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VRC-Manual-2324
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2023 - 2024

Game Manual

Version 2.0

Changelog

Version 2.0 - August 1, 2023

  • Updated <G8> to clarify the legality of items brought to the field by Drive Team Members
  • Updated <R22a> and added a note to clarify pneumatic reservoir legality
  • Updated <T1e> to clarify that a Head Referee may only watch one Match at a time
  • Updated <T11> to address using PVC to replace a damaged section of a Goal
  • Updated figure 41 to fix the position of misaligned Triballs
  • Minor typo / formatting fixes

Version 1.1 - July 11, 2023

  • Added VEX U Robot Rules

Version 1.0 - June 27, 2023

  • Updated point 1b in the definition of Elevated to state that a Robot must be contacting any portion of the Barrier that is on their Alliance’s side of the Neutral Zone
  • Added point 4 to the definition of Elevated to state that a Robot may not be contacting an Alliance partner Robot that is not considered Elevated
  • Added a note to <SC7> to clarify intent
  • Added a note to <SG1> and to clarify that the Triballs beginning in Match Load Zones may be repositioned by Teams. The note in <G9> was also updated to reflect this change
  • Revised <SG3> to state that any Triballs that leave the field will be returned to the nearest Match Load Zone
  • Added a Violation note to <SG9> to clarify intent
  • Added <SG11d>, stating that Robots may not contact the Short Barriers adjacent to the opposing Alliance’s Elevation Bars during the last thirty (30) seconds of the Match
  • Updated <T9> to provide clarity regarding when Time Outs may be used
  • Updated <T10> to provide a Goal height tolerance, and to provide further clarity
  • Added a Violation note to <RSC1> to clarify intent
  • Added Appendix C for VEX U
  • Minor typo / formatting fixes

Version 0.2 - June 13, 2023

  • Added a note to <SC3>, clarifying that a Triball Scored in a Goal is not also considered Scored in that Goal’s Offensive Zone.
  • Revised the note in <SG5> to clarify that the net cannot be lifted to score / de-score
  • Updated <T5> to include Autonomous Win Points
  • Removed <T7bi>, the “White Screen” rule
  • Updated Robot Skills Rankings 9a to Number of Triballs Scored in Goals
  • Minor typo / formatting fixes

Version 0.1 - April 29, 2023

  • Initial Release

Quick Reference Guide

Scoring Rules

<SC1>

All scoring statuses are evaluated immediately after the Match ends

<SC2>

Scoring of the Autonomous Bonus is immediately after the Autonomous Period

<SC3>

Scored in a Goal criteria

<SC4>

Scored in an Offensive Zone criteria

<SC5>

Alliance Triballs

<SC6>

Elevation Tier points

<SC7>

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>

VRC is a Student-centered program

<G3>

Use common sense

<G4>

The Robotmust 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. But, be prepared to encounter defense

<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 5 seconds

<G17>

Use Triballs to play the game

Specific Game Rules

<SG1>

Starting a Match

<SG2>

Horizontal expansion is limited

<SG3>

Keep Triballs in the Field

<SG4>

Each Robot gets one Alliance Triball as a Preload

<SG5>

Stay away from nets on the Goals

<SG6>

Match Load Triballs may be safely introduced during the Match under certain conditions

<SG7>

Possession is limited to one (1) Triball

<SG8>

Stay out of your opponent’s Goal unless they are Double-Zoned

<SG9>

Stay in your starting zone during the Autonomous Period

<SG10>

Enter the Neutral Zone during the Autonomous Period at your own risk

<SG11>

Elevated Robots 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 must be safe

<R6>

Robots are built from the VEX V5 system

<R7>

Certain non-VEX components are allowed

<R8>

Decorations are allowed

<R9>

Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot License Plates

<R10>

Let go of Triballs after the Match

<R11>

Robots have one microcontroller

<R12>

Motors are limited

<R13>

Electrical power comes from VEX batteries only

<R14>

No modifications to electronic components are allowed

<R15>

Most modifications to non-electrical components are allowed

<R16>

Robots use VEXnet

<R17>

Give the radio some space

<R18>

A limited amount of custom plastic is allowed

<R19>

A limited amount of tape is allowed

<R20>

Certain non-VEX fasteners are allowed

<R21>

New VEX parts are legal

<R22>

Pneumatics are limited

<R23>

One or two Controllers per Robot

<R24>

Custom V5 Smart Cables are allowed

<R25>

Keep the power button accessible

<R26>

Use a “Competition Template” for programming

<R27>

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 an Alliance

<T19>

Elimination Matches follow the Elimination Bracket

<T20>

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

<T21>

The number of Alliances is determined by the size of the tournament

<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 of the manual apply to the Robot Skills Challenge

<RSC2>

Robots may start the Robot Skills Match in any legal starting location

<RSC3>

Teams may utilize the forty-four (44) Match Load Triballs

<RSC4>

Teams play as if they are on the red Alliance

<RSC5>

Elevation points are awarded based on the Elevation Tier

<RSC6>

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

<RSC7>

Triballs which come to rest on top of the red Goal may not be retrieved

VEX U Game Rules

<VUG1>

Different Starting Tiles

<VUG2>

Different Preloads

<VUG3>

Different Autonomous Zones

<VUG4>

Different Match Load introductions

<VUG5>

Different Match Load availability

<VUG6>

Different Autonomous Win Point

VEX U Tournament Rules

<VUT1>

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

<VUT2>

Qualification Matches will be conducted in the same manner as in a VRC tournament

<VUT3>

Elimination Matches will be conducted in the same manner as in a VRC tournament

<VUT4>

The Autonomous Period at the beginning of each Head-to-Head Match will be 45 seconds

<VUT5>

The Driver Controlled Period is shortened to 75 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>

Each Robot must use one (1) red Alliance Triball as a Preload

<VURS2>

Both Robots may receive Elevation Tier points

<VURS3>

The Elevation Tier scoring listed in rule <RSC5> is used for both Robots.

VEX U Robot Rules

<VUR1>

Teams must use two (2) Robots in each Match

<VUR2>

Teams may use any official VEX Robotics products, other than the exceptions listed

<VUR3>

Fabricated Parts may be made using the following processes

<VUR4>

Fabricated Parts must be made from raw materials

<VUR5>

Fabricated Parts must include documentation that demonstrates the Team’s process

<VUR6>

Teams may use commercially-available springs on their Robots

<VUR7>

Teams may use any commercially available fastener on their Robot

<VUR8>

Teams may use the following additional commercially available materials

<VUR9>

Each Robot must use one (1) V5 Robot Brain and one (1) V5 Robot Radio

<VUR10>

There is no restriction on the number of V5 Smart Motors that Robots may use

<VUR11>

There is no restriction on sensors and other Additional Electronics that Robots may use

<VUR12>

No radio communication is allowed between Robots

<VUR13>

Teams may utilize an unlimited amount of the following pneumatic components

Section 1


Introduction


Overview


This section provides an introduction to the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) and VRC Over Under.


The VEX 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 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 Robotics Competition Over Under 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 VRC Over Under. 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 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

VEX Robotics Competition Over Under: A Primer

VEX Robotics Competition Over Under 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 Triballs in Goals and by Elevating at the end of the Match.


An Autonomous Win Point is awarded to any Alliance that completes three (3) 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 Appendix B for more information.


