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VIQRC Rapid Relay Game Manual

Changelog

Version 1.0 - June 25, 2024

  • Rewrote the blue box in <SC4> to clarify intent
  • Added a new bullet to <SG1> to state that Robots may not begin a Match in the same Starting Zone as an Alliance partner Robot
  • Updated Figure SG-4 to clarify intent
  • Updated <SG5d> to clarify that Rapid Load Balls may not contact the Goal Wall or the Floor outside of the Starting Zone before being retrieved by a Robot (i.e., bounced into Targets)
  • Updated <R5d> to exclude non-functional decorations
  • Minor typo / formatting fixes
  • Version 0.2 - June 4, 2024

    • Added Loader as a new definition
    • Updated <G5> to correct Robot size
    • Updated <SG2> to clarify Robot expansion
    • Updated the caption of Figure SG-4 to clarify intent
    • Added two bullets to <R5> to clarify that using grease, oil, graphite, lubricants and tape is not legal
    • Minor typo / formatting fixes

    Version 0.1 - May 3, 2024

    • Initial Release

    Quick Reference Guide


    Scoring Rules

    <SC1>

    All Scoring statuses are evaluated after the Match ends

    <SC2>

    All Scoring statuses are evaluated visually by a Head Referee

    <SC3>

    Scored Goal criteria

    <SC4>

    Cleared Switch criteria

    <SC5>

    Pass criteria

    <SC6>

    At the end of a Match, an Alliance cannot receive points for more Passes than Goals

    <SC7>

    Rapid Relay is designed to be scored in “real-time”

    Safety Rules

    <S1>

    Stay safe, don’t damage the Field

    <S2>

    Students must be accompanied by an Adult

    General Game Rules

    <G1>

    Treat everyone with respect

    <G2>

    VIQRC is a Student-centered program

    <G3>

    Use common sense

    <G4>

    The Robot must represent the skill level of the Team

    <G5>

    Robots begin the Match in the starting size

    <G6>

    Keep your Robot together

    <G7>

    Don’t damage the Field

    <G8>

    Drivers drive your Robot, and stay in the Driver Station

    <G9>

    Hands out of the Field

    <G10>

    Handling the Robot mid-Match is allowed under certain circumstances

    <G11>

    A Team’s two Drivers switch controllers midway through the Match

    Specific Game Rules

    <SG1>

    Pre-Match setup

    <SG2>

    Robot expansion is limited

    <SG3>

    Keep Balls in the Field

    <SG4>

    Using the Loading Station

    <SG5>

    Loading during the Rapid Load Period

    <SG6>

    Retrieving Balls from the Pickup Zone

    Robot Rules

    <R1>

    One Robot per Team

    <R2>

    Robots must represent the Team’s skill level

    <R3>

    Robots must pass inspection

    <R4>

    Starting configuration

    <R5>

    Prohibited items

    <R6>

    VEX IQ product line

    <R7>

    Non-VEX IQ components

    <R8>

    Decorations are allowed

    <R9>

    Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot License Plates

    <R10>

    Let it go after the Match is over

    <R11>

    Robot Brain

    <R12>

    Motors

    <R13>

    Batteries

    <R14>

    Firmware

    <R15>

    Modification of Parts

    <R16>

    Pneumatics

    <R17>

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

    Tournament Rules

    <T1>

    The Head Referee has final authority on all gameplay ruling decisions

    <T2>

    Head Referees must be qualified

    <T3>

    The Drive Team Members are permitted to immediately appeal the Head Referee’s ruling

    <T4>

    The Event Partner has final authority regarding all non-gameplay decisions

    <T5>

    Be at your Match on time

    <T6>

    Robots at the field must be ready to play

    <T7>

    Match replays are allowed, but rare

    <T8>

    Disqualifications

    <T9>

    Timeouts

    <T10>

    Be prepared for minor field variance

    <T11>

    Fields and Field Elements may be repaired at the Event Partner’s discretion

    <T12>

    Teamwork Matches

    <T13>

    Ending a Match early

    <T14>

    Practice Matches may be played at some events, but are not required

    <T15>

    Qualification Matches will occur according to the official Match Schedule

    <T16>

    Each Team will be scheduled Qualification Matches as follows

    <T17>

    Teams are ranked by their average Qualification Match scores

    <T18>

    Teams playing in Finals Matches

    <T19>

    Finals Match Schedule

    Robot Skills Challenge Rules

    <RSC1>

    Standard rules apply in most cases

    <RSC2>

    Scoring Robot Skills Matches

    <RSC3>

    Robot Skills Field setup

    <RSC4>

    Loading differences

    <RSC5>

    Skills ranking at events

    <RSC6>

    Skills rankings globally

    <RSC7>

    Skills Match Schedule

    <RSC8>

    Handling Robots during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match

    <RSC9>

    Starting an Autonomous Coding Skills Match

    <RSC10>

    Skills Stop Time

    <RSC11>

    Robot Skills at League Events


    Section 1 - Introduction


    Overview

    This section provides an introduction to the VEX IQ Robotics Competition (VIQRC) and VIQRC Rapid Relay.

    VEX IQ Robotics Competition Rapid Relay: A Primer

    VEX IQ Robotics Competition Rapid Relay is played on a 6’x8’ rectangular Field, set up as illustrated in the figures throughout this game manual.

    The primary objectives of the game are to Pass the Balls between Robots, score Balls through Targets, and Clear Switches. Balls are introduced to the field through the Loading Station or, during the last 15 seconds of a Match, a Rapid Load Zone. Points are awarded based on how many Goals are Scored, how many Switches have been Cleared, and how many times the Alliance successfully Passed the Ball before scoring it.

    In the Teamwork Challenge, an Alliance composed of two (2) Robots works together to score as many points as possible in a sixty (60) second Match.

    Teams may also compete in Robot Skills Matches, where one (1) Robot tries to score as many points as possible with a slightly different set of rules. See Appendix B for more information.

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

    Figure O-1: Starting configuration of the Field for a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Rapid Relay Match.


    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, VIQRC Rapid Relay. It is intended to be a resource for all Teams, Head Referees, Event Partners, and other members of the VIQRC 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.

    Figure O-2: Starting configuration of the Field for a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Rapid Relay Match.


    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 VIQRC events until the release of the next version, upon which the previous version becomes void.

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

    Known major release dates are as follows:

    May 3, 2024

    Version 0.1

    Initial game release

    May 14, 2024

    N/A

    Official Q&A system opens

    June 4, 2024

    Version 0.2

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

    June 25, 2024

    Version 1.0

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

    August 6, 2024

    Version 1.1

    Clarification / minor update

    Sept 3, 2024

    Version 2.0

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

    Oct 8, 2024

    Version 2.1

    Clarification / minor update

    Dec 3, 2024

    Version 2.2

    Clarification / minor update

    January 28, 2025

    Version 3.0

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

    April 2, 2025

    Version 4.0

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

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

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

    Note: REC Foundation Regional Support Managers will contact Event Partners involved with multi-week league events that “cross over” an 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. Exceptions may also be available for non-US championship events that occur within one (1) week of an update. These are the only possible “grace period” exceptions.


    The Q&A System

    When first reviewing a new robotics game, it is natural to have questions about situations which may not be immediately clear. Navigating the Game Manual and seeking out answers to these questions is an important part of learning a new game. In many cases, the answer may just be in a different place than you first thought—or, if there is no rule explicitly prohibiting a gameplay strategy, 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 an Adult via the RobotEvents account that is associated with that Team.

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

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

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

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

    If there are any conflicts between this Game Manual and other supplemental materials (e.g., Referee Certification courses, the VIQRC Hub app, the HTML version of the Game Manual, 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 IQ Robotics Competition Rapid Relay field consists of the following:

    Figure FO-1: Starting configuration of the Field for a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Rapid Relay Match.


    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 Teamwork Challenge.



    Alliance Score – Points scored in a Teamwork Challenge Match that are awarded to both Teams.



    Disablement – A penalty applied to a Team for a safety Violation. During disablement, a Team is no longer allowed to operate their Robot, and the Drivers will be asked to place their Controller on the ground. A Disablement is not the same as a Disqualification.



    Disqualification – A penalty applied to a Team for a rule violation (see <T8> for more details). If a Team receives a Disqualification in a Match, the Head Referee will notify the Team of their Violation at the end of the Match. At the Head Referee’s discretion, repeated Violations and/or Disqualifications for a single Team may lead to its Disqualification for the entire event.



    Driver – A Student Team member who stands in the Driver Station and is responsible for operating and controlling that Team’s Robot. Up to two Team members may fulfill this role in a given Match (see <G8>).



    Driver Station – The region behind the Field where the Drivers must remain during their Match unless legally interacting with their Robot. The Driver Station is represented by the orange line in Figures O-1 and O-2.



    Drive Team Members - The two Drivers and one Loader who participate in a given Match as representatives of their Team.



    Field – The entire playing Field, being six (6) field tiles wide by eight (8) field tiles long (totaling forty-eight (48) field tiles), including the Field Perimeter.



    Field Element – The Field Perimeter, Floor, PVC pipes, and VEX IQ elements which comprise and/or are attached to the Field.



    Field Perimeter – The outer part of the Field, made up of four (4) outside corners and twenty-four (24) straight sections.



    Floor – The interior flat part of the playing Field, made up of the forty-eight (48) field tiles that are within the Field Perimeter.



    Game Design Committee (GDC) - The creators of VIQRC Rapid Relay, and authors of this Game Manual. The GDC is the only official source for rules clarifications and Q&A responses; see Section 1.



    License Plate – A physical component on the Robot that displays the Team’s VEX IQ Robotics Competition number. The License Plate must have a length and height of 3.5” x 1.5” (88.9mm x 38.1mm) and must not exceed a width of 0.25” (6.35mm) per <R9>.



    Loader - The Student(s) on the Team who Load Balls into the Field during a Match. An Adult cannot be a Loader on a Team. Loaders cannot also be a Driver in the same Teamwork Challenge Match. (See <G11> and <RSC4>)



    Match – A set time period, consisting of Autonomous Periods and/or Driver Controlled Periods, during which Teams play a defined version of Rapid Relay to earn points. See Section 3.

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

    Match Type

    Participants

    Autonomous Period (m:ss)

    Driver Controlled Period (m:ss)

    Teamwork Challenge

    One Alliance, on one Field, made up of two Teams, each with one Robot

    None

    1:00

    Driving Skills Match

    One Team, with one Robot

    None

    1:00

    Autonomous Coding Skills Match

    One Team, with one Robot

    1:00

    None



    Robot – A machine that has passed inspection, designed to execute one or more tasks autonomously and/or by remote control from a human operator.



    Student – Anyone born after May 1, 2009 (i.e., who will be 15 or younger at VEX Worlds 2025). Eligibility may also be granted based on a disability that has delayed education by at least one year. Students are the individuals who design, build, repair, and program the Robot with minimal Adult assistance.



    Team – Two or more Students make up a Team.

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

    • Builder – The Student(s) on the Team who assemble(s) the Robot. An Adult cannot be a Builder on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Builder(s) associated concepts, but may never work on the Robot without the Builder(s) present and actively participating.
    • Coder – The Student(s) on the Team who write(s) the computer code that is downloaded onto the Robot. An Adult cannot be a Coder on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Coder(s) associated concepts, but may never work on the code that goes on the Robot without the Coder(s) present and actively participating.
    • Designer – The Student(s) on the Team who design(s) the Robot to be built for competition. An Adult cannot be a Designer on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Designer(s) associated concepts, but may never work on the design of the Robot without the Designer(s) present and actively participating.


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

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

    To determine whether a Violation may have been Score Affecting, check whether the Violation directly contributed to increasing the score of the Match. If it did not increase the Alliance’s score, then the Violation was not Score Affecting, and it was very likely a Minor Violation.

    See the following flowchart for more information.

    Figure V-1: The process for determining Violations.


    Game-Specific Definitions



    Ball – A yellow padded, roughly spherical object, with a diameter of approximately 5.9” (150mm) and a weight of approximately 4.2 ounces (120g).

    Figure B-1: A Ball.



    Cleared – A Switch status. See <SC4>.

    Figure C-1: A Cleared Switch.



    Goal – The act of having Scored a Ball through a Target. See <SC3>.



    Goal Wall – A gray and yellow structure, built out of VEX IQ parts, that is attached to the Field Perimeter and the Pickup Zone pipe. The Goal Wall contains four Targets and four Switches.

    Figure GW-1: The Goal Wall.



    Load – The act of legally introducing a Ball into the Field. See <SG4>.



    Loading Station – The gray structure, built out of VEX IQ parts, that is attached to the Field Perimeter opposite the Goal Wall. The Loading Station is intended to receive Balls from a human Loader and randomly send them left or right into the Load Zone.

    Figure LS-1: The Loading Station.



    Load Zone – An area of the Field containing the Loading Station, bound by the Field Perimeter and the inside of the second solid black line from the edge of the Field (marked by two yellow VEX IQ beams).The Load Zone is an infinitely tall 3-dimensional volume; “reaching over” the black line without contacting the Floor would still constitute being partially in the Load Zone.

    Figure LZ-1: The Load Zone.



    Pass – A Ball/Robot status used for scoring. See <SC5>.



    Pickup Zone – An area of the Floor underneath the Goal Wall, bound by the Field Perimeter and the yellow PVC pipe that runs the length of the Field. The Pickup Zone refers to the Floor itself; it is not a 3-dimensional volume. See <SG6>.

    Figure PZ-1: The Pickup Zone.



    Preload – A Ball that is loaded into a Robot prior to a Match. See <SG1>.



    Rapid Load - A form of Loading which takes place during the Rapid Load Period.



    Rapid Load Period - A period of the Match in which Balls may Loaded directly into Starting Zones, instead of the Loading Station. See rules <SG5> and <RSC4>.



    Scored - A Ball/Goal status. See <SC3>.



    Starting Zone – One of two areas of the Field where Robots may begin the Match. Starting Zones are infinitely tall 3-dimensional volumes, bound by the inside of the Field Perimeter walls and the inside edges of the black lines marked by yellow VEX IQ beams. See Figure SZ-1.

    Figure SZ-1: A depiction of the Starting Zones.



    Switch – One of four blue VEX IQ disks, and their supporting structures, found inside of Targets. Switches can be Cleared by Balls. See <SC4>.

    Target – One of four square holes in the angled face of the Goal Wall through which Balls can be scored. Targets are approximately 6” square and bordered by yellow VEX IQ beams.

    Figure S-1: A depiction of the Goal Wall. Switches are highlighted in Purple, while Targets are highlighted in Red.


    Scoring

    Each Goal Scored

    1 Point

    Each Cleared Switch

    1 Point

    Each Pass - 0 Cleared Switches

    1 Point*

    Each Pass - 1 Cleared Switch

    4 Points

    Each Pass - 2 Cleared Switches

    8 Points

    Each Pass - 3 Cleared Switches

    10 Points

    Each Pass - 4 Cleared Switches

    12 Points

    * Maximum of four per Match. See clause C of <SC6>.

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

    This rule’s intent is for Driver inputs and Robot motion to cease at the end of the Match, when the Match timer reaches 0:00. A pre-programmed routine which causes Robot motion to continue after the end of the Match would violate the spirit of this rule. Any Scoring which takes place after the Match due to Robots continuing to move will not count toward the score and is a Violation of this rule.

    It is expected that many Rapid Relay Matches will have last-second “buzzer-beater” moments. The key moment occurs when the timer display shows 0:00. At many events, a buzzer sound will also play at T=0:00; however, the field timer display takes precedence in the event of any audio discrepancies.

