Qualifying Criteria for VIQRC, V5RC, and VURC Events

Updated 5/13/2024

Introduction

Teams and events must both meet the criteria in this guide for qualification into 2024-2025 Event Region Championship events and the VEX Robotics World Championship. Events that do not follow the criteria will not be considered “official" and the results will not be uploaded to RobotEvents.com. Official Qualifying Events must follow the rules and guidelines in the following documents.

If you have any questions regarding the REC Foundation Qualifying Criteria, contact your Regional Support Manager (RSM). This document will have scheduled updates on or before August 1, 2024, and January 17, 2025, and may have unscheduled updates during the season as needed.

Note: From time to time, the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation may make an exception to criteria to better support a growing State/Province/Region/Nation. For more information, please contact your RSM here.

New This Season 

  • The top 10 non-qualified teams on the World Skills Standings for High School V5RC and for VURC will receive invitations to the 2025 VEX Robotics World Championship
  • An Event Region must have no more than one (1) Event Region Championship
  • Updated criteria for Blended vs Split Event Region Championships 
  • Multi-day Event Region Championships
  • Innovate Award required at all qualifying events
  • Event Region Championships with at least 16 teams must hand out the 2nd Judges Award and the Sportsmanship Award
  • An Engineering Notebook and Judging Interview are required to win any judged award at a qualifying event
    • Exceptions: Judges Award, Sportsmanship Award, Inspire Award, Energy Award 
  • The deadline to host an Event Region Championship within the United States is March 16, 2025
  • Each Signature Event must be single grade level only; no blended Signature Events are allowed
  • VEX Robotics World Championship spot allocation (coming August 2024): each Event Region will be allocated no more than 16 spots in each grade level for V5RC and 18 spots in each grade level for VIQRC
  • General VURC program updates
  • Spot Charts (coming August 2024)

Event Regions

Teams are assigned into Event Regions based on geography and the density of teams in that area. An Event Region may be a geographic area, state, province, or an entire country. 

Event Formats

Tournaments 

  • Tournaments have Qualification and Elimination Matches for the VEX V5 Robotics Competitions (V5RC) and VEX U Robotics Competition (VURC), and Qualification and Finals Matches for the VEX IQ Robotics Competitions (VIQRC). Tournaments may or may not have judging. 

Leagues

  • Leagues have Ranking Sessions for teams to play in Qualifying Matches, and then a League Finals Session to determine the League Champions. Ranking Sessions are scheduled over multiple days at different venues, with different teams participating in each of those venues. Leagues may or may not have judging. Robot Skills scores are calculated based on each Ranking Session.
  • Leagues must have a minimum of one (1) week between Ranking Sessions. A single ranking session may be split over multiple days within the week, but will still be considered one (1) ranking session.

Skills Only Events

  • Skills Only Events are listed as Tournaments but do not have any Qualifying Matches, Elimination Matches, or Finals Matches. To be considered as a qualifying event, a Skills Only event must be in-person. An REC Foundation RSM will ultimately decide if a Skills Only Event qualifies teams to an Event Region Championship.
  • Skills Only events can not be run as Leagues.

Scrimmages

  • Scrimmages do not qualify for an Event Region Championship and do not upload results to RobotEvents. 
  • A Skills Only event that is conducted remotely (Live Remote Skills) is considered a Scrimmage.
  • If an event does not meet the criteria for a Tournament or a League, the event will be considered a Scrimmage.

Event Class Types

Local Qualifying Event

Local qualifying events take place all over the world from schools to private venues 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 VEX Robotics 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 Championship. Signature Events do not have any pre-qualification, experience, or performance requirements to join.

Event Region Championship

Teams can qualify from local qualifying events into their Event Region Championship. This event is sometimes referred to as a State, a part of 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 VEX Robotics World Championship.

VEX Robotics World Championship

The VEX Robotics 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.

Note: All qualifying events must use the integrated scoring function in Tournament Manager.

