Reasons to sign up for Worlds this year

In my region, I’ve heard from several teams that they don’t plan to sign up for Worlds this year, for various reasons, including conflict with standardized tests and the amount of time it would take to attend two Live Remote Tournaments in 1-2 weeks. I understand their reasons for not wanting to go, although I would encourage teams not to let their disappointment with the lack of an in-person Worlds prevent them from having what might be a really enjoyable experience.

Here are some of the reasons I would encourage teams not to miss out on Worlds if they have the ingredients they need to make it enjoyable:

  1. It’s still the best chance to show your skills [Edit: My estimates may be wrong, but it is still the best cross-section of teams worldwide, and if all goes well, it can still be the most competitive, and it’s still the only one called Worlds for this year]: Even though the conditions will be different from in-person tournaments (both in gameplay and in field conditions), Live Remote Worlds is still the closest thing to the regular Worlds as far as which teams are participating. Doing well at Live Remote Worlds shows how good you are at Live Remote Tournaments compared to the teams in the rest of the world who have tried them, just like in-person Worlds shows how good you are at in-person tournaments. Live Remote Tournaments have some differences from in-person events (both in the gameplay and the field conditions), but part of being a good team is adapting to whatever circumstances you’re facing, much like how different events sometimes have slight differences in the way the field is constructed (and at the other end of the spectrum, the fact that each season has a different game).
  2. It’s still the most competitive event of the year: Even though some teams will choose Live Remote Skills while others choose the Live Remote Tournament, and even though there will be some high-quality teams who don’t sign up for Live Remote Worlds at all, I expect both parts of Worlds will still have a much more competitive cross-section of teams than any one Showcase Event will, and doing well at Live Remote Worlds will show where you rank among a large percentage of the top teams in the world. At the South Florida Regional Championship this weekend, the EP said that even though there were only 30 teams this year compared to the 55-60 there were in previous state championships, the 30 teams who showed up were the ones who persevered the most and didn’t let COVID stop them from putting in the effort to have a successful season. (There were a few teams who would’ve made States if it wasn’t for COVID, but the vast majority of the most successful teams from last year were back again this year, and most of them did just as well as before.) I expect it will be similar with Worlds, although Worlds will still have several teams who were competitive throughout the season but lacked the time or money to compete at Worlds (or chose Skills over the tournament or vice-versa, and weren’t able to show how good they were in the other category).
  3. VEX/RECF want to make it worth it: I expect VEX and the RECF will do everything they can to make the virtual Worlds experience as enjoyable as possible, as long as it can be done without requiring higher registration fees.
  4. It helps reward VEX and the RECF for the money they spent to make VEX continue during COVID: Signing up for Live Remote Worlds helps VEX and the RECF recoup money from everything they spent on setting up last year’s Worlds only to have to cancel about 6 weeks before it was going to happen, and for refunding teams their registration fees, and for developing the Live Remote Tournament and Live Remote Skills, and for keeping their staff employed even during times when there wasn’t much for them to do (not all of them would have the skills to work on the new developments), and for all the expenses they need to run this year’s Worlds.
  5. Benefits of not having to travel far: Live Remote Worlds allows you to compete from the comfort of your own school, with easy access to all the parts you need without having to bring all of it to another state/country, and without worrying about anything getting stolen, or getting broken by the people handling your luggage. You also don’t have to spend any time traveling other than driving to the place where you have the field you’re using.

That being said, there are a few reasons why I would understand a team skipping Worlds, some of which would include:

