<SG3> Platforms are “safe” during the endgame.
During the last thirty (30) seconds, Robots may not contact the opposing Alliance’s Platform.
a. For the purposes of this rule, contact is considered “transitive” through other Robots and Scoring Objects. For example, contacting an opposing Robot who is contacting their own Platform would be considered a violation of this rule.
b. For the purposes of this rule, <G13> supersedes rule <G14>. Any Robot which is contacting its own Platform during the last thirty (30) seconds, provided that no other rules are being violated, will automatically receive the “benefit of the doubt”. Therefore, any contact with this Robot will be considered a violation, regardless of intent.
c. Per <SG10>, using a Scoring Object to contact the opposing Alliance’s Platform during the last thirty (30) seconds would be considered a violation of this rule. Placing a Scoring Object underneath the opposing Alliance’s Platform, such that it inhibits the opposing Alliance’s ability to utilize the Platform during the last thirty (30) seconds, would also be considered a violation of this rule. Violations of this rule which do not interfere with gameplay, such as bumping into the Platform and then driving away, will result in the opposing Alliance receiving credit for one additional Elevated Robot at the end of the Match. (Alliances may still only receive points for a maximum of two Elevated Robots). Violations of this rule which do interfere with gameplay, such as preventing a Platform from becoming Balanced, will result in a Disqualification, regardless of whether the interference was Match Affecting or not.
In the finals match of the OC Robo-Bonanza yesterday, the outcome was decided by <sg3>. It was determined that in the last 30 seconds of the match, the blue alliance made non gameplay-effecting, transitive contact with the red alliance’s platform, and thus an additional 30 points was awarded to the red alliance. This changed the results of this match.
DISCLAIMER: I am not questioning the integrity of anyone at this event. I’m not accusing any referees of making incorrect calls, or any teams of malicious behavior. From viewing the livestream, this event seemed very well run to me. This topic was created for the purpose of discussing whether the penalties of <sg3> are too harsh or not.
I was watching the livestream for this event with a few friends, and none of us noticed any possible infractions during this match. it looked perfectly clean to us in the moment. The ruling came as a complete surprise, and we had to go back and watch the match multiple times to determine what had happened (a luxury not available to the referees at this event).
The only thing I saw that could have possibly been the culprit is in the interaction between 62F and the tall neutral goal which was touching the red platform, occurring briefly around the 30 second mark.
Here is 62F at 33 seconds remaining. They are clearly touching the tall goal, however this is not quite the protected time yet.
Here is 62F at 30 seconds remaining, the buzzer has just sounded, and they have backed away from the goal prior to that. However, when turning to leave the area, it’s possible that a part of the robot brushed one of the branches of the tall goal right after the 30 second mark. It’s very difficult to tell from the footage, and tbh it doesn’t look like definitive contact to me, but from the referee’s angle it might have looked different.
After this, 62F backs away, and neither robot from the blue alliances comes anywhere near the red platform for the rest of the match, so I am assuming this is the interaction that resulted in the call.
Later in the match, at around 2 seconds left, 21s plays some defense on 6627a as they’re attempting to place an alliance goal on their platform.
the goal isn’t making contact with the platform all the time during this interaction, and 21s isn’t touching 6627a at all times during the interaction either, so it’s possible that 21s was never touching 6627a while the alliance goal was also touching the platform.
This interaction was not penalized, so the referees must have determined no indirect contact had occurred.
Again, I’m not trying to throw shade on the referee calls and how they affected the outcome of the match, but what I am throwing shade on is the fact that the referees are expected to make these sorts of calls which have huge penalties.
We have a video we can rewatch as many times as we want, and I still can’t definitively say if indirect contact happened for either alliance or not. How is a referee supposed to determine that without this luxury, from a limited perspective and in the heat of the moment?
The possible penalties are incredibly harsh. If the interaction is determined to be non gameplay effecting, it’s a 30 point penalty to the other alliance. if it is gameplay affecting, it’s an automatic DQ, regardless of whether it was match affecting or not.
This just seems far too harsh to me, and it creates situations like the example above where an incredibly subtle interaction can result in a 30 point swing or a disqualification.
I propose that interactions which are not gameplay affecting should not be penalized at all. Can anyone give me any solid reason why they should be? especially for something like a robot that may or may not have gently brushed a goal that is contacting a platform. And I think there should also be a clause in this rule which requires the referees to be “without a doubt that an infraction occurred” in order to issue a penalty so that referees aren’t forced to decide the outcome of a match based on a subtle, brief interaction they could easily miss.
Any thoughts or insights on this?