Local Qualifying Events

Local Event Requirements

  • Events must be listed as either a Tournament or a League with online registration hosted on RobotEvents.com. 
    • Note: Skills Only events are listed as Tournaments and must have “Skills Only” in the name of the event.
  • Must be visible for at least one week prior to opening for registration. An event release schedule for an Event Region will be determined by an REC Foundation RSM.
  • Teams registered for the event must be registered and paid on RobotEvents.com for the current season.
  • For an event to be considered “Qualifying," and for all event results to upload to RobotEvents:
    • The event must meet the minimum capacity requirements
      • 16 (V5RC/VIQRC), 8 (VURC)
      • Note:  League ranking sessions may have fewer than 16 teams participating if the League has 16 registered teams.
    • The event must meet the minimum organizational requirements overall.
      • A Tournament or Skills Only event must have at least 6 organizations registered -OR-
      • No one organization may have more than 33% of the total number of registered teams
        • Note: Organizations are defined by the REC Foundation Organizational Policy. Having multiple team numbers or listing different names when a group meets together does not constitute a separate organization. However, each school in a district is recognized as a different organization and should have their own set of team numbers. For more information, visit the REC Foundation Organizational Policy page.
    • The 6 organization / 33% criterion does not apply to Invitational events or Leagues.
    • A Certified Head Referee and a Certified Judge Advisor must be listed in RobotEvents. An REC Foundation RSM reserves the right to remove an event’s  qualification status if both fields are not completed with verified individuals three weeks prior to the event.
  • Each Event Partner is permitted to host exactly one (1) Qualifying Tournament without organizational or team percentage registration restrictions after they host another qualifying tournament of equal or greater size that follows all registration restrictions. These Tournaments are referred to as Invitational events. Invitational events must:
    • Be held within the same season as a tournament with organizational or team percentage registration restrictions
    • Be in the same program (V5RC/VIQRC) and in the same age group (ex. If a tournament is Blended V5RC, the Invitational event must be Blended V5RC).
    • Have qualifying matches (Skills Only events can not be Invitational)
    • VURC events may not be Invitational.
    • Note: This criterion does not apply to Leagues. All Leagues can be Invitational.
  • Events may utilize the Waitlist if additional capacity is available. Priority should be given to:
    • teams with the fewest event registrations
    • the order in which teams waitlisted themselves
    • teams offering to support the event with volunteers or equipment
    • Note: The process for adding teams from the Waitlist is found in the REC Library.
  • Early Bird Registration is a system to ensure equitable access to events for teams in an Event Region. An REC Foundation RSM has the authority to enable or disable Early Bird Registration at any time to meet the needs of an Event Region. For more information on Early Bird Registration see Early-Bird Registration Policy & FAQ in the REC Library.
  • Finalized event results must be uploaded/finalized within 48 hours of event completion.
  • Team payments for the event must be completed before the event date.
    • If teams pay the Event Partner directly or make trades for fields or volunteers in exchange for the event registration fees, the Event Partner should mark the team Paid on RobotEvents.com. 
    • In extreme cases, the Event Partner may work out alternative agreements with teams for payment.  
    • The Event Partner is not required to accept direct payments and can require all teams to pay through RobotEvents.com. 
    • The Event Partner is ultimately responsible for payment arrangements. If a team has not paid, and is allowed to compete, the RECF can not act on the Event Partner’s behalf to collect payment.
    • The Event Partner is permitted to move a team marked “unpaid” to the Waitlist after the payment deadline.
      • A team payment status of “paid”, “PO processing”, or “PO received” is considered “paid” and can not be moved to the Waitlist except by coach request.
    • Events outside of the United States must pay the Event Partner directly. 

Robot Skills

  • All qualifying Tournaments and Leagues must offer a maximum of three (3) Driving and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Challenge attempts to teams.
    • If in a League, no more than three (3) Driving and three (3) Autonomous Coding Skills Challenge attempts may be played in each league Ranking Session.
  • Robot Skills Challenge scores for all official qualifying events will be included in the World Skills Standings on RobotEvents.com.
  • Robot Skills must remain open until the final qualification match has completed
    • If running an event where Robot Skills Challenge matches are offered in the morning and Qualification Matches take place in the afternoon, the Event Partner must schedule a block of time that will ensure all teams have the opportunity to complete their skills matches should the team choose to.

