Robot Skills Rules Question

Our team was wondering what you could/could not do in Robot Skills. We looked in the skills appendix in the rulebook, but it did not answer our questions. Can we make an AUTONOMOUS robot skills program that goes over the autonomous line? We were not quite sure if the autonomous line applies in skills. Thanks for the help.

I haven’t read the rulebook, but I can guarantee you that they wouldn’t constrain a skills bot to only half the field, so no, I have to imagine the autonomous line isn’t a factor.

Read rule <SG3> in the game manual.

According to <SG3> the restrictions of the autonomous line only applies during the autonomous period, not in programming skills.

Has anyone else noticed that the manual doesn’t give any outlines for skills? I did ctrl+f and searched for the word skills, and it was used exactly four times. Twice in the introduction, talking about developing and honing important life skills, once when saying that the minimum robot requirements still apply for skills runs, and once saying you must use the same bot for skills and teamwork. Seems to me like they mentioned skills, but they didn’t actually define what it is.

there is the skills appendix -

I would hope that teams would check out:
VEX Robotics Competition page for Competition Teams - it groups virtually all the important resources for teams.

According to the definition of “Programming Skills Match” in Appendix B, the programming skills match is an Autonomous Period:

I was unable to find any rule in Appendix B that explicitly allows robots to cross the autonomous line during a programming skills match, or otherwise invalidates <SG3> during a programming skills match. Thus, I think there’s an argument to be made that <SG3> applies during programming skills matches.

However, it seems silly to me to constrain robots to only half the field during programming skills, and I would be a bit surprised if the GDC intended to do that when writing the rules. As I understand it, the intent of <SG3> is to prevent opposing robots from interacting with each other during the autonomous period, and obviously that line of reasoning doesn’t apply during skills matches.

I don’t have access to post there, but maybe someone should ask about this on the Q&A?

<SG3> has no bearing on programming skills. For one thing, the primary penalty it applies for violation only applies to a head-to-head game:

Keep <G2> in mind. <SG3> is a rule aimed at preventing you from interfering with an opposing Alliance’s autonomous routines: “Stay on your own side during autonomous.” There is no opposing Alliance during robot skills matches, so <SG3a> and <SG3b> need not apply. Further, in the tie breaking rules, it talks about number of points scored for Center Parking in a Programming Skills Match, further implying that <SG3c> also does not apply as Center Parking is expected in Programming Skills.

Fair enough. As I implied in my previous post, I’m not arguing that teams are or should be prohibited from crossing the auton. line etc. during programming skills, just that it’s not totally clear that those actions are allowed. Put another way, if a team argued to me at a tournament where I was head ref that <SG3> prohibited robots from crossing the auton. line during driver skills, I would be confident in explaining to them why that interpretation doesn’t make sense, but I would not be 100% confident in explaining to them why that interpretation is explicitly contradicted by specific rules.

The rules you cited hint at robots being allowed to go anywhere on the field during programming skills, and suggest to me that it was not the GDC’s intent to prohibit crossing the auton. line during programming skills. But, I still think there’s some ambiguity here. Although I believe it was the authors’ intent for <SG3> to have “no bearing on programming skills,” I haven’t seen a rule that says that explicitly, and I think the description of a programming skills match as an “Autonomous Period” could be construed to mean that <SG3> does apply during programming skills matches (again, I don’t think this is the case, just that it could be interpreted that way).

As such, I could imagine this area potentially causing trouble at events (e.g., a team objects to another team’s programming skills run on the basis that they crossed the autonomous line). If this situation ever arises, it might be helpful if there were a Q&A post that head refs could reference to settle the matter.

Go ahead and ask on Q&A.

If there is an issue at an event, the EP can call the RECF RSM during the event.

I don’t think this warrents an official Q&A question. It’s clear what interpretation should be correct. However, the GDC should definitely eliminate all ambiguity in their next manual update and for future manuals.