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V5RC High Stakes Manual

Changelog


Version 0.2 - June 4, 2024

  • Updated Figure SC3-2 to show a different angle that more clearly shows the Scored Rings
  • Updated <SC8> to clarify that at least one Robot must be touching the Ladder
  • Added a bullet to <SG5> to clarify that preloads may not start in a Scored location
  • Updated <SG6> to clarify Possession limits
  • Deleted <SG6a>; <SG6a-i> was moved into the main part of the rule
  • Updated the Violation Note of <SG6> to clarify that an intentional Violation will be considered a Major Violation, rather than Match Affecting
  • Updated <R16e> to clarify that <R8d> is an exception
  • Updated <T10d> and <T10e> to clarify Ring and Mobile Goal weights
  • Updated <RSC4> to clarify intent, and added a new bullet point
  • Minor typo / formatting fixes

Version 0.1 - April 30, 2024

  • Initial Release

Quick Reference Guide


Scoring Rules

<SC1>

All Scoring statuses are evaluated after the Match ends.

<SC2>

Scoring of the Autonomous Bonus is immediately after the ends

<SC3>

Scored on a Stake criteria

<SC4>

Top Ring criteria

<SC5>

Placed in a Corner criteria

<SC6>

Corner modifiers to Scored Rings

<SC7>

Climbed to a Level criteria

<SC8>

Autonomous Win Point

Safety Rules

<S1>

Be safe out there

<S2>

Students must be accompanied by an Adult

<S3>

Stay inside the Field

<S4>

Wear safety glasses

General Game Rules

<G1>

Treat everyone with respect

<G2>

V5RC is a Student-centered program

<G3>

Use common sense

<G4>

The Robot must represent the skill level of the Team

<G5>

Robots begin the Match in the starting volume

<G6>

Keep your Robots together

<G7>

Don’t clamp your Robot to the Field

<G8>

Only Drive Team Members, and only in the Alliance Station

<G9>

Hands out of the Field

<G10>

Controllers must stay connected to the Field

<G11>

Autonomous means “no humans”

<G12>

All rules still apply in the Autonomous Period

<G13>

Don’t destroy other Robots

<G14>

Offensive Robots get the “benefit of the doubt”

<G15>

You can’t force an opponent into a penalty

<G16>

No Holding for more than a 5-count

<G17>

Use Scoring Objects to play the game

Specific Game Rules

<SG1>

Starting a Match

<SG2>

Horizontal expansion is limited

<SG3>

Vertical expansion is limited

<SG4>

Keep Scoring Objects in the field

<SG5>

Each Robot gets one Ring as a preload

<SG6>

Possession is limited to two Rings and one Mobile Goal

<SG7>

Don’t cross the Autonomous Line

<SG8>

Engage with the Autonomous Line at your own risk

<SG9>

Don’t remove opponents from the Ladder

<SG10>

Alliance Wall Stakes are protected

Robot Rules

<R1>

One Robot per Team

<R2>

Robots must represent the Team’s skill level

<R3>

Robots must pass inspection

<R4>

Robots must fit within an 18” x 18” x 18” volume

<R5>

Robots may only expand horizontally in one direction

<R6>

Robots must be safe

<R7>

Robots are built from the VEX V5 system

<R8>

Certain non-VEX components are allowed

<R9>

Decorations are allowed

<R10>

Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot license plates

<R11>

Let go of Scoring Objects after the Match

<R12>

Robots have one Brain

<R13>

Motors are limited

<R14>

Electrical power comes from VEX batteries only

<R15>

No modifications to electronic or pneumatic components are allowed

<R16>

Most modifications to non-electrical components are allowed

<R17>

Robots use VEXnet

<R18>

Give the radio some space

<R19>

A limited amount of custom plastic is allowed

<R20>

A limited amount of tape is allowed

<R21>

Certain non-VEX fasteners are allowed

<R22>

New VEX parts are legal

<R23>

Pneumatics are limited

<R24>

One or two Controllers per Robot

<R25>

Custom V5 Smart Cables are allowed

<R26>

Keep the power button accessible

<R27>

Use a “Competition Template” for programming

<R28>

There is a difference between accidentally and willfully violating a Robot rule

Tournament Rules

<T1>

Head Referees have final authority on all gameplay ruling decisions

<T2>

Head Referees must be qualified

<T3>

The Drive Team is permitted to immediately appeal a Head Referee’s ruling

<T4>

Event Partners have final authority regarding all non-gameplay decisions

<T5>

A Team’s Robot and/or Drive Team Member should attend every Match

<T6>

Robots at the field must be ready to play

<T7>

Match replays are allowed, but rare

<T8>

Disqualifications

<T9>

Each Elimination Alliance gets one Time Out

<T10>

Be prepared for minor Field variance

<T11>

Fields may be repaired at the Event Partner’s discretion

<T12>

The red Alliance places last

<T13>

Qualification Matches follow the Match Schedule

<T14>

Each Team will have at least six Qualification Matches

<T15>

Qualification Matches contribute to a Team’s ranking for Alliance Selection

<T16>

Qualification Match tiebreakers

<T17>

Send a Student representative to Alliance Selection

<T18>

Each Team may only be invited once to join one Alliance

<T19>

Elimination Matches follow the Elimination Bracket

<T20>

Elimination Matches are a blend of “Best of 1” and “Best of 3”

<T21>

Small tournaments may have fewer Alliances

<T22>

Fields at an event must be consistent with each other

<T23>

There are three types of field control that may be used

<T24>

There are two types of Field Perimeter that may be used

Robot Skills Challenge Rules

<RSC1>

All rules from “The Game” section still apply, unless otherwise noted

<RSC2>

Skills Match Schedule

<RSC3>

Robots must start the Robot Skills Match in a legal starting position for the red Alliance

<RSC4>

Blue Rings may only be Scored as Top Rings on Stakes.

<RSC5>

Any red Ring Scored above a blue Ring on the same Stake will not have a point value

<RSC6>

Top Ring criteria

<RSC7>

No Corner Modifiers

<RSC8>

Skills Challenge Fields do not require the same modifications as the Head-to-Head Fields

VEX U Game Rules

<VUG1>

Different expansion

<VUG2>

Different Climbing

<VUG3>

Different autonomous

VEX U Robot Rules

<VUR1>

Teams may use two (2) Robots in each Match

<VUR2>

Teams may use any official VEX Robotics products

<VUR3>

Fabricated Parts

<VUR4>

Fabricated Parts must be made from legal Raw Stock

<VUR5>

Raw Stock

<VUR6>

Fabricated Parts may not be made from Raw Stock which poses a safety or damage risk

<VUR7>

Fabricated Parts must be made by Team members

<VUR8>

Springs

<VUR9>

Fasteners

<VUR10>

One (1) V5 Robot Brain and up to two (2) V5 Robot Radios

<VUR11>

No motor restrictions

<VUR12>

No sensor and other Additional Electronics restrictions

<VUR13>

Unlimited amount of the following commercially available pneumatic components

<VUR14>

Teams may use commercially available bearings on their Robot

VEX U Tournament Rules

<VUT1>

VEX U Matches will be played 1-Team vs. 1-Team

<VUT2>

Qualification Matches will be conducted in the 1v1 format

<VUT3>

Elimination Matches will be conducted without an Alliance Selection

<VUT4>

The Autonomous Period at the beginning of each Head-to-Head Match will be 30 seconds

<VUT5>

The Driver Controlled Period is shortened to 90 seconds

<VUT6>

Each Robot is allowed up to three (3) Drive Team Members in the Alliance Station

<VUT7>

VEX U Student eligibility

VEX U Robot Skills Rules

<VURS1>

Different Field layout for VEX U Robot Skills Matches

<VURS2>

Both Robots must start in legal starting positions for the red Alliance

<VURS3>

There are no preloads in VURC Robot Skills Matches

<VURS4>

Scored Blue Ring criteria


Section 1


Introduction


Overview

This section provides an introduction to the VEX V5 Robotics Competition (V5RC) and V5RC High Stakes.


The VEX V5 Robotics Competition

Our world faces a serious problem. It’s a problem that, without explicit and intentional action, will eventually stagnate global progress and lead to a workforce that is unmotivated and ill-equipped to solve its future problems. As the world grows more technologically complex, the challenges we face every day will continue to escalate along with it. A cell phone has more failure modes than a landline. The internals of an electric vehicle are more difficult to comprehend than a V8 combustion engine. Unmanned drone legislation is more nuanced than defining a maximum speed limit.

Dubbed “the STEM problem,” the situation is equally simple to understand, yet difficult to solve. In many cases, the traditional methods of teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will not be enough to adequately prepare students for this complex world. This is often coupled with the unfortunate reality that by the time they reach an age capable of grasping these critical topics, students may have already determined that they are “not cool” or “boring.” Without the skills or passion necessary to approach these problems in an educated manner, you cannot possibly expect to be productive in making forward progress or even sustaining the status quo.

The VEX V5 Robotics Competition exists to solve this problem. Through its uniquely engaging combination of teamwork, problem solving, and scientific discovery, the study of competitive robotics encompasses aspects of STEM. You’re not building VEX robots because your future job will involve tightening shaft collars on a metal bar—you’re executing an engineering design and problem-solving process that resembles the same mindset used by rocket scientists, brain surgeons, and inventors around the world. VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes is not just a game that we invented because it is fun to play—it is a vehicle for teaching (and testing) teamwork and perseverance in the face of hardship, and provides a methodology to approach and solve new challenges with confidence.

Contained in this manual are the rules that shape V5RC High Stakes. These rules are designed to simulate the constraints that will outline any real-world project. They are intended to promote creativity without punishing innovation. They are balanced to promote fair play while encouraging competition.

We encourage you to keep in mind that a VEX V5 Robotics Competition game is more than just a set of game objectives worth varying amounts of points. It is an opportunity to hone the lifelong skills that will characterize the problem-solving leaders of tomorrow.

Good luck, and we’ll see you on the playing field!

Sincerely,

The VEX Robotics Game Design Committee, composed of members from the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, DWAB Technology, and VEX Robotics


V5RC High Stakes: A Primer


VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes is played on a 12’x12’ square Field, set up as illustrated in the figures throughout.

In Head-to-Head Matches, two (2) Alliances—one (1) “red” and one (1) “blue”—composed of two (2) Teams each, compete in Matches consisting of a fifteen (15) second Autonomous Period followed by a one minute and forty-five second (1:45) Driver Controlled Period.

The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by Scoring Rings on Stakes, Placing Mobile Goals, and Climbing at the end of the Match.

An Autonomous Win Point is awarded to any Alliance that completes four (4) assigned tasks by the end of the Autonomous Period.

An Autonomous Bonus is awarded to the Alliance that has the most points at the end of the Autonomous Period.

Teams may also compete in Robot Skills Matches, where one (1) Robot tries to score as many points as possible. See Section 5 for more information.


About the Game Manual - A Note from the GDC


This Game Manual contains everything there is to know about this season’s game, V5RC High Stakes. It is intended to be a resource for all Teams, Head Referees, Event Partners, and other members of the V5RC community.

The rules contained in the following pages can be thought of as “constraints” that define this game, just as engineers begin any design project by defining their constraints. At the beginning of a season, “constraints” are all we have. We don’t know what the winning Robot, best strategy, or most-frequently-violated rule will be any more than you do. Isn’t that exciting?

When exploring a new game, please approach this Game Manual with that mentality of looking at rules as “constraints.” The Game Manual contains the full and complete list of constraints that are available for a competitor to strategize, design, and build their Robots.

Obviously, all Teams must adhere to these rules, and any stated intents of these rules. However, beyond that, there is no “right” way to play. There are no hidden restrictions, assumptions, or intended interpretations beyond what is written here. So, it is up to you, the competitor, to find the path through these constraints that best suits your team’s goals and ambitions.


Updates


This manual will have a series of “major” and “minor” updates over the course of the season. Each version is official and must be used in official V5RC events until the release of the next version, upon which the previous version becomes void.

The latest version of the Game Manual can always be found at: https://link.vex.com/docs/24-25/v5rc-high-stakes/GameManual

Known major release dates are as follows:

April 30, 2024

Version 0.1

Initial game release

May 14, 2024

N/A

Official Q&A system opens

June 4, 2024

Version 0.2

Minor typographical errors or formatting issues found in the initial release. Very few rule changes are expected

June 25, 2024

Version 1.0

May include gameplay or rule changes inspired by input from the official Q&A system and the VEX community

August 6, 2024

Version 1.1

Clarification / minor update

Sept. 3, 2024

Version 2.0

May include gameplay or rule changes inspired by early-season events

Oct. 8, 2024

Version 2.1

Clarification / minor update

Dec. 3, 2024

Version 2.2

Clarification / minor update

January 28, 2025

Version 3.0

May include gameplay or rule changes inspired by mid-season events

April 2, 2025

Version 4.0

May include gameplay or rule changes pertaining specifically to the VEX Robotics World Championship

In addition to these known major updates, there may also be unscheduled updates released throughout the season if deemed critical by the GDC. Any unscheduled updates will always be released on a Tuesday, no later than 5:00 PM CST (11:00 PM GMT). These updates will be announced via the VEX Forum, automatically pushed to the V5RC Hub app, and shared via VEX Robotics / REC Foundation social media & email marketing channels.

Game Manual updates are effective immediately upon release; it is every Team’s responsibility to be familiar with all rules and updates. There are no “grace periods” if an update prohibits a previously legal part, mechanism, or strategy.

Note: REC Foundation Regional Support Managers will contact Event Partners involved with multi-week league events that “cross over” an update, and/or Event Region Championships that occur within 2 weeks of an update. If a rule change impacts their event (such as a Robot which previously passed inspection no longer being legal), these cases will be reviewed individually depending on the context of the event and the rule that has changed. Exceptions may also be available for non-US championship events that occur within one (1) week of an update. These are the only possible “grace period” exceptions.


The Q&A System


When first reviewing a new robotics game, it is natural to have questions about situations which may not be immediately clear. Navigating the Game Manual and seeking out answers to these questions is an important part of learning a new game. In many cases, the answer may just be in a different place than you first thought—or, if there is no rule explicitly prohibiting something, then that usually means it is legal!

However, if a Team is still unable to find an answer to their question after closely reviewing the relevant rules, then every Team has the opportunity to ask for official rules interpretations and clarifications in the VEX Robotics Question & Answer System. These questions may be posted by an Adult via the RobotEvents account that is associated with that Team.

All responses in this Q&A system should be treated as official rulings from the VEX Robotics Game Design Committee, and they represent the correct and official interpretation of the VEX V5 Robotics Competition Rules. The Q&A system is the only source besides the Game Manual for official rulings and clarifications.

The VEX V5 Robotics Competition Question & Answer System can be found here.

Before posting on the Q&A system, be sure to review the Q&A Usage Guidelines.

  1. Read and search the manual before posting.
  2. Read and search existing Q&As before posting.
  3. Quote the applicable rule from the latest version of the manual in your question.
  4. Make a separate post for each question.
  5. Use specific and appropriate question titles.
  6. Questions will (mostly) be answered in the order they were received.
  7. This system is the only source for official rules clarifications.

If there are any conflicts between the Game Manual and other supplemental materials (e.g., Referee Certification courses, the V5RC Hub app, etc.), the most current version of the Game Manual takes precedence.

Similarly, it can never be assumed that definitions, rules, or other materials from previous seasons apply to the current game. Q&A responses from previous seasons are not considered official rulings for the current game. Any relevant clarifications that are needed should always be re-asked in the current season’s Q&A.


Section 2


The Game


Field Overview


The VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes field consists of the following:

Note: The illustrations in this section of the Game Manual are intended to provide a general visual understanding of the game. Teams should refer to official field specifications, found in Appendix A, for exact field dimensions, a full field bill of materials, and exact details of field construction.

Figure FO-1: Top view of the Field in its starting configuration, with highlighted Mobile Goals (orange), Alliance Stations (yellow), Corners (Green), and the Ladder (pink).

Figure FO-2: Top view of the Field in its starting configuration, with highlighted Rings (Red / Blue).


General Definitions



Adult – Anyone who is not a Student or another defined term (e.g., Head Referee).



Alliance – A pre-assigned grouping of two (2) Teams that are paired together during a given Match.



Alliance Station – The designated regions where the Drive Team Members must remain for the duration of the Match.



Autonomous Bonus – A point bonus awarded to the Alliance that has earned the most points at the end of the Autonomous Period. See <SC2> for more information.



Autonomous Win Point – An additional Win Point awarded to any Alliance that has completed a defined set of tasks at the end of the Autonomous Period of a Qualification Match. See <SC8> for more information.



Disablement – A penalty applied to a Team for a safety Violation. A Team that receives a Disablement is not allowed to operate their Robot for the remainder of the Match, and the Drive Team Member(s) will be asked to place their controller(s) on the ground.



Disqualification – A penalty applied to a Team for a Major Violation. A Team that receives a Disqualification in a Qualification Match receives zero (0) Win Points, (0) Autonomous Win Points, (0) Autonomous Points, and (0) Strength of Schedule Points. When a Team receives a Disqualification in an Elimination Match, the entire Alliance is Disqualified and they receive a loss for the Match. At a Head Referee’s discretion, repeated Violations and/or Disqualifications for a single Team may lead to its Disqualification for the entire tournament (see <T8>). A Team that receives a Disqualification in a Driving Skills Match or Autonomous Coding Skills Match receives a score of zero (0) for that Robot Skills Match.



Drive Team Member(s) – A Student who stands in the Alliance Station during a Match. Adults are not allowed to be Drive Team Members. See rules <G8>, <G9>, and <G10>.



Entanglement – A Robot status. A Robot is Entangled if it has grabbed, hooked, or attached to an opposing Robot or a Field Element. See rule <G13>.



Field – The entire playing Field, comprising the Floor and the Field Perimeter.



Field Element – The Field, white tape, Ladder, Wall Stakes, and all supporting structures or accessories (such as Alliance Station posts, field monitors, etc.).



Field Perimeter – The outer part of the Field, made up of twelve (12) straight sections.



Floor – The interior flat part of the playing Field, made up of six (6) grey foam field tiles wide by six (6) grey foam field tiles long (totaling thirty-six (36) field tiles) that are within the Field Perimeter.



Game Design Committee (GDC) – The creators of V5RC High Stakes, and authors of this Game Manual. The GDC is the only official source for rules clarifications and Q&A responses; see Section 1.



Holding – A Robot status; see rule <G16> for more information. A Robot is considered to be Holding if it meets any of the following criteria during a Match:

  • Trapping – Limiting the movement of an opponent Robot to a small or confined area of the Field, approximately the size of one foam field tile or less, without an avenue for escape. Note that if a Robot is not attempting to escape, it is not considered Trapped.
  • Pinning – Preventing the movement of an opponent Robot through contact with the Field Perimeter, a Field or Game Element, or another Robot.
  • Lifting – Controlling an opponent’s movements by raising or tilting the opponent’s Robot off of the foam tiles.

If the Head Referee determines that the opponent Robot is not attempting to move or escape, then it is not considered Pinned or Trapped. This commonly occurs when the Robot has malfunctioned and lost the ability to move.

This criteria is not required for Lifting; the Holding status begins as soon as the opponent becomes Lifted.



Match – A set time period, consisting of Autonomous and/or Driver Controlled Periods, during which Teams play a defined version of High Stakes to earn points. See Section 4.

  • Autonomous Period – A time period during which Robots operate and react only to sensor inputs and pre-programmed commands.
  • Driver Controlled Period – A time period during which Drive Team Members operate their Robot via remote control.

Match Type

Participants

Pertinent Rules

Autonomous Period (m:ss)

Driver Controlled Period (m:ss)

Head-to-Head

Two Alliances (red/blue), each composed of two Teams, with one Robot each

Scoring (“SC”), Game (“G”), and Specific Game (“SG”) sections

0:15

1:45

Driving Skills Match

One Team, with one Robot

Section 5

None

1:00

Autonomous Coding Skills Match

One Team, with one Robot

Section 5

1:00

None

VEX U

Two Teams (red/blue), with two Robots each

Section 6

0:30

1:30

VEX AI

Two Teams, (red/blue), with two Robots each, utilizing the VEX GPS and VEX AI Camera

Section 7*

0:15

1:45

*Note: The time periods in VAIRC are referred to as the Isolation Period and the Interaction Period. The VEX AI Challenge Section will be released in an upcoming Game Manual Update.



Robot – A machine that has passed inspection, designed by Student Team Members to execute one or more tasks autonomously and/or by remote control from a Drive Team Member.



Student – A person is considered a Student if they meet both of the following criteria:

  1. Anyone who is earning or has earned credit toward a secondary school (i.e., high school) diploma, certificate, or other equivalent during the six (6) months preceding the VEX Robotics World Championship. Courses earning credits leading up to high school would satisfy this requirement.
  2. Anyone born after May 1, 2005 (i.e., who will be 19 or younger at VEX Worlds 2025). Eligibility may also be granted based on a disability that has delayed education by at least one year.



Team – One or more Students make up a Team.

In the context of this Game Manual, Teams contain three types of Student roles related to Robot build, design, and coding. See <G2> and <G4> for more information. Adults may not fulfill any of these roles.

  • Builder – The Student(s) on the Team who assemble(s) the Robot. Adults are permitted to teach the Builder(s) how to use concepts or tools associated with Robot construction, but may never work on the Robot without the Builder(s) present and actively participating.
  • Coder – The Student(s) on the Team who write(s) the computer code that is downloaded onto the Robot. Adults are permitted to teach the Coder(s) how to use concepts or tools associated with programming, but may never work on the code that goes on the Robot without the Coder(s) present and actively participating.
  • Designer – The Student(s) on the Team who design(s) the Robot. Adults are permitted to teach the Designer(s) how to use concepts or tools associated with design, but may never work on the design of the Robot without the Designer(s) present and actively participating.


Violation – The act of breaking a rule in the Game Manual.

Some rules include Violation Notes in red italicized text to denote special circumstances or provide additional clarifications. If no Violation Notes are found in a given rule, then it should be assumed that the above “default” definitions apply.

To determine whether a Violation may have been Match Affecting, check whether the Team who committed the Violation won or lost the Match. If they did not win the Match, then the Violation could not have been Match Affecting, and it was very likely a Minor Violation.

See the flowchart below for more information.

Figure V-1: The process for determining whether or not an infraction should result in a Major Violation or Minor Violation.


Game-Specific Definitions



Autonomous Line – The pair of white tape lines that run across the field, and the space between those lines. See <SG7> for more information.



Corner – One of four 12” (304.8 mm) x 12” (304.8 mm) locations in which Mobile Goals can be Placed. The Corners are bounded by the inner edges of the Field Perimeter and the outer edge of the associated white tape lines. The Corner is defined as the foam tile and tape line themselves; it is not a 3-dimensional volume.


Figure C-1: A depiction of the Corner’s boundaries.

Figure C-2: A Negative Corner.

Figure C-3: A Positive Corner.




Climb – A Robot action. See <SC7>.



Ladder – A 36” (914.4 mm) x 36” (914.4 mm) x 46” (1168.4 mm) structure located in the center of the field. The Ladder has four vertical posts, and three sets of horizontal rungs at 18” (457.2 mm), 32” (812.8 mm), and 46” (1168.4 mm) to denote the three Climbing Levels. There is also a single High Stake atop the vertical post nearest the audience side of the Field, at the 180 degree mark on a GPS strip. All supporting structures, hardware, and the High Stake are considered part of the Ladder.

Figure L-1: The Ladder.

Figure L-2: A depiction of the heights for each Level of the Ladder.



Level – A status used for scoring and expansion rules. See <SC7> and <SG3>.



Mobile Goal – One of five (5) large Scoring Objects, each with a Stake in the center. Mobile Goals are hexagonal, with a maximal diameter of 10” (254 mm) and an overall height of 14.5” (368.3 mm). The Stake is considered part of the Mobile Goal.

Figure MG-1: A depiction of a Mobile Goal.



Placed – A Mobile Goal status. See <SC5>.



Possession – A Robot / Scoring Object status. A Scoring Object is considered Possessed by a Robot if a Robot’s change in direction would result in controlled movement of the Scoring Object. This typically requires at least one of the following to be true:

The difference between Possession and Plowing is analogous to the difference between the terms “controlling” and “moving.”



Plowing – A Robot / Scoring Object status. A Robot is considered to be Plowing a Scoring Object if the Robot is intentionally moving it in a preferred direction with a flat or convex face of the Robot.



Ring – A hollow red or blue torus-shaped plastic object with an outer diameter of 7” (177.8 mm), an inner “hole” diameter of 3” (76.2 mm), and a thickness (or “tube diameter”) of 2” (50.8 mm).

Figure R-1: A depiction of red and blue Rings.



Scored – A Ring status. See <SC3>.



Scoring Object – A Ring or Mobile Goal.



Stake – A vertical ½” (12.7 mm) Schedule 40 PVC pipe (gray, red, or blue) with a compliant barb at the top, used for Scoring Rings. There are ten (10) Stakes:

Stake

Image

Color

Location

Max # of Rings

Neutral Mobile Goal Stake

Yellow

Mobile Goals

6

Alliance Wall Stake

Red / Blue

Field walls parallel to Alliance Stations

2

Neutral Wall Stake

Grey / Yellow

Field walls perpendicular to Alliance Stations

6

High Stake

Yellow

Top of Ladder

1


Starting Line – An infinite vertical plane aligned with the outside edge (closest to the Ladder) of the white tape line that runs parallel to each Alliance Station. See <SG1>.



Top Ring – A Ring status. See <SC4>.


Scoring

Autonomous Bonus

6 Points

Each Ring Scored on a Stake

1 Point

Each Top Ring on a Stake

3 Points

Climb - Level 1

3 Points

Climb - Level 2

6 Points

Climb - Level 3

12 Points

Each Ring Scored on a Mobile Goal / Stake that has been Placed in a Corner

See <SC6>



<SC1> All Scoring statuses are evaluated after the Match ends. Scores are calculated 5 seconds after the Match ends, or once all Scoring Objects, Field Elements, and Robots on the Field come to rest, whichever comes first.

  1. This 5 second delay is intended to be the only permitted “benefit of the doubt” for last-second scoring actions. If an object or Robot is still in motion and “too close to call” between two states at the 5-second mark, then the less advantageous of the two states should be awarded to the Robot(s) in question. For example:

    1. A Robot which has Climbed on the Ladder but is slowly drooping down, and crosses a Level threshold right at 5 seconds, would be considered in the lower of the two Levels.
    2. A Ring which slowly slides out of a Robot’s mechanism and lands on a Stake right at 5 seconds would not be considered Scored.
  2. At the end of the Match, the on-screen timer displayed by Tournament Manager will hold the current Match information and “0:00” for 5 seconds before moving to queue the next Match. This should be the primary 5-second visual cue used by Teams and Head Referees.
  3. This 5 second delay is only intended to be a “benefit of the doubt” grace period, not an extra 5 seconds of Match time. Robots which are designed to strategically exploit this grace period will receive a Minor Violation, and any post-Match movement will not be included in score calculation (i.e., the Match will be scored as it was at 0:00).


<SC2> Scoring of the Autonomous Bonus is evaluated immediately after the Autonomous Period ends (i.e., once all Scoring Objects, Field Elements, and Robots on the Field come to rest).

  1. Climb points and Corner modifiers are not included in the calculation of an Alliance’s score for the purposes of determining the Autonomous Bonus.
  2. If the Autonomous Period ends in a tie, including a zero-to-zero tie, each Alliance will receive an Autonomous Bonus of three (3) points.
  3. Any rule Violations, Major or Minor, during the Autonomous Period will result in the Autonomous Bonus being awarded to the other Alliance. If both Alliances violate rules during the Autonomous Period, no Autonomous Bonus will be awarded.


<SC3> A Ring is considered Scored on a Stake if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Ring is not contacting a Robot from the same color Alliance as the Ring.
  2. The Ring is not contacting a gray foam tile.
  3. The Ring is “encircling” a Stake. In this context, “encircling” means that any part of the Stake is at least partially within the volume defined by the inner edges of the Ring.
  4. The Stake does not exceed its total permitted number of Rings (see definition of Stake). In the event of too many Rings on a Stake, the “highest” Rings will be removed.

