Northern California Vex IQ State Championships - San Mateo County

I am concerned, and surprised, that the Vex IQ state championships in San Mateo County will take place this weekend despite the recommendation from the county that all large public gatherings be cancelled.

See here:

I don’t understand how REC, being a student centered organization, is opting to ignore the county recommendation and host the tournament anyway.

Most of the parents in my team are very concerned. It is very likely that we will withdraw from the tournament regardless of REC’s decision.

Feeling concerned.



Championship events are run by Event Partners. County provided a recommendation, not an order.

Individuals will make their own decisions.

Wash hands often.


Event partners are taking direction from REC. And you are right, it is a recommendation, it is not mandatory, But yet, it seems counter to the children’s best interest to go ahead with hosting a tournament when the county health organization is recommending public gatherings be canceled.

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I presume CrisPierry1 and most others knew all of 3 things that lacsap mentioned.

The point that CrisPierry1 is making is how an apparently student-centered organization is not “ordering” the Event Partners to postpone the event.

I am a parent of kid who has been working all season long to take part in this event. He is already super sad to know that he might not go because I think Covid19 is not like flu and thus should be taken more seriously.

It is not too late. I greatly admire REC for what it is doing for my kid and others. I urge REC to do the right thing here. Cancel/postpone this event.

Think about the scenario: bunch of kids/parents got exposed to Covid19 at this event. If you are from this area, see the traffic on 101, know that most silicon-valley companies (Google, Facebook) are allowing work-from-home from today (03/06), teacher from a San Jose preschool tested positive, you might appreciate that that scenario is not far-fetched.


Speak with the EP - this being posted on VRC topic should expect perspective of VRC events.

Given scheduling for Worlds - EPs would tend to try not to delay event if possible.

I would recommend you contact the EP directly.

Changed topic to Vex IQ.

Here is the statement from the San Mateo County health office:

"Change from my previous message: I am now asking for the implementation of the activities below at this time.

All non-essential gatherings should be canceled, postponed, or done remotely. Unfortunately, at this time, I have no standard definition of “non-essential” or “gathering” to guide your decisions. Use your best judgment."

The problem that the EP is up against is that this is the last weekend to have the event. If they cancel, the Worlds spots are done by Skills.

The Delmarva champs are this weekend. Presently there are no confirmed cases in our region, both events are on. But the EPs will stress limiting personal contacts.

It’s a hard decision, if you feel at risk, you should not go.


I hear you.

In California, there are still state championships next weekend. However, it is more likely that next weekend will be canceled as the situation in CA is getting worse day by day.

The unfortunate reality is very simple… Worlds can not be postponed. That venue will not be available. Moving it is not possible.

To then have a chance of having champions go to Worlds, the Championship events have to be held.

What, specifically does anyone recommend be done?

Oh and when considering postponing until after this thing blows over, consider the age limits. How many kids will no longer be able to compete because they no longer qualify by age?

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If. Championship events can not be held in VRC, teams are selected based World Skills Rankings for. their region.

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My son lives in the bay area and works for LinkedIn, they have been told to work from home for the rest of March,


I’ll bet those who aren’t high enough on that list, but think they have a shot at winning State, or putting up a better score at State won’t be happy. REC and the EP’s can’t win no matter which decision they make.

REC can win, they can put kids first.

We are all doing this not for the glory of a single year state championships, but for the lifelong love of STEM.

My goal is not to win the state championships, but to ensure these kids chose robotics again next season, and chose to purse a future career in STEM.

It feels like we are putting short term goals ahead of long term objectives.


I’m still not understanding what you want then. There is disagreement about the risk. At this point everyone is free to analyze the risk and make their own decision. Yours seems to be that your teams should not compete because the risk is too great. Then just explain to them that their season is over due to Corona Virus risk

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Yep, it’s that simple.

I’m happy to see the lines from you that I quoted. There are lots of us that follow that, I’m after inspiring roboteers. But there is a very vocal group that is all about going to Worlds. If they cancel those teams may not get there due to the skills being used, queue pitch-forks and torches.

Sorry to see your season come to a halt like that. In a VRC thread I asked VRC teams that are not going to Worlds due to travel/virus stuff to post pictures of their robot. Might as well strut your stuff!

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The US Open is our last event. If it goes on, my girls will compete. They’ll do their best and have a good time like they did all season. If it gets cancelled they will get together and take their robot apart and put the pieces away. They will laugh at their inside jokes and make weird nerdy statements like they have all year and they will roll their eyes at my lame dad jokes. It is what it is.


Opinion seems to vary from US teams to international teams regarding world’s. I agree with the parents in relation to postponing events in states where large organisations have made that decision.

World’s need to be considered on an international level, I am from Australia and the government is not letting us travel to the US , even though the US is considered safe to travel at this stage, however the situation is starting to grow.

I really think that world’s this year will be a US only event, I may be wrong, RECF apparently making an announcement any day now. Organisations are betting on safety , stakeholders (parents) will forgive for being overly cautious, but won’t forget if necessary precautions are not taken.

My 2c


I would like to note that once the REC Foundation was informed of San Mateo’s change in position regarding holding large public events, the REC Foundation did work with the EP to postpone the event. I did not comment to this tread at the time because everything was fluid. The REC Foundation has been working with CDC, State and Local Health Departments on all events.

Below is the email that Steve, CA Sr. RSM, sent yesterday:

Dear VEX IQ Teams

Good afternoon. Late yesterday, the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Health Departments issued new guidance to the public regarding the Covid-19 virus (coronavirus). The guidance specifically addressed mass gatherings and recommended the postponement or cancellation of all non-essential gatherings.

We believe student and community safety is the priority, and we will follow the explicit recommendations of the local public health officials. As such, the VEX IQ State Championships scheduled for Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8 at the Hiller Aviation Museum are being postponed.

Please know that the REC Foundation is working with the impacted Event Partners, and we are assessing options that are viable and appropriate under the circumstances. At this time, we have no updates on how long the postponement may last or what the impact will be if the event is ultimately cancelled. We are also not allowing teams to transfer to other state championship events; we would kindly ask that you not inquire about this option. We will be following up with all teams next week to provide an update, explain any available options and outline any refund policies for teams impacted. Thank you for your patience with this quickly evolving situation.

We realize this news will come as a disappointment to the students, but please speak to your children about the matter and the need to put health and safety first. Here is a link for parents to help facilitate a discussion about the Covid-19 virus:

At this time, all other California State Championship events are moving forward as planned.

Finally, we would kindly ask that teams refrain from contacting the Event Partners at this time as they will have no further information to share other than what is contained in this message.

I felt it was important to provide the resolution to Chris Pierrry’s post. I do not like to speak for anyone, but I trust he was pleased that the REC Foundation did work with the county on this issue.




Thanks for the reply Dan, and I am sorry my post came across wrong. I have tremendous respect for RECF team in California (and elsewhere).

This is a very difficult situation and I know you and your team are doing the best you can under some very difficult circumstances.


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