Side view of the VRC Over Under Field
45 degree view of the VRC Over Under Field

About the Game Manual - A Note from the GDC

This Game Manual and its appendices contain everything there is to know about this season’s game, VRC Over Under. It is intended to be a resource for all Teams, Head Referees, Event Partners, and other members of the VRC 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 and its appendices contain 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 VRC 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/23-24/vrc-over-under/GameManual


Known major release dates are as follows:

April 29, 2023

Version 0.1

Initial game release

May 16, 2023

N/A

Official Q&A system opens

June 13, 2023

Version 0.2

Minor typographical errors or formatting issues found in the initial release. There will be very few rule changes, if any.

June 27, 2023

Version 1.0

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

August 1, 2023

Version 2.0

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

October 3, 2023

Version 2.1

Clarification update only

December 5, 2023

Version 2.2

Clarification update only

January 30, 2024

Version 3.0

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

April 2, 2024

Version 4.0

May include critical gameplay or rule clarifications 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 VRC 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 Event Support Managers will contact Event Partners involved with multi-week league events that “cross over” an unscheduled 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. This is the only possible “grace period” exception.

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 in the VEX Robotics Question & Answer System. These questions may be posted by a Team’s Adult representative 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 Robotics Competition Rules. The Q&A system is the only source besides the Game Manual for official rulings and clarifications.


The VEX Robotics Competition Question & Answer System can be found at https://www.robotevents.com/VRC/2023-2024/QA.


Before posting on the Q&A system, be sure to review the Q&A Usage Guidelines, which can be found at https://www.robotevents.com/VRC/2023-2024/QA/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 VRC 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 Robotics Competition Over Under field consists of the following:

Top view of the VRC Over Under Field, with Triballs and Goals highlighted

Figure 1: Top view of the field in its starting configuration, with highlighted Triballs (yellow), Red AllianceGoal (red), and Blue AllianceGoal (blue).

Top view of the field with highlighted Elevation Bars (pink), Match Load Zones (orange), Red Alliance Station (red) and Blue Alliance Station (blue).

Figure 2: Top view of the field with highlighted Elevation Bars (pink), Match Load Zones (orange), Red Alliance Station (red) and Blue Alliance Station (blue).

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.



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 <SC7> for more information.


Disablement – A penalty applied to a Team for a rule Violation. A Team that is Disabled 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 rule 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 is Disqualified 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 rules <G13> and <SG5>.


Field Element – The foam field tiles, field perimeter, white tape, Elevation Bars, Match Load Bars, Goals, and all supporting structures or accessories (such as Alliance Station posts, field monitors, etc.).


Game Design Committee (GDC) - The creators of VRC Over Under, and authors of this Game Manual.


Holding - A Robot status. 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.

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

  • Autonomous Period – A time period during which Robots operate and react only to sensor inputs and commands pre-programmed by the Students into the Robot control system.
  • 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

Appendix B

None

1:00

Autonomous Coding Skills Match

One Team, with one Robot

Appendix B

1:00

None

VEX U

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

Appendix C

0:45

1:15

VEX AI Competition

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

Appendix D

0:15

1:45

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


Robot – A machine that has passed inspection, designed 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 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, 2004 (i.e., who will be 19 or younger at VEX Worlds 2024). 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 programming. 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.
  • 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.
  • Programmer – The Student(s) on the Team who write(s) the computer code that is downloaded onto the Robot.Adults are permitted to teach the Programmer(s) how to use concepts or tools associated with programming, but may never work on the code that goes on the Robot without the Programmer(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 in Figure 3 for more information.

Violation Flowchart

Figure 3: The process for determining whether or not an infraction should result in a Major Violation or Minor Violation.

Game-Specific Definitions

Alliance Triball – One of four Triballs, two per Alliance, that are Alliance-colored instead of green.Alliance Triballs may be used as Preloads or Match Loads.


Barrier – The black structure, made up of 2” Schedule 40 PVC pipe (with a 2.375” outer diameter) PVC pipe and associated connectors/hardware, that sits in the middle of the field. For some rules, the Barrier is divided into one Long Barrier and two Short Barriers, but it is usually referred to collectively as just “the Barrier.”

An annotated view of the Barrier

Figure 4: A view of the field, with the Short Barriers (yellow) and Long Barrier (green) highlighted.


Double-Zone – An Alliance status. An Alliance meets the definition of being “Double-Zoned” if both Robots from the Alliance are in the same Offensive Zone. To be considered “in the Zone” for the purposes of this definition, Robots must meet the following criteria:

  1. Contacting the gray tiles within the Zone
  2. Not contacting the Long Barrier
  3. Not contacting any Elevation Bars

Elevated – A Robot status. A Robot is considered Elevated at the end of the Match if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Robot is contacting at least one of the following:
    1. One or more of their Alliance’sElevation Bars
    2. Any portion of the Barrier that is on their Alliance’s side of the Neutral Zone (i.e., the three black PVC pipes that are attached directly to their Alliance’sElevation Bars).
    3. An Alliance partner Robot which meets the requirements of points 1-3 in this definition
  2. The Robot is not contacting any Field Elements other than those listed in point 1. This includes gray field tiles, the field perimeter, Goals, the opposing Alliance’sElevation Bar, etc.
    1. Contact with (or Possession of) Triballs is irrelevant when determining a Robot’sElevated status.
  3. The Robot is not contacting the yellow Elevation Bar Cap.
  4. The Robot is not contacting an Alliance partner Robot that is not considered Elevated.
An Elevated Robot.

Figure 5: This Robot would be considered as Elevated, because it meets all the criteria listed above.

An Elevated Robot.

Figure 6: This Robot would be considered as Elevated, because it meets all the criteria listed above.

Two elevated Robots.

Figure 7: Both Robots would be considered as Elevated, because they meet all the criteria listed above.

A Robot that would not be considered Elevated

Figure 8: This Robot would not be considered as Elevated, because it is in contact with the field perimeter.

Two Robots that would not be considered elevated

Figure 9: Red Robot 1 is in contact with Red Robot 2, which is still in contact with the field tiles. Therefore, neither Robot would be considered as Elevated.

A Robot that would not be considered Elevated

Figure 10: This Robot would not be considered as Elevated, because it is in contact with the Elevation Bar Cap.

Elevation Bar – The Alliance-colored PVC pipes, two red and two blue, at either end of the Barrier.


Elevation Bar Cap – The yellow plastic piece at the top of each set of Elevation Bars. The Elevation Bar Cap is a separate field element and is not considered part of the Elevation Bar.

An image that calls out the Elevation Bars and Elevation Bar Cap

Figure 11: An Elevation Bar and Elevation Bar Cap.


Elevation Tier – A status that represents an Elevated Robot’s height off of the field at the end of the Match. A Robot’s Elevation Tier is measured by placing the Height Guide vertically next to an Elevated Robot and determining which letter-labeled segment of the Height Guide the lowest point of the Robot falls within. Each white line on the Height Guide is considered to be part of the letter-labeled segment immediately below that line. In other words, the Robot must be visibly “above the line” in order to move into the next Elevation Tier. See Figure 13.

Note: There are no additional Elevation Tiers above the Height Guide.Robots which end the Match above the Height Guide will be considered to be at the maximum, Elevation Tier J.


Note 2: Robots that are not Elevated do not receive an Elevation Tier.


A Robot that is Elevated to Tier E

Figure 12: This Robot would be considered to be in Elevation Tier E.

A Robot that is Elevated to Tier C

Figure 13: This Robot would be considered to be in Elevation Tier C.

Two Robots that are both Elevated to Tier D

Figure 14: Even though the pink highlighted Robot is slightly higher than the yellow highlighted Robot, they would both still be considered in Elevation Tier D.

