Should this be legal?

So over the weekend, my team competed at the vex tipping point competition in Pickerington, Ohio. We had gone undefeated during the day and in our last match this happened to our team that led to us being DQ’ed

timestamp: 5:21:46-5:22:04

We are the team that is being pushed and we were told that because of SG3 that the other team was able to force us into a penalty. Even though we’re not on their side of the field and were pushed all the way across. We still ended up with more points in the match but since were DQ’ed we didn’t get the winning points. This DQ moved us from 4th in the competition to 15th and with it being the second to last match of qualification greatly impacted alliance selections.

This situation has already been posted into Q and A but has not been answered but my question is that if VEX intended this to be an offensive game and robots to not be near the other team’s platforms within 30 seconds. Then, how can a robot that is backing away from the other side be pushed across the field into a penalty? And what are the consequences of making this legal? Does it open the door to super torque bases intent on bullying teams into penalties and DQ’s?


To me, this at first seems like a pretty clear case of G14:

Why didn’t you move your robot away from the platform after they stopped pushing you? the refs could have interpreted you not moving away as intentionally continuing to contact the platform.

Even if they did think your failure to move away was a violation, this did not interfere with their ability to balance the platform, so it should have been only a 30 point penalty at most.


Is it legal? -Yes since G13 Supersedes G14
Should it be legal might change depending on who you ask. It was such a blatant attack to get you DQ’d I think that it absurd that you could get penalized for getting pushed across the whole field and slammed into the platform.


This ruling is consistent with an Elimination match at the WPI Signature Event where a robot in a tug-of-war over a goal was pulled into transitive contact with a Platform at the end of the Match. I believe this is consistent with:

I think this is a good scenario to pose to the Official Q&A. Your case seems to have a bit stronger argument for a G14 exception than the WPI match. That said, it is reasonable to interpret “Note 2” in absolute terms as meaning that contact with the opposing Platform, regardless of any context of “how” that contact happened, is a DQ. I don’t think this is gameplay the GDC would wish to foster (e.g. teams decide to play a strategy where the Red team pushes a Blue robot into the Red platform in the last 5 seconds of the match since they can’t be called for pinning).

SG3 specifically assumes a lower standard than “match affecting”, instead:

Violations of this rule which do interfere with gameplay, such as preventing a Platform from becoming Balanced, will result in a Disqualification, regardless of whether the interference was Match Affecting or not.

Anything touching both the Platform and the floor tiles (transitively) by definition prevents the Platform from being Balanced and is therefore “gameplay affecting”


At the time I didn’t want to give them another elevated robot. But, our base is pretty weak and I don’t know if I would have been able to drive away within the time.

In fairness to Red and the ref (who, I know is a very good ref), it did seem like they gave you roughly the last 5 seconds to get away from the Platform and you didn’t move, whether that’s because you became high-centered (in which case you should make obvious that you are trying to move) or because you didn’t want to (in which case the DQ seems justified). Sometimes taking the 30 point penalty is better than the possible DQ. You could have argued both times you contacted the Red Platform in the last 30 were a result of Red pushing you laterally into it to try to avoid the 30 pointer. It’s certainly a close call, but given you had 5 seconds to leave, seems a reasonable call

now, why does note 2 here claim that <sg3> states that contacting your opponent’s platform at the end of the match is a blanket disqualification when that isn’t stated anywhere in <sg3>?

Platforms are “safe” during the endgame. During the last thirty (30) seconds, Robots may not contact the opposing Alliance’s Platform.
a. For the purposes of this rule, contact is considered “transitive” through other Robots and Scoring Objects. For example, contacting an opposing Robot who is contacting their own Platform would be considered a violation of this rule.
b. For the purposes of this rule, <G13> supersedes rule <G14>. Any Robot which is contacting its own Platform during the last thirty (30) seconds, provided that no other rules are being violated, will automatically receive the “benefit of the doubt”. Therefore, any contact with this Robot will be considered a violation, regardless of intent.
c. Per <SG10>, using a Scoring Object to contact the opposing Alliance’s Platform during the last thirty (30) seconds would be considered a violation of this rule. Placing a Scoring Object underneath the opposing Alliance’s Platform, such that it inhibits the opposing Alliance’s ability to utilize the Platform during the last thirty (30) seconds, would also be considered a violation of this rule.
Violations of this rule which do not interfere with gameplay, such as bumping into the Platform and then driving away, will result in the opposing Alliance receiving credit for one additional Elevated Robot at the end of the Match. (Alliances may still only receive points for a maximum of two Elevated Robots). Violations of this rule which do interfere with gameplay, such as preventing a Platform from becoming Balanced, will result in a Disqualification, regardless of whether the interference was Match Affecting or not.

Seems to me like such an important thing should be in <sg3>, rather than hiding in a sub-note under the definition of balanced.


Seems the story of the rules this year.

