6th Grade EDR Competition

This is my first year coaching Robotics, and the previous coach said that 6th graders are not allowed to compete in EDR competitions. She said that 6th graders are not allowed to be in the pit or to control the robot when the game is going on.

The Game Manual defines Middle School and High School competitors as follows:
• Middle School Student – A Student enrolled in grade 8 or lower, or enrolled in grade 9 in a school which includes grade 8, but not grade 10.
• High School Student – Any eligible Student that is not a Middle School Student

Source: https://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/vrc-inthezone/VRC-InTheZone-GameManual-20170817.pdf

To me this means that 6th graders would qualify as Middle School students and could compete on either a Middle School or High School team, with no limitation on controlling the robot or being in the pit. Is there an interpretation or clause that I am missing about a minimum grade or age?

Thank you,
Anthony Machniak
VRC-InTheZone-GameManual-20170817.pdf (2.04 MB)

I’m like 99.9999999% sure that 6th graders can compete because some of our team competed as a 6th grader a few years ago and no one said anything about it not being allowed.

That could be her rule or a school rule, but it certainly isnt a Vex rule. Our first year, we had 5th graders competing on a middle school team.

Although, I get a hoot when I get a delivery of robotics parts and the box says 14 and older!

I’ve seen very young people competing, and younger people assisting (loading balls or cubes or whatever the game objects of the year are). 6th graders can definitely compete, per VEX rules.

From what I’ve always understood: 6th graders are always allowed to compete, unless a specific competition is only listed for high school teams, in which case, a middle team would not be allowed to compete. @Powerbelly or @blatwell can add more to that because they are EPs and I am a student. 6842 has had sixth graders competing for two years(and now three) and we’ve never had any issues whatsoever with competition eligibility(but most Indiana events are blended with both high school and middle school teams competing).

Sixth graders can certainly compete on VRC teams – there is no lower age limit for VRC. Here is what the rules say:

*Student – Anyone enrolled in a pre-college school or is home-schooled as part of a pre-college educational curriculum and is born after April 28th, 1999. Eligibility may also be granted based on a disability that has delayed education by at least one year.
• Middle School Student – A Student enrolled in grade 8 or lower, or enrolled in grade 9 in a school which includes grade 8, but not grade 10.
• High School Student – Any eligible Student that is not a Middle School Student.

Technically, a 7-year-old is eligible to be part of a VRC team, but they would have to compete in high school because they do not meet the definition of “Middle School Student.”

By the way, “EDR” is the name of a family of products from VEX, the “VEX Robotics Competition” (VRC) is the competition program. There is no competition called “EDR.” The competition program that uses VEX IQ parts is formally the “VEX IQ Challenge” (sometimes VIQC on Robot Events), but no one calls it that. What it is called is “VEX IQ” or, commonly, just “IQ.” This causes endless confusion to VIQC coaches and students moving up to VRC because the name of the competition and the name of the product are different. It’s not really THAT confusing, but it can be. :slight_smile:

What I don’t understand is why an EDR “controller” is a VIQ “brain,” and an EDR “joystick” is a VIQ “controller.” This makes my head hurt, it does.

Wouldn’t a 7 year old who is enrolled in school be considered a Middle School student? They are enrolled in a school that comes before college, and are (presumably) in a grade lower than 8.

You’re right, of course. Sorry about that.

My team is composed of three 6th graders and three 5th graders. Vex In The Zone competition team will allow team to participate. I verified this by contacting our region’s REC Foundation Regional Manager - you can find one for your region here - under Need Help section: https://www.roboticseducation.org/contact-us/contact-info/

My daughter and teammate were both in 6th grade last year; they were the sole members of their team, which competed at Middle School and blended tournaments.

I’ve seen very young team members on VRC teams. As @Rick Tyler points out, there is no lower age or grade limits. I remember a VRC team at 2017 US Open with a really young member. I think he was the younger brother of one of the team captains. He placed the robot, selected autonomous, scouted, etc., as far as I recall. I don’t think he was a 6th grader; seemed younger. He took their elimination from the tournament pretty hard.

That’s not a criticism, and it doesn’t distinguish him from our high schoolers that took their elimination pretty hard. I just felt a lot of empathy with him, so I remembered him.

So, as others have said you might have a school rule about it, but it’s most definitely not a VEX rule.

dbenderpt is correct. 6th graders most definitely are allowed (and encouraged) participate in VEX VRC Events. There could be smaller non-VEX approved events with restrictions, but that is not true of VEX Qualification Events.

We had a nine year-old fill in for a driver last year. I’ve never seen anyone ask the younger kids about their age.

I think the rule are mostly written to exclude those too old for high school or middle school from competing.