Awards Overview

There are three types of awards at REC Foundation-sanctioned competitions.

  • Performance Awards: Based on robot performance on the competition field in match play (Tournament Champion for VRC & VEX U, and Teamwork Champion for VIQC) and skills challenges (Robot Skills Champion). Judges do not determine winners of performance awards. 
  • Judged Awards: Based on the award criteria in these guidelines. Judges, in coordination with the Judge Advisor, determine judged awards using the process outlined in this article. The number of judged awards may vary between events, but events typically include the Excellence Award and Design Award.
  • Individual Awards: Recognize the contribution of a volunteer or sponsor, and are determined by the Event Partner. Judges do not determine winners of individual awards. Individual awards do not affect a team’s eligibility for other judged awards.

Award Name

Award Type

Engineering Notebook Required?

Teamwork/Tournament Champion

Performance

No

Teamwork/Tournament Finalist

Performance

No

Robot Skills Champion Award

Performance

No

Excellence Award

Judged & Performance

Yes

Design Award

Judged

Yes

Innovate Award

Judged

Yes

Think Award

Judged

No

Amaze Award

Judged

No

Build Award

Judged

No

Create Award

Judged

No

Judges Award

Judged

No

Energy Award

Judged

No

Inspire Award

Judged

No

Sportsmanship Award

Judged

No

Grade-Level Restricted or Blended Events

VEX Robotics competitions can be grade-level restricted as follows:

  • VIQC: Elementary School Only or Middle School Only
  • VRC: Middle School Only or High School Only

Any event that is grade-level restricted will only offer one Excellence Award.

Events that are open to all grade levels within a platform (i.e., VIQC or VRC) are called Blended Events. Events having at least ten (10) teams at each level registered two weeks prior to the event must offer two (2) Excellence Awards, one for each grade level. For example, a blended VRC event that has 12 middle school teams and 12 high school teams registered two weeks prior to the event will offer two Excellence Awards: one for middle school and one for high school. Each recipient must meet all of the Excellence Award criteria. The Event Partner shall inform the Judge Advisor and Judges if two (2) Excellence Awards are offered at the event.

If two Excellence Awards are offered, it is critical that the Judge Advisor inform the Judges and ensure that the candidates for the Excellence Awards are judged separately by their respective grade levels. For example, at a blended VIQC tournament with 20 elementary teams and 15 middle school teams, the judges must assess the elementary teams only against elementary teams for the elementary school Excellence Award, and middle school teams only against other middle school teams for the middle school Excellence Award.

Teams_receiving_awards.jpg

Award Criteria

The Excellence Award

The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX Robotics competition. This award is presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high-quality robotics program. This team is a strong contender in numerous award categories.

Key criteria:

  • Engineering Notebook
  • Ranking for the Design Award
  • Ranking for Qualification Matches (does not apply to Skills-Only events)
  • Ranking for Robot Skills (does not apply to events that do not offer the Skills Challenge)
  • Ranking for other judged awards
  • Quality of the team’s interview with the Judges
  • High-quality robotics program
  • Team conduct

Specifics on the use of the Engineering Notebook Rubric and the Team Interview Rubric in relation to judging the Excellence and Design Awards is discussed in detail in the article Judging the Design Award – Team Interviews.

Design Award

The Design Award is presented to a team that demonstrates an organized and professional approach to the design process, project and time management, and team organization. The team’s Engineering Notebook and Judges interview will demonstrate the team’s ability to produce a quality robot with minimal adult assistance.

Key criteria:

  • Engineering Notebook that demonstrates clear, complete, organized record of robot design process
  • Team demonstrates effective management of time, talent, and resources
  • Team interview demonstrates their ability to explain their robot design and game strategy
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, and professionalism

The Design Award judging process is fundamental to judged award rankings and deliberations, and is foundational to the Excellence Award. The Design Award judging process, including the use of the Engineering Notebook Rubric and the Team Interview Rubric, is outlined in the article Judging the Design Award – Team Interviews.

Innovate Award

The Innovate Award is presented to a team with the most effective and efficient design process, a top contender for the Design Award. 

Key criteria:

  • Engineering Notebook is a clear, complete, and organized document of the design process
  • Team demonstrates effective management of time, talent, and materials
  • Students understand and explain how they developed an effective game strategy and robot design
  • Students understand and explain the engineering design process
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot

Think Award

The Think Award is presented to a team with the most effective and consistent programming strategies and solutions to solve the game challenge. 

Key criteria:

  • Participation in the Programming Skills Challenge is required
  • Autonomous programming is consistent and reliable
  • Programs are cleanly written, well documented, and easy to understand
  • Team clearly explains the programming strategy used to solve the game challenge
  • Team clearly explains their programming management process, including version history
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot programming

Amaze Award

The Amaze Award is presented to a team that has built the most consistently high scoring and competitive robot. 

Key criteria:

  • Robot design is consistently high scoring and competitive
  • Robot construction is high quality
  • Robot programming is effective, successful, and consistent
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot

Build Award

The Build Award is presented to a team that has built the most durable robot.

Key criteria:

  • Robot construction is durable and robust
  • Robot is reliable on the field and holds up under competition conditions
  • Robot is designed with attention to safety and detail
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot 

Create Award

The Create Award is presented to a team that has built a robot that incorporates the most creative engineering design solution to the challenges of this season’s game. 

Key criteria:

  • Robot design incorporates a creative design solution
  • Team has demonstrated a highly creative design process and methodology
  • Team has committed to ambitious and creative approaches to solving the game challenge
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot

Judges Award

The Judges Award is presented to a team that is most deserving of special recognition.

Key criteria:

  • Team displays special attributes, exemplary effort, and perseverance at the event
  • Team overcomes an obstacle or challenge and achieves a goal or special accomplishment at the event or at some time throughout the season
  • Team distinguishes itself in some way that does not fit under other award criteria but nonetheless deserves special recognition
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills

Energy Award

The Energy Award is presented to a team that shows the most enthusiasm and excitement at the event.

Key criteria:

  • Team maintains a high level of enthusiasm and excitement throughout the event
  • Team exhibits a passion for robotics competition that enriches the event experience for all
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills

Inspire Award

The Inspire Award is presented to the most passionate and positive team at the event.

Key criteria:

  • Team exhibits passion and a positive attitude at the event
  • Team exhibits integrity and goodwill toward other teams, coaches, and spectators
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills

Sportsmanship Award

The Sportsmanship Award is presented to a team that has earned the respect and admiration of the volunteers and other teams at the event.

Key criteria:

  • Team is courteous, helpful, and respectful to everyone at the event, on and off the field
  • Team interacts with others in the spirit of friendly competition and cooperation
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills