3-Ring Binder Notebooks DQ'd Prior to Judging at State

At the Georgia State High School Competition this weekend, the REC Regional Manager mandated to the judges that only bound engineering notebooks were to be considered for any judged awards. This eliminated from consideration the majority of teams and their notebooks (which were typically in 3-ring binders), resulting in all judged awards going to teams from one school. While I have seen threads referencing a “preferred” format for bound notebooks, I cannot find anything that states that only bound notebooks are acceptable. My own team had won a design award earlier in the year at a qualifying event utilizing their 3-ring binder notebook. I presume there were other teams who attended State who were in a similar situation. I am sure the awarded teams at State were well deserving. However, shouldn’t other teams who had utilized (and won awards with) a 3-ring binder notebook at least have been given the consideration of being reviewed by the judges? Is this truly up to the discretion of the local REC representative to disqualify the majority of teams prior to judging?

It is important to note that winning Design at a local event does not guarantee that a team will win Design at their State/Regional event.

That said, this is similar to a post on the official VEX World Championship Q & A that was answered a number of weeks ago (https://vexforum.com/t/are-notebooks-required-to-be-bound/38591/1)

Judges are to accept all team notebooks that are turned in at an event and evaluate them.

It is best if teams follow the examples given in the official VEX Robotics Engineering Notebook which is provided to all teams upon registering their first team at a school or club. The notebook also contains a list of suggestions for keeping an engineering notebook. These suggestions and examples have been given to teams to guide them in documenting their design process.

The judge’s guide includes the guidelines given to judges as well as the Design Rubric that is to be used to evaluate notebooks. Judges are required to use the official rubric to evaluate notebooks.

In general it is preferred that notebooks be bound and hand written. All pictures, CAD drawings or computer code should be pasted onto pages as they are developed. Each page should be dated and signed. Notebooks are to be student produced.