The Judges will be located close enough to the referee/arena marshal that communication will not be hindered by the noise levels typical to a robot combat event. When a match does not end in the elimination of one of the combatants as defined by the Match Rules the winner shall be determined by a Judges' Decision. In a Judges' Decision the points awarded to the combatants by the panel of judges are totaled and the robot with the majority of points is declared the winner.
This ruleset offers a points breakdown and aims to make judging as consistent as possible. However, because of the added complexity that a points system brings, scorecards are only a guarantee during the MRCA finals. Qualifier events are given the option to use scorecards or decide who won the match by estimating scores without a scorecard. It is understood that judges estimating scores to determine a match outcome must weigh the categories similarly to how they are defined here. The most critical thing for a judge is to make sure that damage is not disproportionately weighed.
Judges must have no bias towards any one competitor in a match. In situations where there may be bias, such as when a friend or family member is fighting, a new judge will be found to fill the role. All MRCA events should do their best to have a pool of volunteers or experienced competitors that could jump in to judge when needed.
MRCA finals will always have three judges for every match. MRCA qualifiers can have one or three judges, but not two.
Judges' decisions are final.
Point Scoring System
Points are awarded in 3 categories:
- Aggression - 5 points
- Control - 6 points
- Damage - 6 points
All points must be awarded - each judge will determine how many points to award each combatant in each category, according to the Judging Guidelines (see below). The maximum possible score a combatant receives is 17 * (number of judges). Thus, a single judge will award a total of 17 points, and a 3 judge panel will award a total of 51 points.
Aggression scoring will be based on the relative amount of time each robot spends attacking the other.
Attacks do not have to cause damage to count for aggression points, but a distinction will be made between chasing a fleeing opponent and randomly crashing around the arena.
Points will not be awarded for aggression if a robot is completely uncontrollable or unable to do more than turn in place, even if it is trying to attack.
Sitting still and waiting for your opponent to drive into your weapon does not count for aggression points, even if it is an amazingly destructive weapon. Robots must show translational movement toward their opponent for it to be counted as aggression.
Awarding Aggression Points
∙ 5-0: a 5-0 score shall be awarded only when one of the robots never attempts to attack the other, and the other consistently attacks.
∙ 4-1: a score of 4-1 shall be awarded in the case of significant dominance of attacks by one robot, with the other only attempting to attack a few times during the match.
∙ 3-2: a 3-2 score shall be awarded when
o Both robots consistently attack the other.
o Both robots only attack the other for part of the match.
o Both robots spend most of the match avoiding each other. In this case, it will be up to the judge's discretion to decide which robot made more attempts to attack the other.
o A combatant who attacks a full-body spinner (e.g. intentionally drives within the perimeter of the spinning weapon) is automatically considered the aggressor and awarded a 3-2 score in the case where either robots consistently attack, or both robots consistently avoid each other.
o There can be no ties in aggression. Judges must decide that one robot is more aggressive than the other.
∙ Note: a combatant is considered a "full body spinner" if the robot cannot be attacked without moving within the perimeter of the spinning weapon.
Control scoring will be based on the relative amount of time each robot spends in control of the match.
The primary means of scoring points in this category involves using elements of the robot or arena against the opponent in a manner that doesn’t directly involve the weapon system of the robot causing damage. This would include utilizing any arena hazards to cause damage to the opposing robot.
Examples of control include:
∙ A grabbing/lifting/wedge robot making guiding contact with the opposing robot and delivering them to an arena hazard or hitting them against the combat surface and/or arena walls.
∙ Flipping over the opposing robot.
∙ Immobilizing or otherwise stalling the opponent's weapon.
∙ A spinning robot being able to get its weapon to full speed.
Awarding Control Points
∙ 6-0: a 6-0 score shall be awarded only when one robot completely controls the momentum of the match. Examples of this would include: A wedge or ramming robot preventing a spinning weapon from ever reaching full speed, A grabber or crusher consistently grabbing and manipulating its opponent with little to no offense from the opponent, a flipper reliably flipping its opponent without frequent missed flips, and a spinner being able to consistently and repeatedly get its weapon back to speed after hitting the opponent.
∙ 5-1: a score of 5-1 shall be awarded in the case of significant dominance by one competitor. The competitor receiving 5 points should frequently exhibit the relevant behaviors noted in the control example section with only short periods of the opposing robot gaining the upper hand.
∙ 4-2: a score of 4-2 shall be awarded in the case of slight dominance by one competitor. The competitor receiving 4 points should exhibit the relevant behaviors noted in the control example section for a clear majority of the match.
∙ 3-3: a 3-3 score shall be awarded when both robots are either able to demonstrate control for a significant portion of the match or neither robot is able to reasonably demonstrate control during a match.
Judges should be knowledgeable about the different materials used in robot construction and how damage to these materials can reduce a robot's functionality. Judges should not be unduly influenced by highly visual damage that doesn't affect a combatant's functionality effectiveness or defensibility. For example, a gash in a combatant's armor may be very visible but only minimally reduce the armor's functionality.
