Discussion: Judge [sic] using their own camera to review footage to make/change a call

In VRC Startstruck Official forms, @AperatureLabs asked:

Is it allowable for a referee/judge to take their own photographs or video of a match to refer to afterwards to verify rulings?

As a referee, I recently used a recording device of my own to document and verify a ruling on a complex “supporting” cascade of a robot dangling a claw full of objectives over the fence that may or may not have been supported by an opponent.

If so, theoretically I would argue that I could use my own video evidence to tell if an objective made contact with a bot before going out of bounds if I didn’t catch it when it happened late in a match, or to determine if robots stayed out of opponents scoring zones during autonomous.

I understand that the spirit of the rule banning review/replays is to respect the calls of the referee and allow the matches to occur with little to no red-tape. That being said, is it acceptable for referees to record and review footage, and for instance change their autonomous ruling later after deliberation without petition from competitors?

You need to hear from the community on this. Let me say:

Good god I hope that’s not okay. What a debacle that could lead to.

Refs need to call what they see. Keep in mind the spectators would never be able to see what you did this way. Private video could be used to justify anything. The reason they have instant replay in televised sports is not in order to increase fairness; it’s that sometimes the home viewers see things on repeated replay that the officials in the game don’t see. So fans get upset.

Here, you easily could have the reverse of that situation. As tough as it is, I think VEX needs to live with the calls made on the field.

Yes, I got whiplash when I read the post on the Q&A. It is not OK to review video footage of matches for a number of reasons. Even in professional sports where this is done, the (high definition, multiple camera angle) footage still cannot resolve all disputes. This would not solve anything and could lead to huge delays and added controversy. Plus, with professional sports, there’s a lot at stake - millions of dollars. This is recreational robotics. The refs can make a call and move on.

I am with you guys that believe it would be bad to allow this. Fortunately, Karthik made the right call. In the narrative of the question, the thought of changing who won the autonomous came up. Imagine a team thinking they won autonomous and then going for SP near the end of the match. They think they won by 6 or 7 points only to find out that they lost by one or two because the ref changed who one the autonomous after reviewing footage. That is but one example of how doing what was suggested as going very wrong.

I am totally with you guys as well. @Elohssa made a great point. So does @Gear Geeks and @kypyro as this would have been an awful precedent. Besides, the rule could not have been more clear.

In my true personal opinion, I believe that it is best to not use cameras to review footage for disqualification risks, but I am perfectly fine with having a judge looking over the recording to see if the correct autonomous is a win (if it is extravagantly close). They shouldn’t be stopping the matches, but just allowing the judges to look over and be able to publish the results to the vex app as it is continuing its matches. But anyways, a camera can’t catch every little detail.. I believe that cameras can have a good lead in the future with publishing scores, but otherwise I don’t think it as worth it for anything else. No human is perfect, and no camera can catch everything in the present. We just need to deal with it.

Determining who wins the autonomous is the absolute worst situation for camera review once the manual control has started. Strategy is based on the score. There is zero reason to start the manual control until the refs are 100% sure of who won the autonomous. If there is doubt, wait to restart the match and get it right.

Based on the rules, in qualifying rounds, SP can be very important. Changing which team won the autonomous will be either a 4 point swing or an 8 point swing. That is like knocking 8 stars off the fence or scoring 4 stars from near zone to near zone on the other side.