Varying SG8d Interpretations

Rule SG8d reads as follows:

Match Load Rings must be gently placed directly onto the foam tile. “Throwing”, “rolling”, or otherwise imparting energy upon the Rings such that they leave the intended tile, or violate one of the other points in this rule, is not permitted.

Our strategy heavily relies on match loads as our conveyor belt is very picky about how it picks up the rings.

This video show our conveyor scoring match loads if anyone is curious.

Also, since the video was taken, we have changed the scoring area so the match loads no longer have a chance to touch the robot while they are being placed, and the moment doesn’t carry the rings into the stop.

Since the high speed at which our conveyor operates, we need to quickly score our match loads. Sometimes this leads to the match loads sliding 1-2 cm after we set them down before quickly coming to a rest.

Yesterday at a tournament, the head ref told us we were violating rule SG8d. He said that we were setting the rings down gently, but we were imparting energy upon the rings. However, the rings never leave the intended tile or come in contact with our robot. When I pointed this out, he said is decision was final and if we scored any mores that way we would be DQed.

None of the other events we have been to all season have had any problems with this, and the head ref from this tournament will be a ref at state. Does anyone have any addition rules I could bring up or other ways to deal with this?


SG8a says that rings must be placed down gently and SG8d states that they must be placed in a way that you are not allowed to impart energy onto them in a way that leaves the tile. These are the 2 rules that I believe you are arguing about with a referee. The thing is that gently is not very descriptive, so it is up to head ref interpretation. Me and most refs I know would probably not call you on this, but I also don’t think it is too harsh of the head ref to ask for them to be placed down nicely. Of course I am not there so I don’t know exactly how you are placing, but if you feel the head referee is being biased go talk to the EP. Other than that it just seems like you have a harder ref who wants you to be using match loads much more gently.


Let’s remember G3. Use common sense. SG8d says
“Match Load Rings must be gently placed directly onto the foam tile. “Throwing”, “rolling”, or otherwise imparting energy upon the Rings such that they leave the intended tile, or violate one of the other points in this rule, is not permitted.”

A common sense interpretation of this rule clearly would be that you are not violating it. The rule does not prohibit imparting energy upon the rings, it prohibits imparting it in a way “such that they leave the intended tile, or violate one of the other points in this rule” which you are not doing. It does not leave the tile and it does not contact the robot and drive team member at the same time so it is not a violation. If the head ref calls you for this again kindly remind him of G3 use common sense and make sure you show him SG8d and the emphasis on how the energy must cause the rings to leave the tile. If he continues to call you for this speak to the EP. Also an official Q&A on this would not only be a good idea but would also give you a guaranteed interpretation to show the ref should he attempt to call you for this again. It would also help anyone else having a similar issue and get you an official answer so I would recommend putting this question in the Q&A.


I watched the video a few times and did not see the rings rocking or sliding on the tiles. Maybe its more prominent during a match. Now < SG8 > d in my opinion is very clear. Only if it leaves the field tile or violates another rule due to its energy when it is placed then there would be a violation. Writing it in this way made me think that writing it as a if statement would highlight the different components.

//SG8 d
if ((KE > x ) && (violateOtherRule == true || leavesFeildTile = true) ) {
violationOfSG8d = true;
} else {
violationOfSG8d = false;

Now as Milo pointed out SG8a applies to SG8d

If we write it in a code block we can see that SG8d is dependent on SG8a.

if (KE > x ) { 
violationOfSG8a = true;
} else {
violationOfSG8a = false;
Pointless arguing if you want to

Get into the the physics of it. Start talking about how you can’t be putting energy into the system because you are lowing the rings down and removing PE from the system. Just start talking about the physics of it. Don’t think it would change anything but I think it would be funny if you tried.

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I think a key phrase here is:

such that they leave the intended tile

when quickly placing match loads, I think it should be expected that they might slide around an inch or so, or wobble or move in some other way after being placed. However, if a referee decides to take the very literal stance that the rings cannot move at all after being placed, there is very little you could do to change their mind. You could perhaps ask a q&a on it, but I wouldn’t count on it being answered in time for states, which I’m assuming is in just a few weeks for you, since most states events are starting to happen now.


