Questions about indirect free kicks

Some questions:

  1. Line 812 awards an indirect free kick for “impeding the progress of an opponent”. How is that different from the triggers for a direct free kick? Is just standing in the way “impeding the progress of an opponent”, or does it involve a robot actively preventing an opponent from moving in the way they want to through contact (e.g. an outstretched arm)?
  • What is an example of a common game situation (i.e. not related to a goalie handling the ball) that an indirect free kick is awarded instead of a direct one? (Law 13)
  • Lines 871-875 (protocol for performing a free kick) are under the indirect free kick section, but it would be better to put these lines under “Procedure” (line 884), as it applies to both direct and indirect free kicks.
  • Line 879 specifies that for an indirect free kick the ball must touch another player before it enters the goal. What happens if there is only one player on the field (e.g. AdultSize, but not limited to)? Even if there is a goalie on the same team, 8m away, this still doesn’t help. We propose that for an indirect free kick the ball must be touched more than once before a goal can be scored, but possibly by the same robot. Lines 927 and 936 prevent the taker of a free kick from touching the ball again before someone else has, which poses a highly related problem. It is recommended to suspend this rule in the context of robot soccer.

In general, indirect free kicks are a lot more seldom called, even in real soccer. I found a definition of impeding the progress of another player here. Even if rules might seldom be applied, if it doesn’t hurt the game to have them I think we should keep them. However, I agree that there is a problem with the procedure you mentioned in 4. which should be changed.

  1. Impending typically is without bodily contact (more or less). If there is a (forceful) contact it would be direct.
  2. For humans it would be dangerous game play - but robots typically have no fear (yet). For robots it would be for example (deliberately) causing a following robot to bump into it. Plus, it covers everything that has not ben covered by the rules (explicitly). Most of the offenses are actually related to goalies.
  3. agree
  4. I agree with respect to adult size. For kid and teen the rule may foster cooperation among robots, but we may be asking too much from the teams for the moment, so maybe we should also ‘soften’ this rule here (for some time).
  1. Even in the link that Maike sent, the definition of impeding the opponent doesn’t really quite work for robots, because robots will often block each other (unintentionally?) while walking around the field, because they might not even be able to see/perceive the other robot being blocked. If it is just to be understood that this rule will essentially never be used because it is not really relevant for robot soccer, then ok…
  • It is extremely hard to be certain enough that a robot deliberately caused a following robot to bump into it, that a free kick should be awarded. So all in all, it seems that indirect free kicks can be forgotten unless the goalie does something wrong picking up the ball with its hands. Does the game controller communicate whether an awarded free kick is direct or indirect? If not, how are the robots supposed to know whether they can score directly or not?
  • All agreed, good.
  • Yes, let’s ‘soften’ these two problem rules, and suspend them for now.

The GameController will communicate whether the free kick is direct or indirect. We are working on a new version for the GameController. It will be released in time for the IranOpen so teams will be able to have sufficient time to test it (and report bugs)