Minor or Major? Robot not reset to to starting position in Finals

Multi-part situation that I’m curious what you would call it:

  • First issue: Near the end of a match, robot missed the contact zone they were aiming for (did not touch any pucks). First driver ran over to retract the arm and reset the robot, second driver was still holding the remote.
  • Second issue: The robot was not reset properly to the starting position (they kind of just shoved it back to the wall and the robot never touched the starting wall… Second driver then moved the robot to the Expansion Zone and extended to arm to the right contact zone they wanted, didn’t touch any pucks.

Would this be considered 2 minor violations, or a major violation? The reason I ask, the rules state “Score Affecting is Major”, and touching a contact zone is “score affecting”.

Another question I’m wrapping into this, someone had mentioned that a minor violation in the finals is considered a major violation. I can’t find that in the rulebook at all, only that a DQ in the finals affects both teams.

Thank you in advance!

This is a score effecting major violation. Without the illegally performed reset, (illegal in 2 ways) there would have been less points. Therefore, an illegal action done in a manner which effected the score would be a major score effecting violation.

As to the second question, that is usually up to the digression of the referees present.

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So even if the robot did not touch a puck, the touch couldn’t be non-scored for the illegal reset? Like they just wouldn’t get the touch points?

Yes, because the contact bonus would be score effecting.

I don’t know that I agree, @RilonMusk; it’s not score affecting in that there was no scoring performed or affected while in an invalid configuration.

Not resetting to the exact spot is not explicitly called out in the manual for violation severity; if I were refereeing that, and they were within an inch or so, I’d call it a minor violation and remind the team after the match was done to be mindful of the rules around that. Subsequent violations of the same type by the same team would be something more akin to doing it for strategic advantage, and would therefore become a major violation, and a DQ for that team.


This is a fair point. Without specific guidance, you use the flow chart which I agree would indicate a minor violation assuming it is a first time offense.


The robot was definitely not within an inch of the wall, more like 3-4 inches.

But say the team didn’t reset properly and then missed the contact zone (arm landed on the colored piece) that wouldn’t be score affecting, correct?

I’m not sure how these things necessarily relate, but if they again missed the contact zone and ran out of time to again reset their robot back to a valid starting position and try again, and the time ended with the arm touching in a place that the manual/Q&As define as a violation, then it’s a violation as set forth by the manual/Q&As and the appropriate action is taken. It’s only score-affecting if it bumps a disc when reaching past the fence.

@Cookies0317 - So I’m the bad source on the minor/major violation in finals. I swore I read that somewhere, but now that I went back and couldn’t find anything, I must have dreamed it up.

So I put the scenario / questions in the Q&A for the GDC to answer since they are the official response. I think you made the right call, but it was very muddy water you had to step through with the different violations and I can see scenarios like this happening again, being that this was in a finals match drew even more scrutiny to it. I can absolutely see something like this happening again in a finals match at state or even worlds, so it would be good to have more written words and less of a judgement call from a head ref.

Here are the three main things I am hoping the GDC can clarify on the Q&A question:

  • If a team has multiple minor violations in a match, at what point does that translate to a major violation. At this time, it’s at the head ref’s discretion, but feel the rules should state something concrete like multiple minor violations in a match will be treated as a major. If you have broken multiple minor rules/violation, there is no doubt that likely helped you to achieve a better round.
  • And should this same scenario be treated differently in a finals match vs a qualification match.
  • G12 needs to be clarified a little further. What happened in this scenario was the “Driver” was not the one to handle the robot when it needed help, it was the other “teammate”. The Driver held the controller while the Teammate fixed the robot on the field and reset it. The Driver instantly took off when the teammate attempted to reset it. Regardless of whether it was back in the legal postilion or not, the Teammate should have never touched the robot on the field. That easily saved the team 3-4 seconds in restarting. Hopefully the GDC can clarify what should happen in this scenario. (Adding the wording like “only the current Driver or Head Ref make retrieve the robot when it needs help and be the one to return it to the legal starting position, any other people helping the robot on the field is a X violation.” Yes, the teammate can help fix the robot off the field, but the retrieving and resetting should only be the Driver)

Again, I feel the right call was made, not arguing that. I’m just hoping for the GDC to provide some clarify on some situations that occurred, so it is more black and white and less grey. This will help make our job as head ref’s job easier and hopefully prevent sticky situations down the road from happening.

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Appreciate the response here, and was great talking with you last weekend. The rules do state the driver must set down the remote and they definitely did not which was also apart of the issue aside from the robot not being properly reset. I had a camera on the desk pointed at that field because I’ve been testing the bandwidth at the school to be able to live stream the events next season, so I had footage of the final match. I know that video replay cannot be used for ruling but it did help me confirm to myself (post comp) that I did what the rulebook said to do.

I don’t know if there’s a Head Ref meeting that we can attend/submit questions to VEX but if not, it should definitely be a thing, similar to their EP Summit every year (but doesn’t have to be in-person). As a league commissioner in esports, rules are something that I not only create but also make sure I follow and will make clarifying rule updates as needed. You can’t get rules perfect the first time but you can always add to them so long as they are clarifying and don’t cause more confusion. As some of the rules are currently written, it leaves too much room for speculation and can potentially lead to catastrophic outcomes that otherwise could have been prevented. The fact that I had to tell those two teams that their 188 pt run was now a DQ was extremely upsetting to me. At the end of the day, those two teams had already qualified for State so it didn’t make a difference in that aspect.

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