Two Robots. One is Elevated to Tier G, the other is Elevated to Tier J

Figure 15: The yellow highlighted Robot would be considered in Elevation Tier G. The pink highlighted Robot would be considered in Elevation Tier J, as there is no higher Tier.

Goal – The Alliance-colored, netted structure on either side of the field, one red and one blue, into which Triballs can be scored for points.

As a Field Element, the term “Goal” refers to the net and all supporting structures / hardware (e.g. PVC pipes and plastic bases).

For the purposes of scoring, the “Goal” refers specifically to the three-dimensional volume bounded by a vertical projection of the outermost PVC pipes onto the field and below the surface of the net.

This image shows the outer boundaries of the Goal

Figure 16: A Goal. The three-dimensional outer scoring boundaries are highlighted in green.


Height Guide – The black PVC pipe, roughly 0.84” in diameter and 36” long, which is labeled with white-printed lettered segments of approximately 3.6” each. The Height Guide is used by Referees to determine Elevation Tiers at the end of a Match. The Height Guide is a tool, not a Field Element.

A Robot that is Elevated to Tier E

Figure 17: An example of how the Height Guide would be used to determine a Robot’sElevation Tier.


Match Load Bar – The Alliance-colored structure, made up of 2” Schedule 40 PVC pipe (with a 2.375” outer diameter) and associated connectors/hardware, that connects diagonally across a corner of the Field.


Match Load Zone – The portion of the floor tile bordered by a Match Load Bar and an inside corner of the Field Perimeter.

This image calls out the boundaries of the Match Load Zones

Figure 18: The four (4) Match Load Zones found on a VRC Over Under Field.


Neutral Zone – One of two areas of the field bordered by white tape lines, the Barrier, and the field perimeter. The Neutral Zone is defined as the gray foam tiles themselves; it is not a 3-dimensional volume.

This image calls out the boundaries of the Neutral Zone

Figure 19: A depiction of the Neutral Zone (blue) and Autonomous Line (yellow) and their boundaries.


Offensive Zone – One of two halves of the field, divided by the Barrier. See Figure 20.

Possession – A Robot / Triball status. A Robot is considered to be in Possession of a Triball if the Robot is carrying, holding, or controlling the movement of a Triball such that if the Robot changes direction, the Triball will move with the Robot. Therefore, pushing/plowing Triballs is not considered Possession; however, using concave portions of a Robot to control the movement of Triballs is considered Possession.


Preload – An Alliance Triball, when loaded into a Robot prior to a Match. See <SG4>.


Scored – A Triball status. See the Scoring section.


Starting Tile – One of the gray foam tiles along the edge of the field perimeter to the right of each Alliance Station. See <SG1>.

This image calls out the boundaries of the Robot Starting Tiles

Figure 21: A depiction of the Robot Starting Tiles and their boundaries.


Triball – A green, red, or blue plastic scoring object with a slightly rounded triangular pyramidal shape known as a Reuleaux triangle. Each Triball is approximately 6.18” tall with a weight of 103-138g.

This image shows the 3 colors of Triballs. Red, blue and green.

Figure 22: The three (3) colors of Triballs used in a VRC Over Under Match.

Scoring

Autonomous Bonus

8 Points

Each Triball Scored in a Goal

5 Points

Each Triball Scored in an Offensive Zone

2 Points

Elevation - Top Tier

20 Points

Elevation - 2nd Tier

15 Points

Elevation - 3rd Tier

10 Points

Elevation - 4th Tier

5 Points

<SC1> All Scoring statuses are evaluated after the Match ends. Scores are calculated once all Triballs, Field Elements, and Robots on the field come to rest.

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

  1. Elevation Tier points 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 four (4) points.

<SC3> A Triball is considered Scored in a Goal if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Triball is not contacting a Robot of the same color Alliance as the Goal.
  2. At least two (2) corners of the Triball are within the Goal (i.e., are under the Net and have “broken the plane” of the outer edge of the PVC pipes that define the Goal volume).

Note: A Triball that is considered Scored in a Goal is not also considered Scored in that Goal’s Offensive Zone.

This image shows 6 scored Triballs.

Figure 23: All of these Triballs would be considered as Scored, because two or more of the “Corners” are within the boundary of the Goal.

This image shows a Scored Triball, and an unscored Triball. The Scored Triball has two corners inside the boundaries of the Goal, while the other only has one corner.

Figure 24: The green highlighted Triball would be considered as Scored, because 2 or more of the “Corners” are within the boundary of the Goal. The red highlighted Triball would not be considered as Scored, because only one “corner” is within the boundary.


<SC4> A Triball is considered Scored in an Offensive Zone if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The Triball is not contacting a Robot of the same color Alliance as the Offensive Zone.
  2. The Triball is contacting the gray foam tiles within the Offensive Zone.

Note: Offensive Zone scoring is based on contact with the gray foam tiles in each Offensive Zone. In the case of any close calls, referees may use a “paper test” (i.e. gently slide a piece of paper under the Triball) to determine which Offensive Zone it should be scored in. If the Triball is contacting both Offensive Zones, then it is not considered Scored in either Zone. See Figure 23.

This image shows a Triball that would not be considered in either Offensive Zone, because it is touching both zones.

Figure 25: This Triball would not be considered as Scored in either Offensive Zone, because it is touching both zones.



<SC5> Alliance Triballs may be Scored in any Goal or Offensive Zone, and always count toward the same color Alliance as the Triball. For example, a red Alliance Triball that meets the definition of Scored in the blue Goal will count as 5 points for the red Alliance.

  1. To be eligible for points, Alliance Triballs must not be contacting any Robots of the same color Alliance as the Triball.
  2. Rule <SC3a> does not apply to Alliance Triballs.


<SC6> Elevation points are comparative, and are awarded based on the Elevation Tiers achieved by all Robots at the end of the Match. The highest-Elevated Robot will receive the highest number of Elevation points, followed by the second-highest, and so on. If multiple Robots are measured at the same Elevation Tier, they will receive the same amount of points.


Example 1

Robot

Elevation Tier

Points

Red 1

C

2nd Tier (15)

Red 2

D

Top Tier (20)

Blue 1

A

4th Tier (5)

Blue 2

B

3rd Tier (10)

This image shows 4 Robots and their Elevation Tiers.


Example 2

Robot

Elevation Tier

Points

Red 1

None

0

Red 2

F

Top Tier (20)

Blue 1

F

Top Tier (20)

Blue 2

C

2nd Tier (15)

This image shows 4 Robots and their Elevation Tiers.



<SC7> An Autonomous Win Point is awarded to any Alliance that has completed the following tasks at the end of the Autonomous Period:

  1. Removed the Triball from the Alliance’sMatch Load Zone that coincides with their Starting Tiles. For example, in Figure 21, the red Alliance must remove the Triball that begins in the bottom-left Match Load Zone, adjacent to Robot 1’s Starting Tiles.
  2. Scored at least one Alliance Triball in the Alliance’s own Goal.
  3. Ended the Autonomous Period with at least one Robot contacting their own Elevation Bar.
  4. Not violated any other rules.

Note: Point “a” refers specifically to the actions of the Robot who started near the Match Load Zone in question. To continue the example from Figure 21: if Blue Robot 2 were to launch a Triball into the bottom-left Match Load Zone after one was removed by the red Robot, this would not impact the red Alliance’s eligibility to receive the Autonomous Win Point.

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 or Triball, 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 VRC 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 at 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 playing field), it will be Disabled 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. However, mechanisms which cross the field perimeter intentionally and/or repeatedly while interacting with the Match Load Zone may be considered a Violation of <S1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.


