Defense at protected zone volume

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Please see the attached images. Can you please confirm these defenses are allowed. Thanks

Simply, if a robot (let’s say red) goes into the blue zone to play defense, it is not allowed. If the violation is NOT match affecting (meaning whether red or blue wins stays the same), a warning will be issued to the team/alliance. If the offense IS match affecting, then the team will be disqualified at the head referee’s discretion. The head ref may also issue disqualification if deemed fit.


No. Simply being in your opponents’ Protected Zone (not Inner Protected Zone) is not a violation of the rules. Entering the Inner Protected Zone is a DQ regardless of whether it was Match Affecting. The actual text of <SG3>:



@John_TYler, when I said “playing defense” I was saying that a robot of an opposing alliance entering the protected zone and physically contacting another robot, which indeed is a violation of case A. That is poor wording on my part :neutral_face: As for the inner zone part, in the photo that @sasikumar sent, the robot in question is not in the inner zone, therefore I did not reference it. Once again, poor wording on my part.

Nope. Only if a robot is fully within its own Protected Zone is it a violation of <SG3A> to contact it. If any part of it is outside, like hanging over the edge of the field or hanging over the tape line, it is not fully within its Protected Zone and can be contacted by other robots. It’s not easy to tell which robot is which in either of @sasikumar’s pictures, but it looks like no robot is entirely in a Protected Zone in the left picture, and there can be no <SG3A> violation unless a robot is entirely in a Protected Zone. (I can’t make heads or tails of what’s going on in the picture on the right.)

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2 things are shown in the attached image:
(Excuse my writing please :slight_smile:)

  1. The blue robot is fully in its outer protected zone, and the red robot is partially inside it as well.
  2. It seems as though the red robot is touching the blue robot, but it is not clear
    I) If touching, then red should be dq’ed
    II) Else, then red would be safe

Look at the base of the robot. Its rear right corner is closer to the camera than the tower is. The tower is two feet away from the Protected Zone. The red robot in question is a vertical stacking DR4B that doesn’t expand horizontally. It’s very clear in the VOD that no red robot is anywhere close to 3303D in the picture on the right.


Yeah that’s my bad, I should have seen it like that. @John_TYler thank you for the clarification though. @sasikumar I hope your questions are answered, and if they aren’t, please feel free to ask!

Here is complete match.

Here is my take on that match:

Timestamp 2:01, 0:45 left on the clock, 315K should have gotten at least a warning for touching the barrier, as per < SG3d>

I don’t believe that timestamp 2:32, with 0:13 on the clock was intentional on team 315K’s part, and it just looked like the perfect storm of 315K trying to pin while 920D suddenly jerked backwards and was already getting tipsy from being top-heavy. I’d blame the robot design of 920D in that case. Even then, the result of the purple cube entering the tower would have had no net difference between both teams, since each alliance had 7 purple cubes scored.

Timestamp 2:35, 0:11 seconds on the clock, 3324V ends up touching 3803D from backing up from defense. That also could be a warning from < SG3a>, but I don’t think that it would have changed anything pointswise.

Timestamp 2:40, 0:06 left on the clock, 315K potentially should have gotten another warning for contacting the robot completely in the outer protected zone due to < SG3a>.

I don’t believe that the first instance would have caused any change to the score, but that last instance should have been considered for a potential DQ for being Match Affecting. However, even if that last stack counted, the 14 point differential (2 orange cubes x3, 3 purple cubes x2, 2 green) wouldn’t have been enough to sway a win (56 to 48 in that scenario). Although that is closer, I don’t see an argument for 315K illegally causing 8 more points to be neglected. I might have given that alliance a DQ if they constantly received similar warnings beforehand, and I would have given a few warnings in this match, but this match by itself shouldn’t have caused a DQ.

EDIT: For the discussion that at 0:11 seconds left on the clock, 3324V was backing up and not playing defense at that point. In fact, I would consider them being on the offensive for driving to the only non-green cube left on the field. In that scenario, I’d say that if 3803D pushed 3324V into the Inner Protected Zone, I’d think that < G13> gives benefit of the doubt to 3324V. However, 3324V didn’t look close to the Inner Protected Zone from the angle in the video. You could see that half of 3324V’s base is outside of the Outer Protected Zone, and I know from witnessing them in person that their claw doesn’t extend anywhere close to 12 inches outwards.


for 2:40, I think the blue robot is not completely in the protected zone since the tray seems to extend outside of the field? The protection zone ends at the field perimeter. But it may the angle of the video.

I was playing devil’s advocate regarding those penalties by giving the offensive robot the benefit of the doubt. Yes, the ramps look outside the field perimeter at times, so that that moment technically wouldn’t be a penalty. However, penalty or not, there shouldn’t have been a DQ there.

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Why in China opponent teams robot are not allowed to take even the cubes from protected zone (Inner and Outer)? Is there any rule that says so?

I believe they are just warning teams that are entering the protected zone to be careful? It seems bizarre if they don’t allow it however teams do them over and over again.

SG7> Use Cubes to play the game. Cubes may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms. Examples include (but are not limited
to): • Encroaching upon an opponent’s Protected Zone per .
• Interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous Period per .

Watch time stamp last 35 seconds to 20 seconds. 3324V moving green cube to blue team protected zone and encroaching.

By the dictionary definition, they were “enroaching”, but the key part in that example is “per < SG3>”. You are allowed to place a tall stack of cubes into an opponent’s Outer Protected Zone just as much as you are allowed to park your robot to stop them from entering the zone to begin with- neither is a direct violation of that rule.

Yes, but then according to the rules as written, SG3E could come into play. I’ve bolded some text for emphasis.

SG3 - Stay away from your opponent’s protected areas. Robots may not intentionally or accidentally,
directly or indirectly, perform the following actions:

E - Contact an opposing Alliance’s Inner Protected Zone.

Inner Protected Zone - The 3-dimensional volume extending upwards from the foam tiles
and bound by the field perimeter and inner edge of the white tape line closest to one of each
Alliance’s Goal Zone.

This one took a bit of time for me to parse.

  1. The Inner Protected Zone is a volume, not an area. Thus, just breaking the plane of the Inner Protected Zone would be considered contact.
  2. Illegal contact with an opponent’s Inner Protected Zone is prohibited even if the contact is indirect. Thus contacting a robot that is contacting the Inner Protected Zone would be illegal and an automatic DQ by SG3E.
  3. All of this combined means that if a Red Robot’s tray is just breaking the plane of their own Inner Protected Zone, and they are contacted by a Blue Robot, this would be a violation of SG3E, and an automatic DQ.

The combination of the Inner Protected Zone being defined as a volume, indirect contact being illegal, and the rule calling for DQs of non match affecting incidents, makes for a very strict rule. I was a head ref this past weekend and had to call multiple DQs for what seemed to be minor incidents.

So the point of this post is to say that teams should be very careful whenever they approach their opponent’s side of the field, especially if they have long trays.

(There are a few open Q&As which may clarify these interpretations. 1. 2. )


By this interpretation playing defense when opponent is trying to place a stack in the non protection zone will almost always be ruled illegal due to robot indirectly contacting the barrier(robot touching opponent touching barrier) or contacting goal zone( robot touching opponent, opponent’s cube is touching the goal zone). Which will change a lot of team’s defense strategy

The Q&A never explicitly stated that it was ok to hit teams while placing stacks in the unprotected zone. it only said that as long as case B and D of SG3 were not violated, that there is no violation.

Watch Speedway signature event finals and elimination rounds. Red teams are not entering blue team protected zone (Inner and Outer) and vice versa. In China teams are playing The same way.