Attending a VIQC Tournament

What to Expect

Tournaments are busy, fast-moving days. Here are a few tips to help teams enjoy the day:

  • Make sure your team is well rested and well hydrated. Bring snacks that are non-perishable.
  • Dress comfortably and wear closed-toed shoes.
  • Wearing team shirts or costumes adds to the fun.
  • Ensure that your robot batteries are charged and ready for action!
  • Make sure all equipment and parts are labeled with your team/contact name or team number.
  • Arrive a few minutes early, if possible, and become familiar with the event venue.
  • Ensure that an adult associated with the team supervises the students throughout the event.
  • Review the event agenda and match schedule. Make sure the students know their team number.
  • Assign a timekeeper, who ensures the team arrives on time for their matches.
  • Encourage your team to interact and share with other teams to enhance their learning experience.
  • Demonstrate courtesy and respect to the dedicated event staff and participants at all times.
  • Offer positive support and encouragement throughout the day.
  • Share your team spirit! HAVE FUN!

Safety at Events

Be sure to have everyone review the Safety Procedures at VIQC Events.

Key Terms

Check-in

When a team arrives at a tournament, they must check in. Each event has a designated check in area where coaches let the event partner know they arrived. The coach receives any pertinent information including inspection sheet, schedule, and pit map.

Team Pit Area

A designated area for coaches and teams. Each pit area has team tables and either access to outlets or a charging area. This pit area is where teams work on their robots, wait for matches, and are interviewed by the event judges. Pit tables are clearly marked by team number.

Inspection

Before a team may compete in a tournament, they must go through a robot inspection to ensure the robot is in compliance with rules related to size, parts, and software. Legal and non-legal components are defined in the Game Manual. Inspections usually take 10-15 minutes but can take longer, so you'll want to allow for enough time.

Event Meeting

An event meeting is typically run by the Head Referee and/or the Event Partner before matches begin. All participants, including students, coaches, and other adults associated with the team are expected to attend. This meeting reviews safety, rules, and behavioral expectations. Event-specific information, like where to line up and/or any adjustments to the schedule, is also provided.

Judging

VIQC tournaments allows teams of students to showcase their knowledge and skill in designing, building, and programming their robot. As part of many events, volunteer judges review all submitted engineering notebooks, observe team performance, and conduct team interviews in the pit area. Each judged award has specific criteria, as described in the Judging and Awards article.

Teamwork Matches

A Qualifying Match schedule will be distributed after all teams have checked in. This schedule shows the randomly assigned teams that have been paired in an alliance for each Qualifying Match. For tournaments with multiple fields, the schedule also indicates which field each Match will take place on. 

Each one-minute VIQC Teamwork Challenge match consists of two teams operating as an alliance to score maximum points. Both teams earn the same combined score. This score is averaged with the other Qualification Match scores earned by a team with other alliances to determine rankings for the Finals Matches. Note: The lowest score is dropped from this calculation for every four (4) Qualifying Matches played.

Robot Skills Matches

During most events, teams have an opportunity to participate in Robot Skills Matches. These are usually held on a separate field near the competition fields or on the main field in the morning. Teams should check the event agenda to determine when the Robot Skills field opens and closes. Most events run  Robot Skills matches on a first-come, first-served basis, so teams should plan accordingly to ensure they get their Robot Skills matches completed. There are two types of Robot Skills Matches: Driving and Programming.

Driving Skills Match

A Driving Skills Match consists of a sixty-second Driver Controlled Period. There is no Autonomous Period.

Programming Skills Match

A Programming Skills Match consists of a sixty-second Autonomous Period. There is no Driver Controlled Period.

Robot Skills Score

A team’s Robot Skill score is determined by the sum of their highest Driving Skills Match and Programming Skills Match at the event. Robot Skills matches are optional, but are highly recommended because many awards consider a team's Robot Skills ranking, and Robot Skills rankings may be used to fill spots at Championship events. Teams should review the Robot Skills section of the Game Manual for differences in rules and/or scoring between Robot Skills and Teamwork Matches.

Finals

At VIQC events, the Tournament Manager software automatically assigns alliances for the Finals matches based on teams' rankings from the Qualification Matches (1st and 2nd form Alliance 1, 3rd and 4th form Alliance 2, etc.). The number of teams that participate in the Finals Matches is determined by the Event Partner based on the guidelines specified in the Game Manual.

Each alliance competes one more time to achieve a maximum score. The two teams in the alliance that scores the highest score in their Finals match are declared the tournament winners! 

Awards

There are three types of award given at VIQC tournaments: performance awards, judged awards, and individual awards. Not all awards are offered at all events. An event's RobotEvents.com listing includes an "Awards" tab that lists the awards to be given at the event, as well as any Championship events that the award may qualify the winner for. Each award has specific criteria, as described in the Judging and Awards article.

World Skills Rankings

After your team attends an event and participates in Robot Skills Matches, those scores are compared to the scores of teams from around the world! Visit VIQC World Skill Standings and search by Grade Level or region to see where your team stands in the global rankings.