<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 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 be Disqualified 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 at https://vrc-kb.recf.org/hc/en-us/articles/9653987780375-Code-of-Conduct.

Violation Notes: All Violations of <G1> are considered Major Violations and should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.Teams at risk of a <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>
VRC is a student-centered program. Adults may assist Students in urgent situations, but Adults may never work on or program 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 programming 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 programming 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 on the REC Foundation website for Teams to reference throughout the season:

https://vrc-kb.recf.org/hc/en-us/articles/9654578622487-Student-Centered-Policy

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 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 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.<R6>, <R7>, <R8>, 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, Programmer(s), Designer(s), and Builder(s). No Student may fulfill any of these roles for more than one VEX 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 Programmer 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 Programmer “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 Programmer leaves a Team, then that Team’s Robot must still represent the skill level of the Team without that Programmer. One way to accomplish this would be to ensure that the Programmer teaches or trains a “replacement” Programmer in their absence.
  2. 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 Programmer for the Team.
  1. An exception is allowed if one (1) Drive Team Member and / or one (1) Programmer on the Team cannot attend the event. The Team can make a single substitution of a Drive Team Member or Programmer 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.


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. Using Field Elements, such as the field perimeter wall, to maintain starting size is only acceptable if the Robot would still satisfy the constraints of <R4> and pass inspection without the Field Elements.

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 and therefore 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, Double-Zone, etc.) 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 Elevation Bars. 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 Elevation Bars.

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



<G8> Only Drivers, 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. 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.

    <G8c> is intended to refer to non-Robot-related items that directly influence gameplay, such as using a fan to influence opponent Triballs traveling through the air. 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 <R26> 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 Triballs, 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 in <G9a>, <SG3>, and <SG6>.
  3. Transitive contact, such as contact with the field perimeter that causes the field perimeter to contact Field Elements or Triballs inside of the field, could be considered a Violation of this rule.

Note: Any concerns regarding Field Element or Triball starting positions should be raised with the Head Referee prior to the Match.Team members may never adjust the Triballs or Field Elements themselves, except for Match Load Zone Triballs as described in <SG1>.



<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

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 committed during the Autonomous Period that affect the outcome of the Autonomous Bonus—whether they are Match Affecting or not—will result in the Autonomous Bonus being automatically awarded to the opposing Alliance.


If both Alliances commit Violations during the Autonomous Period that would have affected the outcome of the Autonomous Bonus, then no Autonomous Bonus will be awarded.


Violation Notes: The intent of this rule is to provide retribution for Violations committed during the Autonomous Period that are not Match Affecting, and therefore not Major Violations, but do affect the outcome of the Autonomous Bonus.



<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 Robotics Competition and are not allowed.


  1. VRC Over Under 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. VRC Over Under 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 Triballs to play the game. Triballs may not be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms (e.g., interfering with an opponent’s Autonomous routine per <SG9>.)

The intent of this rule is to prohibit Teams from using Triballs 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 Triball 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 Triballs 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 at least one (1) of their Alliance’s Starting Tiles. See Figure 26.
  2. Not contacting any Starting Tiles in the same Offensive Zone as their Alliance partner. One Robot must be in the red Offensive Zone, and one must be in the blue Offensive Zone. See Figure 20.
  3. Not contacting any other gray foam field tiles, including the Match Load Zones.
  4. Not contacting any Triballs other than a maximum of one (1) Preload. See rule <SG4>.
  5. Not contacting any other Robots.
  6. Not contacting any Barriers or Elevation Bars.
    1. Contact with the field perimeter and/or Match Load Bars is permitted, but not required.
  7. Completely stationary (i.e., no motors or other mechanisms are in motion).

Note: The Triballs which start in each Match Load Zone must be contacting the Match Load Zone at the start of the Match. However, they may be repositioned during pre-Match setup by the Team whose Robot is using the Starting Tiles adjacent to that Match Load Zone. For example, in Figure 26, Red Robot 1 would be permitted to reposition the Triball in the lower-left red Match Load Zone.


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.


This image shows the boundaries of Robot Starting Tiles

Figure 26: The tiles in which Robots can start a Match.



<SG2> Horizontal expansion is limited. Once the Match begins, Robots may expand, but no horizontal dimension may exceed 36” (914.4 mm) at any point during the Match.

  1. This limit refers to “horizontal” expansion relative to the playing field (i.e., it does not “rotate with the Robot”). For example, Robots which tip over during a Match or change orientation while Elevating are still subject to a 36” horizontal limit.
  2. There is no height limit on Robot expansion.

    The following visual references on the field may be used by Head Referees when making in-Match judgment calls:

    • Diagonal of a single field tile (~34”)
    • Distance from the Barrier to the Neutral Zone’s single white tape line (~34.5”)
    • Width between Goal bases (~39.4”)

Violation Notes:

  • The primary intent of this rule is to limit defensive horizontal expansion. As such, Robots who choose to expand horizontally in the vicinity of opponent Goals or Match Load Bars may be subject to rule <G14>, and will not receive the “benefit of the doubt” in the case of any Head Referee judgment calls.
  • Because Elevation is an inherently offensive action, a greater “benefit of the doubt” will be applied to momentary/accidental Minor Violations of this rule during Elevation.
This image shows some visual references for Head Referees to determine whether a Robot has exceeded the maximum expansion limit

Figure 27: Visual references for a Head Referee to determine if a Robot has exceeded the maximum expansion limit.


<SG3> Keep Triballs in the field. Triballs that leave the field during Match play, whether intentionally or unintentionally, will be returned to the field by being placed in a Match Load Zone nearest the point at which they exited.

  1. Referees will return Triballs to the field when it is deemed safe to do so, at their discretion.
  2. This action is not considered a “Match Load”, i.e., the stipulations in rule <SG6> do not apply, For example, the Triball cannot be placed directly onto a Robot.
  3. Incidental contact with other Triballs that are already in the Match Load Zone may occur, although referees will make a concerted effort not to do so.
  4. The Triball may be placed on top of other Triballs that are already in the Match Load Zone if necessary, e,g., if Triballs are already covering the entire Match Load Zone foam tile region.
  5. At their discretion, referees may also direct a nearby Drive Team Member or other volunteer to return the Triball to a specific Match Load Zone. However, this should never be done by Drive Team Members proactively without referee acknowledgment.


Note:
Triballs which come to rest on top of a Goal may be retrieved by a Drive Team Member from the Alliance Station adjacent to the Goal in question. The Triball is then considered a Match Load for the Alliance who retrieved the Triball. This momentary interaction is an exception to rule <G9>.



<SG4> Each Robot gets one Alliance Triball as a Preload. Prior to the start of each Match, each Alliance Triball / 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. Fully within the field perimeter.

If a Team does not wish to use their Preloads, or if a Robot is not present for their Match, then the Preloads may be used as Match Load Triballs in accordance with <SG6>.

Violation Notes: See <SG1>.



<SG5> Stay away from nets on the Goals. Becoming Entangled with the net on either Goal is considered a violation of <S1> and/or <G7>, and will result in a Disablement. Causing an opponent to become Entangled with the net is considered a violation of <G15> and, at a minimum, will result in a Disablement for both Teams.

This rule is a specific exception to <G15>. Normally, under <G15>, a Robot which is forced into breaking a rule (such as being pushed into the net) is not penalized. However, because heavy Robot-to-Robot interaction is expected around the Goals, and Entanglement carries a high risk of playing field damage, any Robot that becomes Entangled must be Disabled regardless of fault.Robots are responsible for their own actions and mechanism designs.

