Passover at Worlds

Well if you actually look at the way that vex scheduled worlds you would see that they are in a pickle because they signed a contract with the Louisville convention center to always have the 4th week in April (As demonstrated for 2016-2018)

I just want to point out, without getting involved in this discussion, that VEX really doesn’t organize the event, it’s the RECF (Robotics Education & Competition foundation) that runs it. They have to take many things into account, holidays, school & college schedules (it’s not near the end of the school year for everyone), AP exams, other robotic competitions that students may also take part in, convention center cost and availability etc. etc. They try their best.

You seem to be forgetting that the Exposition Center isn’t for the exclusive use of the RECF. Other events take place in the weeks both before and after Worlds and are also most likely scheduled several years in advance. Call me salty all you want, but they’ve done their best to ensure that the majority of teams who qualified(across the globe need I remind you) are able to be in attendance.

Funny how you deem an attempt to provide assistance to the OP’s planning an “inappropriate response” to this issue.


I’m locking this thread to allow everybody to calm down.

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Now that it’s been a couple of days, I am reopening this thread. Please try to keep the discussion civil. Thank you.

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I understand your frustration, but I think that scheduling a robotics event of this size has to be a daunting task. I’m sure they where not disregarding any holiday, they just have a LOT to work around. Not only teams being there, but all of the businesses and setup required before hand. No matter when they have the competition, there is bound to be dozens of conflicts considering the sized of the event. You also have to remember that VEX and REFC are most simply, businesses, and are going to further extents to get people there than any business I know would.
@Infinity Minus 1 , I’m really sorry you are not able to make it to worlds this year, as well many others of your faith, just try to keep things in perspective. :slight_smile:
Good luck with the upcoming season!

This comes down to the fact that this is a world championship. There are people who have conflicts (myself included) with this event and there will always be those with conflicts. RECF has a responsibility to schedule the event to work for the majority of the world and they did:

If you do the math, 0.02% of ~800 teams at worlds is 16 teams that will be affected. If you take into account that most of those teams don’t solely have people who are practicing jews and will still be able to go to worlds, that number gets smaller. My Jewish friends on the team will be coming and they don’t have much of a conflict - they’ve worked around the event and believe that robotics is important enough for them to come to

Everyone has conflicts - I’m missing day one for a jazz concert that I can’t get out of and I’m disappointed. But RECF has done the right thing. They can’t account for everyone.

Now that this has been resolved, I can add a point of humor.

I would also like to apologizes for my little bit of agresiveness… But that joke with pickle and saltiness is a good joke.


I think in all honesty while it is regrettable that you are not able to attend it is likely that you are an extreme minority. Right at the intersection between Jewish people and incredibly religious participants.

If we ignore Jonathan’s beautiful math and remember how percentages work and we assume every team has 10 members there would be 1.6 Jewish people attending. This is a little flawed because I think the US is higher percentage but the point should be the same. I don’t think any day would suit every single participant.

Hey, 0.1 + 0.2 = 0.30000000000000004…

But I’m just gonna leave my beautiful math up there as a token of how mentally exhausting (while fun) VEX states/provincials can be.

Hey everyone. I’m Infinity Minus One’s dad. Just a few thoughts about this issue, and some (hopefully) positive suggestions for the future.

First, just a basic Passover clarification. Most Jews celebrate the first two nights of Passover by having a “seder,” which is a dinner at home where we tell the story of Passover, eat matzah, etc. It is a ritual that is commonly observed by most American Jews, even those that are not otherwise very observant. Jews typically invite family and friends to their seders. (Its not quite the same, but perhaps similar to Christmas dinner with a religious ritual component added.) Here at the Infinity Minus N household, we invite the extended family as well as friends, and it is both an important religious event and a family and friends event. A community seder in a different city might be OK, but it is not the same. Also, teams often need to work on their robots or otherwise plan during the evenings, and that could sharply conflict with a seder.

One other preliminary demographics point. Jews are just under 2% of the U.S. population, and I would guess that Jews are overrepresented on robotics teams.

Obviously, Vex cannot schedule around everyone’s idiosyncratic schedules, but Vex can try to avoid foreseeable major conflicts involving a substantial number of participants with regard to Nationals and Worlds, at least to the extent it is possible. Apart from AP tests (which are in May), the other two obvious general conflicts are Easter and Passover. Avoiding these conflicts is made easier by the fact that in most years, Passover occurs during Easter week; avoiding one avoids both. But roughly 1/3 of the time, Passover occurs about a month after Passover, and that puts it in April, and thus in potential conflict.

