What's happening in Bordeaux is a real shame!


I’m opening this discussion to explain to everybody what’s currently happening at the Robocup 2023 national competition in Bordeaux, France.

Yesterday, surprise when the competition starts, the ball is not the one of the open soccer rules (42mm), but the one of lightweight soccer (74mm)!

After many discussions, the referees don’t want to know anything, and our kids have to dismantle the dribbling of their robots, because the ball is much too big…

After further discussion, the organizers admitted that they had confused the ball with the lightweight soccer ball, and planned that the Sunday games would be played with the regulation small ball.
Our kids spent almost an entire night to reassemble the dribblers and retest the robots…

And this morning, new change ! The referees say that there will be only one game with the small ball, and two with the big one !
So the dribblers have to be disassembled again in emergency!

And what do the referees have to say? That “the referee is always right”!
But they don’t follow the rules and invent some!

Last year, in Portugal, our children already had to disassemble their robots because for the referees they were not the right size; so this year they followed the rules to the letter… To finally have to dismantle the robots again, because this time the rules are not followed at all!

We don’t care if we win or lose… the important thing is to participate, but we have to be able to participate in a fair and equitable way!


Bordeaux… isn’t it where the international competition is held? Not a very good sign that the referees are not au fait with the rules at this stage! This competition is a great initiatives - it teaches a lot to the young generation, in terms of robotics, programing, but also in terms of teamwork and problem-solving. What about in terms of fairness, and following the rules?


Hi guys,

we’re sorry to hear you ran into these issues. As the international organizing committee we know the struggles of having to adapt at short notice well and are sure the organizers did their best to try and make the it fairest tournament they could given the situation and the little available time. We will definitely be in touch with them to offer support and are in the process of providing more training resources for tournament organizers that will be available to all regions.
We can assure you that for the international tournament in Bordeaux in July we are very well prepared (many years of experience in the organizing committee, a good number experienced international referees coming, extensive referee training, all things we do every year). I double checked our materials list, we definitely have the golf balls.

Best Regards
David Schwarz

1 Like

Thanks David for your reply. Could I have your email address, or any other way to contact you directly?

Hello David,
We got a referee helping a team its very unfair i hope you find a solution.

Kind regards,

Chaptal foot team.


didn’t see the “direct messages” feature :wink:

To ensure this matter is properly addressed, the RCJ Execs have referred these issues to the Regional Representatives and will be resolved via private channels.

Thank you.


Since this thread is already closed, I do not know if this post can be seen by who. But I just want to address our sincere apologies to what has happened in Bordeaux to the soccer open teams. Though this is an unexpected accident that harmed the experience of participating teams, this learning experience will ensure well-organized international competition in July.

Moreover, we’re amazed with the performance of the teams that jumped into the new task of rebuilding the dribblers on the spot (like a hackathon!), their perseverance/resilience, knowledge, skills, and capability to adapt their robots to the environment that they are in. This is what roboticists do everyday. We should acknowledge their accomplishments under such extreme situations. Also, thank you, mentors, for your support on teams/team members, facilitation on their learning, and prepared them to be able to do what they did.

Again, we’re very sorry for what has happened. But we want to make sure to acknowledge the work done by the teams as well as their mentors.

Warmly Amy, OnStage committee member, former RoboCup Federation Vice President and Trustee


The Execs, along with all parties involved are satisfied that these issues have been addressed.

We would like to remind all teams that many regions make their own modifications to the international rules and it is the team’s responsibility to confirm details (rules, materials, fields, scoring and submission requirements) with the local organisers of the competition.

RoboCup Junior prides itself in being a volunteer-run competition and, wish that all volunteers and organisers provide a safe, inclusive and fun environment for competitors and their supporters.