Pinning not enforced


In order to be called a pin this must happen–pin is longer than five second because robot did not let go of pin within five seconds and/or robot did not move two feet (one tile) away and count should continue. Here is a high profile match (some big name hitters were in this match with a lot on the line) where there are several incidences of pinning not being enforced.

Scenario=pin starts and referee starts counting. Then pinning robot gets 3 or 4 seconds of counting and moves away and then comes back to pin again. The robot did not move away at least two foot. The count should have never stopped since the pinning robot was not back up the mandatory space. The pinning robot would also not wait for five seconds before starting the pin again. They would then get a new count and start this over again. This gave the defensive bot an unfair advantage that stalled out many other bots (those in the science division can attest to this happening to their bots) as their robots did not have time to “cool off” or even get to move from repeated pinning that was well above the allowed limit and time.
“ <G12> In the case where referees are forced to make a judgement call on interaction between a defensive and offensive robot, the referees will err on the side of the offensive robot” (game manual).
<SG4>“Match Affecting offenses will result in a Disqualification” (game manual).
This should have been a dq because it was match affecting (robot being pinned was not allowed to move) and definitely the rule of pinning was broken several times during this one match (look at not only the space from the defensive bot in relation to the pinned bot but also the timer that is overlaid on the video). There were no warnings issued throughout the match as you can see from the video. This is bad in my opinion because the match before this a team was hoarding and their alliance dq’ed on the spot. The answer that I will get will be that they cannot give a case by case ruling but I would like to know how this could have gone unchecked at the biggest event of the year. The alliance team of 202Z and 1045A have both played in the top two highest scoring matches in the world. These are offensive robots!! So to lose by unfairness is hard for me as a coach/mentor to accept as my students performed within the rules of the game. I would like to know as a coach/mentor what I can tell my students to do when this is happening. The referee will not watch footage of the match. Nor as I as a coach and spectator seeing the match from a different angle, I am not able to give my input. As a competitor the drivers are focusing on the match. What are they to do to bring attention to this? The drivers of the pinned alliance showed the head referee the official rule about pinning. He told them, “that there is nothing he could do about it” and walked away. I am curious what others think about this topic as it has happened before and will again (as Turning Point will show in the distant future). I teach my students not to argue with the referees but what are they to do when the rule of pinning was not enforced according to the rules of the game?



Tell your students to move on. The head referee disagreed with your students and that decision is final.

There is no pinning rule in Turning Point.



It’s been replaced with trapping, pinning counts as trapping.



There is a pinning rule, but pinning has been wrapped up in the definition of trapping.



Seems a bit more vague.



Yeah… What if they are ‘trapped’ in a corner and you are moving side to side to block them from getting out. There’s still always an avenue of escape around you, but they cannot access it because it is constantly moving.



Yes, it would be trapping if you are actively constraining them to a small section of the field. I believe there was a referee video describing the situation.

Pinning specific rule went away - since trapping definition covers it.



Would it have been match affecting if 62A spent a total of half a second each “violation” backing away almost a foot more? I think not.



I know playing against an alliance using a defensive strategy is sometimes no fun. But what it devolves to is a 1v1 competition (a robot can’t defend and score at the same time). If one robot plays defense against another, they are both neutralized. In looking at the video, it does look like the red alliance outplayed the blue alliance in terms of scoring for the non-defense robots. That being said, I have no opinion about whether there were pinning violations. That, as a PP said, is water under the bridge.



However, the issue I find with this idea is that any robot with a working chassis can play defense, whereas it takes legitimate skill to build a robot that can effectively score. For example, in this match, 202Z (regarded as one of the best, if not the best, robot in the world) is completely stopped by a team who just put 2 motors onto each wheel and made a fast mobile goal lift (that they used once). There is absolutely no reason that just 929U should be able to beat both 202Z and 1045A. Those three are all very strong robots, but no one robot should be able to 1v2 the others. Defense can be very strategically important, and I have seen teams (namely 666X and 8059A) use it very successfully, but both of these teams did it in a way that was much better versed. Their goal was to slow the opponent from scoring, while scoring by themselves, instead of simply beating up the other robot until it cannot continue to function, as was the case of 62A.



