I would just like to clarify my understanding of free kicks.
As far as I can tell, when a free kick is awarded and the corresponding button is pressed on the game controller, the robots should at first just freeze where they are. The ball is then placed at the appropriate location (at most 1m away from the current ball position or it would have been a removal penalty instead) and the button on the game controller is pressed again. Now the robots have 15 seconds to position themselves relative to the ball, and when the button on the game controller is pressed again play continues and the free kick can be taken.
Is this all correct so far?
What happens if a positioning robot during the prepare phase accidentally knocks the ball from where it should be?
The execution of free kicks is NOT a stoppage of play and NOT a kickoff, correct? Meaning that robot handlers cannot touch their robots at any time, no timeouts can be called, no substitutions can be made, no manual positioning for the free kick behind the ball is allowed, or manual repositioning if a robot is too close to the ball etc… exactly as if normal play had continued?
Yes, your understanding is generally correct. However, the positioning of the ball can be more than one meter away from the current ball position, but not from the position where the offense occurred. This may happen if the offense occurred while the ball was in that radius of a meter around where the offense happened, but then the ball is kicked away before / while / after the whistle was blown. Then the ball will be brought back to the position where it was when the offense occurred, which is the main reasoning for having the “freeze” time in the first place.
The following rule applies:
If a free kick was awarded to team A and any player of team B touches the ball before the referee announced the execution of the free kick:
The free kick is retaken.
The player touching the ball received a warning. For the second warning, the player received a yellow card. For the fourth warning, the player receives a second yellow card.
If a robot of team A touches the ball, the same warning procedure applies, but the free kick is not retaken but the ball is in play immediately.
Correct. There are no timeouts, no substitutions and no manual positioning for free kicks.