VRC Spin Up Game Manual Updates

This thread will be used to publish updates to the VRC Spin Up Game Manual.

Please start a separate thread in this forum for unofficial discussion of any of these changes. For any official questions, please post in the official VRC Spin Up Q&A. (Or if applicable, VEX U Q&A)

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On June 14th, 2022, Version 0.2 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Updated links for the Code of Conduct and Student-Centered Policy.

  2. Updated the weight in the definition of Disc, to match Appendix A (± 20 grams).

  3. Updated VUR7 to include spacers, standoffs and bushings.

Examples include (but are not limited to) screws, nuts, washers, rivets, hinges, pins, rod ends, threaded rods, hose clamps, bushings, spacers, or standoffs.

  1. Minor typo fixes.

The next manual update, Version 1.0, will occur on June 28th, 2022.

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On June 28th, 2022, Version 1.0 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Updated the Red Box of G3 to include Robot Rules

This rule also applies to Robot rules. If a component’s legality cannot be easily / intuitively discerned by the Robot rules as written, then Teams should expect additional scrutiny during inspection. This especially applies to those rules which govern non-VEX components (e.g. R9, R10, R11, etc). There is a difference between “creativity” and “lawyering”.

  1. Updated G15 to clarify that there are no penalties for Traps which begin during the Endgame

  2. Added SG5d to clarify that there are no vertical expansion limits during the Endgame

  3. Added SG5e, stating that Robots may not contact the High Goal, Scored Discs in the High Goal, or any High Goal supporting structures

Robots may not contact the High Goal, Discs which are Scored in the High Goal, or the horizontal supporting structures directly underneath the High Goal. This rule applies at all times, regardless of Alliance / High Goal color.

  1. Updated R3b to state that Robots must be inspected in the same configuration in which they will play Matches

All possible functional Robot configurations must be inspected before being used in competition. This especially pertains to modular or swappable mechanisms (per ) and Match starting
configurations / sizes (per R5).

  1. Updated R3e to provide clarity for Head Referees

If a Robot has passed inspection, but is later confirmed to be in Violation of a Robot rule during a Match by a Head Referee, they will be Disqualified from that Match. This is the only Match that will be affected; any prior Matches that have already been completed will not be revisited. R3d will apply until the Violation is remedied and the Team is re-inspected.

  1. Added R4d regarding safety risks towards humans

  2. Added a red box to R4 regarding Entanglement risks

Per G12d, it is expected that some Entanglement or incidental damage may occur during the Endgame. Therefore, it will be at the inspector’s discretion whether any mechanisms designed solely for use during the Endgame violate any portion of R4.
In general, if the mechanism in question does not pose a risk of Entanglement or damage during the rest of the Match (e.g., it is demonstrably confined to an intentional expansion during the Endgame), then it will not be considered a violation of R4a, R4b, or R4c. This can be considered a “necessary” risk, in the context of R4 / G12.
However, this interpretation does not extend to rule R4d. Any mechanism or component which is deemed to pose an unecessary / egregious safety risk may still be considered in violation of R4, S1, and / or G1 at the Head Referee’s discretion.

  1. Updated R6b, R6c and R6d to clarify V5 Workcell and Cortex legality

  2. Updated R7 to provide more detail regarding legal pneumatics

Pneumatic components with identical SMC manufacturer part numbers to those listed on the VEX website. For more detail regarding legal pneumatic components, see the Legal VEX Pneumatics Summary document: https://link.vex.com/docs/2022-2023/vrc-spin-up/LegalPneumatics

  1. Added two bullets to R9 to clarify intent

R9f - The PET Sheet Variety Pack (276-8340), sold by VEX, is considered “plastic” in the context of this rule, and is subject to the same limitations as “off-the-shelf” plastic sheets.
R9g - This rule does not apply to 3D printed plastic parts. 3D printed parts are not permitted in the VEX Robotics Competition, except as non-functional decorations (per R12) or as custom License Plates (per R24).