Perversely, when the Red Robot pushes the Blue Robot into the Red Platform, the Red Robot (transitively) now receives the “benefit of the doubt” under SG3b:


wow, it hadn’t occurred to me that a robot pushing it’s alliance into their own platform would still be protected by this clause because they’re transitively touching their own platform. This means that pushing your opponent into your platform is a viable strategy that’s protected by the rules, as against the spirit of the competition that it is.


These interpretations effectively nullify G14 in probably 90% of cases where it would have mattered. In my opinion, there should be a rule change which gives G14 a bit more precedence over G13 and SG3.


Perhaps this clause allows for G14 exceptions, though it may not be clear (given both this match and the WPI match, both made by very good and very experienced referees)


well, it is keeping the platform from being balanced if they are touching it at the end of the match… so it is kind of implied by the rule. (but it is kind of dumb)

It sure seems like it would have to, otherwise that is just ridiculous. I sincerely hope the scheduled manual update tomorrow addresses a lot of the lack of clarity issues! I think it should go like this:

  1. The blue was clearly forced into the penalty, so there was definitely a rule being violated and therefore there should be no automatic benefit of the doubt given to the red as being offensive.
  2. Then to look at the other part of the rule - G13 takes precedence over G14 for SG3. I would personally say that in this situation the blue robot is the offensive robot, as it was clearly trying to get to the goal while the red was solely trying to push it around.
  3. Therefore, the ref should err on the side of the blue robot (NOT the red) and move on to G14 (where it penalizes the RED robot with a violation of G14 - no enforcement of the penalty on the blue at a minimum).

The issue with the definition of “Balanced” indicating that SG3 says something that it just flat-out doesn’t say is another thing that needs to be addressed in the manual update. It’s a pretty severe note, but it seems like it would be impossible to enforce with SG3 as written not including any reference to such a situation. Why didn’t the red robot move away at the very end would seem to be a relevant question here…


We will see what the GDC does.

Reasonable people can reasonably disagree with this. Yes, the Red team drove the Blue team across the full field and placed it in contact with the Red Platform in the last 30 seconds. The Red team did back-off and the Blue team had at least 5 seconds to move away from the Red Platform.

Lets do an analysis on who is “offensive”. Neither robot is carrying any goal. Had Blue been carrying a Blue Goal, it would “clearly” be “offensive”. Had Red carried a Red Goal, it clearly would be “offensive”.

SG3b states that any Robot in contact with its own Platform (transitively) is the “offensive” robot. In the moment that Red pushes Blue into Red’s Platform, Red is now (transitively) in contact with its own Platform (through Blue, perversely). Therefore, in this interaction, Red should be considered the offensive robot. Since SG3b states that G13 supersedes G14, it is possible for a Robot in contact with its own Platform to force an opponent into a penalty. Please note, I agree this is perverse, I’m trying to apply these rules logically to their natural conclusion.

The analysis above not withstanding, I agree that a credible case could be made by Blue that Red should be DQ’d for the G14 violation. A reasonable case could be made for both the Red and the Blue robots to be DQd (Blue for being in contact with the Platform, and Red for forcing Blue there).

This is a fun game, but the nuance and edge cases created by the rules are extremely intricate and can lead to lots of disappointment.

Blue, aside from not driving away in the last 5 seconds, did little wrong. It may have had a bump-and-go early in the final 30 seconds, but generally tried to stay away from Red. Red didn’t necessarily “need” to push Blue around like they did, but it was within the bounds of play (if towards the edge), especially given that it let up and offered an out in the last 5 seconds.


I agree there is room for discussion, except here I’d again add to this “provided no other rules are violated”, as that is part of sg3b that I think is the key here.

And yes, not moving away in the end is a problem (potentially depending on why), especially if note 2 stands up even though it isn’t actually in sg3.


True enough, but even so, if we conclude that neither Red nor Blue is “offensive” (philosophically, is preventing your opponent from taking points away from you “offense” or “defense”, likewise, is trying to take points away from your opponent “offense” or “defense”?), the fact still remains that while Red pushed Blue into the Red Platform (and therefore Red would not get the 30 point bump-and-go), Blue still did not remove itself from contacting the Red Platform when it had the opportunity to, because G12c says you are responsible for your robot at all times.

I think I’ve managed to persuade myself that this was a hard call that the refs got right under the current rules. I think the key moment is that Red afforded Blue a chance to get away from the Platform, which Blue did not take (with respect to the OP).


Bruh same to us, we were 44691X and we got a DQ in the first round of the eliminations because we were shoved into their goal in the last half second. We were absolutely dominating the match and they rammed us into their alliance partner who was touching the platform and we got a dq?!?! What a ripoff we were in the middle sitting on a coast and got no chance to escape and the ref said we didn’t give blue a chance to escape, we were the ones who were rammed and it wasn’t even match affecting, but because the rule applies before all that there was no point in arguing. So much for rule g14

That’s crazy bc the teams also set up their license plates mirrored and also wore mirrored clothing!!!

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I can confirm everything was set up right lol I was there :joy: the cameras for some reason did that and it made a lot of people confused.