How to qualify for states, nationals, and worlds

Hi I have a new team and I was wondering all the ways you can qualify for states, nationals, and worlds.

Welcome to VEX Robotics! Here is what I have to add:

You can qualify to your State/Regional Championship by winning any local state qualifying tournament. You can find a list of these events on RobotEvents(, which is managed by the REC Foundation.

In my state, all state qualifying tournaments also qualify for Nationals. Therefore, you can qualify to Nationals if you win a tournament or a robot skills award (excellence may also be included but I am not 100% positive). Nationals (or the US Open) is located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is near Omaha, Nebraska. I would certainly recommend attending if you can because it’s a fun event and a great team experience.

To qualify for Worlds, it gets more complicated. Each state is allotted a specific number of “Worlds Qualification Spots.” For each state it differs, but if you win certain awards at your State Championship, you can qualify for the World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. That’s also an incredible event and super fun to attend. In addition to winning a Worlds-qualifying award at a State Championship, you could finish in the Top 50 for Skills (top 35 for HS/15 for MS). The top 50 teams by skills all receive bids to Worlds. Finally, you can win an online challenge. These are hosted by the REC foundation and can be found on their website.

I really hope you enjoy VEX Robotics. I certainly love it and it’s a great program.

1 Like

if you win states does that automatically qualify you for worlds?

I think it depends on your region, but in most places, if you win your State Championship, you automatically get a bid to Worlds (given that you pay within a certain time frame).

1 Like

It depends on how many spots your region has. Look up “VEX Worlds Qualification Criteria” and download the PDF that comes up (I can’t link it because it’s a download). This document has a handy table that shows how distribution works.

what are all the ways to qualify for states

The primary way is to win a qualifying award at a local tournament that has at least 16 teams in attendance. The excellence award and tournament champions will always qualify you, and design award and robot skills winner may or may not qualify you, depending on circumstances of the tournament. This qualification can be achieved anytime in the season at any tournament that has at least 16 teams.

The secondary way is to secure an unfilled (i.e. “leftover”) spot at states via being one of the highest unqualified teams on your state/region/province’s skills rankings. Such qualifications come in February, after all qualifying events have ended. Unfilled spots happen because of two things: not enough qualifying awards to fill a state tournament’s capacity, and already-qualified teams “eating up” qualifying spots at subsequent qualifying tournaments. The latter reason is the more common, especially with smaller size tournaments.

For states with particularly large team populations, the RECF may opt to divide the state into regions for purposes of championships to make things more manageable. The worlds spots a state gets are divided between these regions as the RECF sees fit.

If you look up “VRC Qualifying Criteria”, it explains everything about qualifications in detail.

First off, there is no nationals.

Secondly, to get from states to worlds, it depends on how any teams qualify for states. For our state, you can get in through excellence award and tourni champions.

There kinda is. The “US Open” is often considered Nationals, despite the fact that many Chinese teams sometimes attend.

Prior to each state/region having their own championship the “US Open” was actually the “US National Championship” and qualified teams to Worlds. That changed when the state/region championship model was introduced.

It is the same event, just with a different name and no Worlds spots. Its a great event and good prep for Worlds, definitely go when you have a chance.