For VEX IQ robot skills autonomous, can team ask referee to stop the clock?

#1

At one of the events, the referee would ask the students if they wanted to stop the clock after they ran the last program. The clock was stopped at random points. Several robots were able to hang high for a few seconds and started to slide down, making it a low hang or even starting to loose pieces and making it a park. The referee was new and was consistent in treating everyone the same.
Normally you score at the end of the 60 seconds after the field settles. The referee explained that he/she tried to create a positive experience for the students involved. This was not impacting the highest scoring teams, now that teams are pulled from the skills list per state, it might have an impact.
What is the official take on the 1 minute stop or don’t stop the clock. If the robot is a high hang, are you able to stop at 30 seconds or if it is past the 30 seconds, do you need to run it until the 60 seconds are up? This can be a quick instruction for the teams, if you know your robot needs 10 seconds to finish the high hang run it at 45 seconds if you are not sure that it can hold for 15 extra seconds.
I still have a competition this Saturday 02/23/2019 for 30 VEX IQ teams where I will help train referees. Thanks.

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#2

It’s common, even at Worlds, for a skills referee to ask a team, “is it done?” and stop the clock early on a programming skills run. This should only be done when everything is completely at rest. I don’t believe this has ever been written down anywhere, but most people see little value in staring at motionless robots for 45 (or 30 or even 15) seconds when other teams are waiting for their chance.

I believe this is covered in rule G3: Use common sense. When reading and applying the various rules in this document, please remember that common sense always applies in the VEX IQ Challenge.

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#3

Thanks Rick. I agree with common sense, at the same time I have seen robots fall apart where referees were not as lenient. Those 2 or 3 points will make a difference for beginning teams pulled from the skills list. I like to create a positive experience for the kids, but teaching them time management is also a lesson. Consistency is key and if everyone does it, it could become the guideline or the rule. I don’t have any teams myself, I judge or act as judge advisor. I help prepare coaches for an event and help with running the events. I don’t want to misguide them. When it does not impact the scoring it makes sense. When it comes to the hanging part it is tricky. What do the officials say?

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