Response to How Many Students in Alliance Station

The rules seem to state that only 3 members of each robot are allowed into the Alliance Station during a Match. Considering this to be correct:

Not “seem” to state. They DO state!

“Should a Student who does not belong to any robot in the match enter the Alliance Station, will this be counted as a violation of the rule? If so, which robot would be penalized?”

There should not be any reason for this to happen. A referee would first ask the offending student to leave. Since the student is not part of the teams currently in the match, if they refused to leave, I as a referee might sanction his team.

In the scenario above, what if the Student belongs to the third team in the 3-Team-Alliance (The team not playing in the current match)?

Same as above

What if the Student belongs to the opposing Alliance?

Same as above

To add a little to the discussion, drivers must be in their own alliance station marked off by the red and blue color tape.

I have seen students from other teams in the drive station as a drive coach for their sister teams and then go drive their own robot. I have seen this done in both live matches and skills runs. Anyone who knows the faces from some of the world’s best teams over the last few years know this happens even at worlds. It happened last year at worlds in the final. It usually comes down to the question “Was it match effecting?” That answer is almost always no, the team is warned, and it doesn’t happen again (until the next event). In the end the best robot/driver/alliance combo always wins. Unless VEX decides to take a hard line and make it an automatic immediate DQ from the event it wont stop any time soon. I don’t see that happening

If the extra people are a distraction to the opposing alliance or the referees, it is an issue. We had such a situation last year with flow of people around the fields. This year we will put more attention to people flow.

As for DQ, I would totally respect the ref not starting the match until extra people clear out in a timely manner.

In my opinion, it will be very difficult for a competition to tell if a member is of your robot, especially if they are wearing the same clothing/t-shirt as you. But if judges do notice, I do think that both teams will get warned, or the team that allowed the other-team member will be penalized. Mainly because they were the one who allowed the extra team member to be part of the 3 team-members.

At the simplest level, the referee only needs to know that there are only three students on the drive team. The referee will ask that the extra people leave the alliance station. What consequences if the student(s) refuse? If the students are rude, this could escalate to the Event Partner and that would not be good for the team at that competition. My gut is if the referee holds the match up until the area is vacated early in the competition day, every one will clue in:)

What if one team only has two drive team members? Would a fourth from the other team be allowed in?

Example, if 3116 and 3116C were together, but 3116 only had two drive team members, would 3116C be allowed to have a fourth member in the alliance station making overall numbers up to six?

If that fourth member had never been a drive team member for anyone else at the competition it would be okay. He would just effectively be on 3116 for the event.

This isn’t to say you couldn’t get away with it or that some events wouldn’t allow it but just that it would be against the rules as written.

<G3> Each team shall include up to three Drive Team Members. No Drive Team Member may fulfill this role for more than one team at any given event.

So once a Drive Team Member works with a particular team at an event, that person is stuck with that team for the duration of that event. We operate as one large club that fields 6 robots. Before this rule was added, we had a lot of situations where a Drive Team Member would operate for several robots. Usually as the coach, if we were short team members at a particular event. I am the Mentor/Moderator of the club and I have only “coached” as a Drive Team Member once in 13 years. There have been some violations to this rule, I am sure. But here in Wisconsin, we do try to enforce it.

Yes. Doing so would be like overfilling your pneumatics. You might get away with it, but it is still unethical.

There was actually something like this that happened at a competition last year. The violating alliance got DQed from a match in eliminations they would have won.

Read the manual, follow the manual. It’s what you do.

Wow. I sound like a GEICO commercial.