Note: There is no requirement for a Mobile Goal to be upright in order for its Rings to be considered Scored. Contact with any other Field Elements or Rings, other than the criteria described above, is irrelevant.

In the vast majority of common scenarios, a Scored Ring will be fully supported by the Stake, other Scored Rings, and/or the Stake’s associated base (i.e., Mobile Goal, field wall, or Ladder). Although this support can be used as a visualization tool when judging edge-case Rings, it is not explicitly required.

Another visualization tool is that if a gentle “shake test” would result in the Ring falling anywhere other than further onto its Stake, then it is most likely not Scored (this test does not apply to tipped Mobile Goals).



Figure SC3-1: The six (6) green highlighted Rings would be considered as Scored, because they are “encircling” a Stake. The three (3) red highlighted Rings would not be considered as Scored, because they exceed the permitted number of Rings on the Mobile Goal Stake.


Figure SC3-2: Even though the Mobile Goal is not upright, the six (6) green highlighted Rings would be considered as Scored, because they meet all the other criteria listed above. The red highlighted Ring would not be considered as “Scored” because it is not “encircling” the Stake, and is touching the grey foam Field tile.



<SC4> A Ring is considered a Top Ring if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Ring is Scored on a Stake (i.e., meets all criteria in <SC3>).
  2. The Ring is the furthest Scored Ring from a given Stake’s base (i.e., Mobile Goal base or Field Perimeter wall).
  3. There is no minimum number of Rings required; if only one Ring is Scored on a Stake, then it is still considered that Stake’s Top Ring.

Note: A Ring that is considered a Top Ring does not also receive points for being Scored on a Stake; i.e., that Ring is worth 3 points, not a total of “3 + 1” points.

Note 2: If a Top Ring cannot be determined, but the two Rings in question are of the same color, then either of them may be considered the Top Ring. If the two Rings in question are of opposite colors, then that Stake will have no Top Rings.



<SC5> A Mobile Goal is considered Placed in a Corner if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Mobile Goal’s base is contacting the Corner (i.e., the Floor and/or white tape line).
  2. It is “upright.” For the purposes of this definition, a Mobile Goal is considered “upright” if no contact is being made between its Stake (and/or any Rings on this Stake) and the Floor or Field Perimeter.
  3. Contact with a Robot is irrelevant, as long as all other criteria are met.

Note: Only one Mobile Goal may be considered Placed in each Corner. If two Mobile Goals meet the above requirements in the same Corner, the following criteria will be used as a series of “tiebreakers” to determine which Mobile Goal is Placed:

  1. Compare the number of Field Perimeter segments contacted by the Mobile Goal; higher number is better.
  2. A Mobile Goal that is contacting a white tape line ranks lower than one which is not.
  3. A Stake that is roughly perpendicular to the Floor ranks higher than a Stake that is not as “vertical.”
  4. If criteria 1-3 are still tied, then neither Mobile Goal is considered Placed.


<SC6> A Mobile Goal that has been Placed will result in the following Corner modifiers to its Scored Rings:

  1. Placed in a Positive Corner

    1. Values of all Scored Rings on the Mobile Goal will be doubled. Scored Rings will receive two (2) points, and Scored Top Rings will receive six (6) points.
  2. Placed in a Negative Corner

    1. Values of all Scored Rings on the Mobile Goal will be set to zero points.
    2. For each Ring, an equivalent amount of points will be removed from that Alliance’s other Scored Rings. Scored Rings will remove (1) point, and Scored Top Rings will remove three (3) points.
    3. This negator only applies to an Alliance’sRing points.” Points received for Climbing and the Autonomous Bonus cannot be removed.

Note: The impact of Corner modifiers is subject to change in any of the major Game Manual updates (June 25, 2024; September 3, 2024; January 28, 2025; and/or April 2, 2025).

Example

Before Negative Corner

After Negative Corner

Notes

1

Stake 2 was initially worth 5 points for the Blue Alliance, but is now worth negative 5 points after being moved into the Negative Corner.

Blue: +6 Points

Blue: +5 Points

Blue: +6 Points

Blue: -5 Points

Blue: +1 Point

2

Even though the net total is -1, you cannot have negative total points.

Blue: +4 Points

Blue: +5 Points

Blue: +4 Points

Blue: -5 Points

Blue: 0 Points

3

Even though the Blue Alliance has no Top Rings, the negative Top Ring still removes three points. Because none of the red Alliance’s Rings are Scored in the Negative Corner, their points are not affected.

Red: +3 Points
Blue: +4 Points

Blue: +4 Points

Red: +3 Points
Blue: +4 Points

Blue: -4 Points

Red: +3 Points
Blue: 0 Points

4

Corners do not affect Climb or Autonomous Bonus Points.

Blue: +3 Points

Blue: +5 Points

Blue: +3 Points

Blue: -5 Points

+3 Points



<SC7> A Robot is considered to have Climbed to a Level if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Robot is contacting the Ladder.
  2. The Robot is not contacting any other Field Elements, including the gray foam tiles.
  3. The Robot is not contacting any Mobile Goals.
  4. The Robot’s lowest point is past that Level’s minimum height from the gray foam tiles.

    1. Each Level’s height corresponds to the top edge of a rung of the Ladder. For example, a Level 1 Climb represents a Robot whose lowest point is above the foam tiles, but not higher than the first rung of the Ladder.

Figure SC7-1: A depiction of the different Levels of the Ladder

Figure SC7-2: This Robot is still in contact with the top of the first Ladder rung. Therefore, it would receive credit for a Level 1 Climb.



<SC8> An Autonomous Win Point is awarded to any Alliance that ends the Autonomous Period with the following tasks completed, and that has not broken any rules during the Autonomous Period:

  1. At least three (3) Scored Rings
  2. A minimum of two (2) Stakes with at least(1) Ring Scored
  3. Neither Robot contacting / breaking the plane of the Starting Line
  4. At least One (1) Robot contacting the Ladder

    This criteria will be slightly modified for events which qualify directly to the World Championship (e.g., Event Region Championships and Signature Events).

    The modified criteria will be released in the September 3, 2024, Game Manual update. Any Championship-qualifying events held prior to this update will use the standard criteria listed in this rule.

    The modification(s) will be minor, and will be intended to provide an increased challenge over the criteria listed above. For example, one possibility could be “four Scored Rings on any Stake” instead of three. The standard criteria for all other events will not change.


Safety Rules



<S1> Be safe out there. If at any time the Robot operation or Team actions are deemed unsafe or have damaged a Field Element, Scoring Object, or the Field, the offending Team may receive a Disablement and/or Disqualification at the discretion of the Head Referee. The Robot will require re-inspection as described in rule <R3> before it may take the field again.



<S2> Students must be accompanied by an Adult. No Student may attend a VEX V5 Robotics Competition event without a responsible Adult supervising them. The Adult must obey all rules and be careful to not violate Student-centered policies, but must be present for the full duration of the event in the case of an emergency. Violations of this rule may result in removal from the event.



<S3> Stay inside the field. If a Robot is completely out-of-bounds (outside the Field), it will receive a Disablement for the remainder of the Match.

Note: The intent of this rule is not to penalize Robots for having mechanisms that inadvertently cross the Field Perimeter during normal game play.



<S4> Wear safety glasses. All Drive Team Members must wear safety glasses or glasses with side shields while in the Alliance Stations during Matches. While in the pit area, it is highly recommended that all Team members wear safety glasses.


General Game Rules



<G1> Treat everyone with respect. All Teams are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner while competing in VEX V5 Robotics Competition events. If a Team or any of its members (Students or any Adults associated with the Team) are disrespectful or uncivil to event staff, volunteers, or fellow competitors, they may receive a Disqualification from a current or upcoming Match. Team conduct pertaining to <G1> may also impact a Team’s eligibility for judged awards. Repeated or extreme violations of <G1> could result in a Team being Disqualified from an entire event, depending on the severity of the situation.

We all can contribute to creating a fun and inclusive event experience for all event attendees. Some examples include:

When dealing with difficult and stressful situations, it is…

  • Okay for Teams to be gracious and supportive when your Alliance partner makes a mistake.
  • Not okay for Teams to harass, tease, or be disrespectful to your Alliance partner when a Match does not go your way.

When a Team does not understand a Match ruling or score, it is…

When Teams are getting ready for an upcoming Match, it is…

  • Okay for Teams in an Alliance to develop a game strategy that utilizes the strengths of both Robots to cooperatively solve the game.
  • Not okay for Teams in an Alliance to intentionally play beneath their abilities to manipulate the Match results.

This rule exists alongside the REC Foundation Code of Conduct. Violation of the Code of Conduct can be considered a Major Violation of <G1> and can result in Disqualification from a current Match, an upcoming Match, an entire event, or (in extreme cases) an entire competition season. The Code of Conduct can be found here.

More information regarding the event Code of Conduct process can be found here.

Violation Notes: Any Violation of <G1> may be considered Major Violations and should be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Teams at risk of a Major <G1> Violation due to multiple disrespectful or uncivil behaviors will usually receive a “final warning”, although the Head Referee is not required to provide one.



<G2> V5RC is a student-centered program. Adults may assist Students in urgent situations, but Adults may never work on or code a Robot without Students on that Team being present and actively participating. Students must be prepared to demonstrate an active understanding of their Robot’s construction and code to judges or event staff.

Some amount of Adult mentorship, teaching, and/or guidance is an expected and encouraged facet of VEX competitions. No one is born an expert in robotics! However, obstacles should always be viewed as teaching opportunities, not tasks for an Adult to solve without Students present and actively participating.

When a mechanism falls off, it is…

  • Okay for an Adult to help a Student investigate why it failed, so it can be improved.
  • Not okay for an Adult to put the Robot back together.

When a Team encounters a complex coding concept, it is…

  • Okay for an Adult to guide a Student through a flowchart to understand its logic.
  • Not okay for an Adult to write a premade command for that Student to copy/paste.

During Match play, it is…

  • Okay for an Adult to provide cheerful, positive encouragement as a spectator.
  • Not okay for an Adult to explicitly shout step-by-step commands from the audience.

This rule operates in tandem with the REC Foundation Student Centered Policy, which is available in the REC Library for Teams to reference throughout the season.

Violation Notes: Potential Violations of this rule will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. By definition, all Violations of this rule become Match Affecting as soon as a Robot which was built or coded by an Adult wins a Match.



<G3> Use common sense. When reading and applying the various rules in this document, please remember that common sense always applies in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition.

For example…

  • If there is an obvious typographical error (such as “per <T5>” instead of “per <G5>”), this does not mean that the error should be taken literally until corrected in a future update.
  • Understand the realities of the VEX V5 Robot construction system. For example, if a Robot could hover above the Field for a whole Match, that would create loopholes in many of the rules. But... they can’t. So don’t worry about it.
  • When in doubt, if there is no rule prohibiting an action, it is generally legal. However, if you have to ask whether a given action would violate <S1>, <G1>, or <T1>, then that’s probably a good indication that it is outside the spirit of the competition.
  • In general, Teams will be given the “benefit of the doubt” in the case of accidental or edge-case rules infractions. However, there is a limit to this allowance, and repeated or strategic infractions will still be penalized.
  • This rule also applies to Robot rules. If a component’s legality cannot be easily/intuitively discerned by the Robot rules as written, then Teams should expect additional scrutiny during inspection. This especially applies to those rules which govern non-VEX components (e.g. <R7>, <R8>, <R9>, etc.). There is a difference between “creativity” and “lawyering.”



<G4> The Robot must represent the skill level of the Team. Each Team must include Drive Team Members, Coder(s), Designer(s), and Builder(s). Many also include notebooker(s). No Student may fulfill any of these roles for more than one VEX V5 Robotics Competition Team in a given competition season. Students may have more than one role on the Team, e.g., the Designer may also be the Builder, the Coder and a Drive Team Member.

  1. Team members may move from one Team to another for non-strategic reasons outside of the Team’s control.

    1. Examples of permissible moves may include, but are not limited to, illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, or combining/splitting Teams.
    2. Examples of strategic moves in Violation of this rule may include, but are not limited to, one Coder “switching” Teams in order to write the same program for multiple Robots, or one Student writing the Engineering Notebook for multiple Teams.
    3. If a Student leaves a Team to join another Team, <G4> still applies to the Students remaining on the previous Team. For example, if a Coder leaves a Team, then that Team’s Robot must still represent the skill level of the Team without that Coder. One way to accomplish this would be to ensure that the Coder teaches or trains a “replacement” Coder in their absence.
  2. Points ii and iii are intended to represent real-world situations that are found in industry engineering. If a vital member of a professional engineering team were to suddenly leave, the remaining members of the team should still be capable of working on / maintaining their project.


  3. When a Team qualifies for a Championship event (e.g., States, Nationals, Worlds, etc.) the Students on the Team attending the Championship event are expected to be the same Students on the Team that was awarded the spot. Students can be added as support to the Team, but may not be added as Drive Team Members or Coders for the Team.

    1. An exception is allowed if only one member of the Team is able to attend the event. The Team can make a single substitution of a Drive Team Member or Coder for the Championship event with another Student, even if that Student has competed on a different Team. This Student will now be on this new Team and may not substitute back to the original Team during the season.

Violation Notes: Violations of this rule will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in tandem with the REC Foundation Student Centered Policy as noted in <G2>, and the REC Foundation Code of Conduct as noted in <G1>.

Event Partners should bear in mind <G3>, and use common sense when enforcing this rule. It is not the intent to punish a Team who may change Team members over the course of a season due to illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, etc.

Event Partners and referees are not expected to keep a roster of any Student who has ever been a Drive Team Member for one day. This rule is intended to block any instance of loaning or sharing Team members for the sole purpose of gaining a competitive advantage.




<G5> Robots begin the Match in the starting volume. At the beginning of a Match, each Robot must be smaller than a volume of 18” (457.2 mm) long by 18” (457.2 mm) wide by 18” (457.2 mm) tall.

Note: Using external influences, such as preloads or the Field Perimeter, to maintain a Robot’s starting size is only acceptable if the Robot would still satisfy the constraints of <R4> and pass inspection without these influences.

Violation Notes: Any Violation of this rule will result in the Robot being removed from the field prior to the start of the Match, and rules <R3d> and <T5> will apply until the situation is corrected.



<G6> Keep your Robots together. Robots may not intentionally detach parts during the Match or leave mechanisms on the Field.

Note: Parts which become detached unintentionally are a Minor Violation, are no longer considered “part of a Robot,” and should be ignored for the purposes of any rules which involve Robot contact or location (e.g., Scoring) or Robot size.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule should be rare, as Robots should never be designed to intentionally violate it. Minor Violations are usually due to Robots being damaged during gameplay, such as a wheel falling off.



<G7> Don’t clamp your Robot to the Field. Robots may not intentionally grasp, grapple, or attach to any Field Elements other than the Ladder. Strategies with mechanisms that react against multiple sides of a Field Element in an effort to latch or clamp onto said Field Element are prohibited. The intent of this rule is to prevent Teams from both unintentionally damaging the Field and/or from anchoring themselves to the Field in locations other than the Ladder.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule should be rare, as Robots should never be designed to intentionally violate it.



<G8> Only Drive Team Members, and only in the Alliance Station. During a Match, each Team may have up to three (3) Drive Team Members in their Alliance Station, and all Drive Team Members must remain in their Alliance Station for the duration of the Match.

Drive Team Members are prohibited from any of the following actions during a Match:


  1. Bringing/using any sort of communication devices into the Alliance Station. Non-headphone devices with communication features turned off (e.g., a phone in airplane mode) are allowed.
  2. Standing on any sort of object during a Match, regardless of whether the Field is on the floor or elevated.
  3. Bringing/using additional materials to simplify the game challenge during a Match.
  4. To ensure that Drive Team Members are aware of verbal calls or warnings during a Match (as an application of rules <T1>, <G1>, <S1>, and <G3>), powered headphones, earbuds, and passive earpieces connected to electronic devices cannot be worn/used in the Alliance Station except as required by an officially approved accommodation request.

<G8c> is intended to refer to non-Robot-related items that directly influence gameplay, such as a speaker that plays a buzzer sound to distract your opponent. Provided no other rules are violated, and the items do not pose any safety or field damage risks, the following examples are not considered violations of <G8>:

  • Materials used before or after a Match, such as a pre-Match alignment aid, or a carrying case for Robots/Controllers
  • Strategic aids, such as a whiteboard or clipboard
  • Earplugs, gloves, or other personal accessories

Note: Drive Team Members are the only Team members that are allowed to be in the Alliance Station during a Match.

Note 2: During a Match, Robots may be operated only by the Drive Team Members and/or by software running on the Robot’s control system, in accordance with <R27> and <G10>.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule are not required to be Match Affecting, and could invoke Violations of other rules, such as <G1>, <G2>, or <G4>.



<G9> Hands out of the field. Drive Team Members are prohibited from making intentional contact with any Scoring Objects, Field Elements, or Robots during a Match, apart from the contact specified in <G9a>.

  1. During the Driver Controlled Period, Drive Team Members may only touch their own Robot if the Robot has not moved at all during the Match. Touching the Robot in this case is permitted only for the following reasons:

    1. Turning the Robot on or off
    2. Plugging in a battery
    3. Plugging in a V5 Robot Radio
    4. Touching the V5 Robot Brain screen, such as to start a program
  2. Drive Team Members are not permitted to break the plane of the Field Perimeter at any time during the Match, apart from the actions described above, or while reintroducing Scoring Objects to the Field as described in rule <SG4>
  3. Transitive contact, such as contact with the Field Perimeter that causes the Field Perimeter to contact Field Elements or Scoring Objects inside of the Field, could be considered a Violation of this rule.

Note: Any concerns regarding Field Element or Scoring Object starting positions should be raised with the Head Referee prior to the Match. Team members may never adjust Scoring Objects or Field Elements themselves.



<G10> Controllers must stay connected to the field. Prior to the beginning of each Match, Drive Team Members must plug their V5 Controller into the field’s control system. This cable must remain plugged in for the duration of the Match, and may not be removed until the “all-clear” has been given for Drive Team Members to retrieve their Robots. See <T23> for more information regarding field control system options.

Violation Notes: The intent of this rule is to ensure that Robots abide by commands sent by the tournament software. Temporarily removing the cable to assist with mid-Match troubleshooting, with an Event Partner or other event technical staff present and assisting, would not be considered a Violation.



<G11> Autonomous means “no humans.” During the Autonomous Period, Drive Team Members are not permitted to interact with the Robots in any way, directly or indirectly. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Activating any controls on their V5 Controllers
  • Unplugging or otherwise manually interfering with the field connection in any way
  • Manually triggering sensors (including the Vision Sensor) in any way, even without touching them

Note: In extreme cases, with permission from the Head Referee, Teams may Disable their Robot during the Autonomous Period by holding the power button on their V5 Controller. This exception is only intended for egregious safety- or damage-related circumstances; disabling an autonomous routine for strategic purposes would still be considered a Violation of <G11>.

Violation Notes: See <G12>.



<G12> All rules still apply in the Autonomous Period. Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times, including during the Autonomous Period. Any Violations , Major or Minor, during the Autonomous Period will result in the Autonomous Bonus being awarded to the other Alliance. If both Alliances violate rules during the Autonomous Period, no Autonomous Bonus will be awarded.

Violation Note: In general, Minor Violations of SG rules that occur during the Autonomous Period should only affect the outcome of the Autonomous Period (i.e., the Alliance can’t win the Autonomous Bonus or earn an Autonomous Win Point) and should not be considered when determining whether a Violation has been repeated during the event.

If a Head Referee determines that a Violation of an SG or G rule during the Autonomous Period was intentional/strategic rather than accidental/situational, they should be recorded as Minor or Major Violations and considered when determining whether a Violation has been repeated during the event..



<G13> Don’t destroy other Robots. But, be prepared to encounter defense. Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of opposing Robots are not part of the ethos of the VEX V5 Robotics Competition and are not allowed.

  1. V5RC High Stakes is intended to be an offensive game. Teams that partake in solely defensive or destructive strategies will not have the protections implied by <G13> (see <G14>). However, defensive play which does not involve destructive or illegal strategies is still within the spirit of this rule.
  2. V5RC High Stakes is also intended to be an interactive game. Some incidental tipping, Entanglement, and damage may occur as a part of normal gameplay without Violation. It will be up to the Head Referee’s discretion whether the interaction was incidental or intentional.
  3. A Team is responsible for the actions of its Robot at all times, including the Autonomous Period. This applies both to Teams that are driving recklessly or potentially causing damage, and to Teams that drive around with a small wheel base. A Team should design its Robot such that it is not easily tipped over or damaged by minor contact.

Violation Notes:



<G14> Offensive Robots get the “benefit of the doubt.” In a case where Head Referees are forced to make a judgment call regarding a destructive interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot, or an interaction which results in a questionable Violation, referees will decide in favor of the offensive Robot.



<G15> You can’t force an opponent into a penalty. Intentional strategies that cause an opponent to break a rule are not permitted, and will not result in a Violation for the opposing Alliance.

Violation Notes: In most cases, if a Team causes their opponent to break a rule, the Head Referee will simply not enforce the penalty on that opponent, and it will be considered a Minor Violation for the guilty Team. However, if the forced situation becomes Match Affecting in favor of the guilty Team, it will be considered a Major Violation.



<G16> No Holding for more than a 5-count. A Robot may not Hold an opposing Robot for more than a 5-count during the Driver Controlled Period.

For the purposes of this rule, a “count” is defined as an interval of time that is approximately one second in duration, and “counted-out” by Head Referees verbally.

A Holding count is over when at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The two Robots are separated by at least two (2) feet (approximately one foam tile).
  2. Either Robot has moved at least two (2) feet away (approximately 1 tile) from the location where the Trapping or Pinning count began.

    1. In the case of Lifting, this location is measured from where the Lifted Robot is released, not from where the Lifting began.
  3. The Holding Robot becomes Trapped or Pinned by a different Robot.

    1. In this case, the original count would end, and a new count would begin for the newly Held Robot.
  4. In the case of Trapping, if an avenue of escape becomes available due to changing circumstances in the Match.

After a Holding count ends, a Robot may not resume Holding the same Robot again for another 5-count. If a Team resumes Holding the same Robot within that 5-count, the original count will resume from where it ended.



<G17> Use Scoring Objects to play the game. Scoring Objects may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous routine per <SG8>
  • Interfering with an opponent’s Climb per <SG9>

The intent of this rule is to prohibit Teams from using Rings and Mobile Goals as “gloves” to loophole any rule that states “a Robot may not [do some action].” This rule is not intended to be taken in its most extreme literal interpretation, where any interaction between a Scoring Object and a Robot needs to be scrutinized with the same intensity as if it were a Robot.


Violation Notes: If a rule is Violated through the use of a Scoring Object instead of a Robot mechanism, it should be evaluated as though the rule in question had been Violated by a Robot mechanism.


Specific Game Rules



<SG1> Starting a Match. Prior to the start of each Match, the Robot must be placed such that it is:

  1. Contacting / “breaking the plane” of their Alliance’s Starting Line. See Figure SG1-1.
  2. Not contacting any Scoring Objects other than a maximum of one (1) preload. See rule <SG5>.
  3. Not contacting any other Robots.
  4. Completely stationary (i.e., no motors or other mechanisms in motion).

Violation Notes: The Match will not begin until the conditions in this rule are met. If a Robot cannot meet these conditions in a timely manner, the Robot will be removed from the Field and rules <R3d> and <T5> will apply until the situation is corrected.

Figure SG1-1: An overhead view of the Field, with the Starting Lines highlighted green.



<SG2> Horizontal expansion is limited. Once the Match begins, Robots may expand beyond the 18” x 18” starting size, within the following criteria:

  1. Robots may never exceed an overall footprint of 24” x 18”. For reference, 24” is roughly the width of a foam field tile.
  2. From the Robot’s perspective, they may only expand in one “X/Y” direction (i.e., from a single “side” of the Robot). This “side” must be identified and measured during Robot inspection. See the figures below.
  3. Vertical expansion is addressed separately by rule <SG3>. Robots may expand both horizontally and vertically; the top of the Robot is not considered a “side” in the context of this rule.

Note: Horizontal expansion is measured from the Robot’s perspective; i.e., it does “rotate with the Robot.” Robots that tip over, or rotate while Climbing, are still restricted to expanding from the chosen “side” that was measured during inspection.

The intent of this rule is to limit horizontal expansion in a way that can be easily interpreted by Head Referees during a Match and assessed by Robot inspectors. The vast majority of V5RC Robots are relatively square/rectangular, relatively symmetrical, and have a clearly intuitive “front” and “sides.”

In many cases, the Robot’s drivetrain can be used to identify an intended “X/Y” orientation:

  • Parallel or perpendicular with primary drive wheels (standard or H-drive)
  • 45° from primary drive wheels (holonomic or X-drive)
  • Parallel or perpendicular with the longest flat face(s) of the Robot

Violation Notes: Incidental minor infractions out of non-expansion sides that occur during a Match are only considered Minor Violations. Repeated Minor Violations should only escalate to a Major Violation in extreme circumstances. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Loose wires

  • Broken zip ties / rubber bands

  • Bent or broken mechanical components

Figure SG2-1: This is legal. The Robot is expanding 6” outside of the legal 18” x 18” starting size.

Figure SG2-2: This is legal. There is no Violation for expansion in the “width” direction, rather than the “length.”

Figure SG2-3: This is not legal. Expanding out two sides is not permitted, even if the Robot maintains 18” x 24” overall dimensions.

Figure SG2-4: This is legal. Robots which begin smaller than 18” x 18” may still utilize a full 24” expansion in their chosen direction.

Figure SG2-5: This is not legal. This Robot is expanding in multiple directions.

Figure SG2-6: As Robots stray further away from a clearly rectangle shape, it becomes challenging to identify intuitive “sides”. Teams attempting non-traditional designs are encouraged to bear this in mind, and should not expect additional lenience during inspection.



<SG3> Vertical expansion is limited. Once the Match begins, Robots may expand vertically, but may never be “breaking the plane” of more than two Levels of the Ladder at any given time. For the purposes of this rule, the Floor is considered a Level.


  1. For a Robot that is on the Floor (i.e., not Climbing), this is effectively a height limit of 32”, the distance between the Floor and the top of the middle rung of the Ladder.
  2. This vertical limit is measured from the perspective of the Field; i.e., it does not “rotate with the Robot.”

The intent of this rule is to prohibit Teams from “skipping a Level”. It is impossible to contact the Ladder in three Levels, or two non-sequential Levels, without violating this rule.


Violation Notes: If a Robot falls or “droops” after the Match ends and leads to an <SG3> Violation, this will likely be considered a Minor Violation, provided no other rules are Violated. Their Climb will be scored where they come to rest; see <SC1>.

Figure SG3-1: Examples of legal and illegal vertical expansion.



<SG4> Keep Scoring Objects in the field. Teams may not intentionally or strategically remove Scoring Objects from the field. Rings that leave the Field during Match play, intentionally or unintentionally, will be given to Drive Team Members from the same color Alliance as the Ring. These Drive Team Members may gently place them into the field such that they satisfy the following conditions:


  1. Contacting the Field Perimeter wall on the side that coincides with their Alliance Station.
  2. Contacting the Floor.
  3. Not contacting a Mobile Goal.
  4. Not contacting a Robot.
  5. Not contacting a Corner.

Note: It is expected that Drive Team Members may momentarily break the plane of the Field while legally introducing these Rings. Teams from both Alliances should be extremely mindful of <S1> and <G9> during this process.

Note 2: If a Mobile Goal leaves the Field, it should be returned to the field in a neutral/non-Placed state. Any Rings which were scored on this Mobile Goal will be given to their respective Drive Team Members, as described above.

Violation Notes:



<SG5> Each Robot gets one Ring as a preload. Prior to the start of each Match, each preload that is used must be placed such that it is:


  1. Contacting one Robot of the same Alliance color as the preload.
  2. Not contacting the same Robot as another preload.
  3. Not in a Scored location.

Note: If a Robot is not present for their Match, then that Robot’s preload may be placed prior to the Match such that it satisfies the criteria listed in <SG4>.