  1. Updated R11 to clarify intent of legal fasteners

Robots may use the following commercially available hardware:
a. #4, #6, #8, M3, M3.5, or M4 screws up to 2.5” (63.5mm) long (nominal) made of steel or stainless steel.
b. Shoulder screws cannot have a shoulder length over 0.20” and a diameter over 0.176”
c. Any commercially available nut, washer, standoff, and / or non-threaded spacer up to 2.5” (63.5mm) long which fits these screws.

  1. Updated R13 to clarify intent

Additional VEX components released during the competition season on www.vexrobotics.com are considered legal for use unless otherwise noted.

  1. Added a Red Box to T8 to provide clarity for Head Referees

In most cases, this rule does not come into play. However, Head Referees are encouraged during Elimination Matches to ask the red Alliance if they intend / expect to invoke this rule. If so, it is highly recommended that the Head Referee asks the blue Alliance to “confirm” their final placement before the red Alliance places their Robots on the field. This will help to mitigate excessive back-and-forth repositioning.

  1. Added a new figure to T18 to provide clarity for Head Referees and Event Partners

  2. Updated RSC2 to allow Match Load Discs in Programming Skills Matches

  3. Added a note to VUR1 to state that SG4 and SG5 apply to both Robots

  4. Minor typo fixes

The next manual update, Version 2.0, will occur on August 2nd, 2022.

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On July 19th, 2022, Version 1.1 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual (an unscheduled update) was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Added a new line to the red box of R11 stating that all mentioned specific dimensions are intended to be nominal references.

  2. Updated Appendix A to include Permitted Field Modifications

The next manual update, Version 2.0, will occur on August 2nd, 2022.

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On August 2nd, 2022 Version 2.0 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Added a note to SG9 stating that most instances of a single Disc exiting the field are incidental, and should not be considered a Major Violation.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule should be rare; a single Disc exiting the field is almost always accidental / incidental.

  1. Updated R15a to include “unless otherwise noted in R6c”

  2. Updated R20 clarify intent of legal motor modifications.

c. Teams may make the following modifications to the V5 Smart Motor’s user-serviceable features. This list is all-inclusive; no other modifications are permitted.
i. Removing or replacing the gear cartridge with other official cartridges.
ii. Removing or replacing the screws from the V5 Smart Motor Cap (276-6780).
iii. Removing or replacing the threaded mounting inserts (276-6781).
iv. Aesthetic / non-functional labeling (e.g. markers, stickers, etc).
d. For the purposes of this rule, the gear cartridges found within the V5 Smart Motor are considered ““part of the motor””. Therefore, any physical or functional modifications to official gear cartridges is not permitted.
e. For the purposes of this rule, the V5 Smart Motor Cap is not considered ““part of the motor””. Therefore, R22 applies.

  1. Updated the verbiage of T24, and added a new bullet stating that replacing opaque field walls with transparent walls is prohibited.

  2. Updated Appendix A with a Permitted Field Modification to address Low Goal Barriers moving.

  3. Added rules for Live Remote Skills to Appendix B.

  4. Updated VUR9 clarify intent of legal motor modifications.

a. Part “d” of rule R20 does not apply. Teams may modify or make their own gear cartridges for the V5 Smart Motor, provided that no other rules are violated. No other modifications to V5 Smart Motors are permitted, other than those listed in part “c” of R20.

The next manual update, Version 2.1, will occur on October 4, 2022.

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On October 4th, 2022 Version 2.1 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Updated SG5 to include Robots momentarily driving over a Disc

  2. Updated SG9b to provide clarity for Discs that exit the field through the bottom of the Net

Occasionally, a Disc launched at a High Goal may exit the field by slipping through the bottom of the Net. When this happens, it should be returned to the Low Goal, since this would be considered the “location nearest the point at which it exited”. See this Q&A for more information.

  1. Updated R20c to provide clarity

Teams may make the following modifications to the V5 Smart Motor’s user-serviceable features. This list is all-inclusive; no other modifications are permitted. Where applicable, the components listed below (in the specific applications listed below) are permissible exceptions to R11.

  1. Updated Appendix B to include Robot Skills Challenge Rankings for League Events

  2. Updated RSC3 to clarify that all Goals are considered to belong to the same “neutral” Alliance in Robot Skills Matches

All Goals are considered to belong to the same “neutral” Alliance as the Team.