    If a Ball is released from a Robot before this moment, it will be allowed to finish its path and the score will be calculated once it comes to rest. However, if it is released after this moment (i.e., the Robot was still moving past T=0:00) it will not count and the Team will receive a Violation as described below.

    In cases where a last-second scoring attempt is “too close to call,” Teams will generally be given the “benefit of the doubt” and the score will be counted.


    Violation Notes



    <SC2> All Scoring statuses are evaluated visually by a Head Referee, to the best of their ability within the context of a given Match/event.

    1. Referees and other event staff are not allowed to review any videos or pictures from the Match. See <T3>.
    2. If there is a concern regarding the score of a Match, only the Drive Team Members from that Match, not an Adult, may share their questions with the Head Referee. See <T3>.


    <SC3> An Alliance Scores a Goal once a Ball is no longer in contact with a Robot and has fully passed through a Target (i.e., from the “outside" of the Goal Wall structure into the “inside” of the Goal Wall).

    Effectively, this should correspond with the Ball falling through the Goal Wall and landing in the Pickup Zone, and that “land in the Pickup Zone moment” can be used for most scoring needs. However, in the event of any jams or other malfunctions, the Ball is still considered Scored even if it does not touch down to the Pickup Zone. See <SG6>.



    <SC4> A Switch is Cleared once it has been struck by a Ball and is no longer parallel with the front face of the Goal Wall. Robots may not Clear Switches by contacting them directly (i.e., without it being part of the process of scoring a Ball through that Target).

    Please don’t over-think this rule.

    While there are known edge cases in which a Switch has been Cleared without scoring a Ball through the Target (or a Ball has been Scored through a Target but the Switch is not Cleared), they are rare. Switches must be cleared as part of normal gameplay, and by Balls, not Robots or humans. Beyond that, there are no restrictions on what type of Robot action, mechanism, strategy, or technique is used to Score Balls and Clear Switches.

    If there are ever more Cleared Switches than Goals scored, it may be an indication that there has been a Violation of this rule, or that a scoring or field assembly/reset error has occurred. It may also just mean that a Ball bounced back out of a Target after a Switch was Cleared.


    Violation Notes:



    <SC5> An Alliance receives credit for a Pass once both Robots independently contact a Ball before it leaves the Field.

    1. For the purposes of this rule, “independent contact” refers to a moment where only one Robot is contacting the Ball. If both Robots are contacting the Ball, this is not considered a Pass.
    2. Each time a Ball is Loaded, it is treated like a new Ball. Any previous Robot contact and/or Pass tracking is “reset.”
    3. A Ball can count for a maximum of one Pass each time it is Loaded through the Loading Station.
    4. Balls that are Rapid Loaded directly into a Starting Zone are not eligible for Passes.

    Note: If a referee sees a Pass occur and they are uncertain if it should be counted, Teams should receive the “benefit of the doubt” and the Pass should be recorded. This Note is primarily intended to apply to clauses “C” and “D” of this rule, e.g., if a referee is uncertain whether or not the Ball had been Rapid Loaded.



    <SC6> At the end of a Match, an Alliance cannot receive points for more Passes than Goals*.

    1. The point value per Pass is determined at the end of the Match, based on how many Switches have been Cleared. See the table at the beginning of this section for details.
    2. All Passes should be recorded during the Match, regardless of how many Goals have been scored at the time the Pass occurs. See <SE6>.
    3. *If no Switches have been Cleared at the end of the Match, the maximum number of points that can be received for Passes is four (4). The only way this can occur is if Balls are repeatedly Passed and then sent out of the Field without being Scored.


    <SC7> Rapid Relay is designed to be scored in “real-time” as the Match is being played. Passes and Goals should be recorded at the time they occur.

    The preferred method to track real-time scoring is to use tablets or mobile devices running the TM Mobile app. If TM Mobile is unavailable, a portable scoreboard may be used by counting Passes on one side and Goals on the other.

    Other scoring methods, such as the VIQRC Hub app or handheld “clicker counters,” are permitted but heavily discouraged. When possible, a method that displays the counts to competitors and spectators during the Match should always be used.


    Each Match is required to have a Head Referee and at least one Scorekeeper Referee. Exact scoring processes may vary depending on a given event’s resources, and should be communicated to all Teams before Matches begin (e.g., during an event meeting). One recommended starting point is as follows:

    1. The Scorekeeper Referee stands near the Goal Wall, and tracks Scored Balls.
    2. The Head Referee stands mid-field, and tracks Passes.
    3. Referees and Drivers verbally confirm actions to each other as they occur. For example, Drivers call out “Pass!” and the Head Referee responds with “Pass - Check!” to confirm that it has been recorded.

    When possible, two Scorekeeper Referees are preferred, so that the Head Referee can focus on the Match as a whole.

    This is a new way to play VIQRC! This rule may be updated to share any “best practices” that are found by early-season events.


    Scoring Examples

    <SE1>

    1. Robot A retrieves a Ball from the Loading Station and launches it down the Field.
    2. Robot B retrieves the Ball.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Pass.
    3. Robot B scores a Goal.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Goal.

    Result: One Pass, one Goal.

    Explanation: This is a “normal” Rapid Relay cycle.

    <SE2>

    1. Robot A retrieves a Ball from the Loading Station and launches it down the Field.
    2. Robot B retrieves the Ball.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Pass.
    3. Robot B attempts to score a Goal, but misses.
    4. The Ball bounces off of the Goal Wall and back into the Field.
    5. Robot A retrieves the Ball and scores a Goal.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Goal.

    Result: One Pass, one Goal.

    Explanation: The Ball never left the Field, so it was not yet eligible for additional Passes.

    <SE3>

    1. Robot A retrieves a Ball from the Loading Station.
    2. Robot A attempts to score a Goal, but misses the Goal Wall entirely.
    3. The Ball leaves the Field; a human Loader retrieves the Ball and re-introduces it through the Loading Station.
    4. Robot B retrieves the Ball and scores a Goal.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Goal.

    Result: Zero Passes, one Goal.

    Explanation: As soon as the Ball left the Field, its previous contact was forgotten. Robot B’s contact was not a Pass; rather, it became the “first Robot” for the new cycle.

    <SE4>

    1. Robot A retrieves a Ball from the Loading Station and launches it down the Field.
    2. Robot B retrieves the Ball.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Pass.
    3. Robot B attempts to score a Goal, but misses.
    4. A human Loader retrieves the Ball and Loads it through the Loading Station.
    5. Robot A retrieves the Ball and launches it down the Field.
    6. Robot B retrieves the Ball.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Pass.
    7. Robot B scores a Goal.

      1. Scorekeeper records a Goal.

    Result: Two Passes, one Goal.

    Explanation: It is possible to have a cycle with a Pass but no Goal. However, if the Match were to end at this moment, the Alliance would only receive points for one Pass. See <SC6>.

    <SE5>

    Result: One Pass, one Goal.

    Explanation: In this scenario, the second contact in step 6 does not count as a second Pass.

    <SE6>

    Result: Two Passes, two Goals.

    Explanation: Rule <SC6> only takes effect at the end of the Match. This is why all Passes are recorded during the Match, even if they temporarily exceed the number of Goals.


    Safety Rules



    <S1> Stay safe, don’t damage the Field. If, at any time, the Robot operation or Team actions are deemed unsafe or have damaged any Field Elements or Balls, the offending Team may be Disabled and/or Disqualified at the Head Referee’s discretion. The Robot will require re-inspection before it may again take the Field.

    Note: Teams may not step onto the Field at any time. If a Team’s Robot requires stepping onto the Field during pre-Match setup, this will be considered a Violation of <S1>, <T6>, and/or <SG1>. The Team’s Robot may be removed from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.



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


    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 IQ 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.

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

    More information regarding the event Code of Conduct process can be found at the RECF Library.

    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 one Team in an Alliance to ask another Team to sit in a corner during the Match or to intentionally play beneath their abilities.

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



    <G2> VIQRC 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:

    Violation Notes: Potential Violations of this rule will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. By definition, all Violations of this rule become Score Affecting as soon as a Robot which was built or programmed by an Adult scores points in 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 IQ Robotics Competition.

    Some examples may include:

    • 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 IQ 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. On the other hand, if there's not a rule that makes a Robot part legal, it's not allowed.
    • 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.


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

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

      1. Examples of permissible moves may include, but are not limited to, illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, or combining/splitting Teams.
      2. Examples of strategic moves in Violation of this rule may include, but are not limited to, one Coder “switching” Teams in order to write the same program for multiple Robots, or one Student writing the Engineering Notebook for multiple Teams.
      3. If a Student leaves a Team to join another Team, <G4> still applies to the Students remaining on the previous Team. For example, if a Coder leaves a Team, then that Team’s Robot must still represent the skill level of the Team without that Coder. One way to accomplish this would be to ensure that the Coder teaches or trains a “replacement” Coder in their absence.

    Points i and ii are intended to represent real-world situations that are found in industry engineering. If a vital member of a professional engineering team were to suddenly leave, the remaining members of the team should still be capable of working on / maintaining their project.


    1. 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 Drivers or Coders for the Team.

      1. An exception is allowed if only one (1) member of the Team is able to attend the event. The Team can make a single substitution of a Driver or Coder for the Championship event with another Student, even if that Student has competed on a different Team. This Student will now be on this new Team and may not substitute back to the original Team during the season.
    2. Loaders are an exception to this rule. If a Team only has two Students and is unable to field a three-Student Drive Team, they may choose from one of the following options:

      1. For a given Match, they may substitute in a Student from their Alliance Partner’s Team as a temporary Loader. They may do this in as many Matches as needed.
      2. For a given event, they may substitute in a Student from another Team to be their Loader for the duration of the event. This Student may only serve as a Loader for one Team at a given event, and will effectively become a member of the new Team for that event.
      3. There is no requirement for a Drive Team to have a Loader; if desired, they can play the Match with only two Drivers, and rely on their Alliance Partner’s Loader.

    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>.
    • Regarding point C and substitute Loaders: It would be severely outside the intent of this rule, and a potential Code of Conduct / <G1> Violation, for a Team to forcefully “offer” a substitute onto their Alliance Partner, and/or ask their Alliance Partner’s Loader to sit out for a Match.

    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 Driver for one day. This rule is intended to prohibit 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 size. At the beginning of a Match, each Robot must fit within an 23” wide x 73” long x 15” high (584mm x 1854mm x 381mm) volume, as checked during inspection per <R4>.

    Violation Notes: Any Violation of this rule will result in the Robot being removed from the Field prior to the start of the Match; rules <R3d> and <T6> will apply until the situation is corrected. They will not receive a Disqualification, but they will not be permitted to play in the Match.



    <G6> Keep your Robot together. Robots may not intentionally detach parts or leave mechanisms on the Field during any Match. Parts that become unintentionally detached from the Robot are no longer considered to be part of the Robot and can be either left on the Field or collected by a Drive Team Member (utilizing <G10>).

    Note: Adding or replacing mechanisms on a Robot mid-Match (e.g., during a <G10> interaction) is considered a Violation of the intent and spirit of this rule.



    <G7> Don’t damage the Field. Robot interactions which damage the Field or any Field Elements are prohibited. For the purpose of this rule, “damage” is defined as anything which requires repair in order to begin the next Match, such as causing part of the Loading Station to detach from the Field.

    Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times, especially when interacting with the Goal Wall and the Loading Station. If a Team chooses to repeatedly ram full-speed into a Field Element, it will be hard to convince a Head Referee that any damage caused was “accidental.”


    Violation Notes:



    <G8> Drivers drive your Robot, and stay in the Driver Station. During a Match, Robots may only be operated by that Team’s Drivers and/or software running on the Robot’s control system. Drivers must remain in their Driver Station, except when legally interacting with their Robot per <G10>.

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

    1. Bringing/using any sort of communication devices into the Driver Station, including wireless headphones of any kind, even if powered off. Non-headphone devices with communication features turned off (e.g., a phone in airplane mode) are allowed.
    2. Standing on any sort of object during a Match, regardless of whether the Field is on the floor or elevated.
    3. Bringing/using additional materials to simplify the game challenge during a Match.

    Point C is intended to refer to non-Robot-related items that directly influence gameplay, such as using a ramp to assist with the Loading Station. 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 Driver Station during a Match. Adults (other than event staff) are not permitted to be in the Driver Station during a Match.

    Note 2: Loaders are not restricted to the Driver Station, and may move around the Field freely.

    Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule are not required to be Score Affecting, and could invoke Violations of other rules, such as <G1>, <G2>, or <G11>.



    <G9> Hands out of the Field. During a Match, Drive Team Members are prohibited from making intentional contact with any Field Element, Robot, or Ball that has been introduced to the Field, except for the allowances in <G10>, <RSC8>, and/or <SG6>.

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



    <G10> Handling the Robot mid-match is allowed under certain circumstances. If a Robot goes completely outside the playing Field, gets stuck, tips over, or otherwise requires assistance, the Drive Team Members may retrieve & reset their Robot. To do so, they must do the following:

    1. Signal the referee by placing their VEX IQ Controller on the ground.
    2. Any Balls being controlled by the Robot while being handled must be removed from the Field, and can be returned through the Loading Station or Rapid Loaded as appropriate based on the Match timer.

      1. In the context of this rule, “controlled” implies that the Robot was manipulating the Ball, and not simply touching it. For example, if the Ball moves with the Robot either vertically or while turning, then the Robot is “controlling” the Ball.
      2. Clause d of <SG3> applies to Balls that are removed from the Field during the last 15 seconds of the Match.
    3. The Robot must be placed back into a legal position that meets the criteria listed in clauses a & b of <SG1>.

    As described in rule <S1>, Students cannot step into the Field at any time during a Match. If the Drive Team Members cannot reach the Robot due to the Robot being in the center of the Field, they may ask the Head Referee to pick up the Robot and hand it to the Drive Team Members for placement according to the conditions above.

    Note: If any Balls are preventing the Robot from being legally placed, such as resting against the Field Perimeter wall, they may be removed from the Field and reintroduced (in accordance with <SG3>).

    Violation Notes: This rule is intended to allow Teams to fix damaged Robots or help get their Robots “out of trouble.” Strategically exploiting this rule may be considered a Minor Violation or Major Violation at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    <G11> A Team’s two Drivers switch Controllers midway through the Match. In a given Match, up to two (2) Drivers, plus one Loader, may be in the Driver Station per Team. The two Drivers must switch their controller between twenty-five seconds (0:25) and thirty-five seconds (0:35) remaining in the Match.

    1. No Driver shall operate a Robot for more than thirty-five seconds (0:35).
    2. The second Driver may not touch their Team’s controls until the controller is passed to them.
    3. Once the controller is passed, the first Driver may no longer touch their Team’s controls.
    4. A Driver cannot also be a Loader in the same Match. If a Team only has two members, they must exercise one of the substitute Loader options listed in rule <G4c>.

    Note: If only one Driver is present , this rule still applies and they must cease Robot operation after the first thirty-five (0:35) seconds of the Match.