Violation Notes: See <SG1>.



<SG6> Possession is limited to two Rings and/or one Mobile Goal. Robots may not have Possession of more than two (2) Rings and/or one (1) Mobile Goal at once. Robots in Violation of this rule must immediately stop all actions except for attempting to remove the excess Scoring Objects.

If they are unable to remove the excess Scoring Objects, then they must return to a legal starting position (as described by <SG1>). They will not be eligible to receive points for Climbing. Any offensive or defensive interactions with Mobile Goals, Stakes, and Corners will be included in Match Affecting calculations.


  1. Rings on a Stake are not included in a Robot’s Possession count. For the purposes of this rule, “on a Stake” means that the Ring meets the criteria for a Scored Ring, even if it is being contacted by a Robot.
  2. Plowing multiple Mobile Goals is permitted. However, Plowing an additional Mobile Goal while also Possessing one is considered a Violation of this rule due to the extremely high likelihood of accidental/implied Possession. Teams which employ Plowing strategies are encouraged to clearly demonstrate that none of the Mobile Goals are being Possessed, e.g., by using a flat face of the Robot with no active mechanisms.

Violation Notes:

Any egregious or clearly intentional Violation by an Alliance who wins the Match will be considered aMajor Violation. Examples of “clearly intentional” Violations include, but are not limited to:



<SG7> Don’t cross the Autonomous Line. During the Autonomous Period, Robots may not contact foam tiles, Scoring Objects, or Field Elements which are on the opposing Alliance’s side of the Autonomous Line.

Note: Scoring Objects and Wall Stakes that contact or are positioned above the Autonomous Line are not considered to be on either side, and may be utilized by either Alliance during the Autonomous Period.

Violation Notes:



<SG8> Engage with the Autonomous Line at your own risk. Any Robot who engages with Scoring Objects and/or Wall Stakes on the Autonomous Line should be aware that opponent Robots may also choose to do the same. Per <G11> and <G12>, Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times.

During the Autonomous Period, when Robots from opposing Alliances are both engaged with the same Scoring Object or Wall Stake:

  1. If a possible <G13> Violation occurs (e.g., damage, Entanglement, or tipping over), a judgment call will be made by the Head Referee within the context of <G13> and <G14> (just as it would if the interaction had occurred during the Driver Controlled Period).
  2. Incidental Violations of <SG7> will not be penalized, nor will they not result in an automatic loss of the Autonomous Bonus as described by <G12>. However, this allowance only applies when opposing Robots are interacting with the same element.
  3. Intentional, strategic, repeated, or egregious offenses may still be deemed a Violation of <G12>, <G13>, <G14>, <SG7>, <G1>, and / or <S1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.

These gameplay elements are intended to be utilized by either Alliance during the Autonomous Period. This will inevitably result in Robot-on-Robot interactions, both incidental and intentional. The overarching intent of <SG8> is for the vast majority of these interactions to result in no rule Violations and/or penalties for either Alliance, just as no rules Violations occur in 99% of Driver Controlled interactions.




<SG9> Don’t remove opponents from the Ladder. There are no rules explicitly prohibiting incidental contact between Climbing Robots. However, if contact does occur, the principles behind rules <G13>, <G14>, and <G15> still apply. Intentional or egregious strategies aimed solely at damage or tipping are not allowed (in this context, “tipping” can be equated with “removing an opponent from the Ladder”).

The core intent of this rule is the paragraph above. Everything that follows this red box is meant to provide guidance for interpreting questionable/incidental interactions, similar to how <G14> is used for ground level interactions. These are not explicit/absolute “hard lines” that supersede an obvious Violation. If a Robot has a mechanism designed to violently kick opponents off of the Ladder, none of the factors below can protect them.


If a destructive incident occurs that requires a Head Referee judgment call between two Robots, the following factors may be used to determine “benefit of the doubt”.

  1. If the two Robots are not at the same Level, the higher Robot has the “right of way.”

    1. Point A especially applies if one Robot is not Climbing, i.e., is still in contact with the Floor. Driving directly into a Climbing Robot will always incur a Minor Violation at a minimum, even if no damage occurs.
  2. If a Robot is contacting the horizontal rungs of the Ladder facing their Alliance Station, they should generally be considered in a more “offensive” or “safe” position.
  3. Teams are responsible for their own Robots. Climbing mechanisms should be robust. If a Robot is not firmly attached to the Ladder, or has a history of falling without any opponent interaction, it will be difficult to claim that later damage was an opponent’s fault.
  4. Teams should expect possible interaction between Robots when engaging with the High Stake. These interactions will be treated similarly as two Robots engaging with the Autonomous Line in <SG8>; other than repeated/egregious cases, this contact/damage is likely to be ruled incidental.

Teams can use this rule as a gradient of “risk tolerance” when designing Climbing mechanisms or playing Matches.

  • Low risk = Be the first Robot up, have a robust build, stay on your side of the Ladder, avoid the High Stake. Low chance of interacting with others intentionally or accidentally.
  • High risk = Last-second dash up to de-score the High Stake. Technically possible to accomplish legally, but you’re not allowed to be surprised when an accident is not ruled in your favor.

Violation Notes:



<SG10> Alliance Wall Stakes are protected. Robots may not directly or indirectly interact with the opponent’s Alliance Wall Stake. This includes both Scoring and/or removing Rings of either color.

For the purposes of this rule, “Score” (and “remove”) means causing them to satisfy (or no longer satisfy) the criteria listed in <SC3>.


Section 3

The Robot

Overview

This section provides rules and requirements for the design and construction of your Robot. A VEX V5 Robotics Competition Robot is a remotely operated and/or autonomous vehicle designed and built by a registered VEX V5 Robotics Competition Team to perform specific tasks.

There are specific rules and limitations that apply to the design and construction of your Robot. Please ensure that you are familiar with these Robot rules before beginning your Robot design. These “inspection rules” are verified prior to the beginning of each event, in a formal Robot Inspection.

Inspection Rules are “pass/fail”; there are no Major or Minor Violations, only Violations. The penalty for all Violations is the same, as outlined in <R3d> and <R28>.

Most of these rules are “hard limits,” such as the maximum number of motors permitted. However, some are “at inspector discretion,” such as determining a mechanism’s potential safety risk. At many events, the lead inspector and the Head Referee are the same person; if they are not, then the volunteer inspector should confirm any questionable judgment calls with the Head Referee. The Head Referee has final authority regarding all Robot rules, since it is ultimately their decision whether a Robot takes the field for a Match after inspection has concluded (per <R3d> and <R3e>).


Inspection Rules


<R1> One Robot per Team. Only one (1) Robot will be allowed to compete per Team at a given event in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition. Though it is expected that Teams will make changes to their Robot at the competition, a Team is limited to only one (1) Robot at a given event. A VEX Robot, for the purposes of the VEX V5 Robotics Competition, has the following subsystems:

  • Subsystem 1: Mobile robotic base including wheels, tracks, legs, or any other mechanism that allows the Robot to navigate the majority of the flat playing field surface. For a stationary Robot, the robotic base without wheels would be considered Subsystem 1.
  • Subsystem 2: Power and control system that includes a legal VEX battery, a legal VEX control system, and associated motors for the mobile robotic base.
  • Subsystem 3: Additional mechanisms (and associated motors) that allow manipulation of Rings, Field Elements, or Climbing the Ladder.

Given the above definitions, a minimum Robot for use in any VEX V5 Robotics Competition event (including Skills Challenges) must consist of subsystems 1 and 2 above. Thus, if you are swapping out an entire subsystem 1 or 2, you have now created a second Robot and have Violated this rule.


  1. Teams may not compete with one Robot while a second is being modified or assembled at a competition.
  2. Teams may not have an assembled second Robot on-hand at a competition that is used to repair or swap parts with the first Robot.
  3. Teams may not switch back and forth between multiple Robots during a competition. This includes using different Robots for Skills Challenges, Qualification Matches, and/or Elimination Matches.
  4. Multiple Teams may not use the same Robot. Once a Robot has competed under a given Team number at an event, it is “their” Robot; no other Teams may compete with it.

The intent of <R1a>, <R1b>, and <R1c> is to ensure an unambiguous level playing field for all Teams. Teams are welcome (and encouraged) to improve or modify their Robots between events, or to collaborate with other Teams to develop the best possible game solution.

However, a Team who brings and/or competes with two separate Robots at the same tournament has diminished the efforts of a Team who spent extra design time making sure that their one Robot can accomplish all of the game’s tasks. A multi-Team organization that shares a single Robot has diminished the efforts of a multi-Team organization who puts in the time, effort, and resources to undergo separate individual design processes and develop their own Robots.

To help determine if a Robot is a “separate Robot” or not, use the subsystem definitions found in <R1>. Above that, use common sense as referenced in <G3>. If you can place two Robots on a table next to each other, and they look like two separate legal/complete Robots (i.e., each has the 3 subsystems defined by <R1>), then they are two Robots. Trying to decide if changing a screw, a wheel, or a microcontroller constitutes a separate Robot is missing the intent and spirit of this rule.




<R2> Robots must represent the Team’s skill level. The Robot must be designed, built, and programmed by members of the Team. Adults are expected to mentor and teach design, building, and Programming Skills to the Students on the Team, but may not design, build, or program that Team’s Robot. See rules <G2> and <G4>.

In V5RC, we expect Adults to teach fundamental Robot principles like linkages, drive-trains, and manipulators, then allow the Students to determine which designs to implement and build on their Robot.

Similarly, Adults are encouraged to teach the Students how to code various functions involving applicable sensors and mechanisms, then have the Students program the Robot from what they have learned.




<R3> Robots must pass inspection. Every Robot will be required to pass a full inspection before being cleared to compete. This inspection will ensure that all Robot rules and regulations are met. Initial inspections will take place during team registration/practice time. Noncompliance with any Robot design or construction rule will result in removal from Matches or Disqualification of the Robot at an event until the Robot is brought back into compliance, as described in the following subclauses.

  1. Significant changes to a Robot, such as a partial or full swap of Subsystem 3, must be re-inspected before the Robot may compete again.
  2. All possible functional Robot configurations must be inspected before being used in competition. This especially pertains to modular or swappable mechanisms (per <R1>) and Match starting configurations/sizes (per <R4>).
  3. Teams may be requested to submit to spot inspections by Head Referees. Refusal to submit will result in Disqualification.

    1. If a Robot is determined to be in Violation of a Robot rule before a Match begins, the Robot will be removed from the Field. A Drive Team Member may remain at the Field so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>).
  4. Robots which have not passed inspection (i.e., that may be in Violation of one or more Robot rules) will not be permitted to play in any Matches until they have done so. <T5> will apply to any Matches that occur until the Robot has passed inspection.
  5. If a Robot has passed inspection, but is later confirmed to be in Violation of a Robot rule during or immediately following a Match by a Head Referee, they will be Disqualified from that Match. This is the only Match that will be affected; any prior Matches that have already been completed will not be revisited. <R3d> will apply until the Violation is remedied and the Team is re-inspected.
  6. All Inspection Rules are to be enforced within the discretion of the Head Referee within a given event. Robot legality at one event does not automatically imply legality at future events. Robots which rely on “edge-case” interpretations of subjective rules, such as whether a decoration is “non-functional” or not, should expect additional scrutiny during inspection.


<R4> Robots must fit within an 18” x 18” x 18” volume.

  1. Compliance with this rule must be checked using the official VEX Robotics On-Field Robot Expansion Sizing Tool.
  2. Any restraints used to maintain starting size (i.e., zip ties, rubber bands, etc.) must remain attached to the Robot for the duration of the Match, per <G6>.
  3. For the purposes of this rule, it can be assumed that Robots will be inspected and begin each Match on a flat standard foam field tile.
  4. The official sizing tool is intentionally manufactured with a slightly oversized tolerance. Therefore, any contact with the sizing tool (i.e., a “paper test”) while being measured should be considered a clear indication that a Robot is outside of the permitted size. This tolerance also provides a slight “leeway” for minor protrusions, such as screw heads or zip ties.

    Other tools, such as custom sizing boxes or the legacy non-expanding VEX Sizing Tool (276-2086), may be used for informal checks. However, in the event of a conflict or “close call,” a check with the official On-Field Robot Expansion Sizing Tool takes precedence.



<R5> Robots may only expand horizontally in one direction. Robots who choose to expand horizontally must demonstrably meet all criteria listed in rule <SG2>. The configuration / “expansion direction” that is measured during inspection must also be the direction used during Match play.



<R6> Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

  1. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Scoring Objects.
  2. Those that could potentially damage other competing Robots.
  3. Those that pose an unnecessary risk of Entanglement with other Robots or Field Elements.
  4. Those that could pose a potential safety hazard to Drive Team Members, event staff, or other humans.


<R7> Robots are built from the VEX V5 system. Robots may be built ONLY using official VEX V5 components, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules. Product pages on the VEX Robotics website should be used as the official definitive source for determining if a product is a “V5 component.”

  1. Products from the VEXpro, VEX EXP, VEX IQ, VEX GO, VEX 123, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product lines cannot be used for Robot construction, unless specifically allowed by a clause of <R7> or “cross-listed” as part of the VEX V5 Product lines. For example, Flex Wheels and VersaHubs are VEXpro components that can be found on the VEX “Flex Wheels” page, and specific sizes are thus legal.

    * The HEXBUG brand is a registered trademark belonging to Spin Master Corp

  2. The following electronics from the VEX Cortex control system are not permitted:

    SKU

    Description

    276-2192 VEXnet Joystick
    276-1891 VEXnet Partner Joystick
    276-2194 VEX ARM® Cortex-based Microcontroller
    276-2245 / 276-3245 VEXnet Key 1.0 / 2.0
    276-2177 2-Wire Motor 393
    276-2162 3-Wire Servo
    276-2210 VEX Flashlight
    276-2193 Motor Controller 29
  3. The following electronics from the VEX Cortex control system are permitted:

    SKU

    Description

    276-2174 / 276-4859 Limit Switch V1 / V2
    276-2159 Bumper Switch
    276-2156 Optical Shaft Encoder
    276-2216 Potentiometer
    276-2155 Ultrasonic Range Finder
    276-2176 LED Indicator
    276-2333 Yaw Rate Gyroscope
    276-2332 Analog Accelerometer V1.0
    276-2154 Line Tracker
    276-1380 Jumper
    276-2158 Light Sensor
  4. Components that are unique to the V5 Workcell / CTE product line are not permitted. This includes the following:

    SKU

    Description

    276-7151 Robot Arm Metal
    276-7152 Robot Brain Mount
    276-7153 Input Output Conveyor
    276-7720 Disc Feeder
    276-7047 V5 Electromagnet
  5. VEX IQ pins are permitted.
  6. Components obtained from the V5 beta program, including V5 beta firmware, are not legal for competition use.

    1. All V5 beta hardware can be identified by its lighter gray pre-production color. Robot Brains, Robot Batteries, Controllers, and Vision Sensors from the V5 beta have a “BETA TEST” stamp on them. Smart Motors and Radios do not have this stamp, but can still be identified by color.
  7. Components from the VEXplorer kit that are not found in modern VEX V5 kits are not permitted. These include (but may not be limited to) electronics, wheels, non-standard gears, and plastic connectors.
  8. Legacy / discontinued products are only permitted if they are explicitly listed in this game manual, or still listed as V5RC or VRC legal on the VEX Robotics website.

Using VEX apparel, competition support materials, packaging, or other non-Robot products on a VEX V5 Robotics Competition Robot goes against the spirit of this rule and is not permitted.




<R8> Certain non-VEX components are allowed. Robots are allowed the following additional “non-VEX” components:

  1. Any material strictly used as a color filter or a color marker for a legal sensor, such as the VEX Light Sensor or the VEX V5 Vision Sensor.
  2. Any non-aerosol-based grease or lubricating compound, when used in extreme moderation on surfaces and locations that do NOT contact the playing field walls, foam field surface, Scoring Objects, or other Robots. Grease or lubricant applied directly to V5 Smart Motors or Smart Motor cartridges is prohibited.
  3. Anti-static compound, when used in extreme moderation (i.e., such that it does not leave residue on Field Elements, Scoring Objects, or other Robots).
  4. Hot glue when used to secure cable connections.
  5. An unlimited amount of rope/string, no thicker than 1/4” (6.35 mm).
  6. Commercially available items used solely for bundling or wrapping of 2-wire, 3-wire, 4-wire, or V5 Smart Cables, and/or pneumatic tubing are allowed. These items must solely be used for the purposes of cable/tubing protection, organization, or management. This includes but is not limited to electrical tape, cable carrier, cable track, etc. It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is serving a function beyond protecting and managing cables and tubing.
  7. Non-functional 3D printed license plates, per <R9> and <R10>, are permitted. This includes any supporting structures whose sole purpose is to hold, mount, or display an official license plate.
  8. Rubber bands that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX V5 product line (#32, #64, and 117B).
  9. Pneumatic components with identical SMC manufacturer part numbers to those listed on the VEX website. For more detail regarding legal pneumatic components, see the Legal VEX Pneumatics Summary document.
  10. Zip ties with identical dimensions as those included in the VEX V5 product line.
  11. A Micro SD card installed in the V5 Robot Brain.

See this REC Library article for more information.



<R9> Decorations are allowed. Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect Robot performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the Match. These decorations must be in the spirit of the competition. Inspectors will have final say in what is considered “non-functional.” Unless otherwise specified below, non-functional decorations are governed by all standard Robot rules.

To be considered “non-functional,” any guards, decals, or other decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. For example, if a Robot has a giant decal that prevents Scoring Objects from falling out of the Robot, the decal must be backed by VEX material that would also prevent the Scoring Objects from falling out. A simple way to check this is to determine if removing the decoration would impact the performance of the Robot in any way.

  1. Anodizing and painting of parts is considered a legal nonfunctional decoration.
  2. Small cameras are permitted as non-functional decorations, provided that any transmitting functions or wireless communications are disabled. Unusually large cameras being used as ballast are not permitted.
  3. VEX electronics may not be used as non-functional decorations.
  4. Decorations that visually mimic Field Elements or Scoring Objects, or that could otherwise interfere with an opponent’s Vision Sensor, are considered functional and are not permitted. The Inspector and Head Referee will make the final decision on whether a given decoration or mechanism violates this rule.
  5. Internal power sources (e.g., for a small blinking light) are permitted, provided that no other rules are violated and this source only provides power to the non-functional decoration (i.e., does not directly or indirectly influence any functional portions of the Robot).
  6. Decorations which provide feedback to the Robot (e.g., by influencing legal sensors) would be considered “functional,” and are not permitted.
  7. Decorations which provide visual feedback to Drive Team Members (e.g., decorative lighting) are permitted, provided that they do not violate any other rules and serve no other function (e.g., structural support).


<R10> Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot license plates. To participate in an official VEX V5 Robotics Competition event, a Team must first register on robotevents.com and receive a V5RC Team number. This Team number must be displayed on the Robot using license plates. Teams may choose to use the official V5RC License Plate Kit, or may create their own.

  1. License plates must be placed on a minimum of two (2) horizontally opposing sides of the Robot (i.e., the top of a Robot is not considered a “side”), and must remain visible and attached for the entirety of the Match.
  2. Robots must use plates that match their Alliance color for each Match (i.e., red Alliance Robots must have their red plates on for the Match). It must be abundantly clear which color Alliance the Robot belongs to.

    1. If both colors of license plates are mounted on a Robot, then the incorrect color must be covered, taped over, or otherwise obscured. Since license plates are considered non-functional decorations, this is a legal non-functional use of tape.
  3. License plates are considered non-functional decorations (per <R9>), and must fulfill all relevant Robot rules (e.g., they must fit within the 18” cube, cannot functionally change the stability or rigidity of the Robot, cause Entanglement, etc.).
  4. Team numbers must be in white font, and clearly legible.
  5. License plates must be at least 2.48 inches (63 mm) tall and 4.48 inches (114 mm) wide, i.e., at least the height/width dimensions of the plates in the V5RC License Plate Kit.

The intent of this rule is to make it immediately apparent to Head Referees which Alliance and which Team each Robot belongs to, at all times. Being able to “see through” a Robot arm to the wrong color license plate on the opposite side of the Robot could cause confusion, and would be considered a Violation of <R10a>. It will be at the full discretion of the Head Referee and inspector at a given event to determine whether a given custom license plate satisfies the criteria listed in <R10>.

Teams wishing to utilize custom plates should be prepared for the possibility of this judgment, and ensure that they are prepared to replace any custom parts with official VEX license plates if requested. Not bringing official replacement plates to an event will not be an acceptable reason for overlooking a violation of one or more points in <R10>.

If a Robot must be removed from the Field based on this rule, <R3ci> applies and the Team should not be issued a “no-show.”


Figure R10-1: An example of a license plate made from the V5RC License Plate Kit.

Figure R10-2: An example of a legal custom license plate.



<R11> Let go of Scoring Objects after the Match. Robots must be designed to permit easy removal of Scoring Objects from any mechanism without requiring the Robot to have power after a Match.



<R12> Robots have one Brain. Robots must ONLY use one (1) VEX V5 Robot Brain (276-4810). Any other microcontrollers or processing devices are not allowed, even as non-functional decorations.

This includes microcontrollers that are part of other VEX product lines, such as VEX Cortex, VEX EXP, VEXpro, VEX CTE, VEX RCR, VEX IQ, VEX GO, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG. This also includes devices that are unrelated to VEX, such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino devices.



<R13> Motors are limited. Robots may use any combination of VEX V5 Smart Motors (11W) (276-4840) and EXP Smart Motors (5.5W) (276-4842), within the following criteria:

  1. The combined power of all motors (11W & 5.5W) must not exceed 88W. This limit applies to all motors on the Robot, even those which are not plugged in.
  2. V5 Smart Motors, and EXP Smart Motors connected to Smart Ports, are the only motors that may be used with a V5 Robot Brain. The 3-wire ports may not be used to control motors of any kind.

Example

A

B

C

D

E

Qty of 11W Motors

8

7

6

5

0

Qty of 5.5 Motors

0

2

4

6

16



<R14> Electrical power comes from VEX batteries only. Robots may use one (1) V5 Robot Battery (276-4811) to power the V5 Robot Brain.

  1. No other sources of electrical power are permitted, unless used as part of a non-functional decoration per <R9e>.
  2. There are no legal power expanders for the V5 Robot Battery.
  3. V5 Robot Batteries may only be charged by a V5 Robot Battery Charger (276-4812 or 276-4841).
  4. V5 Wireless Controllers may only be powered by their internal rechargeable battery.

    1. Teams are permitted to have an external power source (such as a rechargeable battery pack) plugged into their V5 Controller during a Match, provided that this power source is connected safely and does not violate any other rules, such as <G10> or <R16>.
    2. Some events may choose to provide field power for V5 Wireless Controllers. If this is provided for all Teams at the event, then this is a legal power source for the wireless remotes.


<R15> No modifications to electronic or pneumatic components are allowed. Motors (including the V5 Smart Motor firmware), microcontrollers (including V5 Robot Brain firmware), cables, sensors, controllers, battery packs, reservoirs, solenoids, pneumatic cylinders, and any other electrical or pneumatics component of the VEX platform may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way.

  1. External wires on VEX 2-wire or 3-wire electrical components may be repaired by soldering or using twist/crimp connectors, electrical tape, or shrink tubing such that the original functionality and length are not modified in any way.

    1. Wire used in repairs must be identical to VEX wire.
    2. Teams make these repairs at their own risk; incorrect wiring may have undesired results.
  2. Teams must use VEXos version 1.1.3 or newer, found at https://link.vex.com/firmware. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted.

    1. The minimum version requirement is subject to change over the course of the season.
    2. When the minimum version is updated, Teams have a two week (14 calendar day) grace period from the time the minimum version is changed to update their firmware to the latest minimum version.
    3. VEX reserves the right to deem any firmware update critical, and remove the allowable grace period.
  3. Teams may make the following modifications to the V5 / EXP Smart Motor’s user-serviceable features. This list is all-inclusive; no other modifications are permitted. Where applicable, the components listed below (in the specific applications listed below) are permissible exceptions to <R21> Clauses c.ii.-c.iv. also apply to EXP Smart Motors (5.5W).

    1. Replacing the gear cartridge with other official cartridges.
    2. Removing or replacing the screws from the V5 Smart Motor Cap (276-6780).
    3. Removing or replacing the threaded mounting inserts (276-6781).
    4. Aesthetic/non-functional labeling (e.g., markers, stickers, paint, etc.).
  4. V5 Smart Motors (11W) must use an official VEX V5 gear cartridge. For the purposes of this rule, the gear cartridges found within the V5 Smart Motor are considered “part of the motor.” Therefore, any physical or functional modifications to official gear cartridges is not permitted. 11w V5 Smart Motors may only use official VEX motor cartridges.
  5. For the purposes of this rule, the V5 Smart Motor Cap is not considered “part of the motor.” Therefore, <R16> applies.


<R16> Most modifications to non-electrical components are allowed. Physical modifications, such as bending or cutting, of legal metal structure or plastic components are permitted.

  1. Internal or external mechanical repairs of VEX Limit and Bumper switches are permitted.

    1. Modifying the metal arm on the Limit Switch is permitted.
    2. Using components from these devices in other applications is prohibited.
  2. Metallurgical modifications that change fundamental material properties, such as heat treating or melting, are not permitted.
  3. Pneumatic tubing may be cut to desired lengths.
  4. Fusing/melting the end of legal nylon rope/string (see <R8e>) to prevent fraying is permitted.
  5. Welding, soldering, brazing, gluing, or attaching parts to each other in any way that is not provided within the VEX platform is not permitted. Rule <R8> clause D is an exception to this rule.
  6. Mechanical fasteners may be secured using Loctite or a similar thread-locking product. This may ONLY be used for securing hardware, such as screws and nuts.


<R17> Robots use VEXnet. Robots must ONLY utilize the VEXnet system for all wireless Robot communication.

  1. Electronics from the Cortex, VEX EXP, VEX CTE. VEXpro, VEX RCR, VEXplorer, VEX IQ, VEX GO, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG product line are prohibited unless otherwise noted in <R7c> or <R13>.
  2. V5 Controllers may only be used in conjunction with a V5 Robot Brain.
  3. Teams are permitted to use the Bluetooth® capabilities of the V5 Robot Brain and/or V5 Controller in Team pits, practice fields, and Robot Skills Matches. However, VEXnet must be used for wireless communication during head-to-head Matches.
  4. Teams are permitted to use the Wi-Fi capabilities of the Vision Sensor in Team pits or outside of Matches. However, the Vision Sensor must have its wireless transmitting functionality disabled during Matches.


<R18> Give the radio some space. The V5 Radio must be mounted such that no metal surrounds the radio symbol on the V5 Radio.

It is fine to loosely encapsulate the V5 Radio within Robot structure. The intent of this rule is to minimize radio connection issues by minimizing obstructions between VEXnet devices. Burying a radio deep within a Robot may result in Robot communication issues.




<R19> A limited amount of custom plastic is allowed. Robots may use custom-made parts cut from certain types of non-shattering plastic. It must be possible to have cut all of the plastic parts on the Robot from a single 12” x 24” sheet, up to 0.070” thick.

  1. The intent of the area/thickness constraints is to limit the number of custom plastic parts used in Robot construction, not to define an absolute volume. For example, using a sheet which is 0.035” thick does not permit two 12” x 24” sheets’ worth of parts.
  2. Plastic parts do not have to be literally cut from the same original 12” x 24” sheet. However, all individual parts must be able to “nest” or rearrange into a 12” x 24” area.

    1. A collection of parts which theoretically have a total surface area of 288 square inches, but cannot be nested onto a single 12” x 24” sheet, would not be legal. See Figure R19-1.
  3. Plastic may be mechanically altered by cutting, drilling, bending, etc. It cannot be chemically treated, melted, or cast. Heating polycarbonate to aid in bending is acceptable.
  4. Legal plastic types include polycarbonate (Lexan), acetal monopolymer (Delrin), acetal copolymer (Acetron GP), POM (acetal), ABS, PEEK, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon (all grades), Polypropylene, and FEP.
  5. Shattering plastic, such as PMMA (also called Plexiglass, Acrylic, or Perspex), is prohibited.
  6. Plastic sheets sold by VEX are considered “plastic” in the context of this rule, and are subject to the same limitations as “off-the-shelf” plastic sheets. Examples include the 276-8340 PET sheets, and the 217-6626 / 217-6627 polycarbonate sheets.
  7. This rule does not apply to 3D printed plastic parts. 3D printed parts are not permitted in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition, except as non-functional decorations (per <R9>) or as custom license plates (per <R10>).

