<G16> - Can I legally drop a hook over the wall?

prohibits mechanisms that react against multiple sides of a field element. Would it be legal to drop a hook or anchor over the edge of the wall? Imagine an L-shaped bracket that fits over the edge of the wall.

That would count as latching onto the field, thus making it illegal.


Even though I’m not actually latched to the field? I’m only touching the outside of the wall.

Wouldn’t that be considered as grappling to it?

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pretty much, long story short, if the field allows you to do something you couldn’t do without it, it’s illegal

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Bear in mind it says “mechanisms” as a whole and not “a mechanism”. Your robot is a mechanism in addition to the hook. So even though the hook is only one mechanism, your robot is another mechanism, which would cause you to develop “mechanisms that react to multiple sides of the field”.

In addition, bear in mind of the rule “robots may not grasp, grapple, or attach to opposing robots or field elements”. The perimeter is a part of the field, and if you have a hook you are definitely grappling onto an element.


Also I think you aren’t allowed to exceed the inside perimeter of the field .

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wouldn’t all the trays that stick out of the field be violating that rule if that was the case?

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Just out of curiosity though, what would the mechanism in question do and why does it need to hook the wall?

Can you please cite what rule in the game manual (https://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/vrc-tower-takeover/GameManual-20190816.pdf) makes you draw this conclusion?



<G3> Use common sense. When reading and applying the various rules in this document, please remember that common sense always applies in the VEX Robotics Competition.

Clearly, <G3> applies here - it makes sense to me.




Technically, it is legal to place a small hook over the exterior of the field and make contact with the outside of the wall (hooking). There is nothing in the rules against this.

However, what you do with it could be against the rules. If you use it to prevent your bot from being moved, that would fit the definition of anchoring. If you do it to stop your robot from falling over while tilting, that could also be anchoring to a lesser degree.

If you just put a hook over the wall as a spacing tool, so that your robot backs up until the hook touches the wall and then performs an action, I do not see this as violating < G16 >.

[G16] Don’t clamp your Robot to the field. Robots may not intentionally grasp, grapple or attach to
any Field Elements… …The intent of this rule is to prevent
Teams from both unintentionally damaging the field and/or from anchoring themselves to the field.

So the word grapple is an awful choice of words in this context. They have “grasp” and “attach” listed as somehow different ideas, and they form a Venn diagram of sorts. However the term grapple is weird. Traditionally, the word refers to grasp, seize ,or bind. With the advent of the grappling hook, we colloquially define that anchoring/hooking action as grappling. Most “grappling” hooks don’t actually grapple… they just hook. Like some sort of… hooking hook, which happens to be anchor shaped, which brings me to another word in the rule… Anchoring.

The rest of the rule defines the spirit, which is very clear. No “anchoring” yourself to the field. So now investigate that word. Anchors are things that stop you from being moved; anchors “provide a firm basis” or “secure in place”. I would not use the word anchor to describe your interaction with a wall you run into, nor would I use it to describe the act of limiting your distance from the wall to a known value before performing a task.

So your comment has taken me down a nice etymological path, but we have arrived back where we started. What is it you plan to do with this hook?

edited a word


Thanks for the thorough answer. I did indeed intend to use the hook to anchor the robot to the wall for an ahem…classified mechanism.

The rule I was referencing was <S2>, but the wording was slightly different than what I remembered, it seems to say that it is fine if a mechanism inadvertently goes out of the field, but says that this only implies that there is an issue if the robot is completely out of bounds, but I violation would probably be per the judge and <G3>.


If a Robot is completely out-of-bounds (outside the playing field), it will be Disabled for the remainder of the Match.
Note: The intent of this rule is NOT to penalize Robots for having mechanisms that inadvertently
cross the field border during normal game play

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