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Slingshot Suspended in Mid Air Over Target?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Arrell View Post

    Tom I completely agree with you with this mission, but what part of the updates, mission information, and or rules can be referenced as far as a target is a volume, not just the surface area?

    This past Saturday my team competed in a tournament where the team placed the slingshot and waters suspended above the mat. The head referee said that the pictures below M17 - Slingshot, implied that the slingshot must touch the mat. We were also later told by another referee that the waters needed to be ejected by the slingshot and touch the mat to score, lol. The referee noted, "Why else would they have a plunger to eject the water on the slingshot?".

    The team referenced GP2, "If a detail isn't mentioned, then it doesn't matter" and also noted that nowhere in the wording for M17 does it say it has to touch the mat, as is specifically noted in other missions. We discussed with the referee and he told us his ruling and we moved on. Later the head referee found us and told us he changed his mind because the base refers to the area above it, but he didn't like our interpretation and felt as though we were pushing the rules. He noted that we should be careful with future tournaments, as other referees may not agree with us or give in so easily.

    So I have a couple of questions. What else can be referenced in the challenge guide letter to help with the M17 mission? What else can we do as a team to avoid this situation? Is it ok for us to contact the head referee of the next tournament or someone else to ask before the tournament?
    First, congratulations to your team. The team did exactly the right thing. They gave their interpretation and citing some rules references and Benefit of the Doubt, had a discussion with the head referee, got a ruling and then let it go to proceed with the rest of their day. That is an excellent experience for the team to be faced with and to learn from.

    Referees always are often challenged by conflicts between their own interpretation of a rule, and that of a team. It sounds like eventually the referee did reach the same conclusion that the team did. The head ref also did something else that was wise - warning the team that other referees might not agree with that ruling at another tournament. That's always good advice, since the head ref at each tournament can make their own interpretations under GP5.

    I've been studying these rules since August (as your team has also), and it took me a few weeks for the light bulb to turn on that "in contact with" is a very important concept in this year's rules - both for when it is stated, and even more so for when it is not stated. The phrase did not exist in last year's game, so the Head Referee's interpretation skills may have been a bit rusty.

    I agree that D07 is the best source to refer to, and that it is pretty poorly written because D07's title only refers to Base. You have to read into the text before "other areas" are mentioned. That makes it very difficult to find in an emergency. Hopefully next year we'll have a separate definition of "Completely-In". since it is a key phrase.

    Last edited by Tom Mosher; 11-20-2017, 01:25 PM.
    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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    • #32
      Thanks for your reply Tom Mosher and your comments definitely make sense to me!

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      • #33
        Refs out there that have yet to have your tournament? You reading this thread?

        There are plenty of gray areas in any season's rules. But not understanding the TEXT for M17 is not one of them. Neither is the reaction about water ejecting. Sure, it doesn't exactly make sense WHY the model is built like it is and WHY the bonus didn't involve something about the water. But to IMPLY a scoring condition over what is WRITTEN - is a very rookie mistake. Maybe after 12 years, one needs a break.

        Now, on the other side. We didn't hear the conversation(s) and body language, and a whole bunch of other things that can go into a head ref call. But based on the summary provided, it should prompt teams to be even more prepared and verse on the rules themselves. And for refs (esp head refs), read the rules (again and again), monitor this and other forums, and listen...

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        • #34
          Are the kids allowed to place the slingshot into their container before the clock starts?

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          • #35
            Yes, they can do anything (within rules) to "their" game pieces in base, as soon as they step up to the table.
            Legolympians - 2009-2015 (retired - joined FRC team 5422 Stormgears)
            Legolicious - 5th year girls team
            Brick Force - 2nd year boys team

            2015 - Mass FLL coach of the year.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Arrell View Post
              Is it ok for us to contact the head referee of the next tournament or someone else to ask before the tournament?
              Sorry, forgot to address this question. Answer: Yes, FIRST is encouraging the regional Head Referees to have an online presence (via email if nothing else) where exactly this sort of conversation can occur.

