If I am trapping a robot and the referee is counting to 5, what should happen if I disconnect and the opposing alliance is unable to escape? Would the referee DQ me, or would he stop counting?
If the opponent was actively trying to escape and you did not move back for whatever reason, the count keeps going.
If you wish an official ruling, ask the Official Q&A on robotevents.com
if your robot is completely disconnected you could argue that the opponent can escape by pushing you out of the way, as almost all robots can/should be able to push away inactive robots.
How could a referee be expected to know that you were disconnected and for how long you were disconnected?
I suppose white screening could be an indication of disconnecting. I think the radio also stops blinking if it loses connection with the controller. Also, if the battery runs out, then the entire robot would shut off.
This is true, but not if you were trapped sideways between flags.
I feel like most teams would tell the ref that they disconnected if they continued to count down on pinning.
The only extenuating circumstances that can get you out of a G14 trapping call would be a G11 “I was forced into it by an opponent” exception. You could also be let off with a warning if it was not match affecting, though this is not terribly likely unless it was trapping for 6 seconds starting with 7 seconds left in the match, or something like that.