Another alliance we were playing against at our tournament this Saturday hit the high goal with there arm attempting to bend it to make the sacks scored there fall off. It seems to me that this would fall under the classification of intentionally damaging field elements however, the referee at the tournament decided to leave it alone since we dominated the match. I would like to get confirmation that it is illegal.
Here is the video
My opinion, they did nothing illegal in de-scoring the high goal. The problem is the high goal pivoted (it did not bend), probably due to the absence of any screws placed in the sides to keep it horizontal. Trying to jolt the high goal to dislodge sacks seems like a smart tactic to me. It will take more than that to damage or move it, if it is assembled properly.
I noticed there was very little robot contact or defensive play, in this game at least. I guess if this is generally the way the games were being played, then some people may view that high goal de-score as unfair or even illegal.
You should post this in the Official Sack Attack Q&A if you want to get an official answer from the Vex Staff (but make sure you quote the applicable rules!)
However, I agree with my mentor. The only way the high goal would bend in this manner is due to a field that is not constructed correctly. One or more of the screws was not installed. Obviously, in a perfect world, this wouldn’t ever happen, so it isn’t really dealt with in the rules. However, I would say that it is common sense that a team cannot be disqualified for “damaging” a field that has not been assembled properly.
I think if an improperly assembled field affected the result of the match, it would result in a rare case where the match is replayed (at the Head Refs discretion).
If the high goal WAS assembled correctly then this kind of descoring would not cause damage, and so is completely legal.
(Note: This is only my interpretation of the rules. As I said at the start, if you feel like this warrants an official answer you should post in the Official Sack Attack Q&A)