Does starting position need to be the same side as driver station?

Does your robot starting position need to be on the same side of the field as your driver’s station?

Hello, and welcome to the Forums.

You’ll find that the game manual (you can get a copy here: is the most important document you can read, and will provide the answer to many questions you might have about the rules.

Take a look at Figure 2 in the the game manual, which shows the required starting position and drivers stations. As you read the manual, keep in mind that the manual tells you what you MUST do, and what you MUST NOT do. If the manual doesn’t say something specific, like the starting position and drivers station must be on the same side, and does not specifically prohibit it, then it is perfectly legal.


To add on to this, is it legal for robots to start sideways? I have seen this happen in Squared Away multiple times before and on 8390A’s skills run in the caution tape classic. If it is illegal (because the robots are almost always not fully in the starting position) why are the refs not doing anything about it??

Any question about legality must be answered by looking at the game manual. So, grab your game manual and review the requirements of starting position. Do you see any requirement about orientation of the robot, forward, backward ,sideways ,diagonal, upside down? No? Then it is perfectly legal as long as it meets all the requirements in the game manual. We must be careful to follow the rules as listed in the manual, no more, no less.


As a referee, I will not second-guess a referee’s call based on any video replay…without being there it would be impossible to see the exact positioning of a robot in relation to the starting boundaries.

What I can say is this: at any event hosted VEX Team Virus, all the referees (not just the head referee) are certified and follow the rules as given in the game manual to the best of their ability. If you have a question about the interpretation of rules at an event, it is important to consult with the head referee right away, at the event.


So it is completely legal to start sideways outside of the starting position as long as it’s within size restraints?

No, it must meet all the requirements of the game manual, no more, no less. Starting position is defined on page 9 of the game manual, and further illustrated in figure 2 of the game manual. As you read the manual, keep in mind that the manual tells you what you MUST do, and what you MUST NOT do. The manual does not say you can’t start “sideways”, therefore that is legal. But you must be within the designated starting position as given in the definition of “starting positions”


I see. So then it’s only legal to start sideways if it fits within the starting position.

Right, it must fit within the starting position. It doesn’t matter if it is sideways, backwards, frontwards, diagonal, upside down, or raining outside on a Tuesday. The rules don’t specify the orientation; therefore, orientation doesn’t matter.


I believe this was answered in the Robotevents Q&A, but you don’t have to reset your robot within the starting position, however the robot does have to be in contact with the ground in the starting position. The sizing is irrelevant after the match has begun.


It isn’t legal to start the match outside of it under any circumstances, however.


The answer in last year’s Q&A is here: and, just as the game manual states, does not allow the robot to be outside of the starting position. Q&A answers do not automatically apply from year to year (and in this case, it was just a “read the manual” answer; no changes to the rules were needed or made). This year, there is no Q&A on the starting position that I know of.


Thanks for clarifying.

Here is the link to the one I was referencing.
Tldr, GDC says the starting box only applies at the beginning and not for resets as long as the robot touches to the starting square. Not exactly what this discussion was about, but close.


Milo, you are talking about resetting a robot during a Programming Skills match. I think the original question was about the first starting position for a Teamwork Challenge or Drivers Skills match.


In fact the title is “Robot reset for a Programming Match”