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"INTO ORBIT" Robot Game Rules and Field Setup discussions

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JackGregory View Post
    It is an interesting philosophical choice. A little forgiveness is bias. At our local meetings, I operate as strictly as possible, because I don't know what bias they will see at their tournaments, and I want them to see the strict by-the-rules case. I don't see that as being "mean" or over-bearing. If they get used to strict, they won't be harmed by it. I understand your position, but any referee fuzz factor is a potential problem. The worst rules, and the biggest disputes we see are the ones where there is a fuzzy line. Remember the fuzzy base edge several years ago? That was a disaster. I want to get my table refs out of the fuzz zone.
    FIRST provides head referee training material that emphasizes the difference between making the "right call" by the book, and the making a "good call" when the situation calls for it.

    We're doing more than just enforcing the rules.

    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post

      FIRST provides head referee training material that emphasizes the difference between making the "right call" by the book, and the making a "good call" when the situation calls for it.

      We're doing more than just enforcing the rules.
      This is so important. We want the kids to go home feeling they had a great day. So for that team where everything went wrong in their run, if the referee just looks the other way in some borderline situation enabling them to get some points, that will make them feel good.

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      • #18
        New topic: What is the status of the "Simply Speaking" text?

        In at least two missions (M04 and M11), there is text in "Simply Speaking" that implies a required method of accomplishing the mission, but that method is not included in the "Technically Speaking" text used for the mission scoring.

        M04: Must there be some "driving directly over" the craters?

        M11: Must the Strike Pad be hit with enough force to "keep the spacecraft from dropping back down"? There is no scoring rule about what height the spacecraft must achieve, so "dropping back down" has no specific reference point.

        Note that M05 had a similar problem (the "Simply Speaking" text included an implied rule), but it was fixed via a scoring update.

        I request that some additional clarification be provided, at least here if not via an official Update.

        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
          New topic: What is the status of the "Simply Speaking" text?

          In at least two missions (M04 and M11), there is text in "Simply Speaking" that implies a required method of accomplishing the mission, but that method is not included in the "Technically Speaking" text used for the mission scoring.

          M04: Must there be some "driving directly over" the craters?

          M11: Must the Strike Pad be hit with enough force to "keep the spacecraft from dropping back down"? There is no scoring rule about what height the spacecraft must achieve, so "dropping back down" has no specific reference point.

          Note that M05 had a similar problem (the "Simply Speaking" text included an implied rule), but it was fixed via a scoring update.

          I request that some additional clarification be provided, at least here if not via an official Update.
          I agree that some clarification would be helpful. As it stand, I feel that the "simply speaking" section holds no weight on scoring. It seems to me, that it is what you might tell your grandmother when she asks what you have to accomplish with a certain mission model.

          However, in M11, it is a requirement for the craft to "Get the spacecraft to go so fast and high that it stays up" and then goes on to say that it must be achieved "by pressing/hitting the Strike Pad". So I think it is a question of if "stay up" and not "dropping back down" means the same thing.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Sbrown995 View Post

            I agree that some clarification would be helpful. As it stand, I feel that the "simply speaking" section holds no weight on scoring. It seems to me, that it is what you might tell your grandmother when she asks what you have to accomplish with a certain mission model.

            However, in M11, it is a requirement for the craft to "Get the spacecraft to go so fast and high that it stays up" and then goes on to say that it must be achieved "by pressing/hitting the Strike Pad". So I think it is a question of if "stay up" and not "dropping back down" means the same thing.
            But it remains that "stay up" does not specify a requirement for the height above the mat.
            FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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            • #21
              I have a question regarding the use of jigs. I was talking to the members of our West Florida team that went to Houston last year. They said that the referees required them to remove their jigs before they were allowed to launch their robot and would block their robot with a clip board until they did so. I'm looking through the rules to try to find the rule that would dictate that jigs be removed before robots are launched and I can't find anything. Can anyone help me out?

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              • #22
                Zero reason to disallow jigs, unless 1) it extends from base, or 2) the kids are holding onto the jig during the launch.

                I'd say, further, that a jig is just another piece of equipment (strategic object), and those are allowed in Base.

