Pinning Trapping or what?

At a local tournament there was a V5 robot that was very fast and was up against a slower but accurate shooting Cortex robot. The V5 started ramming the cortex but by hitting it, backing off about a square, and then on again. This went on for over 30 seconds. But it was so fast that nobody was sure if it was pinning, trapping, or what. The cortex robot could not get away to to the speed of the v5. They will be at our state championships and the cortex robot team is asking.

Just my opinion: It’s neither pinning nor trapping, just careful hitting, which isn’t illegal. They’re not technically being trapped, and clearly not pinned (since they’re not touching the wall or something). Sadly I believe that’s just one of the strong advantages V5 has over Cortex.

This has happened to me, but it is sadly legal. You just have to practice adjusting your shots.

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They aren’t breaking rules. My team has been beaten in 4 tournaments by being pushed around by V5.

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My only observation was at some point it getting violent enough to tear the robot apart or damage it. Other than that I hate it but… yeah…

Driving and defense are part of Vex. It is a sport, with robots. If you want hippy gentle time, go join FTC .

Pinning is restricting you from leaving an area, not preventing you from entering or settling in one. Practice driving and shooting while people try and poke your robot with brooms and sticks. If you can dodge a broomba, you can dodge a roomba.


Listen… I asked a simple question and was not taking up for anyone. It was not my robot and it is a simple question of at what point it it to violent or considered to be wreck-less?

Rule G12 has your answers.

Based on your description, there probably was no rule violation committed. The official definition of trapping is:

Trapping – A Robot status. A Robot is Trapping if it has restricted an opposing Robot into a small, confined area of the field, approximately the size of one foam field tile or less, and has not provided an avenue for escape. Trapping can be direct (e.g. pinning an opponent to a field perimeter wall) or indirect (e.g. preventing a Robot from escaping from a corner of the field).

The rule that addresses this is G14:

<G14>No Trapping for more than 5 seconds. A Robot may not Trap an opposing Robot for more than five (5) seconds during the Driver Controlled Period. A Trap is officially over once the Trapping Robot has moved away and the Robots are separated by at least two (2) feet (approximately one [1] foam tile). After ending a Trap, a Robot may not Trap the same Robot again for a duration of five (5) seconds; if a Team does Trap the same Robot again, the count will resume from where it left off when the Trapping Robot initially backed off.

I would interpret this to mean if the ramming robot has restricted the target robot to one tile or less, then the trapping count should begin. After the ramming robot backs up at least one tile away, they are required to wait a full five seconds before again making contact, or the count is not reset.

If the ramming robot followed the rules, I don’t think there is anything you can do. Sorry.

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You should also note that referees are trained to look for the “trapped” robot to try to escape. A stationary robot shooting at flags is not trying to escape a trap, and therefore another robot cannot be guilty of trapping.


I used this ramming technique against a V5 2BC, and it was very effective. I am a Cortex robot with a steel chassis and locked omnis. I could not be pushed, and my defense was, objectively, pretty good.
I’m not good enough at driving and scouting to hit them and spin them towards flags they already shot (thus shooting at them would toggle them back to my color without any wasted shooting time on my part), which would be absolutely ideal, but I was able to make them miss a lot of shots.

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I think that’s just a perk of having V5. We’ve had the same thing happen to our Cortex bots to the point of barely having a chance to score so I don’t think there’s anything preventing it from happening in the rules.

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8m drives for cortex still produce more torque. 393 have a stall torque of 1Nm at 160rpm HS gearing, and V5 has a stall torque of 1Nm at 200 rpm. However, the V5s keep that same torque through around 30% of their speed range before it drops. They hardware limit V5 to reduce the stall current draw.

Also, I believe I spoke to one of the members of your team at the state championship a few weeks ago. I watched exactly what you were talking about happen, but part of it was driving. Your teams were up against 4mV5 when they were eliminated, and a lot of it was problems during autonomous, and an inability to shoot accurately while under defensive pressure, which was a problem with driving experience.

Our autonomous was an issue in our last match for sure, but I don’t really see how driver experience could have possibly saved us.