Interpretation of sg9,10

In toss up, one of the rules that was updated was that teams are not allowed to intentionally place bucky ball on an opposing robot. In general, strategies that are intended to force opponents to violate a rule are not encouraged in vex.

This year, things are more straigntfoward. This type of strategy that is condemned immoral by many people is simply banned. Period. I understand GDC’s intention to reduce ambiguity. But does it? Might it cause more debate in the future?

**case one: **
A two robot alliance includes a wall-bot. The wall-bot moves towards the opposing alliance’s starting corner, expands, and blocks two opposing robots inside their corner. The wall-bot left enough space for the two robots so that it is not a trap. The wall-bot is not, at this time, directly or indirectly interfering any forbidden areas or field elements, thus not violating sg9.
Here is the part: this time, a blocked robot intentionally moves towards the wall bot. This robot touches the wall-bot while still fully touching the alliance starting tile, causing the wall-bot to violate sg9.
Question: who violates the rule?
-The wall-bot is the cause of the incident, but not the robot directly leading to the violation of sg9.
-The trapped robot is the active cause of the wall-bot’s violation of sg9.
So, will the wall-bot be penalized for violating sg9?
Will the trapped robot be penalized for violating sg10?
Will this be ruled as non-match-affecting?
Will the referees rule in favor of the opposing robot under the clarification of g12?

I am asking this because as I was brainstorming for game strategy, I do see this type of defense strategy being somehow feasible, but there are too much rule contradictions involved in it and I want to ask the community before asking for the official answer. What do you think?

In the case of the wall-bot, I believe they’ll be more strict and might not offer these same protections.

But in general, I think this situation is what the “no forcing penalties” rule is for.

This is going to come down to how the refs chose to interpret the rules. Unfortunately if you ask Karthik for any kind of clarification here he’ll probably end up saying something to the effect of “it is impossible to issue any sort of blanket ruling on what you have described.”

The way <SG9> is written, it seems to be almost entirely intended to prevent teams from either interfering with construction of the Skyrise, or from knocking over the Skyrise. Therefore I don’t believe a robot touching a wallbot while it’s not trying to assemble its skyrise is the sort of thing the rule is trying to prevent. I personally wouldn’t rule against the wallbot if I were a ref, but I wouldn’t rule against the other robot either.

However, that’s my interpretation. Somebody else could read the rules totally differently and think the wallbot should be DQed, and I could see the logic behind that viewpoint. I wouldn’t risk letting a situation like this happen if at all possible. If you have to leave the opponent a few game pieces to be sure you’re out of the way, I’d probably just cut your losses and make sure you don’t give a ref a reason to DQ you.

There is a rule that deals with this in regard to damage and such, so I’m not quite sure if it applies to this. However, I would assume it’d be under the fault of the wallbot for “not anticipating it” or something of the sort.


That rule is more intended to say that you’re allowed to do anything you want (within reason, i.e not just randomly ripping wires out of the Cortex) to get past a wallbot.

So would this not be applicable to getting past the wallbot?

Yes, but not particularly to <G12>, that is to say “Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of Robots”

Thanks to everybody who participated in the discussion.

As I was thinking of game strategy, three first pop to my mind. Using your safe spot to store opponent’s cubes, scattering opponent’s cube stack in autonomous, and building a reasonable wall bot to block two opponents inside the corner.

As the third game strategy seems too contradictory, I am not that fervently willing to try it. But I think that might be a strategy to consider for wall bots. When it comes down to this type of small contacts, I think that more than likely it will be ruled none match affecting. But the strategy itself that causes the incident is match affecting. I think referees might choose to rule in favor of an offensive robot.

This isn’t really fair. Karthik doesn’t answer Q+A questions that are too specific (for example that apply to specific matches or robots), and that’s very sensible. He does do a good job of clarifying rules that contradict each other or that interact in ways that aren’t clear.

And it shouldn’t really “come down to how the refs chose to interpret the rules”. If referees do their due diligence and Q+A any rules issues before major events, differences in enforcement can be kept to a minimum.

I don’t believe PYRObotics was making any negative statements about Karthik’s way of handling the Q&A questions. We all know he has a lot of things to consider before he answers some questions.

Yes, sometimes it is frustrating when Karthik can’t answer a question, but I think we all understand that sometimes if he answers one question the way it is worded it could open things up for other strategies using a loophole in the ruling he has just made… Often he cannot call on something without things being worded very specifically, I imagine.