Can a middle schooler be on a high school team?

We are in the process of forming a homeschooled team and we have 2 high schoolers, but one middle schooler would like to be on our team. Is this allowed?

From what I understand, absolutely this is allowed. I believe the rules state that you can always “play up,” but you can’t “play down.”


A 6th grade student could participate on a high school team with 9th-12th graders.

A 12th grade student could not participate on a middle school team.

For more information, the VEX Turning Point game manual has the technically definitions.


yes, I competed on a high school team last year in 8th grade and so did my friends. One team made it to worlds with 8th and high schoolers and it was perfectly fine

Yes, I have an 8th grader on my HS team this year

Interestingly, a 1st-grade student is a VEX “Middle School Student” as well.

Actually, it depends:

So, for the 1st grader to be part of the definition, the student needs to attend a school which includes grade 8 but not 10. I know these do exist… So be nice to those elementary school kids playing up…

I see what you’re reading, and their writing is pretty sloppy here. From experience both teaching in and attending schools where the second part of this rule is crucial, I really think you’re misreading it. I believe the two parts of the OR statement are

  1. enrolled in grade 8 or lower
  2. enrolled in grade 9 in a school, which includes grade 8 but not grade 10
    There are a lot of middle schools that do 6-9, for example. It wouldn’t work well to single out the 9th graders at those schools and force a genuine middle school team to be a high school team. I believe that is what the rule is written about, though the English does need improvement. Meanwhile, if it’s as you say then you have big disparities such as
  3. Kindergartener in a k-8 school is allowed.
  4. 5th grader in a 5-12 school is not allowed.
    Why would you allow some kindergarteners and disallow some 5th graders? I believe this further supports what I said.

To all the amateur lawyers on here debating whether a grade school student can join a MS team (I’m sure it’s all just for fun, not because you actually want to put a 1st grader on your MS team), I refer you to my favorite rule:

Does it really make sense to call a 1st grader a Middle School student? Nope. Question answered.

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I could imagine a case where an older elementary school student wants to be on an MS team with a sibling or friend.

Exactly. 1st grade may be a bit of an exaggeration but say a tech-savvy 5th grader wants to get a head start before joining middle school. It makes sense here.

I agree with this interpretation. In this way, the only alike students who are differentiated are those who could have a high school team available (9th attending HS) to them and those who don’t (9th attending MS).

We had a elementary schooler on our alliance in Starstruck. He kicked butt. Made it to the World division finals.

No, that doesn’t really answer that bit at all. Go back and look at the logic. If a first grader through an eighth grader (potentially ninth, too) counts as a Middle School Student, then you don’t have to deal with any other vagaries. So it’s handy to know. Otherwise you have to deal with situations like this:

  1. Student 1 is a 5th grader in a middle school (5-8 or 5-9).
  2. Student 2 is a 5th grader in an elementary school in the same town.
    Both students want to join a local club to compete in VRC. Why is student 1 allowed to and not student 2?

If we know there is a blanket answer for everyone up to 8th grade being a Middle School Student under VRC rules, that makes things very easy to figure out. All we have to know then is if there is a high school section available for a 9th grader or the 9th grader is in a true middle school.