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Rules Question(s)

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  • Rules Question(s)

    With regard to the new rules on ROV Tether Handling... Can students pull on the tether without incurring a penalty? Rule 1.c.i. explicitly states that: "Teams will incur a 2-minute penalty if they pull or otherwise maneuver the ROV by the tether."

    Depending on your interpretation, this could be interpreted as: (a) students will incur a penalty if they pull on the tether. OR (b) students will incur a penalty if they pull on the tether AND it results in the ROV being moved in some way.

    My confusion is that the rule was not written with an "AND". The rules last year were clearly intended for case (b). However, there is a huge speed advantage if students minimize how the amount of cable that their ROV is pulling behind it. At Nationals we saw teams maintaining less than a foot of cable behind their ROV. We advised our teams to keep at least three feet of cable behind the ROV. Our students complained because when they kept it closer, they could move much faster. Depending on how stiff the cable is, anything less than two or three feet will move the ROV. When the ROV is moving it is easy to mask the effects of pulling on the cable.

    My preference would be for the rules to be: you can only feed cable, you are never allowed to pull on it. This removes the human difference in judgement between the judges/referees sitting at the pool side.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by JimKazmer; 01-17-2020, 02:44 PM.

  • #2
    JimKazmer Sorry for the confusion. Teams are allowed to pull the tether cable as long as it does not result in maneuvering the ROV. Not allowing this would result in more tether tangles on the course structures. If you care to send me a video in a private message of an ROV being maneuvered by pulling the cable where the effects are masked due to the speed of the ROV I will gladly include this in my judges training so they are aware.


    • #3
      I'll ask the older students to make and post a video the next time we are at the pool (likely next month). The speed of the ROV practically doubles if you keep the dragged cable less than six inches... the ROV doesn't look like it is being dragged or pulled, but it flies through the water.

      Whenever there is less than 2 feet of dragged cable, it can be such a judgement call... People vary so widely... some judges have no qualms about awarding a two minute penalty while others won't ever award one.

      I know my teams would feel better knowing how close they can pull it without fear of being given the penalty.