VEX Event Types and Formats

Event Options are Varied

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.


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

  • VEX IQ Competition (VIQC): Elementary School/Middle School
  • VEX Robotics Competition (VRC): Middle School/High School
  • 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 (VIQC) 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 (VIQC) 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.

Signature Events

Signature Events provide students with an opportunity to experience a world-class event with teams from outside of their normal event region. These events have stricter requirements than regular tournaments to give teams a mini-VEX Robotics World Championship like experience. Signature Events can be qualifying events and may qualify teams directly to the VEX World Championship. Signature Events are approved through a different process from other types of events.

Championship Events

The term Championship refers to the event region’s championship event unless specifically describing the VEX Robotics World Championship, which includes teams from all event regions.

Championship events include:

  • Event Region Championships
    • State Championships
    • Designated Regional Championships
    • Provincial Championships
    • National Championships
  • VEX Robotics World Championship

Most of the Championship events require qualification for teams to attend per the VIQC, VRC, or VEX U Qualification Criteria. Your EEM/RSM can provide more information about hosting Championship events in your region.

Tournament Formats

In-Person Tournaments

In-person Tournaments are the most common event type. Tournaments are typically one day events that feature Qualification Matches and Robot Skills Matches followed by Finals. In most cases, judged awards are offered, with judge interviews running concurrently with the event.

In-Person Skills-Only Events

In-person Skills-only events are a great way to test the success of teams' robots, post results to the World Skills Standings, and check out other team designs. Like Tournaments, In-person Skills-only events are typically one-day events that feature Robot Skills Matches. In some cases, team interviews and judged awards are also included at these events.

Live Remote Skills-Only Events

A Live Remote Skills-Only Event is an event held exclusively via a live online video platform organized by the Event Partner. The intent of a Live Remote event is to replicate the competition experience of an In-Person Skills-Only Event as much as possible. Additional rules and requirements have been established in an effort to help facilitate a fair and flexible experience for all teams and Event Partners.