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M12 - Satellite Orbits

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  • M12 - Satellite Orbits

    Mission Discussion Thread

  • #2
    One of the question that has come up in our coaches training this year is how are we going to handle model damage with respect to the Satellite models. In the past we have allowed some model damage (such as a decorative piece falling off) as long as it did not make completing the mission easier. This year the satellite models are quite fragile. In our discussions we have gone from the extremes of:
    Any model damage (such as an antenna falling off) invalidates the mission.
    to
    Incidental damage is ok (but where is the line?). One measure I have used in the past is: if it happens once it might be incidental damage. If it happens every time you run it is intentional damage.

    Thoughts?

    Comment


    • #3
      Incidental damage is always a judgement call. R17 specifically refers to "breaks a Mission Model". What constitutes "break" has no further definition. Can a model be damaged without breaking it? FIRST leaves this up to the referees to decide.

      All mission models are fragile, and teams know that, and they know that model damage should be avoided. So one would expect teams to use some reasonable degree of care. Obviously abusing the model should not be rewarded. The guideline is "missions made possible or easier".

      I think we should not make rulings that are based on treating these models as though they were actual satellites.There is nothing in the mission rules that give the satellite models any special "handle with care" status.
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd say that the satellite models are purposely fragile to make it just a little bit more of a challenge to complete those missions successfully.
        I always say to my refs to have a look at how the robot is transporting the model - if there is a good chance that the robot will break the model then the team won't score. If the model broke by bad luck, then give it to the team.
        For the satellite models, if the robot drops them from a height of an inch or two and they break, that looks like model damage to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by alanggreen View Post
          I'd say that the satellite models are purposely fragile to make it just a little bit more of a challenge to complete those missions successfully.
          I always say to my refs to have a look at how the robot is transporting the model - if there is a good chance that the robot will break the model then the team won't score. If the model broke by bad luck, then give it to the team.
          For the satellite models, if the robot drops them from a height of an inch or two and they break, that looks like model damage to me.
          Will there be some official guidance to referees to avoid inconsistent rulings on this mission?
          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with most of the comments.

            Incidental damage to a mission model that doesn't make it obviously easier to score is not significant. (R17) "Incidental" is a judgement call.
            This mission is fairly relaxed anyway, since the team only needs to have "any part of a Satellite" in the scoring area, and doesn't require "completely in" which is harder after model damage.
            Dropping a Satellite from a modest height that causes it to break is a delivery method that has breakage as a potential consequence that makes it easier to score, so I would not award points if the Satellite broke due to the drop.

            All that being said, if we see that the Satellites are falling apart just due to routine handling, then we're probably going to be more lenient.

            I agree, when I see borderline model damage in an early round, then I'll advise the team to be careful in delivery, "since some referees might not allow it." As a head ref, I'll follow up in later rounds if I can, but it's not always feasible to alert the next referee and to watch the round to identify repetitive behavior.

            Steve
            Last edited by scherrsj; 09-22-2018, 09:24 PM.
            Steve Scherr
            Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
            FLL Global Head Referee

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by scherrsj View Post
              Dropping a Satellite from a modest height that causes it to break is a delivery method that has breakage as a potential consequence that makes it easier to score, so I would not award points if the Satellite broke due to the drop.
              I think that's an excellent interpretation.

              Originally posted by scherrsj View Post
              All that being said, if we see that the Satellites are falling apart just due to routine handling, then we're probably going to be more lenient.
              What do you mean "if"?? At least for our fields, we've already definitively established that they fall apart if you look at them cross-eyed. We have yet to have a session where one or more of them has to be put back together.
              Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
              KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by someonewhobikes View Post
                What do you mean "if"?? At least for our fields, we've already definitively established that they fall apart if you look at them cross-eyed. We have yet to have a session where one or more of them has to be put back together.
                Besides looking at them cross-eyed, what else has the robot done to break them? Have you seen robots that can deliver them without damage? I suppose you are talking about teams you are mentoring, or are you doing scrimmages already?

                Alan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alanggreen View Post
                  Besides looking at them cross-eyed, what else has the robot done to break them? Have you seen robots that can deliver them without damage? I suppose you are talking about teams you are mentoring, or are you doing scrimmages already?
                  Alan
                  I have yet to see a robot handle them; the handling has been done either by one of the 2 teams I coach or the 2 teams we mentor that meet with us.
                  Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
                  KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    At an unofficial rumble (18 FLL teams at the same site as an annual, off-season, FRC tournament) yesterday I saw one team, in only one match, attempt to use the Satellites in Base. The team had a little U-shaped frame that just pushed the models sitting on the mat. I was shocked when they went all the way across the field, crashed into the Meteoroid catcher, and didn't have a single piece come off either satellite. Note that I had to repair 5 of 6 Satellites because they broke in transit to the tournament.

                    Because it was an unofficial tournament, and because I was training mostly rookie refs, I did something that I'm contemplating doing at our official tournaments and I'd like your thoughts. We set the Satellites on top of our plastic model carrying tubs under the table and only brought them out when a team asked for them. I figured that very few teams needed them (I was correct) and I didn't think it was going to be productive for my field resetters & refs to be constantly rebuilding them.

