TM Quick Reference Guide: Before the Tournament

Introduction

The VEX Tournament Manager is a custom software package designed to simplify and automate many of the tasks associated with running a VEX Robotics tournament. The program is flexible and modular and designed to work for small, local tournaments as well as large, international competitions and everything in between.

Some of the main features of the Tournament Manager software are:

  • Create practice and qualification match schedules based on a team list
  • Run matches with automatic enabling and disabling of team robots for accurate match timing
  • Enter and calculate match scores
  • Automatically determine team rankings based on qualification match scores
  • Create Finals matches or conduct an alliance selection process where a selected number of top-ranked teams can choose partners to compete in an elimination tournament
  • Hold an elimination tournament with up to 16 alliances
    • Bye rounds are automatically used if necessary for the highest-ranked alliances
  • Publish match results online
  • Display information such as rankings, match time clock, schedules, and match scores to team members and spectators during the event
  • Keep track of awards given to teams and display the name of the winner to spectators

It is important to note that many of the features listed are not required to run an event. Many tournament configurations may not use all of the available features, depending on equipment availability, volunteers, and the overall event experience that is desired.

Where to Get Help

If you have questions or are having trouble with the Tournament Manager software, and have referenced all Knowledge Base articles, contact your REC Foundation EEM/RSM. Event Partners can also post questions in the Tournament Manager section of VEXForum.com. Only Event Partners have access to the Tournament Manager forum on VEXForum.com.

Minimum TM Manager Installation Requirements

The Tournament Manager software requires a PC (desktop or laptop) running Windows 7 or newer or macOS 10.10 or newer. Generally, any PC made within the last 5 years should be acceptable. The computer will need one USB port for each competition field you wish to control (a USB hub may be used if required) and a network connection if you wish to use multiple computers. Additional computers may be used for Audience, Pit, or Field Queue Displays. Additionally, a printer is strongly recommended. If you plan to use a USB printer, make sure there are enough USB ports for the printer, the field control boards, and any other USB accessories you plan to use (such as a USB flash drive). Plan ahead to avoid having to swap USB connections between devices during the tournament.
Tip: If you are using a laptop, you may want to connect an external mouse rather than relying on the laptop's trackpad.
Note: If you are planning to use multiple computers to run your event, the network connections between them should be made with wired Ethernet. Wireless networks can introduce information delays that can disrupt the connection between the Tournament Manager programs and the Tournament Server.

Installation

The Tournament Manager is distributed as a downloadable installer setup program for Windows and a Disk Image (.dmg) for macOS. The latest version of Tournament Manager is always available at vextm.dwabtech.com.
For Windows users, download and open the Setup file. An installation wizard will appear that will guide you through the installation of the program. You should not need to change any of the settings during installation - the default settings provided will work best. In addition to installing the Tournament Manager software, the setup program will also install the hardware drivers for the VEX Field Controller. Follow the on-screen directions and disconnect any field controllers from the computer before proceeding. Once the setup program is complete, click the Finish button to close the wizard.
For macOS users, download and open the Disk Image file after downloading it. The Disk Image will expand and show the Tournament Manager icon and the Applications folder. Drag the Tournament Manager icon into the Applications folder to install it. After that, the Tournament Manager program will be accessible in your Applications folder.

Download VEX Tournament Manager

Go to the TM Manager Download Website

Set Up a Tournament Manager File

A quick reference guide to setting up a tournament file in Tournament Manager.

Select an Option to Begin Using the VEX Tournament Manager

Begin_Using_the_TM.png

  • Create a new tournament - for new tournament files
    • Save in a place that is easily accessible (Desktop)
  • Open an existing tournament - for files already created
  • Connect to a remote server - to connect other computers to server
    • Used for Skills Challenge, Judging, or additional computers projecting displays
    • Must be on same network as server computer
    • Must have server address and password to connect

Event Code Setup

Event_Code_Setup.png

  • If this is an official event, select the box and enter the Event Code and TM Code.
    • This information is found at the top of the Event Administration page.
  • If this is an unofficial event, do not check the box.

