<G12> Tipping a robot in Turning Point

Need help with a rules clarification before going to Worlds. On Saturday at the US Open we had a robot get tipped over in the Quarterfinal Match. Here was the situation…Our robot is a double puncher and had 2 balls loaded ready to shoot. They were lining up with the center flags and were positioning themselves in front of the blue platform to take the shot. The opposing alliance came from their left side and shoved them towards the blue starting tiles. So we were in no way driving at the other robot. In the process they slammed our robot against the other opponent and flipped our robot onto it’s back. We were in the act of scoring so we were clearly the offensive robot.

Referees at first ruled that they could not tell we were playing offense.
Referees ruled that they “could not tell” if the other team intended to flip our robot.
Referees eventually agreed that we were in an offensive position.

According to and our students and other coaches felt that the opposing robot should have been penalized. We obviously can’t change the call at this point, but would like to know if this was ruled correctly so we can be prepared for Worlds.

Our robot has had plenty of shoving this season as they are 4 time tournament champions and State Champions. This was the first time another robot has flipped them over so it’s not a design that is easily flipped in case you are wondering if the robot was built tippy.


Whether this ruling was correct would depend on how the other robot tipped you, what they were doing before and after they tipped you, and whether they had done anything like this in previous matches.

It would also depend on whether you did anything during the match that made your robot easier to tip.

Edited to add:

In case you were wondering, I don’t think you would be able to get an official response from the GDC or RECF on whether the ruling was correct, since it would mostly be a judgment call by the referee, and the GDC has said before that they do not make blanket rulings on hypothetical situations like this one (even if they happened during a match).

My preference would be to make a rule where if there is an unintentional match-affecting action that would violate the rules if it was intentional (e.g. unintentional tipping/entanglement), the match would be replayed.


If the opponents are pushing you as you are attempting to score then they are defending you and is in a defensive state. If you tip as a result of them defending you then they should’ve been disqualified depending if it is match affecting or not. If you were tipped, for say, when there was 45 seconds left it should’ve been a disqualification. If there’s like less than 15 seconds left then it should be a warning.


Defense, that is, interfering with an opposing robot that is trying to score, is not illegal.

Defense is not illegal. However, causing another robot to tip is an explicit violation of the rules. I can’t say much for this specific case since I don’t have a video to see what exactly happened. Based on the information presented, though, I would definitely consider a disqualification for this situation.

I understand that, however, OP was seemingly claiming that it was illegal because of their offensive position.

The refereeing at the US Open left a lot to be desired … especially since it is a more prominent event.

I was very surprised at the lack of knowledge of the rules.


I was at the open, but didn’t observe this. The refs seemed pretty good, even though some didn’t look for pinning correctly. This problem was resolved later however.

I had a couple similar situations at the US open. In one match we were entangled when a robot rammed our intake 10 sec into a match. We were trying to intake a ball so I thought it seemed pretty obvious we were the offensive bot. Later in the round of 16, my teammate, who was trying to score, was pushed into my robot (lining up to shoot), and was tipped. In both cases, even though there was a clear defensive and offensive bot, no dqs were awarded. The ref’s reasoning was that because both robots were going forward into each other, he could not determine which one was causing the contact that led to the violation. Essentially, he said that if we were backing up it would have been a dq, but since we were going forward there is no call regardless of what we were trying to do. I don’t really agree with it, but at the very least I hope it is consistent with other events. I would love for the RECF to add some clarification to tipping rules next year. I also hope vex designs a game that does not encourage so much contact.

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At the blue field, the ref wasn’t counting a high park if the robot was touching the yellow.

Our teams also had issue during qualifications. Most disturbing was the fact that they would allow the kids to ask questions either. One of my kids even went to the question box and the ref told her that he had to run matches and did t have time for that.

Do you mean when they were touching the yellow and touching a lower platform? If so, then the ref’s calls were indeed correct.

Could you please explain more thoroughly. I am a bit confused by this post.

@Gameoa Pretty sure @action000 was referring to the yellow PVC of the center platform.

Thank you for the clarification, very helpful.

I had a ref start counting me down and when I asked why his response was “entanglement” at that point I had already backed off since he was counting down which allowed the opposing team to score the winning shot. @LordVader5 Worlds refs will most likely be able to determine which robot is the offending and defending robot, and when an offense is match effecting/when to issue a penalty. I think the U.S. Open refs were just inexperienced or under trained.

[quote=“2775Josh, post:12, topic:59521, full:true”]
@Gameoa Pretty sure @action000 was referring to the yellow PVC of the center platform.
[/quote]Correct. They were only given credit for a center park if they were on the center platform and not touching the yellow PVC. If they were on the center platform and touching the yellow PVC, it was counted as an alliance park.

To clarify even more … if a robot was on the center platform, touching the yellow, and NOT touching the alliance platform, it was not counted as a center park - for several teams.

That’s just horribly incorrect, and actually pretty easy to get. Not sure how someone misses that, and it’s pretty clear in the rulebook.

On the officiating at the US Open:

I thought that–while there were a few mistakes–the final matches were called very well. I won’t comment for qualification matches because there were eight different divisions (4 HS, 2 MS, 2 Open) and therefore, eight different referees, so it was a different experience for everybody.

Here is what I thought they did very well:

  • They found a very good way for students to ask referees questions and ask about matches. You’d go stand in a certain area and a referee would come to you.
  • Every referee I saw was very good about explaining their take on the rule. We spent about 20 minutes speaking with a ref on Wednesday night about his interpretation on certain rules. I thought that they all cared about the student’s viewpoint, even if the call wasn’t what the students wanted.

There was one thing that I think CREATE could’ve improved on in regards to officiating. With only one referee per division, it becomes very hard for them to see everything. With four robots on the field at time (with up to 10 feet between them), it’s better to have multiple referees. A lot of issues with pinning are solved when there are multiple referees watching each match.

Overall, I thought that CREATE ran a good event, especially after moving to a new facility, which is not an easy thing to do.

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That was not our case with the Open Division, where the referee occasionally came across as antagonistic or confrontational towards my kids. Some cases of them being rude and blowing them off.

The Open Division reffing was pretty darn poor, even with modified rules. There were basic core TP rules that were either not known, or applied very incorrectly.

I don’t understand why they didn’t have multiple referees per field. I don’t doubt that there were people who would be glad to volunteer and know the rules very well.


That’s sad to hear. Frankly, I didn’t spend as much time watching Open as I did the other divisions. I watched matches in the MS division where my school’s MS team was competing. I was completing in HS Green, but I watched a few from Red, Orange, and Blue. As a competitor, I feel that referees should always consider conversations with kids as an open dialogue about rulings.

I’m totally with you about the multiple referees per field. That seems to be necessary games like this (especially with all the defense).

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I saw exactly the opposite. Kids were ignored in the box and were told by the ref that they didn’t have time for them. They also told one of the kids: “young lady, I know the rules” … and he very clearly didn’t - later admitted so after an adult asked him.