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                • #23
                  Just "nothing is being handled.".
                  A lot of teams who use jigs like to hold them down by hand during launch, for better stability. But I am not aware of a "jig removal" rule. I don't have a copy of the rules handy for reference though.
                  Last edited by Tom Mosher; 11-04-2018, 09:28 PM.
                  FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                  • #24
                    I may have mentioned this last year, when I fell in love with a new product (to me, anyway): Scotch Removable Poster Tape. I find that it is much better than black tape at the sides, at removing mat curl. It is thin, and comes up fairly easily if you're careful. I like to use a couple lengths, about 1", along the east and west edges. It's not enough to prevent models tipping over near the sides, which is never the goal. It's just enough to remove the curl.

                    Personally, I'd love to see the Field Setup instructions include this method of removing extreme mat curl, so I don't feel like a rogue. But until then, I wanted to share my relative success with this product last year. (I DID prove that you can still tear the mat if you go too fast).

                    We've had some teams complain about models tipping over this year, but that's not a new thing, and I continue to tell teams that they should never assume a mat will be taped down anywhere.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mythagoes View Post
                      I may have mentioned this last year, when I fell in love with a new product (to me, anyway): Scotch Removable Poster Tape. I find that it is much better than black tape at the sides, at removing mat curl. It is thin, and comes up fairly easily if you're careful. I like to use a couple lengths, about 1", along the east and west edges. It's not enough to prevent models tipping over near the sides, which is never the goal. It's just enough to remove the curl.

                      Personally, I'd love to see the Field Setup instructions include this method of removing extreme mat curl, so I don't feel like a rogue. But until then, I wanted to share my relative success with this product last year. (I DID prove that you can still tear the mat if you go too fast).

                      We've had some teams complain about models tipping over this year, but that's not a new thing, and I continue to tell teams that they should never assume a mat will be taped down anywhere.
                      This year's mats uncurl quite nicely if you just roll the ends the opposite way a little bit. We did this at our pre-season tournament a couple of weeks ago; mats that had not previously been unrolled flattened out nicely & we had no need to use tape.

                      As for tall models in corners tipping over, my answer is "yep, they do that." I figure that's just part of the engineering challenge.
                      Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
                      KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Adding this item copied from the M12 Satellite Orbits thread, for greater visibility:

                        Originally posted by Christine View Post
                        One new rule says it's possible to shut off th robot and leave it in place without penalty if it is done with the intended missions. My question is now: What if the robot is transporting a sattelite to it's "outer orbit" target area, and just in the right moment when the satellite is in scoring position, the technicians stop the robot - which is allowed according to 1.6 Changes. Does the team score? Does the team get a penalty because of interruption? Thank you for your opinions!
                        I also had this flagged as a question when I reviewed the rules back in August, then forgot to post about it. Oops.

                        In short: If the team stops the robot under R14's "If you don't intend to re-launch" clause, what is the status of the objects being transported?

                        For next year the mission rule should be updated to include "without penalty", because that is clarified on Page 22 ("Changes for 2018"), but the status of transported objects is unclear. All the rule clearly says is "and leave it in place".
                        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                        • #27
                          For next year, I'd like to see the style of the "Missions" portion of the Challenge Guide simplified:

                          1) Each Mission gets two blocks of text: "Mission Description" and "Mission Rules".
                          • The decorative and theme-related text is in the Description, and is only there for fun or education.
                          • Only the "Rules" portion is used for scoring the results.
                          2) Do away with the confusing use of font styles and colors to identify end-of-match and method requirements. Simple plain text would be sufficient.
                          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                          • #28
                            I need a sanity check on something. I thought I saw or heard somewhere of the notion that a 3rd team member could be at the table, if they are specifically acting only as a "table" for holding attachments and such for the team. At one point, I remember thinking this year, "That's new". Weeks or months have passed since then, and now I'm scanning the rules and don't see anything justifying that practice. Can anyone confirm or disabuse me of that notion? Thank you!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Mythagoes View Post
                              I need a sanity check on something. I thought I saw or heard somewhere of the notion that a 3rd team member could be at the table, if they are specifically acting only as a "table" for holding attachments and such for the team. At one point, I remember thinking this year, "That's new". Weeks or months have passed since then, and now I'm scanning the rules and don't see anything justifying that practice. Can anyone confirm or disabuse me of that notion? Thank you!
                              Your sanity checks out fine. That's also been a local policy in my region forever (mostly for safety reasons - avoids teams using the floor as their Storage area). I think it was mentioned in Steve's head referee training materials. The 3rd team member is literally a table - they can only stand there and hold objects - not act as a Technician.
                              FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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