League participants, what makes your experience great?

I will be starting a league next year with my school district, and need help from this community.
For those of you involved in league play, what makes your league great?

What do you wish your league had?

What do you not like about your league?

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By league, do you mean like tournaments?

No, leagues in vex meet for several short evenings, usually across the whole season, and then culminate in a tournament.

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The leagues in my region usually meet during the day, on weekends.

Of the three leagues in my region since 4 years ago (NBN), two have met once a month from November to February (sometimes twice in January, and not always the same week in each month), and one met about once a week for 5-6 weeks in October and November, with a 2-week break between the 2nd and 3rd week.

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We run a league in NE Wisconsin for VRC and VIQC. Here is some info on how we run our VRC league.

We have 8 different league play nights starting in November and ending in February, usually about every-other week. Teams need to attend 5 of the 8 nights to be “ranked” for the finals. We run 5 matches each league night and usually skills afterwards for any teams that want to stick around. Here is the schedule for each night:

5:30 team start arriving
5:50 all teams must be checked-in, match list is created
6:00 matches begin
8:15-8:30ish matches end
8:30-9:00 skills matches

At the end of the last league night we display the final rankings and teams pick alliances for the elimination tournament. The elimination tournament happens about 1 week later (combined with IQ finals).

Other notes:

  • We don’t do full inspections - we just do a sizing check and check teams in. We tell teams they are responsible for following all robot rules and we will call them on something if we see them out of spec, but we keep it relatively informal. Even with sizing we will often say “this is a bit oversize, and you can play tonight, but you wouldn’t be able to during a regular tournament until you fix it.” it is usually for the new and inexperienced teams. The veterans we are usually pretty hard-nosed.
  • We are always drafting volunteers to help with reffing, scoring, check-in and TM operation. It is a great way to train newbies into doing some of those tasks.
  • The last league night teams can bring their engineering notebooks and have them reviewed for league design award. We award a design award and excellence award in addition to the performance awards at the finals.
  • We are fortunate enough to have a space at an engineering school where we can keep two fields up all year and there is room for team tables and spectator seating. The engineering student group from the college hosts concessions for us and they get to make some money for their programs.
  • We have had about 50 teams in the league the last couple of years. We have about 20-30 teams on a night on average. The last couple nights can get pretty crowded when everyone is trying to get their 5th night in.
  • We do everything paperless - using tablets for check-in and scoring and displaying the schedule on a pit display screen and relying on VEX via. Not worrying about printing cuts out a lot of hassle.
  • Teams need to reset the field after every match. If we have a lot of teams on a night, we need to keep things moving. We have done cycle times as low as 2:40. We sometimes institute a 30 second rule - if a team isn’t on the field 30 seconds after the preceding match ends, we start without them. We have a portable sound system set up for announcements and calling out teams to come to the fields.

I really like VEX league. It is really fun to see the iteration and design changes throughout the season. It also gives more experienced teams a chance to try out “wild” designs in a competition environment to see what works. The teams really get to know each other, too, and it makes it a neat experience at the weekend tournaments. It’s also a great bang-for-your-buck for teams. Each team gets 25-35 matches over the season for only a $50 registration fee. That’s as much as 4-6 weekend tournaments.

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We ran our league a little bit different. With competition spread out over a month and a half or so bi-weekly or weekly (cant remember which). The fun thing about ours is that we ran with our tiny rebuild fill-in bot, and then used our rebuilt robot for the finals using our decent standings from the tiny bot.
LittleBoi
(it’s the small robot double parked on the platform only 8.5 inches long)

We double parked twice throughout the league

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Thank you so much for this, I may revive this thread and @ you later as we iron out the details. We are buying a 3+1 field setup and transporting it school to school, so I might have some questions about facilities as the time draws nearer.

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We participate in a league and find it really beneficial for new teams. The league is 4 Saturdays of qualifying matches (usualy 6-7 each day) and 1 Saturday for the tournament alliance selection and eliminations. The Saturdays are usually once a month or so.

Benefits: Low stress and lots of learning. It is great to practice and get all the kinks out over the long period of time.

Disadvantages: It has the same number of State qualifying spots as a one day tournament does (hate this). We could go to 5 one day tournaments in place of league and have 5 shots at states instead of 1.

This year I will only be putting my new teams into a league and have my experienced teams do tournaments only.

Hope this helps.

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