After the participation in the RCJ Soccer competition, I have some questions and suggestions.
Pushed out: If a robot of my team is pushed out of the playing field by my second robot, but this robot is pushed by a robot of the opponent and the force of the opponent´s robot is necessary to push the robot out of bounds, should the robot be penalized?
Referees: The referees of the competition in Montreal were clear better than the referees, which were in Nagoya. All our games were filmed and I could count only a few wrong decisions. These wrong decisions were all made in difficult situations.
Fields: Also after a years of Robocup, the fields are not standardized. These circumstance causes many problems. For example the exact color of the goals, the carpet and the lines are different in every competition. Especially the carpet influences the movement of the robots a lot, so the teams can´t be sure if their robot works in the competition as it worked in practice.
In my opinion bigger fields are necessary. Because the robots became faster, most of the time the ball stucks between them or the ball is in the out of bounds area of the field. Another possibility to change this is to make the robots smaller. But this would be more expensive than building new fields, because all motors, many batteries and much other parts would have to be bought new.
Thanks for participating in the forum! Let me provide a few answers to your questions below.
I understand where you are coming from – the intent of the rules is to penalize “bad behavior” which in your case is pretty clearly what the opponent’s robot is doing. However, I really do not see how a penalization rule like this could be enforced, as currently it is pretty difficult to detect which is actually pushing. So in principle I could see why a rule like this may exist, but I do not see how could the rules be changed so that this could be easily detected and called out by referees.
Right, let me first say that we (that is both the Technical and Organization Committee) realize this and we try to do our best to make sure the fields do not cause big trouble. As you note, especially with regards to the carpet we try to make sure that the organizers use well-tested brands, which are known to work well with RCJ Soccer robots. I believe that in Montreal as well as Nagoya, this was not a big problem.
On the other hand, there are smaller things, like goal colors or white lines, which would are really difficult to guarantee. Thus, RoboCupJunior Soccer kind of emulates the real world in this regard – for all standardization you can find, there is usually need for tolerances and calibration in any engineering field. I do agree, however, that this is not explicitly stated anywhere, and so we could and probably should mention it in the rules. Thanks for pointing it out!
I believe we are thinking along similar lines here – this very suggestion has already been mentioned on the forum already (see Inspection and handling of "lack of process rule" for instance). I cannot promise anything concrete, but the Technical Committee plans to discuss this for the future rules.
Thanks again for your questions and if you are interested, please feel free to discuss them further!
At first i want to thank you for your detailed reply.
I am not sure if you understood me right. With “the robot, which should be penalized” I meant the one, which is in the outer area as a result of the described situation. I thought of situations, in which the referee is able to detect this. Even reading the rules does not make it clear how to decide, if “pushed out” or “out of bounds” should be called out.
For a few teams, this is still a problem. We talked with the team “RazZzer”. They had big problems to drive on the fields in Montreal, but had with nearly the same system no problems in Leipzig, two regional and two national competitions.
I am pleased that this is discussed. If there is a change, it should be communicated early, because the regional competitions are in February and it should be enough time for the teams to build their new fields and develop new sensor systems.
Ah, I see what you mean. In principle I am not opposed to an idea like that one as such, but even if we talk about situations in which the referee would be able to detect this, I am worried that this may not happen too often (from my perspective it may not happen at all). Thus, I am not convinced it would be a positive change – it would probably bring a bit more confusion to the rules for little game-experience improvement.
I see – I believe I spoke with RazZzer too. What happened to them is definitely unfortunate, but if it is just a few teams, it does not seem like a systematic problem the rules need to address. The other side of the issue is that even if we decided it would be interesting to standardize the carpet, I do not know of any internationally accepted “carpet standard” we could use to actually define what an acceptable carpet looks like. If you’d know of any, I’d be glad to learn more about them.
I promise we’ll try to do our best to make sure this is communicated early, as it would be a pretty big change.