Inspection and handling of "lack of process rule"

First of all, the competition in Canada was great fun and I enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the event!

Yet I would like to bring up some point for consideration:
First, how long should the ball need to be out of the field before a countdown for a lack of process or out of reach occurs and how should referees be advised to handle it? I understand that the rule is relatively clear, but this is a question of handling the situation and when to start a count. In many cases the game was slowed down a lot and a lot of waiting occured due to it.

Then I would like to bring up two points about the inspection that I think should be considered: Fist; for testing the kicker on a ramp, in my opinion, the ball needs to have batteries in it, since a ball without batteries is lighter and therefore can get kicked over the ramp by a roboter while it is not kicking a ball with batteries over the ramp. I don’t think we need to get into detail about this as it is pretty simple physics and I assume everyone can immagine the problems that can be created and the robots are not tested in “game condition”.
A second point for the Inspection is the dribbler depht. The rules are 100% clear and I fully agree. But I think it should be considered to do the test on a carpet as it is used on a field. For example in our case, when the robot is standing on the hard table the subwheels of the omniwheels dont dig into the carpet making the robot standing taller from the ground. this allows the ball to slide further in than it would on the carpet and therefore making our ball capturing zone more shallow on the playing field when we adjust it for the inspection.

Thank you for giving it a thought and maybe discussing it between the referees and inspectors in charge

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Hi @Andrea,

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 :slight_smile:

– Marek

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Hello @Andrea

I participated at several regional and world robocups as a team member and since 2016 I’ve been refereeing matches at robocups. Lack of progress happens quite often during the game - especially the one when the ball gets to out of bounds area.
I try to minimize the time to start the “lack of progress” countdown - mostly to 1-2 secs. But what’s most important, during the first times when the ball is out, I watch robots how deep into the out of bounds area they can get. Therefore, when the ball is unreachable I can safely start the countdown sooner, because there is almost no chance that any robot pulls the ball back. On the other hand, when the ball is very close to the line (or moving), I better wait and then start the countdown.

Those are my thoughts on this. Maybe during the referee meeting we could show a demo match to “get them more experienced” about lack of progress and countdown delay.


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We also had problems with the handling of “lack of progress rule”, in many occasions judges would wait too long to the point that only a quarter of the game was spent playing and the rest waiting for the ball.
Once a judge started a discussion with a team member from the opposite team and all that time the ball was out without the chance of any robot touching it, that stressed us a lot since we needed the goal difference which we could get only if the ball was in the field.

I would also add that the robots have become faster and the rules have not changed much in that regard. Maybe a bigger field or even smaller robots could change that and make the game more dynamic. Less experienced or newer teams would benefit from smaller robots since all the teams would have to design their robots again and many solutions designed for the bigger version would not work.

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Hi @Ardi123, thanks for joining the discussion!

Thanks for letting us know. We’ll try to do our best to prevent things like these form happening.

This is a good observation and I believe many see it that way (myself included). Both a bigger field or smaller robots are things that will certainly be discussed for the upcoming rules. They have their pros and cons (for instance physically bigger field means fields all around the world will have to be built again and smaller robots would make it difficult for teams to find suitable motors), but I do think they are worth considering.

I’ll try to keep the forum posted on any upcoming changes or discussions.

Thanks again for keeping this one alive!

– Marek

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Thank you for bringing this up ^^ I do fully agree with you, in my opinion a bigger field would be the way to go. I just only wanted to bring it up in the discussion about the new rules, so we don’t run Marek over completely already now^^
Thanks for your opinion :slight_smile:slight_smile: