Our robotics team does VRC and FRC but has only recently started taking VRC seriously. In a few weeks we will be having a mock competition for 6 VEX teams. The plan is to spend about an hour having actual matches with each team getting four matches, then have the judges look over vexcellence materials/engineering notebooks/display boards/etc. We only have one field to work with and half the students are completely new to VEX.
You can use the VRC Tournament Manager to help manage the event. It’ll manage match times and schedules. It’s the only software I’ve witnessed that used by event partners. It’s a reasonably straightforward process to set up a scrimmage.
You’ll also find the RECF Event Documents Page to be useful. It’s got tons of resources like judging guidelines, inspection checklists, and referee guides.
There’s also the Event Partner subforum, but you need to be an EP to have permission to get to it. However, I think you’ll find that the general forum will be able to answer most of your questions (I’ve closely helped run several competitions).
This type of practice competition is useful for new teams and you will see how much they improve by the second. At our first scrimmage we didn’t do too well but we learnt about the stress of getting things done in a deadline.
It may be mean but doing this competition a week before they will be ready will make you see who can cope and who the better engineers are.
Try and set up the tournament manager ahead of time. First time through can take more time since it will be new to you.
If you just have the hand tournament switches, the tournament manager won;t start and stop the matches for you.
Ensure you have long enough networking cables and have a spare computer or second monitor to display the time. Set that up early too and run a mock tournament with a robot or two so you can see the interactions. Try stopping a match and resetting it and score a practice too.
Give yourself more time between matches than you might think the first time around too. Don’t rush yourself.
Lastly, make sure red is scored as red and blue as blue. Where the referees stand and how they hold the paper can actually make a difference in accuracy. Make it as easy for them to write down the scores correctly as you can.