Jack’s Judgements


Official Rulings by the Australian FLL Head Referee

Last Updated 10:55 pm on 19/11/2018

Important Note:

These are official rulings that apply to all FLL tournaments in Australia. However, they can be overruled by official updates from FIRST (found here). Check regularly for updates.

Further questions  can be asked at the FLL Australia Help Forum, or Contact Us if you have a question which you would like to submit directly to the Australian Head Referee

Judgement #1: M01 (Space Travel)

Question: Does the payload cart have to actually travel over the first connection?

Ruling: My initial thought was, yes! However, when I looked at the actual mission on an actual field, I saw a difficult but still permissible option that leads me to answer: No. However, the payload cart must be traveling independently while in contact with any point of the ramp East of the first connection

 

Judgement #2: M04 (Crater Crossing)

Question: M04 says “All weight-bearing features of the crossing equipment must cross *completely between the towers.” Does “Between the towers” have a height limit? i.e. do the weight-bearing features have to fit under the flag?

Ruling: Although the image shown suggests there may be a height restriction, my answer is: There is an infinite height limit when crossing the craters between the towers.

 

Judgement #3: M04 (Crater Crossing)

Question:Does the crossing equipment have to actually touch the craters?

Ruling: M04 doesn’t mention a requirement for the weight-bearing elements to actually touch the craters. Therefore, there is no need for the crossing equipment to actually make contact during the trip.

 

Judgement #4: M04 (Crater Crossing) UPDATED 18/11/2018

Question:What constitutes “Crossing Equipment” in M04? Can I park a robot on the West side of the Crater and use an arm to pull/push the crossing equipment across from the East?

Ruling: M04 has proven to be a surprisingly confusing mission with many different solutions. I love it when teams think outside the box, so keep that up!

On November 13th, a new update was made by FIRST . #U08/#U06 opens up more possibilities than we had previously allowed in this mission. We don’t want to give away any ideas but please note the reference to Transport.

Under this new update, the solution proposed above would be allowed as long as the arm is only TRANSPORTING the crossing equipment. The solution would not be allowed if the crossing equipment was part of the robot. (See rules D04 and D10 for details).

 

Judgement #5: R12 (Storage)

Question: What happens if a team’s robot is too big to fit on the supplied table at the Robot Game? What is “approved storage”?

Ruling: Teams should ensure that all Equipment stays in sight of the referee. 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.

“Approved Storage” is anything that meets these criteria.

 

Judgement #6: R01 – R08 (Equipment, Storage and People)

Question: Some Australian FLL Tournaments will be trialling new ways of judging the Robot Game, with the option of this happening at the competition table before the first run. How does this work with R1 – R08?

Ruling: For “Into Orbit”, Australia will be piloting some changes to the FLL Robot Design judging. Instead of going to a judging room, Teams will have 7.5 minutes to present their robots to judges at the competition table, prior to their first robot round. Teams are allowed to bring whatever material they need to this session – posters, engineering notebooks, programming printouts etc.

Normally, teams are restricted to a single robot at a competition table and may not bring computers to the tables at all. Per the referee training, we did originally say no second robot at the table – HOWEVER, upon further reflection, they can bring the laptop/iPad and second robot for the 7.5 minute session with the judge PRIOR to the match.  THEN, someone from the team (adult or student) must take any extra robots or laptop/iPad AWAY from the table area immediately and back to the pits or other designated area.  Under no circumstances can the computer or second robot stay at the table for the competition run.

 

Judgement #7: R08 (Technicians) and R12 (Storage)

Question: The robot game is exciting and I was hoping to get all the team members to take turn operating the robot. I have seen it done in previous competitions. Can you clarify the rules please? What is the “approved holder” mentioned in R12?

Ruling: Only Technicians may handle Equipment or Mission Models. All other team members must “stand back” as per R08. Fresh Technicians can swap in at any time, and can then handle Equipment and Mission Models themselves.

I’ve made a final ruling regarding the “approved holder” mentioned in R12. This ruling will hold true in all tournaments held in Australia.

An approved holder will refer to an inanimate object, not a person (such as another team member, coach, family member or friend). Approved holders will be up to the local tournament organisers and will most likely be a small table that will stand next to the base of each playing field. 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. Check with your Tournament Director.

My ruling considered the following:

  • R12 includes the line: “Everything in off-Field Storage counts as being completely in Base and may be placed on an approved holder.”
  • GP2 – INTERPRETATION • Robot Game text means exactly and only what it plainly says. • If a word isn’t given a game definition, use its common conversational meaning.
  • GP5 – INFORMATION SUPERIORITY If two official facts disagree, or confuse you when read together, here’s the order of their authority… #4 = LOCAL HEAD REFEREE In unclear situations, local head referees may make good-faith decisions after discussion, with Rule GP3 in mind.
  • Lots of consultation (discussion)

 

Judgement #8: M12 (Satellite Orbits)

Question: In M12, where is “above” in relation to the outer orbit lines?

Ruling: I’ve made a final ruling regarding the use of the word “above” in M12. This ruling will hold true in all tournaments held in Australia.

“Above” will refer to the 3D use of the word and not the 2D. Therefore, any part of a satellite that is vertically “above” any part of the scoring area mentioned in M12 will count. And any part of the field to the west, WSW, SW, SSW and south of that scoring area is irrelevant in terms of scoring for M12.

My ruling considered the following:
• GP2 – INTERPRETATION • Robot Game text means exactly and only what it plainly says. • If a word isn’t given a game definition, use its common conversational meaning.
• GP5 – INFORMATION SUPERIORITY If two official facts disagree, or confuse you when read together, here’s the order of their authority… #4 = LOCAL HEAD REFEREE In unclear situations, local head referees may make good-faith decisions after discussion, with Rule GP3 in mind.
• Lots of consultation (discussion)

 

Judgement #9: M04 (Crater Crossing) UPDATED 18/11/2018

Question: What happens if you send out multiple agent-craft? Each craft would be individual and independent, but could be sent out in a group, or in multiple separate attempts.

Ruling: On November 13th, a new update was made by FIRST . #U08/#U06 opens up more possibilities than we had previously allowed in this mission.

Now this is something I would like to see in action! I’m OK with viewing each attempt at M04 as a separate mission run. So I have no problem with failed attempts having zero impact on an eventual successful attempt.