“Process of Scoring” Rule Question

I was recently at a competition where the head referee gave me a warning for contact with a robot while they were “in the process of scoring”, I have never seen that wordage in the rules, and ctrl-f does not show that wordage. When I asked what rule that wordage was in the ref said that I should find it myself… has anyone seen this, or any similar rule in the rule book/ qna?

For clarification it was in the unprotected zone, and no cubes had net the condition of scored yet, sorry for any confusion.

We need some more context - the robot may have been ‘scoring’ but there are unlimited combinations that could change what the ruling may have been. Were they putting cubes on top of a stack? Did the protected zone play a role in it?

As of my knowledge while sensitivity can vary by referee, playing defense on a team in the protected zone is a no-go, but if they’re scoring in the unprotected zone the line gets blurry. If it’s a completely new stack, you should be able to keep defending on them until the cubes can be considered ‘scored’. If you play defense that results in scored cubes being descored (ie you push a robot and force them to knock over one of their existing stacks) then that wouldn’t be allowed.

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After reading the rules 3 times, I have no memory of being “in the process of scoring”. The ref could be stopping you from knocking cubes out of the field if you are playing defense on a bot stacking, but that rule is dependent on if its match affecting.

there is no rule that says you cannot contact an opponents robot while they are in the process of scoring.

that said, there are a few scenarios where real rules do stop you from interacting with an opponent.

as long as you don’t:

  • intentionally or egregiously damage your opponents
  • grasp/grapple to your opponents
  • exceed the 5 second pin/trap count
  • force your opponent to violate a rule
  • knock over any placed cubes (they have to legally be place for this to apply)
  • touch your opponent when they are fully contained in their protected zone

you can contact your opponent all you want

If this scenario happens in the future, try to respectfully ask that the ref show you the rule. if they refuse, let them know that you’ve read the manual and you’re sure that no such rule exists. some refs might be especially stubborn when it comes to the rules, and I understand that you may not always be able to convince refs to interpret the rules correctly. In that case, there isn’t much you can do in the moment. later you should probably let your regional support manager know. if a ref won’t listen to you they’ll probably listen to your rsm.


If the other team was in the process of scoring in the unprotected zone, then this must have been an issue with SG 3(d)

SG 3 Stay away from your opponent’s protected areas. Robots may not intentionally or accidentally, directly or indirectly, perform the following actions:

D Contact either of the opposing Alliance’s Goal Zones or Barriers.

If the team is in the process of scoring as the ref casually put it, then they were almost certainly touching their goal zone barrier. You can’t bump into them when they are. That’s indirect contact with the opposing alliance goal zone barrier. This is a match affecting DQ.

This is incorrect. The action of the scoring robot touching their own barrier does NOT mean a defensive robot cannot touch it by extension. The offensive robot cannot be an extension of the defensive bot.

There are no rules prohibiting defense on robots while “in the process of scoring”.

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In the unprotected goal a common defense practice is to wait until the robot is in the process of scoring and then give them a little tap, enough to topple the tower in progress. Only in the unprotected zone. Timing is critical, if the tower is up and they are backing away and you smack into them it’s a different story. That tower is scored and you can’t mess with it.

Some events are now ruling that you can’t knock over an opponents stack in the unprotected zone indirectly because if you do this cubes will fall out of the field and you can’t knock cubes out of the field on purpose.

That appears to be a stretch, I’d love to see that in the Q&A.

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@goofnrox can you please quote where you are getting this information? That would help clear up an issue I’ve faced at competitions.

agreed. the rules state that you cannot intentionally remove cubes from the field. the cubes spilling from an opponents tray out of the field isn’t intentional, the goal is usually just to remove the cubes from the tray. the cubes happening to fall out of the field is just incidental.

I can’t provide a quote, it’s not there. Meaning no rule, no foul.

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Well what I’m saying is if there’s no rule, then how can you say “The action of the scoring robot touching their own barrier does NOT mean a defensive robot cannot touch it by extension.” Why couldn’t someone else say the opposite?

Why can’t a ref say you can’t drive backwards? It’s not in the rules. There is not a ‘in the process of scoring’ rule, therefore it can’t be illegal.

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On the one hand, it logically follows. A stack of more than 2 has very few places to go on the field or being stacked in these circumstances. Nudging someone stacking almost certainly will cause cubes to leave the field, and since the goal of the nudge is to prevent the stack, there is logic to this. That said, as a ref, I’ve never made such a call.

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At the northeast Wisconsin signature event, an official GDC member was in attendance and [told the referees] that indirect contact could be through a robot. For example, I was disqualified in a match for hitting the ramp of 169Y while their intake was inside their inner protected zone and their ramp was not fully within the outer protected zone. So indirect contact can occur via the opposing robot itself. Additionally, a cube in the possession of a robot is considered an extension of that robot. Finally, per the rules, direct or indirect contact with the goal zones is grounds for disqualification. Combining these rules together for a scenario, if a red robot is placing a stack in the unprotected zone, as soon as the cube in their intake, which is still in their possession, contacts the foam tile of the goal zone, contact from a blue robot causes that blue robot to indirectly contact the goal zone. If this contact knocks over cubes from a stack, and consequently affects the outcome of a match, it could result in a disqualification. I’m just a team member, so take my view with a grain of salt. However, this is my understanding of the rules


I’ll also note there is a question which hasn’t been answered yet asking this on the official Q&A. So hopefully in a few weeks we’ll have an official ruling regarding this

If this is indeed the case, the GDC needs to publish it as such. The way the rules read currently do not say that. Interpreting the rules in that manner would likely DQ any robot that attempts defense on robots stacking. I doubt that is the intent.

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Hmm, not sure I agree here. If you intentionally push cubes out of an opponent robot’s tray, while they’re right next to the field perimeter, in the direction of “out of the field” (as would be the case when trying to prevent an opponent from scoring in the small zone), then I think that could reasonably be described as “intentionally removing cubes from the field”

I agree that a Q&A entry to clear this up would be nice. But absent a ruling to the contrary, I would be fairly confident in ruling that the described action constitutes intentionally removing cubes from the field.

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My posting was this. Tray robot is trying to place,

So not knocking it out of the tray, but causing the stack to fall.

Does your comment still stand?