Note: Lifting the net structure in an attempt to add or remove Triballs is considered a Violation of <SG5>, and may also be considered a Violation of <G7> and/or <S1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.


Violation Notes:



<SG6>Match Load Triballs may be safely introduced during the Match under certain conditions.For the purpose of this rule, “introduce” refers to the moment when a Match Load Triball is no longer in contact with a human and has crossed the plane of the field perimeter.


During this action, a Drive Team Member’s hand may temporarily break the plane of the field perimeter. This momentary interaction is an exception to rule <G9>. Excessive, unnecessary, or unsafe actions while introducing a Match Load may be considered a Violation of <S1> and/or <G1> at the Head Referee’s discretion.


Match Load Triballs may be introduced by a Drive Team Member in one of two ways:


  1. By placing the Match Load gently onto a Match Load Zone. This may be done at any time during the Driver Controlled Period, provided that no other rules are Violated.
    1. “Throwing,” “rolling,” or otherwise imparting enough energy onto a Triball such that it bounces out of the Match Load Zone is not permitted.
    2. Note that the Match Load Zone refers to the foam tile itself; it is not a three-dimensional volume. There is no rules-bound limit for how many Triballs may be in the Match Load Zone at any given time, provided that new Match Loads are placed directly onto the foam tile without violating any other rules.
  2. By placing the Match Load gently onto a Robot from the Drive Team Member’sAlliance.
    1. The Robot must be contacting the Match Load Zone or the Match Load Bar.
    2. Rules <S1> and <S3> still apply to this interaction; there should be no reason for a Robot to extend outside of the field perimeter during this action.

Note: Match Load Triballs may only be introduced once the Driver Controlled Period has begun. During the Autonomous Period, and during the time between the Autonomous and Driver Controlled Periods, Match Load Triballs may not cross the plane of the field perimeter.



<SG7> Possession is limited to one (1) Triball. Robots may not have greater-than-momentary Possession of more than one Triball at once.Robots in Violation of this rule must immediately stop all Robot actions except for attempting to remove the excess Triball(s). This rule applies to both intentional and accidental Possession.

The intent of this rule is not to punish Robots for pushing Triballs that are in their way; that is, Robots are free to incidentally drive through Triballs on the field while Possessing a Triball.

Violation Notes:

Examples of egregious Violations that may immediately escalate to Major Violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Continuing to play other portions of the game (e.g., defensive maneuvers, Elevating) without attempting to remove excess Triballs for the majority of the Match
  • “Accidentally” Possessing an egregious amount of Triballs



<SG8>
Stay out of your opponent’s Goal unless they are Double-Zoned. During the time when an Alliance meets the definition of Double-Zoning , opposing Robots are permitted to “break the plane” of the Double-Zoning Alliance’s Goal, such as to remove Triballs.

  1. This allowance ends once the Alliance is no longer Double-Zoning (i.e., when one or both of the Robots has returned to the other side of the field or contacted the Long Barrier).
  2. Entering an opponent’s Goal at any other time is prohibited. This includes staying inside of an opponent’s Goal after they end their Double-Zone status.
  3. This rule applies to both intentional and unintentional interactions.Teams are responsible for the actions of their own Robots.
  4. This rule only applies during the Driver Controlled Period. Entering an opponent’s Goal is not permitted at any time during the Autonomous Period.
  5. If an Alliance has only one Robot present, then that Alliance can never meet the definition of Double-Zoning , and therefore its Goal is never open for opponent interactions.

Violation Notes: Attempting to remove Triballs from an opponent’s Goal is an intentional and inherently defensive action. Therefore, <G14> will apply to these interactions, and the offensive Alliance will always receive the “benefit of the doubt” in the case of any close judgment calls between opposing Robots.

This image shows one Robot from each Alliance in their respective Offensive Zones

Figure 28: One Robot from each Alliance in their respective Offensive Zones; Triballs in Goals are safe.

This image shows 2 Red Robots in the Blue Offensive Zone.

Figure 29: Both Red Robots are in the Blue Offensive Zone; Red Goal is open for de-scoring by a Blue Robot.

This image shows two Red Robots in the Red Offensive Zone.

Figure 30: Both Red Robots are in the Red Offensive Zone; Red Goal is open for de-scoring by a Blue Robot.

This image shows a Red Robot contacting the Long Barrier

Figure 31: A Red Robot is contacting the Long Barrier; the Red Alliance is NOT Double-Zoning, therefore Triballs in Goals are safe.



<SG9>
Stay in your starting Zone during Autonomous. During the Autonomous Period, Robots may not contact foam tiles, Triballs, or Field Elements on the opposing Alliance’s side of the Neutral Zone, or in the opposite Offensive Zone from which they began the Match.

  1. <G17> does not apply to this rule, unless egregiously exploited for strategic gain. It is expected that Triballs which are launched as part of normal Autonomous gameplay may contact foam tiles on the opponent’s side of the field.

Violation Notes:


<SG10> Enter the Neutral Zone during Autonomous at your own risk. Any Robot who engages with the Neutral Zone during the Autonomous Period 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.

  1. If opposing Robots contact one another while both engaging with the Neutral Zone, and a possible <G13> violation results (i.e., damage, Entanglement, or tipping over), then 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. In the context of <G14>, the Zones will always determine “offensive”/“defensive” roles during the Autonomous Period. For example, in Figure 32, the Robots are in the Blue Offensive Zone. Therefore, if an interaction occurred in the Neutral Zone that required a Head Referee judgment call, then Robot B1 would receive the “benefit of the doubt.”
Two Robots legally interacting within the Neutral Zone

Figure 32: Two Robots legally interacting within the Neutral Zone.



<SG11> Elevation is protected. During the last 30 seconds of the Match, Robots may not contact the following:

  1. The opposing Alliance’s Elevation Bars
  2. Opponent Robots who are contacting their Elevation Bars
  3. Opponent Robots who meet the definition of Elevated
  4. The Short Barriers adjacent to the opposing Alliance's Elevation Bars.

The intent of this rule is to prevent potentially damaging defensive interactions with Robots who are in the process of Elevating. Indirect contact may also be considered a Minor or Major Violation of <G1>, <G13>, or <SG11> at the Head Referee’s discretion. This could include actions such as:

Section 3

The Robot

Overview

This section provides rules and requirements for the design and construction of your Robot. A VEX Robotics Competition Robot is a remotely operated and/or autonomous vehicle designed and built by a registered VEX 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 <R27>.

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 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 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 Triballs, Field Elements, or navigation of field obstacles.

Given the above definitions, a minimum Robot for use in any VEX 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 for the duration of the competition season.
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 VRC, 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 random 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: https://www.vexrobotics.com/276-5942.html.
  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.
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.

Although it is not required by <R4>, events may also choose to check that any possible Robot expansion satisfies the requirements of <SG2> during inspection. The intent of this check is to help Teams identify any potential Violation risks before their Matches.

<R5> Robots must be safe. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

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

<R6> 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.Teams are responsible for providing documentation proving a part’s legality in the event of a question. Examples of documentation include receipts, part numbers, official VEX websites, or other printed evidence.

  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 are thus legal: https://www.vexrobotics.com/vrc-flex-wheels.html.
  2. * The HEXBUG brand is a registered trademark belonging to Spin Master Corp

  3. 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


  4. 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


  5. Components that are unique to the V5 Workcell 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


  6. VEX IQ pins are permitted.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Official VEX products are ONLY available from VEX Robotics. All official products are listed on www.vexrobotics.com.
  10. Using VEX apparel, competition support materials, packaging, or other non-Robot products on a VEX Robotics Competition Robot goes against the spirit of this rule and is not permitted.

