RoboCup Junior 2001
SOCCER rules

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Playing Field.


The playing field is 48 inches (122 cm) by 72 inches (183 cm). A diagram of the field is shown here.


The floor of the playing field will be covered with a printed greyscale that will be available from the organizing committee. The playing field may be placed on a table or on the floor. Every effort shall be made to ensure that the field is flat and level. However, it is recommended that teams design their robots to cope with slight curvatures of the surface.

To order greyscales, send email to: They sell for US$16 for a set of two, plus shipping costs.


Walls shall be placed all around the field, including behind the goals. The walls shall be painted with the dullest darkest matte black colour and shall be 5.5 inches (14 cm) high.


The width of each goal is 18 inches (45 cm), centered on the shorter end of the field. The back and sides of the goal (inside the field) shall be painted grey.


Building plans for the field will be provided by the organizers so that teams may construct their own practice fields to use in preparation for the tournament.


A description of the lighting will be provided by the local organizers. The RoboCup Junior tournament will take place in the same venue as the senior league competitions, and as such, the lighting conditions will be the same. Teams must come prepared to callibrate their robots based on the lighting conditions at the venue.



The total floor area occupied by a robot shall not exceed 220 square centimetres.


The standing robot must fit inside an upright 22cm diameter cylinder. Robots will be measured with all parts fully extended.


The robot height must be 22cm or less.


Competitors are encouraged to decorate their robots to give them individuality, however colors of robots should not interfere with light sensors readings of other robots.


A team shall consist of no more than 2 robots.


An electronic ball shall be used, which will be provided by the RoboCup Junior organization. The ball will transmit infra-red (IR) light.

To order a ball, send email to: and ask for the IR Roboball MK2. Information about the ball can be found here:


The robots will be examined by a panel of referees before the start of the tournament to ensure that they meet the constraints described above. While being inspected, each robot must be at its maximum size; i.e., anything that protrudes from the robot must be fully extended. Except as allowed under "Conflict Resolution", any violations of the constraints may disquality a robot from the tournament.

Team members will be asked to explain the operation of their robots in order to verify that the construction and the programming of the robot is their own work. Robots must be predominantly constructed by the students. Commercial kits may be used but must be substantially modified by the students. Teams will be disqualified at the discretion of the tournament referee if robots are not essentially the work of the students.

Mentors will not be allowed in the inspection area

Conflict Resolution.

Resolution of dispute and interpretation of ambiguity of rules shall be made by three officials, who will act as umpires, designated prior to the tournament. The umpires shall not have any relationship with any of the teams entered in the tournament. Ambiguities shall be resolved by referring to FIFA official regulations, where appropriate. Specific modifications to the rules to allow for special problems and/or capabilities of a team's robots may be agreed to at the time of the tournament, provided a majority of the contestants agree.

Pre-game setup.

Organizers will make every effort to provide the teams access to the competition area at least two hours before the start of the competition. They will also strive to allow at least 20 minutes of setup time before each game. Participants should be aware, however, that conditions may arise where this much time cannot be provided.

Game play.

Length of Game.

The game will consist of two 10-minute halves, with a 5-minute break in the middle. The game clock will run for the duration of the game (two 10-minutes halves), without stopping (exception noted in "Damaged Robots"). The referee will be in charge of the game clock.


At the start of the tournament, each team will draw a number out of a hat. At the start of the first half, the referee will flip a coin to determine which end of the field belongs to which team. The team with the smallest number drawn from the hat will call the coin in the air (heads or tails). At the start of the second half, teams will switch sides - as there may be a lighting advantage from one end to another.


Each half of the game begins with a kick-off. At the time of a kick-off, all robots must be in located on their own side of the field. All robots must be halted. The ball is positioned by the referee in the center of the field, and all robots on the team not kicking off must be at least 6in (15cm) away from the ball. The team kicking off may place one robot near the ball. The referee may adjust the placement of the robots and declares the completion of adjustment 5 seconds before indicating a kick-off. During these 5 seconds, the robots may not move.

On the referee's whistle, the robot kicking off will be started by remote control or by a human team member. The robot will then strike the ball. Note that this same robot cannot re-contact the ball until 1 second has elapsed. After the robot has contacted the ball or 5 seconds has passed, the referee will blow the whistle again and the other robots will be started by remote control or human team members.


In general, movement of robots by humans is not acceptable. There are three exceptions to this rule: see "Kick-Offs", "Stuck Robots" and "Damaged Robots". Before the start of each match, teams should designate one human who will be allowed to start, place, remove and replace robots during the game, based on the stated rules.

Team members within the vicinity of the playing field are to remain seated while the ball is in play, unless otherwise directed by the referee.

Ball Movement.

The ball must go forward from the kick-off, or else the kick-off will be repeated. If a kick-off needs to be repeated more than three times, the kick-off right is passed to the other team.

A player cannot "hold" a ball. Holding a ball means taking a full control of the ball by removing all of its degrees of freedom. For example, this would mean fixing a ball to the robot's body or surrounding a ball using the robot's body to prevent access by others.

