Hoarding rules need help

If the robot is in procession of 2 or more mogos, does it count as hoarding if I park it in the corner of our alliance zone?

read the definition for hoarding:

Hoarding – A form of Possession. A Robot is Hoarding if it is in Possession of any Mobile Goal in either of the two (2) corners of the field in their own Alliance Home Zone (i.e. positioned in the corner roughly the size of one foam field tile). See <SG7> for more information

so yes, your example here is pretty much the definition of hoarding, possessing multiple goals in the corner of your alliance home zone.

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My current questions would be - does the robot need to be contacting the two mobile goals for it to be consider hoarding? If no physical contact, does the presence of my robot need to be there, say I wedged two mobile goals in the corner so they can not be extracted at beginning match, and I drive off for remainder of match.

These questions came up at first Signature Event and one team pointed out potential hoarding infraction, and referee can be heard saying “no contact, not hoarding” or something similar.

Thoughts?

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these sorts of questions can be answered by looking at the definition of possession.

Possession – A Robot is considered to be in Possession of a Mobile Goal if any one of the following criteria are met:

  1. The Robot is carrying, holding or controlling the movement of a Mobile Goal such that if the Robot changes direction, the Mobile Goal will move with the Robot. Therefore, pushing / plowing Mobile Goals is not considered Possession, however using concave portions of your Robot to control the movement of Mobile Goals is considered Possession. See Figure 18.
  2. The Robot is actively blocking opposing Robot’s access to Mobile Goals, such as by expanding horizontally and restricting access to a portion of the field. See Figure 19.
  3. Robots on the same Alliance working in tandem to block access to Mobile Goals would share the Possession of said Mobile Goal. See Figure 20.

criteria 1 would cover all instances where the robot is physically grabbing or carrying the goals, identifying possession of this type is pretty easy and straightforward.

criteria 2 is a little more fuzzy, but I read “actively blocking opposing robot’s access to mobile goals” to mean that the robot in question must be physically there, blocking an opponent from reaching a goal, while that opponent is trying to acquire it. To me this means that goals that get piled up in a corner of the field are not in possession by any robots, unless a robot is sitting there in that corner, blocking an opponent who is trying to grab those goals. And I also think that if a robot has possession of a goal, and an opponent is actively pushing that robot to keep it on their side of the field, that opponent is not in possession of the goal, because the robot isn’t being blocked from reaching the goal, they already have it.

I think hoarding is intended to only be called in rare instances of a robot who gathers the goals into a corner, and then sits between those goals and an opponent who is trying to get to them. But the definition of hoarding does not include intent, so teams should be mindful not to carry multiple goals (carry in that the goals meet criteria 1 of possession) into that cornermost tile at the same time.

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Hoarding limits are meant to rid of any unfair game strategies, it is considered hoarding if it meets the 2 or more goal criteria for one robot, if there’s two goals being blocked among two robotis, it’s legal. If the robot is backed into the corner(robot facing towards middle of field or “forwards”) with two goals in front of it (possessed) it is not hoarding to definition of possession item 1, because the goal is moving with the robot in possession.

I intend to present the following guidance in the drivers meeting when I ref:

Do not hoard more than 1 goal. Refs will call out “Hoarding” to give teams a chance to avoid the infraction. Unlike Trapping, Hoarding is “immediate” and could result in a DQ.

That said, SG7 reads:

Minor violations of this rule that do not affect the Match will result in a warning. Match Affecting offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion.

Note: Hoarding is not a time-based activity (i.e. a 5 second count, like Trapping). As soon as a Robot places multiple Mobile Goals in the corner of an Alliance Home Zone, they are at risk of causing a Hoarding violation. The intent of this rule is to prohibit one Alliance from actively stifling gameplay by “locking down” Mobile Goals in corners of the field.

Its intent is not to make the corners of the field an area of edge-case accidental violations, just as it is not to prohibit Robots from Possessing multiple Mobile Goals while playing the game offensively. In general, unless a Robot or Alliance is intentionally and blatantly utilizing a Hoarding strategy, violations of this rule should be rare.

Emphasis added on “violations of this rule should be rare”.

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Agreed! thanks for the “think aloud”.

The edge case I present is the one where mobile goals are being used to physically constrain the movement of the mobile goals. Would that fall under using game objects to achieve infractions on behalf of the robot?

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I don’t think it would, because the definition of possession does state that a robot has to be actively blocking opponent’s access to the goal. A goal being in the way of another goal might be blocking opposing access to that goal, but I don’t think a goal doing that, even if put there by a robot intentionally, can be considered as a robot actively blocking access to that goal. its more of a goal passively blocking access to another goal kind of situation.

anyways, I don’t think that referees need to, or can, keep track of another layer of who put what goal where for what reason for what rule. this game is already hard enough to ref.

I don’t believe I’ve seen a game this year where hoarding has been called. I think I have seen a couple where a legitimate argument could be made, where Red piles 3 (or 2 or 4) in the corner and a scrum of a Red robot and a Blue robot around it ensues. When determining “match affecting” in this context, is it the points Red would have lost from 1 goal (20 point swing)? 2 goals? 3 goals? Suppose the ref decides that the interaction prevented Blue from getting 1 yellow goal. Is that now a 20 point swing (e.g. denying Red 1 Home Zone Goal), or a 40 point swing (denying Red, plus Blue with a HZG)? Definitely a rabbit hole. I might even be inclined to go a bit off-script and simply replay the match…

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The edge case I am thinking of here is a team figuring a way of using scoring objects to prevent removal of mobile goals from corners… Could this be violation of:

<SG10> Use Scoring Objects to play the game. Scoring Objects may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms (e.g., Interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous routine per .)

The intent of this rule is to prohibit teams from using game objects as “gloves” to loophole any rule that states “a Robot may not [do some action]”.

Season now getting “real” is why I am having this thought experiment in a vacuum of referee training videos and certification. There are no certified Head Referees without the certification. So Wild West :slight_smile:

Surely a Goal “in front” of a Goal in the Corner is an enticing target for the opposing Alliance. Being closer (and, I’m assuming, not in Possession), I’d figure the opposing alliance would be interested in stealing it before the potentially Hoarded Goal…

[Edit]
though, I suppose with the tall goal, one could touch it to the Platform, barricading the corner. Weird.

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I think in the vast majority of cases like this, if one alliance is able to get all the goals in a corner (not necessarily strategically, often the goals will naturally congregate to a particularly corner just through pushing battles) then that alliance is likely to win the match anyways. But of course one could argue that if the alliance had backed away and simply allowed their opponents to take back all their goals, they would have lost. But is a team really expected to allow their opponents to take goals from their corners without opposition? it goes down a very deep rabbit hole indeed.

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I doubt the certification test would address such an extreme edge case. Best to hit the Q&A and hope for a response…

I am wondering if pendulum needs to swing more towards not having mobile goals stashed in corners. I am reminded that with in a nano-second of game release teams figured out you could wedge a mobile goal under platform to prevent it from being balanced… GDC put more protections for last 30 second clarity. I think we need similar clarity for corner of field stashing. If not, why have SG10?

Or put pressure to get Referee Certification out now. Why operate in a vacuum and inconsistency?

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I believe this is the intent of the Hoarding rule. If your team has accumulated goals in a Corner, you cannot actively defend them and must present a clear path to the opposition or risk DQ

[Edit] - as a Ref, I’d be under an obligation to point out that you must present a clear path during the match (and give opportunity to remedy your position), rather than blind-side you after the fact with a DQ

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I’m going by the two goals in the corner plus “you know it when you see it”. The rules say it should be rare.

I’ve called it once in three events and two league nights.

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