    Violation Notes: At a minimum, any Violation of this rule is considered a Minor Violation. Whether it escalates to a Major Violation or not is dependent upon the Head Referee’s judgment regarding:


    Specific Game Rules



    <SG1> Pre-match setup. At the beginning of a Match, the Robot must be placed such that it is:

    1. Satisfying all constraints listed in <R4> (i.e., fully contained within one Starting Zone and no taller than 15”).
    2. Contacting the inside of the Field Perimeter wall.
    3. Contacting exactly one (1) Preload.
    4. Completely stationary (i.e., no motors or other mechanisms in motion). Pre-charging a pneumatic system (i.e., having the Pneumatic Pump running prior to the Match) is the only permitted exception to this rule.
    5. Not occupying the same Starting Zone as the Alliance partner Robot

    There are no specific starting positions, as long as the above criteria are met. Per <T6>, Robots must arrive at the Field ready to play with minimal additional setup. Repeated delays may result in a Violation of <G1> and/or removal of the Robot from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    Violation Notes: Any Violation of this rule will result in the Robot being removed from the Field prior to the start of the Match; rules <R3d> and <T6> will apply until the situation is corrected. They will not receive a Disqualification, but they will not be permitted to play in the Match.

    Figure SG-1: Robots in a legal pre-Match starting position.


    <SG2> Robot expansion is limited. Robots may not expand beyond the 23" x 73" horizontal or 15" vertical starting size limits at any time during a Match. The 15" height limit is a "virtual ceiling," meaning that no part of a Robot may exceed 15" above the Floor, regardless of Robot orientation.

    Violation Notes: It is expected that momentary Minor Violations may occur, such as when a Robot drives over the VEX IQ beams that mark the Starting Zones. These will likely only result in a verbal warning and will not be recorded as Violations if no gameplay advantage occurs.



    <SG3> Keep Balls in the Field. It is expected that some Balls may leave the Field without being scored. When this happens, they may be retrieved by a Loader and legally Loaded through the Loading Station.

    1. “Leaving the Field” means that a Ball is outside of the Field Perimeter and no longer in contact with the Field, Field Elements, other Balls, or Robots. A Ball that is scored through a Target is not considered to have left the Field.
    2. If a Ball is removed from a Robot during a <G10> interaction, it is considered “out of the Field” as soon as it is no longer in contact with any Robots.
    3. If a Ball is on its way out of the Field (as determined by the Head Referee), but is deflected back into the field by a Drive Team Member, field monitor, ceiling/wall, or other external factor, <SG3> would still apply. This Ball should be considered “out of the Field,” removed by a Head Referee, and given to a Loader.

      1. If the redirection occurred due to contact with a Drive Team Member, it will be at the Head Referee’s discretion whether <G9> or <SG3> should apply.
    4. Balls which leave the Field during the Rapid Load Period must be returned through the Loading Station; they may not be Loaded directly into a Starting Zone.


    <SG4> Using the Loading Station. Balls Loaded through the Loading Station must meet the following criteria:

    1. No more than two (2) Balls may be in play at any one time (i.e., the next Ball should not be Loaded until a previous Ball is either scored or leaves the Field).
    2. The Loader must be the last human to contact the Ball before it is released.
    3. The Loader’s hand may not cross into the volume of the Loading Station at any time.
    4. No Robot(s) may be in the Load Zone at the time the Ball is released by the Loader.
    5. If a Ball is introduced improperly through the Loading Station, the Head Referee will verbally notify the Loader as soon as possible (e.g., “your hand crossed, load that one again”). The Ball must then be removed from the Load Zone by a Loader before it is retrieved by a Robot and legally Loaded again.
    6. If a Ball is introduced improperly outside of the Loading Station (e.g., into the middle of the Field prior to the Rapid Load Period), the Ball must be retrieved by a referee and handed to a Loader.

    Note: The legal edge of the Load Zone is on the side of the black line closest to the Loading Station. The other edge of the black line is intended to be a “warning zone.” Robots touching or breaking the plane of this line during a Load may receive a “close call” warning from the Head Referee. This warning is not a Violation, as long as the Robot never enters the Load Zone.


    Violation Notes:

    Figure SG-4: This Robot is breaking the plane of the Loading Zone while the Ball is being entered. This Ball would need to be removed from the Loading Zone, and legally reintroduced.



    <SG5> Loading during the Rapid Load Period. During the last fifteen (15) seconds of the Match, Loaders have the option to introduce Balls directly into the Field (i.e., without using the Loading Station).

    1. Clauses “A” and “B” of <SG4> must still be satisfied during the Rapid Load Period.
    2. Rapid Load Balls must contact the Floor inside a Starting Zone before being contacted by a Robot.
    3. Balls may never be in contact with both a Robot and a human Loader at the same time.
    4. Rapid Load Balls may not contact the Goal Wall or the Floor outside of a Starting Zone before being retrieved by a Robot.
    5. Rapid Load Balls are not eligible to receive credit for Passes.
    6. The human Loader may not contact the Floor while introducing the Match Load (e.g., cannot step into or place a hand on the Floor to reach the center of the Field).”

    If a Ball is Rapid Loaded improperly, the Ball must be retrieved by a referee, given to a Loader, and re-Loaded legally before it may be retrieved by a Robot.

    Note: Although it is not required, Robots are highly recommended to remain some distance away from the Ball entirely until the Loader’s hand has clearly been removed. This will make clauses “B” and “C” abundantly clear to Head Referees, and help them to verify clauses “A” and “D”.

    Note 2: Although it is not required, placing the Ball gently down onto the Field without any additional motion is highly recommended. Unorthodox strategies, such as “tossing” or “rolling” the Ball, will not receive any “benefit of the doubt” if the Head Referee cannot clearly confirm that all criteria have been met (especially clauses “B” and “D”).

    Violation Notes:



    <SG6> Retrieving Balls from the Pickup Zone. Once a Goal is scored, that Ball will fall through the Goal Wall and into the Pickup Zone. This rule also applies to Balls that land in the Pickup Zone without being scored.

    1. Once the Ball contacts the Floor of the Pickup Zone, a Loader may retrieve it. They may not reach into the Field until the Ball contacts the Floor.
    2. A Ball which has been Scored through a Target may not be used for additional scoring or Switch Clearing until it is retrieved by a Loader and legally re-Loaded.

    Note: Although not explicitly required, it is highly recommended for Loaders to have a designated “staging location” to rest their hands while waiting for a Ball (such as the outside face of the Field Perimeter). This will help make it abundantly clear to the Head Referee that point A is not being Violated.

    If a Ball gets stuck inside the Goal Wall structure and does not make it to the Pickup Zone, a referee may free it by carefully reaching into the Goal Wall. This should be rare; in most cases, a gentle nudge will be all that is needed to move the Ball into the Pickup Zone. Extreme circumstances, such as multiple Balls being stuck at once, or interference with gameplay during this interaction, may warrant a Match replay at the Head Referee’s discretion (see <T7>).


    Violation Notes:


    Section 3 - The Robot


    Description

    Every Robot must pass a full inspection before being cleared to participate in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition. This inspection will ensure that all Robot rules and regulations are met. Initial inspections will typically take place during team check-in / practice time. Every Team should use the rules below as a guide to pre-inspect their Robot and ensure that it meets all requirements.

    Inspection Rules



    <R1> One Robot per Team. Only one (1) Robot will be allowed to participate per Team at a given event. Though it is expected that Teams will make changes to their Robots at the event, a Team is limited to only one (1) Robot, and a given Robot may only be used by one (1) Team. The VEX IQ system is intended to be a mobile robotics design platform. As such, a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot, for the purposes of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition, has the following subsystems:

    • Subsystem 1: Mobile robotic base including wheels, tracks, 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 VEX IQ legal battery, a VEX IQ control system, and associated Smart Motors for the mobile robotic base.
    • Subsystem 3: Additional mechanisms (and associated Smart Motors) that allow manipulation of Balls or navigation/manipulation of Field Elements.

    Given the above definitions, a minimum Robot for use in any VEX IQ 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 are no longer legal.

    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 Challenge, Qualification Matches, and/or Finals 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 that puts in the time, effort, and resources to undergo separate individual design processes and develop their own Robots.

    To help determine whether 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 complete and legal Robots on a table next to each other, then they are two separate Robots. Trying to decide if changing a pin, a wheel, or a motor 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 Teams. Adults are permitted 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.

    In VIQRC, we expect Adults to teach fundamental Robot principles like linkages, drivetrains, 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. The Team’s Robot must pass inspection before being allowed to participate in any Matches. 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.
    3. Teams may be asked to submit to spot inspections by Head Referees. Refusal to submit will result in Disqualification.
    4. If a Robot is determined to not be legal before a Match begins, the Robot will be removed from the Field. A Driver may remain so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>).
    5. Robots which have not passed inspection (i.e., that are in Violation of one or more Robot rules) will not be permitted to play in any Matches until they have done so. <T6> will apply to any Matches that occur until the Robot has passed inspection.
    6. If a Robot has passed inspection, but is later found to be in Violation of a Robot rule during or immediately following a Match, then they will be Disqualified from that Match and <R3d>/<T6> will apply until the Violation is remedied and the Team is re-inspected.
    7. All inspection rules are to be enforced at 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> Starting configuration. At the start of each Match, the Robot must be able to satisfy the following constraints:

    1. Only be contacting the Floor and the inside face of the Field Perimeter.
    2. Fit within the volume of a Starting Zone.
    3. Be no taller than 15” (i.e., roughly the height of the yellow VEX IQ beams above the bottom two Targets).
    4. The starting configuration of the Robot at the beginning of a Match must be the same as a Robot configuration inspected for compliance.

      1. Teams using more than one possible Robot configuration at the beginning of Matches must tell the Inspector(s) and have the Robot inspected in all configurations. Rule <R3c> will apply if a Robot is placed in an uninspected configuration (i.e., will not be permitted to play until re-inspected, but will not be considered a “no-show”).

    Note: These dimensions (i.e., fit within a Starting Zone and height limit of 15”) are also the maximum expansion limits during Match play.

    Figure R4-1: The 15” Robot height limit roughly aligns with the top of the lower set of Targets.



    <R5> Prohibited items. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

    1. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Balls.
    2. Those that could potentially damage or entangle other Robots.
    3. Grease, oil, graphite, and/or any other lubricant or plastic additive.
    4. Tape and/or any other material that adheres to or changes a legal part, other than non-functional decorations as permitted by <R8>


    <R6> VEX IQ product line. Robots may be built ONLY from official Robot components from the VEX IQ product line, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules.

    1. Official VEX IQ products are ONLY available from VEX Robotics. To determine whether a product is “official” or not, consult www.vexiq.com.
    2. If an Inspector or event official questions whether something is an official VEX IQ component, the Team will be required to provide documentation to an inspector that proves the component’s source. Such documentation may include receipts, part numbers, or other printed documentation.
    3. Only VEX IQ components specifically designed for use in Robot construction are allowed. Using additional components outside their typical purpose is against the intent of the rule (i.e., please don’t try using VEX IQ apparel, Team or event support materials, packaging, Field Elements, or other non-Robot products on a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot).
    4. Products from the VEX 123, VEX V5, VEX CTE, VEX EXP, Cortex, or VEXpro product lines cannot be used for Robot construction. However, products from the VEX V5 product line that are also cross-listed as part of the VEX IQ product line are legal. A “cross-listed” product is one which can be found in both the VEX IQ and VEX V5 sections of the VEX Robotics website.
    5. Mechanical/structural components from the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product line are legal for Robot construction. However, electrical components from the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product line are illegal for Robot construction.
    6. Mechanical/structural components from the VEX GO product line are legal for Robot construction. However, electrical components from the VEX GO product line are illegal for Robot construction.
    7. Official Robotics components from the VEX IQ product line that have been discontinued are still legal for Robot use. However, Teams must be aware of <R6b>.
    8. Functional 3D printed components, such as replicas of legal VEX IQ parts or custom designs, are not legal for Robot use.
    9. Additional VEX IQ products that are released during the season are legal for use, unless otherwise noted on their product pages and/or in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition Legal Parts Appendix.
    10. VEX IQ Smart Cables may only be used for connecting legal electronic devices to the VEX IQ Robot Brain.

    Note: A comprehensive list of legal parts can be found in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition Legal Parts Appendix, as mentioned above. This Appendix is updated as needed if/when new VEX IQ parts are released, and may not coincide with scheduled Game Manual updates.

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



    <R7> Non-VEX IQ components. Robots are allowed to use the following additional “non-VEX IQ” components:

    1. Rubber bands that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX IQ product line (#32, #64 & #117B).
    2. ⅛” metal shafts from the VEX V5 product line.


    <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.

    1. Decorations must be in the spirit of an educational competition.
    2. To be considered “non-functional,” any decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. For example, a giant decal cannot be used to prevent Balls from falling out of the Robot unless it is backed by VEX IQ material. A simple way to check this is to determine if removing the decoration would impact the performance of the Robot in any way.
    3. The use of non-toxic paint is considered a legal non-functional decoration. However, any paint being used as an adhesive or to impact how tightly parts fit together would be classified as functional.

    Teams should be mindful of any non-functional decorations which could risk “distracting” Alliance partner Robots’ Vision Sensor or other sensors.



    <R9> Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot License Plates. To participate in an official VEX IQ Robotics Competition Event, a Team must first register on robotevents.com and receive a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team Number.

    This Team number must be legibly displayed on at least two (2) VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plates on opposing sides of the Robot. Teams may choose to use the official VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plate (VEX Part Number 228-7401), or may create their own custom License Plates.

    1. License Plates must fulfill all inspection rules.
    2. License Plates must be clearly visible at all times. For example, License Plates must not be in a position that would be easily obstructed by a Robot mechanism during standard Match play.
    3. Any custom-made License Plates used must be the same length and height as the official License Plate (3.5” x 1.5” [88.9mm x 38.1mm]). They must not exceed the width of the official License Plate (0.25” [6.35mm]).
    4. Custom-made License Plates are considered non-functional decorations, and must therefore meet all of the criteria listed in <R8>. Therefore, 3D printed License Plates are permitted within these rules.

    Figure R9-1: A VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plate with a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team Number written upon it.

    Figure R9-2: An example of a legal custom License Plate.



    <R10> Let it go after the Match is over. Robots must be designed to permit easy removal of Balls from their Robot without requiring that the Robot have power or remote control after the Match is over.



    <R11> Robot Brain. Robots are limited to one (1) VEX IQ Robot Brain.

    1. Robot Brains, microcontrollers, and other electronic components that are part of the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG, VEX GO, VEX EXP, VEX V5, VEX 123, or VEXpro product lines are not allowed.

      1. The Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493) is the only exception to this rule, per <R13>.
    2. If using a first generation VEX IQ Brain, Robots must use one (1) VEX IQ 900 MHz radio, VEX IQ 2.4 GHz radio, or VEX IQ Smart Radio in conjunction with their VEX IQ Robot Brain. The VEX IQ Brain and VEX IQ Controller may not be physically connected during a Match, and may only communicate through the radio.
    3. The only legal method of driving the Robot during Teamwork Challenge Matches and Driving Skills Matches is the VEX IQ Controller.
    4. See <RSC8> and <RSC9> for more information about operating the Robot during Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.
    5. Additional Robot Brains cannot be used on the Robot (even Robot Brains that are not connected)


    <R12> Motors. Robots may use up to six (6) VEX IQ Smart Motors.

    1. Additional motors cannot be used on the Robot (even motors that aren’t connected).


    <R13> Batteries. The only allowable sources of electrical power for a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot are one (1) VEX IQ Robot Battery (first or second generation) or six (6) AA batteries via the Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493).

    1. Additional batteries cannot be used on the Robot (even batteries that aren’t connected).
    2. Teams are permitted to have an external power source (such as a rechargeable battery pack) plugged into their VEX IQ Controller during a Match, provided that this power source is connected safely and does not violate any other rules (such as <G8>).

