U.S. Open vs. Worlds

We attended the CREATE U.S. Open and in our state, no defensive strategies were allowed during competitions. At the CREATE U.S. Open, there were robots that had only defensive capabilities and defensive strategies were encouraged. Robots were allowed to ram each other and push each other across the competition field, sit in the scoring zone of the opposing alliance and tip over the mobile goals of the opposing team on purpose. Will World’s be played similarly? I am just asking so that my team can decide how to practice in order to compete at Worlds.

The new rules released for worlds have stated that extreme defense (ramming and blocking) will be allowed.

That is not correct. There was a cage bot in the MS division that was allowed to cover two mobile goals and drive around with them inside. In addition, in the MS Division there was also some ramming, pushing etc. happening on a fairly consistent basis, but not to the same level as other tournaments we have attended.

I was also at the US Open. Relative to Wisconsin, the defensive play at the US Open was quite mild. No where in the rules is it stated that defensive strategies were illegal. I was puzzled by the times I heard in the audience that in their state/region there were NO defensive strategies allowed. I am not sure that purely defense is encouraged, but it certainly is and has been a part of the game. There is certainly a limit to the possible defensive strategies: no de-scoring, no pinning or trapping (read the Game Manual for the definitions). No offense to the OP, but how many teams read the Game Manual versus have the rules told to them by someone else. It has always been the case, that if it is not expressly forbidden in the Game Manual, then it is not illegal. Some defensive strategies may incredibly annoying, that is true. However, if absolutely NO defense is allowed, then the game turns into two alliances running skills matches on the same field, in my opinion.

The OP was referring to his state not allowing defensive strategies, not the US Open.

Judging from an inappropriate emcee comments and the interactions with referees that one of my teams had at the US Open, I disagree that defensive strategies are encouraged. I heard a lot of spirit of the game comments, which I told my teams to politely say that’s not in the rulebook.

Ramming and blocking (within the rules) is not explicitly disallowed in the rulebook, which means it is allowed.

You can sit in the alliance station. The rules state that you can’t 10 their 10 or 20 point zone (which is defined by tiles, not bars), and that if a robot is touching the starting bar, then you can’t touch the robot or the bar.

The mobile goal rules are murkier, but the other defensive rules have been valid

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m not gonna just let you score. I tell my teams to expect defense, and also be ready to play it if it better helps them win a match.

There was too much whining about defense at the Open.

So, just help me out. It is ok to possess two yellow cones at the same time if neither is stacked on a mobile goal?

Sorry I misread the first message.


Thanks 536Mentor! Another question to make sure that I am looking at rules correctly - A bot can only pin another bot for 5 seconds and then must move 2 ft away to end the pin?

Yes and they must back away for 5 seconds for the count to reset. If they do not, the count resumes from where it left off if they pin again or trap again.

In the rules this year it has never said that you cannot unless it is egregious. Pushing and other defensive stuff happens each year and there are people who fuss about it. But… look in the rules. If it does not say that you can’t… then you can. I talked with another coach that said something about Wisconsin not allowing anyone in the 5pt zone. It seemed he got offended when I said it is legal. But later we talked and I explained the GDC clarifications on the forums and that is it legal until your wheel crosses your opponents 10pt pipe.

It amazes me how people interpret rules and then lay the law down in their own way that is not the intent of the rules in the first place. Unfortunately it happens all over the place.

As a referee and an event partner in Wisconsin, I would like to know who said Wisconsin doesn’t allow anyone in the 5 pt. zone. That certainly has NOT been the ruling at any event that I have refereed, or attended with my teams or have run. I know some people that may have interpreted the rule for them selves that way, but in actual competitions in the state, the statement that we did not allow anyone in the 5 pt. zone is false for every event I have been in attendance at. There were two that I did not attend, I can’t speak for those. But for the 9 events I attended, that statement is false.

I didn’t see much aggressive defensive play on the MS side. There were a couple of mobile goal tippers, but that’s not a very effective strategy, and it’s mostly a time-waster for the defensive bot. There was one really good defensive robot I remember, but I never saw them do anything that looked the least bit questionable. I saw many teams blocking to try to slow down scoring, and some pushing of opposing robots away from their loading area. I saw nothing I would call ramming*, but obviously I didn’t watch every match.

*Ramming is getting up to speed before contacting the opposing robot. Pushing involves contacting slowly and continuing to try to drive.

A pin actually requires a bot to push another bot into something and pin it there. Pushing a robot away from its loader isnt’t pinning or trapping, it just pushing.

At US Open we employed more of a defensive strategy, but we were bashed by the refs in qualification matches who said the defense was “against the spirit of the game” even if we were not pinning or breaking rules

Yes. It states that defensive bots can go into the 5 point zone but if they cross the pipe into the 10 and 20 then they are at fault.

In addition, in my original post, I should not have stated NO defensive strategies in my state were allowed. But, solely having defensive strategies is not the intent of the game and that was even stated in the opening ceremony of the CREATE U.S. Open.

In closing, just to clarify, is it ok for one bot to push an opposing bot across the competition field?

Thanks so much for all of your help and answers!

Yes. You can spend the whole match pushing them all around. That’s not pinning or trapping.

It may be designed to be an offensive game, in that playing offensively nets you the most points, but it certainly allows defense to be played.

I cannot remember the team name but he was wearing a gray and orange team jersey. He was very adamant about it and got really upset when I told him that it is allowed. Then he went on about how ALL of WI was that way. Eventually he calmed down and we had a short discussion. I found it really odd for sure. Thanks for clarifying although I did not mean to get anyone riled up about that aspect of it. Sorry if I did… not my intention.