2 weeks ago our team participated in a VEX Spin-Up tournament (High School). At this competition referees stated that you cannot move your bot after your end-game has been deployed (endgame was deployed within endgame period and time remained in game). They were warning teams that moved their bot after endgame deployment that their endgame points would not count and repeated offenders were at risk of being DQ’d.
Last weekend we attended a tournament where you were allowed to deploy endgame, then drive if there was remaining game time. We noticed a number of bots using “drop-and-drive away” endgame weight and string strategy.
Which ruling is correct? I asked one ref at the 2nd tournament, his response was, “It depends on who is hosting the tournament.” . Obviously, depending on rules of the individual tournament, a teams endgame strategy going into a tournament could be ineffective or determined illegal. No prior competition specific rules related to this were distributed prior to competition day.
My take is that the team must either quickly remedy the inadvertent expansion - which some teams do by parking over their mechanism. Otherwise they need to get out of active game play. The next phase is play in end game - the robot is legal, but they will not get covered tile points due to premature expansion. Repeated offense may be cause to escalate to Major Violation. Mechanism or parts of robots that were part of the mechanism that are ejected outside the field subject the team to an immediate DQ.
How referees articulate the rules does vary from event to event but should all be grounded by what the rules say.
If I have it wrong, please put it into the Official Q&A so I can adjust my understanding of the game.
The second ruling is correct. If expansion was deployed during endgame, the robot is allowed to move according to the game manual. However, the head referees ruling is final. If no one brought up their concern, the ruling would go through and a team could be DQ’d if they moved after deploying expansion. If someone had talked to the ref, bringing up the ruling in the game manual, and the head ref realized their mistake, the ruling would not go through and the robot who moved would not be DQ’d. It’s completely up to the head ref, and even though their ruling was incorrect, if no one brought up a concern, the head refs ruling would go through.
Let me clarify, the endgame device was not deployed during normal driver control period. It was deployed within endgame legal time. Example - bot deploys endgame at 9 seconds remaining in match. Bot then drives backwards to maximize endgame string, then stops in place when match time ends.
In tournament 1 this was called as a violation. You could not move your bot after endgame has been deployed (even though both steps were executed within endgame period.
In tournament 2 this two step action was legal since both steps were executed during endgame period.
In tournament 1 I do not believe any of the teams that followed the drop and drive endgame strategy were actually DQ’d. The result of their two step action was that the ref. said their endgame points would not count for that match. Teams were just warned that if they repeated this two step action again in other matches at that competition, they were at risk of being DQ’d.
I posted this experience not as a complaint, but in hope that other teams and officials are on the same page moving forward. I have seen this two step endgame strategy used by many younger teams especially (middle school). Those teams are less likely to challenge ref. rulings, incorrect or not.
None taken - this is a good post to help all understand the game better. Definitely scenario one did not allow for the teams to play to their fullest potential. Moving forward I hope this gets cleared up. You can notify the EP for the event or the RECF Team Engagement Manager to work with the referee to get consistent calls across all events.
As a ref, I would advise teams talking about this in a respectful manner, bringing official Q&A response and/or text from the game manual. Telling the ref, “VexForums says your ruling is dumb and wrong” is not going to get you anywhere.
In the end game, drop the weight, drag the string across the field is allowed.
Speak to the EP. This was an issue for me two weeks ago, the prior event ref was wrong. Our ref called it correctly (we call it drag and spin)
Talk to the Event Partner. As an EP I will listen, if the referee is wrong I will run instant training. I hate to type the following characters: The referee ruling is final, so I will not go back in time and fix scores. But the new, well trained, and up to date referee will not make the same error again!!
Best I can do with the rules I’ve been handed. @recf on site people can over rule me and fix stuff, but my @recf people (wait … Bob… no… Bill… sigh … Ben!! and and … David… no … Doug… Wait Dan !!! Ben and Dan they are rocks stars!!! don’t often come to my events. Love them, but unless they are here all of us EPs can’t fix things.
While I would trust EP Foster with this, not all EPs know the game rules, and the student-competitors should not be expected to know who is and who is not “clued in”. The standard practice with students with rules questions to take them to the head ref. The head ref may be wrong, but should listen to the case and make a decision. That ref may say, “well, you’re right, but for consistency today, I’m going to keep calling it this way”. That ref may say, “I still don’t see it your way”. That ref may say, “You’re right, I’ll change the way I call this, and let’s make an announcement to that effect”. All of which are valid responses from the ref.
This is a good teachable moment for your teams. In order to DQ or claim that your team violated a rule, the head referee should be able to cite the exact rule number and point it out to them in the game manual or Q&A. The referee can’t just say “that’s illegal”, they must be able to say they violated SG4 in some way. Failing that, your team’s drivers should know the rules (passed driver certification) and know the rules, and they would pull out their printed rules and point out that SG4 allows unlimited expansion in the endgame and includes no rules about not moving post expansion. You as the coach shouldn’t talk to a head referee and there should be no need to talk to an EP about a rules issue. Self advocating is an important part of Vex for our students.
Blockquote. That ref may say, “well, you’re right, but for consistency today, I’m going to keep calling it this way”. That ref may say, “I still don’t see it your way”. That ref may say, “You’re right, I’ll change the way I call this, and let’s make an announcement to that effect”. All of which are valid responses from the ref.
Citing specific rules is an important part of this process, and this is required by T1b. Again, your students should be able to show T1 to the head referee while asking about what rule they violated while driving post expansion.