The game is played on a 12’ square field. A team consists on two driver operators, a coach and a robot. Each match is played with four randomly selected teams, two per alliance. Your alliance partner for one match just might be your opponent for another.
The playing element is a 4.75” diameter plastic ring that weights a little under an once. There are 36 normal rings, 18 red, 18 blue. Each alliance also has two autonomous rings. And just to make thing interesting, each alliance has six weighted rings, which look identical to normal rings but weight three times as much.
In the middle of the field is a center floor goal and rack with nine pegs per side, in a three by three grid. And in two corners are the corner goals. There are four ring dispensers located on the field walls. Before each match, the normal and weighted rings are loaded into the ring dispensers in random order. The autonomous rings are placed on the robot only one ring per robot. And just before the match begins, two infrared navigation beacons are hung on randomly selected rack pegs.
Each match has two periods, a 30 second autonomous period, immediately followed by a two minutes driver-controlled period. During the autonomous period, robots can only be controlled by pre-programmed instructions. If a robot hangs an autonomous ring on a peg, their alliance owns that peg for the entire match. If a robot hangs an autonomous ring in a column with an IR beacon, their alliance is also awarded a 50 points peg score bonus.
After the autonomous period, the drivers pick up their controllers for the driver-controlled period. Each ring placed in the center floor goal is worth one point. Rings hung on the rack pegs are worth 5, 10 or 15 points depending on the height. If your alliance has more rings on a peg than your opponent, you own that peg, unless they have hung an autonomous ring on it. Three consecutive own pegs earn a line score bonus of 30 points. Each weighted ring hung on a corner goal, earns a 20% multiplier bonus.
The last 30 seconds of the driver-controlled period is the end game. During this time, if a robot can lift an alliance partner robot at least one inch off the floor, they are awarded a 30 point lifting bonus. And the alliance earns 5 more bonus points for each additional inch the robot is lifted.