How much power does a head referee have?

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, but I feel like I have to in order to understand what’s going on right now. At recent South Florida competitions, different head referees at different competitions have had slightly different interpretations of the rules, and I can understand that. Sometimes it isn’t always clear what can qualify as entanglement or intentional damage with wallbots or aggressive drivers. However, at the competition I am currently at, the head referee has made clear that will enforce large deviations from the game manual. For example, at the drivers’ meeting, they have repeated that any sort of pushing opposing robots, whether intentional or not and whether they are manipulating cubes or not, will be an immediate disqualification, and that descoring neutral towers will also result in a disqualification. Of course, the referees should have the ability to make decisions based on their judgement, but it’s made me wonder how much power a referee should be able to have over the content of the rules. Has there already been some sort of precedent for this type of situation?


Like you said, the head ref does make the rules, and I feel like they have always had that power. But deviations of that size? I have no idea.


Head refs do not make rules. They enforce them. Some are more lenient than others, but for something as extreme as this I would reccomend contacting your local RECF rep. Descoring neutral towers is 100% okay.


The referees job is to make sure the game is played to the rules as they are written in the manual and in the Q&A. They should not be interpreting the rules in a way that is not intended and should not be enforcing rules that are not part of the game manual or Q&A.


During the tournament, you could politely show the head referee the game manual and/or related Q&A’s. If they still refuse to follow the official rules, I would agree with @Sylvie and contact your RECF person.


Descoring neutral towers is 100% legal and so is defensive as long it follows the set guidelines, make sure to ask questions and if a judge makes a ruling or makes something specific durring drivers meeting make sure you question them because of defense can result in a dq the results of a comp will change

Contact your recf rep and they can sort it out, what competition is this?

For ambiguous rulings, the head ref has all the power. However, if it is explicitly stated in the manual, the head ref cannot change it.


Better to not share this information publicly. It should be shared privately with the RSM.


All of these topics are part of the referee training and are on the test that you need to pass. Maybe check with the RSM that your referee has passed the training?

At the moment, the referee certification is not required at local events. I would suggest the community stop going to events that can’t say they have certified referees (or at least a certified head referee), and this will start improving the VEX experience for everyone. For now, you can be sure that if you come to a Team VIRUS hosted event in SE Michigan, you will have only certified referees.


It isnt private, I ended up just going to vexdb, looking up their team, and seeing the event, it’s just more convenient this way


2nd Annual Gateway Challenge Qualifer of Southwest Fl


Nah, that’s their one on the 2/1, it the VRC 2019-2020: Blended Tower Takeover Tournament @ Rickards MS

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