    Note: Although it is legal, the Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493) is not recommended for use in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition.



    <R14> Firmware. Teams must use VEXos version 2.2.1 or newer on Gen1 Brains, or VEXos version 1.0.8 or newer on Gen2 Brains. The latest firmware can be found at https://link.vex.com/firmware. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted.

    1. The minimum VEXos version requirement is subject to change over the course of the season.
    2. When the minimum version is updated, Teams have a two week (14 calendar days) grace period from the time the minimum version is changed to update their firmware to the latest minimum version.
    3. VEX reserves the right to deem any firmware update critical, and remove the allowable grace period.


    <R15> Modifications of parts. Parts may NOT be modified unless specifically listed as an exception in this rule. Examples of modifications include, but are not limited to, bending, cutting, sanding, gluing, or melting. The following exceptions are legal:

    1. Cutting metal VEX IQ or VEX V5 shafts to custom lengths.
    2. Bending parts which are intended to be flexible, such as string, rubber bands, or thin plastic sheets.
    3. Cutting VEX IQ pneumatic tubing to custom lengths.


    <R16> Pneumatics. Robots using parts from the VEX IQ Pneumatics Kit (228-8795) must satisfy the following criteria:

    1. No more than two (2) Air Tanks, including any that aren’t connected.
    2. No more than (1) Air Pump, including any that aren’t connected.
    3. No additional parts that are not included in the VEX IQ Pneumatics Kit (e.g., unofficial tubing or fittings).

    Note: There is no limit on the number of Pneumatic Cylinders or Pneumatic Solenoids that may be used, provided that no other rules are violated. There are no restrictions on running the Air Pump prior to (or during) Matches.

    The intent of <R16a> is to limit Robots to the air pressure stored in two Air Tanks, as well as the normal working air pressure contained in any Pneumatic Cylinders and tubing on the Robot. Teams may not use other elements for the purposes of storing or generating air pressure.

    Using Pneumatic Cylinders or additional tubing solely for additional air storage is in Violation of the spirit of this rule. Similarly, using Pneumatic Cylinders and/or tubing without an actual pneumatic system (e.g., Air Tanks and/or a Air Pump) is also in Violation of the spirit of this rule.



    <R17> 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 Event


    Description


    The VEX IQ Robotics Competition encompasses both the Teamwork Challenge and the Robot Skills Challenge. This section determines how the Teamwork Challenge and Robot Skills Challenge are to be played at a given event. For information about the requirements for tournaments that qualify teams to championship events, visit this article in the REC Library.

    Awards may be given to top Teams in each format, as applicable. Awards may also be given for overall performance in the judged criteria. Please review the Guide to Judging: Awards article in the REC Library for more details.

    Tournament Definitions


    Event Partner – The volunteer VEX IQ 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.



    Finals Match – A Teamwork Match used to determine the Teamwork Challenge champions.



    Head Referee – A certified impartial volunteer responsible for enforcing the rules in this manual as written. Head Referees are the only people 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 Stop Time – The time remaining (i.e., displayed on the timer or audience display) in a tiebreaker Finals Match when an Alliance ends the Match early by placing their controllers on the ground. The Match Stop Time is rounded down to the nearest even number. For example, if controllers are set down when the displayed time is 13 seconds, the Match Stop Time is recorded as 12 seconds. If an Alliance does not finish the Match early, they receive a default Match Stop Time of 0 seconds.



    Practice Match – A non-scored Match used to provide time for Teams to get acquainted with the official playing Field.



    Qualification Match – A Teamwork Challenge Match used to determine the event rankings.



    Robot Skills Challenge – A portion of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition. The Robot Skills Challenge consists of Driving Skills Matches and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches as described in the General Definitions.



    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 the Head Referee.



    Teamwork Challenge – A portion of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition. The Teamwork Challenge consists of Teamwork Challenge Matches. The Teamwork Challenge includes Qualification Matches and Finals Matches, and may include Practice Matches.


    Tournament Rules


    <T1> The Head Referee has 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 the Head Referee, but may not determine any rules or infractions directly.
    2. When issuing a Disqualification or Violation to a Team, the Head Referee should attempt to notify the Team as the Violation occurs, and after the Match must provide the rule number of the specific rule that has been Violated and record the Violation in the Match Anomaly Log.
    3. Violations of the REC Foundation Code of Conduct may involve additional escalation beyond the Head Referee’s initial ruling, including (but not limited to) investigation by REC Foundation representatives. Rules <S1>, <G1>, <G2>, and <G4> are the only rules for which this escalation may be required.
    4. Event Partners may not overrule a Head Referee’s decision.
    5. Every Qualification Match and Finals Match must be watched by a certified Head Referee. Head Referees may only watch one Match at a time; if multiple Matches are happening simultaneously on separate fields, each field must have its own Head Referee.

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

    The VEX IQ 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 the 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. VEX IQ Head Referees must have the following qualifications:

    1. Be at least 16 years of age.
    2. Be approved by the Event Partner.
    3. Be an REC Foundation Certified VIQRC Head Referee for the current season. Visit the RECF Library for more details.

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

    <T3> The Drive Team Members are permitted to immediately appeal the Head Referee’s ruling. If Drive Team Members wish to dispute a score or ruling, they must stay in the Driver Station until the Head Referee 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, or Violation 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 IQ 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 Driver 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 Driver 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 VIQRC Rapid Relay; it is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of guidelines for running a VEX IQ 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 and pit access
    • Health and safety
    • Team registration and/or competition eligibility
    • Team conduct away from competition fields

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



    <T5> Be at your match on time. If no member of a Team is present in the Driver Station at the start of a Match, that Team is considered a “no show” and will receive zero (0) points. The other Team in the Alliance will still play and receive points for the Match.



    <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, etc.)

    1. Robots must be placed on the field promptly. Repeated failure to do so could result in a Violation of <G1> and/or removal of the Robot from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    The definition of the word “promptly” is at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, who will consider event schedule, previous warnings or delays, etc. As a general guideline, five seconds to check Robot alignment would be acceptable, but five minutes to assemble multiple parts together would not.



    <T7> Match Replays are allowed, but rare. Match replays (i.e., playing a Match over again from its start) are at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, and will only be issued in the most extreme circumstances. Some examples that may warrant a Match replay are as follows:

    1. Score Affecting “Field fault” issues.

      1. Switches not being reset before the Match starts.
      2. Field Elements detaching or moving beyond normal tolerances, not as a result of Robot interactions.
    2. Score Affecting game rule issues.

      1. A Field is reset before the score is determined.


    <T8> Disqualifications. A Team that is issued a Disqualification in a Qualification Match receives zero (0) points for the Match. The other Team on their Alliance will still receive points for the Match.

    1. In Finals Matches, Disqualifications apply to the whole Alliance, not just one Team. An Alliance that receives a Disqualification in a Finals Match will receive zero (0) points.
    2. A Team that receives a Disqualification in a Robot Skills Match will receive a score of zero (0).


    <T9> Timeouts. There are no timeouts in VIQRC tournaments.



    <T10> Be prepared for minor field variance. Field Element tolerances may vary from nominal by up to ±0.5” [25.4mm], unless otherwise specified. Ball weights may vary from nominal by up to ±5 grams. Teams are encouraged to design their Robots accordingly. Please make sure to check Appendix A for more specific nominal dimensions and tolerances.



    <T11> Fields and Field Elements may be repaired at the Event Partner’s discretion. All competition fields and other Field Elements at an event must be set up in accordance with the specifications in Appendix A and/or other applicable support materials. 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:

    1. Replacing a damaged or missing VEX IQ Field component with an identical part of any color.
    2. Elevating the playing field off of the Floor (common heights are 10” to 24” [254mm to 609.6mm]).
    3. Using off-the-shelf PVC to replace a damaged or missing Pickup Zone pipe.
    4. Repairing a Ball that has been ripped open by sewing it back together.


    <T12> Teamwork Matches. During Teamwork Challenge Matches, two (2) Teams form an Alliance that will play on the Field.

    1. Qualification Match Alliances are randomly selected.
    2. Finals Match Alliances are assigned as follows:
      1. The first and second ranked Teams form an Alliance.
      2. The third and fourth ranked Teams form an Alliance.
      3. And so on, until all Teams participating in Finals Matches have formed an Alliance.


    <T13> Ending a Match early. If an Alliance wants to end a Qualification Match or a Finals Match early, both Teams must signal the referee by ceasing all Robot motion and placing their controllers on the ground. The referee will then signal to the Teams that the Match is over and will begin to tally the score. If the Match is a tiebreaker Finals Match, then the Match Stop Time will also be recorded.



    <T14> Practice Matches may be played at some events, but are not required. If Practice Matches are run, every effort will be made to equalize practice time for all Teams.



    <T15> Qualification Matches will occur according to the official match schedule. This schedule will indicate Alliance partners, Qualification Match times, and, if the event has multiple Fields, which Field each Qualification Match will be played on.

    Note: The official Match schedule is subject to changes at the Event Partner’s discretion.



    <T16> Each Team will be scheduled Qualification Matches as follows.

    1. When in a tournament, the tournament must have a minimum of six (6) Qualification Matches per Team at local qualifying events and eight (8) 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 number of Qualification Matches per Team for a standard league ranking session is four (4). Event Partners may choose to have Qualification Matches as part of their league finals session.


    <T17> Teams are ranked by their average Qualification Match scores.

    1. When in a tournament, every Team will be ranked based on the same number of Qualification Matches.

      1. For tournaments that have more than one (1) division, Teams will be ranked among all Teams in their specific division. Each division will have its own set of Finals Matches. The winners of each division will then have an overall event Finals. Any multi-division event must be approved by the REC Foundation Regional Support Manager prior to the event, and divisions must be assigned in alternating sequential order by Team number.
    2. When in a league, every Team will be ranked based on the number of Matches played. Teams that participate in less than 60% of the total Matches available will be ranked below Teams that participate in at least 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. A certain number of a Team’s lowest Qualification Match scores will be excluded from the rankings based on the quantity of Qualification Matches each Team plays. Excluded scores do not affect participation for leagues.
    Number of Qualification Matches per Team Number of excluded Match scores
    4-7 1
    8-11 2
    12-15 3
    16+ 4
    1. In some cases, a Team will be assigned to play an additional Qualification Match. The extra Match will be identified on the Match Schedule with an asterisk and will not impact the Team’s ranking (or participation for leagues). Teams are reminded that <G1> is always in effect and Teams are expected to behave as if the additional Qualification Match counted.
    2. Ties in Team ranking are broken by:

      1. Removing the Team’s lowest score and comparing the new average score.
      2. Removing the Team’s next lowest score and comparing the new average score (on through all scores).
      3. If the Teams are still tied, the Teams will be sorted by random electronic draw.


    <T18> Teams playing in Finals Matches. The number of Finals Matches, and therefore the number of Teams who will participate in Finals Matches, is determined by the Event Partner. Events must have a minimum of five (5) Finals Matches if there are ten (10) or more Teams in attendance.



    <T19> Finals Match Schedule. Finals Matches are played sequentially, starting with the lowest-ranked Alliance. Each Alliance will participate in one (1) Finals Match. The Alliance with the highest Finals Match score is the Teamwork Challenge champion.

    1. Alliances are ranked by their Finals Match score. The highest-scoring Alliance is in first place, the second-highest-scoring Alliance is in second place, etc.
    2. Ties for first place will result in a series of tiebreaker Finals Matches, starting with the lower-seeded Alliance. The Alliance with the highest tiebreaker Finals Match score will be declared the Teamwork Challenge champion.

      1. If the tiebreaker Finals Match scores are tied, the Alliance with the higher Match Stop Time will be declared the winner.
      2. If the Match Stop Time is also tied, a second series of tiebreaker Finals Matches will be played. If this second series of tiebreaker Finals Matches is also tied, then the higher-seeded Alliance will be declared the winner.
      3. If there is a tie for a place other than first, the higher-seeded Alliance will receive the higher rank.

    Example 1: Alliance 6 and Alliance 3 are tied for first place. During the tiebreaker Finals Match, Alliance 6 scores 13 points and has a Match Stop Time of 12 seconds. Alliance 3 scores 13 points and has a Match Stop Time of 10 seconds. Alliance 6 is the Teamwork Challenge winner.

    Example 2: Alliance 4 and Alliance 5 are tied for third place. Alliance 4 is the third place winner and Alliance 5 is the fourth place winner. In this way, the lower ranked Alliance must “overcome” the higher ranked Alliance in order to become the Teamwork Challenge champion.


    Section 5 - Robot Skills Challenge


    Overview


    In this challenge, Teams will compete in sixty-second (1:00) 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 Robot Skills Matches.

    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 a Driving Skills Match 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 an Autonomous Coding Skills Match 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 and Balls have come to a rest and the Driver provides the agreed upon visual and audio signal to the Referee. See <RSC10> for more details.
    3. If a 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 manual timer is being used 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> Standard rules apply in most cases. All rules from previous sections apply to the Robot Skills Matches, unless otherwise specified.



    <RSC2> Scoring Robot Skills Matches. The point value per Goal is determined at the end of the Match, based on how many Switches have been Cleared by the end of that Match. See the following table for details.

    Each Cleared Switch

    1 Point

    Each Goal - 1 Cleared Switch

    4 Points

    Each Goal - 2 Cleared Switches

    8 Points

    Each Goal - 3 Cleared Switches

    10 Points

    Each Goal - 4 Cleared Switches

    12 Points



    <RSC3> Robot Skills Field setup. The Field is set up the same as a Teamwork Challenge Match (i.e., per <SG1>), with the following modifications:

    1. In addition to the Preload, Teams may place a second Ball anywhere in Starting Zone 1 (i.e., the one closest to the Pickup Zone) to begin the Match.
    2. Robots must begin in Starting Zone 2 (i.e., the one closest to the Loading Station).


    <RSC4> Loading differences. All criteria listed in <SG4> and <SG5> apply as written (e.g., no more than two Balls on the Field, Robots may not be in the Load Zone during Loading, etc.). However, Rapid Loading is modified as follows:

    1. Starting Zone 2 (i.e., the one closest to the Loading Station) is the only Starting Zone that may be used for Rapid Loading.
    2. In Driving Skills Matches, the Rapid Load Period is defined as any time after the mid-Match Driver switch takes place.
    3. In Autonomous Coding Skills Matches, the entire Match is considered a Rapid Load Period (i.e., there is no requirement to use the Loading Station).

      1. Clause “D” of <SG3> does not apply in Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

    Note: In both Driving Skills Matches and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches, any Driver who is not currently operating the Robot may also serve as a Loader (i.e., a Team may have two Loaders at any given time).



    <RSC5> Skills Ranking at events. For each Robot Skills Match, Teams are awarded a score based on the skills rules and skills scoring rules. Teams will be ranked based on the following scores and 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 a).
    6. Highest Skills Stop Time from a Team’s highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match (i.e., the Match in point b).
    7. Third-highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score.
    8. Third-highest Driving Skills Match score.
    9. If the tie cannot be broken after all above criteria (i.e., both Teams have the exact same scores and Skills Stop Times for each Autonomous Coding Skills Match and Driving Skills Match), then the following ordered criteria will be used to determine which team had the “best” Autonomous Coding Skills Match:

      1. Points for Cleared Switches
      2. Points for Goals Scored
    10. If the tie still cannot be broken, the same process in the step above will be applied to the Teams’ highest Driving Skills Matches.
    11. If the tie still isn’t broken, the Event Partner may choose to allow Teams to have one more deciding Match, or both Teams may be declared the winner.