  1. Cost of Worlds: The high cost to register, especially compared to the amount of enjoyment they feel they would get, and especially compared to previous years’ Worlds experiences.
  2. Cost of in-person substitutes: Some teams might choose to go to a Showcase Event instead of Worlds since they value the in-person experience more than the team list (or prefer in-person to Live Remote in general), and this might leave them without enough time/money to sign up for Worlds on top of this.
  3. Time: The time it takes to compete at Worlds, or to compete at two Live Remote Tournaments between now and May 8th if they haven’t competed in 1-2 already. It takes more time to compete at in-person Worlds, but in-person Worlds has other benefits that Live Remote Worlds doesn’t, such as the ability to meet other teams in person. (Live Remote Tournaments do help you get recognition from teams outside your region, though, somewhat like a Signature Event. If they posted the results on Robot Events, that would make them even better, but at least some of them have livestreams available to replay online, and I expect most of the teams who competed there would notice who won.)
  4. Setting up for LRT: The effort it would take to set up their field for a Live Remote Tournament/Skills if they haven’t competed remotely already (or don’t have the resources they used to compete remotely last time, like needing to find a different field).
  5. Difficulties with multiple teams: If there are multiple teams competing at Worlds who normally use the same field (either teams from the same school or teams who don’t have their own full field setup and need to borrow one from another team), they would need to arrange a way for all of them to have access to separate fields at the same time. They could have one team compete in the morning division and one in the afternoon division, but that would only work for two times the number of fields they have access to. They could also choose one team to compete and the others to help with rebuilds/scouting, but that could lead to some disagreements about who should get to compete and how much of a role the members of the other teams should have compared to the first team.
  6. Some mainly went for the parts of Worlds that aren’t happening this year: Some teams went to Worlds in the past mainly because of the off-the-field experience, and didn’t care as much about how well they’d do or their ability to play alongside/against other teams from around the world. For these teams, Worlds without getting to meet other teams in person isn’t the same, and might not be worth the cost of registration or the time it takes to prepare and compete.
  7. New scheduling conflicts: Worlds this year is a month later than normal, so it might conflict with standardized tests or other activities that team members might consider more important than going to Worlds.

In summary, if you decide that Worlds still isn’t worth it for you, I understand completely, but if you want a chance to show how competitive a team you are, or if you want to see and compete against most of the best teams from around the world, I highly recommend signing up for Worlds if you can, whether it’s one of the Live Remote Tournament divisions or Live Remote Skills.

P.S. If I was on a team, I’d personally prefer Live Remote Tournament unless either (1) I felt like I could get a really high Skills score, (2) I’d get a high Skills score but not do well in matches, and wasn’t interested as much in the experience of competing against/alongside other teams in matches (or was worried I’d let them down), or (3) if the Live Remote Tournament wouldn’t work with my schedule but Live Remote Skills would.

Edited to add:
Also, just being on the team list for Worlds proves that you qualified, no matter what your performance at Worlds looks like (unless you just got in through the waitlist, but then you can make up for that with your performance, and I expect many people will assume you qualified anyway).
Edited again:
Also, Live Remote Skills doesn’t require any Live Remote Tournaments, so that would be an option for teams who only have time for Worlds (and can afford it).
Edit 3:
Like @jrp62 said, traveling is also one of the highest costs for attending Worlds, so that makes Live Remote Worlds more cost-efficient as far as competing against other teams, but like @Xenon27 said, some schools are reluctant to fund a virtual event, even if it’s less expensive than an in-person event. Also part of the reason you’re willing to pay so much for Worlds is because you get to meet teams in person (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the fun that comes with traveling).

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We won a slot at Worlds last year and participated; it was a great experience for all of our roboters, it really inspired them.

Best opening line ever on a cold call to get new sponsors

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I second this @B-Kinney, you put it very nicely. I see worlds as an opportunity to gain experience. It also a big thing to other people and sponsors, you can say that you competed in worlds rather then you qualified for worlds.

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First, thanks for the response.

Second is that I’ve been in meetings and said, this team won a chance to go to worlds, but lack of funding kept them out. Can you help next years words teams?

Start funding requests now for next year.

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Very nice list of items. Just a couple things I disagree with/feel like need added.

I would argue that the best to show off your skill is an in-person showcase event.

Definitely agree with this. In addition, a robot that is good at a showcase event will be fast and have to account for defence. LRT robots can be slower and need to more precise in order to get 5+ balls in a goal.

Half of going to robotics is getting to inspect people’s robots and see what niche features they have and what build techniques they use. Virtually, you just can’t get the interaction with other teams.

In addition, at Worlds, you are doing LRT or LRS.As stated in another thread, it doesn’t make sense to pay that amount of money to run 6 skills matches unless you can max skills. LRT has its own flaws that have have stated over and over again, but at least you get a lot more field time.

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I have teams that are doing LRT to get the play practice, but others that I support are doing LRS, they have upped their game and don’t think the high scores are sustainable. I’m on my sled downhill on the ice waiting for the finish. .

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COST

Teams that participate in Worlds going to save a ton of money this year. Normally travel would be a team’s biggest expense category, by far, not even close.

The registration fee might seem high for a virtual event, but REC will be lucky to break even. If teams don’t participate because of the registration fee, it would be out of spite. That’s sad.

