We hate making rule changes in the middle of events! But we're seeing a real problem that needs to be fixed and we think you will mostly like this change anyway.
S07-C says pilots can't reach outside the port. Traditionally, we have rules that minimize the chance that someone will come in contact with a robot while a match is going on, so this rule made sense, especially as it seemed pretty easy to avoid violating it. However, in Team Update 14, we added a feature to the airship that ensured handles of the carriage assemblies (which are used to get gears up to the pilots) could not be lost overboard. This change fixed this one problem but inadvertently made manipulating the carriage without at least occasionally reaching outside the port, and so breaking the rule, harder.
As a result, we were seeing many yellow cards being called on teams today, even leading to a handful of red cards. This didn't seem right, under the circumstances, so we're fixing it on the fly. The exact wording of the change will be included in the team update, but essentially incidental and brief excursions outside the port required to manipulate the carriage assembly will not be penalized, though at no time may a pilot reach below the deck of the airship.
This rule will be put in place effective tomorrow, Saturday, March 4th. Head Refs will announce it to teams at events in the morning. Also, we are undoing all cards that we are certain got assigned to teams today for S07-C violations that would not have been violations if this rule tweak had been in place. As a result, you may see some rankings jump around tonight or tomorrow morning, as red cards get cleared - so be ready!
Again, this is not necessarily the exact wording of the change that will be made to the manual next week, but it will be something along these lines.
Sorry for making this change in the middle of events, but we do think it was best for the community that we do so.