Signature Event Requirements for Event Partners, 2024-2025 season

New for the 2024-2025 Season

  • Single grade-level Signature Events only (no blended Signature Events)
    • Rationale:
      • Signature Events are designed to give a Worlds level experience and blended events are not part of the Worlds structure
      • Feedback strongly suggests teams playing with their own grade level is preferred
      • An Event Partner is allowed to run 2 or more events simultaneously or separately
  • Existing Signature Events need only to complete the Final Application
    • New Signature Event concepts must still complete the Initial Proposal and, if approved, must complete the Final Application
  • VIQRC Signature Events may elect to lift the max per organization and/or regional capacity limits 8 weeks prior to event
    • Rationale:
      • It is harder and sometimes more expensive for VIQRC teams to travel; this potentially allows events that are not full to add more local VIQRC teams to give the World Class experience

Introduction

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 VEX Robotics World Championships. These events rely on the dedication of Event Partners who provide these “World Class” experiences for teams. 

Requirements

In order for a Signature Event to be recommended for approval for the 2024-2025 season, the following requirements must be agreed to and met by the Event Partner. 

Event

  • All Signature Events must abide by the standards included in the Commitment to Event Excellence
  • Signature Event descriptions include messaging that the event is a REC Foundation Signature Event and does not include messaging that would refer to it being an alternative National or World Championship event
  • Have a minimum of 64 teams for VRC, 50 teams for VIQRC, 12 teams for VEX U
  • Each event must be single-grade only (no blended events)
  • No more than 50% of teams registered from the same region
  • The event may choose to have a minimum capacity for the host Event Region not to exceed 50%
    • VIQRC Signature Events may elect to lift the max per organization and/or regional capacity limits 8 weeks prior to event
  • Ensure sufficient time for all teams to run skills matches
    • Skills Challenge Matches must be available to teams for a minimum of 2 days
    • Teams are given the opportunity to run exactly three (3) Driving Skills Matches and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Matches
  • No more than six (6) teams from one organization may register for a specific event
  • Includes the following required ceremonies and meetings:
    • An Event Meeting where the Head Referee and Event Partner go over the event logistics with participants, including how to queue for matches, the game rules, and a brief Q & A session
    • An Opening Ceremony that welcomes the teams, spectators, volunteers and invited guests 
    • An Award Ceremony that concludes the event; while some awards may be given out before the final match, the Tournament or Teamwork Champions and Excellence Award are recognized after the final match
    • Note: All skills and practice fields must be closed during all Event Meetings and Ceremonies
  • All teams are given the opportunity to be judged and judging must follow the standard judging process as outlined in the Judges Guide
  • A clear Refund Policy that states what happens:
    • If the Event Partner cancels the event
    • If a team registers and chooses not to attend
  • A clear Payment Deadline that states if a team doesn't pay by a specified deadline, they will be moved to the Waitlist

Fields

  • All competition fields for Qualifying Matches and Finals Matches are raised off the floor to the same height between ten (10) and 24 inches
  • A sufficient number of fields for Qualifying Matches, Skills Challenges, and Practice Areas; all fields for a match type must use the same perimeter type per the Game Manual
    • VRC/VEX U/JROTC Invitational
      • At least 3 Competition Fields per Division 
      • At least eight (8) Qualifying Matches per team
      • At least one (1) Skills field for every 32 teams
      • At least (1) Practice field for every 16 teams
      • VRC, JROTC Invitational, and VEX U events will use the anti-static tiles for the Competition and Skills fields
    • VIQRC
      • At least 3 Competition Fields per Division
      • At least ten (10) Qualifying Matches per team
      • At least one (1) Skills field for every 25 teams
      • A least (1) Practice field for every 15 teams

Staff

Division Manager

  • The Division Manager oversees the running of Tournament Manager, field operation, and queuing in each Division

