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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:40 am 
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Quote:
2.0.9
Safety Pillars are fragile while being transported – your robot is not allowed
to transport more than ONE (1) Safety Pillar at a time. If your robot is ever in
contact with more than one Safety Pillar, the referee will remove all Game
Pieces (except team-supplied Game Pieces) in contact with your robot from
the game board as a penalty and will require your robot to return to the
Robot Start Zone.


If a team deliberately pushes one Safety Pillar into another one, it will cause the referee to stop game play, remove both safety pillars (all contacting game pieces) and requiring the robot return to the start zone. Understood.

When the team captain picks up the robot to return it to the start zone, would this "pick-up" invoke a timed recovery touch penalty as well, since its an action instigated by the referee?


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:51 am 
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darrenwilson wrote:
When the team captain picks up the robot to return it to the start zone, would this "pick-up" invoke a timed recovery touch penalty as well, since its an action instigated by the referee?

Indeed it does. Any time the robot is touched, it invokes the timed touch penalty, even in the case of a referee-mandated or rules-mandated touch.

-Danny


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:28 am 
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Danny, I have a quick question regarding this rule. Should teams still be awarded the points for clearing out the drop zone if in fact the only way in which it was cleared was by committing this penalty?

1.4.2 Remove pillars from drop zone
It is important to demonstrate to the USAR committee that YOUR USAR ROBOT can actually transport safety pillars. Do this by completely removing all Safety Pillars from the Drop Zone by the end of the match.

In my opinion, teams should not be awarded the 50 points for clearing out the drop zone if in fact their robot did not intentionally do so by via their own programming. You can essentially be awarded points for committing a penalty on purpose.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Anthony Barrera
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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:53 am 
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abarrera wrote:
Should teams still be awarded the points for clearing out the drop zone if in fact the only way in which it was cleared was by committing this penalty?

Anthony,

Penalties in my games are not the four-letter F words that some people make them out to be. In all games, penalties should always be looked at as "the game designers prefer you not to do this, but if you do then these are the consequences and then we move on." In Professional American Football, you're required to snap or kick the ball after the last play ends within 40'ish seconds - failure to do so gives a "Delay of Game" penalty and you move back 5 yards; if you're too close to the goal when kicking a field goal, it's strategic to take that penalty once or twice to get a better angle and better field positioning. Taking a penalty THAT DOES NOT RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION should never be seen as "never do this under any circumstances" - the old addage "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" is completely valid here, but in many cases it's strategic to do the crime. This is one of them, and I think it's an excellent strategic element in TCEA games.

So, the rules are written as they are written. If the area is clear - no matter how it happened - then it's clear and the points will be awarded. However, teams that do this clearly will lose out on the ability to score points for the penalized pieces (is that strategically a good idea?).

-Danny


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:20 am 
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Understood. Just giving my opinion on the subject. Thanks for the work you do for TCEA and the robotics community! Hope to see you at State!

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Anthony Barrera
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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:44 am 
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abarrera wrote:
Understood. Just giving my opinion on the subject.

Yup, and had anyone brought up this possibility (caught the use of this) prior to the release of the "Final" rules I would have probably ruled very differently. <grin>. But now that the rules are final we are going to go by the rules as written.

abarrera wrote:
Thanks for the work you do for TCEA and the robotics community! Hope to see you at State!

Do we know when State is this year? Anyone? Bueller?...Bueller?...Bueller?

-Danny


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:56 am 
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April 12 in Deer Park.

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Anthony Barrera
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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Danny & Anthony,

I am usually a pretty strict rule-follower, tend to stay true to the 'spirit of the rules' and rarely look for loopholes...except when it comes to teaching students how to read through the TCEA Arena game manual. This is the one time where I encourage students to push on the rules until they find either 1) a weakness to exploit or 2) the limits of what's possible/acceptable.

I think the game/rules were great this time around. Lots of options for strategy and an incredible variety of possible successful scenarios. I think it shows the strength of the game/rules when teams can find 'shortcuts' or hidden treasures (even if they are unintentional) and the game still holds a good, meaningful challenge.


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:50 pm 
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darrenwilson wrote:
I think the game/rules were great this time around. Lots of options for strategy and an incredible variety of possible successful scenarios. I think it shows the strength of the game/rules when teams can find 'shortcuts' or hidden treasures (even if they are unintentional) and the game still holds a good, meaningful challenge.

Thanks. A LOT of time and effort goes into creating the rules and identifying student use/abuse (and even adding avenues of intentional "abuse"). Sometimes teams are more clever than I am, and I love that.

This year I think my scorecard looks like this:

(1) "A-" for creativity in gameplay
(2) "B+" for creativity in game element mechanics
(3) "C-" for ability to referee
(4) "A" for team interaction simplicity

The Region 1 competition is my new litmus test for these kinds of interactions, they have now had 3 seasons where they have 150+ intermediate teams and 50+ advanced teams playing in their regional competition. When you've got 15 full competition tables running at once, you understand very quickly how well your game stands up to being scaled and how well teams/referees understand the game and its mechanics. Next year's game, preliminarily titled "Flipside", will focus on reducing the burden on referees while still keeping options open for teams - we'll see how well it goes. :)

-Danny


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:08 pm 
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Please do not take my opinion as questioning the game, its intent, or the effort and time it takes to create this challenge as negative. I have been competing for 6 years now in the TCEA arena challenge and my students love it. Each year I think it continues to grow and we reach out to new students. As a whole, I truly feel that with each challenge it has improved every year and will continue to do so.

My students especially enjoyed the fact that they could use more motors than they have in years past. All in all, we enjoy TCEA and the robotics contest and will continue to look forward to competing at both the Area and hopefully the State level in the years to come.

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CHS Robotics


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