Jack’s Judgements

Official Rulings by the Australian FLL Head Referee

Last Updated 9:21 pm on 27/10/2017

Official FIRST updates for the Robot Game and Project can be found here.

Further questions  can be asked at the FLL Australia Help Forum

Judgement #1: M16 (Water Collection)

Ruling: The water on top must be “big water”.

Reason: The big water model is consistently referred to as “big water” as opposed to the small water model which is consistently referred to as “rain water”. The bonus states:  Score at least one big water in its target as described above with one on top,  In that statement, I view the word “one” as a clear reference to “big water”.

Note: I love your ability to think outside the box – and please continue to do so!


Judgement #2: M06 (Water Treatment) (UPDATED)

Ruling: Please be patient!

Reason: We know the Toilet/Water Treatment Mission Model is unreliable. FIRST is working on a solution. We will let you know when it is finalised. In the meantime, the referees will be advised of the situation, and will be watching extra carefully during tournaments to make sure teams are not disadvantaged.

UPDATE: If an update is not provided by FIRST, the ruling shall be that the Mission is activated if the robot holds down the toilet lever for 3 seconds. If necessary, the referee will activate the Water Treatment model manually.


Judgement #3: R12 (Storage)

Ruling: Teams are allowed to bring their own table (or stand) to use at the Robot Game. However, if the table is judged to be too large for the competition area, then it will not be allowed. If possible, tournaments should provide the option of a second table, but this is not guaranteed.


Judgement #4: R11 (Mission Model Handling)


  • “Combined” refers to permanent joining (as with LEGO studs or connectors) that isn’t supposed to come apart. This is illegal under R11.
  • Mechanisms that hold Mission models are allowed, as long as the team can demonstrate the model can be lifted out of the mechanism. The mechanism can be activated by hand to allow this.


There has been some confusion about the application of this rule. Examples follow:

ILLEGAL: Joining Mission Models to each other or the robot by LEGO studs, pegs, or other connector

ILLEGAL: Permanently affixing any structure to a Mission Model, by connection or friction (Such as attaching a pipe “seatbelt” THROUGH the holes in a model, or using an elastic band to secure a model to another object)

LEGAL: A rubber-band operated claw that “grasps” a Mission Model tightly. The Mission Model is loaded into the claw in base, and the claw prevents the Mission Model  from being removed easily. However, the claw releases the Mission Model when activated. Restriction: 1) the elastic band is holding the claw only and not holding the Mission Model, and 2) the Mission Model is freely resting (i.e. not attached by stud) within the claw

LEGAL: A Mission Model is placed in base next to the robot. Upon launch, the robot grasps the Mission Model with a mechanised grabber and drives off. The claw will release the Mission Model when activated.

LEGAL: The robot has a Mission Model inserted into a dispensing mechanism in their robot. The Mission Model can be lifted or fall out cleanly if the mechanism is activated by hand (or by robot), but is locked into place otherwise.


Contact Us if you have a question which you would like to submit to the Australian Head Referee