    <RSC6> Skills Rankings Globally. Teams are ranked based on theirRobot Skills Match scores globally using the following tiebreakers:

    1. Highest Robot Skills score (combined Autonomous Coding Skills Match and Driving Skills Match 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 a.
    4. Highest Skills Stop Time from the Autonomous Coding Skills Match used for point b.
    5. Highest Driving Skills Match score (from any event).
    6. Highest Skills Stop Time from the Driving Skills Match score used in point e.
    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.
    9. 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.


    <RSC7> Skills Match Schedule. Teams play Robot Skills Matches on a first-come, first-served basis. Each Team will get the opportunity to play exactly three (3) Driving Skills Matches and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

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

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



    <RSC8> Handling Robots during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match. A Team may handle their Robot as many times as desired during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match.

    1. Upon handling the Robot, it must be immediately brought back to Starting Zone 2.

      1. Drive Team Members may reset or adjust the Robot as desired from this position, including pressing buttons on the Robot Brain or activating sensors.
      2. Any Balls being controlled by the Robot while being handled must be removed from the Field, and can be returned through the Loading Station or Rapid Loaded as appropriate based on the Match type and Match timer.
      3. As described in rule <S1>, Students cannot step into the Field at any time during a Match. If the Drive Team Members cannot reach the Robot due to the Robot being in the center of the Field, they may ask the Head Referee to pick up the Robot and hand it to the Drive Team Members for placement according to the conditions above.”
    2. During an Autonomous Coding Skills Match, Drivers may move freely around the Field, and are not restricted to the Driver Station when not handling their Robot.

      1. The rest of <G8>, which states that Drive Team Members are not allowed to use any communication devices during their Match, still applies.
      2. An intent of this exception is to permit Drivers who wish to “stage” Robot handling during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match to do so without excessive running back and forth to the Driver Station.

    This rule is an explicit exception to rules <G9> and <G10>, and may be used as part of a Team’s strategy for Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

    Driving Skills Matches are still governed by <G9> & <G10>, especially for strategic violations.



    <RSC9> Starting an Autonomous Coding Skills Match. Drivers must start a Robot’s Autonomous Coding Skills Match routine by pressing a button on the Robot Brain or manually activating a sensor. Because there is no VEX IQ Controller hand-off, only one (1) Driver is required for an Autonomous Coding Skills Match (though Teams may still have two (2) if desired).

    1. Pre-match sensor calibration is considered part of the standard pre-Match setup time (i.e., the time when the Team would typically be turning on the Robot, moving any mechanisms to their desired legal start position, etc.).
    2. Pressing a button on the VEX IQ Controller to begin the routine is not permitted. To avoid any confusion, Teams are advised not to bring controllers to Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

    In accordance with <T6>, Teams should be mindful of event schedules and set their Robot up as promptly as possible. The definition of “prompt” is at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, and could depend on things like how much time is left for the Skills Challenge field(s) to be open, how many Teams are waiting in line, etc. As a general guideline, three seconds to calibrate a Gyro Sensor would be acceptable, but three minutes to debug a program would not.



    <RSC10> 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. Drivers and field staff must agree prior to the Match on the signal that will be used to end the Match early.

    1. As noted in the definition of Skills Stop Time, the moment when the Match ends early is defined as the moment when the Robot and Balls have come to a rest and the Driver provides the agreed upon visual and audio signal to the Scorekeeper Referee.
    2. Teams who intend to attempt a Skills Stop Time must “opt-in” by verbally confirming with the Scorekeeper Referee prior to the Robot Skills Match. If no notification is given prior to the start of the Match, then the Team forfeits their option to record a Skills Stop Time for that Match.
    3. This conversation should include informing the Scorekeeper Referee which Driver will signal the stop. The Match may only be ended early by a Driver for that Match.
    4. The agreed-upon signal to stop the Match must be both verbal and visual, such as Drivers crossing their arms in an “X” or placing their VEX IQ Controller on the ground.
    5. It is recommended that the Driver also provides a verbal notice that they are approaching their Skills Stop Time, such as counting out “3-2-1-stop.”
    6. If a Team runs multiple Robot Skills Matches in a row, they must reconfirm their Skills Stop Time choice with the Scorekeeper Referee prior to each Match.
    7. Any questions regarding a Skills Stop Time should be reviewed and settled immediately following the Match. <T1> and <T3> apply to Robot Skills Matches.


    <RSC11> Robot Skills at League Events. At league events in which Teams may submit Robot Skills Challenge scores across multiple 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’s rankings, and their scores from Session 1 would be used for the Event and Global tiebreakers listed in the above two sections.


    Appendix A - Field Overview

    Adult

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

    Alliance

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

    Alliance Score

    Alliance Score – Points scored in a Teamwork Challenge Match that are awarded to both Teams.

    Disablement

    Disablement – A penalty applied to a Team for a safety Violation. During disablement, a Team is no longer allowed to operate their Robot, and the Drivers will be asked to place their Controller on the ground. A Disablement is not the same as a Disqualification.

    Disqualification

    Disqualification – A penalty applied to a Team for a rule violation (see <T8> for more details). If a Team receives a Disqualification in a Match, the Head Referee will notify the Team of their Violation at the end of the Match. At the Head Referee’s discretion, repeated Violations and/or Disqualifications for a single Team may lead to its Disqualification for the entire event.

    Driver

    Driver – A Student Team member who stands in the Driver Station and is responsible for operating and controlling that Team’s Robot. Up to two Team members may fulfill this role in a given Match (see <G8>).

    Driver Station

    Driver Station – The region behind the Field where the Drivers must remain during their Match unless legally interacting with their Robot. The Driver Station is represented by the orange line in Figures O-1 and O-2.

    Drive Team Members

    Drive Team Members - The two Drivers and one Loader who participate in a given Match as representatives of their Team.

    Field

    Field – The entire playing Field, being six (6) field tiles wide by eight (8) field tiles long (totaling forty-eight (48) field tiles), including the Field Perimeter.

    Field Element

    Field Element – The Field Perimeter, Floor, PVC pipes, and VEX IQ elements which comprise and/or are attached to the Field.

    Field Perimeter

    Field Perimeter – The outer part of the Field, made up of four (4) outside corners and twenty-four (24) straight sections.

    Floor

    Floor – The interior flat part of the playing Field, made up of the forty-eight (48) field tiles that are within the Field Perimeter.

    Game Design Committee

    Game Design Committee (GDC) - The creators of VIQRC Rapid Relay, and authors of this Game Manual. The GDC is the only official source for rules clarifications and Q&A responses; see Section 1.

    License Plate

    License Plate – A physical component on the Robot that displays the Team’s VEX IQ Robotics Competition number. The License Plate must have a length and height of 3.5” x 1.5” (88.9mm x 38.1mm) and must not exceed a width of 0.25” (6.35mm) per <R9>.

    Loader

    Loader - The Student(s) on the Team who Load Balls into the Field during a Match. An Adult cannot be a Loader on a Team. Loaders cannot also be a Driver in the same Teamwork Challenge Match. (See <G11> and <RSC4>)

    Match

    Match – A set time period, consisting of Autonomous Periods and/or Driver Controlled Periods, during which Teams play a defined version of Rapid Relay to earn points. See Section 3.

    Autonomous Period

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

    Driver Controlled Period

    Driver Controlled Period – A time period during which Drivers operate their Robot.

    Robot

    Robot – A machine that has passed inspection, designed to execute one or more tasks autonomously and/or by remote control from a human operator.

    Student

    Student – Anyone born after May 1, 2009 (i.e., who will be 15 or younger at VEX Worlds 2025). Eligibility may also be granted based on a disability that has delayed education by at least one year. Students are the individuals who design, build, repair, and program the Robot with minimal Adult assistance.

    Elementary School Student

    Elementary School Student – Any Student born after May 1, 2012 (i.e., who will be 12 or younger at VEX Worlds 2025). Elementary School Students may “play up” and compete as Middle School Students.

    Middle School Student

    Middle School Student – Any eligible Student that is not an Elementary School Student.

    Team

    Team – Two or more Students make up a Team.

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

    Builder

    Builder – The Student(s) on the Team who assemble(s) the Robot. An Adult cannot be a Builder on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Builder(s) associated concepts, but may never work on the Robot without the Builder(s) present and actively participating.

    Coder

    Coder – The Student(s) on the Team who write(s) the computer code that is downloaded onto the Robot. An Adult cannot be a Coder on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Coder(s) associated concepts, but may never work on the code that goes on the Robot without the Coder(s) present and actively participating.

    Designer

    Designer – The Student(s) on the Team who design(s) the Robot to be built for competition. An Adult cannot be a Designer on a Team. Adults are permitted to teach the Designer(s) associated concepts, but may never work on the design of the Robot without the Designer(s) present and actively participating.

    Violation

    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 Score Affecting, check whether the Violation directly contributed to increasing the score of the Match. If it did not increase the Alliance’s score, then the Violation was not Score Affecting, and it was very likely a Minor Violation.

    Minor Violation

    Minor Violation – A Violation which does not result in a Disqualification.

    Major Violation

    Major Violation – A Violation which results in a Disqualification.

    Score Affecting

    Score Affecting – A Violation which improves an Alliance’s score at the end of a Match.

    Ball

    Ball – A yellow padded, roughly spherical object, with a diameter of approximately 5.9” (150mm) and a weight of approximately 4.2 ounces (120g).

    Cleared

    Cleared – A Switch status. See <SC4>.

    Goal

    Goal – The act of having Scored a Ball through a Target. See <SC3>.

    Goal Wall

    Goal Wall – A gray and yellow structure, built out of VEX IQ parts, that is attached to the Field Perimeter and the Pickup Zone pipe. The Goal Wall contains four Targets and four Switches.

    Load

    Load – The act of legally introducing a Ball into the Field. See <SG4>.

    Loading Station

    Loading Station – The gray structure, built out of VEX IQ parts, that is attached to the Field Perimeter opposite the Goal Wall. The Loading Station is intended to receive Balls from a human Loader and randomly send them left or right into the Load Zone.

    Load Zone

    Load Zone – An area of the Field containing the Loading Station, bound by the Field Perimeter and the inside of the second solid black line from the edge of the Field (marked by two yellow VEX IQ beams).The Load Zone is an infinitely tall 3-dimensional volume; “reaching over” the black line without contacting the Floor would still constitute being partially in the Load Zone.

    Pass

    Pass – A Ball/Robot status used for scoring. See <SC5>.

    Pickup Zone

    Pickup Zone – An area of the Floor underneath the Goal Wall, bound by the Field Perimeter and the yellow PVC pipe that runs the length of the Field. The Pickup Zone refers to the Floor itself; it is not a 3-dimensional volume. See <SG6>.

    Preload

    Preload – A Ball that is loaded into a Robot prior to a Match. See <SG1>.

    Rapid Load

    Rapid Load - A form of Loading which takes place during the Rapid Load Period.

    Rapid Load Period

    Rapid Load Period - A period of the Match in which Balls may Loaded directly into Starting Zones, instead of the Loading Station. See rules <SG5> and <RSC4>.

    Scored

    Scored - A Ball/Goal status. See <SC3>.

    Starting Zone

    Starting Zone – One of two areas of the Field where Robots may begin the Match. Starting Zones are infinitely tall 3-dimensional volumes, bound by the inside of the Field Perimeter walls and the inside edges of the black lines marked by yellow VEX IQ beams. See Figure SZ-1.

    Switch

    Switch – One of four blue VEX IQ disks, and their supporting structures, found inside of Targets. Switches can be Cleared by Balls. See <SC4>.

    Target

    Target – One of four square holes in the angled face of the Goal Wall through which Balls can be scored. Targets are approximately 6” square and bordered by yellow VEX IQ beams.

    Event Partner

    Event Partner – The volunteer VEX IQ 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.

    Finals Match

    Finals Match – A Teamwork Match used to determine the Teamwork Challenge champions.

    Head Referee

    Head Referee – A certified impartial volunteer responsible for enforcing the rules in this manual as written. Head Referees are the only people 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 Stop Time

    Match Stop Time – The time remaining (i.e., displayed on the timer or audience display) in a tiebreaker Finals Match when an Alliance ends the Match early by placing their controllers on the ground. The Match Stop Time is rounded down to the nearest even number. For example, if controllers are set down when the displayed time is 13 seconds, the Match Stop Time is recorded as 12 seconds. If an Alliance does not finish the Match early, they receive a default Match Stop Time of 0 seconds.

    Practice Match

    Practice Match – A non-scored Match used to provide time for Teams to get acquainted with the official playing Field.

    Qualification Match

    Qualification Match – A Teamwork Challenge Match used to determine the event rankings.

    Robot Skills Challenge

    Robot Skills Challenge – A portion of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition. The Robot Skills Challenge consists of Driving Skills Matches and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches as described in the General Definitions.

    Scorekeeper Referee

    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 the Head Referee.

    Teamwork Challenge

    Teamwork Challenge – A portion of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition. The Teamwork Challenge consists of Teamwork Challenge Matches. The Teamwork Challenge includes Qualification Matches and Finals Matches, and may include Practice Matches.

    Driving Skills Match

    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 a Driving Skills Match early if they wish to record a Skills Stop Time.

    Autonomous Coding Skills Match

    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 an Autonomous Coding Skills Match early if they wish to record a Skills Stop Time.

    Robot Skills Match
    Skills Stop Time

    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 and Balls have come to a rest and the Driver provides the agreed upon visual and audio signal to the Referee. See <RSC10> for more details.
    3. If a 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 manual timer is being used 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.
    SC1

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

    This rule’s intent is for Driver inputs and Robot motion to cease at the end of the Match, when the Match timer reaches 0:00. A pre-programmed routine which causes Robot motion to continue after the end of the Match would violate the spirit of this rule. Any Scoring which takes place after the Match due to Robots continuing to move will not count toward the score and is a Violation of this rule.

    It is expected that many Rapid Relay Matches will have last-second “buzzer-beater” moments. The key moment occurs when the timer display shows 0:00. At many events, a buzzer sound will also play at T=0:00; however, the field timer display takes precedence in the event of any audio discrepancies.

    If a Ball is released from a Robot before this moment, it will be allowed to finish its path and the score will be calculated once it comes to rest. However, if it is released after this moment (i.e., the Robot was still moving past T=0:00) it will not count and the Team will receive a Violation as described below.

    In cases where a last-second scoring attempt is “too close to call,” Teams will generally be given the “benefit of the doubt” and the score will be counted.


    Violation Notes

    SC2

    <SC2> All Scoring statuses are evaluated visually by a Head Referee, to the best of their ability within the context of a given Match/event.

    1. Referees and other event staff are not allowed to review any videos or pictures from the Match. See <T3>.
    2. If there is a concern regarding the score of a Match, only the Drive Team Members from that Match, not an Adult, may share their questions with the Head Referee. See <T3>.
    SC3

    <SC3> An Alliance Scores a Goal once a Ball is no longer in contact with a Robot and has fully passed through a Target (i.e., from the “outside" of the Goal Wall structure into the “inside” of the Goal Wall).

    Effectively, this should correspond with the Ball falling through the Goal Wall and landing in the Pickup Zone, and that “land in the Pickup Zone moment” can be used for most scoring needs. However, in the event of any jams or other malfunctions, the Ball is still considered Scored even if it does not touch down to the Pickup Zone. See <SG6>.