Note: The phrase “as cut from a single 12” x 24” sheet” is intended to mean that all individual plastic pieces must be able to theoretically “nest” or rearrange into a 12” x 24” area. The plastic pieces do not have to be cut from the same original 12” x 24” sheet. Teams are encouraged to “map” plastic use on a 12” x 24” sheet of paper for reference at tournament inspection.

Figure R19-1: Custom plastic parts must fit within a single 12” x 24” sheet of plastic.



<R20> A limited amount of tape is allowed. Robots may use a small amount of tape for the following purposes:

  1. To secure any connection between the ends of two (2) VEX cables.
  2. To label wires and motors.
  3. To cover the backs of license plates (i.e., hiding the “wrong color”).
  4. To prevent leaks on the threaded portions of pneumatic fittings. This is the only acceptable use of Teflon tape.
  5. In any other application that would be considered a “non-functional decoration” per <R9>.
  6. As an aglet at the end of rope/string to prevent fraying.


<R21> Certain non-VEX fasteners are allowed. Robots may use the following commercially available hardware:

  1. #4, #6, #8, M3, M3.5, or M4 screws up to 2.5” (63.5 mm) long.
  2. Shoulder screws cannot have a shoulder length over 0.20” or a diameter over 0.176”.
  3. Any commercially available nut, washer, standoff, and/or non-threaded spacer up to 2.5” (63.5 mm) long which fits these screws.

The intent of the rule is to allow Teams to purchase their own commodity hardware without introducing additional functionality not found in standard VEX equipment. It is up to inspectors to determine whether the non-VEX hardware has introduced additional functionality or not.

For the purposes of this rule, weight savings is not considered additional functionality.

If a key component of a Robot’s design relies upon convincing an inspector that a specialized component is “technically a screw,” it is probably outside of the spirit and intent of this rule. All specific dimensions listed in this rule are intended to be ‘nominal’ references to hardware sizes found within the VEX V5 product line and/or their metric equivalents.



<R22> New VEX parts are legal. Additional VEX components released during the competition season on www.vexrobotics.com are considered legal for use unless otherwise noted.

Some “new” components may have certain restrictions placed on them upon their release. These restrictions will be documented in the official Q&A, in a Game Manual Update, or on their respective product web pages.



<R23> Pneumatics are limited. A Robot’s pneumatic subsystem must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Teams may use a maximum of two (2) legal VEX pneumatic air reservoirs on a Robot. The Air Tank 200mL (included in the 276-8750 V5 Pneumatics Kit) and the legacy (pre-2023) reservoir are both considered legal reservoirs.
  2. Pneumatic devices may be charged to a maximum of 100 psi.
  3. The compressed air contained inside a pneumatic subsystem can only be used to actuate legal pneumatic devices (e.g., cylinders).

Note: From a rules perspective, parts found in the V5 Pneumatics Kit (276-8750) and legacy (pre-2023) pneumatic parts may be used interchangeably. A Legal Pneumatics summary can be found in the VEX Library, which includes additional pneumatics information.

The intent of <R23a> and <R23b> is to limit Robots to the air pressure stored in two reservoir tanks, as well as the normal working air pressure contained in their pneumatic cylinders and tubing on the Robot. Teams may not use other elements for the purposes of storing or generating air pressure.

Using cylinders or additional pneumatic tubing solely for additional storage is in Violation of the spirit of this rule. Similarly, using pneumatic cylinders and/or tubing without any air reservoirs is also in Violation of the spirit of this rule.

The intent of <R23c> is to ensure that pneumatics are being used safely. Pressurized systems, such as a Robot’s pneumatic subsystem, have the potential to be dangerous if used incorrectly. This rule ensures the safety of participants, and prevents potentially unsafe uses in the future.

Another way of thinking of <R23c> is that “pneumatics should only be used with pneumatics.” Teams should not use compressed air as a means of actuating non-pneumatic devices such as screws, nuts, etc. For example, pulling a pin with a pneumatic cylinder is okay, but using air to actuate the pin itself is not.



<R24>One or two Controllers per Robot. No more than two (2) VEX V5 Controllers may control a single Robot.

  1. No physical or electrical modification of these Controllers is allowed under any circumstances.

    1. Attachments which assist the Drive Team Member in holding or manipulating buttons/joysticks on the V5 Controller are permitted, provided that they do not involve direct physical or electrical modification of the Controller itself.
  2. No other methods of controlling the Robot (light, sound, etc.) are permissible.

    1. Using sensor feedback to augment driver control (such as motor encoders or the Vision Sensor) is permitted.


<R25> Custom V5 Smart Cables are allowed. Teams who create custom cables acknowledge that incorrect wiring may have undesired results.

  1. Official V5 Smart Cable Stock must be used.
  2. Use of non-VEX 4P4C connectors and 4P4C crimping tools is permissible.
  3. V5 Smart Cables may only be used for connecting legal electronic devices to the V5 Robot Brain.


<R26> Keep the power button accessible. The on/off button on the V5 Robot Brain must be accessible without moving or lifting the Robot. All screens and/or lights must also be easily visible by competition personnel to assist in diagnosing Robot problems.



<R27> Use a “Competition Template” for programming. The Robot must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the VEXnet Field Controllers or Smart Field Control system.

During the Autonomous Period, Drive Team Members will not be allowed to use their V5 Controllers. As such, Teams are responsible for programming their Robot with custom software if they want to perform in the Autonomous Period. Robots must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the field controls (e.g., ignore wireless input during the Autonomous Period, Disable at the end of the Driver Controlled Period, etc.).

Teams must use a provided “competition template” or functional equivalent to accomplish this. This will be tested in inspection, where Robots will be required to pass a functional “enable/disable” test. For more information on this, Teams should consult the help guides produced by the developers of their chosen programming software.



<R28> There is a difference between accidentally and willfully violating a Robot rule. Any violation of Robot rules, accidental or intentional, will result in a Team being unable to play until they pass inspection (per <R3d>).

However, Teams who intentionally and/or knowingly circumvent or violate rules to gain an advantage over their fellow competitors are in violation of the spirit and ethos of the competition. Any Violation of this sort may be considered a violation of <G1> and/or the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.


Section 4 - The Tournament

VEX V5 Robotics Competition Matches are played in a Head-to-Head tournament format. Head-to-Head Tournaments consist of Qualification Matches and Elimination Matches. Qualification Matches are used to rank Teams based on Win Points (WP), Autonomous Points (AP), and Strength of Schedule Points (SP). The top-ranked Teams will then form Alliances to participate in Elimination Matches and determine the tournament champions. For information about the requirements for tournaments that qualify Teams to championship events, visit this article in the REC Library.

This section refers primarily to Head-to-Head Matches. For other types of Matches, see Sections 5 & 6.


Tournament Definitions



Alliance Captain – One of the Teams with the privilege of inviting another available Team to form an Alliance for the Elimination Matches. See <T18>.



Alliance Selection – The process of choosing the permanent Alliances for the Elimination Matches. Alliance Selection proceeds as follows:


  1. The highest-ranked Team at the end of Qualification Matches becomes the first Alliance Captain.
  2. The Alliance Captain invites another Team to join their Alliance.
  3. The invited Team Representative either accepts or declines as outlined in <T18>.
  4. The next-highest-ranked Team becomes the next Alliance Captain.
  5. Alliance Captains continue to select their Alliances in this order until all Alliances are formed for the Elimination Matches.


Autonomous Points (AP) – The second basis of ranking Teams. An Alliance who wins the Autonomous Bonus during a Qualification Match earns six (6) Autonomous Points. In the event of a tie, both Alliances will receive three (3) Autonomous Points.



Autonomous Win Point – One (1) Win Point (WP) given to an Alliance that completes the tasks described in <SC8>, by the end of the Autonomous Period. Both Alliances can earn this WP if both Alliances accomplish this task.



Bye – A situation in which an Alliance automatically advances to the next round of tournament play without competing.



Elimination Bracket – A schedule of Elimination Matches for eight (8) to sixteen (16) Alliances. See <T19>.



Elimination Match – A Match used in the process of determining the champion Alliance. Alliances of two (2) Teams face off according to the Elimination Bracket; the winning Alliance moves on to the next round.



Event Partner – The volunteer VEX V5 Robotics Competition tournament coordinator who serves as an overall manager for the volunteers, venue, event materials, and all other event considerations. Event Partners serve as the official liaison between the REC Foundation, the event volunteers, and event attendees.



Head Referee – A certified impartial volunteer responsible for enforcing the rules in this manual as written. Head Referees are the only individuals who may discuss ruling interpretations or scoring questions with Teams at an event. Large events (e.g., Signature Events, World Championships, etc.) might include multiple Head Referees at the Event Partner’s discretion.



Match Schedule – A list of Matches that is generated at the start of an event. The Match Schedule includes the predetermined, randomly-paired Alliances that will be competing in each Qualification Match, and the expected start times for these Matches. The Match Schedule may be subject to change at the Event Partner’s discretion.

Figure MS-1: An example of a Qualification Match Schedule



Practice Match – A Match used to provide time for Teams and volunteers to get acquainted with the official playing field and procedures. Practice Matches earn Teams zero (0) Win Points, Autonomous Points, and Strength of Schedule Points.



Qualification Match – A Match used to determine Team rankings for Alliance Selection. Each Qualification Match consists of two Alliances competing to earn Win Points, Autonomous Points, and Strength of Schedule Points.



Scorekeeper Referee – An impartial volunteer responsible for tallying scores at the end of a Match. Scorekeeper Referees do not make ruling interpretations, and should redirect any Team questions regarding rules or scores to a Head Referee.



Strength of Schedule Points (SP) – The third basis of ranking Teams. Strength of Schedule Points are equivalent to the score of the losing Alliance in a Qualification Match. In the event of a tie, both Alliances receive SPs equal to the tie score. If both Teams on an Alliance are Disqualified, the Teams on the not Disqualified Alliance will receive their own score as SPs for that Match.



Time Out – A single break period no greater than three minutes (3:00) allotted for each Alliance during the Elimination Bracket. See <T9>.



Win Points (WP) – The first basis of ranking Teams. Teams will receive zero (0), one (1), two (2), or three (3) Win Points for each Qualification Match. Unless a Team is Disqualified, both Teams on an Alliance always earn the same number of WPs.




Win Percentage (WP) – Replaces Win Points in a league event. Win Percentage is calculated by the number of wins divided by the number of Qualification Matches the Team plays. In cases of a tie, the Team is given a 0.5 number of “wins” for that match. The Autonomous Win Point is also considered 0.5 “wins,” added to the total number of wins.


Tournament Rules



<T1> Head Referees have ultimate and final authority on all gameplay ruling decisions during the competition.


  1. Scorekeeper Referees score the Match, and may serve as observers or advisers for Head Referees, but may not determine any rules or infractions directly.
  2. When issuing a Major Violation or Minor Violation to a Team, Head Referees must provide the rule number of the specific rule that has been Violated, and record the Violation on the Match Anomaly Log.
  3. Violations of the REC Foundation Code of Conduct may involve additional escalation beyond a Head Referee’s initial ruling, including (but not limited to) investigation by an REC Foundation representative. Rules <S1>, <G1>, <G2> and <G4> are the only rules for which this escalation may be required.
  4. Event Partners may not overrule a Head Referee’s decision.
  5. Every Qualification Match and Elimination Match must be watched by a certified Head Referee. Head Referees may only watch one Match at a time; if multiple Matches are happening simultaneously on separate fields, each field must have its own Head Referee.

Note from the VEX GDC: The rules contained in this Game Manual are written to be enforced by human Head Referees. Many rules have “black-and-white” criteria that can be easily checked. However, some rulings will rely on a judgment call from this human Head Referee. In these cases, Head Referees will make their calls based on what they and the Scorekeeper Referees saw, what guidance is provided by their official support materials (the Game Manual and the Q&A), and most crucially, the context of the Match in question.

The VEX V5 Robotics Competition does not have video replay, our fields do not have absolute sensors to count scores, and most events do not have the resources for an extensive review conference between each Match.

When an ambiguous rule results in a controversial call, there is a natural instinct to wonder what the “right” ruling “should have been,” or what the GDC “would have ruled.” This is ultimately an irrelevant question; our answer is that when a rule specifies “Head Referee’s discretion” (or similar), then the “right” call is the one made by a Head Referee in the moment. The VEX GDC designs games, and writes rules, with this expectation (constraint) in mind.



<T2> Head Referees must be qualified. V5RC Head Referees must have the following qualifications:


  1. Be at least 20 years of age.
  2. Be approved by the Event Partner.
  3. Be an REC Foundation Certified V5RC Head Referee for the current season. Visit this KB article for more details.

Note: Scorekeeper Referees must be at least 15 years of age, and must be approved by the Event Partner.

Head Referees should demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Thorough knowledge of the current game and rules of play
  • Effective decision-making skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to be confident and assertive when necessary
  • Strong communication and diplomacy skills


<T3> The Drive Team is permitted to immediately appeal a Head Referee’s ruling. If Drive Team Members wish to dispute a score or ruling, they must stay in the Alliance Station until the Head Referee from the Match talks with them. The Head Referee may choose to meet with the Drive Team Members at another location and/or at a later time so that the Head Referee has time to reference materials or resources to help with the decision. Once the Head Referee announces that their decision has been made final, the issue is over and no more appeals may be made (See rule <T1>).


  1. Head Referees may not review any photo or video Match recordings when determining a score or ruling.
  2. Head Referees are the only individuals permitted to explain a rule, Disqualification, Violation, warning, or other penalty to the Teams. Teams should never consult other field personnel, including Scorekeeper Referees, regarding a ruling clarification.

Communication and conflict resolution skills are an important life skill for Students to practice and learn. In VEX V5 Robotics Competitions, we expect Students to practice proper conflict resolution using the proper chain of command. Violations of this rule may be considered a Violation of <G1> and/or the Code of Conduct.

Some events may choose to utilize a “question box” or other designated location for discussions with Head Referees. Offering a “question box” is within the discretion of the Event Partner and/or Head Referee, and may act as an alternate option for asking Drive Team Members to remain in the Alliance Station (although all other aspects of this rule apply).

However, by using this alternate location, Drive Team Members acknowledge that they are forfeiting the opportunity to use any contextual information involving the specific state of the Field at the end of the Match. For example, it is impossible to appeal whether a game element was Scored or not if the Field has already been reset. If this information is pertinent to the appeal, Drive Team Members should still remain in the Alliance Station, and relocate to the “question box” once the Head Referee has been made aware of the concern and/or any relevant context.



<T4> The Event Partner has ultimate authority regarding all non-gameplay decisions during an event The Game Manual is intended to provide a set of rules for successfully playing V5RC High Stakes; it is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of guidelines for running a VEX V5 Robotics Competition event. Rules such as, but not limited to, the following examples are at the discretion of the Event Partner and should be treated with the same respect as the Game Manual.

  • Venue access
  • Pit spaces
  • Health and safety
  • Team registration and/or competition eligibility
  • Team conduct away from competition fields

This rule exists alongside <G1>, <S1>, and <G3>. Even though there isn’t a rule that says “do not steal from the concession stand,” it would still be within an Event Partner’s authority to remove a thief from the competition.



<T5> A Team’s Robot and/or Drive Team Member should attend every Match. A Robot or a Student member of the Team must report to the field for the Team’s assigned Match, even if the Robot is not functional. If no Student Drive Team Members report to the Field, the Team will be considered a “no-show” and receive zero (0) WPs, AWPs, APs, and SPs.



<T6> Robots at the field must be ready to play. If a Team brings their Robot to the Field, it must be prepared to play (e.g., batteries charged, sized within the starting size constraint, displaying only the correct Alliance-color license plates, etc.).


  1. Teams who use VEX pneumatics must have their systems charged before they place the Robot on the Field.
  2. Robots must be placed on the Field promptly. Repeated failure to do so could result in a Violation of <G1>. The exact definition of the term “promptly” is at the discretion of the Head Referee and Event Partner, who will consider event schedule, previous warnings or delays, etc.
  3. If a Robot is delaying the scheduled start of a Match, it may be removed from the Field at the discretion of the Head Referee and Event Partner. A Drive Team Member may remain at the Field so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>).


<T7> Match replays are allowed, but rare. Match replays (i.e., playing a Match over again from its start) must be agreed upon by both the Event Partner and Head Referee, and will only be issued in the most extreme circumstances. Some example situations that may warrant a Match replay are as follows:

  1. Match Affecting “field fault” issues.

    1. Scoring Objects not starting in the correct positions.
    2. Tape lines lifting.
    3. Field Elements detaching or moving beyond normal tolerances (not as a result of Robot interactions).
    4. The Autonomous Period or Driver Controlled Period ending early.
    5. Field control disconnecting or disabling Robots. Note, this is sometimes confused with a Robot whose motors have overheated, or bent pins on a controller’s competition port causing intermittent drop-outs. In general, any true field fault will impact both Alliances simultaneously, not one Robot at a time.
  2. Match Affecting game rule issues.

    1. Head Referee Disables a Robot for a misinterpretation of a rule Violation.
    2. Head Referee starts the Driver Controlled Period of the Match without determining the outcome of the Autonomous Period winner.
    3. The Field is reset before a score is determined.

Note: As of the 2024-2025 season, the V5 white screen error is no longer a permitted cause for a replay. More information about this error can be found here.



<T8> Disqualifications. When a Team receives a Disqualification in a Qualification Match, they receive a score of zero (0) for the Match, as well as zero (0) Win Points, Autonomous Win Points, Autonomous Points, and Strength of Schedule Points.

  1. If the Team receiving the Disqualification is on the winning Alliance, then Teams on the opposing Alliance who are not also Disqualified will receive the win for the Match and two (2) WP.

    1. The Team’s non-Disqualified Alliance Partner is unaffected, i.e. they will receive the win for the Match and two (2) WP.
  2. If the Match was a tie, then each Team on the opposing Alliance (the Alliance that did not receive the Disqualification) will receive the win for the Match and two (2) WP. If both Alliances have a Team receiving a Disqualification, then all non-Disqualified Teams will receive a tie for the Match and one (1) WP.
  3. Autonomous Win Points are not given to Teams that receive a Disqualification, and are not automatically awarded to the opposing Alliance.

When a Team is Disqualified in an Elimination Match, the entire Alliance is Disqualified; they receive a loss for the Match, and the opposing Alliance is awarded the win. If both Alliances receive a Disqualification in an Elimination Match, both Alliances receive a loss and will play another Match to determine a winner.

Note: If a Team is Disqualified in a Robot Skills Match, a score of zero (0) will be recorded for that Match.



<T9> Each Elimination Alliance gets one Time Out. Each Elimination Alliance gets one Time Out. Each Alliance may request one (1) Time Out during the Elimination Bracket. The Time Out will be served at the time of the Alliance’s next upcoming Match. Alliances must request their Time Out between Elimination Matches, as permitted by the Head Referee and Event Partner; they may not use their Time Out during a Match, for another Alliance’s Match, or after they have been eliminated.



<T10> Be prepared for minor field variance. Field Element tolerances and Scoring Objects may vary from specified locations/dimensions; Teams are encouraged to design their Robot accordingly. Please make sure to check Appendix A for more specific nominal dimensions and tolerances.


  1. Field Element tolerances may vary from nominal by up to ±1.0”.
  2. Rings and Mobile Goal placement at the beginning of the Match may vary from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4 mm).
  3. Ladder Rung Heights may very from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4 mm).
  4. Rings have a nominal weight of .25lbs and may vary by +/- .075lbs (113.4g +/- 34g)
  5. Mobile Goals have a nominal weight of 2lbs and may vary by +/- .075lbs (907g +/- 34g).
  6. Wall Stake Height and Mobile Goal Heights may vary from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4 mm).
  7. The Rotation of Mobile Goals is not Specified


<T11> Fields may be repaired at the Event Partner’s discretion. All competition fields at an event must be set up in accordance with the specifications in Appendix A and/or other applicable Sections. Minor aesthetic customizations or repairs are permitted, provided that they do not impact gameplay (see <T4>).

Examples of permissible modifications include, but are not limited to:


  • Applying threadlocker to Field Element mounting hardware
  • Using non-VEX white electrical tape to add required lines to the Field
  • Using standard 1/2” Schedule 40 PVC pipe to replace a damaged Wall Stake

Examples of prohibited modifications include, but are not limited to:



Any specific repairs and/or modifications which pertain to the current season’s game will be documented in this rule and Appendix A, as needed.



<T12> The red Alliance places last. The red Alliance has the right to place its Robots on the Field last in both Qualification Matches and Elimination Matches. Once a Team has placed its Robot on the Field, its position cannot be readjusted prior to the Match. If a Team chooses to reposition their Robot after it has already been placed, the opposing Alliance will also be given the opportunity to reposition their Robots promptly.



<T13> Qualification Matches follow the Match schedule. A Qualification Match Schedule will be available on the day of competition. The Match Schedule will indicate Alliance partners, Match pairings, and Alliance colors for each Match. For tournaments with multiple fields, the schedule will indicate which Field each Match will take place on. The Match Schedule is subject to change at the Event Partner’s discretion. Any multi-division event must be approved by the REC Foundation RSM prior to the event, and divisions must be assigned in sequential order by Team number.



<T14> Each Team will have at least six Qualification Matches.

  1. When in a tournament, the tournament must have a minimum of six (6) Qualification Matches per Team for a standard tournament or eight (8) Qualification Matches per championship event. The suggested amount of Qualification Matches per Team for a standard tournament is eight (8) and up to ten (10) for a championship event.
  2. When in a league, there must be at least three (3) league ranking sessions, with at least one (1) week between sessions. Each session must have a minimum of two (2) Qualification Matches per Team. The suggested amount of Qualification Matches per Team for a standard league ranking session is four (4). Leagues will have a championship session where elimination rounds will be played. Event Partners may choose to have Qualification Matches as part of their championship session.


<T15> Qualification Matches contribute to a Team’s ranking for Alliance Selection.

  1. When in a tournament, every Team will be ranked based on the same number of Qualification Matches.
  2. When in a league, every Team will be ranked based on the number of Matches played. Teams that participate at least 60% of the total Matches available will be ranked above Teams that participate in less than 60% of the total Matches available; e.g., if the league offers 3 ranking sessions with 4 Qualification Matches per Team, Teams that participate in 8 or more Matches will be ranked higher than Teams who participate in 7 or fewer Matches. Being a no-show to a Match that a Team is scheduled in still constitutes participation for these calculations.
  3. In some cases, a Team will be asked to play an additional Qualification Match. The extra Match will be identified on the Match Schedule with an asterisk; WPs, APs, and SPs for that Qualification Match will not impact a Team’s ranking, and will not affect participation percentage for leagues.

    1. Teams are reminded that <G1> is always in effect and Teams are expected to behave as if the additional Qualification Match counted.
    2. In Leagues, Teams may have a different number of Qualification Matches. Rankings are determined by the Win Percentage, which is the number of wins divided by the number of Qualification Matches that Teams have played.


<T16> Qualification Match tiebreakers. Team rankings are determined throughout Qualification Matches as follows:

  1. Average Win Points (WP / Number of Matches played)
  2. Average Autonomous Points (AP / Number of Matches played)
  3. Average Strength of Schedule Points (SP / Number of Matches played)
  4. Highest Match score
  5. Second highest Match score
  6. Random electronic draw


<T17> Send a Student representative to Alliance Selection. Each Team must send one (1) Student representative to the playing field (or other designated area) to participate in Alliance Selection. If the Team Representative fails to report in for Alliance Selection, their Team will be ineligible for participation in the Alliance Selection process.



<T18> Each Team may only be invited once to join one Alliance. If a Team representative declines an Alliance Captain’s invitation during Alliance Selection, that Team is no longer eligible to be selected by another Alliance Captain. However, they are still eligible to play Elimination Matches as an Alliance Captain.

For example:

Note: Alliances must have two Teams, and there are no “do-overs” during Alliance Selection. If enough Teams decline their invitations such that the full number of Alliances cannot be filled, the event will proceed with a reduced number of Alliances.



<T19> Elimination Matches follow the Elimination Bracket. A sixteen (16) Alliance bracket plays as shown in Figure T19-1:

If an event is run with fewer than sixteen (16) Alliances, then they will use the bracket shown above, with Byes awarded when there is no applicable Alliance. For example, in a tournament with twelve (12) Alliances, Alliances 1, 2, 3, & 4 would automatically advance to the Quarterfinals.

Thus, an eight (8) Alliance bracket would run as shown in Figure T19-2:

Figure T19-1: A 16-Alliance bracket

Figure T19-2: A 8- Alliance bracket



<T20> Elimination Matches are a blend of “Best of 1” and “Best of 3.” “Best of 1” means that the winning Alliance in each Match advances to the next round of the Elimination Bracket. “Best of 3” means that the first Alliance to reach two wins will advance.

See the Flowchart in Figure T20-1 for more information.

Figure T20-1: The process for determining how Elimination Matches should be played.

<T21> Small tournaments may have fewer Alliances. The number of Alliances for a given event is determined as follows:

# of Teams

# of Elimination Alliances

32+

16

24-31

12

16-23

8

<16

# of Teams divided by 2, less any remainder



<T22> Fields at an event must be consistent with each other. There are many types of permissible aesthetic and/or logistical modifications that may be made to competition fields at the Event Partner’s discretion. If an event has multiple Head-to-Head competition Fields, they must all incorporate the same permissible/applicable modifications. For example, if one field is elevated, then all Head-to-Head competition Fields must be elevated to the same height.

Examples of these modifications may include, but are not limited to:

  • Elevating the playing Field off of the Floor (common heights are 12” to 24” [30.5cm to 61cm])
  • Field control systems (see <T23>)
  • Field display monitors
  • Field Perimeter decorations (e.g., LED lights, sponsor decals on polycarbonate panels)
  • Field Perimeter type (see <T24>)
  • Utilizing the VEX GPS Field Code Strips

Note: If an event has dedicated fields for Skills Challenge Matches, there is no requirement for them to have the same consistent modifications as the Head-to-Head Fields. See <RSC8> for more details.



<T23> There are three types of field control that may be used:

  1. A VEXnet Field Controller controlled by Tournament Manager, which connects to a Controller’s competition port via ethernet cable.
  2. A V5 Event Brain controlled by Tournament Manager, which connects to a Controller via Smart Cable.
  3. A VEXnet Competition Switch, which connects to a Controller’s competition port via Cat-5 cable, may only be used in Practice Matches or Robot Skills Matches, and only under extreme circumstances.

If an event has multiple Fields, then all Fields of the same game type must use the same control system, in accordance with <T23> and <RSC8>. For example, it would be permissible for Head-to-Head competition Fields to use V5 Event Brains, and for Skills Challenge Fields to use VEXnet Field Controllers. However, it would not be permissible for one Head-to-Head Field to use a V5 Event Brain while another Head-to-Head Field uses a VEXnet Field Controller.

Note: Official Qualifying Events may only use the official, unmodified version of Tournament Manager for field control, along with approved hardware and networking solutions found in the REC Library.

Note 2: Add-ons that abide by the TM Public API guidelines are permitted. Once add-ons are enabled, the software is no longer supported by the REC Foundation, VEX Robotics, or DWAB Technologies; any necessary troubleshooting will be done at the user’s own risk.



<T24> There are two types of Field Perimeter that may be used:

  1. VEX Metal Competition Field Perimeter (SKU 278-1501)
  2. VEX Portable Competition Field Perimeter (SKU 276-8242)

See Appendix A for more details.