[red box]
For example, if a Robot is contacting a Disc in any Goal, it would be considered in contact with a Robot of the same color Alliance as the Goal, and not be considered Scored, per SC2 and SC3.

  1. Added a new rule, RSC7, to clarify the Endgame in Robot Skills Matches

In Robot Skills Matches, the Endgame period may begin early without penalty if a Robot violates SG4 or SG5 prior to the last 10 seconds of the Match (i.e. if they expand beyond the standard allowable limits, either intentionally or unintentionally).

[red box]
If a Team intends to finish the Robot Skills Match early and record a Skills Stop Time, they should still inform the scorekeeper referee prior to the Match per the guidelines in the Skills Stop Time section below. However, in lieu of a “stop the timer” signal, the Drive Team Member may instead provide a “begin the Endgame” signal, the scorekeeper referee will begin a 10-second countdown in sync with the field timer, and then end the Match early.
The Skills Stop Time will still be recorded as the time when the Match comes to an end, not the time when the Endgame began.
Note that this rule also applies even if the expansion occurs unintentionally (e.g. accidental early deployment of an Endgame mechanism). In this scenario, the referee will verbally inform the Team that the Endgame has started, begin the 10-second countdown, and record the Skills Stop Time accordingly.
The Endgame period must still be 10 seconds long, i.e. a Team cannot decide to immediately stop the Match without an Endgame period (or with a “retroactive” Endgame period) if an accidental expansion occurs without informing the scorekeeper referee.

  1. Updated VUG7a to clarify VEX U Student eligibility

All VEX U Team members MUST be matriculated in a post-secondary school OR have earned a post-secondary education diploma, certificate, or other equivalent during the six (6) months preceding the VEX Robotics World Championship. The intent of this rule is to permit students graduating mid-year to still be able to finish their competition season.

  1. Added new notes and bullet points to rules VUR9, VUR10, and VUR12 to provide clarity

VUR9 - Commercially available pneumatic actuators and pneumatic solenoids are permitted within the guidelines of VUR12

VUR10 - Pneumatic solenoids are the only types of solenoids that are permitted as Additional Electronics. Solenoids used for any purpose other than opening and closing a pneumatic valve are considered an actuator and therefore prohibited, per VUR9.

VUR12 - If commercially available 12V solenoids are used, these are considered Additional Electronics and must therefore satisfy all conditions listed in VUR10. 12V solenoids may be either powered by an additional power source (per VUR10c), or by a 5V-12V step-up converter from the V5 Robot Brain. If an external power source (or other Additional Electronic device) is used to interface with the solenoid, Teams MUST be able to demonstrate that there is no way for the solenoid to receive power while the Robot is receiving a Disabled state from the field controller.

  1. Minor typo fixes

The next manual update, Version 2.2, will occur on December 6th, 2022.

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On November 1st, 2022, Version 2.2 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual (an unscheduled manual update) was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Updated the definition of Disqualification to include Robot Skills Matches

A Team that receives a Disqualification in a Driving Skills Match or Programming Skills Match receives a score of zero (0) for that Robot Skills Match.

  1. Updated S2 to state that Teams will receive a Disqualification for coming in contact with anything outside of the field during the Endgame or due to an early expansion

If a Robot comes in contact with anything outside of the field during the Endgame period or due to
an early expansion, including the floor or the outside face of the Field Perimeter, it will automatically
receive a Disqualification for that Match.

Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times, including during the Endgame or
an early expansion. Interactions that cause expansions to leave the playing field and which result in a Disqualification are not protected by rule G14; G1 will still apply.

  1. Updated rule SG2 to clarify Preload rules

Prior to the start of each Match, each Preload must be placed such
that it is:
a. Contacting no more than one Robot.
b. Fully within the field perimeter.
c. Not in any position that would be considered Scored (such as Disc I in Figure 15).
d. In the vertical projection of at least one (1) of the gray foam tiles adjacent to the field perimeter
that are between a pair of Starting Lines on their Alliance’s side of the Autonomous Line. See
Figure 19
e. Not contacting any other gray foam field tiles.
f. Not contacting any Discs other than the Preloads.

