Before I begin, I’d like to say that I am in no capacity writing this because my robot performed poorly at the competition I attended today. That is entirely the fault of me and the people on my team, and had nothing to do with the circumstances of this competition. I have no intention of attempting to (posthumously) change any of my scores, bring about different rulings, etc., and this post is not an attempt as such. What happened with my robot is in the past, and nothing can change it; I have no intention of doing so.
That said, I attended a competition today. On the 2 fields, the tape lines defining the divide between the near zone and far zone were placed very differently from how they should be. The blue side of field 1 was as it should be. The rest were 5-6 inches closer to the fence. I understand that VEX comes with 1 inch tolerances, and I need to design around that, but 6 inches is absurd. On the red side of field 2, the tape line was closer to the the third row of tiles than the actual centerline. During the autonomous portion of one of my first matches, I noticed this. My robot pushed the cube forward, enough that it was past the centerline, but still on the tape line. When I asked the referee about whether I had descored my cube, she said that variation was a part of VEX, and as the discrepancy was the same on the other side, nothing would be changed, my cube wasn’t scored. This would have affected the outcome of the autonomous bonus, and I believe that it was thus match affecting (don’t quite remember). While it was true that the gap was the same on both sides on field 2, the blue side on field 1 was as it should be, giving blue an ENORMOUS advantage, as they had 6 inches less far zone to defend.
The referees also made several incorrect rule calls during the day, such as that a robot must be fully within the starting tile to load a cube into it, that a cube cannot touch any gray tiles, and that a preload cannot hover over any gray tiles. The conversation between the ref and I usually went like:
Ref: Excuse me, you can’t . Make sure you in the future.
Me: I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s correct, I’ll check and make sure.
Me: Later I found this Q&A on the official forums, and the head of the GDC says .
When I try to again in a later match, the ref says, "You can’t . That’s the second time you’ve done that, if you do it again, it’ll be a DQ.
Me: But . . . understood.
EDIT: A little while after this, another referee came to our pits, and told us that while we hadn’t broken any rules, we were pushing them, and they wanted us to avoid that as much as possible.
During eliminations, the dispute over whether a preload could be over a gray tile arose. We readjusted our preloads for a match, and I found an appropriate Q&A before the next match. I went to the referees, when she said, “I’m through reading Q&As from you, if you want to discuss this, go to the head ref,” and started the next match while I talked to the head ref.
I feel I should clarify: I don’t want anyone punished or anything like that. I understand that, while being well within our rights trying to make sure the rules were being followed, we were certainly an annoyance to the referees. And while I tried not to be rude, I’m certain that I didn’t come off as the most polite.
What did I do wrong, if anything? How can I avoid this (competitions setup blatantly incorrectly, referees who don’t know the rules) in the future? And if I should encounter either of these things again, what should I do?