    SC4

    <SC4> A Switch is Cleared once it has been struck by a Ball and is no longer parallel with the front face of the Goal Wall. Robots may not Clear Switches by contacting them directly (i.e., without it being part of the process of scoring a Ball through that Target).

    Please don’t over-think this rule.

    While there are known edge cases in which a Switch has been Cleared without scoring a Ball through the Target (or a Ball has been Scored through a Target but the Switch is not Cleared), they are rare. Switches must be cleared as part of normal gameplay, and by Balls, not Robots or humans. Beyond that, there are no restrictions on what type of Robot action, mechanism, strategy, or technique is used to Score Balls and Clear Switches.

    If there are ever more Cleared Switches than Goals scored, it may be an indication that there has been a Violation of this rule, or that a scoring or field assembly/reset error has occurred. It may also just mean that a Ball bounced back out of a Target after a Switch was Cleared.


    Violation Notes:

    SC5

    <SC5> An Alliance receives credit for a Pass once both Robots independently contact a Ball before it leaves the Field.

    1. For the purposes of this rule, “independent contact” refers to a moment where only one Robot is contacting the Ball. If both Robots are contacting the Ball, this is not considered a Pass.
    2. Each time a Ball is Loaded, it is treated like a new Ball. Any previous Robot contact and/or Pass tracking is “reset.”
    3. A Ball can count for a maximum of one Pass each time it is Loaded through the Loading Station.
    4. Balls that are Rapid Loaded directly into a Starting Zone are not eligible for Passes.

    Note: If a referee sees a Pass occur and they are uncertain if it should be counted, Teams should receive the “benefit of the doubt” and the Pass should be recorded. This Note is primarily intended to apply to clauses “C” and “D” of this rule, e.g., if a referee is uncertain whether or not the Ball had been Rapid Loaded.

    SC6

    <SC6> At the end of a Match, an Alliance cannot receive points for more Passes than Goals*.

    1. The point value per Pass is determined at the end of the Match, based on how many Switches have been Cleared. See the table at the beginning of this section for details.
    2. All Passes should be recorded during the Match, regardless of how many Goals have been scored at the time the Pass occurs. See <SE6>.
    3. *If no Switches have been Cleared at the end of the Match, the maximum number of points that can be received for Passes is four (4). The only way this can occur is if Balls are repeatedly Passed and then sent out of the Field without being Scored.
    SC7

    <SC7> Rapid Relay is designed to be scored in “real-time” as the Match is being played. Passes and Goals should be recorded at the time they occur.

    The preferred method to track real-time scoring is to use tablets or mobile devices running the TM Mobile app. If TM Mobile is unavailable, a portable scoreboard may be used by counting Passes on one side and Goals on the other.

    Other scoring methods, such as the VIQRC Hub app or handheld “clicker counters,” are permitted but heavily discouraged. When possible, a method that displays the counts to competitors and spectators during the Match should always be used.


    Each Match is required to have a Head Referee and at least one Scorekeeper Referee. Exact scoring processes may vary depending on a given event’s resources, and should be communicated to all Teams before Matches begin (e.g., during an event meeting). One recommended starting point is as follows:

    1. The Scorekeeper Referee stands near the Goal Wall, and tracks Scored Balls.
    2. The Head Referee stands mid-field, and tracks Passes.
    3. Referees and Drivers verbally confirm actions to each other as they occur. For example, Drivers call out “Pass!” and the Head Referee responds with “Pass - Check!” to confirm that it has been recorded.

    When possible, two Scorekeeper Referees are preferred, so that the Head Referee can focus on the Match as a whole.

    This is a new way to play VIQRC! This rule may be updated to share any “best practices” that are found by early-season events.

    S1

    <S1> Stay safe, don’t damage the Field. If, at any time, the Robot operation or Team actions are deemed unsafe or have damaged any Field Elements or Balls, the offending Team may be Disabled and/or Disqualified at the Head Referee’s discretion. The Robot will require re-inspection before it may again take the Field.

    Note: Teams may not step onto the Field at any time. If a Team’s Robot requires stepping onto the Field during pre-Match setup, this will be considered a Violation of <S1>, <T6>, and/or <SG1>. The Team’s Robot may be removed from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    S2

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

    G1

    <G1> Treat everyone with respect. All Teams are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner while competing in VEX IQ 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.

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

    More information regarding the event Code of Conduct process can be found at the RECF Library.

    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 one Team in an Alliance to ask another Team to sit in a corner during the Match or to intentionally play beneath their abilities.

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

    G2

    <G2> VIQRC 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:

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

    G3

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

    Some examples may include:

    • 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 IQ 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. On the other hand, if there's not a rule that makes a Robot part legal, it's not allowed.
    • 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.
    G4

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

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

      1. Examples of permissible moves may include, but are not limited to, illness, changing schools, conflicts within a Team, or combining/splitting Teams.
      2. Examples of strategic moves in Violation of this rule may include, but are not limited to, one Coder “switching” Teams in order to write the same program for multiple Robots, or one Student writing the Engineering Notebook for multiple Teams.
      3. If a Student leaves a Team to join another Team, <G4> still applies to the Students remaining on the previous Team. For example, if a Coder leaves a Team, then that Team’s Robot must still represent the skill level of the Team without that Coder. One way to accomplish this would be to ensure that the Coder teaches or trains a “replacement” Coder in their absence.

    Points i and ii are intended to represent real-world situations that are found in industry engineering. If a vital member of a professional engineering team were to suddenly leave, the remaining members of the team should still be capable of working on / maintaining their project.


    1. 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 Drivers or Coders for the Team.

      1. An exception is allowed if only one (1) member of the Team is able to attend the event. The Team can make a single substitution of a Driver or Coder for the Championship event with another Student, even if that Student has competed on a different Team. This Student will now be on this new Team and may not substitute back to the original Team during the season.
    2. Loaders are an exception to this rule. If a Team only has two Students and is unable to field a three-Student Drive Team, they may choose from one of the following options:

      1. For a given Match, they may substitute in a Student from their Alliance Partner’s Team as a temporary Loader. They may do this in as many Matches as needed.
      2. For a given event, they may substitute in a Student from another Team to be their Loader for the duration of the event. This Student may only serve as a Loader for one Team at a given event, and will effectively become a member of the new Team for that event.
      3. There is no requirement for a Drive Team to have a Loader; if desired, they can play the Match with only two Drivers, and rely on their Alliance Partner’s Loader.

    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>.
    • Regarding point C and substitute Loaders: It would be severely outside the intent of this rule, and a potential Code of Conduct / <G1> Violation, for a Team to forcefully “offer” a substitute onto their Alliance Partner, and/or ask their Alliance Partner’s Loader to sit out for a Match.

    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 Driver for one day. This rule is intended to prohibit any instance of loaning or sharing Team members for the sole purpose of gaining a competitive advantage.

    G5

    <G5> Robots begin the Match in the starting size. At the beginning of a Match, each Robot must fit within an 23” wide x 73” long x 15” high (584mm x 1854mm x 381mm) volume, as checked during inspection per <R4>.

    Violation Notes: Any Violation of this rule will result in the Robot being removed from the Field prior to the start of the Match; rules <R3d> and <T6> will apply until the situation is corrected. They will not receive a Disqualification, but they will not be permitted to play in the Match.

    G6

    <G6> Keep your Robot together. Robots may not intentionally detach parts or leave mechanisms on the Field during any Match. Parts that become unintentionally detached from the Robot are no longer considered to be part of the Robot and can be either left on the Field or collected by a Drive Team Member (utilizing <G10>).

    Note: Adding or replacing mechanisms on a Robot mid-Match (e.g., during a <G10> interaction) is considered a Violation of the intent and spirit of this rule.

    G7

    <G7> Don’t damage the Field. Robot interactions which damage the Field or any Field Elements are prohibited. For the purpose of this rule, “damage” is defined as anything which requires repair in order to begin the next Match, such as causing part of the Loading Station to detach from the Field.

    Teams are responsible for the actions of their Robots at all times, especially when interacting with the Goal Wall and the Loading Station. If a Team chooses to repeatedly ram full-speed into a Field Element, it will be hard to convince a Head Referee that any damage caused was “accidental.”


    Violation Notes:

    G8

    <G8> Drivers drive your Robot, and stay in the Driver Station. During a Match, Robots may only be operated by that Team’s Drivers and/or software running on the Robot’s control system. Drivers must remain in their Driver Station, except when legally interacting with their Robot per <G10>.

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

    1. Bringing/using any sort of communication devices into the Driver Station, including wireless headphones of any kind, even if powered off. Non-headphone devices with communication features turned off (e.g., a phone in airplane mode) are allowed.
    2. Standing on any sort of object during a Match, regardless of whether the Field is on the floor or elevated.
    3. Bringing/using additional materials to simplify the game challenge during a Match.

    Point C is intended to refer to non-Robot-related items that directly influence gameplay, such as using a ramp to assist with the Loading Station. 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 Driver Station during a Match. Adults (other than event staff) are not permitted to be in the Driver Station during a Match.

    Note 2: Loaders are not restricted to the Driver Station, and may move around the Field freely.

    Violation Notes: Major Violations of this rule are not required to be Score Affecting, and could invoke Violations of other rules, such as <G1>, <G2>, or <G11>.

    G9

    <G9> Hands out of the Field. During a Match, Drive Team Members are prohibited from making intentional contact with any Field Element, Robot, or Ball that has been introduced to the Field, except for the allowances in <G10>, <RSC8>, and/or <SG6>.

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

    G10

    <G10> Handling the Robot mid-match is allowed under certain circumstances. If a Robot goes completely outside the playing Field, gets stuck, tips over, or otherwise requires assistance, the Drive Team Members may retrieve & reset their Robot. To do so, they must do the following:

    1. Signal the referee by placing their VEX IQ Controller on the ground.
    2. Any Balls being controlled by the Robot while being handled must be removed from the Field, and can be returned through the Loading Station or Rapid Loaded as appropriate based on the Match timer.

      1. In the context of this rule, “controlled” implies that the Robot was manipulating the Ball, and not simply touching it. For example, if the Ball moves with the Robot either vertically or while turning, then the Robot is “controlling” the Ball.
      2. Clause d of <SG3> applies to Balls that are removed from the Field during the last 15 seconds of the Match.
    3. The Robot must be placed back into a legal position that meets the criteria listed in clauses a & b of <SG1>.

    As described in rule <S1>, Students cannot step into the Field at any time during a Match. If the Drive Team Members cannot reach the Robot due to the Robot being in the center of the Field, they may ask the Head Referee to pick up the Robot and hand it to the Drive Team Members for placement according to the conditions above.

    Note: If any Balls are preventing the Robot from being legally placed, such as resting against the Field Perimeter wall, they may be removed from the Field and reintroduced (in accordance with <SG3>).

    Violation Notes: This rule is intended to allow Teams to fix damaged Robots or help get their Robots “out of trouble.” Strategically exploiting this rule may be considered a Minor Violation or Major Violation at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    G11

    <G11> A Team’s two Drivers switch Controllers midway through the Match. In a given Match, up to two (2) Drivers, plus one Loader, may be in the Driver Station per Team. The two Drivers must switch their controller between twenty-five seconds (0:25) and thirty-five seconds (0:35) remaining in the Match.

    1. No Driver shall operate a Robot for more than thirty-five seconds (0:35).
    2. The second Driver may not touch their Team’s controls until the controller is passed to them.
    3. Once the controller is passed, the first Driver may no longer touch their Team’s controls.
    4. A Driver cannot also be a Loader in the same Match. If a Team only has two members, they must exercise one of the substitute Loader options listed in rule <G4c>.

    Note: If only one Driver is present , this rule still applies and they must cease Robot operation after the first thirty-five (0:35) seconds of the Match.

    Violation Notes: At a minimum, any Violation of this rule is considered a Minor Violation. Whether it escalates to a Major Violation or not is dependent upon the Head Referee’s judgment regarding:

    SG1

    <SG1> Pre-match setup. At the beginning of a Match, the Robot must be placed such that it is:

    1. Satisfying all constraints listed in <R4> (i.e., fully contained within one Starting Zone and no taller than 15”).
    2. Contacting the inside of the Field Perimeter wall.
    3. Contacting exactly one (1) Preload.
    4. Completely stationary (i.e., no motors or other mechanisms in motion). Pre-charging a pneumatic system (i.e., having the Pneumatic Pump running prior to the Match) is the only permitted exception to this rule.
    5. Not occupying the same Starting Zone as the Alliance partner Robot

    There are no specific starting positions, as long as the above criteria are met. Per <T6>, Robots must arrive at the Field ready to play with minimal additional setup. Repeated delays may result in a Violation of <G1> and/or removal of the Robot from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    Violation Notes: Any Violation of this rule will result in the Robot being removed from the Field prior to the start of the Match; rules <R3d> and <T6> will apply until the situation is corrected. They will not receive a Disqualification, but they will not be permitted to play in the Match.

    SG2

    <SG2> Robot expansion is limited.Robots may not expand beyond the 23" x 73" horizontal or 15" vertical starting size limits at any time during a Match. The 15" height limit is a "virtual ceiling," meaning that no part of a Robot may exceed 15" above the Floor, regardless of Robot orientation.

    Violation Notes: It is expected that momentary Minor Violations may occur, such as when a Robot drives over the VEX IQ beams that mark the Starting Zones. These will likely only result in a verbal warning and will not be recorded as Violations if no gameplay advantage occurs."

    SG3

    <SG3> Keep Balls in the Field. It is expected that some Balls may leave the Field without being scored. When this happens, they may be retrieved by a Loader and legally Loaded through the Loading Station.

    1. “Leaving the Field” means that a Ball is outside of the Field Perimeter and no longer in contact with the Field, Field Elements, other Balls, or Robots. A Ball that is scored through a Target is not considered to have left the Field.
    2. If a Ball is removed from a Robot during a <G10> interaction, it is considered “out of the Field” as soon as it is no longer in contact with any Robots.
    3. If a Ball is on its way out of the Field (as determined by the Head Referee), but is deflected back into the field by a Drive Team Member, field monitor, ceiling/wall, or other external factor, <SG3> would still apply. This Ball should be considered “out of the Field,” removed by a Head Referee, and given to a Loader.

      1. If the redirection occurred due to contact with a Drive Team Member, it will be at the Head Referee’s discretion whether <G9> or <SG3> should apply.
    4. Balls which leave the Field during the Rapid Load Period must be returned through the Loading Station; they may not be Loaded directly into a Starting Zone.
    SG4

    <SG4> Using the Loading Station. Balls Loaded through the Loading Station must meet the following criteria:

    1. No more than two (2) Balls may be in play at any one time (i.e., the next Ball should not be Loaded until a previous Ball is either scored or leaves the Field).
    2. The Loader must be the last human to contact the Ball before it is released.
    3. The Loader’s hand may not cross into the volume of the Loading Station at any time.
    4. No Robot(s) may be in the Load Zone at the time the Ball is released by the Loader.
    5. If a Ball is introduced improperly through the Loading Station, the Head Referee will verbally notify the Loader as soon as possible (e.g., “your hand crossed, load that one again”). The Ball must then be removed from the Load Zone by a Loader before it is retrieved by a Robot and legally Loaded again.
    6. If a Ball is introduced improperly outside of the Loading Station (e.g., into the middle of the Field prior to the Rapid Load Period), the Ball must be retrieved by a referee and handed to a Loader.

    Note: The legal edge of the Load Zone is on the side of the black line closest to the Loading Station. The other edge of the black line is intended to be a “warning zone.” Robots touching or breaking the plane of this line during a Load may receive a “close call” warning from the Head Referee. This warning is not a Violation, as long as the Robot never enters the Load Zone.


