in the rules of 2018, the starting tile was defined to be a checkpoint independently from the field design:
1.3.4 The starting tile is always a checkpoint.
This rule seems to be vanished in this years rules. The case that a robot has a lack of progress before finding a checkpoint tile is now treated by:
3.6.2 In the event of a lack of progress, the robot must return to the last visited checkpoint (or the start tile if never reached a checkpoint). The robot can be installed in any direction. For the definition of the visited tile(see 3.4.4).
In the last years the rule 1.3.4 made sense from two different points of view: the teams got rewarded for showing up by having a higher score than teams not showing up. This was one the hand nice for the teams, on the other hand it was a practical feature for the organizers and judges: even if a team could not run most teams still came to the field to get the ten points and tell that they could not run. Now the teams do not have this motivation to come to the field anymore. I see the problem that one as a judge may waste all of the eight minutes time of the run waiting for a team that will not compete in this run due to technical problems or similar.
So my question is targeting mainly field designers: How do you cope with the disappearance of the old 1.3.4? I see the possibility to just place a silver tile on the starting point on every field, which would basically have the same effect as the rule had before. Do you think it is not necessary? Do you have other ideas?