Unfair DQ


I’m from a team that recently competed in our States competition (for privacy reasons I won’t reveal which state). We were doing very well in competition and made it to semifinals until us and our alliance partner were disqualified which we believe was extremely unfair.

We were disqualified because of wire sticking out making our bot out of size. I understand being out of size during a match is against the rules but here is why our team (and other teams agreed) that this dq was unfair

  1. We were rammed by another robot causing the wire to stick out
  2. It was mid match when not us but our ALLIANCE PARTNER was warned
  3. The refs called it game altering which was untrue: it benefited us in no way and wouldn’t have counted for expansion

Overall even our opponents agreed that it was bull crap. I’m beginning to think we were facing bias from refs because in a prior match, a team rammed our robot causing our battery to fall out and then proceeded to intentionally intake our battery. The red did nothing about it and when we went to them about it being malicious Intent, they called it “grey area”.

This was extremely disappoint to our team because we would’ve won the match if not for the dq and would have qualified to worlds.

1: this is technically early expansion so if you could not rectify the violation u should have been disabled for the rest of the match. proceeding with game play after being warned is grounds for a DQ
2. if you were not explicitly warned but your alliance partner was it was probably a misunderstanding or the ref said the wrong number.
3. it is definitely match affecting and game altering if a robot continues game play after early expanding and not fixing the violation because if that robot would have been disabled, which it would have, then it turns a 2v2 into a 2v1. The only way I could see it as not being match affecting is if the 2 opposing teams robots were both disabled for their own violations which were not cause by the offending alliance, both robots.

  1. as for the maliciouse intent of intaking your battery that is definitley a grey area as they could have been intaking disc or about 1 in a billion other things. Also to be honest you should have been disabled anyhow because i would be willing to bet that it made you outside of the size limit. I have also had expiriences with “maliciouse entaglment” last year with 1 team grabbing onto our pneuamtic tanks with their clamp. and it is a grey area because technicaly those thanks or in your case battery shouldnt have been in such a vulnerable or exposed spot.

The good news:

I’m glad you made it and got to compete at state-level event.

Your post here was direct, accurate, and didn’t include a lot of name-calling.

The tough love news:

It’s stated in the game rules that this is a ‘contact sport’. Expect to be rammed, often by 2 bots at once. You MUST design around this. Batteries are known to come loose. Use some velcro/etc to help hold it in.

Wire management is an area where non-vex stuff is explicitly allowed (tape, cable management tubing, etc). And given that the battery is an electronic component, connected by a wire… you should have no problem passing inspection with tape holding down all your wires and the battery also.


I saw this incident, the ref notified the alliance partner instead of the actual team. The ref yelled to the (wrong) alliance partner, and then walked over to them. After speaking to the wrong team, the ref seemingly paused before walking away. It seems the ref refrained from notifying the correct team.


We had zip ties holding down the wires at the beginning of the match. The wire sticking out didn’t change the score of the game. It stuck out maybe a half inch in the air. This is we’re Im having a hard time understanding why it’s “game altering” if it didn’t give us any points or affect any of the teams in any way.

I understand that if we were the one who were warned and didn’t disable our robot that it would be game altering but we weren’t warned. The ref went to our alliance partner and didn’t give us any warning at all. We had no idea what was going on until after the match.

And I understand that these games you should expected to be rammed. I 100% understand that fact. The issue is with Intaking the battery because they weren’t trying to intake a disc. Maybe it was a misunderstanding but it seemed that they were trying to.


Think the rules has been very clear - it doesn’t matter what is sticking out, as long as it is beyond size limit then it is consider as expansion.
And the rules has also been very clear on how to deal with situation when a robot has an accidental expansion.

So I am not sure why are you upset or feeling that it is unfair?

During SIngVex, we had many teams DQed because they didnt secure that string or wires properly, eg. the tail-end of the string sticking out by maybe half an inch, etc.

So i do think the referee had applied the rules consistently?

And as for warning - see it as a privilege and not an entitlement. Teams are expected to know the rules and are expected to know when then have infringed on a potentially DQ-able rule.
And if you look at page 13 (or Fig 4) in the manual, there is no mention that there must be a warning before a DQ.

To conclude - yes, the ref’s ruling was on the harsher side (but there are lots of precedence for this though), but it was definitely fair (coz it is going by the letter of the law).


I will be citing VRC-SpinUp-GameManual-3 for all references in this reply.

Citing page 13 (fig 4) of the VRC-SpinUp-GameManual-3, this “early expansion” did not alter the game score, the wire was hovering in the air, without any contact to the ground, therefore not giving any additional points for expansion.

There was no “detaching” or “falling off” that occurred to the robot nor any part that had been on it prior. All parts remained attached to the robot but shifted in their sitting.

Page 26 (<!G5>) says, “Note: Parts which become detached unintentionally and therefore a Minor Violation are no longer considered “part of a Robot,” and should be ignored for the purposes of any rules which involve Robot contact (e.g., Covering field tiles, contacting a Low Goal, horizontal expansion, etc.) or Robot size.”

With clearly no seemingly intentional incident detachment of any wire during this match, as well as them being intact during the beginning of the match, I’m not sure where that says an unintentional (minor) violation should result in a DQ.

Page 32, section says, “Even if an expansion was accidental, it can still be considered a Major Violation if the Head Referee judges that the expansion was intentional, strategic, and / or Match Affecting.”

I believe the confusion comes from how this detachment was match-affecting. I heard no reason on how having this wire caused the team to have a winning advantage or match affecting if it had scored no points for them.


Cherry picking around the Game Manual does not absolve the fact that the team continued to participate in game play without rectifying the SG4 violation. As mentioned earlier, participating in Game Play can be Match Affecting in many situations as they are in essence changing 1v2 game play that is required by SG4.


I think this boils down to the first part of the response to Q&A 1412, sentence 2:

and the third sentence of G4

A Robot that expands early in a head-to-head Match and cannot rectify the Violation cannot participate in further gameplay and will not receive points for tiles Covered in the Endgame .

While Q&A 1412 is specifically asking about an intake which helps score points, the second sentence is key. If that wire makes you violate SG4, you are violating SG4, even it you didn’t intend it or it doesn’t even affect gameplay. You are violating SG4 as a minor violation. You have expanded early and have forfeited your endgame. The only actions you should take are further outlined in SG4 violation notes:

Teams can prevent an accidental or momentary expansion that does not result in an Violation from becoming a Major Violation by immediately moving to rectify the Violation , and / or removing themselves from gameplay (e.g., parking in a corner of the field without impacting gameplay for other Robots ).

If you can get the wire back into size constraints, then you may continue to play the game (still no endgame). If you can’t fix it, Then you need to remove yourself from gameplay. Continuing to play the game while violating SG4 can result in a DQ as scoring points, playing defense, or even just sitting in front of the rollers would probably be considered match affecting.

Note: In this case the wire was not “detached”. It is still part of the robot and violates SG4. detached parts refer to nuts, bolts, chains, or other parts that are completely removed from the robot.