1. The players
Each team has one robot and three human players, two driver operators and a coach, who can be a student or an adult mentor. Two teams make up an Alliance. You ally in one match just might be your opponent in another. Two alliances compete against each other in every match. Robots must be constructed with materials specified in the FTC manual. All robots must fit within an 18” sizing cube at the start of the match, but may expand to any size during match play.
2. The scoring elements
One type of scoring element is the racquetballs. 2 ¼’ in diameter. There are 100 racquetballs on the field, 88 regular and 12 with magnets in inside. There are also two bowling balls on the field, one with red tape and one with blue. Each bowling ball is 27” in circumference and weights 6 pounds. The other type of scoring element is a plastic ball crate; there are 12, six with a red stripe and six with a blue stripe.
3. The playing field
The game is played on a 12” square field covered with interlocking foam tiles. Behind the two backsides of the field are the alliance stations. In front of the back corners are takeoffs parking zones. Infrared transmitters are mounted to help the robots find this zones. The field has red and blue home zones, which include a platform and a ramp. In the center of the platform is the home zone goal, a 4’ hole circle cut out on the Home Zone Platform. Next to the home zones are taped off protected areas. These areas are also low goals. Off field goals are located on the corners next to the home zones, they have a ring of light that glows when a magnet goal is placed in them. The 12 ball crates are stacked inverted in a triangular pattern, similar to a bowling pin layout. On top of four stacks are ball tubes, containing 25 racquetballs. The 12 magnet balls are randomly placed on these groups, the two bowling balls are located in line with the ball crates. The four robots start on a Home Zone Goal platform in any orientation. And with the human players in place we are ready to begin the match.
4. Match times and scoring
Each match starts with a 30 second autonomous period. During this period, human control is not permitted. Up righting a Ball Crate with your alliance colors counts 5 points. To count, any part of the crate bottom must contact the floor, platform or ramp, or contact an element that is on the floor, platform or ramp. Parking a robot in the back parking zone is worth 5 points. Parking in the front parking zone is worth 10 points. If a bowling ball is parked in the front parking zone is counts 10 points. And parking a bowl in the back parking zone counts 20 points.
A two-minute driver control period immediately follows the autonomous period. During this time, each racquetball placed in the low goal is worth 1 point. And each racquetball scored in a ball crate counts 2 points. Magnet balls scored in the off field goal are worth 25 points each. Your alliance can earn points by stacking ball crates, but only if they contain at least one racquetball. The judges will use red and blue-stripped “Stack Sticks” to measure the stack heights. The taller your stack, the more points you will earn.
At the end of the match, if your robot is holding a crate, it also counts as a stack. The last 30 seconds of the driver-controlled period is the end game. During the end game, parking your bowl in the home zone is 20 points. And parking your ball in your home zone goal is worth 30 points.
There are a number of rules to help ensure game plays challenging but not overly aggressive. Breaking these rules will result in penalties or disqualification. The complete rules can be found in the Game Manual and while competing, always remember Gracious Professionalism.