Single driver for the world championship

Our team has only 2 drivers. Unfortunately, one of the driver can not stay for the full duration of World event. Need to leave right after the qualification rounds. If we make into the division final, we would be left with only 1 driver and will need to find a substitution,

Rule G4.b.i - For the World championship, we can substitute a driver from another team even if that driver has driven for a different team before. Just that the driver can not go back to the original team.

However, this conflict with Rule G4.c which requires that the substituted driver may not have driven for any team during the event. Driver may only drive for 1 team during an event.

If we go by the rule G4.c, we basically have to find a driver who hasn’t touched the controller through out the entire qualification rounds. Almost impossible.
However, if we go by the rule G4.b.i, it would be much easier to find a driver from teams who didn’t make the division playoff and no longer competing.

Question is, can we use a driver from a different team who has driven in the qualification rounds for a different team but would be dedicated to our team during the division playoff and possible final?

Worst case is a solo driver driving for 35 seconds and controller down.

I do not know exactly how long it is until IQ worlds, but you may wish to consider making a program that for a single driver (these tend to work better anyways). Another thing to consider is that you could train one of your current non-drivers to be a driver. Unless I am mistaken about this, any member of the team can take on any role.

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The challenge is, 2 main drivers will be driving the entire qualification rounds and need the 3rd driver only if we make into the division playoff. If we don’t make into the division final, 3rd driver wouldn’t have done anything during the entire event. Not fair to the family who would be spending lots of money to travel.

As for the program, I believe you are right that as long as the controller is down, the robot can continue to move on its own during the remaining 25 seconds. But we will need an official responds to that.

You cannot drive for two different teams at worlds for the duration of the event. If someone has to leave early, I would find another driver. If there are three drivers, they could switch every other match. Then the two that are left would drive for the finals should it come up.


First of all, you are implying there is nothing to do at Worlds if you are not a driver, which is wildly incorrect.

More generally, though, I think you should consider your potential alliance partner in the Finals in this decision. If you make it to Finals with 2 great drivers, but only play in the Finals with 1 driver and either try to do some sort of autonomous programming for the second half (questionable if this is legal) or just put the controller down for 25 seconds, you are really shortchanging your alliance partner. Is that fair to them? I would argue it is not, and even borderline unsportsmanlike conduct. Think if it was reversed, and you got into the Finals and it was your shot at going to the Dome, and you find out the team you’re paired with isn’t willing to play to their full potential. You’d be pretty disappointed.

I think you should consider one of these options:

  1. If you want to stick with one drive team throughout the event, then perhaps the team member who cannot commit to the full event isn’t a good choice. Select a new driver for the full duration of the event who doesn’t have to leave.
  2. If you can bring all 3 drivers along, then switch off drivers during qualification matches. That way all drivers get the experience of driving at Worlds no matter what, and if you do make the Finals that 3rd driver has some experience and is hopefully able to help you compete at the same level you demonstrated in quals.


Just FYI but you will almost certainly not get an official answer to that question here on the forum.


Thanks for info and suggestion. Just like anything else, the situation is a bit complicated. As the season progressed, members dropped out and we were left with only 2 members by the time we made to the state. It will be challenging to bring back a member who quit. Also I will never understand the logic behind leaving in the middle of world championship. Difference in priority, I guess. That’s the reality of coaching a robotics team.
Anyway, I was looking for a clarification on the rule G4, which I got. So, thanks everyone who posted.

One thing I do want to mention is the lesson of sportsmanship. I always tell our team that we must accept the shortcomings of our alliance partner and whatever happens on the field. We have played through several matches in the state with alliance partners refusing to collaborate or ignore the agreed strategy. Taking out the wrong dispenser, colliding with each other… etc. When kids starts to think something is unfair, there is no end. If the situation was flipped and we are in the division final or final and our alliance partner can not perform at their best, my genuine initial reaction would be to work with them to make the best out of the situation. And that would be the important lesson I would teach our team.

Anyway, thank you all for thoughtful contribution to this topic


What in the rules or Q&A makes you question whether this would be legal?



Note: If only one Driver is present (i.e., the Team has not exercised the allowance in G4), this
rule still applies, and they must cease Robot operation after the first thirty-five (0:35) seconds of
the Match.

I think it’s very reasonable for someone to read “cease robot operation” as “robot must stop moving”. Maybe that’s not what the GDC intended, but I certainly wouldn’t base a strategy around it without getting a definitive answer.

(Since I’m not on a team, I don’t read the Q&A - so if there’s already been clarification there then I’m not aware of that).


That is a fair interpretation. It could be argued that hitting a button and placing the controller on the ground is also a reasonable interpretation.

There isn’t a Q&A that I am aware of that provides clarity.

Unfortunately the next opportunity for information would come at the world’s drivers meeting.

If a team doesn’t bring a third member, they should be ready to live with both interpretations.