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I do think that iq skills this year is a lot better. In VRC, you aren’t winning if you can’t max. It is a combo of shortening auton s and getting good driver runs in VRC skills.

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well, that depends. Many teams funded by their schools might have problems convincing their schools to shell out for a virtual event. Which is one of the many reasons why getting funds from yourself (through event hosting which can actually be hugely profitable in some regions) or with sponsors is such a big deal.

I agree that it is a reasonable price, just that it’s also an understandable reason why teams might not attend

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There are two people who the price to be reasonable for. For the REC foundation I am sure the price is very reasonable as they have people to feed/funds to recover from last year. From a consumer (in this case us) point of view, I feel like we aren’t getting a lot out of.

instead of thinking “500$ for a zoom link”, think “500$ to pay for all the hard work recf has had to put in to make this season happen at all”

might not fly well depending on who is in charge of funds for your team, and how much funding you have to spare, but I think it’s a reasonable price considering what it stands for.

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I think the RECF has been clear that the cost of registration does not cover all the costs of hosting Worlds this year as a Live Remote Tournament - think of operational costs across many days for VRC and VIQC, and development of software to support LRT and Remote Skills. This year is unique and likely to be a “use once” scenario investment that can not be amortized over a number of seasons.

Teams that have qualified - this is your opportunity to make a mark this season! As others have noted, no travel costs (think hotels, food, and transportation costs) not needed this year for team, coaches, and parents… yet you can still make your mark… That is not true for many teams who could not meet this season, much less compete. Inspire those teams for next season.

I’d like to give a shout out to all the EPs that were able to host in-person (shoveling a New England snow fall from the outdoor competition field (8+ inches!) and remote events with judges. These EPs are stars of event hosting this season! Not every EP was able to host events. Those that did, did so safely with the support of their volunteers and local sponsors who understand the value of VRC program.

So why register for Worlds? Because you qualified to represent your competition region and can do so with the competitive spirit of any VRC team around the globe.

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Let me go in an odd spin. I need to have Delmarva teams do 2 LRT events by 1 May. I set this up with the amazing Widener Robotics club. Fee is $75 = 5 to RECF for their event fee, then $50 for the LRT fee (design, development, code, test, four cycles and implement then server charges. Lastly $20 per team to go to Widener to strap students in place for 4 hours, and the money shows up later as parts.

We expect 16 teams and that means my Widener guys get $320 for the nignt, about the cost of some motors and metal

I had a parent call and rail on me about the cost. I have the cost down. I’m creating an opportunity for your team to get in, and I’m slightly funding Widener.

And then I TIFU, I asked how much her last hair cut with tip cost. They hung up.

Robotics is less than a tennis lesson. Millions of engineers, only hundreds of tennis players.

Adult says “this is too much”. FS" It is what it is, pay or not pay,

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I’d like to think this is from novice teams - so be a bit lenient… I am also cognizant that this year many more teams are funded by their families as their schools may have been offline - so a new experience.

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RECF has a higher fee for LRTs, $25 instead of $5

Cap cap, cap cap cap. cap cap. cap

Worlds registration was supposed to end last week, and 519 of the732 teams that qualified have NOT signed up. What does that say about the level of competition? Showcase events, for example, the one in Virginia, are smaller but far more competitive because almost everyone there is elite and made Worlds. Whereas, only 30% of people at Worlds made Worlds.

Traveling is arguably the most fun part about Worlds, getting to meet new people, experience new things, isn’t that what VEX is all about?

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In my opinion, winning a showcase event with high competition is just as, if not more, of a display of skill than Worlds.

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519 teams want to be there right now and will do their very best… the rest may be a matter of school district permission to compete due to funding, issues with process, or focus on other interests. Those spots will be allotted to other teams in the region or waitlist…

No way to tell. I know from my district, a lot of effort is being put into safely bringing students back to school five days a week… extracurriculars are only just being resumed. it is a challenging situation, I would not read into it too much right now.

Although competition will look very different this season, I do not doubt that teams will be competitive at Worlds.

That’s not what I said. 519 spots are OPEN, which means only 213 teams are attending as of now.

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Quality vs quantity …

Those who signed up want to be there and will have opportunity to make their mark.

I would not read too much into registration right now… It may be POs and other hurdles, as typical in years past. ( an in atypical years like this, also have to account season is off by a bit, so school approval may be delayed due to spring vacation week :slight_smile: )

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