Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

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EpicentrE
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Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby EpicentrE » Tue May 06, 2014 5:47 pm

Hey all,

Firstly, we should probably look at wrapping this up soon and getting the new rules agreed on, as most of these threads have been quiet for a while.

Regarding the rule in question, I think this should be clarified. It has been an "unofficial rule" for a while that hitting an end wall (so one above a pit) counts as going out, although this isn't explicitly stated in the rules. The wording "falls off" suggests to me that the interpretation should be that a robot is out when it touches the pit floor.

In my personal opinion, I'd prefer it if the literal interpretation (so the second one I mentioned above) is formalised in the rules, and the "unofficial rule" is dropped. I feel this would lead to less spinner fights ending in a single hit, or pneumatic flipper fights ending in a single flip. Anything which makes fights longer and more tactical is always good in my book.

We could also do with clarification on the situation where both robots leave the arena at the same - or a very similar - time. The current unofficial rule is that if both go at the same time, or both fall off together but one hits the pit floor first, the one who was the aggressor wins. If neither is a clear aggressor, the fight is reset. Even if this is mostly agreed on, it would be good to have it formalised in the rules.

Additionally, we also have some controversy in situations where one robot goes out of the arena as - or while - the other is immobilised. In these situations I believe we should count the OOTA as an immobilisation, and assume we would have to start a 10s countdown. Therefore, if the robot that was still in the arena was immobile before the other robot fell off (for example if a spinner scored a big hit, critically damaged the opponent, then flew off half a second after) the robot who fell off would win.

Thoughts?
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Hogi » Tue May 06, 2014 8:18 pm

agreed. these rules should be clearer to prevent controversy over who wins.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby limpet » Tue May 06, 2014 10:47 pm

I would be in favour of the robot going oota having to touch the floor, if it bounced back in off the wall then it should be classed as still in. This would make fights last longer and be more interesting as has been suggested.
Should a robot be immobile and then the opponent leaves the arena then it would make sense that the initial immobile one would go on to be counted out first, or in other words the opponent leaving the arena would be classed as mobile last/longest.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Remote-Controlled Dave » Wed May 07, 2014 7:46 am

Good call Scott. Here's my 2 cents.

1) The committee voted a while ago on what the definition of 'out' was with regards to the arena and surrounding box. I was ,and still am, an advocate for what I would describe as 'out means out', IE, if you hit the outer wall or the roof and bounce back onto the platform by luck, you are still in and can carry on fighting. However I remember being quite heavily outvoted on this. The argument seemed to be that a robot that hits the outer wall would have been out had the safety protection cage not been there, therefore its out. I still disagree with this and would be entirely happy to see it go the other way.

2) I think the easiest way to police the 'two robots leave the arena within split seconds of other' debate is the following - it if happens, both robots should be put back to their start positions without debate. If one cannot continue and the other can, the one that can wins. If both are dead, it goes to the judges. I think this would be clear, fair, and undebatable.

3) The 'one bounces out and the other is left on deck but immobile' situation is the trickiest to call. I believe, even if it is unpopular, that a robot that has fallen off the ring is instantly out, whereas a robot that is immobile but still on the fight surface requires a ten second countdown to give it chance to get moving again. So, this being the case, the immobile robot would win over the one that's bounced out. The only other clear way I can think of doing it would be that the fight would go to the judges to be judged up to the moment of impact, however I am weary of encouraging judges decisions after the...'dubious' reaction to a perfectly OK one at the last event.
If, however, you mean a dead robot is in the middle of being counted down and the driver of the live one suddenly decides to commit hara-kiri, I think that's usually their own daft fault for not just leaving it be and therefore they throw the fight away.
That be my opinion, yar!

ADDITIONAL - the one thing I do want to avoid is someone building a spinner so powerful that both it and its opponent go flying off every time they even try and fight, but the spinner driver claiming the victory because they see their robot as the 'initiator'. There was a bit of talk at the last AWS about people not wanting to build spinners because they always fly out, and yet a spinner came 4th in the main comp and never flew out once. I think the problem is more with the design of the spinners, often too big and powerful for their own good, whereas the smaller, more effective ones (Dark Matter, Permanent Forever, Ripto et al) don't often have the flying out problem at all.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby EpicentrE » Wed May 07, 2014 8:46 am

1) As this is a simple choice between two options it would be easy enough to set up a poll for it if the committee desired.

2) I can see arguments for both sides. Forcing a reset in any situation such as this would lead to more careful driving, but at the same time, I can understand people feeling cheated if they're the clear aggressor in a situation but slightly misjudge their speed or position. I think this is a very subjective one, and I'd be happy with a compromise. If both fall out but one clearly fell out first (whether they were the aggressor or not), the one that fell out first loses. If they fell out together, or it is unclear, the fight is reset. I think this is one where we'll always require judges to make the call, but we should have guidelines on the best course of action nonetheless.

