Questionable Calls at Worlds 2019

It doesn’t even seem like that’d be necessary - a lot of the time the amount of time spent arguing scores and disqualifications is equal to, if not greater than the time it would take for referees to comfortably and fairly score matches.

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“What can we do about situations like this in the future? How can we make our case clear when indisputable decisions are made abruptly without team confirmation?”

Video replays are pretty cool :slight_smile:


Another widely-debated topic (by yourself :wink:) but it’s surprising events with livestreams - often managed by the event staff themselves - don’t allow a replay function.

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As I have posted before in other threads, such a replay system requires more equipment and/or setup than merely livestreaming, not to mention extra staff.

There’s a reason many of the people on this forum who livestream their events as is (including myself) aren’t exactly rushing to support/implement video replay.

Please do your research before posting.


It’s just so much easier to correct the problem right away. Maybe give the team’s a little flag that they can hold up to get the match rescored. of course they took their sweet time in the round-robin and they still messed up one of those… We have a much easier game to score this year I think…

I was pretty surprised when I saw vrc do 11. I’m glad in IQ that they stuck to 10 matches. IQ generally ran a little fast, but it was really nice that they had a little wiggle room for teams. I saw one match where one of the teams were having a problem before the match started and they were able to wait until the kids got it fixed. Makes it a much better experience for the kids.


I have to respectfully disagree with you here. In a Worlds Competition, reviewing match video makes sense. These kids, us kids, put thousands of hours into our robot each season. If we make it to worlds, we deserve a fair shot at winning. We lost a match, because of what we feel was the match affecting flipping of our robot. The ref “didn’t see it”. A replay would have (probably) helped. Would VEX Worlds need a few more people? Yes. Would it be worth it to me? Yes.

I have some strong opinion on the reffing at worlds, specifically in our division, and I will make that clear in a different post soon.


Seems to be the opposite comment to encourage discussion amongst the teams. Nothing wrong with research, but what do you expect them to do, read all your posts on the topic? Maybe run through all the Google searches on livestream and replay? How about we just let everyone talk about something that affected them and have an open discussion instead of being so condescending?


I agree replaying matches makes sense and they do occur at Worlds. Video replays at all 10 divisions maybe more logistical difficult to make it work as fluidly as the teams and event staff would like (think if you are the team that might lose out the score waiting may be hard on them too). So, I am going to suggest that maybe it is better to focus on alternative solutions that do not employ video technologies to resolve some of the issues raised in this thread:

  • pause a few seconds before starting driver period - perhaps the Emcee can perform that function by looking at each of the alliance stations briefly after the autonomous is announced and the start of driver control.

  • scoring referee announce score at the end autonomous - which is the basis of their decision of who won autonomous bonus, make it transparent. Wait a few seconds to let the teams process the score that announced and then declare the decision and 3-2-1 the driver control period.

I am pretty sure there are other constructive solutions that need to be explored that may be easier fixes.


Sorry if I wasn’t clear, I meant reviewing match footage.

Jack, you were clear, I was doing a little of bit of redirection and see what we can do for solutions we can do now without much fuss. You are correct, teams put in a ton of hours and we want to be helpful in creating processes that make your experience better.

Video replay is something we can’t do locally any time soon, but I am all ears for improving things.


I just wanted to make sure, I didn’t want to confuse you, or anyone else, the terminology is similar for both.

I do really like your solutions. Having a thumbs up by the drive team before driver control starts, like happens at the start of a match would be really nice. This would definitely be a step in the right direction. I’ll make sure it happens at any tournaments we host this year.

Video Reviews have a whole different story, and really this isn’t the place to discuss them. Sorry for getting off-topic.


In the case highlighted in this thread, I think the result was an accumulation of 2 errors which could have easily been avoided and you have to feel for the team that has been on the receiving end of that. As EPs and referees, these are the kind of simple mistakes that we need to ensure are avoided.

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This is an excellent idea,


For Worlds, maybe this would be great place to announce the score from the prior match (might be too soon to have it so maybe from the match before that) tp fulfill as function that is already happening, just in a place that needs a delay and can utilize that time.

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My intent was not to be condescending, though I can understand how you got that impression. My point is just that the topic of video replay has been brought up repeatedly on this forum, and multiple thorough discussions have already taken place including both teams and EPs. If we were advancing the preexisting discussion with new insights, then fine. But, in this thread, we seem to have returned back to starting point of the preexisting discussion: simply a suggestion to implement video replay without any clear solution for doing so practically.

A simple search returns a number of relevant results:


I fully understand your perspective. I was a competitor myself as recently as a year ago, and I have seen my fair share of questionable calls.