<R7> 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, Triballs, or other Robots.
  3. Anti-static compound, when used in extreme moderation (i.e., such that it does not leave residue on Field Elements, Triballs, or other Robots).
  4. Hot glue when used to secure cable connections.
  5. An unlimited amount of rope / string, no thicker than 1/4” (6.35mm).
  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 <R8> and <R9>, 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: https://link.vex.com/docs/2023-2024/vrc-over-under/LegalPneumatics.
  10. Zip ties that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX V5 product line (4” or 11” long).

See this REC Library Article for more information.


<R8> 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 Triballs from falling out of the Robot, the decal must be backed by VEX material that would also prevent the Triballs 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 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).

<R9> Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot License Plates. To participate in an official VEX Robotics Competition event, a Team must first register on robotevents.com and receive a VRC Team number. This Team number must be displayed on a minimum of two (2) sides of the Robot using License Plates.Teams may choose to use the official VRC License Plate Kit, or may create their own.

  1. Robots must use plates that match their Alliance color for each Match (i.e., red AllianceRobots 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.
  2. License Plates are considered non-functional decorations (per <R8>), 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.)
  3. Team numbers must be in white font, and clearly legible.
  4. License Plates must be at least 2.48 inches (63.2mm) tall and 4.48 inches (114mm) wide, i.e., at least the height/width dimensions of the plates in the VRC License Plate Kit.
  5. 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 <R8a>.

    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 <R8>.

    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 <R8>.

    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.”
A legal VRC License Plate

Figure 33: An example of a License Plate made from the VRC License Plate Kit

A legal custom VRC License Plate

Figure 34: An example of a legal custom License Plate


<R10> Let go of Triballs after the Match. Robots must be designed to permit easy removal of Triballs from any mechanism without requiring the Robot to have power after a Match.


<R11> Robots have one microcontroller. 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 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.


<R12> 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.
  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.

Examples of legal motor combinations:

Example

A

B

C

D

E

Qty of 11W Motors:

8

7

6

5

0

Qty of 5.5W Motors:

0

2

4

6

16


<R13> 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 <R8e>.
  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 <R15>.
    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.

<R14> No modifications to electronic or pneumatic components are allowed.Motors (including the internal PTC or 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 the latest official VEXos firmware updates, found at https://link.vex.com/firmware. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted.
  3. Teams may make the following modifications to the V5 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 <R20>.
    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, <R15> applies.

<R15> 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 <R7e>) 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.
  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.

<R16> Robots use VEXnet. Robots must ONLY utilize the VEXnet system for all wireless Robot communication.

  1. Electronics from the Cortex, VEX EXP, VEXpro, VEX RCR, VEXplorer, VEX IQ, VEX GO, or VEX Robotics by HEXBUG product line are prohibited unless otherwise noted in <R6c>.
  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 or outside of Matches. However, VEXnet must be used for wireless communication during 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.

<R17> 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.

<R18> 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 in2, but cannot be nested onto a single 12” x 24” sheet, would not be legal. See Figure 35.
  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. The PET Sheet Variety Pack (276-8340), sold by VEX, is considered “plastic” in the context of this rule, and is subject to the same limitations as “off-the-shelf” plastic sheets.
  7. This rule does not apply to 3D printed plastic parts. 3D printed parts are not permitted in the VEX Robotics Competition, except as non-functional decorations (per <R8>) or as custom License Plates (per <R9>).

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”x24” sheet of paper for reference at tournament inspection.

A diagram showing that custom platic parts must fit within the allowed size sheet

Figure 35: Custom plastic parts must fit within a single 12” x 24” sheet of plastic.


<R19> 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 <R8>.

<R20> 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” (63.5mm) 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” (63.5mm) long which fits these screws.
  4. 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.


<R21> 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.


<R22> 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. This rule will be updated shortly with a link to an updated Legal Pneumatics summary in the VEX Library, which includes additional pneumatics information.

The intent of <R22a> and <R22b> 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.

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 <R22c> 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 <R22c> 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.

<R23> 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 are 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.

<R24> 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.

<R25> 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.


<R26> 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 (i.e., 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.


<R27> 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


Overview


VEX 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 Appendices B & C.


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 eight (8) Autonomous Points. In the event of a tie, both Alliances will receive four (4) Autonomous Points.


Autonomous Win Point – One (1) Win Point (WP) given to an Alliance that completes the tasks described in <SC7>, by the end of the Autonomous Period. Both Alliances can earn this WP if both Alliances accomplish this task.


Bye – An Elimination Match 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 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.

An example of a Match Schedule

Figure 36: 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 SP’s 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 SP’s 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 WP’s.


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>, and <G2> 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 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 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. 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 VRC Head Referee for the current season.

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 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 VRC Over Under; it is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of guidelines for running a VEX 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 “don’t 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) WP’s, AWP’s, AP’s, and SP’s.


<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 (i.e., 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. Game Elements 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. A V5 Robot Brain lockup that is outside of the Team’s control and results in a complete shutdown of the Robot. To qualify for a Match replay, all of the following criteria must be met:
    1. The Brain becoming unresponsive to any inputs from Controllers or sensors.
    2. The Brain becoming unresponsive to the “power” button on the Brain (i.e., the only way to reboot the Brain is to remove the battery).
    3. All connected devices not showing a solid red light at their Smart Port connections (i.e., blinking or off).
  3. 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.

<T8> Disqualifications. When a Team receives a Disqualification in a Qualification Match, hey receive a score of zero (0) for the, 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’sMatch, or after they have been eliminated.



<T10>Be prepared for minor field variance. Field Element tolerances and Triballs may vary from specified locations / dimensions; Teams are encouraged to design their Robots 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. The opening of the Goal between the PVC pipe and the foam field tiles has a dimensional tolerance of +0.25” / -0.00”.
  3. Triball weights may vary from nominal by up to ±20 grams.
  4. Triball placement at the beginning of Matches may vary from nominal by up to ±1” (25.4mm).
  5. The rotation of Triballs is not specified.
  6. The only placement requirement for the Triballs that begin in each Match Load Zone are that they are contacting the Match Load Zone (i.e., the gray foam tile). See <SG1>.


<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 Appendices. 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
  • Taping over a hole in a damaged Net
  • 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 section of the Goal

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

  • Unofficial field perimeter walls, additional structural elements inside of the field perimeter, or unofficial/replica Field Elements
  • Additional VEX structural parts attached to a Field Element
  • An unofficial replacement net
  • Replacing the opaque field walls on the VEX Portable Competition Field Perimeter with transparent panels
  • Using PVC pipe of a different size or thickness to replace a damaged section of the Goal

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 EEM/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. 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; WP’s, AP’s, and SP’s 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 has 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:



<T19> Elimination Matches follow the Elimination Bracket. A sixteen (16) Alliance bracket plays as shown in Figure 37:

If an event is run with fewer than sixteen (16) Alliances, then they will use the bracket shown in Figure 37, 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.

An eight (8) Alliance bracket would run as shown in Figure 38:

A 16-Alliance bracket
Figure 37: A 16-Alliance bracket

An 8-Alliance bracket
Figure 38: An 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 39 for more information.

The flowchart used to determine whether a tournament should have Best of 1 or Best of 3 Elimination Matches
Figure 39: 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 <RSC6> for more details.