If an event has multiple Fields, then all fields of the same game type must use the same Field Perimeter type, in accordance with <T22> and <RSC8>. For example, it would be permissible for Head-to-Head competition Fields to use metal Field Perimeters, and for Skills Challenge Fields to use Portable Field Perimeters. However, it would not be permissible for one Head-to-Head field to use a metal Field Perimeter, while other Head-to-Head fields use Portable Field Perimeters.

Note: See <RSC8> for more details specific to Skills Challenge fields.


Section 5 - Robot Skills

This section describes the Robot Skills Challenge rules for VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes. All rules from “The Game” section of the manual apply to the Robot Skills Challenge, unless otherwise specified in this section.

In this challenge, Teams will compete in sixty-second (1:00) long Matches in an effort to score as many points as possible. These Matches consist of Driving Skills Matches, which are entirely driver controlled, and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches, which are autonomous with limited human interaction. Teams will be ranked based on their combined score in the two types of Matches.

The Robot Skills Challenge playing field layout differs from the layout for Head-to-Head VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Matches, with the following modifications:

The image above is a Top view of the Field in its starting configuration for a Robot Skills Match, with highlighted Rings (Red / Blue).


Robot Skills Challenge Definitions

All definitions from “The Game” section of the manual apply to the Robot Skills Challenge, unless otherwise specified.



Driving Skills Match – A Driving Skills Match consists of a sixty-second (1:00) Driver Controlled Period. There is no Autonomous Period. Teams can elect to end their run early if they wish to record a Skills Stop Time.



Autonomous Coding Skills Match – An Autonomous Coding Skills Match consists of a sixty-second (1:00) Autonomous Period. There is no Driver Controlled Period. Teams can elect to end their run early if they wish to record a Skills Stop Time.



Robot Skills Match – A Driving Skills Match or Autonomous Coding Skills Match.



Skills Stop Time – The time remaining in a Robot Skills Match when a Team ends the Match early.

  1. If a Team does not end the Match early, they receive a default Skills Stop Time of 0.
  2. The moment when the Match ends early is defined as the moment when the Robot is “Disabled” by the field control system. See the “Skills Stop Time” section for more details.
  3. If a V5 Robot Brain or Tournament Manager display is being used for Field control, then the Skills Stop Time is the time shown on the display when the Match is ended early (i.e. in 1-second increments).
  4. If a VEXnet Competition Switch is being used for Field control, in conjunction with a manual timer that counts down to 0 with greater accuracy than 1-second increments, then the time shown on the timer should be rounded up to the nearest second. For example, if the Robot is Disabled and the timer shows 25.2 seconds, then the Skills Stop Time should be recorded as 26.

Robot Skills Challenge Rules



<RSC1> All rules from “The Game” section of the manual apply to the Robot Skills Challenge, unless otherwise specified in this section.

Violation Note: In the Robot Skills Challenge, the standard definition of Match Affecting does not apply, since there is no winner and loser. When evaluating whether a rule Violation should be classified as a Major Violation or Minor Violation in the context of this criteria, the term “score affecting” can be substituted for “Match Affecting”. A Violation is considered “score affecting” if it resulted in a net increase of that Team’s score at the end of the Match.



<RSC2> Teams may play Robot Skills Matches on a first-come, first-served basis, or by a pre-scheduled method determined by the Event Partner. Each Team will get the opportunity to play up to three (3) Driving Skills Matches and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

Teams should review the event agenda and their Match Schedule to determine when the best possible time is to complete their Robot Skills Matches. If the Robot Skills Challenge area closes before a Team has completed all six (6) Robot Skills Matches, but it is determined that there was adequate time given, then the Team will automatically forfeit those unused Matches.

Further details regarding Skills-Only Event logistics can be found in the REC Foundation Qualifying Criteria document.



<RSC3> Robots must start the Robot Skills Match in a legal starting position for the red Alliance.

  1. All Drive Team Members must remain in the red Alliance Station for the duration of the Match.
  2. Robots must meet all of the criteria listed in rule <SG1>.
  3. Teams may use one (1) red Alliance preload as described in rule <SG5>.
  4. The two (2) blue Alliance preload Rings are not used in Robot Skills Matches.


<RSC4> Blue Rings may only be Scored as Top Rings on Stakes. Each Blue Ring only has a point value if:

  1. All red Rings in the Match have been Scored on Stakes and have point values.
  2. At least one red Ring is Scored below the blue Ring on that Stake.
  3. There is only one blue Ring on that Stake.
  4. No red Rings are Scored above the blue Ring on that Stake.
  5. Red Rings may also be Scored as Top Rings on Stakes, but rule <RSC5> applies.


<RSC5> Any red Ring Scored above a blue Ring on the same Stake will not have a point value.



<RSC6> If any Ring is Scored on a Stake but does not have a point value based on rule <RSC4> or <RSC5>, no Ring on that Stake will earn points as a Top Ring.



<RSC7> No Corner Modifiers.

  1. There are no Positive Corners or Negative Corners in Robot Skills Matches.
  2. Each Mobile Goal Placed in a Corner will receive 5 points. Rule <SC5> and its note still apply, and only one Mobile Goal may be Placed in each Corner.


<RSC8> There is no requirement that Skills Challenge Fields have the same consistent modifications as the Head-to-Head Fields. For example, there is no requirement that all Skills Challenge Fields are elevated to the same height as Head-to-Head Fields. However, all Skills Challenge Fields at a single event must use the same type of field control and Field Perimeter, as described in rules <T23> and <T24>.

It is strongly recommended/preferred that all Skills Challenge Fields are consistent with each other, but this may not be the case in extreme circumstances.

In order to use non-conforming Head-to-Head Fields for Skills Challenge runs (e.g., during lunch), the following steps should be taken:

  • Teams must be informed that the Head-to-Head Fields may have some differences from the Skills Challenge Fields (e.g., they might not have GPS strips).
  • Teams must be given an opportunity to select which type of Field they want to use, i.e. they cannot be required to use the Head-to-Head Field for any Skills Challenge run.

Robot Skills Challenge Scoring

Each Ring Scored on a Stake

1 Point*

Each Top Ring on a Stake

3 Points*

Climb - Level 1

3 Points

Climb - Level 2

6 Points

Climb - Level 3

12 Points

Mobile Goal Placed in a Corner

5 Points

*Note: Blue Rings only count for points if all red Rings are Scored on Stakes, and blue Rings are only eligible for use as Top Rings that are Scored on top of red Rings. See rules <RSC4>, <RSC5>, and <RSC6> for additional information.


Skills Stop Time

If a Team wishes to end their Robot Skills Match early, they may elect to record a Skills Stop Time. This is used as a tiebreaker for Robot Skills Challenge rankings. A Skills Stop Time does not affect a Team’s score for a given Robot Skills Match.


Robot Skills Challenge Ranking at Events

For each Robot Skills Match, Teams are awarded a score as described in the Robot Skills Challenge Scoring section, and an optional Skills Stop Time as described in the Skills Stop Time section. Teams will be ranked based on the following tiebreakers:

  1. Sum of highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score and highest Driving Skills Match score.
  2. Highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score.
  3. Second-highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score.
  4. Second-highest Driving Skills Match score.
  5. Highest sum of Skills Stop Times from a Team’s highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match and highest Driving Skills Match (i.e., the Matches in point 1).
  6. Highest Skills Stop Time from a Team’s highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match (i.e., the Match in point 2).
  7. Third-highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score.
  8. Third-highest Driving Skills Match score.
  9. If a tie cannot be broken after all above criteria, then the following ordered criteria will be used to determine which Team had the “best” Autonomous Coding Skills Match:

    1. Number of Rings Scored
    2. Number of Mobile Goals Scored
    3. Climb Level
  • If the tie still isn’t broken, the same process in Step 9 will be applied to each Team’s best Driving Skills Match.
  • If the tie still isn’t broken, events may choose to allow Teams to have one more deciding Driving Skills Match, to be ranked according to the standard criteria above, or declare both Teams the Robot Skills Challenge Winner.

Robot Skills Challenge Ranking Globally

Teams will be ranked globally based on their Robot Skills scores from Tournaments and Leagues that upload results to robotevents.com, according to the following tiebreakers:

  1. Highest Robot Skills score (combined Autonomous Coding Skills Match and Driving Skills Match Score from a single event).
  2. Highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score (from any event).
  3. Highest sum of Skills Stop Times from the Robot Skills Matches used for point 1.
  4. Highest Skills Stop Time from the Autonomous Coding Skills Match used for point 2.
  5. Highest Driving Skills Match score (from any event).
  6. Highest Skills Stop Time from the Driving Skills Match score used for point 5.
  7. Earliest posting of the Highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score.

    1. The first Team to post a score ranks ahead of other Teams that post the same score at a later time, all else being equal.
  8. Earliest posting of the Highest Driving Skills Match score.

    1. The first Team to post a score ranks ahead of other Teams that post the same score at a later time, all else being equal.

League Events

At league events in which Teams may submit Robot Skills Challenge scores across multiple days / sessions, the Robot Skills scores (combined highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match and Driving Skills Match scores) used for rankings will be calculated from Matches within the same session.

For example, consider the following scores for a hypothetical Team across two league event sessions:

Autonomous Coding Skills Match

Driving Skills Match

Robot Skills Score

Session 1

100

100

200

Session 2

150

40

190

This Team would have a Robot Skills score of 200 for this event, and their scores from Session 1 would be used for the Event and Global tiebreakers listed in the above two sections.


Section 6 - VEX U

While many colleges and universities already use the VEX V5 system in their academic classes, many more have extensive manufacturing capabilities beyond the standard “VEX metal” library. Fabrication techniques like machining and 3D printing are more common than ever in collegiate engineering programs, and we can’t wait to see what VEX U Teams from around the world are able to create under these more advanced rules.

As in past years, the season will include a culminating VEX U event at the VEX Robotics World Championship, along with regional tournaments across the world. Participating schools will get the chance to prove their abilities in front of thousands of future engineers and show off what truly makes their school remarkable. VEX U is the perfect project-based supplement to many university level engineering programs, and will give Students the unique opportunity to demonstrate their real-world skills to potential employers (such as VEX competition sponsors).


Event Information

Several of the University partners participating in VEX U will be holding tournament events in addition to the capstone competition at the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship. Refer to https://www.robotevents.com/ for event details, pricing, and registration info for VEX U events.


Game, Robot, and Tournament Rules

VEX U uses the VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Field with no modifications. Anyone that has a VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Field can use it for a VEX U event or Team. Please consult the VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Game Manual for the basic set of competition rules and details.

All of the standard Game, Robot, & Tournament rules apply, except for the modifications listed in this document. In the event of a rules conflict, the rules listed in this document and rulings on the VEX U Q&A take precedence.


VEX U Definitions


Additional Electronics - Any sensor, processor, or other electronic component used in Robot construction, and connected to the V5 Robot Brain, that is not sold by VEX Robotics. Examples could include commercially-available devices (e.g., Raspberry Pi) or custom devices designed and fabricated by the Team. See <VUR10> for more details.



Fabricated Part - Any component used in Robot construction that is fabricated by Team members. See <VUR3>, <VUR4>, and <VUR5> for more details.



Raw Stock - Stock materials purchased from third-party vendors that may be used to create Fabricated Parts. See <VUR4>.


Rule Modifications: Field Setup

The VURC playing Field is set up differently than a Head-to-Head VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Match, with the following modifications as shown below.

  • The VEX GPS code strip must be installed on the Field
  • Modified Field layout

The image above is a Top view of the Field in its starting configuration for a VEX U Match, with highlighted Rings (Red / Blue).


Rule Modifications: Game

<VUG1> Different expansion. The intentions behind rules <SG2> and <SG3> apply, with the following clarifications:

  1. The 24” Robot may not expand horizontally outside this 24” x 24” limit at any time during the Match.
  2. The 15” Robot may expand horizontally with the same “one direction” rule as <SG2>. It may never exceed an overall footprint of 24” x 15”.
  3. The intent of rule <SG3> applies to both Robots. Neither Robot may contact three Levels, or two non-sequential Levels, of the Ladder at any time.

Note: It may be physically possible for a 24” Robot to incidentally violate rule <SG3>, even without expanding vertically. Unintentional / minor infractions that only involve breaking a third plane will not be penalized, provided that clause C of this rule is followed at all times.



<VUG2> Different climbing. All rules and point values pertaining to Climbing apply as written, with the following modifications:

  1. Clause A of <SC7> does not apply in VEX U. Robots are not required to be contacting the Ladder at the end of the Match in order to receive points for Climbing. Robots not contacting the Ladder or foam tiles must be contacting another Robot from their Team that meets all criteria of <SC7>.
  2. A Robot which meets all other Climbing requirements, but is not contacting the Ladder at the end of the Match, will have their Climbing points doubled.

    1. For example, when both Robots reach a standard Level 2, the Team would receive 12 points total (6 per Robot). If instead, both Robots have reached Level 2 and one of them is not contacting the Ladder, the Team should receive 18 points total (6 + 12).
  3. In the context of rule <SG9>, a Robot which is in the process of Climbing without contacting the Ladder should be considered more “offensive” or “safe”.


<VUG3> Different autonomous. Rule <SC2> applies as-written, except for clause A. Climb points and Corner modifiers are included in Autonomous Bonus calculations.


Rule Modifications: Robot

<VUR1> Teams may use two (2) Robots in each Match.

  1. Both Robots may only be built from the following materials:

    1. Official VEX Robotics products (see <VUR2>
    2. Fabricated Parts made by the Team (see <VUR3> through <VUR7>)
    3. Commercially-available springs, fasteners and bearings (see <VUR8>, <VUR9>, and <VUR14>).
    4. A legal electronics system (see <VUR10> and <VUR11>)
    5. Any legal Additional Electronics (see <VUR12>)
    6. A legal pneumatics system (see <VUR13>)
  2. One Robot must be smaller than 24” x 24” x 24” at the start of the Match
  3. One Robot must be smaller than 15” x 15” x 15” at the start of the Match

Note: <SG2> applies as written to both Robots.



<VUR2> Teams may use any official VEX Robotics products, other than the exceptions listed in the tables below, to construct their Robot. This includes those from the VEXpro, VEX EXP, VEX IQ, VEX GO, VEX 123, VEX CTE and VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product lines. To determine if a product is “official” or not, refer to www.vexrobotics.com. Rule <R16> applies, and most modifications to non-electrical components are allowed.

SKU

Description

217-8080

Talon SRX

217-9191

Victor SPX

217-9090

Victor SP

217-4243

Pneumatic Control Module

217-4244

Power Distribution Panel

217-4245

Voltage Regulator Module

217-4347

775pro

217-2000

CIM Motor

217-3371

Mini CIM Motor

217-3351

BAG Motor

217-6515

Falcon 500

This rule takes precedence over all other rules regarding Raw Stock and/or Fabricated Parts, such as <VUR5>.

* The HEXBUG brand is a registered trademark belonging to Spin Master Corp



<VUR3> Fabricated Parts may be made by applying the following manufacturing processes to legal Raw Stock:

  1. Additive manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing.
  2. Subtractive manufacturing processes, such as cutting, drilling, routing, or machining.
  3. Bending, such as sheet metal braking or thermoforming.
  4. Attaching materials to one another, such as welding or chemically bonding (e.g., epoxy).
  5. Molding of non-metals, such as injecting polyurethane into a 3D printed mold.


<VUR4> Fabricated Parts must be made from legal Raw Stock. To be considered Raw Stock, the material must be purchased in one of the following forms before undergoing the fabrication processes listed in <VUR3>:

Type

Shape / Profile

Examples

1

Sheet

Flat Plane

  • Sheet metal
  • ⅛” polycarbonate sheet
  • Plywood

2

Solid Billet

“Thick” rectangular beam / block

  • 4” x 4” x 6” solid aluminum billet
  • 2” x 2” x 2” acetal block

3

Solid Bar

“Thin” rectangular beam

  • 2x4 wood planks
  • ¼” x 3” aluminum bars

4

Hollow Bar

Hollow rectangular beam

  • 1” x 1”, 1/32” wall aluminum box tube

5

Solid Rod

Cylinder

  • ¼” steel rod
  • ¼” acetal rod

6

Hollow Rod / Tube

Hollow Cylinder

  • Copper tubing
  • PVC pipe

7

Angle

90° “L” shape

  • 1” x 1”, 1/16” thickness aluminum angle

8

U- / C-Channel

“U” or “C”. See this Q&A.

  • 1/4” High x 1” Wide Aluminum U-Channel

9

Non-Metal 3D Printer Filament

Thin cylinder

  • PLA or TPU filament
  • Composite nylon filament (e.g. Markforged OnyxTM)

10

Synthetic Polymer used for Molding

Liquid

  • Polyurethane
  • Silicone

Teams are not required to exhaustively define the specific material type for each component of every Fabricated Part in their Engineering Notebook, as it should be obvious from the engineering drawings required by <VUR7>. However, unusual parts should be expected to receive increased scrutiny.

If any materials do not easily fall into one of these categories, then that is probably an indication that it is not intended to be a legal type of Raw Stock. If a Team cannot demonstrate that the component was made from a legal type of Raw Stock, then they will be asked to remove it from their Robot.



<VUR5> The following material types are not considered Raw Stock, and are therefore not permitted:

Type

Examples

1

Any otherwise-legal Raw Stock that has been post-processed by drilling, machining, or otherwise removing material

  • Angle aluminum with regularly-spaced holes or slots
  • Perforated sheet metal

2

Extrusions that do not fall under one of the categories listed in <VUR4>

  • Non-rectangular aluminum extrusions, such as 80/20, T-slot, or Octanorm
  • Gear stock

3

Assembled items (or pre-arranged kits of unassembled items) that form a single, more complex component

  • Gearboxes
  • Claw mechanisms
  • Swerve drive modules

4

Commercial Off-the-Shelf items that are intended to be used with minimal modification

  • Wheels
  • Gears
  • Timing belts and pulleys

5

Materials that are intended to be cast or sintered

  • Resin / powdered-bed 3D printing
  • Molten aluminum used for sand casting

Note: <VUR2> takes precedence over this rule. Materials purchased from VEX Robotics that fall under one of these categories (e.g., VersaFrame pre-drilled extrusion) are permitted.

In industry, terms like “Raw Stock”, “raw material”, and “material stock” are often used interchangeably, and cover an extremely broad scope of physical goods. The lists in <VUR4> and <VUR5> are intended to explain what specific material types and profiles fall under the defined term “Raw Stock” in the context of the VEX U competition.



<VUR6> Fabricated Parts may not be made from Raw Stock which poses a safety or damage risk to the event, other Teams, or Field Elements. Examples of prohibited materials include, but are not limited to:

  1. Any material intended to produce flames or pyrotechnic effects
  2. Any material that is liquid at the time of the Match. Examples include hydraulic fluids, oils, greases, liquid mercury, and tire sealant

    1. This does not include fabrication processes that involve the use of liquids, such as milling coolant or epoxy
  3. Any matter that shatters or otherwise presents an excessive field/safety hazard upon failure. Examples include fiberglass, acrylic, and carbon fiber sheet/tube stock

    1. This rule refers specifically to material legality itself. Any potentially unsafe mechanisms made from legal Raw Stock may still be addressed by <S1> and <R6>


<VUR7> Fabricated Parts must be made by Team members. Any Fabricated Parts must be accompanied by documentation that demonstrates the Team’s design and construction process for that Fabricated Part.

  1. The minimum acceptable form of documentation is an engineering drawing with multiple views for the part in question. These drawings may be included in a Team’s Engineering Notebook or in a standalone appendix to the Engineering Notebook
  2. Any Fabricated Part must have been entirely designed and produced by Team members. For example, parts ordered by the Team and 3D printed by a third party would be prohibited
  3. Teams will be required to provide this documentation as requested by inspectors, Head Referees, or judges at any time at an event. Failure to provide acceptable documentation will result in the part being deemed illegal for use; therefore, <R3>, <R28>, and/or <G1> will apply


<VUR8> Teams may use commercially available springs on their Robots. For the purposes of this rule, a “spring” is any device used for storing and releasing elastic potential energy. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Compression, tension, torsion, constant force, or conical springs made from spring steel
  2. Springs made from elastic thread or rubber, such as surgical tubing, bungee cords, or stretchable braided rope
  3. Closed-loop (pneumatic) gas shocks

Note: Gas shocks are not considered pneumatic devices in the context of <VUR13>. Gas shocks may not be modified in any way.



<VUR9> Teams may use commercially available fastener hardware on their Robot. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Screws, nuts, rivets
  • Hinges, pins, rod ends, threaded rods, hose clamps
  • Ancillary fastener accessories, such as washers or spacers
  • Adhesives such as epoxy, glue, or tape (when used to join together two parts)

If the primary function of the part is not “fastening”, then <VUR5>, <VUR6>, and/or <VUR7> take precedence over this rule. Illegal examples include (but are not limited to):

  • A prefabricated non-VEX wheel, even though it may technically connect tread to a shaft
  • 80/20 extrusion; other items get “fastened to it”, it is not the part doing the “fastening”
  • Using grip tape to improve wheel traction


<VUR10> Each Robot must utilize exactly one (1) V5 Robot Brain and up to two (2) V5 Robot Radios connected to a V5 Controller.

  1. Teams must abide by the power rules noted in <R14> and <VUR12c>
  2. Wireless communication between Robots is permitted if using legal V5 Robot Brains / Robot Radios. No other types of wireless communication protocols (e.g., radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi) are permitted


<VUR11> There is no restriction on the number of V5 Smart Motors (11W) [276-4840] and/or EXP Smart Motors (5.5W) [276-4842] that Robots may use. No other motors, servos, or electronic actuators are permitted, including those sold by VEX (e.g., the 2-Wire 393 Motor).

Note 1: Rule <R15> still applies in VEX U. Teams may not modify Smart Motors, and must use official/unmodified gear cartridges

Note 2: Commercially available pneumatic actuators and pneumatic solenoids are permitted within the guidelines of <VUR13>

Note 3: Legal Additional Electronics may include their own motor, servo, or actuator, per <VUR12>



<VUR12> There is no restriction on sensors and other Additional Electronics that Robots may use for sensing and processing, except as follows:

  1. Sensors and Additional Electronics MUST be connected to the V5 Robot Brain via any of the externally accessible ports (i.e., without any modification to the microcontroller). A sensor may be connected to a processing unit which then connects to the V5 Robot Brain
  2. Sensors and Additional Electronics CANNOT directly electrically interface with VEX motors and / or solenoid
  3. The additional sensors and electronics may only receive power from any of the following:

    1. Directly from the V5 Robot Brain via any externally accessible port
    2. From an additional lithium ion, lithium iron or nickel metal hydride battery pack (only one (1) additional battery can be used for sensor/processing power). This additional battery pack must operate at a maximum of 12 volts nominal
  4. Only the V5 Battery can power the V5 Brain
  5. Additional Electronics which include a low-powered motor as an integral part of their primary sensing/processing function, such as an external processor’s cooling fan or a spinning sensor, are permissible

    1. Standalone motors which serve no additional sensing or processing functionality (e.g., using a commercially-available brushless motor in a drivetrain) are not considered legal Additional Electronics, and would be considered a Violation of <VUR11>
  6. Pneumatic solenoids are the only types of solenoids that are permitted as Additional Electronics. Solenoids used for any purpose other than opening and closing a pneumatic valve are considered an actuator and therefore prohibited, per <VUR11>


<VUR13> Teams may utilize an unlimited amount of the following commercially available pneumatic components: cylinders, actuators, valves, gauges, storage tanks, regulators, manifolds, tubing, and solenoids.

  1. Pneumatic devices may only be charged to a maximum of 100 psi
  2. Compressors or any other forms of “on-Robot” charging are not permitted
  3. All commercial components must be rated for 100 psi or higher. Teams should be prepared to provide documentation that verifies these ratings to inspectors if requested
  4. Components must not be modified from their original state, other than the following exceptions:

    1. Cutting pneumatic tubing or wiring to length; assembling components using pre-existing threads, brackets, or fittings; or minor cosmetic labels
  5. If commercially available 12V solenoids are used, these are considered Additional Electronics and must therefore satisfy all conditions listed in <VUR12>. 12V solenoids may be either powered by an additional power source (per <VUR12c>), or by a 5V-12V step-up converter from the V5 Robot Brain. If an external power source (or other Additional Electronics device) is used to interface with the solenoid, Teams MUST be able to demonstrate that there is no way for the solenoid to receive power while the Robot is receiving a Disabled state from the field controller


<VUR14> Teams may use commercially available bearings on their Robot. For the purpose of this rule, a ‘bearing’ is a part that supports external loads, reduces friction, and improves efficiency by facilitating smooth dynamic motion between components. Legal examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Parts supporting rotational motion: radial bearings, roller bearings, thrust bearings, needle bearings, one-way bearings, bushings, etc.
  • Parts supporting linear motion: linear bearings, linear slides, drawer slides, etc.

Rule Modifications: Tournament



<VUT1> Instead of a 2-Team Alliance format, VEX U Matches will be played 1-Team vs. 1-Team. Each Team will use two (2) Robots in each Match.

  1. Teams are allowed to build as many Robots as they would like, but only two (2)—one of each size as described in <VUR1>—may be brought from the pit to the playing field for any Match.
  2. All Robots must pass inspection before they are allowed to compete.


<VUT2> Qualification Matches will be conducted in the same manner as in a V5RC tournament, but in the revised 1v1 format described in <VUT1>.



<VUT3> Elimination Matches will be conducted in the same manner as in a V5RC tournament, but without an Alliance Selection. At the end of the competition, one Team will emerge as the tournament champion.



<VUT4> The Autonomous Period at the beginning of each Head-to-Head Match will be 30 seconds (0:30).

  1. Human interaction with Robots during the Autonomous Period is strictly prohibited.
  2. If both Teams complete their routines before 30 seconds have elapsed, they have the option to signal that they wish to end the Autonomous Period early. Both Teams and the Head Referee must all agree on the “early stop.” This is not a requirement, and the option must have been established for all Teams at the event, such as during the event meeting.


<VUT5> The Driver Controlled Period is shortened to 90 seconds (1:30) and immediately follows the Autonomous Period.



<VUT6> Each Robot is allowed up to three (3) Drive Team Members in the Alliance Station during a Match, as modified from <G8>.



<VUT7> VEX U Student eligibility.

  1. All VEX U Team members MUST be matriculated in a post-secondary school OR have earned a post-secondary education diploma, certificate, or other equivalent during the six (6) months preceding the VEX Robotics World Championship. The intent of this rule is to permit Students graduating mid-year to still be able to finish their competition season.
  2. Professionals not enrolled in post-secondary education are not eligible to participate on a VEX U Team.
  3. Students who are dual-enrolled in both a secondary school and in post-secondary courses are not eligible to participate on a VEX U Team.
  4. VEX U Team members may only be on exactly one (1) VEX U Team for the season. See <G4>.

Rule Modifications: Robot Skills Challenge

All rules apply from Section 5: Robot Skills Challenge and Section 6: VURC, with no modifications other than those noted below.Teams are permitted to use both Robots, with up to three (3) Drive Team Members each in their VEX U Robot Skills Challenge Matches, per <VUT1> , <VUT6>, and <VUR1>.



<VURS1> The VURC Robot Skills Challenge playing field layout differs from the layout for V5RC Robot Skills Matches, with the following modifications:



<VURS2> Both Robots must start the Robot Skills Match in legal starting positions for the red Alliance. All other portions of rule <SG1> apply.



<VURS3> There are no preloads in VURC Robot Skills Matches.



<VURS4> Each blue Ring only has a point value if:

The image above is a Top view of the Field in its starting configuration for a VEX U Robot Skills Match, with highlighted Rings (Red / Blue).


Team Composition

We want to see Universities face off in a global head-to-head competition. Schools are not limited to one Team, and a Team may consist of multiple colleges, but we hope that each Team identifies with and proudly represents one (1) post-secondary institution. (e.g., “Clarkson University” vs. “UC Santa Barbara”). Of course, college-level “club” Teams and mixed composition Teams are encouraged to join! However, as noted in <VUT7>, Students who have not yet graduated secondary school are not eligible to participate in VEX U, even if they are “dual-enrolled” or taking post-secondary courses.


Appendix A - Field Overview


Game Field Introduction

This document will provide Bill of Materials (BOM) information and detailed specifications for the Official

Competition Field.

