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Tournament Rules - Answers

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  • Tournament Rules - Answers

    Find answers to questions about Tournament Rules here.

  • #2
    Originally posted by FTC6378
    Subject: OnBot Java Programming at Events

    Q: At tournaments, wifi hotspots are generally forbidden. With onbotjava, wifi is needed to program the robot controller. Will teams be allowed to connect their phones and laptops via wifi for programming changes? If not, is there a workaround for those using onbotjava?

    Team 6378 - Jaybots
    A: Per the Game Manual Part 1, section 4.3, Rule <T5>: In the Pits only, Wi-Fi Direct connectivity between an Android device and an additional computing device (phone, tablet, or computer) is allowed for robot programming purposes only.


    • #3
      Originally posted by FTC11625
      Subject: Who asks questions in the question box?

      Q: 4.3 <T3> b. Does the team member that enters the referee question box have to be one of the drivers or coach, or can any team member enter the box?
      A: Any single member of the team can enter the question box to ask a question. Typically, this is either the drivers or student coach, as they have the proper badge to access the competition field.


      • #4
        Originally posted by FTC9978

        Subject: T3.b Question Box

        Q: The rules state that <T3>b. All questions about a match or scores must be brought forward to the Referees by using the Referee Question Box located in the Competition Area. Only one student from an Alliance can enter the question box. All questions must be brought forward within the outlined time:

        Clarification: The question brought forward to the referee by a STUDENT (not ADULT coach or parent) from an Alliance should pertain to a match that the alliance was directly competing in, not some other match the Alliance member was not competing in?

        A: The Question Box is a general location for students to ask questions of the Head Referee. These questions can be about matches that have already taken place or about the rules of gameplay in general. <T3>.b is intended to cover the first case, questions about matches that have taken place. These questions should come from members of the alliances that participated and should happen within the time frames described in <T3>.b

        The second types of questions can be brought at any time, by any student. Students should be aware that these types of general questions, while important, are somewhat of a secondary priority for the Head Referee and will be answered/discussed on a "as time is available" basis. It is likely that the Head Ref will ask the students to wait while they manage the scheduled match play.


        • #5
          Originally posted by FTC13259
          Subject: Alliance Selection

          Q: Is there a rule that prevents a final alliance of the first, second, and third seeded teams at a tournament?
          A: There is not a rule that prevents this, as long as the teams being invited into the Alliance have not already declined an invite to a different Alliance.

          Note that although there is no rule against this, the described scenario is an impossibility in Alliance selection.
          Last edited by Billie Jean; 02-15-2018, 01:32 PM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by FTC13259
            Subject: Swapping Robot after all have been placed during Elimination Matches

            Q: The Blue Alliance team places their two robots on the Balancing Stones, then the Red Alliance places their two robots on the Balancing Stones. Can the Red Alliance then change their mind, for strategic reasons, and swap robot out that has been placed on the Balancing Stone? If the Red Alliance does change out a robot, can the Blue Alliance respond and either choose to keep their robots that have been placed, or swap a robot out as well?
            A: Removing a robot after both Alliances have placed their robots would be a violation of rules <T9> and <G2>. The match cannot be started until all teams have signaled their readiness and have picked and initialized their autonomous routines. The act of swapping out a robot after all four robots have been placed on the field would be considered a delay to the start of the match, and the appropriate penalty would apply.


            • #7
              Originally posted by FTC12833
              Subject: Legal Glasses

              Q: Are these glasses tournament legal if worn either over or under safety glasses?
              A: These glasses are not legal per rule <T15>. Event personnel must be able to see the volunteers, spectators, or team members eyes through glasses worn at an event. Depending upon the angle, this may not be possible with this type of glasses.


              • #8
                Originally posted by FTC5110
                Subject: Match Replays

                <G26> Match Replay - Matches are replayed at the discretion of the Head Referee only for a failure of a Game Element or verified Wi-Fi interference that was likely to have impacted which Alliance won the Match. What constitutes verified Wi-Fi interference? There's no viable way of verifying Wi-Fi interference with a team's peer to peer WiFi direct sessions within rule <T3> time frame. The only indication available to teams is "Ping Time" along with an unusable robot of course!

                Q1: If an FTA views a team's Driver Station phone screen during a match which shows a ludicrous "Ping Time" of several seconds is this considered verified Wi-Fi interference?

                Q2: Assuming the above answer is NO then please provide a definition of what "verified Wi-Fi interference" actually is.

                Looking back to earlier seasons with Samantha modules run through an Access Point there were log files on the match control computer which could be analysed where necessary and matches were replayed when excessive lag was noted by multiple teams. Heading into the 2018 FTC World Championship events it would be great to know how <G26> will be applied.
                A1: No, not necessarily. Ping times are a measure of the wireless connection quality and the availability of the Robot Controller to respond to messages from the Driver Station. High ping times can be caused by multiple factors, such as an incorrectly written op mode, an improperly configured Wi-Fi adapter (for example, if the Wi-Fi adapter is also connected to a Wi-Fi infrastructure network), or even a poorly places Robot Controller (if it is embedded in the metal frame of the robot, for example, then the Wi-Fi radios might have a difficult time transmitting reliably to each other). If multiple robots operating on the same Wi-Fi channel are experiencing high ping times, then without additional monitoring tools in place it would be difficult to prove that there is significant or verified interference in the venue.

                A2: Ping times can be used to make a determination if wireless interference. For example, if multiple robots operating on the same Wi-Fi channel experience high ping times and poor control, then the WTA/FTA might suspect that there is significant interference in the venue for that operating channel. This is a simple and cost effective approach for monitoring for wireless interference.

                At higher profile events (such as Regional and World Championships) WTA's and FTA's often also use more sophisticated tools (such as Fluke Aircheck spectrum analyzer, a MetaGeek WiSpy analyzer, and other specialized tools) to monitor the wireless spectrum at the venue. These tools can alert the operator when there is significant interference on a Wi-Fi channel. Unfortunately, these tools are relatively expensive, so they are not used at every event. However, if these tools are present and are being used to monitor the spectrum, then a WTA or an FTA can use them to determine if interference is an issue.

                If an FTA or WTA suspects Wi-Fi interference, they will report this suspicion to the Head Referee. The FTA and Head Referee will further explore the potential violation of this rule. The Head Referee will work with FIRST Headquarters staff to determine if rule <T4> has been violated, and determine appropriate next steps (for example, match replay if the interference altered the outcome of a match, or potential disqualification of a team).

                As a reminder to all teams, when an event assigns a specific Wi-Fi channel, teams should also make sure to stay on that channel for the duration of the event unless otherwise asked by the event to switch channels. Technical staff only monitors the channels that are assigned by the event director, and therefore can only review the logs from the channels that are actively being monitored throughout the event.


                • #9
                  Subject: Scoring Discrepancy

                  Q: At a recent tournament, out team lost a match by one point. As we were focused on driving, we didn't notice that we weren't given points for parking in autonomous. This would have changed the outcome of the match. We sent a team representative to the question box immediately after the match. Our robot had parked on the crater away from our side, so the ref hadn't seen. There was video proof, and the referees were aware of it but stated they could not look at the video because of rule T3 from the Game Manual 1. How could we possibly prove to the refs that we parked without video proof? Why can't video proof be given? QUOTE]

                  A: Your team appears to have taken the proper steps to address the possible scoring discrepancy. Entering the question box immediately after the match score was announces helps the referees remember the match and correctly describing the scoring scenario are examples of best practices. In addition, having teammates track the score via paper is an additional way to help a team keep track of each match, however it is ultimately up to the trained referee to determine what is considered scored (in this case parked) during any given match.