A typical event is made up of several different activities that may overlap during the day. These activities include:

  • Team Check-in
  • Robot Inspection
  • Event Meeting
  • Qualifying Matches, Judging, and Robot Skills Matches
  • Alliance Selection (VRC only)
  • Finals Matches (VIQRC) or Elimination Matches (VRC/VEX U)
  • Awards Ceremony

Team Check-in

Team check-in happens at a designated area where coaches will inform Check-in Volunteers that their team has arrived. The coach will receive any pertinent information that may include an inspection sheet, agenda, and pit map. All team participants should have completed the Participant Release Form online prior to the event. Completed participant release forms for team members attending your event can be verified from the admin view of the event in the right-side menu in RobotEvents.com. A downloadable CSV file with a list of completed consent forms is available in the Consent Forms event page.

More information on participant release forms is available in this article. Links to REC Foundation Participation Release Forms are available here.

Helpful Hints for Team Check-in

  • All VRC and VEX IQ teams need to be accompanied by an adult. Requiring the adult to check-in with the students is a great way to confirm there is an adult with the team.
  • Have a pre-sorted check-in packet for each team that includes the documents they will need throughout the day. You may choose to sort them alphabetically or numerically to make the process quick and easy, and teams that have not picked up their packet should be confirmed as not being in attendance prior to being removed from the tournament listing.

Robot Inspection

When a team arrives at a tournament, their robot must be inspected to ensure it is in compliance with regulations related to size, parts, and software. What is legal or not is defined within the Game Manual and summarized on the Inspection Checklist. Inspections usually take about 30 minutes for small events and over an hour for larger events, depending on the number of inspection stations you have set up.

Helpful Hints for Robot Inspection

Assign your queue managers and experienced scorekeeping referees to this position. This is a quick and easy position that will be over by the time qualification matches are started.

Event Meeting

An event meeting is typically run by the Head Referee and/or the EP. All participants including students, coaches and other adults associated with the team are expected to attend. In this meeting, safety, rules, and behavioral expectations will be reviewed. Event-specific information, like where to line up and/or any adjustments to the schedule, are also provided.

Helpful Hints for Event Meetings

  • Have everyone meet in the main competition area and shut down practice areas and other activities that might distract from the focus of the meeting.
  • Take the time to thank your volunteers/sponsors, review expectations of the day and the schedule, introduce key volunteers, and go over the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.


Judges work as a team in a private area to review student notebooks and determine winners of judged awards under the guidance of an experienced Judge Advisor. Pairs/groups of judges interview student teams in their pits during the competition day.

Helpful Hints for Judging

Schedule enough judges to split up in groups to do the pit interviews. This makes the process more efficient (judging teams will work in parallel to interview all teams) and less overwhelming for your new judges.


Teams compete in matches during an event to showcase their abilities and robot designs. The types of matches are described in detail below.

Practice Matches

Practice Matches can be scheduled for practice that do not count towards a team’s rankings. Teams will be randomly paired and placed into matches in a similar manner as Teamwork or Qualifying matches. These matches are optional for an EP to run or, as an alternative, some EPs may choose to provide teams with unscheduled time for practice early in the day on competitions fields, and/or provide a dedicated practice field during the day.

Robot Skills Matches

There are two types of Robot Skills Matches:

  • Driving Skills Match: A Driving Skills Match consists of a 60-second Driver Controlled Period. There is no Autonomous Period.
  • Autonomous Coding Skills Match: An Autonomous Coding Skills Match consists of a 60-second Autonomous Period. There is no Driver Controlled Period.

Most events have dedicated fields set up for teams to complete Skills Challenge matches on a first-come, first served basis. No team can run more than three attempts of each type of Robot Skills Match during each tournament or league session they attend. The Game Manuals include information on how a team's Robot Skills scores are calculated and how teams are ranked at an event an on the Global World Skills list.

VIQRC Teamwork Challenge Matches & Alliances

  • Qualification Matches: Teams are randomly paired in alliances, and each team will play a pre-determined number of matches, each with a different alliance partner. Each Qualification Match is 60 seconds long and consists of two teams, operating as an alliance to score points.
  • Finals Match Alliances: At the conclusion of the Qualification Matches, teams will be ranked based on Qualification Match performance and automatically paired in alliances. The top teams will then participate in the Finals Matches to determine the Teamwork Challenge Champions. Details of how teams are paired for their Finals Match Alliances are found in the Tournament section of the VIQRC Game Manual.
  • Finals Matches: The number of teams participating in the Finals Matches is found in the Tournament Section of the Game Manual. Each alliance will play one match, and the alliance highest score will be declared the Tournament Champions. In the event of a tie, information on the tiebreaking process can be found in the VIQRC Game Manual.

VRC Matches & Alliances

  • Qualification Matches: Teams are randomly paired into alliances, and each team will play a pre-determined number of matches, each with a different alliance partner. Qualifying Matches have two teams as the Red Alliance and two teams as the Blue Alliance; the alliance to outscore the other is the winner of that match. Matches run for two minutes starting with an Autonomous period followed by a Driver Controlled period.
  • Alliance Selection: After the Qualifying Matches, the top-scoring teams can choose their alliance partners for the Elimination Matches. Details of the Alliance Selection process are found in the Tournament Section of the VRC Game Manual.
  • Elimination Matches: The Elimination Matches determine the two-team alliance that will be named Tournament Champions. Red Alliances and Blue Alliances face off against each other in a “ladder” format; the winning alliance moves on to the next round until one alliance has won over all opponents. More information about Elimination matches can be found in the Tournament section of the VRC Game Manual.

VEX U Matches & Alliances

VEX U closely follows the VRC format, however because each team builds and competes with two robots simultaneously, there is no random partnering for Qualification matches (opponent teams are randomized), and there is no Alliance Selection for the Elimination Matches. The Elimination Match brackets are automatically determined by qualification ranking.

Award Ceremony

Events conclude with distributing awards to teams in the main competition area. Teams can earn Judged Awards and Performance Awards at most events. Work with your RSM to determine what awards can be offered at your event. The awards and their qualification status can be viewed by event participants in your posted event at RobotEvents.com under the awards tab.

Helpful Hints for Awards

Review the awards set up in your event on RobotEvents.com a couple weeks before your event to ensure they are correct and to share with your judging team as they prepare.