Judging

  • Events that offer judging must offer the Excellence Award, Design Award, Innovate Award, and Judges Award.
  • If judged awards are offered, all teams must be given the opportunity to be interviewed, regardless of their engineering notebook status, current qualifications to other events, or if they have won awards at previous events.
  • Events that offer the Excellence Award must offer two (2) Excellence Awards when the event is a blended event with at least ten (10) teams from each grade level registered two (2) weeks prior to the event. Only one Excellence Award may be offered within a single grade level at an event or at events that have less than ten (10) teams in a grade level.
  • An Engineering Notebook and Judging Interview is required to win any judged award at a qualifying event.
    • Exceptions: Judges Award, Sportsmanship Award, Inspire Award, Energy Award 
  • The Innovate Award is required to be judged at all qualifying events (local qualifying, Signature Events, and Event Region Championships).
  • If no team at an event meets the Excellence Award criteria, that award can not be given out. 
    • Local Qualifying Events
      • If the Design Award is not a qualifying award, it will replace the Excellence Award as the qualifying award.
      • If the Design Award is a qualifying award, the next highest robot skills challenge score at that event will receive the spot.
        • If the next team on the Robot Skills Challenge list has already qualified for an Event Region Championship, the spot does not go to another team and is awarded at the end of the season (per section 2f).
    • VEX Robotics World Championship Qualifying Events 
      • If the Design Award is not a qualifying award, it will replace the Excellence Award as the qualifying award.

See the Guide to Judging for more information and additional judging guidelines.

Local Qualifying Event Deadlines

  • Qualifying events for the current season may begin on or after June 1, 2024.
  • The deadline to host a qualifying event is two (2) weeks before an Event Region Championship.
  • Qualifying events must be posted on RobotEvents.com by November 1, 2024, and be open for registration at least eight (8) weeks in advance of the event. An REC Foundation RSM may waive this requirement if needed.
    • Events approved after November 1, 2024, may receive fewer spots to an Event Region Championship based on availability.

Local Qualifying Event Spot Allocation

The Spot Allocation is the number of qualifying spots an event has been assigned to qualify teams to an Event Region Championship. Spot Allocation is dependent on:

  • Capacity of the Event Region Championship
  • Number of qualifying events in an Event Region
  • Size of each qualifying event

The REC Foundation RSM will ultimately determine the allocation each qualifying event is assigned within an Event Region. 

  • Some Event Regions may require an event registration capacity to be greater than 16 teams to be made a qualifying event due to the limited number of championship spots. If an event has 16 teams and is considered official, but not at the qualifying event size minimum for the specified Event Region, then the Robot Skills Scores will be posted to the World Skills Standings, and no teams will qualify directly to the Championship.
  • Large events may be allocated more spots than smaller events. Events of the same size within the Event Region should expect to have the same number of spots. 
  • Leagues may have more spots than equal sized Tournaments within the Event Region due to the higher number of Qualifying Matches and longer duration teams experience with Leagues compared to Tournaments.
  • Leagues with fewer than six (6) organizations registered may have fewer spots than Tournaments of equal size in order to balance the opportunity for teams in the Event Region to qualify for the Event Region Championship.
  • If a Qualifying Event is awarded allocated spots to an Event Region Championship beyond the number of spots on the allocation charts the REC Foundation RSM will work with that Region to determine how the additional spots are awarded. 
  • If a Tournament or League does not offer judging, only the two (2) Teamwork Champions or two (2) Tournament Champions will qualify to the Event Region Championship. An REC Foundation RSM may choose to allow the Robot Skills Champion to qualify for an Event Region Championship if necessary.
  • If an award is to be given a spot, but that award is not offered, then the spot is lost and does not transfer to the next award. 
  • Spot levels follow the order of priority found in the charts below. 

Local Qualifying Event Double Qualification Process

If a team double qualifies (wins multiple qualifying awards) at a local qualifying event, an Event Region Championship invitation will be awarded to the next highest team on the Robot Skills Challenge list at that event who did not win a qualifying award at that event.

  • If every team on the Robot Skills Challenge list at the event has won a qualifying award at the event, the spot will be saved and awarded at the end of the season to the next highest non-qualified team from the World Skills List in that Event Region.
  • There are no lookbacks to previous events to see if a team has previously qualified.

Teams competing at a local qualifying event that are from outside that Event Region are eligible to receive any performance-based or judged awards offered at the event and should be treated identically to teams from within that Event Region. However, any qualification spot to that Event Region Championship associated with an award that is given to an out-of-region team will go to the next highest non-qualified team from within that Event Region on the Robot Skills ranking at that event.

Event Region Championships 

An REC Foundation RSM will determine if an event qualifies for an Event Region Championship and the corresponding spot allocation. 

  • A team is permitted to register for only one (1) Event Region Championship in their Event Region leading up to the VEX Robotics World Championship. Note: This does not include Signature Events. 
  • A team is not permitted to register for any Event Region Championships outside of their Event Region. 
  • A team must have posted a skills score -OR- have competed in a qualifying event in the current season to be eligible for an Event Region Championship invitation.
  • An Event Region Championship may be referred to as a State, Provincial, or National Championship.
  • Event Region Championship events have no team minimum. Capacity is determined by the REC Foundation RSM in consultation with Event Partners in the Event Region.
  • Event Region Championships with at least 16 teams must hand out the 2nd Judges Award and the Sportsmanship Award.
  • An Event Region Championship should strive to be a multi-day event. If matches are not over two days, the event should allow teams to set up pit areas, complete the inspection process, and be allowed to attempt skills challenges the day or evening before matches begin.
  • An Event Region Championship must be single grade level only (not blended).
    • Exception: If both grade levels within a program in an Event Region have only one (1) VEX Robotics World Championship spot allocated for each, the Event Region may choose to either hold a blended Event Region Championship or split Event Region Championships (one per grade level).

Qualification Methods

There are three ways for teams to qualify to an Event Region Championship: 

  • Qualifying Award
    •  Winning a qualifying award at an official event in the team’s Event Region. 
  • Robot Skills Ranking
    •  If the Event Region Championship in an Event Region is not filled to capacity through qualifying awards, teams may qualify through the World Skills Standings sorted for the Event Region and by grade level. Teams invited through the World Skills Standings  are invited in ranked order after the results of the last qualifying event in the Event Region have been posted. Scores earned after this date will not be used to qualify teams to their Championship. 
  • Waitlist
    •  If there is remaining capacity due to teams not accepting a formal invitation, the Event Region Championship capacity may be lowered or teams may be invited from the Waitlist. This will be decided by the REC Foundation RSM.

Spot Allocation from Event Region Championships

The Spot Level charts found in the appendices are used to specify which awards at an Event Region Championship will qualify for the 2025 VEX Robotics World Championship. Spots are allocated to an Event Region based on the following criteria.

  • Having at least 1 team that has registered and paid on RobotEvents.com by December 15, 2024
  • The number of active teams in an Event Region on December 15, 2024
    • An “active team” is defined as a team who has registered for at least one (1) qualifying event
  • Program and grade level counts compared across all Event Regions
    • Ex: Region X has a count of 50 for HS V5RC. This count is compared to all other HS V5RC Event Regions
    • Ex: Region X has a count of 50 for HS V5RC. This count has no influence on the number of spots Region X is awarded for MS V5RC.
  • By January 17, 2025, additional spots may be allocated to Event Regions. Teams registered after December 15, 2024, will not be considered in this  allocation of additional spots.
  • When an Event Region is hosting an Event Region Championship, all of the spots must be awarded from that event if possible. An Event Region must have no more than one (1) Event Region Championship
    • If there is a percentage of teams from the Event Region that are unable to attend the Event Region Championship through no fault of their own (e.g., Covid-19 restrictions, day-of-the-event weather, and/or travel restrictions), the REC Foundation RSM will assess the number of spots to be withheld from the Event Region Championship and those withheld spots will be given out using the World Skills Standings.
  • Event Region Championship spots that have not been awarded are not lost. These remaining spots will be awarded using the following process. 
    • The REC Foundation RSM will assess how many spots are remaining in each program and grade level after the conclusion of the Event Region Championship(s).

Event Region Championship Double Qualification Process

If a team double qualifies (wins multiple qualifying awards) at an Event Region Championship, a VEX Robotics World Championship invitation will be awarded to the next highest team on the Robot Skills Challenge list at that event who did not win a qualifying award (exception to this rule in 2c).

  • If an Event Region does not host an Event Region Championship, all spots from that region will be awarded to teams in that specific region from the World Robot Skills Standings by March 16, 2025, after all official events up to and including those on March 16, 2025, have been finalized and posted. Teams that do not have an official Robot Skills Score will not be eligible to receive one of these spots even if they are the only team from that Event Region.
  • On March 18, 2025, the top 10 non-qualified teams on the World Skills Standings in V5RC High School and VURC will receive invitations to the 2025 VEX Robotics World Championship. 
    • Skills scores posted after March 16, 2025, will not be taken into consideration for a top 10 skills invitation.

Event Region Championship Deadlines

  • The deadline to host an Event Region Championship outside of the United States is March 2, 2025.
  • The deadline to host an Event Region Championship within the United States is March 16, 2025.
  • Teams that qualify for an Event Region Championship, on or before, January 31, 2025, will have two weeks to register and pay by credit card, check or purchase order.
  • Teams that qualify for an Event Region Championship on or after February 1, 2025, will have one week to register and pay by credit card, check or purchase order.

Signature Events

Signature Events are high quality events that give teams an opportunity to compete with other teams from multiple regions. If a Signature Event does not meet the minimum requirements to be classified as a Signature Event, it will not qualify teams to the VEX Robotics World Championship and this will be noted on the RobotEvents event listing.

  • Signature Event spot allocations to the VEX Robotics World Championship are independent from any Event Region.
  • A Signature Event is awarded three (3) spots to the VEX Robotics World Championship if it meets all of the requirements to be classified as such. 
  • Each Signature Event must be single grade level only. No blended Signature Events are allowed.
  • Signature Events held after February 23, 2025, are not given any spots to the VEX Robotics World Championship.
  • If a team who has previously qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship wins a qualifying award at a Signature Event or a team wins multiple spots at a Signature Event, those spots will be filled by the team(s) with the highest Robot Skills score at that Signature Event who have not already qualified.

  • The above mentioned criteria applies to Signature Events created and held during the 2024-2025 season only. Signature Event requirements for the 2025-2026 season will be updated and released on November 1, 2024.

JROTC Invitational Events

  • JROTC Invitational events that meet the qualifying criteria will qualify directly to the 2025 National Championship. Spot allocations will be determined by the REC Foundation. In order for these events to qualify directly to the National Championship, they must only have teams with a JROTC affiliation competing at the event.
    • JROTC Invitational events may qualify for an Event Region Championship as well if they adhere to the guidelines in the Event Region Championship Qualification section.

VURC Events

  • VURC tournaments may not be Invitational.
  • The minimum qualifying event size is 8 teams.
    • Note: The minimum event size may be waived by the REC Foundation for smaller event regions.
  • All events will be approved by the appropriate REC Foundation RSM.
  • All events will be allocated VEX Robotics World Championship spots by the appropriate REC Foundation RSM.
  • Remote Skills Only Events are permitted, with the following criteria:
    • Remote Skills Only Events serve as an accommodation for teams who due to geographic circumstances, are unable to easily travel to an in-person V5RC or VURC event.
    • Event must be publicly live streamed & publicly viewable after the event for at least 120 days after the event.
  • VURC teams may run Driving Skills Matches and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches at V5RC events according to these guidelines. VURC teams must coordinate with the Event Partner in advance for permission, which is granted at the Event Partner’s discretion.
  • In the circumstance of an award not being given out, or a double qualifier within the event (i.e., Tournament Champions and Excellence Award going to the same team), the spot(s) will go to the next spot on the qualifying award chart.

VEX Robotics World Championship Qualifying Criteria

When a team qualifies for the VEX Robotics World Championship, it is that specific team (Team number/Letter) that will be invited, not the students on the team. If students move up to the next grade level or program or if they join another team, they will not bring that qualification with them and will need to re-qualify their new team for the VEX Robotics World Championship. 

V5RC and VIQRC 

The following events qualify teams to the VEX Robotics World Championship:

  • Event Regional Championships (Including State/Provincial and National Championships)
  • Signature Events 
  • Note: When an Event Region is small, there may not be an Event Region Championship to determine which teams qualify for the VEX Robotics World Championship. 

These events must follow the same spot hierarchy found in the Spot Allocation Charts along with the additional criteria below.

  • These events must offer Judged awards and give all teams the opportunity to be interviewed.
  • These events must offer the Robot Skills Challenge to all teams.

Smaller events qualifying to the VEX Robotics World Championship may have difficulty awarding the Excellence Award due to having a very small number of teams in the region or at the event.

  • If the Design Award is not a Worlds Qualifying Award, it will replace the Excellence Award if no team qualifies for it.

VURC 

  • VURC teams may qualify directly to the VEX Robotics World Championship from any qualifying event they are eligible to attend, regardless of their or the event’s respective event region, with the exception of national championships.
    • Note: The intention behind this policy is to not impede or discourage teams from playing at events that are outside of their event region. Some events may still be restricted on a case by case basis by the REC Foundation RSM.
  • Any VEX Robotics World Championship spots allocated to a Signature Event will count towards that region’s allocated World Championship spots.
  • Teams must have competed in a qualifying event or have a score recorded in the World Skills Standings to be invited to the VEX Robotics World Championship.
  • The top 10 unqualified teams will  be invited after the VEX Robotics World Championship qualifying event season concludes on March 16th, 2024.
  • The waitlist for the VEX Robotics World Championship is handled differently from other programs. In no order of precedence, the following factors are considered:
    • Season performance, including World Skills ranking
    • If a team is from an underrepresented region
    • Random selection based on teams on the waitlist
  • US Specific:
    • All Events will be set to open for registration immediately, and will close at least one week prior to the event date
    • Events will be allocated spots based on how many teams actually attend the event
    • Not all events may receive qualifying spots
      • Events that do not meet the minimum requirements
      • Events that are saturating a particular geographic region

VEX Robotics World Championship Deadlines

  • The following occurs when teams win a spot to the VEX Robotics World Championship and choose not to register by the deadline. 
    • The team MAY NOT transfer that spot to another team of their choosing. 
    • Invitations from regions with three (3) or less spots to the VEX Robotics World Championship in a specific program and grade level (e.g., Middle School V5RC) that are declined or expired will go to the team with the highest Robot Skills score from that region's Event Region Championship when possible.
    • Invitations from regions with four (4) or more spots to the VEX Robotics World Championship in a specific program and grade level (e.g., Middle School V5RC) that are declined or expired are lost and will be filled from the World Championship waitlist (if space is available).
  • Teams will have two (2) weeks from receiving their VEX Robotics World Championship qualification invitation to register.
    • VEX Robotics World Championship event pages will be released in RobotEvents during the Fall of 2024.
    • Teams are encouraged to proactively seek approval from their educational institutions to make travel arrangements easier upon qualification.
    • Upon qualification, teams are encouraged to register and select “pay later” to indicate their intent to participate.
    • Note: Teams being invited from the waitlist will have 48 hours or less from the time their invitation is sent by RobotEvents.
  • All teams must be marked “paid” (funds fully received) by March 31, 2025. NOTE: In order to be "paid in full" by the deadline, complete payment of registration fees must be received by the RECF Accounting Department.
  • VEX Robotics World Championship registration cancellations must be received by 5 p.m. Central Time on April 4, 2025, in order to receive a full refund. All cancellations must be emailed to support@robotevents.com with the team number and the contact information for the team. Teams that cancel after 5 p.m. Central Time on April 4, 2025, will not receive a refund for their registration fee.