Program Type

  • Select appropriate platform (VIQC, VRC, VEX U, VAIC, Aerial Drone Competition)

Tournament Type

Tournament_Type.png

  • Select appropriate tournament setup
    • School Scrimmage – unofficial event, or in-school tournament
    • Small Tournament – using 1 competition field
    • Medium Tournament – using two or more competition fields
    • Large Event/Expert – using multiple divisions, very advanced
  • Most tournaments use Small or Medium setup

General Setup

General_Setup.png

  • Add an Event Name. This will automatically populate if an Event Code and TM Code was entered previously
  • Tournament Manager Password – a password used to open the tournament file and to connect other computers to the server - DO NOT SHARE
  • Judge, Inspector, Scorekeeper Password – only used if using the Web Server

League Play Setup

League_Play_Setup.png

  • This will only be checked if the event was created as a League in RobotEvents.

Game Scoring Configuration

  • Select appropriate game and score sheet preference.

Team List

Team_List.png

  • Team data will automatically import from RobotEvents if an Event Code and TM Code was entered previously.
  • Can select “Generate Teams” for informal competition or testing
  • An EP may import a CSV file if not connected to the internet.

Elimination Tournament Setup (VRC, VEX AI, VEX U, Aerial Drone Competition)

Elimination_Tournament_Setup.png

  • The appropriate number of alliances will be setup by default but can be changed
  • Teams per elimination alliance will stay at 2
  • Unbalanced alliances are generally not allowed
  • Alliance selection audience display is generally shown by ranking
  • VEX U and VEX AI do not do alliance selection

Finals Matches Setup (VIQC)

Finals_Matches_Setup.png

  • An Event Partner may choose how many alliances (2 teams per alliance) that will compete in the finals.
  • Events that qualify teams directly to VEX Worlds must have a minimum of five (5) Finals Matches if there are ten (10) or more Teams in attendance.

Field Set (If Using Medium or Large Tournament Type)

Field_Set.png

  • Use 1 field set if:
    • Using 1 competition field
      • Using multiple competition fields and matches run one after the other (field 1, then field 2, back to field 1)
  • Use 2 or more field sets if:
    • Using multiple competition fields were matches run concurrently.
      • The number of field sets should be equal to the number of concurrent matches

Field Set #

Field_Set_1.png

  • Give each field set a name
  • Default settings are generally used but can be changed
  • Determine how many fields will be in each field set and give each a name
  • Examples: Field 1, Field 2, colors, sponsor names, etc.

Skills Challenges

Skills_Challenges.png

  • Enter the total number of skills fields at the tournament
  • The Maximum Skills Challenge Attempts is grayed out and locked at 3 per challenge

Pit Display Setup

Pit_Display_Setup.png

  • Determine how many displays will be available in the venue and assign each to be a Pit Display
  • Assign a Default Screen for each
    • What is actually displayed on each can be changed at any time during a tournament: Displays > Pit Display Control

Schedule Setup

Schedule_Setup.png

  • Create matches for each scheduled block.
    • If the agenda has matches before a lunch break and some after, there should be 2 blocks setup
  • Match Cycle Time: the time between the start of a match and the start of the next match.
    • Consider scoring, field reset time, and desired number of matches when determining the cycle time.
  • Match Type: select Practice if doing a practice round, otherwise select Qualification for tournament/teamwork matches.
  • Select “Add” to save each block
  • Blocks can be edited by double clicking them
  • Blocks can be removed altogether by selected the block then selecting “Remove”
  • Try to have the number of matches per team as a whole number. This may not always be possible. If it is not a whole number, a team may play an additional match to ensure all teams get to a whole number.

Create Matches

Create_Matches.png

  • Create Practice Matches (if using) to generate Practice Matches
  • Create Qualification Matches to generate Qualification Matches
  • Use the Show Schedule Statistics button to get an idea of match spacing and to determine if the break between matches is long enough

Awards Setup

Awards_Setup.png

  • Awards from RobotEvents should be automatically selected if an Event Code and TM code were entered previously.
  • Awards selected on this screen MUST match what is in RobotEvents or the results will not upload correctly. If additional awards are checked, they must be added into the event page in RobotEvents so they match.

Web Publishing Setup

Web_Publishing_Setup.png

  • Select which options should be published and available for viewing on RobotEvents and VEX Via.
    • Some Event Partners choose to make this information available immediately, others choose to wait until closer to the event/day of the event to publish this information due to potential changes or wanting teams to check in and confirm attendance first. An Event Partner can change this at any time within Tournament Manager: Tools > Options > Web Publishing

Setup Complete

Setup_Complete.png

  • Select Next to open the Tournament Manager file.