Hey everybody -
To start off this post, I want to make it clear that we’re not trying to complain about referees in general or bashing any individual in particular. At the end of the day, referees are humans just like us all and make mistakes - their hard work and volunteering often goes unnoticed and events like these take the spotlight over their commitment to fair play. Rather, we’re trying to find an answer to a question you’ll see at the end of the post, alongside a TL;DR.
To provide some context, my team (353X) and I competed in the Arts division at Worlds. We had a great time overall and found little issue with the event apart from the situation described here. During our last qualification match, Qualification 253, the autonomous bonus was given to the red alliance (us) following proper scoring and agreement across the scoring team and head referee. However, about 10 seconds into the driver control period the autonomous bonus was abruptly given to the blue alliance by the head referee without proper re-scoring or agreement from either alliance.
For reference, here’s how the field looked following the conclusion of the autonomous period:
The top two flags on the left pole are half-toggled, the top two flags on the middle pole are blue and the bottom is half-toggled, and all flags on the right pole are on the red side. Although the 8th cap is out of sight, it was against a wall and didn’t count - meaning the red alliance had an advantage on caps as well. This makes the score during the autonomous period 13 (red) - 7 (blue), as the blue robot was not parked whereas the red robot (ours) was. The head referee and scoring team agreed on the red alliance winning autonomous and immediately began driver control.
However, immediately following the start of the driver control period, the head referee calls the autonomous bonus for the blue alliance for whatever reason, and the bonus is awarded to blue DURING driver control without any confirmation from either alliance. Here is a video of the sequence:
We lost the match 17 - 19, meaning the abrupt switch in the autonomous bonus was match affecting. We talked to the scoring team about the situation and asked if we could discuss it with the head referee, upon which we were told that the decision was final and no change would be made.
The outcome of the match meant we seeded 29th as opposed to 15th (had the match been scored properly) and as a result didn’t make the elimination rounds. We’ve accepted that what happened has happened and everybody makes mistakes, but can’t help but wonder -
What can we do about situations like this in the future? How can we make our case clear when indisputable decisions are made abruptly without team confirmation?
TL;DR: Improper scoring of a match and abrupt switching of autonomous bonus DURING driver control affected our seeding and relationship with other alliances, and we had no opportunities to correct the inaccuracy. What can we do about situations like this in the future?