"Bound Notebook Bonus"

Does the “bound notebook bonus” apply to the REC Foundation VEX issued notebooks or not?

Yes. Standard RECF-issue notebooks count as bound


I have a few teams that are already on to volume 2, and one on volume 3, of the bound RECF notebooks. They keep them together in a large binder. Based on previous rulings and discussions with my local reps it does count as bound as long as that is all that is in there. I’ve advised my teams to be careful to only use the binders to hold all the volumes together. The pre-punched holes make this work well for us

I have other materials in there to act as visual aids, and I am assuming those disqualify the possibility of obtaining the bonus. If I were to have a leather bound engineering notebook in the binder along with additional information like competition statistics, would I be available to receive the three pT bonus? Thanks for your help.

In a tournament I judged this weekend, we agreed to give the notebook bonus to teams that had a bound notebook as their primary documentation. That means that teams with supplemental information (game manual, source code, etc.) in an included binder (with the bound notebook inside or together with it) would not be penalized for it, so long as it was just supplemental.

As it turned out, we did not have any turned in that met those criteria, but I think it is the right way to treat it, and I have seen no guidance otherwise.

I was the Judge Advocate at an event last week. We also agreed to use the bound book as the primary document and the materials in the binder as backup/supplemental information.

General notes: Write in #2 pencil or in blue/black ink. Light pencil writing is hard to read, since most of the books had writing on the grid. Printing was easier to read than script. Some teams that had small block graph pages put a single letter in each block and that was super easy to read.

Don’t forget to date the pages!

The top teams had a consistent format for pages like Date, Who was there, objectives / goal for that session, notes about what they found during the session, accomplishments.

*** The rubric we use to judge the notebooks is online and available for you to look at. Follow it, it’s pretty clear how the points are allocated. ***

I have supplemental info like source code, game manual, team member background/experience, and original design sketches in the back that I have copied and scaled down to fit nicely into the notebook. Thanks

According to this post, judges are not supposed to collect the binder with extra materials, just the bound notebook (and the binder if it only holds them together).

That is not my interpretation of what you linked. That thread (not a VEX/RECF official response regardless) was referring to the “Team Design Notebooks and Team Journals” document from RECF, which says that the Design Notebook will be collected and the Team Journal will not. It does not mention Binders with extra material at all. If that extra material is part of the design process, then it should be included in the design notebook and collected.

In another thread, it was stated that judges are to accept the design notebook in ANY format, with the exception of electronic submissions, on the grounds that the judges should not be responsible for a team’s expensive laptop, or required to access a website to view the document.

The format is worth Exactly 3 points. No more, no less.

I think the interpretation varies from state to state and tournament to tournament. Here are the instructions from two tournaments in Virginia:

“Please be aware of the new guidelines for Engineering Notebooks. When it comes to judging Engineering Notebooks, only what is in bound notebooks will be considered in the judging process.”

“We are only accepting an engineering notebook for your current robot and will not have the capacity to go through journals to determine what is the engineering notebook verse the journal. If a journal is turned in it will be set aside unjudged.
o Please separate biographies, stories, outreach, training events, etc if they are currently with your engineering notebook”

These two tournaments make it clear that only what is in the bound notebook is what will be considered. However, this could vary greatly from state to state.

That’s awful. Our senior team has won two design awards out of the three competitions they have gone to this year, and they do not have a bound portion at all. All of their design process is in a binder. VEX officially added the value of a bound notebook to the rubric this year. We decided it was worth losing those three points to have a better notebook.

I thought they had pretty clearly address the ambiguity in judging notebooks, but i guess not.

My team has a bound notebook that is only for design/development. Separately they have a binder with the game rules, tournament results, work on their on line challenges, etc. I’ve coached them to have the binder available for the interviews and show it to the judges then.

This is exactly what we do. Their binder also has community outreach and team bios - stuff like that. Our EN is strictly for the design and build of the robot and contains everything with regard to that (code, CAD, etc). A person does not need to refer to any external material when reading our teams’ ENs.

This system couldn’t be more convoluted. The fact rules like this vary from even to event is ridiculous.


On this, I disagree. Tarek Shraibati answered a series of Q&A questions on this some months ago. Here’s an excerpt from a relevant one:

Here’s the Q&A in official form:


Exactly. Now if I could just get them to write neater. Oh and always use a straight edge to draw their diagrams. :wink:

I agree it varies from event to event. Particularly whoever above said that only bound notebooks would be considered at the event they were at. That’s ridiculous.

this is where I have a problem. We’ve agreed we don’t get the 3 point bonus for the RECF’s arbitrary requirement. Not reviewing it at all is where I’d be asking for a refund for the day.