I haven’t been able to find future dates for Nationals, but I think there is no conflict with Nationals or Worlds for the next several years.

Easter - April 16
Passover starts - Monday, April 10
Worlds - April 19-22
I assume Nationals will not be the week before Worlds, but even if it is, it will not conflict with the first two nights.

Easter - April 1
Passover starts - Friday March 30
Worlds - April 25-28
I assume Nationals will be well after Easter and Passover

Easter - April 21
Passover starts - April 19
Worlds - April 24-27
I assume Nationals will not be the week before Worlds.

Easter - April 12
Passover starts - Wednesday, April 8
Worlds - ?
There could be a conflict with both Passover and Easter if Nationals are scheduled for April 9-11. Vex has a 4-year head start on this problem, and I would encourage Vex to try to avoid scheduling Nationals during that weekend.

The other potential conflict is Ramadan. The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar that does not make an adjustment for the solar year, and so Muslim holidays move up by 10 or 11 days each year. Ramadan currently occurs in June, but by 2020, it will occur in April.

2020 April 24 - May 23
2021 April 13 - May 12
2022 April 3 - May 2
2023 March 23 - April 21
2024 March 11 - April 9

I can’t speak for Muslims, but if someone who is Muslim has some insights into the sort of conflict that might occur if Nationals or Worlds were scheduled during Ramadan, I would be interested in hearing that.

Also, since Ramadan is an entire month, it would be difficult to move Worlds or Nationals up or back a week and miss it. But it might be possible sometimes. For example, in 2020, if Vex schedules Nationals and Worlds during the 2nd and 4th weeks of April, Nationals will conflict with Passover and Easter (at least as a travel day), and Worlds will conflict with Ramadan. But if Vex scheduled them during the 1st and 3rd weekends of April (April 2 - 4, and April 16-18), it would avoid all three. There may be valid reasons for not doing so, but I would encourage Vex to at least take this into account during the planning.

I would suggest you send that directly to the REC, as VEX doesn’t schedule the events…

One other event that is considered during planing is the FIRST Championship. Many of the people who support the VEX robotics competition also have to support FIRST in some capacity. The date for this Championship is apparently already decided through 2020.

Phew, I’m finally in the forum. My son and I will be there. I’m not thrilled with the timing, but what can you do? I, too received a list of synagogues and such, but I don’t think there’s an understanding that most families stay home on Passover. I am heading down from Chicago with two or three other moms. We plan to rent a place through Air B&B so that I can host a seder no matter how small and make-shift. (And the Mother commanded Unto the Son: You shall attend a Seder at VEX Worlds or you shall stay home an attend one with your family!)

A Costco-size box of matzah and a jar or two of gefilte fish plus a rotiserrie chicken from the local supermarket, a side of Manischevitz and a hagaddah or ten? Boom! It’s a seder. We’ve not selected a location yet, but if any wandering Jews who are flexible on Kosher-ness in all regards want to join us, I’ll see what we can manage.

Alternately, if there’s a larger group and we want to arrange something at a room the convention center, I would be happy to reach out to REC folks and see what can be done. The mitzvah of Passover is to tell the story of the Exodus, eat matzoh and maybe have four glasses of wine or grape juice. We can accomplish that in as little as half an hour on site, but those who can stay for a nosh and shmooze could hang around.

Let me know if you have an interest in one of these options, and if so, which option and roughly how many people.


I am not Jewish, or even religious for that matter, but I love the above post! Great work MakerMom! Plus the four glasses of wine (I’m a coach) sounds awesome! Lol!

Thanks Toastmaster. It’s unclear if a room will be available, but in addition to what I wrote above, my son pointed out that it is unlikely that students would be allowed to leave their teams and chaperons to attend an offsite event without their team. So I really hope we can get an appropriate on-site accommodation. Alas, even if we do get a room, I learned we can’t serve wine. Sorry! I do hope we would be allowed matzah, charoset, pink horseradish and grape juice. I’m guessing three out of the four are not on the catering menu and they have questionable value as real food, anyway.

Ideally, space allowing, the Seder would be open to all. After all, one of the the take-aways of the Seder is to remember what it’s like to be a “stranger in a strange land,” something many of us will be feeling in L-ville, no doubt!

#OMGRobotSeder #VEXMitzvah

Just to let you know there’s a really nice Costco in Louisville that’s about 15-20 minutes drive from the Convention Center. It would have everything you mentioned. Also the most popular local food chain is Meijer’s, which are almost everywhere, and they have Passover foods front & center of the food area (I was just at one today and noticed the stands). God bless your trip!