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

  1. A VEXnet Field Controller, which connects to a Controller’s competition port via Cat-5 cable.
  2. A V5 Event Brain, 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 <RSC6>. 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: Event Partners may only use the official, unmodified version of Tournament Manager along with approved hardware and networking solutions found in the REC Library. Using non-standard software and hardware will not be supported by the REC Foundation or VEX Robotics and is done at your own risk. For questions, please contact your REC Foundation Manager.



<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 <RSC6>. 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 <RSC6> for more details specific to Skills Challenge fields.

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 Robotics Competition Over Under 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 Robotics Competition - Over Under competition field, as well as detailed models of individual Field Elements.

For additional game-play detail, please refer to the VEX Robotics Competition Over Under Game Manual.

Field Overview


The game VEX Robotics Competition Over Under is played on a 12ft x 12ft foam mat, surrounded by a perimeter, and divided in half by a barrier spanning the length of the field.

The VRC Over Under field consists of sixty (60) Triballs. Each Alliance has one (1) Goal, two (2) Match Load Zones and one (1) set of Alliance Elevation Bars. Each half of the field includes an Offensive Zone, which is partially defined by the Barrier and Goals. A Goal is located alongside the wall closest to each Alliance Station.

For more details and specific gameplay rules, please refer to the VEX Robotics Competition Over Under Game Manual.

A top view of the VRC Over Under field

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

VRC Field Perimeter Frame & Hardware

276-8242

VRC Portable Competition Field Perimeter

276-6905

VRC Anti-Static Field Tiles (18-Pack)

275-1401

VRC VEXnet Field Controller


Official VEX Robotics Competition Over Under Specific Elements

Part Number

Description

Quantity per Full Field

276-8354

VRC Over Under Full Field & Game Element Kit

276-8355

VRC Over Under Game Element Kit

2

276-8356

VRC Over Under Field Element Kit 1

1

276-8357

VRC Over Under Field Element Kit 2

1

276-8905

VRC Over Under Field Element Kit 3

1

Practice Elements

Part Number

Description

276-8355

VRC Over Under Game Element Kit

276-8358

VRC Over Under 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 Robotics Competition Over Under. 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 game pieces.


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 or tape over a hole in a damaged Net. Be sure to check the Official Q&A for specific examples or to get an official clarification.

A side view of the VRC Over Under field

Helpful Tips to Ensure Proper Goal Performance

Making sure the Goals for Over Under are appropriately built, assembled, and performing properly is crucial to gameplay. Here are some tips to make sure that Goals are built properly and interact with Triballs as intended.

  1. Make sure the field walls are sitting flush to the ground/field riser and the field tiles. There should be no gaps between the field walls and the floor, and/or the field tiles and the field walls. Please refer to the figures later in this appendix for the cross-section of how the field walls and field tiles are supposed to fit together.
  2. Make sure that the short vertical pipes are fully inserted into the bases that assemble to the field tiles. This can be measured by making sure the length of the pipe coming out of the base matches the dimensions provided in this appendix. Event Partners should periodically check this joint to ensure the Goal is not rising up out of the base over the course of an event.
  3. After assembly, manipulate a Triball by hand to ensure there is a slight interference between the Goal and the Triball around the entire perimeter of the Goal. If any Triballs slide in without interference anywhere along the perimeter of the Goal, the Goal is not built properly and must be reviewed and repaired.
  4. Measure the pipes to ensure they are within the specified tolerance band along the entire perimeter. The measurement should be taken from the bottom of the pipe to the field tiles. Please reference the figures later in this appendix and <T10> to ensure your measurements match the acceptable tolerances for height of the Goal.

Accessibility Note - Marking Alliance Triballs

A 1-2” black circle may be added to the corners of Alliance Triballs (e.g., with permanent marker) to help competitors with red-green color blindness differentiate between Triball types. Please remember to contact your Event Partner or REC Foundation Event Engagement Manager with any accommodation requests prior to your event.

A Triball with circles added to the corners.


Triball starting positions
An overhead view of Triball starting positions
An overhead view of Triball starting positions for Skills Matches
Specifications and dimensions for field walls
Specifications and dimensions for field tiles
Specifications and dimensions for Triballs
Specifications and dimensions for Goals
Specifications and dimensions for Goals
Specifications and dimensions for the Barrier
Specifications and dimensions for Elevation Bars
Specifications and dimensions for Match Load Zones
Specifications and dimensions for the Height Guide
Field reference specs
Field reference specs
Field reference specs

Appendix B - Robot Skills

Overview

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


Robot Skills Challenge Description

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 is set up almost exactly the same as a Head-to-Head VEX Robotics Competition Over Under Match, with the following modifications:

An overhead view of the Skills Match layout

Robot Skills Challenge at a Standard Qualifying Tournament

  • The Robot Skills Challenge is an optional event for all Teams.Teams who do not compete will not be penalized in the main tournament. However, participation in the Robot Skills Challenge may impact eligibility for judged awards at the event.
  • Teams may play Robot Skills Matches on a “first come, first served” basis, or by a pre-scheduled method determined by the Event Partner.
  • Teams will be given the opportunity to play exactly three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Matches and three (3) Driving Skills Matches.Teams should be aware of when the Robot Skills fields are open so that they do not miss their opportunity. For example, if a Team waits until five minutes before the Robot Skills fields close, then they have not used the opportunity given to them and will not be able to compete in all six matches.
  • Further details regarding Skills-Only Event logistics can be found in the REC Foundation Qualification Criteria document.

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.

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 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> Robots may start the Robot Skills Match on any legal Starting Tiles for either Alliance.

  1. All Drive Team Members must be 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 the two (2) red Alliance Preloads as follows:
    1. One Preload must be placed per <SG4>.
    2. The second red Alliance Triball may be placed in any non-scored position in the Blue Offensive Zone and not touching the Robot, or may be used as a Match Load per <SG6> and <RSC3>.
  4. The two (2) blue Alliance Triballs are not used in Robot Skills Matches.
  5. The Note in applies to all Match Load Zone Triballs, regardless of which Starting Tiles are used


<RSC3> Teams may utilize the forty-four (44) Match Load Triballs within the guidelines set forth by <SG5>.

  1. Match Load Triballs begin the match in the red Alliance Station.
  2. Match Load Triballs must be introduced from the red Alliance Station per <SG6>.
  3. Match Load Triballs may be introduced during Autonomous Coding Skills Matches (i.e. the “Note” in rule <SG6> does not apply). Using sensors to detect legally-entered Match Load Triballs is not considered a violation of rule <G11>.


<RSC4> In Robot Skills Matches, Teams play as if they are on the red Alliance.

  1. Robots may freely move about the field after the start of the Match.
  2. Robots may utilize either Elevation Bar.
  3. Non-alliance specific Triballs may be scored in the red Offensive Zone and the red Goal per <SC3> and <SC4>.
  4. Red Alliance Triballs may be scored in the red Offensive Zone, the red Goal, or the blue Goal per <SC5>. Red Alliance Triballs cannot be Scored in the blue Offensive Zone.

<RSC5> Elevation points are awarded based on the Elevation Tier achieved by the Robot at the end of the Match. A Robot’s Elevation Tier is measured by placing the Height Guide vertically next to an Elevated Robot and determining which letter-labeled segment of the Height Guide the lowest point of the Robot falls within. For Robot Skills Matches, tiers are assigned based on the following:

  • Top Tier: H or higher (20 Points)
  • 2nd Tier: E-G (15 Points)
  • 3rd Tier: B-D (10 Points)
  • 4th Tier: A (5 Points)

<RSC6> 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.

