and in a competition using this alliance station set up
here is question #1, my auton requires placing some match load rings, it is nearly impossible to stay in the alliance station when placing the rings near the corner, is it legal to briefly leave the alliance station to place match loads? or will the success of my auton depend on which alliance station is being used?
the definition of alliance station would say that leaving would be illegal, but then what counts as leaving? if you keep one foot in the alliance station, is it legal? and SG8 says that rings can be placed in those tiles, so there must be a way to place them legally.
question #2, is it legal to use a mechanism to release match load rings on the field? we made a way to place 4 match load rings on the field at the same time (and legally placed) by squeezing the handle. nothing in the rules says that match load rings must be set down by a drive team member/ without the help of a mechanism, so does that mean that this is legal?
(edit: if anyone who has access to post in the Q&A could post this, that would be very helpful)
Yeah, I’d try to ask your mentor to register for the Q&A and formally ask. If I were to make the ruling right away, based on previous games’ rulings, I’d guess no (differences in fields have made it so that some strategies aren’t allowed over other strategies, such as how you technically couldn’t place cubes onto the colored tiles in Tower Takeover, but once the anti-static tiles were sent out, you could place cubes there) and no (I think in Gateway there was a ruling that you couldn’t make a chute to dump the match load, and Nothing but Net definitely had some statement directly in the rules about alliances not being allowed to bring a device to help load balls), but rulings from past games don’t necessarily apply to present games.
To the first question, I think the answer is a yes just because of the diagram of tiles where match loads can be introduced includes the corner.
To the second question, I don’t have anything definite, but it kinda feels like it would be illegal.
This is definitely illegal. In previous seasons it is ruled that you cannot use any mechanism to introduce an object into the field. You must use your hands and your hands only, unless there is some medical exception that invokes common sense of judgement.
Chances are you may get a warning if you do this during a match, so doing it repetitively may have negative consequences based on how lenient or non-lenient the referee is. It would be better to just go with something that does not stretch the boundaries.
Airing on the side of caution is probably the best choice, if you enter a match at lets say regionals, and the judges don’t like it, there is nothing you can do to fix it. While, you could ask a judge to clarify during comp (because the rules arent specific) you will have minimal time to implement an answer. Hope this helps.
A very important thing that we are skipping over here is the fact that there are actually 2 alliance station configurations. Here is what I don’t know: How many comps have the tape down on the floor? If its not taped out then you could easily argue that the alliance station that allows for you to put the rings on the gray foam tiles is the one you are using.
My guess is that the GDC will say leaving the drive station momentarily for the purpose of introducing match load rings is fine. You are already probably stepping out of the drive station by stepping toward the field to introduce match loads. The only difference is the space where referees may be around the field. Just a conversation you need to have with referees before the match so no one is surprised.
Any time your procedures, robot, strategy is anything out of the ordinary, you should be communicating with the referees before hand. Driver meetings are great for these questions, but just go up an talk to them. The referees aren’t just there to call penalties and score the match, they are there to help you avoid breaking rules as well.
Do note there are two alliance station configurations that may be used at events this season. The traditional one with alliances along side a single wall by the platform, and the other places teams in corners.
I know with Omicron surge, we are likely to use corner configuration for public health safety reasons.
A few years back during the BNS programming skills run, they had a similar issue. They had Owen wear a backpack while Justin held onto the backpack so Owen could lean to a position that he otherwise couldn’t get to. Picture of this below.
While this doesn’t directly answer your question, it’s a workaround you can do.
For those who don’t want to click the link, the answer to both questions is yes if you ask the Head Referee and they allow you to place outside of your alliance station, and yes to using a mechanism to load match loads.
Color me shocked that they ruled that way, but honestly, rings need all the help they can get to balance this game.