Different ways to get to Worlds

A couple questions about the annual tournament.

  1. The break down goes: Local --> State --> Worlds. Is that correct, or is there another level in there?

  2. Where can I find info on where and when the state and world championships are?

  3. What are the different ways to get to Worlds? Winning alliance at States, Highest Skills Challenge Team from States, anything else?

  4. What different “awards” or recognitions are given at any of the levels other than the top team?


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Hopefully I can help here!

  1. That is correct. You must obtain an award from a tournament in the state your team is registered in to attend your state champs. Doesn’t have to be local, just within your state.

  2. Check robotevents.com for a full list of every event happening in your state. State champs are usually within the last few weeks of March and Worlds is in April. You will also be able to see the location of every event.

  3. You are right about the qualifying awards you have listed but you can also win the Excellence award at states to qualify for worlds. There are some cases where teams may obtain more than one qualifying award at a competition, in this case qualification for worlds will go to the captain of the tournament finalist.

  4. The full list of awards is: Excellence, Tournament Champion, Tournament Finalist, Robot Skills Champion, Programming Skills Champion, Think, Create, Build, Amaze, Innovate, Teamwork, Educate, Future, Judges Award, Energy, Sportsmanship, Service, Community, Design, Promote, Invent, Volunteer of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Partner of the Year, Teacher of the Year.
    The bold awards are the ones you will most likely see. Some events only do Excellence and Champions, some do almost the full list. Usually depends on size.

Hope this helps!

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This helps!

Is the criteria on how these different awards are judged listed anywhere? I’d like to share with my team.

Check the competition resources page

You can also look at the Judging resources on RoboticsEducation.org website
Event Resources and Documents

Be sure to select VEX Robotics Competition tab to get the correct documents.

Outside of the traditional competition structure, the online challenges provide opportunities for earning a ticket to worlds. Not all online challenges reward with advancement to worlds - make sure to read the descriptions.

And the complete list (as far as I know), ranked according to how many teams qualify because of this criteria, is:

  • Win certain awards at a Worlds-qualifying events (state or national championships)
  • Finish the season very-highly ranked in the Robot Skills challenge
  • Win certain Online Challenges
  • Win Excellence or Tournament Champion at the previous World Championship
  • Get incredibly lucky and be invited from the Wait List
  • Get even more extremely lucky and be asked to be an emergency stand-by team to fill in for teams that do not show up. Most years, this number is zero. (It really only happens if a non-US team cannot make the trip at the last second.)


Are you sure about the bolded phrase?

In the official VRC Qualifying Criteria, it says on page 6 that if a team wins multiple qualifying awards, the spot will go to the next-highest team from that state/region in the World Skills Rankings.

On the other hand, the Qualifying Criteria also says the RECF can make exceptions to better support a growing region, so I suppose some regions could be allowed to have the finalist captain qualify instead, although I have never heard of this happening.


In addition to the Excellence Award, Tournament Champions, and Robot Skills Champion (in some regions), in many regions the Design Award qualifies for Worlds, and in larger regions, the Tournament Finalists, and even the Semifinalists, can also qualify.

Any leftover spots (of which there are many in large regions) will usually go to the teams with the next-highest Skills scores in the state/region (across the whole season, up through the State Championship).

The full list of Worlds-qualifying awards for most regions is listed on pages 2-3 of the VRC Qualifying Criteria (linked earlier in this post), followed by a list of the minimum number of spots for each region. (Many regions will receive additional spots in January, based on the number of new teams.)

In Indiana, if there is a double qualification, we use skills rankings to decide who receives the spots. That being said(and I’m not 100% sure if this changes anything), but our tournament finalists also qualify for Worlds regardless of the result in the final.

In arkansas at the state tournament, both alliances in the finals get tickets. At least it was last year.

This is not true in the VEX competitions, but is (or has been) a policy in some FIRST competitions. For what it’s worth, this would be a terrible idea – the Eliminations alliance is a team, and rewards should go to the whole team, not just the alliance captain.