As a referee, I have to be very precise in the words that I use.  There can be as many as 12 Black Bars that will score negative points.  You might consider them all penalties, but only 4 of them are officially Penalty objects.  What is the difference?  The Penalty objects have to stay on the mat, but the robot can try to do things with the other Black Bars to make them worth positive points.

Steve Scherr
Virginia-DC FLL Referee Advisor

On Thursday, October 15, a team wrote:

What about the black bars which are part of mission models, like demolition and toybox. If team fails to put them in sorter or trashbin on east side of mat, will there be seprate penalty? Or at any given time team can have maximum 4 penalty.
Please clarify.

On Oct 14, 2015 9:30 PM, "VA-DC Referee Advisor" <[log in to unmask]');" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Yes, that's right.  See the "Penalties" description in the Missions
  1. Penalties – For each Penalty as described in Rule D09, the Ref will place one Black Bar on the Mat in a convenient out-of- the-way place, not to exceed four Bars. The Ref may shift them out of the Robot’s way as needed, but they must always stay in a negative scoring position. 

The referee will assess a maximum of four Interruption and Junk Penalties on the Robot and Equipment in a match. After the maximum of four Black Bars have been placed on the mat because of a Penalty, the team can rescue the Robot by an Interruption without any additional scoring penalty.  Models are still susceptible to being taken out of play because of an Interruption, or because of Stranding.

  The scoring value of each Black Bar placed as a penalty is Minus 8 per Bar, as described in M04, Sorting.  The bars are no longer in their original Setup position (which was off the mat with the Referee) and may not be moved into a Green Bin or the Landfill.

Steve Scherr
Virginia-DC FLL Referee Advisor.

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