                    I don't think that removing them from Base significantly alters game play. They're not an effective way of forcing a team to efficiently use Base real estate; if a team's not going to use the Satellites they'll just set them on the tray next to the table or in their tub. We'll not only have to be repeatedly rebuilding the models, but at least once or twice during the day we'll have to send someone to track them down after a team wanders off with them.

                    Other than the fact that it's clearly violating the set up rules I don't see any negatives. If a team wants them (even only for appearance) they'll get them. If not, we save both the teams and the volunteers a little bit of time, every match. What am I missing?
                    Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
                    KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by someonewhobikes View Post
                      At an unofficial rumble (18 FLL teams at the same site as an annual, off-season, FRC tournament) yesterday I saw one team, in only one match, attempt to use the Satellites in Base. The team had a little U-shaped frame that just pushed the models sitting on the mat. I was shocked when they went all the way across the field, crashed into the Meteoroid catcher, and didn't have a single piece come off either satellite. Note that I had to repair 5 of 6 Satellites because they broke in transit to the tournament.

                      Because it was an unofficial tournament, and because I was training mostly rookie refs, I did something that I'm contemplating doing at our official tournaments and I'd like your thoughts. We set the Satellites on top of our plastic model carrying tubs under the table and only brought them out when a team asked for them. I figured that very few teams needed them (I was correct) and I didn't think it was going to be productive for my field resetters & refs to be constantly rebuilding them.

                      I don't think that removing them from Base significantly alters game play. They're not an effective way of forcing a team to efficiently use Base real estate; if a team's not going to use the Satellites they'll just set them on the tray next to the table or in their tub. We'll not only have to be repeatedly rebuilding the models, but at least once or twice during the day we'll have to send someone to track them down after a team wanders off with them.

                      Other than the fact that it's clearly violating the set up rules I don't see any negatives. If a team wants them (even only for appearance) they'll get them. If not, we save both the teams and the volunteers a little bit of time, every match. What am I missing?
                      I think if teams are allowed to store mission models off the field, then so can the referees.
                      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One concern that I have is teams that get midway into a match, and then ask "where's the xyz?" because they didn't think about it when they got to the table. There's a disruption and loss of time for the team in order to grab a referee-stored object.

                        Plus the Storage rule says "must stay in view of the referee." ;-)

                        I'll be at a big, chaotic tournament next weekend, so I may adjust my feelings after that...
                        Steve Scherr
                        Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
                        FLL Global Head Referee

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          At our weekly scrimmage (3-6 teams), we have given up on keeping them on the table. Nobody has used them yet, and they break ALL the time. We put them on the ref table, and teams are asked if they use them. I don't see this being practical at a big tournament, but it is a reasonable approach, and I will talk to the tournament directors about the issue.
                          MA Head Referee since 1999
                          Sharon Youth Robotics Association

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Somewhat akin to the HD water treatment model. We spent a lot of time fiddling with that linkage from the toilet to the model and teams all wanted to be sure it worked well. Coaches were anxious, etc. And in the end, any team that did a good faith "press" of the toilet lever was given the credit and the two items manually ejected if needed. Meaning, that time spent testing/tuning that one model would have been better spent training refs on other matters or other scoring items, etc.

                            I have not had IO sat models in hand much yet, but would be quite happy with this approach. At qualifiers or early event, I might have a small photo page showing both models - place that in base to remind/alert teams - that is they plan to use either of those models, to ask they be provided and hand back the photo, etc. By champ tournament time, I suspect the percentage will flip where more teams than not utilize the two models and just easiest to reset in base.


                            Sorta related, most of our tournaments do not provide any of the "loose" mission models at "practice tables". They only setup the items that are duallocked. Teams bring and are responsible for their own models in that sense.




                            Silly story, but could be related here or for other non-popular model ideas or shortcuts. I had a young team during Food Factor. I forget the exact details, but there was a model for bacteria dumper down near the east end. The team had no plans to go to that model. And so it was left in its "down" or dumped position for every meeting. Towards the end of the season, the team did find time to tackle another mission down at the east end and was doing well with it. Until. Until they got to a tournament and realized that model's true reset position was in the "up" position, which protruded into their robot's travel path. They worked around it I think, but was a lesson to always treat the field as a full tournament-ready field, even when just practicing or using only a portion of it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm looking at U05-Fragile Satellites that was posted today. I'm trying to understand the instructions to the referees. I understand the first part with R17 (Field Damage). What is the meaning of "and GP3 (Benefit of the Doubt) should have slightly wider range than usual."? Is this referring back to the first half of that sentence meaning that we should be liberal in not applying R17 for this mission or does it have some wider meaning?

                              Another referee and I were just talking about this update. One of the questions that came up is what happens if all of the long antenna fall off a satellite and the robot places it just outside the scoring area, but if the antenna was still attached, it would extend into the scoring area. I would generally say that we only consider the model parts that get delivered when determining if something is in or out, but does the reference to GP3 change any of that.

                              Jeff Bartig
                              Wisconsin Region FLL Head Ref

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