October 21, 2023

8:00 am - 6:30 pm

Competition Rules

The 2023 Rah Cha Cha Ruckus will follow the 2023 FIRST CHARGED UP 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 can be found below.

There will be a drivers meeting Saturday morning where any questions can be asked to the head referee. Please refer to the 2023 FIRST Charged Up Rules for any rule clarifications first. Thank you!

*** Final rule changes as of 9/9!

Rule Modifications

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

Robot Weight

<R103> is changed as follows:

<R103> The ROBOT weight must not exceed 125 130 lbs.

Reasoning: Robots will be given a 5 lb. weight allowance beyond that allowed in the FIRST CHARGED UP 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.

Game Pieces and Field Elements

Game pieces and field elements 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 some variation in game pieces, primarily that CONES may have markings and CONES may have been repaired using commonly accepted methods.

Robots repeatedly damaging game pieces and/or field elements (especially the CHARGE STATIONS) through sloppy or extremely aggressive game play should expect to draw attention of referees, resulting in DISABLE per <G301> part G. Repeat violations will quickly escalate to issuance of YELLOW or RED CARDs per <H201>.

Reasoning: Due to limited availability of game pieces, we will have a limited quantity of spare game pieces on hand; robots causing damage to field elements will be required to correct the situation before being allowed to compete in future MATCHes.

Alliance Selections and Playoffs

The Playoff Match Bracket at Ruckus will follow the same format and structure in the CHARGED UP manual, but with the below change:

Section 11.7.2, Paragraph 2:
As shown in Figure 11-3 and Table 11-3, Playoff MATCHES consist of 6 rounds with breaks between rounds and between the Finals MATCHES. Breaks begin after the FIELD has been cleared from the previous MATCH. The Blue and Red Gap columns indicate the approximate time between each ALLIANCE’S MATCHES. The expected start time of the scheduled MATCH is the time indicated on the MATCH schedule or 15 minutes 10 minutes from the end of either ALLIANCE’S previous MATCH, whichever is later.

Table 11-3 break and gap timings will be adjusted to be in line with this change. In essence, the playoff format is the same, match sequence is the same, but the timing of matches is changed.

Reasoning: With Ruckus being a single day off-season competition, time is very limited for both the playoff tournament and the qualification matches that preceed it. While this change does remove some time between playoff matches for teams to do repairs, it is our intent to strike a balance between providing that repair time and giving all teams as many qualification matches as is practical.


CHARGED UP scoring at Ruckus will be as is described in the current (final) version of the CHARGED UP manual. While this is not a changed from what is in the manual, because scoring was adjusted late in the season, we want to call this to the attention of our competing teams.

Section 6.4.1 - Scoring:

Ruckus will use the final version of the CHARGED UP manual's scoring. This includes the late-season additions for "SUPERCHARGED NODES" made prior to the FIRST championship. Review final manual Section 6.4.1. For a concise summary of this change, see Team Update 21

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 CHARGED UP Real-time scoring has been relatively reliable at official and off-season events, on extremely rare occasions issues do arise. 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 or human errors that have no or very limited impact on the strategic play of the game and that do not severely change the end result of the game.