That's great to hear -- thanks!
As you correctly note, the rules seem to be relatively clear on when a lack of progress happen. As to when does the countdown start, that very much depends on the referee and their experience with RoboCupJunior Soccer. An experienced referee is usually able to better assess the situation and start the countdown sooner when there is no reasonable expectation of progress.
For referees without too may experiences, it seems to be safer to actually wait for proof that there is "lack of progress", which on the other hand slows the game down by quite a lot.
Since we had many more inexperienced referees this year and our instructions to them probably were not clear enough, there was way more waiting than we would like.
In the future we'll try to be clearer with the referee instructions, so that situations like these won't repeat.
This is a good point, one that I implicitly assumed was not a problem, which does not seem to be the case. We'll probably put a note on this in the rules, but let me be clear here: I absolutely agree with you.
This is also a very good point -- I also think the inspections would make more sense if they were done in "game conditions". After all, should any team challenge the ball capturing zone of another team, the test will happen directly on the field.
We'll certainly discuss it. Thank you for writing on the forum -- this is exactly what we hoped it would be useful for