How do I start a team?

How do I start a VEX VRC team at my middle school? I want to know what kits to use, when to register, and how to get sponsorships. All the other questions regarding this were outdated (pre-v5) so I’m starting a new one. Thanks!

well first off you’ll need a lot of funding. a lot. and you’ll need your schools admin to back the program up. a mentor and a meeting place are both extremely important.

Just my opinion: Unless other people on the forum know something I don’t, I would say it’s probably not worth trying to start a Vex team until next season (next school year). As I understand it, new orders for the V5 bundles, brain, motors, etc. are not being taken and many of the critical components are listed as “Ships in 8 weeks”, which has become something of a joke around here. The supply situation for the older Vex system, which uses the “Cortex” and “393” motors, etc. isn’t any better. People have been complaining about electrostatic discharge killing V5 ports or simply disabling their V5 Brain. Furthermore, in my opinion, some of the software that was supposed to make it so easy to use V5 appears to be still in development.

To make matters worse, there have been some rule changes and tournament scheduling weirdness-es (elimination of Skills Only events, for example) that haven’t helped relieve any of the pain.

I guess you could try buying some of the older “Cortex” materials used from a school or eBay or some place like that but then your supply chain will be very uncertain and you won’t have a warranty, etc.

Maybe by next season, they will have the bugs worked out. So check back then.


For next season, I believe you can usually register basically as soon as the new game is announced (at the end of Worlds on 4/27/19). Shortly after that you can usually buy the field items for the new game. If you are going through the school, it will probably need to be your mentor who registers.

For robot equipment, probably something like the V5 Competition Starter Kit would be a good place to begin. Alternatively, you could just get a basic classroom starter kit (careful - I think it’s steel and aluminum is WAY better for competing!) or even just the system bundle & pick & choose your own parts from the Vex products store. As he mentioned above, however, pretty much all V5 stuff is unavailable at this time (and there’s little point in buying Cortex equipment unless you can buy it cheap & fast, since V5 is going to be required for competing soon and they’ll likely stop supporting Cortex).

For sponsorships and grants through Vex, my understanding from my area is that you can apply for them when the new game is announced but Vex grants, at least, likely won’t be given out until September. Your area may be different. Also, there is no guarantee that you will get a Vex grant (I was told it was a likely yes and then turned down in the end last season, which messed with our timing).

You can always do fundraising through your school if they allow you to do so (or outside of it, I assume), in which case you can start setting things up for that whenever you get the go-ahead.

Good luck!

To echo what others have said, you will have to register on RobotEvents, but it’s most likely not worth doing until next season. But, it might be helpful to find a competition near you to attend as a spectator to watch the environment and talk to various teams.

I am hearing there is a possibility that V4 would still be available for competition use next year. If you are willing to take the gamble, you can go around seeing if someone is willing to give or sell the VEX Cortex system to you. I would suggest first to make sure you have all of the parts as well as a team before you start signing up to robotevents and waste $100 for something you cannot compete with. Generally, if you are wanting to start a team you must begin with funding. Make sure you get school-support or support from an organization (Since I am independent I have some experience in terms of sponsorships, but because I am busy I am not really able to help in terms of funding). After, you need to be well-aware that every system on the VEX website ships in 8 weeks or is out of stock, so you must not buy from VEX at this moment and get someone to loan, as I said previously. Once you do that, buy metal, screws, and hardware from the VEXRobotics website. I would suggest the star screws since they are cheaper and stronger in terms of tightening, and I would also suggest making sure that you buy aluminum compared to steel (It would be worth the cost, as it has shown to improve performance some substantial amount). Also look on to get thin nylocks, as they are really good and help with build quality and weight reduction. If you need any more advice in terms of hardware and essential items for your robot let me know, but after you get essential items, register a team number on robotevents then look through and sign up to competitions. Good luck! :slight_smile:

  • Connor, 1814D