Are tournaments allowed to make up new rules for their competition

At a recent tournament, The ref announced during the driver meeting that turning the controller on and off during a match to reconnect to a robot was illegal. I couldn’t find any rules that prohibit this, and I was allowed to do it at a previous competition with the same referee. Are tournaments allowed to do this?

Tournaments are not allowed to willingly with intent create or disregard rules. However, it is possible that the referee did not know the rules correctly and this was a mistake. If this happens, either ask them about which rule it is or show them the rule that they are contradicting. If they are willingly not following the game manual, speak to the Event Partner or your RECF regional manager.


Possibly misspoke and meant turning the controller on and off during auton, which would be considered controlling the robot. I have had to have that discussion with teams every season I’ve ever been involved.


In at least two tournaments my team has been to, the organizers required a single set of two same-color plates, in other words, we couldn’t have blue plates attached to the robot and cover them with red plates when required. Is this a legitimate rule and what’s your experience with it?

That would be R26. Good one to pay attention to.


As a head referee, I discourage teams from layering license plates in ways that might allow the top layer to pop off and expose the wrong color plate. It happens a lot when the top plate is attached with VEX IQ pins. In many seasons, plate color is the only thing that allows referees to correctly call trapping, hoarding, and similar penalties. In one recent tournament, there were so many issues with detached plates that I disallowed layering plates during elimination matches.


I totally understand your rationale, but there’s nothing in the game manual against layering plates. Are you not making up your own rules? As opposed to, say, enforcing R26 against teams whose robots violate this rule?

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I interpret R26a, the note after, and the red box at the end of the rule, as giving reasonable authority to the head referee to be sure they can identify each robot at all times.

Besides it’s not like anyone’s match or tournament is on the line. They’re just license plates.