Unjust Disqualification?

Yeah, I was tuned into the livestream during all of elimination matches. Must say, was a very well-played tournament. Personally, I don’t think that this called for a DQ, but I absolutely agree with @meng that this was a very tricky split-second call by the refs.

1st alliance also barely managed to pull through in their third semi-final match 1 point ahead (99-98, spoiler alert) to move on to finals; it was a fantastic set of matches, and highly recommend watching.

Semifinal 2
Semifinal 3
//end edit

Great job/congratulations on tournament champion, all the robots from Xavier and FVL performed superbly.

Also, @Pepsi I recommend you change your team name from 5026A to 5062A :wink:

Hey guys, just wanted to add my thoughts about the situation.

First, just to explain the situation, my intention was to pin the mobile goal against the wall so that they couldn’t pick it up, as well as blocking access to the cones in that corner. I succeeded at this, as I was able to reach the other side of the field before them.

I did stop moving when I reached the mobile goal, as @meng pointed out. When they got close to me I again applied power to my motors in an effort to keep the goal pinned. Because of my angle on the goal, they were able to slip part of their chassis in between my SPIDER INTAKE and the goal, and they got a better angle on the mobile goal. For some reason their robot rode up on the mobile goal and began to tip, at which point, without their robot being in the way anymore my robot leapt forward into that space, making it look like I was pushing them.

In my mind it was completely unintentional, but I also see where the judges are coming from.

However, I do have one question. @meng You stated that I probably got called for the movement after the robot tipped. After the match I asked why we got dq’d and the ref told me that it was because I didn’t back away after they started tipping, and because I lifted up. I know I didn’t lift up but that was probably just because of his view of the field, so my question is a) if I reached the mobile goal first and was in that position first, why would I be the one who would have to back away, as in why would that be my fault if they drove into me and tipped over? and b) I know it’s really hard to tell, but would it have mattered if I had backed away, as in would the other robot still have tipped over? Basically, was there anything I could have done not to get dq’d in that situation?

Also, just to clarify, I have complete respect for the judges in our area, as they are extremely fair and knowledgeable. This is purely a question of what could I have done instead.

Thanks guys

Honestly, I couldn’t comment about what and why the referee made those points. I was not present and I have not idea what transpired between your team and the referee.

But the OP’s question is - Is the DQ unjust?
Looking at the common consensus, it can go both way, maybe a DQ or maybe no DQ. But nobody will be surprised if it is a DQ.

The reason (given) for DQ is that your robot caused 4410C to tip. But as for the actual action that caused it - let’s cut the referee some slack… I can imagine the great amount of info coming to them at the same time. It might just slipped their mind when they were asked point-blank to explain their decision.

As for what you should have done - again, it is like what a few of us has said - you should reverse. so that the referee will take it as you have no intention to cause the opponent to tip.
Sometimes, it is better to “give up” on that one mobile goal or cone than to risk DQ. And even if you didn’t manage to stop them from getting the mobile goal, you have at least slow them down considerably.

PS… this is a much much better tone in this reply. keep it up… you will be alright.

EDIT: for more details

Hey guys, third time replier here!

I agree with OP, the DQ was unjustified. Rule G12 states that “strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of Robots are not part of the ethos of the VEX Robotics Competition and are not allowed. However, VEX Robotics Competition In the Zone is an interactive game. Some incidental tipping, Entanglement, and damage may occur as a part of normal game play. If the tipping, Entanglement, or damage is ruled to be intentional or egregious, the offending Team may be disqualified from that Match. Repeated offenses could result in a Team being Disqualified from the remainder of the competition. VEX Robotics Competition In the Zone is intended to be an offensive game. Teams that partake in solely defensive strategies will undergo extra scrutiny in regard to <G12>. In the case where referees are forced to make a judgment call on interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot, the referees will err on the side of the offensive Robot

As per the bold text, incidental tipping may occur. There is no doubt in my mind that tipping of 4410C was incidental and therefor they shouldn’t have been DQ’d.

It seems as though 536G was trying to prevent 4410C from intaking the mobile goal by pushing cones in front of it and applying constant pressure by driving straight into the side of the mobile goal. 4410C continued to drive forward onto multiple cones and 536G’s robot. When their wheel base popped up onto the cones and 536G’s bot, that created open space and due to the constant pushing that 536G was doing, they moved forward into that spot. Clearly this is not an intentional move given the fact there was only a fraction of a second to react. Additionally, from the footage it seems as though 4410C had begun to tip before 536G moved into the open space.

Now some may argue that because they were taking part in a purely defensive strategy they should be DQ’d according to the italicized portion of the rule above. However, no judgement call need to by made because the actions were objectively not intentional. Unless of course you assume that 536G knew that 4410C would make a crucial driving error.

