Expansion vs contact zone vs DQ vs points counted confusion

Here is a link to Q & A about some of the confusion but it doesn’t answer everything clearly.


So from my understanding is if an contact arm is expanded beyond the horizontal size limitation of 11x19 inches and isn’t touching the expansion zone floor and doesn’t affect the score, than that is a minor violation. Teams will need to pull their robot off the field, contract the arm and reset robot into the starting position before they can start controlling the robot again.

However based on the Q&A, if a robot touches a contact zone for additional points but is not touching the expansion zone floor, that team is automatically DQed for that match since their expansion makes the robot larger than the size limitations when the robot isn’t touching the expansion zone and the contact arm is game affecting since the contact arm results in additional points.

During qualifications matches in past years if a team is DQed, the other team still gets the total points from the match and the team that is DQed gets zero. So for example last season if a team got balls in the high goal but than were DQed, those balls still counted as points to the other team.

So here is my question, if say a alliance partner touches a contact zone and says gets 20 additional points for contact but their robot isn’t touching the expansion zone floor, they would get an automatic DQ. Does those 20 points still count towards the match and the other team?

Interested to here what others think.



No they would not count. As they are not in the expansion zone, hence why they get DQ.

Thanks for your insight. I believe contact zone with points and being in the expansion zone and expanding is mutually exclusive. Isn’t this the reason why the team has an automatic DQ? If the points didn’t count for contact, then technically it isn’t game affecting and shouldn’t get an automatic DQ. I think the person that ask the question in the Q and A was asking why their team is being DQed instead of just having the contact points not counted.

In the game manual under , it just states that part of the robot is contacting the floor inside the contact zone. Doesn’t say anything within the scoring about the robot needs to be touching the expansion zone for it to be scored.

So it seems the order for the refs is the contact is scored first but since expansion is against the rule and caused a game affecting result, that team is DQed. No where in the game manual states after the DQ, the contact bonus is removed from the score. :thinking:

A Robot achieves a Contact Bonus if any part of the Robot is contacting the Floor inside of a Contact Zone. The Contact Bonus is worth a number of points equal to the number of Discs which are Scored in the Contact Zone’s corresponding Goal Zone.

For example, if a Robot is contacting the Purple Contact Zone, and there are five (5) Discs Scored in the 2-Point Goal Zone, then that Robot receives a Contact Bonus of five (5) points.

Note: If a single Robot is contacting the Floor in multiple Contact Zones, then it is not eligible for any Contact Bonuses.

Note 2: Contact Bonuses are awarded separately per Robot, and are added together.

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Any score affecting violation of the rules is going to be a major violation and therefore DQ. (See Flow Chart Fig 4 on Page 9 of the manual)

I agree with you here, awarding points for contact seems to be independent of whether the robot expanded or not. I suppose someone may be able to have a 2 point contact and not expand. These rules are separate. However, if the contact is a result of the illegal expansion, then it will be score affecting and therefore DQ.

Also since DQs are only evaluated at the conclusion of the match. I believe the non-DQ’d partner would receive credit for the full point value, including the touch, because that is when scores are calculated and the non-offending team should receive those points regardless if they were legally obtained or not. <T12>


Had something this past weekend that is similar. Had a team whose end game mechanism accidentally expanded mid match, thus violating the expansion restrictions of <G13>

The end game piece broke off, putting the robot back in to size, but the piece laid on the ground, in the scoring zone, now becoming a different potential violation of <G10>, although it wasn’t intentional coming apart, so maybe this isn’t a minor violation any more.

Neither of these violations were score affecting, so only a minor violation was given.

Now entering in to hypothetical land, if the broken part landed in a contact zone OR if the team shot new discs and hit the broken piece laying in the scoring zone, do you believe that would have then risen to a major violation and DQ.

Do you think in hindsight, the team should have put down their controller and retrieved the broken piece?


Per G10:

Parts that become unintentionally detached from the Robot are no longer considered to be part of the Robot

so given the following scenario:

  1. Robot examines outside 11x19 without contacting the expansion zone
  2. expanded part of robot reaches over the fence
  3. expanded part unintentionally breaks off robot, and the robot ends up back in 11x19
  4. broken-off part of the robot ends up touching one of the contact zones

Then the broken piece wouldn’t be getting a contact bonus, since it’s not considered part of the robot, therefore not score-affecting, therefore likely only a minor violation. (assuming this is the team’s first time with this violation and no other violations occurred during the above sequence, such as the robot changing the scored state of a disc).

From the definition of “Score Affecting”:

To determine whether a Violation may have been Score Affecting, check whether the Violation directly contributed to increasing the score of the Match. If it did not increase the Alliance’s score, then the Violation was not Score Affecting, and it was very likely a Minor Violation.

I think in most cases, a piece of robot debris that ends up in the scoring zone will be generally likely to result in discs scoring fewer points rather than more (barring something weird like the part preventing discs from sliding from the 4pt to the 1pt zone). So I think this would also likely be a minor violation, again assuming it’s clearly accidental and a one-off.

This exact scenario happened at my event this weekend. Team reached over the fence and was contacting the purple contact zone at the end of the match, but wasn’t contacting the expansion zone. There were discs scored in the 2pt goal zone, so the action was score-affecting and therefore a major violation. As such the team in violation got a DQ, but their partners received the full score on the field, including the contact bonus. There is no scenario where the game manual says we should change the score on the field as a result of a DQ.


Thanks for your thought process of this situation. I can see this being a real issue for refs making the correct call at local tournaments. In some ways it’s counterintuitive since the intuitive decision is to just not score contact bonus. The other added issue is expansion zone is the floor not the vertical volume. So the kids might think the robot is in the expansion zone, especially at the far side but get DQed since their robot wheels are not touching the floor of the expansion zone.

Thanks for the insight. But I can see how this thought process can be confused by local tournaments and event partners since it isn’t written black and white anywhere and requires some degree of interpretation. Hopefully RECF can have this written down somewhere for reference so it’s easier for everyone involved. Refs and the kids on the teams.


No doubt. We are blessed here in WV with top level EPs and referees, who understand the nuance of the rules very well.

To combat this in areas who may not be quite as blessed, the kids have to know the rulebook inside and out and be able to defend their position and show a rule when the referee gets it wrong.


Here is the official answer.


I think I understand why the team in this scenario gets a match DQ, and also why the Alliance partner gets the he contact bonus. That’s a valid interpretation of the rules.

My issue is whether this whole scenario is really playing out reasonably in the spirit of the game. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense if added a little phrase, in bold:

“ A Robot achieves a Contact Bonus if any part of the Robot is contacting the Floor inside of a Contact Zone and in the Expansion Zone.”

Imagine that change. Now, if you’re accidentally outside the EZ, as happens so often, the Contact Bonus doesn’t apply. And thus you’re not Score affecting. Minor violation. Yay?

Are there scenarios the designers saw where it’s possible to get Contact Bonus without being in the EZ? Seems…unlikely.

I know it’s late in the season for such a change…but I’m curious what everyone thinks. I can’t imagine the consequences of the rules as-is are the intended ones by the game designers. Or can someone help me see ways in which this hypothetical rule change would lead to unintended consequences?

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