Field Staff

  • There must be at least two (2) Certified Head Referees for each Division who have the final authority on all rulings
    • At least 1 Certified Head Referee must have experience in that same role at a VEX World Championship, Signature Event, or Event Region Championship in the current or previous season
    • Best Practice: Have 1 Certified Referee for each competition field and 1 overall Certified Division Head Referee that monitors all matches
  • At least two (2) Scorekeeper Referees for every VRC, JROTC Invitational, and VEX U competition field and at least one (1) Scorekeeper Referee for every VIQRC competition field 
    • Scorekeeper Referees are required to have read the game manual and referee guide before the event
  • Every Robot Skills Challenge field should have at least one (1) Scorekeeper Referee
  • An experienced VEX Tournament Manager Operator for every Field Set
  • At least two (2) Emcees per Division
  • A Field Reset crew for each VRC, JROTC Invitational and VEX U Division
  • A designated Field Technician is strongly recommended

Judging

  • There must be a minimum of one (1) Certified Judge Advisor for every Division
    • A Certified Judge Advisor must have experience in that same role at a VEX World Championship, Signature Event, or Event Region Championship in the current or previous season
    • The Certified Judge Advisor has read and agreed to follow the Judges Guide and official REC Foundation judging processes
  • A minimum of one (1) pair of Judges for every eight (8) teams

General

  • There is at least one (1) Lead Robot Inspector, who should be a Head Referee
  • At least one (1) Robot Inspector for every twelve (12) teams
  • A minimum of one (1) Queuer for every Qualifying and Finals Match field
  • A minimum of one (1) Practice Field attendant for each practice field area
  • A check-in table with one (1) staff member per 24 teams

Pit Areas

Each team attending is given adequate space and resources in the Pit area.

  • Dedicated power supply at each pit table/booth
  • 10’ x 10’ pipe and drape booths are preferred; however, the following can be substituted if space is unavailable:
    • VRC Teams provided a pit table that is at least six (6) feet in length
      • At least 2 chairs per table is recommended
    • VIQRC teams provided a pit table that is no less than four (4) feet in length; note: This may be an eight (8) foot table shared between two teams
    • VEX U teams provided a table that is no less than eight (8) feet in length or two (2) tables that are no less than six (6) feet in length each
    • Each team must be given a floor space that is at least fifty (50) square feet

Communications

  • The event broadcasts to VEX Via live during the event
  • A live stream of the event is strongly preferred 
    • If playing music over a live stream, it is the Event Partner’s responsibility to ensure proper licensing is in place and no copyright laws are violated
  • Clear, audible sound system is used at the venue
  • The event uses video overlay with cameras on the competition fields during Qualifying and Finals Matches
  • All custom artwork (event logos, apparel, display artwork, etc.) must be approved by RECF Marketing before printing
  • The event must be clearly branded with RECF Signature Event logos on electronic and print displays
  • Event setup and decoration will be completed before the scheduled team check in with competition fields set up properly for matches
  • The event utilizes the appropriate displays in Tournament Manager
  • There is a Field Queue monitor on each competition field
  • Pit Displays are visible throughout the venue
  • If the REC Foundation secures a sponsor to provide support for the event, the Event Partner will follow deliverable guidelines when possible

Awards

  • Any award qualifying for VEX Worlds must have an award banner awarded with a trophy 
  • At a minimum, the following awards must be given out for VRC, JROTC Invitational, and VIQRC events:
    • Excellence Award
    • Teamwork/Tournament Champions
    • Design Award
    • Robot Skills Champion
    • Innovate Award
    • Think Award
    • Amaze Award
    • Build Award
    • Create Award
    • Judges Award
    • Sportsmanship Award
  • VEX U events must give out, at a minimum:
    • Excellence
    • Tournament Champions
    • Design Award
    • Robot Skills Champion
    • Judges Award
    • Sportsmanship Award

2024-2025 Signature Event Release Schedule

Date

Task / Activity

November 1, 2023

Call for “Signature Event Initial Proposals” Opens

January 31, 2024

Signature Event Initial Proposal Due Date

(New Signature Event concepts)

November 1, 2023 - January 31, 2024

Upon acceptance of Initial Proposal, the Event Partner is given access to the Final Application and the Signature Event Planning Calendar

March 31, 2024

Signature Event Final Application Due Date

(New and Existing Signature Event concepts)

On or immediately after VEX Worlds

All Signature Events Revealed to Public

May 10, 2024

All Signature Events posted on RobotEvents.com

  • Events open for Early Bird registration 16 weeks prior to the event at 12:00PM EST

  • Standard Registration opens 14 weeks prior to the event

    • August/September events, or events with special circumstances, may warrant a modified release schedule depending on special circumstances.

