Commentary/MCing in Vex

What is your feedback for the MCing and commentators like Paul and @Karthik at worlds, or any general feedback for people commentating matches at your local competitions? Sports commentary is well established, and most of the volunteers who commentate for Vex are amateurs. Lets hear what you all think!

In my opinion, while some matches had good commentary from the MC, many suffered from trying to act overly excited, and not including specific observations. The final match of the high school Starstruck championship was mostly filler and the commentary could have benefited from more specifics. Even just calling what you see and then saving your excitement for dramatic exchanges can make the commentary feel more genuine and worth listening to than constant, high-energy fluff. Constant high energy is reserved to when teams are operating near flawlessly, or attempting strategies that are new or risky.

I think that if there are two commentators, they should be speaking to each other more than the audience, and saying “you said earlier that…” instead of “we said earlier” makes the commentary sound more honest. I really appreciate hearing a discussion of design or strategy above random hype filler. At worlds, the notes that Paul was taking for discussion between matches made for some insightful commentary. It was specific and thoughtful. However, at times it felt like Karthik was trying to talk to the audience and MC/announce instead of listen and reply to Paul in the discussion, which detracted from its authenticity. There was a large mismatch in tone and energy, which made it seem like they were not on the same level.

Also, purely my opinion: I would also appreciate a little more banter, including trying to make fun of the other commentator, tell jokes, or use ridiculous idiomatic expressions. ( “Red team is running around right now busier than a weatherman in a tornado” “Blue team must be sweating like an ice cube in summer right about now”)

What do you all think? Also, share any specific videos of what to do, or what not to do when it comes to commentary (if you can find any). No one is a professional when it comes to Vex commentating, and Worlds is only once a year so lets offer some feedback to improve the viewing experience!

I had a really good emcee at my last local tournament. I would love to emcee but I’m too busy running the tournament! I agree that they just need to be a little more entertaining in general. You don’t really need experience but it really, really helps. People that competed in the past are the best.

Black Division commentators at US Open were lit.

I thought the VEX U emcee did a good job, and I don’t really remember high school one way or the other. Paul sometimes has good analysis. But yeah I agree that the middle school commentary and Karthik’s analysis fell short.

“Wow what an exiting match! So much back and forth action!” doesn’t cut it when one of the middle school robots tipped and their alliance is getting destroyed.

the commendation at the Open were the best I’ve ever heard.

usually I’m so tired of listening to someone non stop talk about nonsense. US open MC’s had great voices, knew when to not be talking, and when they spoke it added to the experiences 9/10. Worlds’s MC were a solid 4/10…

“That was a super close match!” Score 43-5

Most of the commentary at worlds was talking for the sake of talking. They may as well have had subtitles saying [Excited noise]

@AquaticRobotics and @TheColdedge Do you have any youtube links? I will be hosting a tournament next year and want to give my commentators some good resources to use to improve.

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Here’s a playlist of the green divisions finals at the US Open. This is what commentators should strive to be.

These guys knew how to handle a mic (they didn’t yell into it), had clear voices, were knowledgeable on how the game and tournament worked. They sounded more like Radio DJ’s rather than Hype men.

If you are hosting a tournament my suggestion is have a MC come out and give the audience a quick rundown of the game and how it works and how to score. And then again before eliminations to explain the picking process. and that’s it.