Questionable Calls at Worlds 2019

I would expect it with the new game release of TM soon. The announcers doing VEX IQ Worlds are using it right now (since they only need 1 referee tablet), so unless they find some issues I think it will be included.

It was nice to (briefly) meet you at worlds!


ditto - you guys were in the middle of debugging, so not optimal time to meet and greet!

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That, right there, is all that needs to be said.

No replays.

Thanks for the response.


It seems like the thread has gone off topic - rather than discussing how to bring unfair calls to attention or dispute calls in a civil manner, we’re discussing video replay - a topic that has already been debated to a great extent. Can we get back to the topic at hand please? So far, our question remains (mostly) unanswered.


I think I did provide some suggestions that focus on solutions proposed that are not video replay and will help in the future. Was that not on topic? Sorry if I discussed replay.


I saw at least two matches in the division tournament score a cap touching a bot of the same color. I tell my kids to bring the VRC app and score the match. If their score does not match the ref score find the difference.

Of course my team failed to do that in the one match that got scored incorrectly (w/ the difference being a win instead of a loss).

math division 240p vs 2921r scorers completly miss a cap changing the match outcome :wink::upside_down_face:

one thing thing that grinds my gears is the rule of no videos to try and prove something.


People have said we need extra video streaming technology and extra staff, that it makes events run behind, and that it undermines the head ref.

But many events are already streamed. Looking at footage that already exists is free and easy.

And it’s free and easy for the head referee as well. There’s no reason extra staff would be necessary.

As for time, how many lengthy huddles and discussions have we all witnessed because the refs disagree with the students or which each other about factually what happened? The fact is that in the fast paced, very close, high stakes matches that have become a staple of states and worlds, game changing events occur in the blink of an eye. Things like 5.1 second pins, match affecting tipping or entanglement, etc. can’t always be spotted by a ref, even if they do everything right. And the ensuing 20 minute discussions take a lot longer than reviewing a few seconds of video footage ever could.

In 2010, major league baseball starting pitcher Armando Galarraga retired 26 batters in a row, 1 out from throwing a perfect game. He would have become one of the 23 pitchers to throw a perfect game in the 140 years of baseball’s history. But instead, first base umpire Jim Joyce made one of the most famous incorrect calls in the history of the game. On a routine ground ball to the first baseman, in which he worked with Galarraga to beat the runner by half a step, Joyce called the 27th potential out safe, ruining the perfect game.

Galarraga smiled when Joyce miscalled the play, handled the situation calmly, and retired the next batter. And after the game, Joyce reviewed the footage and publicly and privately apologized. But the damage was done. Was this incident a “learning experience” or an act of “gracious professionalism?” Or was this a heart breaking mistake in which an imperfect human did everything in his power to make the right call, but still got it wrong, and ruined something truly spectacular? Seeing as this incident was a major factor in MLB’s decision to implement a video replay system 4 years later, most of us would argue the second.

If the RECF and the mentors and EPs on the forums are going to hold student competitors to (and in some cases beyond) the ethical standards of professionals, why can’t we expect this same professionalism in our judging? If 448X can get a season long disqualification for their reaction to a ref’s call at the state championship, can we at least expect that the ref’s call was correct?


I hate this rule almost with a passion because at worlds we got knocked over 1 or 2 times and the ref just told us that this is a high contact game, which really got on our nerves.


This rule was broken in one of the matches that we competed in (edit: not at worlds, but in a regular competition). The judges did not add up the scores correctly and the feild was reset before they could correct it. Luckily someone on a sister team had taken photos of the feild before it was reset and the score was revised based on that photo.


Quality of footage is an issue. And not every event is streamed and has footage. I’d argue that for the most part, many events aren’t livestreamed.

I was an emcee for the IQ portion of Worlds and got a good look at the A/V side of things, especially in the back.

It is a technical marvel to get that level of production, and it comes at a cost.

That’s not something you just throw together willy-nilly.

As said before, the equipment can’t both record and rewind. I can’t do this with some of my equipment either, so the footage likely doesn’t exist at the moment you need it. It probably does post-production, long after matches.

It also takes a decent amount of resources to have someone to rewind and another qualified person to review and make decisions. You’re putting a dedicated 10 replay refs minimum to review match footage for each division. I’d say 2 would be better.

Logistically, that’s not reasonable at all.

What’s better? Ensuring there are more open lines of communication between refs and teams, and allowing for more discussion and questions if a score is incorrect.


Looking at footage that already exists is easy if you can rewind it. The footage at Worlds can’t be rewound while it is recording.

Come to think of it, though, what about this idea?

Have there be someone (even a student) who would collect video replay requests by students (and maybe filter out the unreasonable ones), and once there was a time the matches for the day could be rewatched, the referees (and the teams if they were available) could review those matches and decide whether to change their decisions (if it was a decision that could easily be changed retroactively, like a match score, an autonomous bonus, a DQ/non-DQ, or a rule interpretation).

To make it feasible to find where a certain match started, someone could press a button every time a new match started which would record either the timestamp relative to the start of the stream, or the exact time of day (to the second) at which the match started. (I’m sure there would be a way to do this.)

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This is another good point.

I would say that video replays, if they ever become legal, should probably only be allowed in cases where every event at that level can do it.

So Worlds (or just the Round Robin and Finals) could do it when they have an A/V system that can handle it, and the same for the CREATE U.S. Open (I personally feel that they should be allowed to do it even if Worlds couldn’t), but state championships could only do it if all state championships do it, and the same for Signature Events and for local events.

(And of course, unofficial scrimmages could do it any time they wanted to.)

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The US Open is less technically advanced than my State Championship.

I think they wired the venue’s security cams to be the cameras for the on field view.

They still run everything with paper.

Currently, video replays are not permitted for events this coming season. Maybe next year.

There is also the fact that almost 95% percent of the time there is atleast 1 mom recording their child play, while the footage isn’t perfect, its usually enough to see what happens.

No, it’s not. Trust me.

Can we also bring this thread back to other measures that can help improve the accuracy of calls and improve the experience of the competitors and volunteers?

Video Replay has been done to death.


I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. My friend and I scouted at the venue by rewinding the footage on day 3. There was only a few seconds of lag between what was happening on the field and what appeared on the stream.

This seems like a good idea. We could also have a hard rule that each team can only request 1 replay, per tournament, unless their appeal is successful. This limits the number of possible replays and it encourages teams not to ask for replays unless there’s a really good case for them.

I actually think this is a non issue because most tournaments display the match number already. But if worst came to worst, this would be a pretty easy solution as well.

I agree, we should leave the video replay alone for now, that’s not what this thread is about.

Does anyone know if there are any requirements to be a head ref at worlds? Experience, interview process, etc?