Knocking over stacks by pushing opponent

I am not posting this to complain and beat a dead horse over a past event, I am merely trying to clarify a rule for future reference.

Ok, so at 1:45 in this video, we are trying to stack 9 cubes in the bottom left corner, and we succeed, you can see that our rollers are barely not touching the bottom cube and the stack is supporting itself, not resting on our tray. While the defense being played by the opposing team was very effective and legal up until this point, my question is: Is/was it legal for them to push us into our already stacked and scored stack of cubes, causing it to no longer become scored. (For reference, the refs didn’t call this a DQ) Would they still have “caused” it to no longer become scored, or is it not their fault because they pushed us without directly touching it?.

Again, I am not accusing the refs or the team of anything, I just want to know what the rules are in he future. I think that the rule(s) applying here would be:

<SG3> Case F

Cause Scored Cubes within the opponent’s Protected Zone
to no longer meet the definition of Scored (i.e. “knock over
their stack”). (The punishment for this is an immediate DQ.

The definition of scored: Basically if it’s fully resting on either the floor tile within the goal zone or another scored cube then it’s scored.


They did knock over a key scoring stack so they should be DQ. Feels bad man. Did you still win?

No, we lost that match (it was the semifinals) but I’m not trying to get anything changed, what’s done is done. This is just so that we can be better prepared in the future as to what constitutes “causing” the stack to no longer meet the definition of scored.


Yeah. Well good luck on next competitions

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I agree with your interpretation of <SG3> in this case. However, I’m not sure what’s shown in the video represents the opponent causing the cubes to no longer be scored. This is because they were still scored when your opponent backed away, and did not fall until you backed away.

This is a very difficult call to make, and it also may be affected by the point of view of the camera (one of the reasons the game manual explicitly prohibits video review), so it’s likely that the referee (rightly in my opinion) erred on the side of not DQing.


I say rematch it then. It could have gone both ways since you knocked it down but the enemy hit you causing it to knock down

Although yes, it didn’t fall over until we backed away, the wording of the rule isn’t “cause the stack to fall over” it’s “cause the stack to no longer meet the definition of scored” and they no longer met that definition the second that our rollers came back into contact with the lower cubes, which was caused by them pushing us, while we were trying to get away.


That’s true, I didn’t consider that clause. While I think your interpretation is correct, it would probably be worth asking a Q&A post to clarify that causing a team to contact their own otherwise scored cubes is in fact a violation of <SG3>. That being said, for your video, it’s still hard to tell if that’s what happened in this case, and given how close to the stack you were, it would also be very difficult for the referees to determine when you made and lost contact with the cubes, and who was responsible; if you had never backed away, then your opponent’s actions would be entirely legal.

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You are entirely correct in that sense, I guess it depends on if you think that those cubes were actually scored (if we stopped touching them) and then were forced to ouch them by the other team.


I have also been curious about this for a while. I would definitely try the Q&A and look for a post about this. I will do the same. I think you are right however.

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There was the one match at a comp in Cali where the referee states that defense being played when they are stacking is legal, but only in the non-protected corner. Vex is going to have to specify the rules for that scoring zone because as of now there are already different interpretations between the states, which is never a good thing.


I started this thread a while back and It may help to answer your question on whether this is legal or not

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The actions the opposing robot did is completely legal, despite suspicion that it is not. If this happened within the protected zone it would definitely mean a dq because contact with a protected robot caused a match affecting offense. But because your robot was attempting to score into the non protected scoring zone, defense is legal in that area and teams must be cognizant about the potential of this happening. The current meta is not reliable while attempting to score, and add defense then tipping the stack is incredibly easy. I would advise:

  • Having your autonomous score into the non protected zone, as there is an autonomous line protecting you
  • If not able to during autonomous, score in the non protected zone when theres no teams around
  • Score in the non protected zone as early as humanly (or robotly :wink:) possible.

Other than that, the referee’s call was spot on despite your bad luck.


It is important to look at the whole rule, because this was not a protected zone SG3(f) is not applicable but if the cubes were scored SG3(b) applies. The big difference between the two rules is b must be match affecting and f is automatic. Both though apply whether the contact is direct or indirect.

Stay away from your opponent’s protected areas. Robots may not intentionally or accidentally, directly or indirectly, perform the following actions:

B Contact any Scored Cubes in either of opposing Alliance’s
Goal Zones.

If the cubes were scored and the action was match affecting, a DQ was in order. Pushing another robot into the cubes is classic indirect contact.


There are a few exceptions, but it seems like most people think that it depends on whether the cubes were scored before they were knocked over, and it was really close and hard to call.

<G13> Offensive Robots get the “benefit of the doubt”.
In the case where referees are forced to make a judgment call regarding a destructive interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot, or an interaction which results in a questionable rules violation, the referees will err on the side of the offensive Robot.


Although this rule is definitely a consideration, " In the case where referees are forced to make a judgment call regarding a destructive interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot" only applies if there has been a distructive interaction. There was no destructive interation between the defensive and offensive robot.

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@Connor Maybe not a destructive interaction but it would be a questionable rules violation as more than several parties here have been going back and forth on here. And accordingly, the benefit of the doubt still goes to the offensive robot.

The ruling cannot be made by this replay because the difference between scored and unscored is simply if the offensive robot had completely removed its rollers from the bottom block when the hit occurred. If the ref saw that the rollers (or any other part of the robot) were in contact with the stack when the hit occurred, it is a legal hit. If the stack was untouched when the hit occurred, it is eligible for a dq

It is safe to say that you should play defense until there is a chance that the offensive robot has disengaged with the part. Since you can’t actually see that, don’t risk it once you see that the stack is up and no longer touching their tray (since many bots disengage their rollers automatically once the tray reaches a certain angle.)

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If the assumption is made that the cubes were scored and the blue robot was not in contact with the stack before the hit, this is a rule SG3(B) violation. Now, this violation is only a disqualification if the violation was match affecting (according to SG3(B)). Based on the cubes scored in the towers at the end of the match, the tipped stack was worth 18 points.

The score at the end of the match appears to be 75-25. The 18 points was not match affecting. So unless this was a repeated violation by the red alliance (only one violation in this match, and I have not seen any of their other matches), this was a good no-disqualification.

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I have once been disqualified at a match where the “benefit of the doubt” was applied. During “In The Zone,” our alliance was disqualified because our partner tipped one of the opponents cone stack from being scored to no longer meeting the definition of scored, and yet we scored so many cones that the opponents cannot catch up. Because of these two clashes and because there was 45 seconds remaining when the clash happened, “Benefit of the doubt” was played and we got disqualification. The difference here is that your robot is always touching the stack while in the process of scoring the stack, which means that nothing is considred scored until the stack is upright when the robot drives away. If you push a robot in the process of scoring the stack in the non protected zone, then no rule is violated. Benefit of the doubt is only played when there is so many different rules crossing each other and it’s hard to determine if an interaction is “Match Affecting” or not.