  1. Updated rules SG4 and SG7 to state that a Robot in Violation of the rule and that cannot rectify the situation will not receive points for tiles Covered in the Endgame

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.
There are no horizontal expansion limits during the Endgame. However, any Robot that comes in
contact with anything outside of the field during the Endgame period or due to an early expansion,
including the floor or the outside face of the Field Perimeter, will automatically receive a Disqualification for that Match under rule S2.

  1. Updated rule SG7 to state that a Robot that is in possession of too many Discs and can’t rectify the Violation will not receive points for tiles Covered in the Endgame

A Robot that is in Violation of rule SG7 and cannot rectify the Violation cannot participate in further gameplay and will not receive points for tiles Covered in the Endgame.

  1. Updated R7e to clarify the minimum and maximum dimensions of string

An unlimited amount of rope / string, with a thickness / diameter between 1/8” (3.175mm) and 1/4”
(6.35mm).

  1. Added a red box to R7 to provide clarity

If string is used as part of an Endgame expansion mechanism, we strongly recommend Teams use a string color that matches their Alliance for the current Match, or a highly visible string that is periodically marked with their current Alliance color. Teams that choose not to do this make Match scoring difficult for referees and scorekeepers, and open the possibility that Covered tiles may be missed or incorrectly scored.

  1. Updated R17 to clarify intent

A Robot’s pneumatic sub-system must satisfy the following criteria:
a. Teams may use a maximum of two (2) legal VEX pneumatic air reservoirs on a Robot.
b. Pneumatic devices may be charged to a maximum of 100 psi.
c. The compressed air contained inside a pneumatic sub-system can only be used to actuate legal
pneumatic devices (e.g., cylinders).

The intent of R17a and R17b is to limit Robots to the air pressure stored in two reservoir tanks, as well as the normal working air pressure contained in their pneumatic cylinders and tubing on the Robot. Teams may not use other elements for the purposes of storing or generating air pressure. Using cylinders or additional pneumatic tubing solely for additional storage is in Violation of the spirit of this rule.

The intent of R17c is to ensure that pneumatics are being used safely. Pressurized systems, such as a Robot’s pneumatic sub-system, have the potential to be dangerous if used incorrectly. This rule ensures the safety of participants, and prevents potentially unsafe uses in the future.

Another way of thinking of R17c is that pneumatics should only be used with pneumatics. Teams should not use compressed air as a means of actuating non-pneumatic devices such as screws, nuts, etc. For example, pulling a pin with a pneumatic cylinder is okay, but using air to actuate the pin itself is not.

  1. Updated the Red Box in RSC3 to provide clarity

For example, if a Robot is contacting a Disc in either High Goal, it would be considered in contact with a Robot of the same color Alliance as the Goal, and not be considered Scored, per SC2 and SC3.

The next manual update, Version 2.3, will occur on December 6th, 2022.

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On December 6th, 2022, Version 2.3 of the VRC Spin Up Game Manual was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Expanded the note in rule G15 to provide clarity

Note: There is no penalty for Traps which begin during the Endgame, but G15a and G15b
apply to all Traps that begin before the final ten (10) seconds of the Match. If a Robot initiates
a Trap before the Endgame and does not separate for at least two (2) feet and five (5) seconds
before resuming the Trap, the count will resume as described in G15b.

  1. Updated R7e to provide clarity

An unlimited amount of non-elastic rope / string, with a thickness / diameter between 1/8”
(imperial standard) / 3mm (metric standard) and 1/4” (6.35mm). String must measure at least 1/8”
/ 3mm in diameter at its narrowest point while on the Robot under no load.

  1. Updated rule R7j to remove the required width for zip ties

Zip ties that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX V5 product line (4”
or 11” long).

  1. Added two additional examples of permitted field modifications to Appendix A

  2. Updated the description of the Robot Skills Challenge in Appendix B to include that all Rollers start with the blue side up

  3. Minor typo fixes

The next manual update, Version 3.0, will occur on January 31st, 2023.

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