Can high school students use VEXcode V5 Blocks to program their robots for tournaments?

For high school students competing in VEX tournaments, are they allowed to use VEXcode V5 Blocks or must they use the text version?

Of course. Teams can program in whatever language they wish.


Particular software is not specified in the game manual. Therefore; you can use whatever works for you.


VEXcode V5 Blocks has support for competition templates / competition control and has been thoroughly tested with VRC Field Management hardware and software.


So any software that has the competition template or an equivalent alternative is allowed to be used for programming.

Awesome! Thank you for clarifying.

It doesn’t even have to have a competition template. The competition template is just there to help you. There’s no special functionality created by a competition template. What your code is allowed to do (send motor commands, receive joystick data) is controlled by VEXos. You can write competition programs without a competition template if you just use the parts of the API related to querying the competition state, assuming of course that those methods are provided. (For example, Robot Mesh Studio Blockly only provides competition information through the blocks that comprise the competition template.)


In the rules it states that for programming for the competition teams must use the competition template or a functioning alternative.

What rule?

If you have a program that will drive the bot then that will work for driver control and the bot will just sit there for auto.

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You should read the rules.

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From <R29>: “The Robot must be programmed to follow control directions provided by the VEXnet Field Controllers.”

To my knowledge, it is impossible to disobey the field controllers without modifying the VEXos firmware.


We all should. I don’t see how this adds to the conversation, though.

Emphasis mine. There is simply no rule that indicates what you said. The rule actually says:

Teams should use a provided “competition template”, or functional equivalent, to accomplish this.

Emphasis mine. Not must… And this is only if they want to have an auto program. This is a great thing to have, but it is not necessary to have an auto program to pass inspection or play. If your program in just a couple of lines that drive your pushbot without using any template, that is legal to pay without having to do anything special.

As @John_TYler said, this is handled by VEXos, and no program that you download can override VEXos. You would have to go out of your way to mess with the firmware to violate this rule. Teams do not have to worry about violating this rule by not using a template.


Thanks for clarifying.


You can, but you shouldn’t


Yes, let’s program our bot in scratch!

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Why not ?


From what I’ve seen using Scratch and EV3, block based programming is much worse than text based programming. Also, if Vex is intended to teach useful skills, since text based is typically what is used in the industry of computer programming, though I’m sure exceptions exist, wouldn’t it be good for people to learn text programming using a widely used language like C++?


Please qualify your assertion here.

From what I am seeing, learning to code even includes coding without computers at the K-2 ages, block (scratch/logo/python) 3-8, text 6-post grad…)…

End of the day if someone had a really cool library, they could have a custom block that “win”. @tabor473 's team was tackling that to have a robot try to win with no human interaction in driver mode in VEXU…

Also, I am not sure C++ is as widely used as you think.


It is more used than block based. Also, the conversation is about high school, not kindergarteners.


I think you are sadly mistaken. Models for coding should not be limited to one manner of expression. Allowing more access to coding only increases new creative ideas/expression than one way of thinking.

So, please reconsider your position, I think my broad spectrum of educational experience - primary to graduate education, should lend some credibility around my assertions.

I may be wrong - but right now kindergartners are a good place to be :slight_smile: