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GEAR Competition


Block N' Load: The Game

The objective of this year's challenge, Block n' Load, was to capture territory on the playing field and defend it from opponents. Sections of the playing field were considered "captured" by the team with the most colored blocks in that area. Each team started with 12 blocks of either red, blue, green, or yellow.

The teams' blocks were lined along the edge of a starting box opposite a gate. One member of each team, the loader, stood behind the blocks, facing his or her gate.

When the match started, the loader loaded blocks onto the machine, after which the machine could drive onto the field through the starting gate to deploy the blocks. Once any part of the machine or any blocks entered the playing field, the loader had to stop loading blocks onto the machine.

At the end of each match, the team with the most blocks touching the carpet in a given section "captured" that section. Blocks stacked on top of other blocks or inside a machine didn't count. If two teams were tied for the highest number of blocks in a section, neither team captured the section -- neither did a third team if it also has blocks in that section.

The Playing Field: The game was played in a 24-foot, diamond-shaped arena.

Scoring: Four teams competed in each round. Game points were awarded based on which sections each team has captured, with some sections worth more points than others. Sections outside the blue "square" were worth 1 point, sections inside the blue "square" were worth 2 points, and the red sections counted 4 points outside the blue area and 8 points inside the blue area. Scores were given based on the total points of all the sections captured.

The goal of the game was to capture territory, and the number of blocks in each section didn't change the number of points scored for capturing that section. Blocks determined which team captured the section, and the sections captured determined the score. Match points were awarded based on the placement of teams in the match: 9 points for first, 6 points for second, 3 points for third, and 1 point for fourth. Matches were two minutes long, including the time it took the loader to load blocks onto the machine.

The Rules: Teams could move or pick up their opponents blocks, they could block other machines or defend captured territory, and they could defend sections they had claimed from opponents.

Competition Results: