There are many ways to implement an event and the best resource is your EEM/RSM to assist with matching the event with your available venue and resources. No two events look exactly the same. The REC Foundation prioritizes a consistent experience aligned with the Game Manual and Judging process, but you will find that implementing robotics events can be tailored to your available resources to promote sustainability and a positive experience for students, volunteers, and EPs.

Event Formats

REC Foundation robotics events are held locally, regionally, and nationally throughout the year in locations around the world, culminating in the world's largest robotics competition at the VEX Robotics World Championship. The events described in this article include several of the REC Foundation programs:

  • VEX IQ Robotics Competition (VIQRC): Elementary School/Middle School
  • VEX Robotics Competition (VRC): Middle School/High School
  • JROTC: High School programs that are affiliated with JROTC
  • VEX U: College/University


Workshops provide in-person or online opportunities for those in the robotics community to gain skills, promote STEM, and inspire students. Workshops can be customized as desired by the EP and held throughout the year. Examples of Workshops include camps, virtual or in-person training, and Girl Powered activities. Some workshops are designed specifically for EPs or volunteers, while others may be for student participants.


Scrimmages are non-qualifying events (tournaments or leagues) that give teams an additional opportunity to test their robot designs. Scrimmage results do not upload to and are not listed on the VEX Via app. This means that any judged awards given out or Robot Skills scores earned cannot count towards any State/Regional or World Championship qualification. Scrimmages can follow the same format as a Tournament or League, or they can be customized as desired to meet the needs of the community.


Tournaments are the most common event type. Tournaments are typically one-day events that feature Qualification Matches and Robot Skills Matches followed by Finals (VIQRC) or Elimination Matches (VRC/VEX U). In most cases, judged awards are offered, and judging runs concurrently with the event. Tournaments without judged awards are allowed, and may be easier for new EPs or for EPs that want to offer an additional event with fewer volunteers.


Leagues provide multiple opportunities for a group of teams to compete. Leagues are events with three or more Ranking Sessions plus a League Finals Session. Ranking Sessions include Qualification Matches and may offer Robot Skills Matches. Ranking Sessions are usually only a few hours long and are scheduled several weeks apart to give teams an opportunity to improve their robot designs and game strategies. The League Finals Session usually includes Robot Skills Matches followed by Finals (VIQRC) or Elimination Matches (VRC). Judging is optional and is usually conducted at the League Finals Session.

Detailed information about how to host and run a league is available at Running Leagues.

Event Class Types

Qualifying Event

Local qualifying events take place all over the world from schools to stores to museums. Qualifying events give teams the opportunity to compete and to qualify for a higher level event. The REC Foundation strives to give all teams the chance to get into as many qualifying events per season as possible.

Signature Event

REC Foundation Signature Events give students the opportunity to play at a “World Class” tournament that provides a special and unique team experience. Signature Events have a level of technical expertise, production value, and overall event quality that is above and beyond that of a standard tournament. The mission of these events is to provide more opportunities for teams that may or may not typically attend Event Region Championships or the World Championship to experience an event of that level. Signature Events that meet the necessary requirements can qualify teams directly to the World Championship. 

Event Region Championship

Teams can qualify from local qualifying events into their Event Region Championship. This event is sometimes referred to as a State, Provincial, or National Championship depending on the Event Region. Teams from all over the Event Region compete for a chance to qualify for the World Championship.

World Championship

The World Championship is the final event of the competition season. Teams that qualify get to compete with teams from all over the world. Student-led teams ranging from elementary to university-level showcase their strategy, teamwork, and desire to be crowned champions at this world-class global event.