Toss Up Game Rules - Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

Toss Up Game Rules
EP Summit, July 2013
Presented by Dan Larochelle
Workshop Goals
Watch Toss Up Video
Review Toss Up rules
Indentify grey areas for EPs
Answers questions
Toss Up Game Video
Alliance Robot Interaction Spots
• The colored (red or blue) X’s from which a Driver
or Coach may interact with the Robot.
• Drivers/Coaches should not linger at
these spots when interaction is not
taking place. During the Autonomous
period this is fine, however you
should be much more strict during the
Driver Controlled Mode, since there is
very little reason for teams to be there
unless they have a nonfunctioning
• A penalty applied to a team for a rules violation. A
team who is Disabled in a Match, is no longer
allowed to operate their robot, and will be asked to
place their controller on the ground.
• To disable a team, ask them to gently place their VEXnet Joystick on
the ground. The software is unable to disable Robots.
• <SG6> is the only rule which calls for a disablement
• 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.
• A Robot cannot by definition be Pinned in the open field
• Contact is not required for Pinning to take place - 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.
• Robots that are restricted to an area smaller than 2’x2’, and do not
have enough room to get out are considered trapped
• A Robot is considered to be Possessing a
BuckyBall if it is actively controlling the BuckyBall.
Examples of Possessing include:
• Carrying or holding BuckyBall(s) in the Robot
• Herding BuckyBalls, i.e. intentionally pushing or impelling
BuckyBall(s) to a desired location or path
• Trapping BuckyBall(s), i.e. intentionally pressing BuckyBall(s)
up against a field object
• The distinction between intentional and accidental herding is very
important. Accidental herding will happen often during Matches, and
should not be punished.
• The one (1) BuckyBall each team must place on
the field such that it is touching their Robot and/or
their Alliance Starting Tile prior to each Match.
• There are no Driver Control Loads this year. All Preloads must be
entered before the Match
• If a team does not wish to use their Preload in their Robot, it must be
placed on the Alliance Starting Tile
• A Scoring Object is Scored in a Zone if it meets
the following criteria:
1. A Scoring Object is touching a Zone
a. A BuckyBall Scored in two Zones will only count for the Goal Zone
b. A Large Ball Scored in two Zones will count for the Zone that the
majority of the Large Ball is in
2. The Scoring Object is not Stashed
• The definition of Scored requires the Scoring Object to be touching the Zone,
therefore touching the foam tile
• Robots touching a Scoring Object does not affect the determination of Scored
• If a Large Ball is wedged under the Barrier such that it ends up touching both
the Middle and Goal Zone, use your judgement to determine which Zone the
majority of the Large Ball is in
• A Scoring Object is Stashed in a Goal if some part
of the Scoring Object is within the two dimensional
space defined by the outer edges of the Goal, and
not being touched or Supported by a Robot of the
same color as the Scoring Object.
• A goal extends infinitely perpendicular to the playing field surface
within the goal boundaries.
• Unlike the definition of Scored, Scoring Objects Supported by a Robot
of the same Color as the Scoring Object do not count as Stashed.
• If at any time the robot operation or team actions are
deemed unsafe or have damaged the playing field, foam
field surface, game objects or barriers, by the
determination of the referees, the offending team may be
disqualified. The robot will require re-inspection before it
may again take the field.
• This rule is up to the discretion of the Head Referee. If the Head
Referee feels that a Robot is damaging the playing field, the team
should not be allowed to compete until this is no longer an issue. If a
team damages the field during a match, they should be warned and
asked to speak to the Lead Inspector. If this same team damages the
field in the same manner in a later match they should then be
S1 (continued)
• An example of an unsafe action which could take place in VEX Toss
Up, is the high speed launching of Scoring Objects. If Scoring Objects
are being launched at a speed that the Head Referee feels is
“dangerous”, the team should be disqualified, especially if they’re
exiting the field such that they could injure unsuspecting spectators,
volunteers or team members.
• Another example is the high speed launching of grappling hooks
towards the Hanging Bar. If you feel that a grappling hook could leave
the field and contact someone nearby the field, do not allow its use!
• All team members, including coaches, must wear
safety glasses or glasses with side shields
while in the pit or alliance stations during matches.
While in the pit area it is highly recommended that
all team members wear safety glasses.
• Safety Glasses must be strictly enforced this year due to the dynamic
game play of Toss Up
• Referees must catch this before the match starts.
