Unofficial answer to Pushing opposing robot onto cones and disabling SG15 and SG4

Let’s take a look at the rules:

<SG4> A Robot may not Pin or Trap an opposing Robot for more than five seconds during the Driver Controlled Period . ## A Pin or Trap is officially over once the Pinning Robot has moved away and the Robots are separated by at least 2 feet (approximately one (1) foam tile). After ending a P in or Trap ,a Robot may not Pin or Trap the same Robot again for a duration of 5 seconds; if a Team
does pin the same Robot again, the pinning count will resume from where it left off when the pinning Robot initially backed off.
Minor violations of this rule that do not affect the match will result in a warning. Match Affecting
offenses will result in a Disqualification. Team s that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion. There is no penalty for Pinning during the Autonomous Period .

<SG15> Scoring Objects cannot be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms.

We should also look at some definitions:

Pinning – A Robot is considered to be Pinning an opposing Robot if it is inhibiting the movement of an opponent Robot while the opposing Robot is in contact with the foam playing surface and another Field Element .

Trapping – A Robot is considered to be trapped if an opposing Robot has restricted it into a small, confined area of the field, approximately the size of one foam field tile or less, and has not provided an avenue for escape.

Field Element – The foam field tiles, field perimeter, Loader ,Stationary Goal , Starting Bar ,pipes that demarcate the Goal Zones ,and all supporting structures.

https://vexforum.com/t/answered-pushing-opposing-robot-onto-cones-and-disabling-sg15-and-sg4/44608/1
“Backstory/Scenario:
At a certain event, there was an instance where one of Team A’s robots pushed Team B’s robot and managed to force it on top of some cones, leaving zero drive contact and effectively disabling one of Team B’s robot for the remainder of the match.”

First, based on your description, this does not meet the definition of pinning given no field elements are involved. As for trapping, well, it is in interactive game and just because this robot was not able to get off the cones does not mean it did not have an avenue of escape. Even if this was considered trapping, once the robot has moved back 2 feet, the pinning or trapping has, be rule, ended. I am not sure a team should be penalized based on the design flaws of the opposing robot.

Those are my thoughts but let’s see what the GDC says. They may say I am nuts and the opposing team should be DQed and never allowed to compete again, or something a bit less extreme but still disagree with me.

Before I begin, I definitely appreciate different views and interpretations of this situation

In a Q&A a while back, it was stated:

It’s kind of hard to move (much less escape) when your drive is making zero contact, which is where <SG4> comes into play.

This is the part I’m uncertain about, another way to interpret this situation is that the cones are being used as a mechanism to trap the robot, which is why I mentioned <SG15>.

I completely agree, but I’m less focused on the fact that the trapped robot was susceptible to such a move but rather the legality of such a move.

What actually scares me is the implication; whether or not it is legal to basically incapacitate your opponent’s robots by forcing them onto some cones.

are there any rules against something like ramming your opponent really hard during autonomous?

Actually, there’s no penalty for pinning during autonomous

And it’s a common strategy I’ve seen some teams use.

What if you literally break the opposition?