    Violation Notes:

    SG5

    <SG5> Loading during the Rapid Load Period. During the last fifteen (15) seconds of the Match, Loaders have the option to introduce Balls directly into the Field (i.e., without using the Loading Station).

    1. Clauses “A” and “B” of <SG4> must still be satisfied during the Rapid Load Period.
    2. Rapid Load Balls must contact the Floor inside a Starting Zone before being contacted by a Robot.
    3. Balls may never be in contact with both a Robot and a human Loader at the same time.
    4. <
    5. Rapid Load Balls may not contact the Goal Wall or the Floor outside of a Starting Zone before being retrieved by a Robot.
    6. Rapid Load Balls are not eligible to receive credit for Passes.
    7. The human Loader may not contact the Floor while introducing the Match Load (e.g., cannot step into or place a hand on the Floor to reach the center of the Field).”

    If a Ball is Rapid Loaded improperly, the Ball must be retrieved by a referee, given to a Loader, and re-Loaded legally before it may be retrieved by a Robot.

    Note: Although it is not required, Robots are highly recommended to remain some distance away from the Ball entirely until the Loader’s hand has clearly been removed. This will make clauses “B” and “C” abundantly clear to Head Referees, and help them to verify clauses “A” and “D”.

    Note 2: Although it is not required, placing the Ball gently down onto the Field without any additional motion is highly recommended. Unorthodox strategies, such as “tossing” or “rolling” the Ball, will not receive any “benefit of the doubt” if the Head Referee cannot clearly confirm that all criteria have been met (especially clauses “B” and “D”).

    Violation Notes:

    SG6

    <SG6> Retrieving Balls from the Pickup Zone. Once a Goal is scored, that Ball will fall through the Goal Wall and into the Pickup Zone. This rule also applies to Balls that land in the Pickup Zone without being scored.

    1. Once the Ball contacts the Floor of the Pickup Zone, a Loader may retrieve it. They may not reach into the Field until the Ball contacts the Floor.
    2. A Ball which has been Scored through a Target may not be used for additional scoring or Switch Clearing until it is retrieved by a Loader and legally re-Loaded.

    Note: Although not explicitly required, it is highly recommended for Loaders to have a designated “staging location” to rest their hands while waiting for a Ball (such as the outside face of the Field Perimeter). This will help make it abundantly clear to the Head Referee that point A is not being Violated.

    If a Ball gets stuck inside the Goal Wall structure and does not make it to the Pickup Zone, a referee may free it by carefully reaching into the Goal Wall. This should be rare; in most cases, a gentle nudge will be all that is needed to move the Ball into the Pickup Zone. Extreme circumstances, such as multiple Balls being stuck at once, or interference with gameplay during this interaction, may warrant a Match replay at the Head Referee’s discretion (see <T7>).


    Violation Notes:

    R1

    <R1> One Robot per Team. Only one (1) Robot will be allowed to participate per Team at a given event. Though it is expected that Teams will make changes to their Robots at the event, a Team is limited to only one (1) Robot, and a given Robot may only be used by one (1) Team. The VEX IQ system is intended to be a mobile robotics design platform. As such, a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot, for the purposes of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition, has the following subsystems:

    • Subsystem 1: Mobile robotic base including wheels, tracks, 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 VEX IQ legal battery, a VEX IQ control system, and associated Smart Motors for the mobile robotic base.
    • Subsystem 3: Additional mechanisms (and associated Smart Motors) that allow manipulation of Balls or navigation/manipulation of Field Elements.

    Given the above definitions, a minimum Robot for use in any VEX IQ 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 are no longer legal.

    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 Challenge, Qualification Matches, and/or Finals 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 that puts in the time, effort, and resources to undergo separate individual design processes and develop their own Robots.

    To help determine whether 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 complete and legal Robots on a table next to each other, then they are two separate Robots. Trying to decide if changing a pin, a wheel, or a motor constitutes a separate Robot is missing the intent and spirit of this rule.

    R2

    <R2> Robots must represent the Team’s skill level. The Robot must be designed, built, and programmed by members of the Teams. Adults are permitted 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.

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

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

    R3

    <R3> Robots must pass inspection. The Team’s Robot must pass inspection before being allowed to participate in any Matches. 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.
    3. Teams may be asked to submit to spot inspections by Head Referees. Refusal to submit will result in Disqualification.
    4. If a Robot is determined to not be legal before a Match begins, the Robot will be removed from the Field. A Driver may remain so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>).
    5. Robots which have not passed inspection (i.e., that are in Violation of one or more Robot rules) will not be permitted to play in any Matches until they have done so. <T6> will apply to any Matches that occur until the Robot has passed inspection.
    6. If a Robot has passed inspection, but is later found to be in Violation of a Robot rule during or immediately following a Match, then they will be Disqualified from that Match and <R3d>/<T6> will apply until the Violation is remedied and the Team is re-inspected.
    7. All inspection rules are to be enforced at the discretion of the Head Referee within a given event. Robot legality at one event does not automatically imply legality at future events. Robots which rely on “edge-case” interpretations of subjective rules, such as whether a decoration is “non-functional” or not, should expect additional scrutiny during inspection.
    R4

    <R4> Starting configuration. At the start of each Match, the Robot must be able to satisfy the following constraints:

    1. Only be contacting the Floor and the inside face of the Field Perimeter.
    2. Fit within the volume of a Starting Zone.
    3. Be no taller than 15” (i.e., roughly the height of the yellow VEX IQ beams above the bottom two Targets).
    4. The starting configuration of the Robot at the beginning of a Match must be the same as a Robot configuration inspected for compliance.

      1. Teams using more than one possible Robot configuration at the beginning of Matches must tell the Inspector(s) and have the Robot inspected in all configurations. Rule <R3c> will apply if a Robot is placed in an uninspected configuration (i.e., will not be permitted to play until re-inspected, but will not be considered a “no-show”).

    Note: These dimensions (i.e., fit within a Starting Zone and height limit of 15”) are also the maximum expansion limits during Match play.

    Figure R4-1: The 15” Robot height limit roughly aligns with the top of the lower set of Targets.

    R5

    <R5> Prohibited items. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed:

    1. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Balls.
    2. Those that could potentially damage or entangle other Robots.
    3. Grease, oil, graphite, and/or any other lubricant or plastic additive.
    4. Tape and/or any other material that adheres to or changes a legal part, other than non-functional decorations as permitted by <R8>
    R6

    <R6> VEX IQ product line. Robots may be built ONLY from official Robot components from the VEX IQ product line, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules.

    1. Official VEX IQ products are ONLY available from VEX Robotics. To determine whether a product is “official” or not, consult www.vexiq.com.
    2. If an Inspector or event official questions whether something is an official VEX IQ component, the Team will be required to provide documentation to an inspector that proves the component’s source. Such documentation may include receipts, part numbers, or other printed documentation.
    3. Only VEX IQ components specifically designed for use in Robot construction are allowed. Using additional components outside their typical purpose is against the intent of the rule (i.e., please don’t try using VEX IQ apparel, Team or event support materials, packaging, Field Elements, or other non-Robot products on a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot).
    4. Products from the VEX 123, VEX V5, VEX CTE, VEX EXP, Cortex, or VEXpro product lines cannot be used for Robot construction. However, products from the VEX V5 product line that are also cross-listed as part of the VEX IQ product line are legal. A “cross-listed” product is one which can be found in both the VEX IQ and VEX V5 sections of the VEX Robotics website.
    5. Mechanical/structural components from the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product line are legal for Robot construction. However, electrical components from the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product line are illegal for Robot construction.
    6. Mechanical/structural components from the VEX GO product line are legal for Robot construction. However, electrical components from the VEX GO product line are illegal for Robot construction.
    7. Official Robotics components from the VEX IQ product line that have been discontinued are still legal for Robot use. However, Teams must be aware of <R6b>.
    8. Functional 3D printed components, such as replicas of legal VEX IQ parts or custom designs, are not legal for Robot use.
    9. Additional VEX IQ products that are released during the season are legal for use, unless otherwise noted on their product pages and/or in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition Legal Parts Appendix.
    10. VEX IQ Smart Cables may only be used for connecting legal electronic devices to the VEX IQ Robot Brain.

    Note: A comprehensive list of legal parts can be found in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition Legal Parts Appendix, as mentioned above. This Appendix is updated as needed if/when new VEX IQ parts are released, and may not coincide with scheduled Game Manual updates.

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

    R7

    <R7> Non-VEX IQ components. Robots are allowed to use the following additional “non-VEX IQ” components:

    1. Rubber bands that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX IQ product line (#32, #64 & #117B).
    2. ⅛” metal shafts from the VEX V5 product line.
    R8

    <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.

    1. Decorations must be in the spirit of an educational competition.
    2. To be considered “non-functional,” any decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. For example, a giant decal cannot be used to prevent Balls from falling out of the Robot unless it is backed by VEX IQ material. A simple way to check this is to determine if removing the decoration would impact the performance of the Robot in any way.
    3. The use of non-toxic paint is considered a legal non-functional decoration. However, any paint being used as an adhesive or to impact how tightly parts fit together would be classified as functional.

    Teams should be mindful of any non-functional decorations which could risk “distracting” Alliance partner Robots’ Vision Sensor or other sensors.

    R9

    <R9> Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot License Plates. To participate in an official VEX IQ Robotics Competition Event, a Team must first register on robotevents.com and receive a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team Number.

    This Team number must be legibly displayed on at least two (2) VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plates on opposing sides of the Robot. Teams may choose to use the official VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plate (VEX Part Number 228-7401), or may create their own custom License Plates.

    1. License Plates must fulfill all inspection rules.
    2. License Plates must be clearly visible at all times. For example, License Plates must not be in a position that would be easily obstructed by a Robot mechanism during standard Match play.
    3. Any custom-made License Plates used must be the same length and height as the official License Plate (3.5” x 1.5” [88.9mm x 38.1mm]). They must not exceed the width of the official License Plate (0.25” [6.35mm]).
    4. Custom-made License Plates are considered non-functional decorations, and must therefore meet all of the criteria listed in <R8>. Therefore, 3D printed License Plates are permitted within these rules.
    R10

    <R10> Let it go after the Match is over. Robots must be designed to permit easy removal of Balls from their Robot without requiring that the Robot have power or remote control after the Match is over.

    R11

    <R11> Robot Brain. Robots are limited to one (1) VEX IQ Robot Brain.

    1. Robot Brains, microcontrollers, and other electronic components that are part of the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG, VEX GO, VEX EXP, VEX V5, VEX 123, or VEXpro product lines are not allowed.

      1. The Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493) is the only exception to this rule, per <R13>.
    2. If using a first generation VEX IQ Brain, Robots must use one (1) VEX IQ 900 MHz radio, VEX IQ 2.4 GHz radio, or VEX IQ Smart Radio in conjunction with their VEX IQ Robot Brain. The VEX IQ Brain and VEX IQ Controller may not be physically connected during a Match, and may only communicate through the radio.
    3. The only legal method of driving the Robot during Teamwork Challenge Matches and Driving Skills Matches is the VEX IQ Controller.
    4. See <RSC8> and <RSC9> for more information about operating the Robot during Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.
    5. Additional Robot Brains cannot be used on the Robot (even Robot Brains that are not connected)
    R12

    <R12> Motors. Robots may use up to six (6) VEX IQ Smart Motors.

    1. Additional motors cannot be used on the Robot (even motors that aren’t connected).
    R13

    <R13> Batteries. The only allowable sources of electrical power for a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot are one (1) VEX IQ Robot Battery (first or second generation) or six (6) AA batteries via the Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493).

    1. Additional batteries cannot be used on the Robot (even batteries that aren’t connected).
    2. Teams are permitted to have an external power source (such as a rechargeable battery pack) plugged into their VEX IQ Controller during a Match, provided that this power source is connected safely and does not violate any other rules (such as <G8>).

    Note: Although it is legal, the Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493) is not recommended for use in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition.

    R14

    <R14> Firmware. Teams must use VEXos version 2.2.1 or newer on Gen1 Brains, or VEXos version 1.0.8 or newer on Gen2 Brains. The latest firmware can be found at https://link.vex.com/firmware. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted.

    1. The minimum VEXos version requirement is subject to change over the course of the season.
    2. When the minimum version is updated, Teams have a two week (14 calendar days) grace period from the time the minimum version is changed to update their firmware to the latest minimum version.
    3. VEX reserves the right to deem any firmware update critical, and remove the allowable grace period.
    R15

    <R15> Modifications of parts. Parts may NOT be modified unless specifically listed as an exception in this rule. Examples of modifications include, but are not limited to, bending, cutting, sanding, gluing, or melting. The following exceptions are legal:

    1. Cutting metal VEX IQ or VEX V5 shafts to custom lengths.
    2. Bending parts which are intended to be flexible, such as string, rubber bands, or thin plastic sheets.
    3. Cutting VEX IQ pneumatic tubing to custom lengths.
    R16

    <R16> Pneumatics. Robots using parts from the VEX IQ Pneumatics Kit (228-8795) must satisfy the following criteria:

    1. No more than two (2) Air Tanks, including any that aren’t connected.
    2. No more than (1) Air Pump, including any that aren’t connected.
    3. No additional parts that are not included in the VEX IQ Pneumatics Kit (e.g., unofficial tubing or fittings).

    Note: There is no limit on the number of Pneumatic Cylinders or Pneumatic Solenoids that may be used, provided that no other rules are violated. There are no restrictions on running the Air Pump prior to (or during) Matches.

    The intent of <R16a> is to limit Robots to the air pressure stored in two Air Tanks, as well as the normal working air pressure contained in any Pneumatic Cylinders and tubing on the Robot. Teams may not use other elements for the purposes of storing or generating air pressure.

    Using Pneumatic Cylinders or additional tubing solely for additional air storage is in Violation of the spirit of this rule. Similarly, using Pneumatic Cylinders and/or tubing without an actual pneumatic system (e.g., Air Tanks and/or a Air Pump) is also in Violation of the spirit of this rule.

    R17

    <R17> There is a difference between accidentally and willfully violating a Robot rule. Any violation of Robot rules, accidental or intentional, will result in a Team being unable to play until they pass inspection (per <R3d>).

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

    T1

    <T1> The Head Referee has 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 the Head Referee, but may not determine any rules or infractions directly.
    2. When issuing a Disqualification or Violation to a Team, the Head Referee should attempt to notify the Team as the Violation occurs, and after the Match must provide the rule number of the specific rule that has been Violated and record the Violation in the Match Anomaly Log.
    3. Violations of the REC Foundation Code of Conduct may involve additional escalation beyond the Head Referee’s initial ruling, including (but not limited to) investigation by REC Foundation representatives. Rules <S1>, <G1>, <G2>, and <G4> are the only rules for which this escalation may be required.
    4. Event Partners may not overrule a Head Referee’s decision.
    5. Every Qualification Match and Finals Match must be watched by a certified Head Referee. Head Referees may only watch one Match at a time; if multiple Matches are happening simultaneously on separate fields, each field must have its own Head Referee.

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

    The VEX IQ 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 the Head Referee in the moment. The VEX GDC designs games, and writes rules, with this expectation (constraint) in mind.

    T2

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

    1. Be at least 16 years of age.
    2. Be approved by the Event Partner.
    3. Be an REC Foundation Certified VIQRC Head Referee for the current season. Visit the RECF Library for more details.

