Announcement of the 2017 rule draft

This year we want to make the process of defining the rule set for the 2017 rule book more open and give the teams the chance to participate in the discussion process. The Technical Committee prepared a draft during the last month with the suggested rule changes. The draft is based on the FIFA rule book, converted to LaTeX as the team leader requested during the 2016 team leader meeting. The rule changes are mostly the ones that were discussed and agreed upon during the last years team leader meeting. In addition, we considered the document with comments that was provided by teams Baset, NimbRo and Rhoban. The draft can be found here.

As requested by the team leaders, we tried to highlight all rule changes in the new rule book. Please note that the marked rule changes are the intended rule changes in the content - due to the conversion to the FIFA laws, the wording of other rules might have changed as well. However, all parts of the rule book that are not marked should not contain content changes.

The process for the discussion is as follows: You can take part in the discussion here in the forum in this category until 2017-01-31. The Technical Committee will try to take part in the forum discussions as well. The contributions and discussions up to the end of January will be reviewed by the Technical Committee and - in case of mixed opinions about a topic - the Technical Committee will vote on issues brought up. We hope to have the final rule book ready by mid February 2017.

The change of the rule format to fit the FIFA rules was not an easy process. Even though the Technical Committee reviewed the rules multiple times, there might still be unintended changes of rule content in the rules. When reviewing the new rule book, I would therefore kindly ask you to take a look at last years rule book again and see if

  • rules are missing in the new rule book compared to last year
  • the wording of the FIFA rules changes the content of the RoboCup rules without being marked in magenta in the
  • the format of the rules is broken somewhere or there are spelling mistakes

Please also note those errors here in the forum.

Hey everyone, this is Sotiris from team Tsinghua Hephaestus.

So, after briefly checking the new rule draft, there is no more Dribble and Kick for AdultSize Humanoids, right? Only a 1-on-1 normal soccer game, with no obstacles or time restrictions?
Also, will AdultSize Humanoids be allowed to come into physical contact with each other?

I hope I didn’t miss something in the new rules and I am asking these questions under the wrong impression.

PS. I noticed one or two grammar mistakes in the modifications, but we can get into that later.

Hej Sotiris,

yes, the Dribble and Kick competition for AdultSize has been fully replaced with a normal 1-on-1 soccer game. The rules of the other sub-leagues will apply to the AdultSize, with the modification that AdultSize robots still don’t need to be able to get up autonomously and that robot handlers are allowed on the field to protect their robots (although the robot will receive a penalty and need to start from outside the field again when touched by the robot handler). No obstacles will be on the field (except for the other robot) and the normal time restriction of 10 minutes for each half time will apply.

The robots might come into physical contact with each other. However, the Technical Committee prepared a more clear and detailed pushing rule similar to the rule in SPL for this year as part of the introduction of the free kick procedure. This rule should limit the physical contact between the robots so that very forceful contact that destabilizes a robot is penalized. So we hope to see less violent physical contact and better obstacle detection this year.


Hi all,
this is Uli from Team Sweaty, Humanoid Adult size.
Thanks to the technical committee for the work.

Up to now we have the following comment:

line 404 … states:

  • quote
    Any other type of communication with the robot, excluding verbal communication of the robot handler, has to be announced …
  • unquote
    which might imply that the robot handler can talk to the robot (like ‘stop’ or even more precise ‘the ball is right behind you’)
    This is somehow the way it is in real soccer games, but is contradictionairy to the next paragraph, which could be interpreted that no speech or sound recognition is allowed.

Please clarify, whether speech or sound recognition is allowed or not.



Verbal communication may be used, with robots on the field and in service. However, no communication, including verbal communication may contain information which reduces the need for autonomy. That means you may communicate with the robot verbally and say “become a defender” without the need to put the robot in service. However, you may not say “the ball is right behind you”. This was at least my intention when writing the rule.

I just realized that the paragraph starting at 409 need to be magenta as well since it was added to this years rules.

This seems to be quite complicated, as there is a lot of room for discussion. Imagine the deputy referee from our team does not speak Korean or the Iranien deputy referee does not speak Badisch: how should she/he interpret the communication?
And even, if you would restrict the communication to the English language:there are sentences and words which can be interpreted in both ways: in adult size the information “become a defender” is a reduction of autonomy, as it indicates that the opponent will reach the ball faster and the robot has to change strategy.

In real soccer, verbal communication with the trainer is a reduction of autonomy, special words have special meanings (like “Hintermann” in German).

We would appreciate a clear yes or no to verbal communication.

Just for completeness, you may also want to refer to point 2 in:

Hi all,

what is the status of the polishing process? The mid of Feb. 2017 is over and we are hopefully looking towards the release.

Greetz from Wolfenbüttel =)

We are working on it! Please check out my latest posts about the rule changes here in the forum. We hope to have a final version out next week, but the current version that you can find in the official git repository should be very close to being final already.