Local Reference Materials

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Questions to Referees


See below for a message from Troy Douglas, our Regional Head Referee.

Hello Teams,

It seems that there is some confusion with the changes to the rules this year.  One of the major changes this year is the fact that there is a "Home" area, and a "Launch Area".  These are 2 completely different areas, and are different from the "Base" area from previous years.  Please be sure to thoroughly review both Rule 27&28 and the RG22 Update.

Another change this year, is that storage tables at the competition fields will not be available. This is due to the fact that this year, all items (mission models and robot parts must be stored in "Home" at all times during the match, unless the team is about to Launch with said items.  Prior to the start of the match, the team will need to demonstrate to the table referee that they can fit all of their "Equipment" (any items that the team brings to the competition field to use during a match, including the robot, but excluding mission models that are provided) into either the "Small Inspection Area" or the "Large Inspection Area", under an imaginary 12" ceiling. Please be prepared to do this when you arrive at the table and come with a plan to do this quickly, as this is part of your 1-2 minute setup time prior to the start of the match.  If this is starting to delay a match, we may be forced to start the match while the team continues their pre-match inspection, so please come prepared!


Good luck and have a blast as we enter the 2019-2020 season of FIRST LEGO League, CITY SHAPER!

Troy Douglas
FIRST LEGO League Regional Head Referee
FIRST Long Island
Presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.

Question: Can a team stack multiple units on top of each other in the home area and then just have their robot push the stack out into a circle?

This is the way numerous YouTube videos are doing it and our team is asking if that is allowed or are they only allowed to push the base unit out and then the others have to be picked up to stack on top.

Response: Correct,  there is nothing in the rules that states that you can't do that, so your team is good to go.  However, be sure to review the scoring conditions specified in the rule manual (key word is "Independent").  Good luck and have a blast this season! Please remember that while the team will build and swap attachments only in "Home", they must launch with everything completely within the volume of the "Launch Area".  Note that as per Rule 21, the robot and anything that it will be transporting cannot be taller than 12 inches when launching!  Have a great season!

Question: We are working with 2 EV3. Is it possible to bring both EV3 to the competition? 2 technicians can operate 1 EV3, and when they are done, then 2 other technicians step forward and move the 2nd EV3 from home area to the launch area and launch the 2nd EV3?

Response: While you are allowed to work with multiple Controllers (EV3, RCX, NXT, ect) in the pit, only one Controller can be brought to the table for a match. Between matches, you can swap which controller you use, but you can only bring one to the competition table. Good luck this season and hope you have a blast!

Question: I have a question about the Mission#9 Safety factor. Do we allow to leave some attachment on that mission? I'm pretty sure the building was only supported by the blue beams, but we use some attachment to knock it down and leave it on the beams.

Response: I'm not sure I fully understand the question related to Mission 9. If you are asking if you can use an attachment to knock over the beams, then yes, you can. Since the Game Guide does not specify how to knock out the blue beams, you can do it however you like (As long as you are not breaking any other rules!)

However, according to the rules, the Test Building needs to be both Independent and Supported. This means that the building cannot be touching any "Equipment" (Definition 02 - anything your team brings to the Match for a mission related activity, including the robot), and must have 100% of its weight held up and kept from falling only by the blue beams.

If part of your attachment is in contact with the Test Building at the end of the Match, the mission will not score. Good luck this season!

Question: We have the following questions for the competition, can you help us to find the answers?

  • launch area - does the robot have to return to Home or can it return to the Launch area before the technicians can move it to do the next mission?
  • jigs- it sounds like we can use Jigs to position the robots.  Can one technician hold the jig while the other technician launch the robot to make sure it is launching from the right position?  Can the jig stay in the launch area the whole time?

Response: In order for the students to interact with the robot after launch,  it (along with anything that it is carrying) must return completely to "Home".  The "Launch Area" is only used for Launching.

For jigs, please refer to Update RG21.  When you "Launch" (start your program) a robot, you cannot touch the jig.  This means that you cannot hold the jig while the robot is being Launched as a means to assist the robot. 

There are only 2 allowable ways to use a jig as per RG21:

1:     Align the Robot against the jig, pull the jig completely into Home, then Launch.

2:    Only for jigs which fit and stay completely in the Launch Area >> Align the Robot against the jig, let go of the jig, then Launch, leaving the jig as is, untouched until the next Robot Interruption .

Please note that if you choose to leave the jig in the "Launch Area" to guide the robot during Launch,  you cannot retrieve or move it by hand until the next Robot Interruption (whether this is the robot coming back to Home, or by picking up the robot and losing a Precision Token.  Please be sure to fully read and understand RG21 as this is a change from previous years.

Question:  M13 "Sustainability Upgrades" -  Can multiple stacks in one circle have an upgrade on each stack?

Response:  Each stack can have it's own Sustainability Upgrade (only one counts per stack). Multiple stacks can also be in the same circle, and as long as the Upgrade is supported by a legal stack (as per the description in M12), which is partially in any circle, the Upgrade counts.  Be sure to re-read and make sure that you understand Missions 12 and 13, as well as "Independent" and "Supported"

Question:  Are teams allowed to use the City Shapers "hexagon" for M11?

Answer:  I'm assuming that you are talking about the 6-sided piece with this year's logo on it.  If so, you are not able to use that for Mission 11, as it did not come from Bag 10 in this year's field setup kit.

Question: After demonstrating that our equipment fits in the small inspection area, can we then slide it over to the large inspection area to make room for the robot to fit into home during 2 1/2 minutes?

Answer: That is correct.  The Small vs Large Inspection area differentiation only pertains to the pre-match inspection.  After this inspection, these areas combine to become "Home", where all of the teams attachments must be stored.  Good luck!