Two robots compete in each bout, each trying to stay in the arena longer than the other robot. Robots are encouraged but not obliged to actively push their opponent out of the arena. At the beginning of each bout, the two robots are placed on opposite sides of the arena, each lying (at least partly) over the white perimeter marking. The robots are positioned so that a straight line joining them can pass thorugh the centre point of the arena. The initial orientation of each robot will be specified by the referee. The bout ends either when a robot leaves the arena or once 1 minute has elapsed, whichever occurs first. If only one robot remains in the arena at the end of the bout, that robot is the winner. If both robots remain in the arena at the end of the bout, that robot which is farthest from the centre of the arena is the loser. Distance from the centre of the arena will be measured from the centre point of the arena to the farthest point on each robot. If at the end of the bout, both robots leave the arena, the robot which leaves second (as decided by the judges) is the winner. If a robot remains immobilised for 10 seconds or more, it can be disqualified at the discretion of the judges. This may include robots which have moving parts, but are nonetheless immobilised (e.g. upside down). If both robots remain stationary for 10 seconds while in contact with each other (i.e. locked in battle), both robots may be returned to their starting positions at the judges' discretion. In this event, the timer for the bout will not be reset. These rules have been drawn up with thoughtful deliberation and in consultation with the competitors. However, it is impossible for absolutely every eventuality to be foreseen, so common sense may need to be applied. Therefore, in all matters, the decision of the judges is absolutely final.
The 2010 Tournament
The 2010 tournament will feature two distinct stages. The first is a sorting stage in which all competing teams will be ranked on a leaderboard using a process described below. At the conclusion of the sorting stage, the eight highest ranking teams will progress to a knockout stage which will determine the overall winner (as well as 2nd, 3rd and 4th places).
Each team will initally hold the same position on the leaderboard that they held at the end of a preliminary competition which will be held before the tournament.
A team can advance up the leaderboard only by challenging and defeating the team ranked immediately above them. Teams will be given the opportunity to challenge according to a well-defined iterating sequence. The opportunity to challenge will initally be given to the lowest ranked team. It will subsequently pass to the second lowest ranked team, followed by the third lowest ranked, and so on all the way up the leaderboard to second highest ranked team. Since the highest ranked team is already at the top of the leaderboard, they will not be given the opportunity to challenge. Instead, the opportunity will return again to the lowest ranked team and the sequence will be repeated. The opportunity to challenge will climb up the leaderboard, over and over again until the judges declare the sorting stage of the competition complete, either because a pre-arranged time limit has been reached or because significant changes are no longer taking place on the leaderboard.
When a team makes use of the opportunity to challenge the team ranked immediately above them, a bout takes place. if the challenger wins the bout, the two teams' rankings are reversed. Otherwise, the rankings remain unchanged.