Question regarding pinning

Is it considered pinning or trapping if the opposing team has your robot “sandwiched” between the 2 of their bots? If this is considered legal, how long can your opponents maintain this action?

The referee told me that it was legal to pin for 10 seconds. I questioned his 10 second response and he repeated 10 seconds.

I read the rules as pinning/trapping for 5secs and then move away at least 1 tile for 5 secs.

Can I get clarification?

Thank you in advance

I would consider it trapping if you are unable to escape and are actively trying to break the “sandwich” trap. Keep in mind, however, that this is just my opinion, and this could be contrary to any official ruling Mr. Kanagasabapathy might make. To get an official decision, post this in the official NbN Q&A. A sandwich trap could be inescapable if their robots are both able to match your robot’s speed, and your robot is unable to turn to push them, or if their robots are pushing ever so slightly inward on your robot, creating enough friction that you cannot escape.

However, even if this is declared legal indefinitely, this is generally not a great strategy (probably with exceptions that I have not thought of), as you are rendering both of your robots unable to score in order to render one of your opponents unable to score, resulting in a 1v0 scoring match, which even a clawbot can win unless you do some scoring beforehand and outscore the opposing alliance. In this case, you just need to keep scoring, rather than preventing your opponents from scoring.

Pinning and trapping are allowed for up to five seconds according to <SG4>:

It was asked 2 years ago. The account was banned though so I don’t think the thread still exists. The gist is that it is not pinning if there is not a field element even if there is another robot acting as a barrier.

The definition is:

Thus a “robot sandwich” is legal, and it has consistently been ruled legal in the Q+A forum. I’m not sure if there has been a question about this during the NbN season, but the rule has been well established since years ago. Robot sandwiches are legal, but not a very useful strategy.


This was not our strategy. Our team’s bot was the one being trapped.
This action also stalled out our drive motors.

My orientation on pinning vs. trapping is:
pinning = slamming a robot into a wall or other game object so they are unable to move.
trapping = maneuvering in such a way so that a robot has no means of leaving their current position