We are planning to ask in the q and a, but it is unlikely that the GDC will answer before state this Saturday.

Wish the GDC would stay true to the Q and A guidelines:

Most questions submitted by Wednesday evening will be answered on or before Friday of the same week. Most questions that are submitted on Thursday or Friday will be answered on or before Friday of the following week.


It’s unfortunate that this is true, especially considering that the GDC still claims that most questions asked before Thursday of a given week will be answered by the end of that week.


Can I presume that the match load is not literally placed on the tiles?
It feels like the match load is released from a certain height and therefore the sliding motion ?

If this is the case, then the referee is not exactly wrong to interpret this as throwing,

Even if he did interpret it as throwing it wouldn’t be illegal as long as it doesn’t leave the intended field tile. SG8d says specifically “such that they leave the intended tile” so if I’m interpreting it correctly throwing it would be legal as long as it’s just a light toss onto the tile such that it doesn’t leave the tile.

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As seen in the video, it is more you let go of it and and it’s moment caries it forward a bit.

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The video tells the tale. Most of the rings placed in you video violate SG8c, as the the ring is in contact with the robot and the person placing it. Those that were not in violation of SG8c were violating SG8d, as the person placing them imparted enough energy that the ring contacted the robot, which violates SG3c.

Call is valid. You cannot push rings onto a stop on your bot so they are in perfect position for pick up. You need to drive the stop up to the ring to achieve that position.

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We fixed that issue since the video was taken. The rings no longer touch the bot until the hook catches it.

This rule is actually more than just about whether the ring leaves the tile or not.

The intent of this rule is really to prevent teams from “feeding” the robots with the match load directly - and hence that part about “imparting energy”.

So if the ring is sliding towards the robot and touch the intake because of this action, then it is definitely imparting of energy to the ring.

So if you look at the actual phrasing of the rule:

or violate one of the other points in this rule, is not permitted.

I have emphasized the crucial part. For this case, it looks like it is violating part (c) of the rule.

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You will need to convince the referee that the sliding of the rings stopped exactly just before they touch the hook.

And honestly, how consistent is this sliding? i.e. will there be occasion that the ring might slight a bit more and touches the hook?

Edit: it is not uncommon to see robots moving forward and backward just to intake the match load. And I can imagine the reason for teams in doing this is just to prevent violating this rule.

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Wow, hidden text within hidden text. Thanks for enlightening me on my error by quoting something double hidden.

It would be difficult for a ref to see that nuance during match play. It might be you want to make a device to deliver the rings that always leaves them short of the stop and demonstrate what is happening inside your bot. The ref is unlikely to be able to get a clear view into what you are doing when you reach within the volume of your bot and also watch the rest of the match.

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How would it be violating part c? SG8c states “Match load Rings may not be placed such that they are contacting a robot while still in contact with a drive team member”. There is no part of this point that relates as the ring is not touching a robot and drive team member at the same time. The energy does not make it leave the tile, and it does not violate any other points as it isn’t touching both the robot and drive team member at the same time.

true - you are not wrong to say that technically it is not violating this rule.

but what your interpretation will leads to is that it is perfectly fine for teams to throw (or toss) the rings directly into the intake?

This tossing of the game elements directly into the intake or robots happened in some previous seasons. And hence the rationale of this rule.

Technically there is no rule against doing so as long as when doing so you slide it gently along the field tile and dont throw it in the air to the robot, and if you do so it can only touch one field tile. Of course all of this would be up to the head referees interpretation but this is at least my understanding of the rule.

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Actually I just looked through all the past seasons games that involved match loads.

And obviously this season’s phrasing is different from previous seasons. No surprise over here - different game, different context.

And looking at the current phrasing, I have to agree that it is worth an official Q&A.

Many of us are aware that the intent of this rule is to prevent “feeding”. But it is not stated in the game manual and if going by the phrasing, it is hard to argue that there is a violation.