But, even though video replay will probably help alleviate some bad calls, there are very real costs of implementation. First of all, the hardware required is on the order of several hundreds of dollars (and no, the divisions at Worlds do not already have this equipment). Secondly, someone knowledgeable about the system must be available to actually effect a video replay. In the case of Worlds, this means additional paid AV technicians. This will cause an unavoidable price increase for virtually all events trying to implement video replay.

Focusing on Worlds specifically, the RECF has made their best efforts to keep the cost of attending Worlds as low as reasonable, and I don’t think they would look favorably upon increasing the cost unless it will demonstrably benefit the vast majority of teams at Worlds. And do keep in mind that, though you may be alright with such a price increase, there are other teams that can barely afford Worlds as is; these teams would be completely alienated from Worlds with such a cost increase.


I’m not sure what kind of “equipment” you believe is needed to facilitate replays. In 90% of the cases, watching the livestream from a tablet (that are already used for scoring) would suffice. Additionally, there is already an A/V person switching between fields and scores. I’m not familiar with what software and hardware they are using, but if it is anything professional, it should have an ability to pull up a video from the last match, and then show that to the ref.

Ultimately the ref still has the power over it. If a ref claims that “they didn’t see it.”, or they have any doubt, then they could go back 30 seconds, and watch the stream. If they think the team is wasting their time, they can issue their ruling and move on. Most cases don’t need a 4k surround monitor setup with a paid AV technician to pull up a video to see if a robot pushed over a cube stack or not.


Based on what I have heard, the equipment they have in the divisions at Worlds is unable to rewind or replay the livestream during the competition. It can film just fine, and show what it is filming; it just can’t rewind.

Now, in Freedom Hall, they already replay videos of matches regularly, so I hope they will look into allowing video replay for the Round Robin and grand finals (and for Skills), with whatever limitations would be necessary.

But for situations where video replay isn’t already easy to implement across everything at that level*, I say we should focus on making the changes that the easiest and the most effective, such as making sure everyone agrees on the autonomous score before it is finalized, and making sure the referees are throughly familiar with the rules (and are willing to listen to students, if at all possible).

Edited to add:


For many systems, such as video replays, referee training, and Bo3-vs-Bo1, I prefer being able to treat local events differently from States, and States different from Worlds.

Levels would include local events, Signature Events, States, Worlds, the Round Robin, and World Finals.

The CREATE U.S. Open would be its own level, too. In most cases, it would probably use either the rules for States/Signature Events (both of which might use the same rules) or the rules for Worlds.

Within each level, I would also prefer to consider qualification matches separately from elimination matches, and in some cases even separate different stages of the elimination rounds (especially finals).

For example, elimination rounds (or just finals) could have more freedom for matches to be replayed if there was a VEXnet disconnect that couldn’t be proven to be the team’s fault, or if there was a match-affecting but unintentional violation of the rules.


If you’re talking about Worlds divisions, right now there’s 2 types of recordings being done. First is the webcast, which is recorded in the cloud. Second is at the A/V table - they typically record the feed for later use by VEX (though I do not know if they actually did that this year or not - they did last year, but this year was a new A/V production company).

The webcast is not always reliable. Sometimes there’s issues that mean it wouldn’t have a match recorded.

The A/V recording equipment likely cannot play back while also continuing to record. The equipment used for fancy video replays in Freedom Hall does not exist at the divisions. Also, the A/V equipment also sometimes fills up the SD card or whatever they’re recording on, so again it probably won’t have all matches recorded.

Teams will complain if you offer replay but randomly can’t do it for some matches because they didn’t get recorded. Accusations of unfairness or even conspiracy are likely to be made by people on this forum if that happened.

Perhaps more importantly, the “program” feed from A/V (what you see on the screen and on the webcast) is not suitable for replays because it often features zoomed-in shots of only some parts of the field. Setting up a separate recording to only record the above-field camera is even more complex and would have to be duplicated 3x per division.

Regarding playback, no, you cannot just use the referee tablets. They’re being used by referees for matches, obviously. Those that aren’t being used are being charged, because tablet batteries don’t last all day long so they have to switch from time to time. This year there was even supposed to be tablets used by the announcers as well but they did not have enough tablets in each division to enable that.

Also a note on the Freedom Hall replays - they do not capture the entire match. They only get 20-30 seconds of it, then they are actually prepping it for replay while the match is still finishing. You may have noticed that some of the replays froze at the end before they cut back to the anchor desk due to this. So even in Freedom Hall the type of recording that would be needed isn’t really being done right now.


Emcee App going to be released soon?

Thanks for all your hard work during Worlds! The additions to TM Audience Display were nice!