3) In my proposal above, I would of course give the machine that remains in the arena 10 seconds to demonstrate movement - if it can, then it is obviously the victor. In my eyes, if the same hit immobilises the opponent and pits the spinner making the hit, it is only logical that the immobilisation occurred before the pitting, even if only by a split second. The 10 second countdown is a formality required to ensure that a robot is not incorrectly deemed as immobile when it is not - the act of becoming immobile itself still occurs at the beginning of the count, not the end.

Edit: To respond to Dave's additional comment, I agree completely, but that's a bit different to what we're discussing. In that scenario, if both machines fly out of the arena due to a huge impact, we'd refer back to point 2, and the fight would be reset. I agree that spinner designs need to be more intelligent in our arenas than in those used in many other weight classes, but still feel like antweight spinners in general are almost always focused on throwing the opponent around rather than causing direct damage, which seems like a shame.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby playzooki » Wed May 07, 2014 2:17 pm

3) In my proposal above, I would of course give the machine that remains in the arena 10 seconds to demonstrate movement - if it can, then it is obviously the victor. In my eyes, if the same hit immobilises the opponent and pits the spinner making the hit, it is only logical that the immobilisation occurred before the pitting, even if only by a split second. The 10 second countdown is a formality required to ensure that a robot is not incorrectly deemed as immobile when it is not - the act of becoming immobile itself still occurs at the beginning of the count, not the end.

I agree with this, iirc it happened in a grudge match between Ticanic and Nomnomnom

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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby BeligerAnt » Wed May 07, 2014 8:54 pm

EpicentrE wrote:We could also do with clarification on the situation where both robots leave the arena at the same - or a very similar - time. The current unofficial rule is that if both go at the same time, or both fall off together but one hits the pit floor first, the one who was the aggressor wins. If neither is a clear aggressor, the fight is reset. Even if this is mostly agreed on, it would be good to have it formalised in the rules.

It's possibly in the wrong section (not sure why it's not in section 4) but we have a very explicit rule about what to do if the judges can't decide which robot left the arena first:
5i) If opposing robots have left the arena simultaneously (e.g. because they struck each other so hard that they flew apart) then the following will occur

i. The battle will be paused

ii. The robots will be placed straight back into the arena, in their former starting positions, without repairs.

iii. The battle will be restarted

When one robot is pushing another out of the arena it is physically impossible for the pusher to leave the arena first! Therefore the agressor will always win. If the agressor does manage to leave the arena first it can only be because it is no longer pushing the other robot towards the edge. In this case the agressor no longer has control of the situation and goes out due to poor driving (or better driving by the opponent). A sudden change of events against the run of play is always a possibility and it is a valid result. If the situation is too close to call the fight is restarted.

As Dave said, the committee has debated the "over the pit" situation at length. Quite simply the rules (in combination) define exactly what is in and what is out:
3b) The arena will be a raised platform with an area of at least 30 inches (762mm) square.
4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost
3d) The minimum distance between the edge of the unwalled part of the arena and the battle box (and therefore the width of the ditch) is 140mm

It is perfectly clear that a robot only has to fall off the arena, not actually hit the floor, to lose.

As I understand it, the rules were originally written before a battle box was necessary let alone mandatory, so the battlebox should not be considered part of the arena. The drop-off ditches should be considered to be infinitely wide. Throwing an opponent out of the arena should be enough to win a fight, you shouldn't have to ensure that they actually reach the floor of the ditch!

If an extra rule would help, it should be added after rule 4b. The problem may be coming up with simple, concise wording to adequately describe what's required...

The problem with adding rules to cover every eventuality is that someone has to remember to apply them all consistently across all fights. In my opinion we should have a robust, simple set of general rules which can be applied to every circumstance rather than a complex web of unenforcable rules for individual edge cases.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Remote-Controlled Dave » Wed May 07, 2014 9:41 pm

I still don't agree with the battlebox not being considered part of the arena just because the rules were written before a box was needed. We abolished the no metal armour rule because it was no longer justified. And the arena sizes are growing because the sport is advancing into unforeseen areas. I would certainly now consider the box to now be an essential part of the arena and therefore counts as PART OF THE ARENA.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby EpicentrE » Wed May 07, 2014 9:42 pm

BeligerAnt wrote:It's possibly in the wrong section (not sure why it's not in section 4) but we have a very explicit rule about what to do if the judges can't decide which robot left the arena first:


My apologies, I obviously missed this.