Great! Good contributions; keep it coming.


As per the bold text, incidental tipping may occur. There is no doubt in my mind that tipping of 4410C was incidental and therefor they shouldn’t have been DQ’d.

First, note what I bolded. Either intentional or egregious is call for a DQ. And it doesn’t matter that there is “no doubt in your mind” that the tipping was incidental. Only the referees’ opinion matters for intentional or egregious.

There is no objective standard for intentional. Nor is there one for egregious. Both those are always judgement calls. And benefit of doubt goes to the offensive robot.

I’m not saying I would have made the same call; I don’t know since I wasn’t there. But for me to say it was “unjust” I would have to believe the referees involved made the call with no basis for having done so. Which means I would have to believe there was no room for doubt when observing the match in realtime from their vantage point.

And I don’t believe that.

The reason to keep discussing these kinds of points is to provide some perspective and to help other teams analyze things critically.

The important question here is not “Were the actions of 536G intentional or egregious when 4410C tipped?”
Instead, it is “Could the referees have reasonably believed the actions were intentional or egregious, while taking in to account all matches they observed 536G playing in at the tournament?” Because a team’s pattern of behavior matters as well; the calls aren’t made in a vacuum.

Just food for thought.

Hey guys, fourth time replied here! (Guys my team is making me, I’m sorry)

Very good point, I hadn’t thought about it like that. I would like to point out, however, that I don’t believe referees are supposed to take into account previous matches for such things as driving behavior. The reason I say this is because in a semi-recent post the GDC stated that the referee is expected to make called based upon the current match at hand. Here is the link to the post: https://vexforum.com/t/answered-sg5-definition-of-match-affecting-violation-in-regards-to-knocking-over-stacks/43566/1

Here is the relevant quote: “With the exception of formal warnings that are recorded over the course of an event, a referee can only be expected to make judgment calls based off of the actions seen on the field in a given match.”

Although the situation is different, I think the bit about the referees making calls “based off of the actions seen on the field in a given match,” applies here as well. What are your thoughts?

Is there some… workshop going on that is getting all the new forum members to write in this way?
Just curious…

Thought it is clearly stated that referees will be taking into account of the actions of the team from previous matches?

And I really thought these few pointers are mentioned quite a few times in this thread:

  • the referee has no luxury of looking at the slow-mo recording before making a decision. It is split-second decision that they need to make.
  • the call can go both ways… and the general consensus is that some times the team won’t get DQ, but nobody will be surprise if the DQ is called as well.

So is it unjust? It is not unjust.

And a word of advice to teams playing defense or aggressive driving - if you see your opponent’s robot is tipping, then back off. It doesn’t matter whether the opponent’s robot is tipping because of your action or not, it is vital to show that it is not your intention to tip your opponent. And the best way to demonstrate this is to back off.

In any case, if your opponent is really tipping (using this incident as an example), then it is perfectly fine to back off, let it tip over at its own time, and then move forward again to grab or to block the mobile goal again. You lose nothing.

Just a thought that came into me - looking at some of the comments (in other threads), it is obvious that many of the teams are unhappy with the perceived lack of protection from aggressive play or defensive robots, eg. crashing onto them, etc.
But over here, we have another group that is trying to argue that the referee is being too biased towards the offensive team, ie. over-protection.


I’m really not seeing where you are getting this. Are you referring to “the exception of formal warnings” part?

I am familiar with the ruling you cite. I disagree with your interpretation. I understand the ruling to mean that referees, in most cases, are not required to consider things outside the match at hand. That is different from them being required to not consider things outside the match at hand.

Emphasis mine.

Formal warnings excepted, if the GDC had meant to limit what a referee could consider to only things occurring in the current match, they could have done so. They could have written “Referees may only consider what happens in the current match. They must not consider what has happened at earlier matches unless formal warnings were given.”

You should take in to account the context in which the GDC answered the question you cite. Someone who will be fulfilling the role of referee was looking for guidance. He had specific concerns over how to make the “match affecting” determination. He wanted to know whether he should take into account a team’s previous winning record and skillful performance, both of which could be theoretically disrupted by a violation from the opposing alliance.

Obviously, having to consider such things while making a “match affecting” determination would be a great burden. It is in that context that the GDC offered the reassurance that “…a referee can only be expected to make judgement calls based off of the actions seen on the field in a given match.”

The instruction serves to unburden the referee of extraneous concerns, not to limit the broader range of information they can consider when making a ruling.

Further, there are specific rules which would require a referee to consider what has happened in prior matches even in the absence of formal warnings. Any time a referee has to make the judgement over whether a team is pursuing a strategy that is prohibited by rule, they would be doing this.

I’ll explain more if that’s not clear, but this is getting long.