New coaches and teams—one thing that can easily be missed with just a quick reading of the rules manual is that the rules published in April when a game is announced are not yet final! Yes, tucked away in the back (from the In The Zone manual here, but it's basically the same every year), “General Game Rules” <G18> says:
All rules in this manual are subject to changes, and not considered official until August 17th, 2017. We do not expect any major changes to take place, however we do reserve the right to make game changes until August 17th, 2017. There will also be scheduled manual updates on June 15th, 2017 and April 5th, 2018.
a. The Game Design Committee reserves the right to make changes to this manual in the April 5th, 2018 release specifically for the VEX Robotics World Championship. Specific items which will be considered for changes are the number of Cones and Mobile Goals.
So teams need to be on their toes and check the REC website and the VEX Forum on June 15 to see what modifications to the rules, if any, have been made in the scheduled update, and then again periodically until August 17 to make sure that nothing has changed.
In the Nothing But Net game, for example, the original rules indicated that the drive team could either place the driver-loaded balls gently on the robot, or drop the balls onto the field without breaking the plane of the field—a rule that would be extremely difficult to put into practice! The June update changed that rule so that drive team members could reach over the barrier to place balls on the starting tile or on/into the robot. Unless teams check the website for the rules update in June and August, these critical new rules can be missed.