Teams who do not need an “official” field should refer to the separate low-cost field guide for cost reduction options. Teams assembling the full Field should refer to the separate VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Field Build Instructions.

Please note: this Field can utilize both the VEX Portable Competition Field Perimeter (276-8242) and the VEX Competition Field Perimeter (278-1501) developed by VEX Robotics. Instructions and specifications for these field perimeters are available in separate documents and are important for the field assembly.

This document is divided up into three sections:

  1. Field Overview
  2. Field BOM
  3. Field Specifications

There is also an accompanying STEP file which can be imported into most 3D modeling programs (e.g.,

Inventor, Sketchup, Solidworks, etc.). This 3D model shows the “official” setup of a VEX V5 Robotics Competition - High Stakes competition field, as well as detailed models of individual Field Elements.

For additional game-play detail, please refer to the VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Game Manual.


Field Overview

V5RC High Stakes is played on a 12ft x 12ft foam mat, surrounded by a perimeter, with a Ladder in the center of the field.

The V5RC High Stakes field consists of forty-eight (48) Rings, five (5) Mobile Goals, four (4) Wall Stakes, and one (1) Ladder. Four (4) Corners, two (2) Positive and two (2) Negative, are taped off in each corner of the Field Perimeter.

For more details and specific gameplay rules, please refer to the V5RC High Stakes Game Manual.


Game Objects & Field Bill of Materials

All of these items are available for purchase from www.vexrobotics.com

Generic Field Elements - Reusable Each Year

Part Number

Description

278-1501

Field Perimeter Frame & Hardware

276-8242

Portable Competition Field Perimeter

276-6905

Anti-Static Field Tiles (18-Pack)

275-1401

VEXnet Field Controller

Official VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes Specific Elements

Part Number

Description

Quantity per Full Field

276-8868

V5RC 2024-25 Full Field & Game Element Kit

276-8869

V5RC 2024-25 Game Element Kit

1

276-8870

V5RC 2024-25 Field Element Kit 1

1

276-8871

V5RC 2024-25 Field Element Kit 2

1

276-9068

V5RC 2024-25 Field Element Kit 3

1

276-9091

V5RC Field Element Plates (4-Pack)*

1

*Optional. Only needed if Field Element Plates are not already owned.

Practice Elements

Part Number

Description

276-8869

V5RC 2024-25 Game Element Kit

276-8872

V5RC 2024-25 Scoring Element Kit


Field Specifications Introduction

This section will outline the specifications that are most important to Teams designing a Robot to compete in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition High Stakes. Though many of the critical dimensions are included in this section, it may be necessary to consult the separate assembly guide and 3D CAD models of the Field for an additional level of detail. If you can’t find a dimension in the specifications, we include a full model of the field to “virtually” measure whatever dimension is necessary.

Field components may vary slightly from event to event. This is to be expected; Teams will need to adapt accordingly. It is good design practice to create mechanisms capable of accommodating variances in the Field and Scoring Objects.

Note: Minor Field repairs are permissible, provided that the repairs do not affect gameplay. Examples of minor Field repairs include (but are not limited to) threadlocker applied to Field Element mounting hardware. Be sure to check the Official Q&A for specific examples or to get an official clarification.

SC1

<SC1> All Scoring statuses are evaluated after the Match ends. Scores are calculated 5 seconds after the Match ends, or once all Scoring Objects, Field Elements, and Robots on the Field come to rest, whichever comes first.

  1. This 5 second delay is intended to be the only permitted “benefit of the doubt” for last-second scoring actions. If an object or Robot is still in motion and “too close to call” between two states at the 5-second mark, then the less advantageous of the two states should be awarded to the Robot(s) in question. For example:

    1. A Robot which has Climbed on the Ladder but is slowly drooping down, and crosses a Level threshold right at 5 seconds, would be considered in the lower of the two Levels.
    2. A Ring which slowly slides out of a Robot’s mechanism and lands on a Stake right at 5 seconds would not be considered Scored.
  2. At the end of the Match, the on-screen timer displayed by Tournament Manager will hold the current Match information and “0:00” for 5 seconds before moving to queue the next Match. This should be the primary 5-second visual cue used by Teams and Head Referees.
  3. This 5 second delay is only intended to be a “benefit of the doubt” grace period, not an extra 5 seconds of Match time. Robots which are designed to strategically exploit this grace period will receive a Minor Violation, and any post-Match movement will not be included in score calculation (i.e., the Match will be scored as it was at 0:00).
SC2

<SC2> Scoring of the Autonomous Bonus is evaluated immediately after the Autonomous Period ends (i.e., once all Scoring Objects, Field Elements, and Robots on the Field come to rest).

  1. Climb points and Corner modifiers are not included in the calculation of an Alliance’s score for the purposes of determining the Autonomous Bonus.
  2. If the Autonomous Period ends in a tie, including a zero-to-zero tie, each Alliance will receive an Autonomous Bonus of three (3) points.
  3. Any rule Violations, Major or Minor, during the Autonomous Period will result in the Autonomous Bonus being awarded to the other Alliance. If both Alliances violate rules during the Autonomous Period, no Autonomous Bonus will be awarded.
SC3

<SC3> A Ring is considered Scored on a Stake if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Ring is not contacting a Robot from the same color Alliance as the Ring.
  2. The Ring is not contacting a gray foam tile.
  3. The Ring is “encircling” a Stake. In this context, “encircling” means that any part of the Stake is at least partially within the volume defined by the inner edges of the Ring.
  4. The Stake does not exceed its total permitted number of Rings (see definition of Stake). In the event of too many Rings on a Stake, the “highest” Rings will be removed.

Note: There is no requirement for a Mobile Goal to be upright in order for its Rings to be considered Scored. Contact with any other Field Elements or Rings, other than the criteria described above, is irrelevant.

In the vast majority of common scenarios, a Scored Ring will be fully supported by the Stake, other Scored Rings, and/or the Stake’s associated base (i.e., Mobile Goal, field wall, or Ladder). Although this support can be used as a visualization tool when judging edge-case Rings, it is not explicitly required.

Another visualization tool is that if a gentle “shake test” would result in the Ring falling anywhere other than further onto its Stake, then it is most likely not Scored (this test does not apply to tipped Mobile Goals).

SC4

<SC4> A Ring is considered a Top Ring if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Ring is Scored on a Stake (i.e., meets all criteria in <SC3>).
  2. The Ring is the furthest Scored Ring from a given Stake’s base (i.e., Mobile Goal base or Field Perimeter wall).
  3. There is no minimum number of Rings required; if only one Ring is Scored on a Stake, then it is still considered that Stake’s Top Ring.

Note: A Ring that is considered a Top Ring does not also receive points for being Scored on a Stake; i.e., that Ring is worth 3 points, not a total of “3 + 1” points.

Note 2: If a Top Ring cannot be determined, but the two Rings in question are of the same color, then either of them may be considered the Top Ring. If the two Rings in question are of opposite colors, then that Stake will have no Top Rings.

SC5

<SC5> A Mobile Goal is considered Placed in a Corner if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Mobile Goal’s base is contacting the Corner (i.e., the Floor and/or white tape line).
  2. It is “upright.” For the purposes of this definition, a Mobile Goal is considered “upright” if no contact is being made between its Stake (and/or any Rings on this Stake) and the Floor or Field Perimeter.
  3. Contact with a Robot is irrelevant, as long as all other criteria are met.

Note: Only one Mobile Goal may be considered Placed in each Corner. If two Mobile Goals meet the above requirements in the same Corner, the following criteria will be used as a series of “tiebreakers” to determine which Mobile Goal is Placed:

  1. Compare the number of Field Perimeter segments contacted by the Mobile Goal; higher number is better.
  2. A Mobile Goal that is contacting a white tape line ranks lower than one which is not.
  3. A Stake that is roughly perpendicular to the Floor ranks higher than a Stake that is not as “vertical.”
  4. If criteria 1-3 are still tied, then neither Mobile Goal is considered Placed.
SC6

<SC6> A Mobile Goal that has been Placed will result in the following Corner modifiers to its Scored Rings:

  1. Placed in a Positive Corner

    1. Values of all Scored Rings on the Mobile Goal will be doubled. Scored Rings will receive two (2) points, and Scored Top Rings will receive six (6) points.
  2. Placed in a Negative Corner

    1. Values of all Scored Rings on the Mobile Goal will be set to zero points.
    2. For each Ring, an equivalent amount of points will be removed from that Alliance’s other Scored Rings. Scored Rings will remove (1) point, and Scored Top Rings will remove three (3) points.
    3. This negator only applies to an Alliance’sRing points.” Points received for Climbing and the Autonomous Bonus cannot be removed.

Note: The impact of Corner modifiers is subject to change in any of the major Game Manual updates (June 25, 2024; September 3, 2024; January 28, 2025; and/or April 2, 2025).

SC7
<SC7> A Robot is considered to have Climbed to a Level if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Robot is contacting the Ladder.
  2. The Robot is not contacting any other Field Elements, including the gray foam tiles.
  3. The Robot is not contacting any Mobile Goals.
  4. The Robot’s lowest point is past that Level’s minimum height from the gray foam tiles.

    1. Each Level’s height corresponds to the top edge of a rung of the Ladder. For example, a Level 1 Climb represents a Robot whose lowest point is above the foam tiles, but not higher than the first rung of the Ladder.
SC8

<SC8> An Autonomous Win Point is awarded to any Alliance that ends the Autonomous Period with the following tasks completed, and that has not broken any rules during the Autonomous Period:

  1. At least three (3) Scored Rings
  2. A minimum of two (2) Stakes with at least(1) Ring Scored
  3. Neither Robot contacting / breaking the plane of the Starting Line
  4. At least one (1) Robot contacting the Ladder

    This criteria will be slightly modified for events which qualify directly to the World Championship (e.g., Event Region Championships and Signature Events).

    The modified criteria will be released in the September 3, 2024, Game Manual update. Any Championship-qualifying events held prior to this update will use the standard criteria listed in this rule.

    The modification(s) will be minor, and will be intended to provide an increased challenge over the criteria listed above. For example, one possibility could be “four Scored Rings on any Stake” instead of three. The standard criteria for all other events will not change.

S1

<S1> Be safe out there. If at any time the Robot operation or Team actions are deemed unsafe or have damaged a Field Element, Scoring Object, or the Field, the offending Team may receive a Disablement and/or Disqualification at the discretion of the Head Referee. The Robot will require re-inspection as described in rule <R3> before it may take the field again.

S2

<S2> Students must be accompanied by an Adult. No Student may attend a VEX V5 Robotics Competition event without a responsible Adult supervising them. The Adult must obey all rules and be careful to not violate Student-centered policies, but must be present for the full duration of the event in the case of an emergency. Violations of this rule may result in removal from the event.

S3

<S3> Stay inside the field. If a Robot is completely out-of-bounds (outside the Field), it will receive a Disablement for the remainder of the Match.

Note: The intent of this rule is not to penalize Robots for having mechanisms that inadvertently cross the Field Perimeter during normal game play.

S4

<S4> Wear safety glasses. All Drive Team Members must wear safety glasses or glasses with side shields while in the Alliance Stations during Matches. While in the pit area, it is highly recommended that all Team members wear safety glasses.

G1

<G1> Treat everyone with respect. All Teams are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner while competing in VEX V5 Robotics Competition events. If a Team or any of its members (Students or any Adults associated with the Team) are disrespectful or uncivil to event staff, volunteers, or fellow competitors, they may receive a Disqualification from a current or upcoming Match. Team conduct pertaining to <G1> may also impact a Team’s eligibility for judged awards. Repeated or extreme violations of <G1> could result in a Team being Disqualified from an entire event, depending on the severity of the situation.

We all can contribute to creating a fun and inclusive event experience for all event attendees. Some examples include:

When dealing with difficult and stressful situations, it is…

  • Okay for Teams to be gracious and supportive when your Alliance partner makes a mistake.
  • Not okay for Teams to harass, tease, or be disrespectful to your Alliance partner when a Match does not go your way.

When a Team does not understand a Match ruling or score, it is…

When Teams are getting ready for an upcoming Match, it is…

  • Okay for Teams in an Alliance to develop a game strategy that utilizes the strengths of both Robots to cooperatively solve the game.
  • Not okay for Teams in an Alliance to intentionally play beneath their abilities to manipulate the Match results.

This rule exists alongside the REC Foundation Code of Conduct. Violation of the Code of Conduct can be considered a Major Violation of <G1> and can result in Disqualification from a current Match, an upcoming Match, an entire event, or (in extreme cases) an entire competition season. The Code of Conduct can be found here.

More information regarding the event Code of Conduct process can be found here.

Violation Notes: Any Violation of <G1> may be considered Major Violations and should be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Teams at risk of a Major <G1> Violation due to multiple disrespectful or uncivil behaviors will usually receive a “final warning”, although the Head Referee is not required to provide one.

G2

<G2> V5RC is a student-centered program. Adults may assist Students in urgent situations, but Adults may never work on or code a Robot without Students on that Team being present and actively participating. Students must be prepared to demonstrate an active understanding of their Robot’s construction and code to judges or event staff.

Some amount of Adult mentorship, teaching, and/or guidance is an expected and encouraged facet of VEX competitions. No one is born an expert in robotics! However, obstacles should always be viewed as teaching opportunities, not tasks for an Adult to solve without Students present and actively participating.

When a mechanism falls off, it is…

  • Okay for an Adult to help a Student investigate why it failed, so it can be improved.
  • Not okay for an Adult to put the Robot back together.

When a Team encounters a complex coding concept, it is…

  • Okay for an Adult to guide a Student through a flowchart to understand its logic.
  • Not okay for an Adult to write a premade command for that Student to copy/paste.

During Match play, it is…

  • Okay for an Adult to provide cheerful, positive encouragement as a spectator.
  • Not okay for an Adult to explicitly shout step-by-step commands from the audience.

This rule operates in tandem with the REC Foundation Student Centered Policy, which is available in the REC Library for Teams to reference throughout the season.

Violation Notes: Potential Violations of this rule will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. By definition, all Violations of this rule become Match Affecting as soon as a Robot which was built or coded by an Adult wins a Match.

G3

<G3> Use common sense. When reading and applying the various rules in this document, please remember that common sense always applies in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition.

For example…

  • If there is an obvious typographical error (such as “per <T5>” instead of “per <G5>”), this does not mean that the error should be taken literally until corrected in a future update.
  • Understand the realities of the VEX V5 Robot construction system. For example, if a Robot could hover above the Field for a whole Match, that would create loopholes in many of the rules. But... they can’t. So don’t worry about it.
  • When in doubt, if there is no rule prohibiting an action, it is generally legal. However, if you have to ask whether a given action would violate <S1>, <G1>, or <T1>, then that’s probably a good indication that it is outside the spirit of the competition.
  • In general, Teams will be given the “benefit of the doubt” in the case of accidental or edge-case rules infractions. However, there is a limit to this allowance, and repeated or strategic infractions will still be penalized.
  • This rule also applies to Robot rules. If a component’s legality cannot be easily/intuitively discerned by the Robot rules as written, then Teams should expect additional scrutiny during inspection. This especially applies to those rules which govern non-VEX components (e.g. <R7>, <R8>, <R9>, etc.). There is a difference between “creativity” and “lawyering.”
G4

<G4> The Robot must represent the skill level of the Team. Each Team must include Drive Team Members, Coder(s), Designer(s), and Builder(s). Many also include notebooker(s). No Student may fulfill any of these roles for more than one VEX V5 Robotics Competition Team in a given competition season. Students may have more than one role on the Team, e.g., the Designer may also be the Builder, the Coder and a Drive Team Member.

  1. Team members may move from one Team to another for non-strategic reasons outside of the Team’s control.

    1. Examples of permissible moves may include, but are not limited to, illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, or combining/splitting Teams.
    2. Examples of strategic moves in Violation of this rule may include, but are not limited to, one Coder “switching” Teams in order to write the same program for multiple Robots, or one Student writing the Engineering Notebook for multiple Teams.
    3. If a Student leaves a Team to join another Team, <G4> still applies to the Students remaining on the previous Team. For example, if a Coder leaves a Team, then that Team’s Robot must still represent the skill level of the Team without that Coder. One way to accomplish this would be to ensure that the Coder teaches or trains a “replacement” Coder in their absence.
  2. Points ii and iii are intended to represent real-world situations that are found in industry engineering. If a vital member of a professional engineering team were to suddenly leave, the remaining members of the team should still be capable of working on / maintaining their project.


  3. When a Team qualifies for a Championship event (e.g., States, Nationals, Worlds, etc.) the Students on the Team attending the Championship event are expected to be the same Students on the Team that was awarded the spot. Students can be added as support to the Team, but may not be added as Drive Team Members or Coders for the Team.

    1. An exception is allowed if only one member of the Team is able to attend the event. The Team can make a single substitution of a Drive Team Member or Coder for the Championship event with another Student, even if that Student has competed on a different Team. This Student will now be on this new Team and may not substitute back to the original Team during the season.

Violation Notes: Violations of this rule will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in tandem with the REC Foundation Student Centered Policy as noted in <G2>, and the REC Foundation Code of Conduct as noted in <G1>.

Event Partners should bear in mind <G3>, and use common sense when enforcing this rule. It is not the intent to punish a Team who may change Team members over the course of a season due to illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, etc.

Event Partners and referees are not expected to keep a roster of any Student who has ever been a Drive Team Member for one day. This rule is intended to block any instance of loaning or sharing Team members for the sole purpose of gaining a competitive advantage.

G5

<G5> Robots begin the Match in the starting volume. At the beginning of a Match, each Robot must be smaller than a volume of 18” (457.2 mm) long by 18” (457.2 mm) wide by 18” (457.2 mm) tall.

Note: Using external influences, such as preloads or the Field Perimeter, to maintain a Robot’s starting size is only acceptable if the Robot would still satisfy the constraints of <R4> and pass inspection without these influences.

Violation Notes: Any Violation of this rule will result in the Robot being removed from the field prior to the start of the Match, and rules <R3d> and <T5> will apply until the situation is corrected.

G6

<G6> Keep your Robots together. Robots may not intentionally detach parts during the Match or leave mechanisms on the Field.

Note: Parts which become detached unintentionally are a Minor Violation, are no longer considered “part of a Robot,” and should be ignored for the purposes of any rules which involve Robot contact or location (e.g., Scoring) or Robot size.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule should be rare, as Robots should never be designed to intentionally violate it. Minor Violations are usually due to Robots being damaged during gameplay, such as a wheel falling off.

G7

<G7> Don’t clamp your Robot to the Field. Robots may not intentionally grasp, grapple, or attach to any Field Elements other than the Ladder. Strategies with mechanisms that react against multiple sides of a Field Element in an effort to latch or clamp onto said Field Element are prohibited. The intent of this rule is to prevent Teams from both unintentionally damaging the Field and/or from anchoring themselves to the Field in locations other than the Ladder.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule should be rare, as Robots should never be designed to intentionally violate it.

G8

<G8> Only Drive Team Members, and only in the Alliance Station. During a Match, each Team may have up to three (3) Drive Team Members in their Alliance Station, and all Drive Team Members must remain in their Alliance Station for the duration of the Match.

Drive Team Members are prohibited from any of the following actions during a Match:


  1. Bringing/using any sort of communication devices into the Alliance Station. Non-headphone devices with communication features turned off (e.g., a phone in airplane mode) are allowed.
  2. Standing on any sort of object during a Match, regardless of whether the Field is on the floor or elevated.
  3. Bringing/using additional materials to simplify the game challenge during a Match.
  4. To ensure that Drive Team Members are aware of verbal calls or warnings during a Match (as an application of rules <T1>, <G1>, <S1>, and <G3>), powered headphones, earbuds, and passive earpieces connected to electronic devices cannot be worn/used in the Alliance Station except as required by an officially approved accommodation request.

<G8c> is intended to refer to non-Robot-related items that directly influence gameplay, such as a speaker that plays a buzzer sound to distract your opponent. Provided no other rules are violated, and the items do not pose any safety or field damage risks, the following examples are not considered violations of <G8>:

  • Materials used before or after a Match, such as a pre-Match alignment aid, or a carrying case for Robots/Controllers
  • Strategic aids, such as a whiteboard or clipboard
  • Earplugs, gloves, or other personal accessories

Note: Drive Team Members are the only Team members that are allowed to be in the Alliance Station during a Match.

Note 2: During a Match, Robots may be operated only by the Drive Team Members and/or by software running on the Robot’s control system, in accordance with <R27> and <G10>.

Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule are not required to be Match Affecting, and could invoke Violations of other rules, such as <G1>, <G2>, or <G4>.

G9

<G9> Hands out of the field. Drive Team Members are prohibited from making intentional contact with any Scoring Objects, Field Elements, or Robots during a Match, apart from the contact specified in <G9a>.

  1. During the Driver Controlled Period, Drive Team Members may only touch their own Robot if the Robot has not moved at all during the Match. Touching the Robot in this case is permitted only for the following reasons:

    1. Turning the Robot on or off
    2. Plugging in a battery
    3. Plugging in a V5 Robot Radio
    4. Touching the V5 Robot Brain screen, such as to start a program
  2. Drive Team Members are not permitted to break the plane of the Field Perimeter at any time during the Match, apart from the actions described above, or while reintroducing Scoring Objects to the Field as described in rule <SG4>
  3. Transitive contact, such as contact with the Field Perimeter that causes the Field Perimeter to contact Field Elements or Scoring Objects inside of the Field, could be considered a Violation of this rule.

Note: Any concerns regarding Field Element or Scoring Object starting positions should be raised with the Head Referee prior to the Match. Team members may never adjust Scoring Objects or Field Elements themselves.

G10

<G10> Controllers must stay connected to the field. Prior to the beginning of each Match, Drive Team Members must plug their V5 Controller into the field’s control system. This cable must remain plugged in for the duration of the Match, and may not be removed until the “all-clear” has been given for Drive Team Members to retrieve their Robots. See <T23> for more information regarding field control system options.

Violation Notes: The intent of this rule is to ensure that Robots abide by commands sent by the tournament software. Temporarily removing the cable to assist with mid-Match troubleshooting, with an Event Partner or other event technical staff present and assisting, would not be considered a Violation.

G11

<G11> Autonomous means “no humans.” During the Autonomous Period, Drive Team Members are not permitted to interact with the Robots in any way, directly or indirectly. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Activating any controls on their V5 Controllers
  • Unplugging or otherwise manually interfering with the field connection in any way
  • Manually triggering sensors (including the Vision Sensor) in any way, even without touching them

Note: In extreme cases, with permission from the Head Referee, Teams may Disable their Robot during the Autonomous Period by holding the power button on their V5 Controller. This exception is only intended for egregious safety- or damage-related circumstances; disabling an autonomous routine for strategic purposes would still be considered a Violation of <G11>.

Violation Notes: See <G12>.

G12

<G12> All rules still apply in the Autonomous Period. Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times, including during the Autonomous Period. Any Violations , Major or Minor, during the Autonomous Period will result in the Autonomous Bonus being awarded to the other Alliance. If both Alliances violate rules during the Autonomous Period, no Autonomous Bonus will be awarded.

Violation Note: In general, Minor Violations of SG rules that occur during the Autonomous Period should only affect the outcome of the Autonomous Period (i.e., the Alliance can’t win the Autonomous Bonus or earn an Autonomous Win Point) and should not be considered when determining whether a Violation has been repeated during the event.

If a Head Referee determines that a Violation of an SG or G rule during the Autonomous Period was intentional/strategic rather than accidental/situational, they should be recorded as Minor or Major Violations and considered when determining whether a Violation has been repeated during the event.

G13

<G13> Don’t destroy other Robots. But, be prepared to encounter defense. Strategies aimed solely at the destruction, damage, tipping over, or Entanglement of opposing Robots are not part of the ethos of the VEX V5 Robotics Competition and are not allowed.

  1. V5RC High Stakes is intended to be an offensive game. Teams that partake in solely defensive or destructive strategies will not have the protections implied by <G13> (see <G14>). However, defensive play which does not involve destructive or illegal strategies is still within the spirit of this rule.
  2. V5RC High Stakes is also intended to be an interactive game. Some incidental tipping, Entanglement, and damage may occur as a part of normal gameplay without Violation. It will be up to the Head Referee’s discretion whether the interaction was incidental or intentional.
  3. A Team is responsible for the actions of its Robot at all times, including the Autonomous Period. This applies both to Teams that are driving recklessly or potentially causing damage, and to Teams that drive around with a small wheel base. A Team should design its Robot such that it is not easily tipped over or damaged by minor contact.

Violation Notes:

G14

<G14> Offensive Robots get the “benefit of the doubt.” In a case where Head Referees are forced to make a judgment call regarding a destructive interaction between a defensive and offensive Robot, or an interaction which results in a questionable Violation, referees will decide in favor of the offensive Robot.

G15

<G15> You can’t force an opponent into a penalty. Intentional strategies that cause an opponent to break a rule are not permitted, and will not result in a Violation for the opposing Alliance.

Violation Notes: In most cases, if a Team causes their opponent to break a rule, the Head Referee will simply not enforce the penalty on that opponent, and it will be considered a Minor Violation for the guilty Team. However, if the forced situation becomes Match Affecting in favor of the guilty Team, it will be considered a Major Violation.

G16

<G16> No Holding for more than a 5-count. A Robot may not Hold an opposing Robot for more than a 5-count during the Driver Controlled Period.

For the purposes of this rule, a “count” is defined as an interval of time that is approximately one second in duration, and “counted-out” by Head Referees verbally.

A Holding count is over when at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The two Robots are separated by at least two (2) feet (approximately one foam tile).
  2. Either Robot has moved at least two (2) feet away (approximately 1 tile) from the location where the Trapping or Pinning count began.

    1. In the case of Lifting, this location is measured from where the Lifted Robot is released, not from where the Lifting began.
  3. The Holding Robot becomes Trapped or Pinned by a different Robot.

    1. In this case, the original count would end, and a new count would begin for the newly Held Robot.
  4. In the case of Trapping, if an avenue of escape becomes available due to changing circumstances in the Match.

After a Holding count ends, a Robot may not resume Holding the same Robot again for another 5-count. If a Team resumes Holding the same Robot within that 5-count, the original count will resume from where it ended.

G17

<G17> Use Scoring Objects to play the game. Scoring Objects may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous routine per <SG8>
  • Interfering with an opponent’s Climb per <SG9>

The intent of this rule is to prohibit Teams from using Rings and Mobile Goals as “gloves” to loophole any rule that states “a Robot may not [do some action].” This rule is not intended to be taken in its most extreme literal interpretation, where any interaction between a Scoring Object and a Robot needs to be scrutinized with the same intensity as if it were a Robot.


Violation Notes: If a rule is Violated through the use of a Scoring Object instead of a Robot mechanism, it should be evaluated as though the rule in question had been Violated by a Robot mechanism.

SG1

<SG1> Starting a Match. Prior to the start of each Match, the Robot must be placed such that it is:

  1. Contacting / “breaking the plane” of their Alliance’s Starting Line. See Figure SG1-1.
  2. Not contacting any Scoring Objects other than a maximum of one (1) preload. See rule <SG5>.
  3. Not contacting any other Robots.
  4. Completely stationary (i.e., no motors or other mechanisms in motion).

Violation Notes: The Match will not begin until the conditions in this rule are met. If a Robot cannot meet these conditions in a timely manner, the Robot will be removed from the Field and rules <R3d> and <T5> will apply until the situation is corrected.

SG2

<SG2> Horizontal expansion is limited. Once the Match begins, Robots may expand beyond the 18” x 18” starting size, within the following criteria:

  1. Robots may never exceed an overall footprint of 24” x 18”. For reference, 24” is roughly the width of a foam field tile.
  2. From the Robot’s perspective, they may only expand in one “X/Y” direction (i.e., from a single “side” of the Robot). This “side” must be identified and measured during Robot inspection. See the figures below.
  3. Vertical expansion is addressed separately by rule <SG3>. Robots may expand both horizontally and vertically; the top of the Robot is not considered a “side” in the context of this rule.