<RSC7> Triballs which come to rest on top of the red Goal may not be retrieved by a Drive Team Member or Referee during the Match.Triballs which come to rest on top of the blue Goal may be retrieved by a Drive Team Member per <SG3>.

Robot Skills Challenge Scoring

Points are awarded according to the same scoring rules as Head-to-Head Matches, unless otherwise noted above. A Team’s score at the end of a Robot Skills Match is calculated by combining the scores that would have been awarded to the red Alliance.

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.

  • If the event is utilizing a V5 Robot Brain or the TM Mobile app for Robot Skills Challenge field control, a Drive Team Member may elect to start and stop their own Robot Skills Matches.
  • At events which do not have a V5 Robot Brain or the TM Mobile App available for Robot Skills Challenge field control, Drive Team Members and field staff must agree prior to the Match on the signal that will be used to end the Match early.
    • As noted in the definition of Skills Stop Time, the moment when the Match ends early is defined as the moment when the Robot is “disabled” by the field control system.
    • The agreed-upon signal must be both verbal and visual, such as Drive Team Members crossing their arms in an “X” or placing their V5 Controller(s) on the ground.
    • The signal must be given by a Drive Team Member who is standing in the Alliance Station.
    • It is recommended that Drive Team Members also provide verbal notice that they are approaching their Skills Stop Time, such as by counting out “3-2-1-stop.”
  • It is at the Event Partner’s discretion which method will be used to record Skills Stop Times at a given event. The chosen method must be communicated prior to the event (such as during a Drivers’ meeting), and made equally available to all Teams.
    • If an event intends to use a manual timekeeping method, a Team may not bring their own V5 Robot Brain just for use during their own Robot Skills Match.
    • If an event intends to utilize a V5 Robot Brain, all Teams must use the same V5 Robot Brain for all Robot Skills Matches on a given field.
    • If an event is using multiple fields for Robot Skills Matches, the same method must be used at all fields, as described in rule <RSC6>. Multiple V5 Robot Brains may be used as needed (e.g., a “Field 1 Brain” and a “Field 2 Brain”).
    • The default “Drive” program accessed from a V5 Controller is intended for practice only, and may not be used for an official 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 Triballs Scored in Goals.
    2. Number of Triballs Scored in the Red Offensive Zone.
    3. Elevation Tier points score

• 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.

Appendix C - VEX U


Introduction

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 Robotics Competition Over Under field with no modifications. Anyone that has a VEX Robotics Competition Over Under field can use it for a VEX U event or Team. Please consult the VEX Robotics Competition Over Under 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 VEX U playing field is set up almost exactly the same as a Head-to-Head VEX Robotics Competition Over Under Match, with the following modifications as shown in Figure 40.

An overhead view of the VEX U Field setup

Figure 40: The VEX U Field Setup

Rule Modifications: Game


<VUG1>Different Starting Tiles. All criteria of rule <SG1> apply as written. However, the locations of each Team’sStarting Tiles are modified as shown in Figure 41.

VEX U Starting Positions

Figure 41: VEX U Starting Positions


<VUG2>Different Preloads. All criteria of rule <SG4> apply as written. However, the Triballs that are used as Preloads are standard (green) Triballs. Alliance Triballs begin in the Match Load Zones, as shown in Figure 40.


<VUG3>Different Autonomous zones. During the Autonomous Period, Robots may not contact foam tiles, Triballs, or Field Elements on the opposing Team’s side of the Neutral Zones. However, Robots are free to move between Offensive Zones at any time. All other portions of rule <SG9> apply as written.


<VUG4>Different Match Load introductions. Point “1” in rule <SG6> is the only permitted method of Match Load introduction. Match Loads must be placed directly onto the Match Load Zone, and released from the Drive Team Member’s hand, before being contacted by that Team’sRobot.


<VUG5>Different Match Load availability. Up to ten (10) Match Loads may be introduced during the Autonomous Period. Any Match Loads that are not introduced during the Autonomous Period may be used during the Driver Controlled Period.


Note: Match Loads may not be introduced during the time between the Autonomous Period and Driver Controlled Period. If both Teams agree to end the Autonomous Period early, as described in <VUT4>, this also signals a pause on Match Load introductions until the Driver Controlled Period begins.


<VUG6>Different Autonomous Win Point. This rule supersedes rule <SC7>. An Autonomous Win Point is awarded to any Team that has completed the following tasks at the end of the Autonomous Period:

Rule Modifications: Tournament

<VUT1> Instead of a 2-TeamAlliance 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 VRC tournament, but in the revised 1v1 format described in <VUT1>.


<VUT3>Elimination Matches will be conducted in the same manner as in a VRC 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 45 seconds (0:45).

  1. Human interaction with Robots during the Autonomous Period is strictly prohibited.
    1. Using sensors to detect legally-entered Match Load Triballs is not considered a Violation of this rule.
  2. If both Teams complete their routines before 45 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 Driver’s meeting.

<VUT5> The Driver Controlled Period is shortened to 75 seconds (1:15) 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 VRC Appendix B: Robot Skills Challenge, with no modifications other than those noted below. Teams are permitted to use both Robots in their VEX U Robot Skills Challenge Matches, per <VUT1> , <VUT6>, and <VUR1>.

VEX U Skills Layout

Figure 42: VEX U Starting Skills Layout

<VURS1> One Robot must start the Robot Skills Match in each set of Starting Tiles, as shown in Figure 42. If only one Robot is being used, it may start in either set of Starting Tiles. All other portions of rule <SG1> apply.


<VURS2> The field is set up the same as a standard Robot Skills Match. However, the forty-four (44) Match Load Triballs are split into two sets of twenty-two (22) as shown in Figure 42, that may only be introduced via their corresponding Match Load Zone. Other than the exceptions noted in rule <SG3>, no Match Load Zone should receive more than twenty-two (22) Match Loads.

Note: Rule <VUG4> still applies to Robot Skills Matches. Rule <RSC3c> also applies to Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.


<VURS3> The Elevation Tier scoring listed in rule <RSC5> is used for both Robots. For example, if both Robots reach Elevation Tier B, then the Team will receive 20 total points.

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.
    2. Fabricated Parts made by the Team.
    3. Commercially-available springs and fasteners.
    4. A legal electronics system.
    5. Any legal Additional Electronics.
  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.

<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 <R15> 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).

<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 / Wire / Filament

Cylinder

  • ¼” steel rod
  • 3D printer filament

6

Hollow Rod / Tube

Hollow Cylinder

  • Copper tubing
  • PVC pipe


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 cast, molded, or sintered

  • Injection molded synthetic polymers (e.g., plastic, resin, or rubber)
  • Resin / powdered-bed 3D printing

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 <R5>.

<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>, <R27>, 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
  • Bushings, radial bearings, linear slides
  • Spacers, washers, standoffs
  1. To be considered a legal “fastener” in the context of this rule, the primary function of the part must be to join or fasten together two otherwise legal parts. For example, a prefabricated non-VEX wheel (which would be illegal under <VUR7>) would not be considered a “fastener,” even though it may also technically serve the purpose of bridging the connection between tread and a shaft.
  2. Adhesives such as epoxy, glue, or tape are considered “fasteners” for the purposes of this rule, provided that their primary function is to fasten together two otherwise legal parts. For example, using grip tape to improve wheel traction would not be legal.

<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 <R13> 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 <R14> 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 solenoids.
  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.

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.