              I did ask him afterwards, how they handled the shark and other items that hung above the targets last year. He said he didn't remember.
              Really? I still have nightmares about last year's game rulings.
              FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by ae5880 View Post
                Are the kids allowed to place the slingshot into their container before the clock starts?
                "Place into" sounds probably OK. Be very careful that the placement doesn't turn into illegal combining under "R11 - Mission Model Handling".
                FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                • #38
                  We just competed this past weekend and were told that to score the slingshot that it had to be standing up in the target. It could not be on its side. Is there something anything in the rules about this? I can

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Paca View Post
                    We just competed this past weekend and were told that to score the slingshot that it had to be standing up in the target. It could not be on its side. Is there something anything in the rules about this? I can
                    That is an incorrect ruling. The mission rule does not mention having the Slingshot upright, so it does not matter.
                    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Paca View Post
                      We just competed this past weekend and were told that to score the slingshot that it had to be standing up in the target. It could not be on its side. Is there something anything in the rules about this? I can
                      That information is wrong. Unfortunately the challenge document contains two pictures labeled "Score" that show the slingshot flat on the table and a third image labeled "No Score" that shows the slingshot partially on the barrier. The reason the third picture does not score is because the slingshot model is not completely in the target area, it has nothing to do with the model being upright. I was at a tournament watching a team run on the practice table and they were very concerned about the slingshot not touching the surrounding wall. I told them the inside of the wall was in the target area, but they heard at the team meeting that it was not. I hunted down the head ref and he meant to say the barrier was not in the target area but used a generic term "wall" which just leads to confusion.

                      This is a great example for why we do not want a video explaining the rules. Without a picture the slingshot mission is very clear. Add a few pictures and the clear wording is replaced by a misinterpretation of what the pictures are supposed to convey. Replace or supplement the picture with a video demonstrating the scoring criteria and it would be worse, much worse.
                      Last edited by Dean Hystad; 02-26-2018, 04:46 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Complicating this issue is that pictures can have some rule authority, per GP5. So I can see how a ref might be confused. But in this situation the pictures illustrate some methods that score (slingshot upright), but they do not identify ALL methods that can score (i.e. slingshot not vertical but still meeting the mission rule text).

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

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                        • #42
                          Agree that pics are bad accompaniment with rules. Unless the pic is very well chosen and very well labelled to signify what it is trying to depict/emphasize/clarify. Especially the "no score" examples. It can be so easily interpreted as the "only" concept. Man, I wish that "too much water in the reactor" skit was still around on the net.

                          And regardless when GP5 kicks in or out - the majority people will gravitate to any pics over text, just about every time. In the example above, a quick-glance ref could easily see the "score" pic and make twenty assumptions about what was required to "score".

                          Gotta read the text.

                          (even then, yes there are challenges to getting universal understanding...but at least it focuses the debate)

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by dna1990 View Post
                            Agree that pics are bad accompaniment with rules. Unless the pic is very well chosen and very well labelled to signify what it is trying to depict/emphasize/clarify. Especially the "no score" examples. It can be so easily interpreted as the "only" concept. Man, I wish that "too much water in the reactor" skit was still around on the net.

                            And regardless when GP5 kicks in or out - the majority people will gravitate to any pics over text, just about every time. In the example above, a quick-glance ref could easily see the "score" pic and make twenty assumptions about what was required to "score".

                            Gotta read the text.

                            (even then, yes there are challenges to getting universal understanding...but at least it focuses the debate)
                            It is really difficult defining something using a picture. A picture contains so much information that it is difficult making a picture that doesn't support multiple interpretations. The pictures for the slingshot mission don't even try. For example, I think the pictures show that the slingshot scores as long as the base of the slingshot is flat on the mat. Doesn't matter where the slingshot is. Could even be in base. Look at the pictures and tell me how that is wrong. To better match the rules I think the "no score" picture should show the slingshot flat on the mat but outside the target. The second "score" picture should show the slingshot upside down with one water in the slingshot and a second laying on the mat. Even with that there are likely some alterative interpretations that result in false restrictions or loopholes.
                            Last edited by Dean Hystad; 03-05-2018, 06:19 PM.

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