BC Championship A Division: The Toughest VRC Tournament?

In less than two weeks we will be expecting between 70-80 teams to show up at the BC Institute of Technology for the BC VRC Championships.

The very best of these teams will be placed in the A division, while the up and coming teams will compete for the B division title.

Last year close to 50% of the teams in A division competed at worlds, taking home three major awards… Build (10D), Inspire (1107B) and Programming Skills Finalist (2A).

One quarter of the teams had winning records in their divisions. In Science 1107A went 7-2-0, 2K 6-2-1, and 10B 5-4. In Technology 1107B went 8-1-0, 10D 6-2-1, and 2A 5-3-1.

There were several other teams (1346A, etc.) with good records of 4-5, too.

Right now I refer to the A division as “one of the toughest VEX competitions on the planet”, but am I being too modest? Could it be THE toughest tournament this side of worlds? Are there other tournaments that see half the teams not just qualified, but actually attending the championship?

Are there other tournaments where one quarter of the teams who signed up ended up with winning records at worlds?

Are there other tournaments where over ten percent of the teams took home major awards from worlds?

Although I’ve phrased this somewhat provocatively (hey, it’s a good way to catch some interest…) I don’t think one tournament could ever be proven to be definitively THE toughest, and even if it were it would vary from year-to-year. What I’m actually interested in is hearing more about other tough tournaments and what makes them a true test for top-notch competitive VRC teams.

What tournaments do you find tough… and why?


One word. Nebraska. (and3018 from Iowa). Do not underestimate us.

I don’t know if they were there last year at BCIT, but Wasabi (1492) is another big name in the Pacific NW region. Highly competitive, not to mention being World Champions last year.

Shame they said they won’t be at this competition though.

While I have not competed at the Mid-Atlantic Championship, I would argue that it’s the hardest Vex tournament pre-Worlds. In the past, the event has included, Green Egg (44), 677, 24C, 12A and other notables. 677 was first in their division last year at Worlds, 24C won the Excellence Award in their division, and Green Egg of course won the World Championship and the Amaze Award in their division. However, I suspect the NZ National Championship is in contention for this title as well, so don’t count them out.

I remember the Mid-Atlantic Championship (VMAC) for Round Up being pretty tough. You had the 12’s, 677, the Twisted Bots, the Super Sonic Sparks, and even Green eggs was there. All of these teams did pretty well at worlds too.

looks like Jumper 11 beat me to it. haha. Yes it was tough competition.

Thanks for the praise TGN, although WASABI has never attended the BC Championship, I can attest to the strength of all the teams that attend that tournament because WASABI competes with them at every single other major tournament in the PNW.

However, the greatest reason why the BC Championship is probably the best test for teams leading up to the World Championship is because of the A-B Division split. I’m not sure if this is a unique feature, but it is certainly an effective one. Normally at tournaments, the best teams can breeze through qualifications and even 1v2 in some circumstances if their partner doesn’t show/doesn’t work. However in the A Division at BC, each and every team has already qualified for Worlds and the only incentive is the desire to win. Each qualification is a battle as the pool of teams are on a far tighter spectrum in terms of skill and ability.

I suppose as a general rule, tournaments that are closer to worlds are tougher. Because teams have had a long time to perfect their design. So the overall quality of robots is better.

I know from talking to others that there are some famous snake-pit tournaments, but I haven’t seen any better Elimination round than we just had at Redmond on Saturday. This wasn’t just a big event (58 teams) but it was also deep and full of old (3-5 year old) teams. The 24 that made Eliminations were as good as any divisional finals I’ve seen at World Championship.

My pick of tournaments that I have some personal knowledge in the “up and comer” category would be the US Mountain Region Championship in Utah. Take a look through the Skills Competition leaders – there are proportionately a lot of representation from a region that only has 50 teams this year.

I am looking forward to BCIT – it is always a well-run tournament with great competition. Did I hear that there are going to be SIX competition fields this year???

You could say that… Yes, it’s tough. And only 2 full days away!! The pressure is on! I look forward to seeing all the awesome kiwi robots!