• This is not a DQ if brought to the attention of the refs after the match.
General Game Rules
• At the beginning of a Match, each Robot must be smaller
than a volume of 18 inches wide by 18 inches long by 18
inches tall. An offending Robot will be removed from the
match at the Head Referee’s discretion.
• Many Robots will expand past the 18” limit after the start of the match.
Often teams will place their Robot on the field not in their starting
configuration, and outside of the 18” restriction. If this occurs, ask the
team to re-orient their Robot such that it would fit in an 18” cube. If they
cannot do so in a timely manner, you will have to ask them to take their
robot off the field and start the match without them.
• It is handy to have a sizing tool and/or measuring device by the field to
quickly verify if a Robot is within the 18” starting cube
• During the qualification rounds, the red Alliance has the
right to place their Robots on the field last. During the
elimination rounds, the higher seeded Alliance has the right
to place their Robots on the field last. Once a team has
placed their Robot on the field, its position cannot be
readjusted prior to the match. Robots must be placed on
the field promptly. Teams who violate this rule will have
their robots randomly repositioned by the referees.
• For the most part, teams aren’t too concerned about who places last,
but if a team is particular about the issue you will have to invoke this
• Drivers and Coaches are prohibited from making
intentional contact with any Scoring Object, Field Element
or Robots during a Match, with the exception of the contact
specified in <SG4>, <SG5> and <SG6>. Any intentional
contact will result in a Disqualification. Accidental contact
will not be penalized, unless the contact directly impacts
the final score of the match. This type of accidental contact
will result in a Disqualification
• The key part of this rule is the differentiation between accidental
contact and intentional contact.
– Examples of intentional contact include: A Driver picking up a Robot during the
match, outside of the permissions of <SG4> and SG5>
– Example of accidental contact impacting the final score include: A Coach pointing
at the field and accidentally knocking over his opponent’s Robot.
• Scoring Objects that leave the playing field will be promptly returned to
the playing field in the same Zone as the Robot that ejected the
Scoring Object. Teams may not intentionally remove Scoring Objects
from the scoring field, while not in the process of Stashing or removing
Stashed Scoring Objects. Violations of this rule will result in a warning
for minor offenses which do not affect the match. Egregious (match
affecting) offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams who receive
multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the head
referee's discretion.
• Scoring Objects will never be returned to the playing field in a Stashed
• If a Scoring Object leaves the field, place it back in the same Zone as
the Robot that removed it from the field.
• Scores will be calculated for all matches immediately after
the match once all objects on the field come to rest.
• If a Robot is in the process of dropping a Scoring Object into a goal
and lets go of the Scoring Object before the match ends, but the
Scoring Object becomes scored after the end of the match, the Scoring
Object will still count as being Scored. It would be infeasible to have
the referees make split second rulings as to the state of the match at
the 0:00 mark.
• Robots may not intentionally detach parts during any
match, or leave mechanisms on the field. If a detached
component or mechanism affects game play the team may
be disqualified at the referees discretion. Multiple
intentional infractions may result in disqualification for the
entire competition.
• If an object remains connected to the Robot by a slim margin (i.e. a
chain of zipties, or a PWM cable) it is still considered to be attached
• Do not penalize teams for accidently dropping parts on the field. (i.e. a
nut falling off the robot)
• 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 Toss Up 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…
… All teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots. This goes
for teams who are driving recklessly and potentially causing damage,
but also goes for teams who drive around with a small wheel base and
arm extended. Teams should design their Robots such that they are
not easily tipped over or damaged by minor contact.
G11 continued
• This is another case where the Head Referee will have to exercise his
or her discretion. Some examples of behavior that violates <G11> are:
– Intentionally grasping of an opponent Robot.
– Pushing high on a Robot causing them to tip over.
• For entanglement to be considered intentional, it should be clear that
the offending team attempted to entangle their opponent. Examples
– Reaching into an opponent Robot and deploying a mechanism that is
likely to get stuck.
– Intentionally grasping an opponent Robot
• Teams who accidentally entangle an opponent should be warned after
the match, and re-inspected for compliance with <R3c>
G11 continued
• If there is ever a judgement call between a team who is trying to score,
and a team who is trying to play defense, the tie-breaker should always
be to rule in favor of the offensive team. However, offensive teams who
are trying to intentionally lure their opponent into penalties should not
be rewarded
• Robots which expand in an effort to obstruct/block the field are no
longer protected by <G11> or <SG3>. Basically, as soon as you
expand and start obstructing the field, teams are allowed to do
whatever they want to get through the obstruction. However, this is not
a carte blanche for teams to recklessly damage Robots, this exception
was created to give teams the leeway to ram or push their way through
Robots who have expanded to block the field.
