October 28, 2017

8:00 am - 6:30 pm

Competition Rules


The 2017 Rah Cha Cha Ruckus will follow the 2017 FIRST Steamworks Rules.

While we feel that FIRST has done a fantastic job with creating a rule book to satisfy every FIRST team, there are a few rule changes that we feel could enhance the game play at this off-season event.  The rule modifications which will be used at Ruckus are below.

There will be a drivers meeting Saturday morning where any questions can be asked to the head referee. Please refer to the 2017 FIRST Steamworks Rules for any rule clarifications first. Thank you!


*** Rule changes for 2017 are now finalized below!


Rule Modifications

In the rule modifications below, text that is underlined represents Ruckus-specific additions to an existing game rule.

Robot Weight

<R04> is changed as follows:

<R04> The ROBOT weight must not exceed 120 125 lbs.

Reasoning: Robots will be given a 5 lb. weight allowance beyond that allowed in the FIRST Steamworks official rules in acknowledgement that teams may have had to, or will need to, make repairs to their robot that may put them just over the weight limit. All other portions of this rule remain unchanged and in effect. 



The STEAMTANK and STEAMPIPE will be changed as follows:

The STEAMTANK and the STEAMPIPE will not have their lights installed. Teams may see both their and their opponents' current STEAM PRESSURE by viewing the audience display screen.

Reasoning: The lighting equipment is not available from FIRST for off-season events.



The BOILER's configuration will be changed as follows:

The BOILER outlet will not have the overflow platform to house bind to catch FUEL. Instead, the bins will be placed on the floor. Teams will need to take care to position bins to catch the FUEL as it exits the BOILER. FUEL which escapes the bins will be in the possession of the alliance associated with the area of the carpet the FUEL resides in. If it exits the carpet, the FUEL is out of play. A white line will be placed on the carpet to mark a KEEP OUT ZONE; Team members may not enter the volume above the carpet in the area between this line and the BOILER.

Reasoning: The overflow platform is not available from FIRST for off-season events.


Real-Time Scoring

Real-time scoring will be employed at Ruckus as with traditional FIRST events. However, we wish clarify operation of the real time scoring as follows:

Any failure of real-time scoring will not be considered an ARENA FAULT provided that the real-time scoring inaccuracies are able to be corrected to the satisfaction of the HEAD REFEREE and field support staff upon conclusion of the MATCH.

Reasoning: While STEAMWORKS Real-time scoring has been relatively reliable at official and off-season events, there are elements which are sometimes prone to failure (BOILERs, TOUCHPADs). We wish to strike a balance that is both fair to teams in terms of competition play, but at the same time make reasonable allowances for failures that have no or very limited on the strategic play of the game and that do not severely impact the end result.


Game Pieces and Airship Gear Pegs

Game pieces and AIRSHIP gear pegs employed at Ruckus will be the same as normal events however, we wish to clarify the following:

Game pieces used at Ruckus will be "used" and as such will not be in pristine condition. While we will do our best to use pieces which will not seriously impact team play, teams should expect variation in game pieces

Additionally, AIRSHIP gear peg springs have been prone to damage; teams should expect variation in their operation.

Robots repeatedly damaging game pieces and/or Airship gear pegs through sloppy or extremely aggressive game play should expect to draw attention of referees, resulting in DISABLE per <G15>. Repeat violations will quickly escalate to issuance of YELLOW or RED CARDs per <T03>.

Reasoning: This year's game has been particularly hard on game pieces (gears in particular) and we will only have a limited quantity of pieces on hand. Game play has also been hard on the Airship's gear pegs (springs), and, like the game pieces, we have only limited quantities of this resource available.


Alliance Selections and Playoffs

ALLIANCE selection and assignment of teams to PLAYER STATIONS will follow the FIRST Championship rules under Section 10.11.1 of the STEAMWORKS Game Manual. In brief, this means that ALLIANCEs will be comprised of 4 teams each and that the ALLIANCE CAPTAIN may choose which teams play in a MATCH and what their PLAYER STATION assignment is on the field. For reference, these are the specific rules from Section 10.11.1 of the game manual:

4 Team ALLIANCE Selection Process: ALLIANCE selection for PLAYOFFs will result in 4-team ALLIANCEs. Selection of ALLIANCE CAPTAINs and their first 2 partners proceeds normally (as outlined in the non-Championship parts of the game manual). After the first 2 rounds of selection are complete, a third round is done as follows:

Round 3: The same method is used for each ALLIANCE CAPTAIN’S third choice except the selection order is reversed again, with ALLIANCE One picking first and ALLIANCE Eight picking last. This process results in eight (8) ALLIANCES of four (4) Teams each.
Team Assignment for MATCH Play: ALLIANCES may start with any three (3) of the four (4) ROBOTS on their ALLIANCE during Subdivision Playoff MATCHES and during the Championship Playoffs. The list of three (3) Teams participating in the MATCH and their selected PLAYER STATIONS is called the LINEUP. One representative from the Team not on the LINEUP is allowed as a sixteenth ALLIANCE member.

<T11> The ALLIANCE CAPTAIN must report the LINEUP to the Head REFEREE, or their designee, in writing prior to end of the preceding MATCH (e.g. the LINEUPS for Quarterfinal 2 must be submitted before the end of Quarterfinal 1). If there is no preceding MATCH, the LINEUP is due no later than two (2) minutes before the scheduled MATCH time.

<T12>Once the LINEUP has been declared, it cannot be changed unless there is a TIMEOUT. If there is a TIMEOUT, the ALLIANCE CAPTAIN may submit a different LINEUP, but must do so while there are still more than two (2) minutes remaining in the TIMEOUT.

<T13> If a MATCH must be replayed due to an ARENA FAULT, the LINEUP for the replayed MATCH is the same as the original MATCH. The sole exception is if the ARENA FAULT rendered a ROBOT inoperable, in which case the LINEUP can be changed.
(Refer to <T11>, <T12>, and <T13> in the game manual for violation info and additional detail)

Reasoning: With the size of this year's event we feel that having 4-team alliances will both engage more teams in the playoff tournament and provide for more competitive play. The added benefit is the removal of variability in backup team availability that we often see at off-season events. With the increased strategic emphasis on player station position assignments for this year's game, the LINEUP selection should also facilitate a more enjoyable and competitive experience for all teams.