Vex Mid-Atlantic Championship (VMAC):

World Award Winners:
Green Eggs (44: 9-0-0) was the alliance captain of the winning alliance.
Super Sonic Sparks (24) was excellence award winner for the Science division.
Rex (1727C: 7-2-0) were Math division finalists and the Community award winner (1727A).
Other notable teams at Worlds from the VMAC:**
Montclair Robotics (667: 9-0-0)
Acme Robotics (12A: 8-1-0, 12N: 8-1-0, 12G: 7-2-0, 12B: 6-3-0, 12D: 6-3-0, 12C: 6-2-1)

Allow me to plug for my own team, the Twisted Botz… :wink: We won the divisional Community Award last year at Worlds… Not too shabby for two teams with six kids… Attended Worlds four years in a row, breaking into elimination rounds every year, with decent results.

Mid-Atlantic has always been some tough competition. And as we know, it has definitely been a place to see some World Champions. Maybe I’ll be able to provide a viral video of their robot again this year… :wink:

In my mind, you do have the two coasts. While there are many good teams, it does seem that a large collection of them are clustered on the coasts, probably because that is where the population is mainly. For now? East Coast gets to call champion status… Give us two months, and we’ll see if we get to keep it… :wink:

1492Z was 8-0-1 (1 tie) at Worlds last year, 2nd in Science right behind Green Egg Robotics. Additionally we got the Think Award for our descoring autonomous shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sN6ISZ8JDw

To add on, it was 1492’s first time all together and we also only had 2 teams with 9 members in total.

However in no way do we take our successes to say that our region is a pushover. Every single match we play is hard fought, every single elimination is nailbiting and I have to say that every team at Worlds this year should look to avoid the dangerous teams of this region :slight_smile: #PNWswag

Not to mention multiple World semifinal and finalist teams in the last three years, the best Programming Skills score at the 2009 World Championship*, and the second-best Programming Skills in 2011. Northwest US/Western Canada got some game. Other regions do too, which is why this all so much fun!

*In 2009, 2921 won the Programming Skills competition with the second-highest score. 575 had the highest score, but finished second in the competition, and received the WC Think Award. (The rules have changed since then.) I should have that I have the HIGHEST respect for 2921. This is talking about how good one of our PNW teams is, it’s not a cut at the Kiwis.

Though I can’t say I enjoy losing to 1492 a lot, it sure is great being surrounded by some of the top competition in the world. It really gives good insight into what the level of play will be like in the eliminations rounds at Worlds. Thanks, northwest teams (Exo, Gladstone, Cambie, WASABI) for AWESOME year-round tournaments!

Even better is that our best teams aren’t just the old powerhouses. There are numerous up and coming teams that have another 3 years left to go. Expect competition from us for a long time coming :slight_smile:

C’mon Nebraskans and Iowans!!!
Team 1-Papa Smurf 8-1 , 3rd in Science after Green Egg and Wasabi
Team 402- Strictly Buisness, 13th in Science.
Team 370- Perpetual Motion Squad, decent score of 4-5
Team 402C- hazard, 4-4-1 in Technology
Team 3141- Irrational, 7-1-1, 6th in Engineering
Team 3018- Techna Pwn, 6-3, 25th in Engineering
5155D- Cross County, 5-4 in Engineering
1064- Mastodon Hall, 6-2-1 in Technology 18th
Plus multiple Wisconsin and Colorado. (1200)
***Contrary to popular belief- We do NOT still drive covered wagons in Nebraska.

If we’re going by number of awards won or by number of competing teams I’d be surprised to see anyone top Pan-Pacific.

110 Teams, 2 Divisions

Clean Sweep Worlds Awards: 6 (Winners: 4)
254A (Excellence, Community)
3008A (Design, Future)
2438A (Amaze)
4414 (Build)

However, by that point in the season most teams aren’t at their fully refined design yet, so competition isn’t that bad. If New Zealand teams came (please?) and the regional were held later it might become truly frightening. Last year Hawaii had twenty-four teams representing the state at Worlds, all of whom I believe attended Pan-Pac.

Washington Winter Tournament, 30 teams, one division: 5 Worlds Trophies

Clean Sweep Worlds Awards:
575 (Tournament Finalist, Build)
10B (Cooperate)
1107A (Innovate)
10Z (Sportsmanship)

Taking nothing away from Hawaii, which is a GREAT VEX region, but the Northwest’s got some game, too.

New Zealand college nationals 2011
2 teams, 3 worlds trophies.

Worlds awards:
MESS (Champions, Excellence award)
AURA (Judges award)