Raising the Floor

Given that the VexForum community base is probably a “higher-capability”, “more-engaged”, and “more highly interested in STEM” than the “average” VRC team, what are some ideas on how to engage with average and less-capable teams with the intention of raising the game?

I know teams get frustrated when paired with a claw-bot or moby (and even more frustrated when losing to one).

Should the GDC/RECF release “more functional” hero robots? Personally, I thought the early season release of a full CAD and corresponding auton+driver program for DOGO and AMOGO was very uplifting and inspiring.

Should VEX release (and maintain) a more powerful programming API, potentially as feature-rich as OkapiLib?

What are your constructive ideas?


Usually these tend to be newer teams or those with less funding or time available for VEX, in my experience. The reality is that if you are a school-affiliated team with, say, two hours a week to build, you’re not going to compete at a very high level – even if you maximize that time.


I think the RECF can attempt to engage with the less competitive teams all they want. The fact of the matter is you can’t raise the floor of a competition that does not want to be raised. Teams that do build a hero bot still gain valuable knowledge and learn about stem. But remember some teams do it because they are required or just want a basic hands on experience with stem.

If you are paired with a non-competitive team you could tell them about your experiences, worlds, and all you’ve learned (not bragging but informing). Attempt to make them more interested in the program and seek out winning competitions.

There will always be a very low floor when the ceiling is sooo high. I’ve spent entire school breaks building and preparing for competition. Sometimes spending 32+ hours a week perfecting a design. Some teams just won’t do this no matter the motivation or resources provided.

A division system may level the playing field for competitive teams and teams that just want to learn a little or have a good time. Don’t ask how they would be divided though.

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This is not always true, as in our case (although we get 4 hours). 90% of the teams in South Dakota are like this though.

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