How to follow the 5 second pinning rule

When following the pinning rule, do you follow the refs countdown, or your own. Say for example, the ref didn’t start counting down (they didn’t see it till later) can you still keep pinning?

you shouldn’t pin for longer then 5 seconds, regardless of if the ref is paying attention or not. you should also not wait for the 5 seconds to run out before releasing, do it before it gets to 5, because if you win the match, it could be ruled you pinned longer than 5 seconds and get disqualified as a result.

when playing defense, it’s much better to push opponents around and around instead of pinning them, because you can do it indefinitely with no risk of rule violation.


The referees will count down from 5, however, you should say something to let them know to start the countdown and show that you can’t get out of the pin. Pinning after 5 seconds is illegal and can get you disabled in the match and possibly dqed after. Most referees will notice you pinning, so I wouldn’t recommend doing so for more than 4-5 seconds even if you think the referee isn’t looking.


It is in good taste for you to follow the 5 second rule, even if the refs don’t see it. If the event is recorded the footage can be reviewed if you break the pinning rule. Make sure you back away one tile after pinning if you plan on pinning again.


If you are defensive focused and you need to get a visual example of pinning in action, you could watch some matches of 62A in ITZ and how they legally pinned robots.

well, no not really. ref’s aren’t allowed to watch video replay under any circumstance.

but, the footage can be viewed by others and people watching will know you pinned for longer than 5 seconds, and if enough people complain about the pinning, the ref could be pressured into making a dq, even if they didn’t actually see you pin for longer than 5.


My mistake, I forgot replays aren’t exactly allowed as evidence for a ruling.

Ok but is it illegal if you only follow the refs counting, instead of your own?

Refs counting is what is official, not your own. Feel free to count on your own but what the ref says/counts goes.


And if a ref starts a pinning count, when the opponent isn’t trying to escape, can you interject in the moment and tell the referee?

it isn’t illegal, but if the ref starts counting late and you take advantage of that to pin for longer than 5 seconds, it’s immoral.

its hard to define “not trying to escape”. often teams will wait until the pin count is up to drive away because they know they won’t be able to escape during the pin. And in the heat of the match you’re not going to be able to convince the ref that the opponent isn’t trying to escape. In general just listen to the ref and don’t push the pinning rules to the very limit unless you want your events to be full of talks and debates with the refs and opponents.


Would you say it’s immoral though, you’re just playing by the rules.

I guess it is exploiting but…

Taking advantage of the ref’s imperfect observation, allowing you to pin longer than 5 seconds without getting caught? yeah definitely immoral. And while doing this might let you win matches, it will also make it harder to get a partner because your opponents and the audience will certainly be able to tell you’re pinning longer than you should be and as such you’ll leave the match leaving a negative impression on everyone else.


I was referring to using the refs pinning timer, not their lack of observation.

if their pin count is an accurate representation of how long you’ve been pinning, its fine. but if they start counting later than you started pinning, you should stop pinning based on your own count, not theirs. for the reasons I listed above.

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During tournaments, video review of plays are prohibited by referees.


Not really - the offended team needs to make active action to free from a pin/trap. Just yelling at referee and not controlling your robot to try all possible avenues of escape is usually why counts do not start, even if the offensive team is being aggressive in play.

No, most likely you won’t be disabled. The only rules that cause disablement are < S1> and < S2>, and excessive pinning rarely gets seen as unsafe.


I meant more of an after match thing. like the entire opposing alliance goes to the ref and says, hey they were pinning us for a solid 7-8 seconds multiple times during the match and that’s why we lost. Depending on the referee, they might chose to err on the side of the opposing alliance even though they didn’t actually see the pinning.