Note: Horizontal expansion is measured from the Robot’s perspective; i.e., it does “rotate with the Robot.” Robots that tip over, or rotate while Climbing, are still restricted to expanding from the chosen “side” that was measured during inspection.

The intent of this rule is to limit horizontal expansion in a way that can be easily interpreted by Head Referees during a Match and assessed by Robot inspectors. The vast majority of V5RC Robots are relatively square/rectangular, relatively symmetrical, and have a clearly intuitive “front” and “sides.”

In many cases, the Robot’s drivetrain can be used to identify an intended “X/Y” orientation:

  • Parallel or perpendicular with primary drive wheels (standard or H-drive)
  • 45° from primary drive wheels (holonomic or X-drive)
  • Parallel or perpendicular with the longest flat face(s) of the Robot

Violation Notes: Incidental minor infractions out of non-expansion sides that occur during a Match are only considered Minor Violations. Repeated Minor Violations should only escalate to a Major Violation in extreme circumstances. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Loose wires

  • Broken zip ties / rubber bands

  • Bent or broken mechanical components

SG3

<SG3> Vertical expansion is limited. Once the Match begins, Robots may expand vertically, but may never be “breaking the plane” of more than two Levels of the Ladder at any given time. For the purposes of this rule, the Floor is considered a Level.


  1. For a Robot that is on the Floor (i.e., not Climbing), this is effectively a height limit of 32”, the distance between the Floor and the top of the middle rung of the Ladder.
  2. This vertical limit is measured from the perspective of the Field; i.e., it does not “rotate with the Robot.”

The intent of this rule is to prohibit Teams from “skipping a Level”. It is impossible to contact the Ladder in three Levels, or two non-sequential Levels, without violating this rule.


Violation Notes: If a Robot falls or “droops” after the Match ends and leads to an <SG3> Violation, this will likely be considered a Minor Violation, provided no other rules are Violated. Their Climb will be scored where they come to rest; see <SC1>.

SG4

<SG4> Keep Scoring Objects in the field. Teams may not intentionally or strategically remove Scoring Objects from the field. Rings that leave the Field during Match play, intentionally or unintentionally, will be given to Drive Team Members from the same color Alliance as the Ring. These Drive Team Members may gently place them into the field such that they satisfy the following conditions:


  1. Contacting the Field Perimeter wall on the side that coincides with their Alliance Station.
  2. Contacting the Floor.
  3. Not contacting a Mobile Goal.
  4. Not contacting a Robot.
  5. Not contacting a Corner.

Note: It is expected that Drive Team Members may momentarily break the plane of the Field while legally introducing these Rings. Teams from both Alliances should be extremely mindful of <S1> and <G9> during this process.

Note 2: If a Mobile Goal leaves the Field, it should be returned to the field in a neutral/non-Placed state. Any Rings which were scored on this Mobile Goal will be given to their respective Drive Team Members, as described above.

Violation Notes:

SG5

<SG5> Each Robot gets one Ring as a preload. Prior to the start of each Match, each preload that is used must be placed such that it is:


  1. Contacting one Robot of the same Alliance color as the preload.
  2. Not contacting the same Robot as another preload.
  3. Not in a Scored location.

Note: If a Robot is not present for their Match, then that Robot’s preload may be placed prior to the Match such that it satisfies the criteria listed in <SG4>.

Violation Notes: See <SG1>.

SG6

<SG6> Possession is limited to two Rings and one Mobile Goal. Robots may not have Possession of more than two (2) Rings and one (1) Mobile Goal at once. Robots in Violation of this rule must immediately stop all actions except for attempting to remove the excess Scoring Objects.

If they are unable to remove the excess Scoring Objects, then they must return to a legal starting position (as described by <SG1>). They will not be eligible to receive points for Climbing. Any offensive or defensive interactions with Mobile Goals, Stakes, and Corners will be included in Match Affecting calculations.

  1. Rings on a Stake are not included in a Robot’s Possession count. For the purposes of this rule, “on a Stake” means that the Ring meets the criteria for a Scored Ring, even if it is being contacted by a Robot.
  2. Plowing multiple Mobile Goals is permitted. However, Plowing an additional Mobile Goal while also Possessing one is considered a Violation of this rule due to the extremely high likelihood of accidental/implied Possession. Teams which employ Plowing strategies are encouraged to clearly demonstrate that none of the Mobile Goals are being Possessed, e.g., by using a flat face of the Robot with no active mechanisms.

Violation Notes:

Any egregious or clearly intentional Violation by an Alliance who wins the Match will be considered a Major Violation. Examples of “clearly intentional” Violations include, but are not limited to:

SG7

<SG7> Don’t cross the Autonomous Line. During the Autonomous Period, Robots may not contact foam tiles, Scoring Objects, or Field Elements which are on the opposing Alliance’s side of the Autonomous Line.

Note: Scoring Objects and Wall Stakes that contact or are positioned above the Autonomous Line are not considered to be on either side, and may be utilized by either Alliance during the Autonomous Period.

Violation Notes:

SG8

<SG8> Engage with the Autonomous Line at your own risk. Any Robot who engages with Scoring Objects and/or Wall Stakes on the Autonomous Line should be aware that opponent Robots may also choose to do the same. Per <G11> and <G12>, Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times.

During the Autonomous Period, when Robots from opposing Alliances are both engaged with the same Scoring Object or Wall Stake:

  1. If a possible <G13> Violation occurs (e.g., damage, Entanglement, or tipping over), a judgment call will be made by the Head Referee within the context of <G13> and <G14> (just as it would if the interaction had occurred during the Driver Controlled Period).
  2. Incidental Violations of <SG7> will not be penalized, nor will they not result in an automatic loss of the Autonomous Bonus as described by <G12>. However, this allowance only applies when opposing Robots are interacting with the same element.
  3. Intentional, strategic, repeated, or egregious offenses may still be deemed a Violation of <G12>, <G13>, <G14>, <SG7>, <G1>, and / or <S1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.

These gameplay elements are intended to be utilized by either Alliance during the Autonomous Period. This will inevitably result in Robot-on-Robot interactions, both incidental and intentional. The overarching intent of <SG8> is for the vast majority of these interactions to result in no rule Violations and/or penalties for either Alliance, just as no rules Violations occur in 99% of Driver Controlled interactions.


SG9

<SG9> Don’t remove opponents from the Ladder. There are no rules explicitly prohibiting incidental contact between Climbing Robots. However, if contact does occur, the principles behind rules <G13>, <G14>, and <G15> still apply. Intentional or egregious strategies aimed solely at damage or tipping are not allowed (in this context, “tipping” can be equated with “removing an opponent from the Ladder”).

The core intent of this rule is the paragraph above. Everything that follows this red box is meant to provide guidance for interpreting questionable/incidental interactions, similar to how <G14> is used for ground level interactions. These are not explicit/absolute “hard lines” that supersede an obvious Violation. If a Robot has a mechanism designed to violently kick opponents off of the Ladder, none of the factors below can protect them.


If a destructive incident occurs that requires a Head Referee judgment call between two Robots, the following factors may be used to determine “benefit of the doubt”.

  1. If the two Robots are not at the same Level, the higher Robot has the “right of way.”

    1. Point A especially applies if one Robot is not Climbing, i.e., is still in contact with the Floor. Driving directly into a Climbing Robot will always incur a Minor Violation at a minimum, even if no damage occurs.
  2. If a Robot is contacting the horizontal rungs of the Ladder facing their Alliance Station, they should generally be considered in a more “offensive” or “safe” position.
  3. Teams are responsible for their own Robots. Climbing mechanisms should be robust. If a Robot is not firmly attached to the Ladder, or has a history of falling without any opponent interaction, it will be difficult to claim that later damage was an opponent’s fault.
  4. Teams should expect possible interaction between Robots when engaging with the High Stake. These interactions will be treated similarly as two Robots engaging with the Autonomous Line in <SG8>; other than repeated/egregious cases, this contact/damage is likely to be ruled incidental.

Teams can use this rule as a gradient of “risk tolerance” when designing Climbing mechanisms or playing Matches.

  • Low risk = Be the first Robot up, have a robust build, stay on your side of the Ladder, avoid the High Stake. Low chance of interacting with others intentionally or accidentally.
  • High risk = Last-second dash up to de-score the High Stake. Technically possible to accomplish legally, but you’re not allowed to be surprised when an accident is not ruled in your favor.

Violation Notes:

SG10

<SG10> Alliance Wall Stakes are protected. Robots may not directly or indirectly interact with the opponent’s Alliance Wall Stake. This includes both Scoring and/or removing Rings of either color.

For the purposes of this rule, “Score” (and “remove”) means causing them to satisfy (or no longer satisfy) the criteria listed in <SC3>.

R1

<R1> One Robot per Team. Only one (1) Robot will be allowed to compete per Team at a given event in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition. Though it is expected that Teams will make changes to their Robot at the competition, a Team is limited to only one (1) Robot at a given event. A VEX Robot, for the purposes of the VEX V5 Robotics Competition, has the following subsystems:

  • Subsystem 1: Mobile robotic base including wheels, tracks, legs, or any other mechanism that allows the Robot to navigate the majority of the flat playing field surface. For a stationary Robot, the robotic base without wheels would be considered Subsystem 1.
  • Subsystem 2: Power and control system that includes a legal VEX battery, a legal VEX control system, and associated motors for the mobile robotic base.
  • Subsystem 3: Additional mechanisms (and associated motors) that allow manipulation of Rings, Field Elements, or Climbing the Ladder.

Given the above definitions, a minimum Robot for use in any VEX V5 Robotics Competition event (including Skills Challenges) must consist of subsystems 1 and 2 above. Thus, if you are swapping out an entire subsystem 1 or 2, you have now created a second Robot and have Violated this rule.


  1. Teams may not compete with one Robot while a second is being modified or assembled at a competition.
  2. Teams may not have an assembled second Robot on-hand at a competition that is used to repair or swap parts with the first Robot.
  3. Teams may not switch back and forth between multiple Robots during a competition. This includes using different Robots for Skills Challenges, Qualification Matches, and/or Elimination Matches.
  4. Multiple Teams may not use the same Robot. Once a Robot has competed under a given Team number at an event, it is “their” Robot; no other Teams may compete with it.

The intent of <R1a>, <R1b>, and <R1c> is to ensure an unambiguous level playing field for all Teams. Teams are welcome (and encouraged) to improve or modify their Robots between events, or to collaborate with other Teams to develop the best possible game solution.

However, a Team who brings and/or competes with two separate Robots at the same tournament has diminished the efforts of a Team who spent extra design time making sure that their one Robot can accomplish all of the game’s tasks. A multi-Team organization that shares a single Robot has diminished the efforts of a multi-Team organization who puts in the time, effort, and resources to undergo separate individual design processes and develop their own Robots.

To help determine if a Robot is a “separate Robot” or not, use the subsystem definitions found in <R1>. Above that, use common sense as referenced in <G3>. If you can place two Robots on a table next to each other, and they look like two separate legal/complete Robots (i.e., each has the 3 subsystems defined by <R1>), then they are two Robots. Trying to decide if changing a screw, a wheel, or a microcontroller constitutes a separate Robot is missing the intent and spirit of this rule.

R2

<R2> Robots must represent the Team’s skill level. The Robot must be designed, built, and programmed by members of the Team. Adults are expected to mentor and teach design, building, and Programming Skills to the Students on the Team, but may not design, build, or program that Team’s Robot. See rules <G2> and <G4>.

In V5RC, we expect Adults to teach fundamental Robot principles like linkages, drive-trains, and manipulators, then allow the Students to determine which designs to implement and build on their Robot.

Similarly, Adults are encouraged to teach the Students how to code various functions involving applicable sensors and mechanisms, then have the Students program the Robot from what they have learned.

R3

<R3> Robots must pass inspection. Every Robot will be required to pass a full inspection before being cleared to compete. This inspection will ensure that all Robot rules and regulations are met. Initial inspections will take place during team registration/practice time. Noncompliance with any Robot design or construction rule will result in removal from Matches or Disqualification of the Robot at an event until the Robot is brought back into compliance, as described in the following subclauses.

  1. Significant changes to a Robot, such as a partial or full swap of Subsystem 3, must be re-inspected before the Robot may compete again.
  2. All possible functional Robot configurations must be inspected before being used in competition. This especially pertains to modular or swappable mechanisms (per <R1>) and Match starting configurations/sizes (per <R4>).
  3. Teams may be requested to submit to spot inspections by Head Referees. Refusal to submit will result in Disqualification.

    1. If a Robot is determined to be in Violation of a Robot rule before a Match begins, the Robot will be removed from the Field. A Drive Team Member may remain at the Field so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>).
  4. Robots which have not passed inspection (i.e., that may be in Violation of one or more Robot rules) will not be permitted to play in any Matches until they have done so. <T5> will apply to any Matches that occur until the Robot has passed inspection.
  5. If a Robot has passed inspection, but is later confirmed to be in Violation of a Robot rule during or immediately following a Match by a Head Referee, they will be Disqualified from that Match. This is the only Match that will be affected; any prior Matches that have already been completed will not be revisited. <R3d> will apply until the Violation is remedied and the Team is re-inspected.
  6. All Inspection Rules are to be enforced within the discretion of the Head Referee within a given event. Robot legality at one event does not automatically imply legality at future events. Robots which rely on “edge-case” interpretations of subjective rules, such as whether a decoration is “non-functional” or not, should expect additional scrutiny during inspection.
R4

<R4> Robots must fit within an 18” x 18” x 18” volume.

  1. Compliance with this rule must be checked using the official VEX Robotics On-Field Robot Expansion Sizing Tool.
  2. Any restraints used to maintain starting size (i.e., zip ties, rubber bands, etc.) must remain attached to the Robot for the duration of the Match, per <G6>.
  3. For the purposes of this rule, it can be assumed that Robots will be inspected and begin each Match on a flat standard foam field tile.
  4. The official sizing tool is intentionally manufactured with a slightly oversized tolerance. Therefore, any contact with the sizing tool (i.e., a “paper test”) while being measured should be considered a clear indication that a Robot is outside of the permitted size. This tolerance also provides a slight “leeway” for minor protrusions, such as screw heads or zip ties.

    Other tools, such as custom sizing boxes or the legacy non-expanding VEX Sizing Tool (276-2086), may be used for informal checks. However, in the event of a conflict or “close call,” a check with the official On-Field Robot Expansion Sizing Tool takes precedence.

R5

<R5> Robots may only expand horizontally in one direction. Robots who choose to expand horizontally must demonstrably meet all criteria listed in rule <SG2>. The configuration / “expansion direction” that is measured during inspection must also be the direction used during Match play.

R6

<R6> Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

  1. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Scoring Objects.
  2. Those that could potentially damage other competing Robots.
  3. Those that pose an unnecessary risk of Entanglement with other Robots or Field Elements.
  4. Those that could pose a potential safety hazard to Drive Team Members, event staff, or other humans.
R7

<R7> Robots are built from the VEX V5 system. Robots may be built ONLY using official VEX V5 components, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules. Product pages on the VEX Robotics website should be used as the official definitive source for determining if a product is a “V5 component.”

  1. Products from the VEXpro, VEX EXP, VEX IQ, VEX GO, VEX 123, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product lines cannot be used for Robot construction, unless specifically allowed by a clause of <R7> or “cross-listed” as part of the VEX V5 Product lines. For example, Flex Wheels and VersaHubs are VEXpro components that can be found on the VEX “Flex Wheels” page, and specific sizes are thus legal.

    * The HEXBUG brand is a registered trademark belonging to Spin Master Corp

  2. The following electronics from the VEX Cortex control system are not permitted:

    SKU

    Description

    276-2192 VEXnet Joystick
    276-1891 VEXnet Partner Joystick
    276-2194 VEX ARM® Cortex-based Microcontroller
    276-2245 / 276-3245 VEXnet Key 1.0 / 2.0
    276-2177 2-Wire Motor 393
    276-2162 3-Wire Servo
    276-2210 VEX Flashlight
    276-2193 Motor Controller 29
  3. The following electronics from the VEX Cortex control system are permitted:

    SKU

    Description

    276-2174 / 276-4859 Limit Switch V1 / V2
    276-2159 Bumper Switch
    276-2156 Optical Shaft Encoder
    276-2216 Potentiometer
    276-2155 Ultrasonic Range Finder
    276-2176 LED Indicator
    276-2333 Yaw Rate Gyroscope
    276-2332 Analog Accelerometer V1.0
    276-2154 Line Tracker
    276-1380 Jumper
    276-2158 Light Sensor
  4. Components that are unique to the V5 Workcell / CTE product line are not permitted. This includes the following:

    SKU

    Description

    276-7151 Robot Arm Metal
    276-7152 Robot Brain Mount
    276-7153 Input Output Conveyor
    276-7720 Disc Feeder
    276-7047 V5 Electromagnet
  5. VEX IQ pins are permitted.
  6. Components obtained from the V5 beta program, including V5 beta firmware, are not legal for competition use.

    1. All V5 beta hardware can be identified by its lighter gray pre-production color. Robot Brains, Robot Batteries, Controllers, and Vision Sensors from the V5 beta have a “BETA TEST” stamp on them. Smart Motors and Radios do not have this stamp, but can still be identified by color.
  7. Components from the VEXplorer kit that are not found in modern VEX V5 kits are not permitted. These include (but may not be limited to) electronics, wheels, non-standard gears, and plastic connectors.
  8. Legacy / discontinued products are only permitted if they are explicitly listed in this game manual, or still listed as V5RC or VRC legal on the VEX Robotics website.

Using VEX apparel, competition support materials, packaging, or other non-Robot products on a VEX V5 Robotics Competition Robot goes against the spirit of this rule and is not permitted.

R8

<R8> Certain non-VEX components are allowed. Robots are allowed the following additional “non-VEX” components:

  1. Any material strictly used as a color filter or a color marker for a legal sensor, such as the VEX Light Sensor or the VEX V5 Vision Sensor.
  2. Any non-aerosol-based grease or lubricating compound, when used in extreme moderation on surfaces and locations that do NOT contact the playing field walls, foam field surface, Scoring Objects, or other Robots. Grease or lubricant applied directly to V5 Smart Motors or Smart Motor cartridges is prohibited.
  3. Anti-static compound, when used in extreme moderation (i.e., such that it does not leave residue on Field Elements, Scoring Objects, or other Robots).
  4. Hot glue when used to secure cable connections.
  5. An unlimited amount of rope/string, no thicker than 1/4” (6.35 mm).
  6. Commercially available items used solely for bundling or wrapping of 2-wire, 3-wire, 4-wire, or V5 Smart Cables, and/or pneumatic tubing are allowed. These items must solely be used for the purposes of cable/tubing protection, organization, or management. This includes but is not limited to electrical tape, cable carrier, cable track, etc. It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is serving a function beyond protecting and managing cables and tubing.
  7. Non-functional 3D printed license plates, per <R9> and <R10>, are permitted. This includes any supporting structures whose sole purpose is to hold, mount, or display an official license plate.
  8. Rubber bands that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX V5 product line (#32, #64, and 117B).
  9. Pneumatic components with identical SMC manufacturer part numbers to those listed on the VEX website. For more detail regarding legal pneumatic components, see the Legal VEX Pneumatics Summary document.
  10. Zip ties with identical dimensions as those included in the VEX V5 product line.
  11. A Micro SD card installed in the V5 Robot Brain.

See this REC Library article for more information.

R9

<R9> Decorations are allowed. Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect Robot performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the Match. These decorations must be in the spirit of the competition. Inspectors will have final say in what is considered “non-functional.” Unless otherwise specified below, non-functional decorations are governed by all standard Robot rules.

To be considered “non-functional,” any guards, decals, or other decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. For example, if a Robot has a giant decal that prevents Scoring Objects from falling out of the Robot, the decal must be backed by VEX material that would also prevent the Scoring Objects from falling out. A simple way to check this is to determine if removing the decoration would impact the performance of the Robot in any way.

  1. Anodizing and painting of parts is considered a legal nonfunctional decoration.
  2. Small cameras are permitted as non-functional decorations, provided that any transmitting functions or wireless communications are disabled. Unusually large cameras being used as ballast are not permitted.
  3. VEX electronics may not be used as non-functional decorations.
  4. Decorations that visually mimic Field Elements or Scoring Objects, or that could otherwise interfere with an opponent’s Vision Sensor, are considered functional and are not permitted. The Inspector and Head Referee will make the final decision on whether a given decoration or mechanism violates this rule.
  5. Internal power sources (e.g., for a small blinking light) are permitted, provided that no other rules are violated and this source only provides power to the non-functional decoration (i.e., does not directly or indirectly influence any functional portions of the Robot).
  6. Decorations which provide feedback to the Robot (e.g., by influencing legal sensors) would be considered “functional,” and are not permitted.
  7. Decorations which provide visual feedback to Drive Team Members (e.g., decorative lighting) are permitted, provided that they do not violate any other rules and serve no other function (e.g., structural support).
R10

<R10> Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot license plates. To participate in an official VEX V5 Robotics Competition event, a Team must first register on robotevents.com and receive a V5RC Team number. This Team number must be displayed on the Robot using license plates. Teams may choose to use the official V5RC License Plate Kit, or may create their own.

  1. License plates must be placed on a minimum of two (2) horizontally opposing sides of the Robot (i.e., the top of a Robot is not considered a “side”), and must remain visible and attached for the entirety of the Match.
  2. Robots must use plates that match their Alliance color for each Match (i.e., red Alliance Robots must have their red plates on for the Match). It must be abundantly clear which color Alliance the Robot belongs to.

    1. If both colors of license plates are mounted on a Robot, then the incorrect color must be covered, taped over, or otherwise obscured. Since license plates are considered non-functional decorations, this is a legal non-functional use of tape.
  3. License plates are considered non-functional decorations (per <R9>), and must fulfill all relevant Robot rules (e.g., they must fit within the 18” cube, cannot functionally change the stability or rigidity of the Robot, cause Entanglement, etc.).
  4. Team numbers must be in white font, and clearly legible.
  5. License plates must be at least 2.48 inches (63 mm) tall and 4.48 inches (114 mm) wide, i.e., at least the height/width dimensions of the plates in the V5RC License Plate Kit.

The intent of this rule is to make it immediately apparent to Head Referees which Alliance and which Team each Robot belongs to, at all times. Being able to “see through” a Robot arm to the wrong color license plate on the opposite side of the Robot could cause confusion, and would be considered a Violation of <R10a>. It will be at the full discretion of the Head Referee and inspector at a given event to determine whether a given custom license plate satisfies the criteria listed in <R10>.

Teams wishing to utilize custom plates should be prepared for the possibility of this judgment, and ensure that they are prepared to replace any custom parts with official VEX license plates if requested. Not bringing official replacement plates to an event will not be an acceptable reason for overlooking a violation of one or more points in <R10>.

If a Robot must be removed from the Field based on this rule, <R3ci> applies and the Team should not be issued a “no-show.”

R11

<R11> Let go of Scoring Objects after the Match. Robots must be designed to permit easy removal of Scoring Objects from any mechanism without requiring the Robot to have power after a Match.

R12

<R12> Robots have one Brain. Robots must ONLY use one (1) VEX V5 Robot Brain (276-4810). Any other microcontrollers or processing devices are not allowed, even as non-functional decorations.

This includes microcontrollers that are part of other VEX product lines, such as VEX Cortex, VEX EXP, VEXpro, VEX CTE, VEX RCR, VEX IQ, VEX GO, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG. This also includes devices that are unrelated to VEX, such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino devices.

R13

<R13> Motors are limited. Robots may use any combination of VEX V5 Smart Motors (11W) (276-4840) and EXP Smart Motors (5.5W) (276-4842), within the following criteria:

  1. The combined power of all motors (11W & 5.5W) must not exceed 88W. This limit applies to all motors on the Robot, even those which are not plugged in.
  2. V5 Smart Motors, and EXP Smart Motors connected to Smart Ports, are the only motors that may be used with a V5 Robot Brain. The 3-wire ports may not be used to control motors of any kind.

Example

A B C D E
Qty of 11W Motors 8 7 6 5 0
Qty of 5.5 Motors 0 2 4 6 16
R14

<R14> Electrical power comes from VEX batteries only. Robots may use one (1) V5 Robot Battery (276-4811) to power the V5 Robot Brain.

  1. No other sources of electrical power are permitted, unless used as part of a non-functional decoration per <R9e>.
  2. There are no legal power expanders for the V5 Robot Battery.
  3. V5 Robot Batteries may only be charged by a V5 Robot Battery Charger (276-4812 or 276-4841).
  4. V5 Wireless Controllers may only be powered by their internal rechargeable battery.

    1. Teams are permitted to have an external power source (such as a rechargeable battery pack) plugged into their V5 Controller during a Match, provided that this power source is connected safely and does not violate any other rules, such as <G10> or <R16>.
    2. Some events may choose to provide field power for V5 Wireless Controllers. If this is provided for all Teams at the event, then this is a legal power source for the wireless remotes.
R15

<R15> No modifications to electronic or pneumatic components are allowed. Motors (including the V5 Smart Motor firmware), microcontrollers (including V5 Robot Brain firmware), cables, sensors, controllers, battery packs, reservoirs, solenoids, pneumatic cylinders, and any other electrical or pneumatics component of the VEX platform may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way.

  1. External wires on VEX 2-wire or 3-wire electrical components may be repaired by soldering or using twist/crimp connectors, electrical tape, or shrink tubing such that the original functionality and length are not modified in any way.

    1. Wire used in repairs must be identical to VEX wire.
    2. Teams make these repairs at their own risk; incorrect wiring may have undesired results.
  2. Teams must use VEXos version 1.1.3 or newer, found at https://link.vex.com/firmware. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted.

    1. The minimum version requirement is subject to change over the course of the season.
    2. When the minimum version is updated, Teams have a two week (14 calendar day) grace period from the time the minimum version is changed to update their firmware to the latest minimum version.
    3. VEX reserves the right to deem any firmware update critical, and remove the allowable grace period.
  3. Teams may make the following modifications to the V5 / EXP Smart Motor’s user-serviceable features. This list is all-inclusive; no other modifications are permitted. Where applicable, the components listed below (in the specific applications listed below) are permissible exceptions to <R21> Clauses c.ii.-c.iv. also apply to EXP Smart Motors (5.5W).

    1. Replacing the gear cartridge with other official cartridges.
    2. Removing or replacing the screws from the V5 Smart Motor Cap (276-6780).
    3. Removing or replacing the threaded mounting inserts (276-6781).
    4. Aesthetic/non-functional labeling (e.g., markers, stickers, paint, etc.).
  4. V5 Smart Motors (11W) must use an official VEX V5 gear cartridge. For the purposes of this rule, the gear cartridges found within the V5 Smart Motor are considered “part of the motor.” Therefore, any physical or functional modifications to official gear cartridges is not permitted. 11w V5 Smart Motors may only use official VEX motor cartridges.
  5. For the purposes of this rule, the V5 Smart Motor Cap is not considered “part of the motor.” Therefore, <R16> applies.
R16

<R16> Most modifications to non-electrical components are allowed. Physical modifications, such as bending or cutting, of legal metal structure or plastic components are permitted.

  1. Internal or external mechanical repairs of VEX Limit and Bumper switches are permitted.

    1. Modifying the metal arm on the Limit Switch is permitted.
    2. Using components from these devices in other applications is prohibited.
  2. Metallurgical modifications that change fundamental material properties, such as heat treating or melting, are not permitted.
  3. Pneumatic tubing may be cut to desired lengths.
  4. Fusing/melting the end of legal nylon rope/string (see <R8e>) to prevent fraying is permitted.
  5. Welding, soldering, brazing, gluing, or attaching parts to each other in any way that is not provided within the VEX platform is not permitted. Rule <R8> clause D is an exception to this rule.
  6. Mechanical fasteners may be secured using Loctite or a similar thread-locking product. This may ONLY be used for securing hardware, such as screws and nuts.
R17

<R17> Robots use VEXnet. Robots must ONLY utilize the VEXnet system for all wireless Robot communication.