It annoys me to no end when people moan about defense taking no skill, because they are always people why had never had to play defense themselves. If you wanted to be an offensive bot, you should’ve built it to be more resistant.



Also @trox I would absolutely agree that it was overtly illegal, and if it is any consolation, the same issue occured repeatedly throughout Worlds in the Engineering division as well. However, @lacsap is correct in saying that the issue is past. It is important to bring up the issue in order to prevent a similar situation in TP, but this specific event is past. Also, some personal advice that you may choose what to do with: I think the kids should argue with the referees. This can be very useful within and outside of robotics. As the mentor, you would have to make sure they are very respectful in their argument, but it can be very good to practice forming a solid, logical, and clear-headed argument in a heated situation. Although it does make sense to tell them not to argue with referees, everyone is human, and they do make mistakes. If your students can respectfully point out their issue with the match, and discuss this with the ref, then I would likely encourage it. However, that is ultimately your choice, not mine.



Here is why I believe that a defense bot takes no skill. We used the same chassis on our robot from October to April with only minor modifications. Imagine this. We take off the dr4b, the 4b, and the roller, which we spent 90% of our time this season designing. We slap an extra motor onto each wheel, and now suddenly we are a robot deserving to go to Freedom Hall? This simply doesn’t make sense. Defensive robots are not at all difficult to build, and dont truly encompass what VEX aims to teach students about robotics. I dont see how it fits into the environment VEX is trying to create, or how it is supposed to teach anyone about robotics aside from the fact that more motors=more power.



Good point, @AlexM_4478X . That’s something nice in volleyball. I have a floor captain who has a job of communicating with the head referee. It’s good for them to learn to make a well-reasoned statement in the heat of the moment. And similar to the other point, generally speaking we’ll never get a point back, but you can get the referees to watch for something more intently.

As for defensive bots, two points:

  1. If they’re breaking the rules, this isn’t about it being a defensive bot, it’s about breaking the rules.

  2. Assuming rules aren’t being broken, like a friend use to say, “Never fault a winning strategy.” If it’s so much better, why didn’t you think of doing it? Or if it’s going to be such a problem for you, why didn’t you plan for it? Defense is allowed, and working on a strategy using defense is a viable option.



So I am not sure if you looked at team 62’s robot this year but everyone I have talked to considered it the best built robot at the event. The whole robot was perfect at what it did and the build quality was amazing.



How come when VEX nearly removed defense as a whole during Nothing But Net, we all wanted VEX to bring defense back? How come when VEX brings defense back, we yearn and complain to remove defense? It seems like all people want is change, and even I am guilty of that, but here are my opinions about this subject.

When VEX added defense, I seemed to have enjoyed the games more and I actually loved the fact that someone can create multiple strategies to help a team win a game. Although many people say it’s just a drivetrain, it is NOT the robot that just makes a robot good, it’s the practice and strategy that makes a robot good. Team 590B is a good example. 590B was an OSIZR bot that was never rebuilt throughout the season. Instead, they focused on creating a very consistent autonomous, skills, and heavy practice. They practice hard, but with the ability to create strategies because of defense being accepted resulting in them nearly qualifying for the World Championship. Their robot wouldn’t have been as strong without the practice of defense, and I am pretty certain that teams such as 62A didn’t just magically make it to the Round Robins without practice themselves.



Each tile is 2x2 and it looks like 62a backs away a tile every single time so I would say it was legal.



At first pass watching the video I noticed a few things. At 4:10 they clearly stop pinning for 5 seconds (according to your clock) and the pin count is not restarted. So that is clearly sketchy.

Secondly could the robot have driven backwards towards the blue 5pt zone? It looks like should be able to.



Too many teams complained about defense this year.

62A had one of the best robots I’ve seen at Worlds this year and among the best defensive robots I’ve seen in a long time.

They put on a defensive clinic at Worlds. They put the clamps on so many teams at Worlds.



The issue is that they cannot pin the same robot again within 5 seconds (which they did multiple times).

As for everything else, no, I did not see 62A’s robot, but if it was very well built, then props to them. However. I cannot plan to go against a robot that is not legally playing defense. In retrospect, I would have built a 6 motor drive, and I think that has taught me a little something for TP…