• Ramming Large Balls under the barrier with intentions to lodge the
balls under the barrier – potential to damage field and large balls.
• Replays are at the discretion of the event partner and head
referee, and will only be issued in the most extreme
• The most likely reason for a replay is due to a field error that interferes
with a Robot
tape lines coming up and getting caught in a Robot, Goal being tipped over, etc.
• A refereeing error
– A miscounted score that cannot be verified, etc.
Game Specific Rules
• At the beginning of each Match, each Robot must be
placed such that it is touching one of their colored Alliance
Starting Tiles, not touching any Scoring Object other than
those permitted by <SG2> and not touching any other
foam field tiles or the Bump. No more than one Robot may
start the match on any one Alliance Starting Tile.
• A Robot must only touch their Alliance Starting Tile and no other tiles;
they also may not touch the Bump. However, they are allowed to break
the plane of other tiles.
• A Robot cannot Pin or Trap an opposing Robot for more
than five seconds during the Driver Controlled Period ...
• The offending Robot will be Disqualified for the match
• There is no penalty for Pinning during the Autonomous Period.
• If a Robot is unable to move away by 2 feet due to obstacles being in
the way, this is alright as long they’re give the team enough room to
escape the pin or trap.
• Pinning should only be called if it is intentional. For example if a Robot
is trying to score in a Goal and a Robot is guarding the Goal, the
scoring robot should not be called for Pinning the defending Robot.
Common sense applies here, as per usual.
• During the Autonomous Period, Drivers and Coaches may
handle their own Robot while the Robot is in contact with
their own Alliance Starting Tile …
• This rule was implemented for two reasons:
– Allow teams to fix Robots that were unable to move
– Allow teams to run and activate multiple autonomous modes
• Aiming and repositioning of Robots is okay, but manipulating the Robot
by moving arms or opening grippers is not okay
• You may only interact with the Robot if it’s touching the starting tile and
not touching any other tiles. However, if the Robot is touching the
starting tile AND a grey foam tile, you’re only allowed to bring it into the
alliance starting tile into a legal position for interaction.
• After interaction, the Robot must be left in a legal position for
• During the Driver Controlled Period, Drivers and Coaches
may handle their own Robot as long as the robot has never
left the Alliance Starting Tile.
• Once a Robot leaves the alliance starting tile, it cannot be handled by
a Driver or Coach
• This rule is solely for fixing Robots which could not move at the start of
the match, any other type of handling during Driver Control is
• Do not let Drivers or Coaches go to the Alliance Robot Interaction Spot
during the Driver Control Mode unless their robot is already in place
and is eligible for legal <SG5> interaction
• Once there is less than thirty (0:30) seconds remaining in
the match, Robots may not touch an opposing Robot that
is touching their own Hanging Bar or Hanging Structure.
Additionally, Robots may not touch the opposing Alliance’s
Hanging Bar or Hanging Structure during this time period.
Violations of this rule will result in a warning for minor
offenses which do not affect the match. Egregious (match
affecting) offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams
that receive multiple warnings may also receive a
Disqualification at the head referee's discretion.
• If a team accidentally violates this rule and does not interfere with an
opponent’s attempt to Hang, warn the team. The intent was this rule is
not to punish teams who accidentally touch the Hanging Structure
• Robots may not Possess more than three (3) BuckyBalls at
once. Violations of this rule will result in a warning for
minor offenses which do not affect the match. Egregious
(match affecting) offenses will result in a Disqualification.
Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a
Disqualification at the head referee's discretion.
• The intent of this rule is to punish teams for intentionally employing
strategies to carry and/or control more than three BuckyBalls. We
understand that teams will sometimes accidentally contact a 4th
BuckyBall while traversing the field. This should not be a penalty. On
the other hand, teams should design their robots knowing that
BuckyBalls made land on/in them. If a team has a giant bucket on their
Robot and a BuckyBall lands in it, they need to be able to immediately
eject it, or will be declared in violation of <SG8>
Additional Resources
• Official VRC Toss Up Q&A forum
• VRC Toss Up Wiki
• Toss Up Manual App for iPhone and Android

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