, 2, or 3 points (less than 3% so far, though it creeps up to about 10% at 9 points), so this type of penalty isn’t terribly likely to affect many matches.

Again, the GDC is pretty clear that they want to protect teams that take risk or demonstrate skill at scoring, whether it be on the Platform or Rings on Goals.

As a coach, I’m pretty sympathetic to the view “denying your opponent 10 points is the equivalent of scoring 10 points” so I’m with @lacsap for getting rid of terms like “offensive” and “defensive” to describe gameplay. I can also see the GDC’s point-of-view of wanting teams to display skill to win matches; this seems to be a case where often times a team’s view of “skill” (more results oriented) differs from the GDC’s (more task oriented).


Calling a team playing defense “unskilled” is an insult to their efforts this season. Sure, some newer teams tend to play defense as their robots aren’t as capable of scoring points, but there also have been a plethora of objectively good teams that have made defense a part of their match strategy. Teams like 1721G (CU), 8059A and various others (TP), 44 (practically every season they played- especially with their wall bot and 2 speed transmission), 2W (Gateway), and 127C (insane scissor wallbot in TU) have utilized defense as part of their game strategy to great success (with some like 44 and 2W winning worlds partially due to their defensive capabilities). As a matter of fact time and time again I have seen good teams (ones that can easily put score their opponents) switch to defense in matches where it counts. If the GDC did not think that playing defense makes a team unskilled at playing the game, then I bet they would switch to rules more akin to FTC, where defense is heavily limited.


In addition to this point, even without a robot designed for defense, it is sometimes the best strategy for one or more robot to primarily play defense for part of the match. Many teams in my school have excelled at defense in the past and defense frequently swung matches. Defense is a very effective strategy for many teams and should be treated as such.


Re-read the post and context.

Nothing insulting intended.


My personal view is that the GDC is fine with more “vigorous” robot-on-robot interaction than FTC, but do not want VRC to become BattleBots with field elements. I believe some matches observed in Change Up influenced the very protective rules around Platforms this year. I believe the GDC wants to see gameplay that shows off a team’s ability to demonstrate skill in manipulating game elements, rather than a team’s ability to gain a quick lead and then harass the opponents. Is there “skill” involved in harassing opponents? For sure. But I don’t think it’s the skill the GDC wants to encourage. Perhaps their implementation falls short at times, but I believe this is their “first principal”.


In past games, the way the “intent” situation has been ruled would lead me to the following ruling. If in your attempt to manipulate your opponent’s alliance goal you accidentally cause rings to be de-scored, you should get a warning, if it was not match effecting. However, if you continue to manipulate your opponent’s mobile goal in future matches that continue to “accidentally” cause rings to be de-scored, then you are subject to DQ because you were aware that your action could cause the rings to de-score and you continued that strategy. This is the intent of the last sentence in SG6.


As others have pointed out, this sort of ruling is fuzzy. It is a good example of what to bring up at the driver meeting when the head ref asks if there are any questions. Find a respectful way to draw out the ref’s opinion on just how aggressive defense can be before the ref gives a warning or DQ. Doing so informs the ref that you are aware of a rule that affects your team’s strategy, lets the ref clarify their position, and lets all of the drivers know what to expect.

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Also, while waiting for official Head Referee certifications, be kind! Discuss the nuances of the game not covered in Game Manual and Official Q&A during Drivers meeting.

Best to all be on the same page!

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