Age Rule Change.... Thoughts on this?

Good discussion on this. Thanks for the feedback, as it is really helpful!


I like the age based requirements similar to soccer “Under…” so VRC MS right now seems to fall into U15 as of May 1 st 2020… Like soccer, the issue will always be alignment with start of school year, and there is no. real solution but to clarify the age requirements are based on the Robotics Competition Season. May 1st to April 30th. Note having the term “Elementary”, “Middle”, and “High” school will confuse do to different implementations world wide. It may be time to rethink how to communicate that.

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I say this because I have an 8th grader going to 9th grade in our club who can play for MS teams based on age definition. He will compete at HS because it will be harder and he will learn more vs win easily at MS level.

Keep up the good thoughts on this…


Students are allowed to play up, right?

What are your thoughts on this? Should they be allowed to play up?


VRC Middle school student (read over 14 as of May 1) under the VRC rules this year are able to play up as long as the team they are playing on has at least one student that meets the definition of HS student under VRC rules. For the student in our club, this makes sense for him, he is going to be 14 in 9th grade at our HS.

I assume there are a lot of other similar situations. In Youth soccer this is permitted for a number of reasons, like being very young and at a higher grade level…

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If they can end up playing up because one person is older, it seems like they should be able to play up either way. It’s also a solution for schools that end up straddling the line.

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It also makes sense to me because most of the time middle school teams end up in mixed competitions where they play against HS teams anyways.

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I think if you want to play up you should be free to. If you’re an elementary student who wants to play in the high school league and a team actually lets you join, then you should be free to in my opinion.


I’m all for allowing people to play up. Some of my IQ students who have done it since 3rd grade were ready for the jump to VRC in 5th grade, and I let them compete this year.


Is normal by the rules have one middle school student on a team making the middle school team.

If there’s a team of all elementary students that went to compete on the Middle School level I think they should be allowed to do that as well. As the rules are written they would need a token middle schooler to make it a middle school team.


Playing up needs to be an option. There are plenty of students that display advanced interests at younger ages.

At the same time, however, I think students should be allowed to ‘play a year down’- excepting VEXU. This makes an international norm far easier to achieve.

Are there conditions attached to this? Otherwise you are just changing the age by a year…

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It simply means that for a period of one year, a student has the option of simply moving up, or staying at their current level.

And you’re right, it simply extends the requirement by one year.

The younger they are, the more of a dramatic difference a single year makes.

For that reason, it makes sense for students to play up than it does for older students to play down.


the “play down” is what got the VRC MS mess in terms of global competition. There were times where there were teams outside of the US who appeared over 14 by a year or two… I think having age limits is right.


Yes, I think students should be allowed to play up


I absolutely support with the ability for a student to play up. My main logic behind this is attributed to my own experiences and I so much dislike having to teach or even be taught at the level that is considered the “mean” of a group. If there is an advanced student then let them advance and be continued to be challenged. Who knows what I or any of us would have been able to achieve if we had been allowed to participate in activities that were more challenging and exciting to be a part of vs being bored or not challenged sufficiently.

If we really subscribe to improving the STEM talent then we clearly shouldn’t encumber it by holding an individual back.


We had this exact scenario during our division finals at Worlds for HS VRC Starstruck.

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Yes, many times this has been a benefit. I don’t see a downside to it and don’t see a need for the on-team-member HS student required for a HS team. Really seems like aged based divisions is a benefit for a world wide competition definition.