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Best Fever

(Compliments of SA BEST)

The Story. Alas, poor Squeaky has been feeling under the weather. Squeaky* has a severe case of BEST FEVER. His system must be treated radically. Only gene therapy can cure him, his DNA must be repaired. Let's all work together to save Squeaky so he will be at his BEST for another 10 years!

* Who is Squeaky? - the famous prototype robot of Ted Mahler (one of the BEST founders) and psuedo BEST mascot.

Objective. The objective of the game is for teams to use their remote-controlled machines to collect various DNA components (balls) and place them into the appropriate sorting/scoring areas on the field. The field is covered with two types of game pieces: plastic “ball-pit” balls that represent deoxyribonucleotides (DNA), and standard tennis balls that represent the PCR (Polymer Chain Reaction) Primer components. (You may have to study the Human Genome Project to understand what this means.) In addition, there are four “Hidden Gene” pieces that are initially placed on the structure in the center of the game field. Point values for the various game pieces are given in the table below.

Scoring Location

Private Area
 Point Value

Shared Area
 Point Value

DNA Sorting Area



PCR Primer Receptacle Area



Hidden Gene Capture Area



A game pieces only scores when it is placed into it’s respective scoring area as detailed in the field diagram. The position of the game piece at the end of the match determines whether or not it scores.

Overview of the game field (yes, there are really 800 plastic balls on the field!)

The field diagram indicates that teams have private and shared scoring areas. The private DNA scoring areas are behind the starting location for the machine. The private PCR Primer scoring area are located on the receptacle (frisbee) behind the team’s denaturing switch. The other scoring areas are shared between the adjacent teams. When game pieces are placed into a shared scoring area, both teams assigned to that scoring area receive the points for that game piece, regardless of which team actually placed the game piece into the scoring area. Note that for the DNA scoring area, the shared scoring areas are worth considerably more than the private areas; this is to encourage cooperation between the teams. The Hidden Genes score for all teams participating in the match.

In addition to scoring with the game pieces, activating the denaturing switch (a paddle with a light on top) scores 3 points for the team assigned to the switch. The switch only scores points the first time it is activated. The order in which the denaturing switches are activated is used to resolve ties.

Unlike past games where machines were free to roam about the game field, this year the robots are not allowed to drive on the field surface. The fixed-base, moving-arm robot configuration is typical of many industrial robots. Purely defensive strategies are not allowed and other defensive actions are subject to penalty.