  1. Electronics from the Cortex, VEX EXP, VEX CTE. VEXpro, VEX RCR, VEXplorer, VEX IQ, VEX GO, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG product line are prohibited unless otherwise noted in <R7c> or <R13>.
  2. V5 Controllers may only be used in conjunction with a V5 Robot Brain.
  3. Teams are permitted to use the Bluetooth® capabilities of the V5 Robot Brain and/or V5 Controller in Team pits, practice fields, and Robot Skills Matches. However, VEXnet must be used for wireless communication during head-to-head Matches.
  4. Teams are permitted to use the Wi-Fi capabilities of the Vision Sensor in Team pits or outside of Matches. However, the Vision Sensor must have its wireless transmitting functionality disabled during Matches.
R18

<R18> Give the radio some space. The V5 Radio must be mounted such that no metal surrounds the radio symbol on the V5 Radio.

It is fine to loosely encapsulate the V5 Radio within Robot structure. The intent of this rule is to minimize radio connection issues by minimizing obstructions between VEXnet devices. Burying a radio deep within a Robot may result in Robot communication issues.


R19

<R19> A limited amount of custom plastic is allowed. Robots may use custom-made parts cut from certain types of non-shattering plastic. It must be possible to have cut all of the plastic parts on the Robot from a single 12” x 24” sheet, up to 0.070” thick.

  1. The intent of the area/thickness constraints is to limit the number of custom plastic parts used in Robot construction, not to define an absolute volume. For example, using a sheet which is 0.035” thick does not permit two 12” x 24” sheets’ worth of parts.
  2. Plastic parts do not have to be literally cut from the same original 12” x 24” sheet. However, all individual parts must be able to “nest” or rearrange into a 12” x 24” area.

    1. A collection of parts which theoretically have a total surface area of 288 square inches, but cannot be nested onto a single 12” x 24” sheet, would not be legal. See Figure R19-1.
  3. Plastic may be mechanically altered by cutting, drilling, bending, etc. It cannot be chemically treated, melted, or cast. Heating polycarbonate to aid in bending is acceptable.
  4. Legal plastic types include polycarbonate (Lexan), acetal monopolymer (Delrin), acetal copolymer (Acetron GP), POM (acetal), ABS, PEEK, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon (all grades), Polypropylene, and FEP.
  5. Shattering plastic, such as PMMA (also called Plexiglass, Acrylic, or Perspex), is prohibited.
  6. Plastic sheets sold by VEX are considered “plastic” in the context of this rule, and are subject to the same limitations as “off-the-shelf” plastic sheets. Examples include the 276-8340 PET sheets, and the 217-6626 / 217-6627 polycarbonate sheets.
  7. This rule does not apply to 3D printed plastic parts. 3D printed parts are not permitted in the VEX V5 Robotics Competition, except as non-functional decorations (per <R9>) or as custom license plates (per <R10>).

Note: The phrase “as cut from a single 12” x 24” sheet” is intended to mean that all individual plastic pieces must be able to theoretically “nest” or rearrange into a 12” x 24” area. The plastic pieces do not have to be cut from the same original 12” x 24” sheet. Teams are encouraged to “map” plastic use on a 12” x 24” sheet of paper for reference at tournament inspection.

R20

<R20> A limited amount of tape is allowed. Robots may use a small amount of tape for the following purposes:

  1. To secure any connection between the ends of two (2) VEX cables.
  2. To label wires and motors.
  3. To cover the backs of license plates (i.e., hiding the “wrong color”).
  4. To prevent leaks on the threaded portions of pneumatic fittings. This is the only acceptable use of Teflon tape.
  5. In any other application that would be considered a “non-functional decoration” per <R9>.
  6. As an aglet at the end of rope/string to prevent fraying.
R21

<R21> Certain non-VEX fasteners are allowed. Robots may use the following commercially available hardware:

  1. #4, #6, #8, M3, M3.5, or M4 screws up to 2.5” (63.5 mm) long.
  2. Shoulder screws cannot have a shoulder length over 0.20” or a diameter over 0.176”.
  3. Any commercially available nut, washer, standoff, and/or non-threaded spacer up to 2.5” (63.5 mm) long which fits these screws.

The intent of the rule is to allow Teams to purchase their own commodity hardware without introducing additional functionality not found in standard VEX equipment. It is up to inspectors to determine whether the non-VEX hardware has introduced additional functionality or not.

For the purposes of this rule, weight savings is not considered additional functionality.

If a key component of a Robot’s design relies upon convincing an inspector that a specialized component is “technically a screw,” it is probably outside of the spirit and intent of this rule. All specific dimensions listed in this rule are intended to be ‘nominal’ references to hardware sizes found within the VEX V5 product line and/or their metric equivalents.

R22

<R22> New VEX parts are legal. Additional VEX components released during the competition season on www.vexrobotics.com are considered legal for use unless otherwise noted.

Some “new” components may have certain restrictions placed on them upon their release. These restrictions will be documented in the official Q&A, in a Game Manual Update, or on their respective product web pages.

R23

<R23> Pneumatics are limited. A Robot’s pneumatic subsystem must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Teams may use a maximum of two (2) legal VEX pneumatic air reservoirs on a Robot. The Air Tank 200mL (included in the 276-8750 V5 Pneumatics Kit) and the legacy (pre-2023) reservoir are both considered legal reservoirs.
  2. Pneumatic devices may be charged to a maximum of 100 psi.
  3. The compressed air contained inside a pneumatic subsystem can only be used to actuate legal pneumatic devices (e.g., cylinders).

Note: From a rules perspective, parts found in the V5 Pneumatics Kit (276-8750) and legacy (pre-2023) pneumatic parts may be used interchangeably. A Legal Pneumatics summary can be found in the VEX Library, which includes additional pneumatics information.

The intent of <R23a> and <R23b> is to limit Robots to the air pressure stored in two reservoir tanks, as well as the normal working air pressure contained in their pneumatic cylinders and tubing on the Robot. Teams may not use other elements for the purposes of storing or generating air pressure.

Using cylinders or additional pneumatic tubing solely for additional storage is in Violation of the spirit of this rule. Similarly, using pneumatic cylinders and/or tubing without any air reservoirs is also in Violation of the spirit of this rule.

The intent of <R23c> is to ensure that pneumatics are being used safely. Pressurized systems, such as a Robot’s pneumatic subsystem, have the potential to be dangerous if used incorrectly. This rule ensures the safety of participants, and prevents potentially unsafe uses in the future.

Another way of thinking of <R23c> is that “pneumatics should only be used with pneumatics.” Teams should not use compressed air as a means of actuating non-pneumatic devices such as screws, nuts, etc. For example, pulling a pin with a pneumatic cylinder is okay, but using air to actuate the pin itself is not.

R24

<R24>One or two Controllers per Robot. No more than two (2) VEX V5 Controllers may control a single Robot.

  1. No physical or electrical modification of these Controllers is allowed under any circumstances.

    1. Attachments which assist the Drive Team Member in holding or manipulating buttons/joysticks on the V5 Controller are permitted, provided that they do not involve direct physical or electrical modification of the Controller itself.
  2. No other methods of controlling the Robot (light, sound, etc.) are permissible.

    1. Using sensor feedback to augment driver control (such as motor encoders or the Vision Sensor) is permitted.
R25

<R25> Custom V5 Smart Cables are allowed. Teams who create custom cables acknowledge that incorrect wiring may have undesired results.

  1. Official V5 Smart Cable Stock must be used.
  2. Use of non-VEX 4P4C connectors and 4P4C crimping tools is permissible.
  3. V5 Smart Cables may only be used for connecting legal electronic devices to the V5 Robot Brain.
R26

<R26> Keep the power button accessible. The on/off button on the V5 Robot Brain must be accessible without moving or lifting the Robot. All screens and/or lights must also be easily visible by competition personnel to assist in diagnosing Robot problems.

R27

<R27> Use a “Competition Template” for programming. The Robot must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the VEXnet Field Controllers or Smart Field Control system.

During the Autonomous Period, Drive Team Members will not be allowed to use their V5 Controllers. As such, Teams are responsible for programming their Robot with custom software if they want to perform in the Autonomous Period. Robots must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the field controls (e.g., ignore wireless input during the Autonomous Period, Disable at the end of the Driver Controlled Period, etc.).

Teams must use a provided “competition template” or functional equivalent to accomplish this. This will be tested in inspection, where Robots will be required to pass a functional “enable/disable” test. For more information on this, Teams should consult the help guides produced by the developers of their chosen programming software.

R28

<R28> There is a difference between accidentally and willfully violating a Robot rule. Any violation of Robot rules, accidental or intentional, will result in a Team being unable to play until they pass inspection (per <R3d>).

However, Teams who intentionally and/or knowingly circumvent or violate rules to gain an advantage over their fellow competitors are in violation of the spirit and ethos of the competition. Any Violation of this sort may be considered a violation of <G1> and/or the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.

T1

<T1> Head Referees have ultimate and final authority on all gameplay ruling decisions during the competition.


  1. Scorekeeper Referees score the Match, and may serve as observers or advisers for Head Referees, but may not determine any rules or infractions directly.
  2. When issuing a Major Violation or Minor Violation to a Team, Head Referees must provide the rule number of the specific rule that has been Violated, and record the Violation on the Match Anomaly Log.
  3. Violations of the REC Foundation Code of Conduct may involve additional escalation beyond a Head Referee’s initial ruling, including (but not limited to) investigation by an REC Foundation representative. Rules <S1>, <G1>, <G2> and <G4> are the only rules for which this escalation may be required.
  4. Event Partners may not overrule a Head Referee’s decision.
  5. Every Qualification Match and Elimination Match must be watched by a certified Head Referee. Head Referees may only watch one Match at a time; if multiple Matches are happening simultaneously on separate fields, each field must have its own Head Referee.

Note from the VEX GDC: The rules contained in this Game Manual are written to be enforced by human Head Referees. Many rules have “black-and-white” criteria that can be easily checked. However, some rulings will rely on a judgment call from this human Head Referee. In these cases, Head Referees will make their calls based on what they and the Scorekeeper Referees saw, what guidance is provided by their official support materials (the Game Manual and the Q&A), and most crucially, the context of the Match in question.

The VEX V5 Robotics Competition does not have video replay, our fields do not have absolute sensors to count scores, and most events do not have the resources for an extensive review conference between each Match.

When an ambiguous rule results in a controversial call, there is a natural instinct to wonder what the “right” ruling “should have been,” or what the GDC “would have ruled.” This is ultimately an irrelevant question; our answer is that when a rule specifies “Head Referee’s discretion” (or similar), then the “right” call is the one made by a Head Referee in the moment. The VEX GDC designs games, and writes rules, with this expectation (constraint) in mind.

T2

<T2> Head Referees must be qualified. V5RC Head Referees must have the following qualifications:


  1. Be at least 20 years of age.
  2. Be approved by the Event Partner.
  3. Be an REC Foundation Certified V5RC Head Referee for the current season. Visit this KB article for more details.

Note: Scorekeeper Referees must be at least 15 years of age, and must be approved by the Event Partner.

Head Referees should demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Thorough knowledge of the current game and rules of play
  • Effective decision-making skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to be confident and assertive when necessary
  • Strong communication and diplomacy skills
T3

<T3> The Drive Team is permitted to immediately appeal a Head Referee’s ruling. If Drive Team Members wish to dispute a score or ruling, they must stay in the Alliance Station until the Head Referee from the Match talks with them. The Head Referee may choose to meet with the Drive Team Members at another location and/or at a later time so that the Head Referee has time to reference materials or resources to help with the decision. Once the Head Referee announces that their decision has been made final, the issue is over and no more appeals may be made (See rule <T1>).


  1. Head Referees may not review any photo or video Match recordings when determining a score or ruling.
  2. Head Referees are the only individuals permitted to explain a rule, Disqualification, Violation, warning, or other penalty to the Teams. Teams should never consult other field personnel, including Scorekeeper Referees, regarding a ruling clarification.

Communication and conflict resolution skills are an important life skill for Students to practice and learn. In VEX V5 Robotics Competitions, we expect Students to practice proper conflict resolution using the proper chain of command. Violations of this rule may be considered a Violation of <G1> and/or the Code of Conduct.

Some events may choose to utilize a “question box” or other designated location for discussions with Head Referees. Offering a “question box” is within the discretion of the Event Partner and/or Head Referee, and may act as an alternate option for asking Drive Team Members to remain in the Alliance Station (although all other aspects of this rule apply).

However, by using this alternate location, Drive Team Members acknowledge that they are forfeiting the opportunity to use any contextual information involving the specific state of the Field at the end of the Match. For example, it is impossible to appeal whether a game element was Scored or not if the Field has already been reset. If this information is pertinent to the appeal, Drive Team Members should still remain in the Alliance Station, and relocate to the “question box” once the Head Referee has been made aware of the concern and/or any relevant context.

T4

<T4> The Event Partner has ultimate authority regarding all non-gameplay decisions during an event The Game Manual is intended to provide a set of rules for successfully playing V5RC High Stakes; it is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of guidelines for running a VEX V5 Robotics Competition event. Rules such as, but not limited to, the following examples are at the discretion of the Event Partner and should be treated with the same respect as the Game Manual.

  • Venue access
  • Pit spaces
  • Health and safety
  • Team registration and/or competition eligibility
  • Team conduct away from competition fields

This rule exists alongside <G1>, <S1>, and <G3>. Even though there isn’t a rule that says “do not steal from the concession stand,” it would still be within an Event Partner’s authority to remove a thief from the competition.

T5

<T5> A Team’s Robot and/or Drive Team Member should attend every Match. A Robot or a Student member of the Team must report to the field for the Team’s assigned Match, even if the Robot is not functional. If no Student Drive Team Members report to the Field, the Team will be considered a “no-show” and receive zero (0) WPs, AWPs, APs, and SPs.

T6

<T6> Robots at the field must be ready to play. If a Team brings their Robot to the Field, it must be prepared to play (e.g., batteries charged, sized within the starting size constraint, displaying only the correct Alliance-color license plates, etc.).


  1. Teams who use VEX pneumatics must have their systems charged before they place the Robot on the Field.
  2. Robots must be placed on the Field promptly. Repeated failure to do so could result in a Violation of <G1>. The exact definition of the term “promptly” is at the discretion of the Head Referee and Event Partner, who will consider event schedule, previous warnings or delays, etc.
  3. If a Robot is delaying the scheduled start of a Match, it may be removed from the Field at the discretion of the Head Referee and Event Partner. A Drive Team Member may remain at the Field so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>).
T7

<T7> Match replays are allowed, but rare. Match replays (i.e., playing a Match over again from its start) must be agreed upon by both the Event Partner and Head Referee, and will only be issued in the most extreme circumstances. Some example situations that may warrant a Match replay are as follows:

  1. Match Affecting “field fault” issues.

    1. Scoring Objects not starting in the correct positions.
    2. Tape lines lifting.
    3. Field Elements detaching or moving beyond normal tolerances (not as a result of Robot interactions).
    4. The Autonomous Period or Driver Controlled Period ending early.
    5. Field control disconnecting or disabling Robots. Note, this is sometimes confused with a Robot whose motors have overheated, or bent pins on a controller’s competition port causing intermittent drop-outs. In general, any true field fault will impact both Alliances simultaneously, not one Robot at a time.
  2. Match Affecting game rule issues.

    1. Head Referee Disables a Robot for a misinterpretation of a rule Violation.
    2. Head Referee starts the Driver Controlled Period of the Match without determining the outcome of the Autonomous Period winner.
    3. The Field is reset before a score is determined.

Note: As of the 2024-2025 season, the V5 white screen error is no longer a permitted cause for a replay. More information about this error can be found here.

T8

<T8> Disqualifications. When a Team receives a Disqualification in a Qualification Match, they receive a score of zero (0) for the Match, as well as zero (0) Win Points, Autonomous Win Points, Autonomous Points, and Strength of Schedule Points.

  1. If the Team receiving the Disqualification is on the winning Alliance, then Teams on the opposing Alliance who are not also Disqualified will receive the win for the Match and two (2) WP.

    1. The Team’s non-Disqualified Alliance Partner is unaffected, i.e. they will receive the win for the Match and two (2) WP.
  2. If the Match was a tie, then each Team on the opposing Alliance (the Alliance that did not receive the Disqualification) will receive the win for the Match and two (2) WP. If both Alliances have a Team receiving a Disqualification, then all non-Disqualified Teams will receive a tie for the Match and one (1) WP.
  3. Autonomous Win Points are not given to Teams that receive a Disqualification, and are not automatically awarded to the opposing Alliance.

When a Team is Disqualified in an Elimination Match, the entire Alliance is Disqualified; they receive a loss for the Match, and the opposing Alliance is awarded the win. If both Alliances receive a Disqualification in an Elimination Match, both Alliances receive a loss and will play another Match to determine a winner.

Note: If a Team is Disqualified in a Robot Skills Match, a score of zero (0) will be recorded for that Match.

T9

<T9> Each Elimination Alliance gets one Time Out. Each Elimination Alliance gets one Time Out. Each Alliance may request one (1) Time Out during the Elimination Bracket. The Time Out will be served at the time of the Alliance’s next upcoming Match. Alliances must request their Time Out between Elimination Matches, as permitted by the Head Referee and Event Partner; they may not use their Time Out during a Match, for another Alliance’s Match, or after they have been eliminated.

T10

<T10> Be prepared for minor field variance. Field Element tolerances and Scoring Objects may vary from specified locations/dimensions; Teams are encouraged to design their Robot accordingly. Please make sure to check Appendix A for more specific nominal dimensions and tolerances.


  1. Field Element tolerances may vary from nominal by up to ±1.0”.
  2. Rings and Mobile Goal placement at the beginning of the Match may vary from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4 mm).
  3. Ladder Rung Heights may very from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4 mm).
  4. Rings have a nominal weight of .25lbs and may vary by +/- .075lbs (113.4g +/- 34g).
  5. Mobile Goals have a nominal weight of 2lbs and may vary by +/- .075lbs (907g +/- 34g).
  6. Wall Stake Height and Mobile Goal Heights may vary from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4 mm).
  7. The Rotation of Mobile Goals is not Specified
T11

<T11> Fields may be repaired at the Event Partner’s discretion. All competition fields at an event must be set up in accordance with the specifications in Appendix A and/or other applicable Sections. Minor aesthetic customizations or repairs are permitted, provided that they do not impact gameplay (see <T4>).

Examples of permissible modifications include, but are not limited to:


  • Applying threadlocker to Field Element mounting hardware
  • Using non-VEX white electrical tape to add required lines to the Field
  • Using standard 1/2” Schedule 40 PVC pipe to replace a damaged Wall Stake

Examples of prohibited modifications include, but are not limited to:



Any specific repairs and/or modifications which pertain to the current season’s game will be documented in this rule and Appendix A, as needed.

T12

<T12> The red Alliance places last. The red Alliance has the right to place its Robots on the Field last in both Qualification Matches and Elimination Matches. Once a Team has placed its Robot on the Field, its position cannot be readjusted prior to the Match. If a Team chooses to reposition their Robot after it has already been placed, the opposing Alliance will also be given the opportunity to reposition their Robots promptly.

T13

<T13> Qualification Matches follow the Match schedule. A Qualification Match Schedule will be available on the day of competition. The Match Schedule will indicate Alliance partners, Match pairings, and Alliance colors for each Match. For tournaments with multiple fields, the schedule will indicate which Field each Match will take place on. The Match Schedule is subject to change at the Event Partner’s discretion. Any multi-division event must be approved by the REC Foundation RSM prior to the event, and divisions must be assigned in sequential order by Team number.

T14

<T14> Each Team will have at least six Qualification Matches.

  1. When in a tournament, the tournament must have a minimum of six (6) Qualification Matches per Team for a standard tournament or eight (8) Qualification Matches per championship event. The suggested amount of Qualification Matches per Team for a standard tournament is eight (8) and up to ten (10) for a championship event.
  2. When in a league, there must be at least three (3) league ranking sessions, with at least one (1) week between sessions. Each session must have a minimum of two (2) Qualification Matches per Team. The suggested amount of Qualification Matches per Team for a standard league ranking session is four (4). Leagues will have a championship session where elimination rounds will be played. Event Partners may choose to have Qualification Matches as part of their championship session.
T15

<T15> Qualification Matches contribute to a Team’s ranking for Alliance Selection.

  1. When in a tournament, every Team will be ranked based on the same number of Qualification Matches.
  2. When in a league, every Team will be ranked based on the number of Matches played. Teams that participate at least 60% of the total Matches available will be ranked above Teams that participate in less than 60% of the total Matches available; e.g., if the league offers 3 ranking sessions with 4 Qualification Matches per Team, Teams that participate in 8 or more Matches will be ranked higher than Teams who participate in 7 or fewer Matches. Being a no-show to a Match that a Team is scheduled in still constitutes participation for these calculations.
  3. In some cases, a Team will be asked to play an additional Qualification Match. The extra Match will be identified on the Match Schedule with an asterisk; WPs, APs, and SPs for that Qualification Match will not impact a Team’s ranking, and will not affect participation percentage for leagues.

    1. Teams are reminded that <G1> is always in effect and Teams are expected to behave as if the additional Qualification Match counted.
    2. In Leagues, Teams may have a different number of Qualification Matches. Rankings are determined by the Win Percentage, which is the number of wins divided by the number of Qualification Matches that Teams have played.
T16

<T16> Qualification Match tiebreakers. Team rankings are determined throughout Qualification Matches as follows:

  1. Average Win Points (WP / Number of Matches played)
  2. Average Autonomous Points (AP / Number of Matches played)
  3. Average Strength of Schedule Points (SP / Number of Matches played)
  4. Highest Match score
  5. Second highest Match score
  6. Random electronic draw
T17

<T17> Send a Student representative to Alliance Selection. Each Team must send one (1) Student representative to the playing field (or other designated area) to participate in Alliance Selection. If the Team Representative fails to report in for Alliance Selection, their Team will be ineligible for participation in the Alliance Selection process.

T18

<T18> Each Team may only be invited once to join one Alliance. If a Team representative declines an Alliance Captain’s invitation during Alliance Selection, that Team is no longer eligible to be selected by another Alliance Captain. However, they are still eligible to play Elimination Matches as an Alliance Captain.

For example:

Note: Alliances must have two Teams, and there are no “do-overs” during Alliance Selection. If enough Teams decline their invitations such that the full number of Alliances cannot be filled, the event will proceed with a reduced number of Alliances.

T19

<T19> Elimination Matches follow the Elimination Bracket. A sixteen (16) Alliance bracket plays as shown in Figure T19-1:

If an event is run with fewer than sixteen (16) Alliances, then they will use the bracket shown above, with Byes awarded when there is no applicable Alliance. For example, in a tournament with twelve (12) Alliances, Alliances 1, 2, 3, & 4 would automatically advance to the Quarterfinals.

Thus, an eight (8) Alliance bracket would run as shown in Figure T19-2.

T20

<T20> Elimination Matches are a blend of “Best of 1” and “Best of 3.” “Best of 1” means that the winning Alliance in each Match advances to the next round of the Elimination Bracket. “Best of 3” means that the first Alliance to reach two wins will advance.

See the Flowchart in Figure T20-1 for more information.

T21

<T21> Small tournaments may have fewer Alliances. The number of Alliances for a given event is determined as follows:

# of Teams

# of Elimination Alliances

32+

16

24-31

12

16-23

8

<16

# of Teams divided by 2, less any remainder

T22

<T22> Fields at an event must be consistent with each other. There are many types of permissible aesthetic and/or logistical modifications that may be made to competition fields at the Event Partner’s discretion. If an event has multiple Head-to-Head competition Fields, they must all incorporate the same permissible/applicable modifications. For example, if one field is elevated, then all Head-to-Head competition Fields must be elevated to the same height.

Examples of these modifications may include, but are not limited to:

  • Elevating the playing Field off of the Floor (common heights are 12” to 24” [30.5cm to 61cm])
  • Field control systems (see <T23>)
  • Field display monitors
  • Field Perimeter decorations (e.g., LED lights, sponsor decals on polycarbonate panels)
  • Field Perimeter type (see <T24>)
  • Utilizing the VEX GPS Field Code Strips

Note: If an event has dedicated fields for Skills Challenge Matches, there is no requirement for them to have the same consistent modifications as the Head-to-Head Fields. See <RSC8> for more details.

T23

<T23> There are three types of field control that may be used:

  1. A VEXnet Field Controller controlled by Tournament Manager, which connects to a Controller’s competition port via ethernet cable.
  2. A V5 Event Brain controlled by Tournament Manager, which connects to a Controller via Smart Cable.
  3. A VEXnet Competition Switch, which connects to a Controller’s competition port via Cat-5 cable, may only be used in Practice Matches or Robot Skills Matches, and only under extreme circumstances.

If an event has multiple Fields, then all Fields of the same game type must use the same control system, in accordance with <T23> and <RSC8>. For example, it would be permissible for Head-to-Head competition Fields to use V5 Event Brains, and for Skills Challenge Fields to use VEXnet Field Controllers. However, it would not be permissible for one Head-to-Head Field to use a V5 Event Brain while another Head-to-Head Field uses a VEXnet Field Controller.

Note: Official Qualifying Events may only use the official, unmodified version of Tournament Manager for field control, along with approved hardware and networking solutions found in the REC Library.

Note 2: Add-ons that abide by the TM Public API guidelines are permitted. Once add-ons are enabled, the software is no longer supported by the REC Foundation, VEX Robotics, or DWAB Technologies; any necessary troubleshooting will be done at the user’s own risk.

T24

<T24> There are two types of Field Perimeter that may be used:

  1. VEX Metal Competition Field Perimeter (SKU 278-1501)
  2. VEX Portable Competition Field Perimeter (SKU 276-8242)

See Appendix A for more details.

If an event has multiple Fields, then all fields of the same game type must use the same Field Perimeter type, in accordance with <T22> and <RSC8>. For example, it would be permissible for Head-to-Head competition Fields to use metal Field Perimeters, and for Skills Challenge Fields to use Portable Field Perimeters. However, it would not be permissible for one Head-to-Head field to use a metal Field Perimeter, while other Head-to-Head fields use Portable Field Perimeters.

Note: See <RSC8> for more details specific to Skills Challenge fields.

RSC1

<RSC1> All rules from “The Game” section of the manual apply to the Robot Skills Challenge, unless otherwise specified in this section.

Violation Note: In the Robot Skills Challenge, the standard definition of Match Affecting does not apply, since there is no winner and loser. When evaluating whether a rule Violation should be classified as a Major Violation or Minor Violation in the context of this criteria, the term “score affecting” can be substituted for “Match Affecting”. A Violation is considered “score affecting” if it resulted in a net increase of that Team’s score at the end of the Match.

RSC2

<RSC2> Teams may play Robot Skills Matches on a first-come, first-served basis, or by a pre-scheduled method determined by the Event Partner. Each Team will get the opportunity to play up to three (3) Driving Skills Matches and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

Teams should review the event agenda and their Match Schedule to determine when the best possible time is to complete their Robot Skills Matches. If the Robot Skills Challenge area closes before a Team has completed all six (6) Robot Skills Matches, but it is determined that there was adequate time given, then the Team will automatically forfeit those unused Matches.

Further details regarding Skills-Only Event logistics can be found in the REC Foundation Qualifying Criteria document.

RSC3

<RSC3> Robots must start the Robot Skills Match in a legal starting position for the red Alliance.

  1. All Drive Team Members must remain in the red Alliance Station for the duration of the Match.
  2. Robots must meet all of the criteria listed in rule <SG1>.
  3. Teams may use one (1) red Alliance preload as described in rule <SG5>.
  4. The two (2) blue Alliance preload Rings are not used in Robot Skills Matches.
RSC4

<RSC4> Blue Rings may only be Scored as Top Rings on Stakes. Each Blue Ring only has a point value if:

  1. All red Rings in the Match have been Scored on Stakes and have point values.
  2. At least one red Ring is Scored below the blue Ring on that Stake.
  3. There is only one blue Ring on that Stake.
  4. No red Rings are Scored above the blue Ring on that Stake.
  5. Red Rings may also be Scored as Top Rings on Stakes, but rule <RSC5> applies.
RSC5

<RSC5> Any red Ring Scored above a blue Ring on the same Stake will not have a point value.

RSC6

<RSC6> If any