When one robot is pushing another out of the arena it is physically impossible for the pusher to leave the arena first! Therefore the agressor will always win. If the agressor does manage to leave the arena first it can only be because it is no longer pushing the other robot towards the edge. In this case the agressor no longer has control of the situation and goes out due to poor driving (or better driving by the opponent). A sudden change of events against the run of play is always a possibility and it is a valid result. If the situation is too close to call the fight is restarted.


I disagree with your first sentence; I've seen occasions where one robot has been pushing another on top of it's wedge, meaning the aggressor touches the floor first as the robot being pushed is on top of it, or has further to fall. Now I agree that in these situations it is the fault of the aggressor for not being more careful, but still felt it might be something worth clarifying, as I have seen people upset at this kind of situation before.

As Dave said, the committee has debated the "over the pit" situation at length. Quite simply the rules (in combination) define exactly what is in and what is out:

3b) The arena will be a raised platform with an area of at least 30 inches (762mm) square.
4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost
3d) The minimum distance between the edge of the unwalled part of the arena and the battle box (and therefore the width of the ditch) is 140mm

It is perfectly clear that a robot only has to fall off the arena, not actually hit the floor, to lose.


If the definition is to remain the same, then I think the wording "fall off" is at fault. To me you cannot "fall off" something if you're flying above it. That is where the confusion lies for me.

As I understand it, the rules were originally written before a battle box was necessary let alone mandatory, so the battlebox should not be considered part of the arena. The drop-off ditches should be considered to be infinitely wide.


But we're looking at changing the rules now, where a battlebox is mandatory. If it's your opinion that approaching the situation this way is better for the community and will make for better fights overall, then that's fine, but I dislike using something that may have been true in the past as justification for a rule we are discussing now. When the original metal armour rule was made, it was reasonable, because the possibility of a very well armoured machine being an impossible match for a spinner was very real. However, times changed, spinners became far more powerful, and so the rule was no longer required. This is a similar instance; when the rules were originally written, it was highly unlikely that a spinner or a flipper would throw another machine high into a side wall where there's a possibility of it bouncing back into the arena, so this was not a concern. That is no longer the case, and so the situation should be reconsidered. The advantages and disadvantages of both approaches should be considered as we stand now, regardless of what may have been decided in the past.

The problem with adding rules to cover every eventuality is that someone has to remember to apply them all consistently across all fights. In my opinion we should have a robust, simple set of general rules which can be applied to every circumstance rather than a complex web of unenforcable rules for individual edge cases.


I agree that we should be aiming to keep things as simple as possible, but at the same time I believe we do need to ensure that the rules we do have cover as many eventualities as possible. This is especially true if we're going to be attempting to judge fights in a more formal fashion in the future. It would be bad for everyone involved if two judges had to discuss how to interpret a vaguely-written rule before they could make a decision. I think it's perfectly possible to make them both simple and have them applicable to almost every eventuality, it will just take some careful writing to do so.

Edit: Dave beat me to it, lalalala
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu May 08, 2014 5:26 am

Ha, I'm amazed how similar our posts are Scott!
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Hogi » Thu May 08, 2014 5:38 am

how about: a robot that exceeds the edge of the arena platform has lost.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu May 08, 2014 6:30 pm

That doesn't really work Dan. Technically any robot that is flipped into the air has "exceeded" the arena.
Personally I don't see what's wrong with the current wording. Any robot that falls off has lost. Not hit the side and bounced back in, falls off. Seems pretty plain to me.
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Hogi » Thu May 08, 2014 6:54 pm

i agree. that rule is fine where it is, we just need to decide on what does and doesn't count as " falling off”, i'm with you on that point as well Dave, flying off the platform, hitting the battlebox and bouncing back in again is very different from falling off, and so long as there is zero contact between the robot and the ditch floor between it going out and re entering, it has not actually fallen off or so to speak. i've personally scene this particular scenario of a robot flying off the combat platform then re entering without touching the ditch floor very few if any times. however ants are likely to keep getting more powerful so it could be a potential issue for robots of the near future. wow! i'm getting good at this technical speaking business! :lol:
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Occashokka » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:52 pm

We aren't really arguing the rule we are just arguing what 'falls off' means.
I think you are only out if you hit the floor and can't get out because of it
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Re: Rule 4b) A robot that falls off the arena has lost.

Postby Shakey » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:06 pm

Hey Occa, I admire the enthusiasm but I strongly advise attending and competing in an event yourself before getting too stuck into debates! It just stops misinterpretations or misunderstandings arising so much, we all know the rules debates can get heated. Also make sure a topic isn't too old/dead before you reply :P
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