A common misconception about scoring a match: Occasionally, a robot will finish a match in a position it cannot continue movement from, but it avoids a countout because the overall match time ends. An example of this would be a robot flipping over with 8 seconds left in the match. The efforts it took for the robot to end up in this position may be counted for points just like any other part of the match, but the end position of a robot has no extra value for the match outcome. For damage criteria, judges should only ask themselves: “If a robot was freed and started another match as is, would it still work as intended?”
Judges should look for damage that may not be visually striking but affects the functionality of a combatant. For example:
∙ A small bend in a lifting arm or spinner weapon may dramatically affect its functionality by preventing it from having its full range of motion
∙ Bent armor or skirts can prevent the combatant from resting squarely on the floor, reducing the effectiveness of the drivetrain
∙ A wobbly wheel indicates that it is bent and will not get as much traction. ∙ Cuts or holes through armor may mean there is more damage inside.
∙ Flip over (or being propelled onto a bumper, ramp, or other obstacle) causing no loss of mobility or loss of weapon functionality, except where flipping causes full loss of mobility and the robot is unable to show translational movement.
∙ Direct impacts which do not leave a visible dent or scratch.
∙ Sparks resulting from strike of opponent's weapon
∙ Being lifted in the air with no damage and no lasting loss of traction.
∙ Visible scratches to armor.
∙ Non-penetrating cut or dent or slight bending of armor or exposed frame.
∙ Removal of non-structural, non-functional cosmetic pieces (dolls, foliage, foam, or "ablative" armor).
∙ Damage to wheel, spinning blade, or other exposed moving part not resulting in loss of functionality or mobility.
∙ Flip over (or being propelled onto a bumper or other obstacle) causing some loss of mobility or control or making it impossible to use a weapon.
∙ Intermittent smoke not associated with noticeable power drop.
∙ Penetrating dent or small hole.
∙ Removal of most or all of a wheel, or saw blade, spike, tooth, or other weapon component, which does not result in a loss of functionality or mobility.
∙ Slightly warped frame not resulting in loss of mobility or weapon function.
∙ Continuous smoke, or smoke associated with partial loss of power of drive or weapons.
∙ Torn, ripped, or badly warped armor or large hole punched in armor.
∙ Damage or removal of wheels resulting in impaired mobility
∙ Damage to rotary weapon resulting in loss of weapon speed or severe vibration
∙ Damage to arm, hammer, or other moving part resulting in partial loss of weapon functionality.
∙ Visibly bent or warped frame/weapon that results in partial impairment to the function of the damaged system.
∙ Smoke and visible fire.
∙ Armor section completely removed exposing interior components.
∙ Removal of wheels, spinning blade, saw, hammer, or lifting arm, or other major component (including wedges/plows) resulting in total loss of weapon functionality or mobility.
∙ Frame warping causing partial loss of mobility or complete loss of functionality of weapon system.
∙ Internal components (batteries, speed controller, radio, motor) broken free from mounts and resting or dragging on the arena floor.
∙ Significant leak of hydraulic fluid.
∙ Obvious leaks of pneumatic gases.
∙ Apparent complete loss of weapon system function.
∙ Less than half the cluster in the pit or knocked out.
∙ Armor shell completely torn off frame.
∙ Major subassemblies torn free from frame.
∙ Loss of structural integrity - major frame or armor sections dragging or resting on floor.
∙ Total loss of power.
∙ Over half the cluster in the pit or knocked out.
Judges may request the combatants to demonstrate operability of their robot's drive train and/or weapon following the end of the match, before the arena doors are opened.
Judges may inspect the combatant's robot after a match to determine how best to award damage points. If a judge needs to examine one or both of the combatants robot's before awarding damage points, he or she will notify the referee or other designated official loading robots in and out immediately after the end of the match. The inspection will be conducted by the entire panel. The judges will not handle the combatant's robot. The operator or a designated team member will handle the combatant's robot. A member of the opponent's team will be present during any such inspection.
Awarding Damage Points
Scoring of damage points is based on relative grading of each robot's damage.
∙ 6-0: a 6-0 score shall be awarded when:
o One robot suffers nothing more than trivial damage, and the other is at least significantly damaged
o One robot has suffered major or massive damage and the other is no more than cosmetically damaged.
∙ 5-1: a 5-1 score shall be awarded when:
o One robot suffers at least minor damage and the other suffers major or worse damage
o One robot has suffered cosmetic damage and the other has suffered at least significant damage.
∙ 4-2: a 4-2 score shall be awarded when:
o Both robots have suffered nearly the same level of damage but one is slightly more damaged than the other
o One robot has suffered trivial or cosmetic damage and the other has suffered minor damage
∙ 3-3: a 3-3 score shall be awarded when:
o Both robots have suffered the same level of damage, or
o Neither robot has even cosmetically damaged the other
Damage that is self-inflicted by a robot's own systems and not directly or indirectly caused by contact with the other robot or an active arena hazard will not be counted against that robot for scoring purposes.