The ball must be visible at all times. It cannot be underneath a robot! No encircling clamp or entrapment of the ball allowed. Other players must be able to access it. The gap in front of the player must be at least 1.5 times the diameter of the ball.

The ball may be lifted during play by the robots. However, the height of the ball from the table must not endanger spectators, the referees or human team members!!


The ball must be free rolling to score a goal. Once ball has gone into the goal area and goal has been called by the umpire, the ball will be placed manually back in the center of the playing field. If the ball crosses the goal line 5.5in (14cm) above the table, the goal is disallowed and a free kick is awarded to the defending team.

After a goal is scored, a kick-off will occur. The non-scoring team will be awarded the ball. See "Kick-Offs".


If desired, teams may designate one player as a goalie. Note that the goalie is subject to the same foul rules as the other robots on the field. See "Fouls".


The following fouls are defined:

Lack of progress. If it is deemed by the referee that game play has stopped, then a free kick is awarded to whichever team touched the ball last. A game is considered stopped if the ball has not been touched by any robot for 20 seconds and it appears that no robots are likely to hit the ball.

Non-moving robots. If the referee determines that a robot is not moving for a period of 20 seconds or longer, the referee may remove it from the playing field at the request of a team member. Participants may repair the robot and ask that it be put back in play after at least one minute.

Multiple Defense. When more than one robot from the defending side enters the defense zone and substantially affects the game, a foul will be called and a free kick will be declared.

Free Kick.

Free kicks are taken after a foul or a stoppage in play. If the free kick is taken after a foul, the ball is placed at the point where the foul was committed. If the free kick is taken after a stoppage in play, the ball remains in place. If the ball is within 6in (15cm) of a wall or the defense zone line, the ball will be placed 6in (15cm) from the wall or defense zone.

All robots must be placed at least 6in (15cm) from the ball. The team receiving the free kick may place one robot near the ball. This robot may strike the ball on the referee's whistle. This robot cannot re-contact the ball until 1 second has passed. Other robots are started by competitors once the free kick is taken.

Penalty kicks.

There are no penalty kicks.


There are no offside rules.


There are no timeouts in the game.


Substitution of robots is strictly forbidden. Each team is allowed two and only two robots, both of which must pass inspection prior to the commencement of the tournament. Any team found violating this rule will be disqualified.

Stuck Robots.

Humans are not allowed to free robots that are stuck, except as directed by the referee. In this case, the referee may initiate a stoppage of play, and then one human team member may move the stuck robot(s) only far enough to free them. The referee may re-position the robot(s) as well.

Damaged robots.

If robots fall apart during game play, with the referee's permission, one team member may remove the damaged robot from the field. The team may fix the damaged robot on the spot and return it to a position on the field determined by the referee. Play continues during removal, repair and replacement; however, the referee may choose to stop play for up to one minute during removal and replacement in order to avoid interference with the other robots on the field.

Playing Field Modification.

Modification or damage to the playing field and/or the game ball is forbidden. Should this occur, the game is suspended, and the appropriate restoration is done immediately, before the game resumes. If the referee deems that one team caused the damage purposely or maliciously, then that team may be disqualified.


During play, if a robot utilizes a device or an action which continuously exerts, or whose primary purpose appears to be, serious damage to other robots' functions, the referee can present a yellow card as a warning to the responsible robot. A team member must then remove the robot from the playing field and correct the problem; play will continue (as in "Damaged Robots"). Once the correction is made, the robot may resume play under an approval by the umpire. In case the problem is repeated, the umpire presents a red card and the offending robot will be permanently removed from the game. This rule could be invoked on a robot should it continuously charge a robot whilst attempting to tackle another robot.


There is no sabotage allowed. Robot that cause deliberate interference with other robots will be disqualified. Robots that perform serious and repeated charging and/or attacking of other robots, effecting damage to another robot's functions, is not allowed.

Fair play.

Aside from the above items, no regulations are placed against possible body contacts, charging, dangerous plays, obstructions, etc. However, it is expected that the aim of all teams is to play a fair and clean game of robot soccer.



An understanding that has been a part of World Robocup Competitions, is that any technological advantage must be shared with other competitors after the event. This allows the competition to develop and encourages further development. Any student developments may be published on the RoboCup Junior web site after the event.

Wireless Communication.

No wireless or infra-red (IR) communication devices will be allowed in the tournament hall. However, robots may be activated through the use of hand-held remote controls, activated by the referees at the start of each half of the game and after any stoppage of play.


It is hoped that all participants, students and mentors, will respect the RoboCup Junior mission. The referees will officiate within the spirit of the event. "It is not whether you win or lose, but how much you learn that counts."

Consideration for other teams.

Competitors are not to enter setup areas of other leagues or other teams, unless invited to do so by team


All movement and behavior is to be of a subdued nature within the tournament venue. Participants who misbehave may be asked to leave the building and risk being disqualified from the tournament, at the discretion of the referees, umpires and conference organizers.

last updated: 18 February 2001 (eis)

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