Do you think its time for 3v3 matches?

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I certainly get where the op is coming from, but as said earlier “no” is my opinion.

I will attempt to approach this topic not through a logistical perspective, which I think has already been covered quite well, but through an audience and competitor perspective.

I think VRC prides itself in grueling hard fought matches between few teams making several key interactions with each other in an attempt to get an edge above the other. Something that is not recreated by many other robotics competitions. I do not think the same feel could be gained from a 3v3 style formula, which further separates the audience from each individual team. There is less chance for a single team to make a large impact decision that will win or lose the match for the alliance.

I also think it makes interactions less exciting, since each interaction plays a smaller part in the match. You can barely keep up with everything that happens in an FRC match and become a lot less interested in any individual team (Or alliance).

VRC also prides itself in its relative simplicity compared to FRC or FTC. You get certain parts, and specific screw sizes, the ability to cut them, and you have to fit within a size. Part of the interest is what the teams were able to do with these rather constraining limitations. The tournament structure is one of these limitations that adds to the compelling simplicity.

To me, beyond logistics, 3v3 would hurt the experience of VRC and destroy a key part to what makes it such an interesting competition.


I definitely disagree with this one. Ever since v5 was introduced, the robots have overpowered the field. With the given electronics, the ideal solution in my opinion would be a 14x14 field, but that would be extremely difficult/impractical because of the way Vex sets up their fields. Because of this, I think Vex needs to make the unpopular opinion to offer a package that has less power in their next electronics generation, which has probably already started development. It would be nice if they included something like viable pneumatics, servos, or linear actuators for more flexibility though.

Sounds expensive / chaotic.

2v2 is definitely better, but maybe we could also have a 1v1 division. 3v3 would be way to chaotic, but I think it would be interesting to have 1v1 matches as well. Maybe these matches could be only 1 minute as well; almost like a head to head driver skills.

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I think this would be an spectacularly bad move. v5 is a huge upgrade from cortex, and it benefits everyone involved. Newer teams are less frustrated because the v5 system is far more forgiving towards rookie mistakes, and more advanced teams have better opportunities to do complicated things like differentials and power sharing which weren’t viable with the weaker 393 motors. I know we complain about v5 a lot, but really it’s very good. it has the power and user friendliness that was just lacking with cortex, yet it also has an extraordinarily high ceiling for what can be done with it.

I also doubt they’ve started on the next system, v5 has everything we need, and I don’t think another system upgrade will be needed for quite a long time. instead I think vex will just add on to the v5 system with new sensors and components, which they have already started to do.


Moving from 2v2 to 3v3 matches was a big change for FIRST Robotics back in 2005. However, FIRST would never go back to 2v2 matches now.

Benefits of 3 vs 3:

  1. More exciting matches
  2. Reduces number of matches for event
  3. Allows for events to run faster

The excitement factor cannot be understated. Making the robotics experience more enjoyable for spectators & team members is crucial for growth.


I personally think that doing 3v3, like others have already said, would be way too expensive especially for newer teams that are just starting to get into vex robotics. But, what if we had special matches at some competitions, or only at worlds, that could use the 3v3 formula? Yeah this would be chaotic, but it would show other teams trying to adapt to their new environment through communication and teamwork(2v2 would still be a thing though). And also they could get their own special award for it.

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What about going to 1v1?

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Where would the teamwork go?

If you think about it the field would have some more game elements because it would be on a larger field.
They would have to rely on each other’s robot design and communication(and this assuming that vex didn’t sell that field to teams) and have to solve a problem different from what they are used to.

Like others have said, 1v1 would take away the competitiveness and teamwork from the competition and that would be against the spirit of Vex.

I don’t think it should 100% of matches be 1v1 so you are more reliant on your own robot rather than 50% is reliant on your alliance.

Mostly I’m saying this as a thought exercise as the opposite of the 3v3 OP proposes.

As for “tak[ing] away the competitiveness and teamwork…that would be against the spirit of Vex”, I see frequent mention on this forum of “clawbot teams getting carried to the number 1 seed”, among other complaints about being paired with a weak partner. Going 1v1 would let your robot stand on its own, in a more adversarial setting than skills allows for.

As a plus, in these times of COVID, going 1v1 could reduce risk of spread by reducing the number of people at the alliance station.


I see what you are trying to say by 3v3 matchs but I feel as it would be to crowed on the field and almost always run into someone during a match, also It seems to be more unfair cause they might match 3 GREAT bots with 3 BAD bots and you have no chance when it is 2v2 at least you have a better chance though.

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Your driver’s left-side-brain and right-side-brain working in perfect harmony.

Well, we already have Skills for that and in my region you can go to States and Worlds with that award, so we don’t need to have 1v1. Also I’ve seen some team still win even if they are paired with a clawbot and it would be solely up to their robot’s skill to win.

I’m not saying we should do 3v3 now, but maybe in the next season. It would spice up some of the competition a bit.

Well, that’s why you would have a bigger field as I stated earlier.

Well, the same thing happens in the regular competition too(I’ve had this happen many times to my team) and teams are just going to hope that their next alliance isn’t bad.

a bigger field is just not a good idea. 12x12 is big enough as it is, more would increase cost, and decrease the number of venues and even the number of teams than can even have full fields.

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I don’t see this as a realistic change for the whole competition, but i do think it’d be really cool/fun to try playing a 3v3 match on an extended change up field (4x4 instead of 3x3)

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