Friday, October 16, 2009

What's This About Field Damage?

Here's the Q and A from FIRST's webpage:
Under Rule 27, the referee is supposed to restore the field to the condition it was in right before the damage. That would (unrealistically) include the robot. Unlike other objects in the field, the robot often continues moving, and may even make new changes before the referee gets to the scene. So these rulings are needed, mostly for referees:---If the robot damages an access marker while driving over it or getting stuck on it, the team must immediately interrupt the robot, bring it to Base, and lose an upright beacon, if there is one available at that time. Any changes made by the robot after the damage will also be "undone."

---If the robot damages an access marker and either backs or turns successfully away from it, the referee will decide if the damage was obviously intentional.

*If the damage was obviously intentional, the robot will be interrupted as described above.
*If the damage had any chance of being accidental, or due to a poor Dual Lock connection, the ref will simply fix the damage, and the robot will not be interrupted.

---Loops and yellow guide walls are known to be fragile, and damage to these will always draw a "benefit of the doubt" call (robot won't be interrupted unless the team wants it). BUT...Don't count on them breaking - tournament organizers have permission to glue them.---I'm officially not worried about the remaining models.

The Inventioneers: The moral of this story is - try to avoid field damage at all costs! Remember, your robot may not act the same way at a tournament as it does during practice at team meetings so if your robot's movements sometimes knock over an access marker, Murphy's Law may come into play when it's tournament time. So don't damage the field on purpose, especially the access markers, because this will cause the referees to take away the points that were scored after the damage and you will be forced to call a retrieval and a warning beacon will be removed (if there are any upright at the time) - a ten point retrieval penalty!