Entrapment rule definition in recent Q&A ruins the game

So, in a recent competition, we were pinned by another team with an 8 motor drivetrain against the bumper around the zones. We were told that being trapped for 59 secs (as seen in photo, videos can’t be uploaded to this website) was legal because of the recent Q&A where this issue was brought up. This was an incredibly poor decision, and allows for completely boring gameplay exhibiting the hot, fast action including both of one alliance’s robots being stuck for 59 seconds of a match. By the way, we lost 98-109. We would have won if we weren’t trapped for more than 5 seconds, LEGALLY. This team damaged the field while pinning us, and somehow this is on us? And what about any robot with any sort of disk intake? The disk intake has to be close to the ground to be viable, meaning any robot that intakes disk can fall victim to this rule.

A couple updates,

  1. It turns out our robot was damaged, the front left wheel was snapped, and now is useless. This costs us more money, because their not is actively protected by this poor decision.

  2. This rule is designed to promote design diversity, and instead, promotes design uniformity. This leads to less creativity being required, and even eliminates their kind of robot, once everyone complied to the poor rule design being exhibited here. How? Well, now everyone has to design their bot to go over the bumpers, meaning everyone’s robot drivetrains are going to be near identical. And when robots can go over the bumper, a robot purpose built to trap other robots LEGALLY (which is still absurd, how anyone thought that was a good idea is beyond my comprehension) will no longer be effective. Which sucks, because trapping is legal, so long as it is less than 5 seconds. Which is a fair rule, and the robot, if utilized in that manner, would be fair, but because of the loophole made by that Q&A, they can now trap indefinitely, making the design unfair, and not fun to play against in the slightest.

I can see why this would frustrate you, and it’s perfectly valid to disagree with this q&a response, I myself am not sure I agree with the notion that a robot which wasn’t designed with the intent to cross the barrier should be fair to pin for an entirety of the match.

That being said, the barrier is not an insurmountable obstacle, and many many teams have been able to cross it, despite having low-riding intake structure. So while you are perfectly entitled to complaining about the ruling, it likely will not change. But by designing around this obstacle, you won’t have to worry about this situation happening to you again.


I just want clarification that they can only pin for 5 seconds. The rule is fine in general, but the 59 seconds of the game spent being incapable of doing anything, not even endgame, is infuriating.

I knew situations like this would happen, so I made this post which sparked some discussion on the topic.

While I disagree with the ruling, I agree with @Xenon27 's post above. This follow up Q&A has been posted and until it has been answered, the best you can do is adapt to the current situation.


Well, this is interesting, I see the point the Q&A staff are trying to make however why did they not think of this before we all started building are robots? This seems like a significant change to pinning that should be made aware to all teams beforehand so we can adjust our designs and not be left redesigning and getting pinned for the whole match. In my opinion, it should not matter how they get pinned but if you can’t move and they are clearly causing that then trapping should apply. Or like I said they should have justified this at the start of spin-up because we all know that trapping is a big deal and changing it can be very significant to everyone.

Turns out the team that pinned us screwed us over for the next match, they unplugged the inertia sensor and caused our code to fail to initialize. We were unable to compete in our third match because of this. But it’s still all legal, because Vex victim-blames the robotics team even when the issue is out of their control.
The inertia sensor was hidden deep in our robot, but the torsion and various other forces involved in a 6 motor v 8 motor face off was too much.

You can hardly blame robot defense for unplugging a sensor. If you have proper wire management this simply wouldn’t happen.


I do. That’s why I blamed them. Everything is zip tied out of the way, the only possible thing is that. I can’t think of any other way, due to the position and our cable management.

Our inertia sensor. The screw is the sensor. Our hands can’t touch it, it is zip tied down, no tool can reach it, this is the only feasible explanation, although I will admit, it is a difficult one to image, but it’s still the easiest to imagine.

Personally… and along the lines of a ‘vigorous defense’, I would be fine with a pneumatic/etc actuated ‘flipper’ that takes a pushing/trapping bot and flips it over. I would not find the defending bot in violation of anything.

But, that said, I find the ruling just wrong, against the spirit and history of the games to date.

After having a bot sabotaged by other teams… the standing orders are to electrical tape down all motor plugs.