World Qualification

The Signature Event must be an in-person event and occur between August 2, 2024, and February 23, 2025. VRC and VIQRC events will be awarded three (3) VEX Worlds spots: one (1) awarded to the Excellence Award winner and two (2) spots awarded to the Tournament or Teamwork Champions. VEX U events will have two (2) VEX Worlds spots: one (1) awarded to the Excellence Award winner and one (1) awarded to the Tournament Champion. 

  • Signature Events must be open to all teams by not having a qualification requirement, and must be open for any team to register 
    • The only exception to this rule is JROTC Invitational events
  • Signature Events may only qualify teams for VEX Worlds and do not qualify teams to Event Regional Championships
  • A specific Signature Event Early Bird system will be enabled on all events to ensure equitable access to all teams
  • Signature Events must meet all of the requirements listed in this document
  • Note: From time to time, the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation may make an exception to one of these criteria to better support a growing State/Province/Region/Nation; for more information, please contact your REC Foundation Manager here

Notes

  • If the event does not meet the team registration minimums listed at least 14 days prior to the event, VEX Worlds spots will be adjusted to one (1).
  • The process for double qualification from Signature Events is found in the Qualification Criteria document

Registering for a Signature Event

  • All REC Foundation Signature Events will follow the Release Schedule listed in the Application section
  • All Signature Events will have a specific Early Bird Registration that is independent of all local/regional Early Bird systems:
    • Each team starts the season with three (3) opportunities to register during the Signature Event Early-Bird period
      • An opportunity is taken away each time the team registers for a Signature Event, whether during the Signature Event Early-Bird period or Standard period
      • A Signature Event Early-Bird opportunity is not taken away if a team registers for a tournament hosted by their school or organization (where the team’s coach is the Event Partner)
    • Signature Event Early Bird Registration will open 16 weeks before the event at 12:00PM EST
      • Note: Modifications to this may be made for events in August and September
    • Standard Registration will open 14 weeks before the event at 12:00PM EST
    • An Event Partner may register their own teams to their Signature Event during Signature Event Early Bird Registration no matter how many other Signature Events they are already registered for  
      • The Event Partner must be the Primary Contact for the teams they are registering
  • Team Swapping is not allowed within 2 weeks of the event
  • If additional capacity is needed because a team is moved to the Waitlist, or the Event Partner wants to increase capacity, the process outlined in the Waitlist article in the REC Library and in the overview below will be followed
    • The Event Partner will work with the Event Engagement Manager and/or the Director of Regional Operations - Event Engagement on this process
    • It is recommended that if an Event Partner wants to add a team from the Waitlist, they should contact the team's Primary Contact first to ensure the team is available, wants to attend, and is not registered for another event on the same day(s)
    • The Waitlist will be sorted, and teams will be added in the following order:
      1. Number of Signature Event registrations (least to greatest)
      2. Date and time each team was placed on the Waitlist

Signature Event Application Process

To apply to host an REC Foundation Signature Event, an Event Partner should review the requirements listed below then visit the Signature Event Application Process page to get started.  There are two deadlines to be aware of:

  • New Signature Event concepts:
    • The deadline to submit a Signature Event Initial Proposal is January 31, 2024
    • If an Initial Proposal is approved, the Final Application and Planning Calendar will be sent
  • New and Existing Signature Event concepts:
    • The deadline to submit the Final Application for the 2024-20245 season is March 31, 2024
    • The Final Application must include a detailed budget and event layout diagram

Selected Signature Events will be made known at or after VEX Worlds 2025. 

If you have questions about Signature Events, please contact Ryan Osweiler, Senior Director of Robotics Programs or your Event Engagement Manager/Regional Support Manager

Best Practices

If you are considering hosting a Signature Event for the first time:

  • Create a Planning Team
  • Attend another Signature Event and shadow the Event Partner
  • Visit the desired venue multiple times to plan how the event could be set up
  • Test out an event idea on a smaller scale/different venue first before moving it to a Signature Event