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

    T3

    <T3> The Drive Team Members are permitted to immediately appeal the Head Referee’s ruling. If Drive Team Members wish to dispute a score or ruling, they must stay in the Driver Station until the Head Referee 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, or Violation 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 IQ 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 Driver 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 Driver Station, and relocate to the “question box” once the Head Referee has been made aware of the concern and/or any relevant context.

    T4

    <T4> The Event Partner has ultimate authority regarding all non-gameplay decisions during an event. The Game Manual is intended to provide a set of rules for successfully playing VIQRC Rapid Relay; it is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of guidelines for running a VEX IQ 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 and pit access
    • Health and safety
    • Team registration and/or competition eligibility
    • Team conduct away from competition fields

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

    T5

    <T5> Be at your match on time. If no member of a Team is present in the Driver Station at the start of a Match, that Team is considered a “no show” and will receive zero (0) points. The other Team in the Alliance will still play and receive points for the Match.

    T6

    <T6> Robots at the field must be ready to play. If a Team brings their Robot to the Field, it must be prepared to play (i.e., batteries charged, sized within the starting size constraint, etc.)

    1. Robots must be placed on the field promptly. Repeated failure to do so could result in a Violation of <G1> and/or removal of the Robot from the current Match at the Head Referee’s discretion.

    The definition of the word “promptly” is at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, who will consider event schedule, previous warnings or delays, etc. As a general guideline, five seconds to check Robot alignment would be acceptable, but five minutes to assemble multiple parts together would not.

    T7

    <T7> Match Replays are allowed, but rare. Match replays (i.e., playing a Match over again from its start) are at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, and will only be issued in the most extreme circumstances. Some examples that may warrant a Match replay are as follows:

    1. Score Affecting “Field fault” issues.

      1. Switches not being reset before the Match starts.
      2. Field Elements detaching or moving beyond normal tolerances, not as a result of Robot interactions.
    2. Score Affecting game rule issues.

      1. A Field is reset before the score is determined.
    T8

    <T8> Disqualifications. A Team that is issued a Disqualification in a Qualification Match receives zero (0) points for the Match. The other Team on their Alliance will still receive points for the Match.

    1. In Finals Matches, Disqualifications apply to the whole Alliance, not just one Team. An Alliance that receives a Disqualification in a Finals Match will receive zero (0) points.
    2. A Team that receives a Disqualification in a Robot Skills Match will receive a score of zero (0).
    T9

    <T9> Timeouts. There are no timeouts in VIQRC tournaments.

    T10

    <T10> Be prepared for minor field variance. Field Element tolerances may vary from nominal by up to ±0.5” [25.4mm], unless otherwise specified. Ball weights may vary from nominal by up to ±5 grams. Teams are encouraged to design their Robots accordingly. Please make sure to check Appendix A for more specific nominal dimensions and tolerances.

    T11

    <T11> Fields and Field Elements may be repaired at the Event Partner’s discretion. All competition fields and other Field Elements at an event must be set up in accordance with the specifications in Appendix A and/or other applicable support materials. 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:

    1. Replacing a damaged or missing VEX IQ Field component with an identical part of any color.
    2. Elevating the playing field off of the Floor (common heights are 10” to 24” [254mm to 609.6mm]).
    3. Using off-the-shelf PVC to replace a damaged or missing Pickup Zone pipe.
    4. Repairing a Ball that has been ripped open by sewing it back together.
    T12

    <T12> Teamwork Matches. During Teamwork Challenge Matches, two (2) Teams form an Alliance that will play on the Field.

    1. Qualification Match Alliances are randomly selected.
    2. Finals Match Alliances are assigned as follows:
      1. The first and second ranked Teams form an Alliance.
      2. The third and fourth ranked Teams form an Alliance.
      3. And so on, until all Teams participating in Finals Matches have formed an Alliance.
    T13

    <T13> Ending a Match early. If an Alliance wants to end a Qualification Match or a Finals Match early, both Teams must signal the referee by ceasing all Robot motion and placing their controllers on the ground. The referee will then signal to the Teams that the Match is over and will begin to tally the score. If the Match is a tiebreaker Finals Match, then the Match Stop Time will also be recorded.

    T14

    <T14> Practice Matches may be played at some events, but are not required. If Practice Matches are run, every effort will be made to equalize practice time for all Teams.

    T15

    <T15> Qualification Matches will occur according to the official match schedule. This schedule will indicate Alliance partners, Qualification Match times, and, if the event has multiple Fields, which Field each Qualification Match will be played on.

    Note: The official Match schedule is subject to changes at the Event Partner’s discretion.

    T16

    <T16> Each Team will be scheduled Qualification Matches as follows.

    1. When in a tournament, the tournament must have a minimum of six (6) Qualification Matches per Team at local qualifying events and eight (8) 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 number of Qualification Matches per Team for a standard league ranking session is four (4). Event Partners may choose to have Qualification Matches as part of their league finals session.
    T17

    <T17> Teams are ranked by their average Qualification Match scores.

    1. When in a tournament, every Team will be ranked based on the same number of Qualification Matches.

      1. For tournaments that have more than one (1) division, Teams will be ranked among all Teams in their specific division. Each division will have its own set of Finals Matches. The winners of each division will then have an overall event Finals. Any multi-division event must be approved by the REC Foundation Regional Support Manager prior to the event, and divisions must be assigned in alternating sequential order by Team number.
    2. When in a league, every Team will be ranked based on the number of Matches played. Teams that participate in less than 60% of the total Matches available will be ranked below Teams that participate in at least 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. A certain number of a Team’s lowest Qualification Match scores will be excluded from the rankings based on the quantity of Qualification Matches each Team plays. Excluded scores do not affect participation for leagues.
    Number of Qualification Matches per Team Number of excluded Match scores
    4-7 1
    8-11 2
    12-15 3
    16+ 4
    1. In some cases, a Team will be assigned to play an additional Qualification Match. The extra Match will be identified on the Match Schedule with an asterisk and will not impact the Team’s ranking (or participation for leagues). Teams are reminded that <G1> is always in effect and Teams are expected to behave as if the additional Qualification Match counted.
    2. Ties in Team ranking are broken by:

      1. Removing the Team’s lowest score and comparing the new average score.
      2. Removing the Team’s next lowest score and comparing the new average score (on through all scores).
      3. If the Teams are still tied, the Teams will be sorted by random electronic draw.
    T18

    <T18> Teams playing in Finals Matches. The number of Finals Matches, and therefore the number of Teams who will participate in Finals Matches, is determined by the Event Partner. Events must have a minimum of five (5) Finals Matches if there are ten (10) or more Teams in attendance.

    T19

    <T19> Finals Match Schedule. Finals Matches are played sequentially, starting with the lowest-ranked Alliance. Each Alliance will participate in one (1) Finals Match. The Alliance with the highest Finals Match score is the Teamwork Challenge champion.

    1. Alliances are ranked by their Finals Match score. The highest-scoring Alliance is in first place, the second-highest-scoring Alliance is in second place, etc.
    2. Ties for first place will result in a series of tiebreaker Finals Matches, starting with the lower-seeded Alliance. The Alliance with the highest tiebreaker Finals Match score will be declared the Teamwork Challenge champion.

      1. If the tiebreaker Finals Match scores are tied, the Alliance with the higher Match Stop Time will be declared the winner.
      2. If the Match Stop Time is also tied, a second series of tiebreaker Finals Matches will be played. If this second series of tiebreaker Finals Matches is also tied, then the higher-seeded Alliance will be declared the winner.
      3. If there is a tie for a place other than first, the higher-seeded Alliance will receive the higher rank.

    Example 1: Alliance 6 and Alliance 3 are tied for first place. During the tiebreaker Finals Match, Alliance 6 scores 13 points and has a Match Stop Time of 12 seconds. Alliance 3 scores 13 points and has a Match Stop Time of 10 seconds. Alliance 6 is the Teamwork Challenge winner.

    Example 2: Alliance 4 and Alliance 5 are tied for third place. Alliance 4 is the third place winner and Alliance 5 is the fourth place winner. In this way, the lower ranked Alliance must “overcome” the higher ranked Alliance in order to become the Teamwork Challenge champion.

    RSC1

    <RSC1> Standard rules apply in most cases. All rules from previous sections apply to the Robot Skills Matches, unless otherwise specified.

    RSC2

    <RSC2> Scoring Robot Skills Matches. The point value per Goal is determined at the end of the Match, based on how many Switches have been Cleared by the end of that Match. See the following table for details.

    Each Cleared Switch

    1 Point

    Each Goal - 1 Cleared Switch

    4 Points

    Each Goal - 2 Cleared Switches

    8 Points

    Each Goal - 3 Cleared Switches

    10 Points

    Each Goal - 4 Cleared Switches

    12 Points

    RSC3

    <RSC3> Robot Skills Field setup. The Field is set up the same as a Teamwork Challenge Match (i.e., per <SG1>), with the following modifications:

    1. In addition to the Preload, Teams may place a second Ball anywhere in Starting Zone 1 (i.e., the one closest to the Pickup Zone) to begin the Match.
    2. Robots must begin in Starting Zone 2 (i.e., the one closest to the Loading Station).
    RSC4

    <RSC4> Loading differences. All criteria listed in <SG4> and <SG5> apply as written (e.g., no more than two Balls on the Field, Robots may not be in the Load Zone during Loading, etc.). However, Rapid Loading is modified as follows:

    1. Starting Zone 2 (i.e., the one closest to the Loading Station) is the only Starting Zone that may be used for Rapid Loading.
    2. In Driving Skills Matches, the Rapid Load Period is defined as any time after the mid-Match Driver switch takes place.
    3. In Autonomous Coding Skills Matches, the entire Match is considered a Rapid Load Period (i.e., there is no requirement to use the Loading Station).

      1. Clause “D” of <SG3> does not apply in Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

    Note: In both Driving Skills Matches and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches, any Driver who is not currently operating the Robot may also serve as a Loader (i.e., a Team may have two Loaders at any given time).

    RSC5

    <RSC5> Skills Ranking at events. For each Robot Skills Match, Teams are awarded a score based on the skills rules and skills scoring rules. Teams will be ranked based on the following scores and 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 a).
    6. Highest Skills Stop Time from a Team’s highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match (i.e., the Match in point b).
    7. Third-highest Autonomous Coding Skills Match score.
    8. Third-highest Driving Skills Match score.
    9. If the tie cannot be broken after all above criteria (i.e., both Teams have the exact same scores and Skills Stop Times for each Autonomous Coding Skills Match and Driving Skills Match), then the following ordered criteria will be used to determine which team had the “best” Autonomous Coding Skills Match:

      1. Points for Cleared Switches
      2. Points for Goals Scored
    10. If the tie still cannot be broken, the same process in the step above will be applied to the Teams’ highest Driving Skills Matches.
    11. If the tie still isn’t broken, the Event Partner may choose to allow Teams to have one more deciding Match, or both Teams may be declared the winner.
    RSC6

    <RSC6> Skills Rankings Globally. Teams are ranked based on theirRobot Skills Match scores globally using the following tiebreakers:

    1. Highest Robot Skills score (combined Autonomous Coding Skills Match and Driving Skills Match 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 a.
    4. Highest Skills Stop Time from the Autonomous Coding Skills Match used for point b.
    5. Highest Driving Skills Match score (from any event).
    6. Highest Skills Stop Time from the Driving Skills Match score used in point e.
    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.
    9. 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.
    RSC7

    <RSC7> Skills Match Schedule. Teams play Robot Skills Matches on a first-come, first-served basis. Each Team will get the opportunity to play exactly three (3) Driving Skills Matches and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

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

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

    RSC8

    <RSC8> Handling Robots during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match. A Team may handle their Robot as many times as desired during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match.

    1. Upon handling the Robot, it must be immediately brought back to Starting Zone 2.

      1. Drive Team Members may reset or adjust the Robot as desired from this position, including pressing buttons on the Robot Brain or activating sensors.
      2. Any Balls being controlled by the Robot while being handled must be removed from the Field, and can be returned through the Loading Station or Rapid Loaded as appropriate based on the Match type and Match timer.
      3. As described in rule <S1>, Students cannot step into the Field at any time during a Match. If the Drive Team Members cannot reach the Robot due to the Robot being in the center of the Field, they may ask the Head Referee to pick up the Robot and hand it to the Drive Team Members for placement according to the conditions above.”
    2. During an Autonomous Coding Skills Match, Drivers may move freely around the Field, and are not restricted to the Driver Station when not handling their Robot.

      1. The rest of <G8>, which states that Drive Team Members are not allowed to use any communication devices during their Match, still applies.
      2. An intent of this exception is to permit Drivers who wish to “stage” Robot handling during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match to do so without excessive running back and forth to the Driver Station.

    This rule is an explicit exception to rules <G9> and <G10>, and may be used as part of a Team’s strategy for Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

    Driving Skills Matches are still governed by <G9> & <G10>, especially for strategic violations.

    RSC9

    <RSC9> Starting an Autonomous Coding Skills Match. Drivers must start a Robot’s Autonomous Coding Skills Match routine by pressing a button on the Robot Brain or manually activating a sensor. Because there is no VEX IQ Controller hand-off, only one (1) Driver is required for an Autonomous Coding Skills Match (though Teams may still have two (2) if desired).

    1. Pre-match sensor calibration is considered part of the standard pre-Match setup time (i.e., the time when the Team would typically be turning on the Robot, moving any mechanisms to their desired legal start position, etc.).
    2. Pressing a button on the VEX IQ Controller to begin the routine is not permitted. To avoid any confusion, Teams are advised not to bring controllers to Autonomous Coding Skills Matches.

    In accordance with <T6>, Teams should be mindful of event schedules and set their Robot up as promptly as possible. The definition of “prompt” is at the discretion of the Event Partner and Head Referee, and could depend on things like how much time is left for the Skills Challenge field(s) to be open, how many Teams are waiting in line, etc. As a general guideline, three seconds to calibrate a Gyro Sensor would be acceptable, but three minutes to debug a program would not.

    RSC10

    <RSC10> 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. Drivers and field staff must agree prior to the Match on the signal that will be used to end the Match early.

    1. As noted in the definition of Skills Stop Time, the moment when the Match ends early is defined as the moment when the Robot and Balls have come to a rest and the Driver provides the agreed upon visual and audio signal to the Scorekeeper Referee.
    2. Teams who intend to attempt a Skills Stop Time must “opt-in” by verbally confirming with the Scorekeeper Referee prior to the Robot Skills Match. If no notification is given prior to the start of the Match, then the Team forfeits their option to record a Skills Stop Time for that Match.
    3. This conversation should include informing the Scorekeeper Referee which Driver will signal the stop. The Match may only be ended early by a Driver for that Match.
    4. The agreed-upon signal to stop the Match must be both verbal and visual, such as Drivers crossing their arms in an “X” or placing their VEX IQ Controller on the ground.
    5. It is recommended that the Driver also provides a verbal notice that they are approaching their Skills Stop Time, such as counting out “3-2-1-stop.”
    6. If a Team runs multiple Robot Skills Matches in a row, they must reconfirm their Skills Stop Time choice with the Scorekeeper Referee prior to each Match.
    7. Any questions regarding a Skills Stop Time should be reviewed and settled immediately following the Match. <T1> and <T3> apply to Robot Skills Matches.
    RSC11

    <RSC11> Robot Skills at League Events. At league events in which Teams may submit Robot Skills Challenge scores across multiple 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’s rankings, and their scores from Session 1 would be used for the Event and Global tiebreakers listed in the above two sections.