Respect toward Volunteers


This should just serve as a bit of a reminder to teams, and should most definitely be thought about going toward worlds.

Please respect the volunteers at any event you attend. This goes for students, mentors, and parents. We all have a bad day every once in a while but please try to not take it out on the people working to make events successful.

At the Arizona High School State Championship this last weekend I witnessed multiple instances of both parents and students acting in a disrespectful way towards volunteers. I had a talk with a few mentors regarding these instances as unfortunately they represented their team in an ugly fashion.

Just something to think about before you attend your next tournament :).


All too familiar, once a volunteer feels devalued, it is near impossible to get them back.

Teams should have one designated responsible adult to keep an objective eye on things for them. There are times I see teams without such a person and that makes it harder on the team to keep their composure.

Only Drive Team members should be speaking to the Head Referee, and only the Head Referee about concerns with matches. Make your point, physically take a step back, and listen quietly. Once referee is done making their point, make a clarifying point why you thought it was your way and thank the referee for explaining the thought process. Even if you do not get a call changed, you will have acted professionally and the referee will more likely than not entertain future discussion.

All adults should only speak to PIT administration, EP, or RECF RSM. They are the ones who manage the event.

Teams who are not competing and not queued for a match are spectators. Only Drive Team members and event staff should be by the fields. You do not want to have issues with your team considered having too many Drive Team members and/or operating outside Alliance Station.

End of day help clean up! In our region we are fortunate that a lot of people pitch in, coiling up extension cords, folding up chairs and tables, putting trash in the waste containers. Our custodial staff is so very impressed, because at sporting events, everyone just bails. People notice and makes them more willing to put in the extra effort to help event run smoothly.

Disrespectful behavior is not tolerated, consequences include having the team or organization not considered for any judged awards.

Read the RECF Code of Conduct.


For anyone not sure where to find it, here’s the RECF Code of Conduct that @lacsap mentioned.

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation considers the positive, respectful, and ethical conduct of all students, teachers, mentors, parents, and other event attendees an important and essential component of all VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U events.

We expect the following behavior and ethical standards at all REC Foundationsanctioned events:

• Act with integrity, honesty, and reliability
• Behave in a respectful and professional manner with event staff, volunteers, and fellow competitors
• Exhibit maturity and class when dealing with difficult and stressful situations
• Respect individual differences
• Follow all rules as listed in the current game manual(s)
• Student-centered teams with limited adult assistance
• Safety as a top priority
• Good sportsmanship, which includes supporting your alliance partners

These expectations apply to all team members and all adults associated with a team including, but not limited to, teachers, mentors and parents.

Judges will consider team conduct and ethics when determining awards.

Repeated or egregious violations of the expectations in this Code may result in consequences up to the disqualification of the team or organization from the current event and/or future events, and potentially removal from the program after review by the REC Foundation.


I have judged now, and yes. Judges get reports from people in the pits and fields and consider any team member being problematic very seriously.

The second biggest problem is parents building the robot, esp. here in Silicon Valley.


Seems to me that all the students, mentors, ep’s refs judges, are all cool down here. The only issues are those parents that freak out over incidental tipping or defense and yell at the refs for DQ’s. Lol or when your alliance partner’s mom is yelling at you for messing up. But its a pretty minor issue, only at a few comps does it ever happen.


When some team was playing at our State championship saturday in the Semis I heard a very audible boo from an adult in the stands. I’m not sure who that adult was but it bothered me because that’s not cool at all for an adult to boo a group of HS Students.

I’m a FIRSTer, but the concept of Gracious Professionalism needs to be made evident for both the teams, and the audience.


Just a couple thoughts I noticed this past weekend at our finals and throughout this season.
1 - The code of conduct was front and center when walking into the arena. I took a few seconds and read it. Right at the top:

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation considers the positive, respectful, and ethical conduct of all students, teachers, mentors, parents, and other event attendees an important and essential component of all VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U events.

Further in…

These expectations apply to all team members and all adults associated with a team including, but not limited to, teachers, mentors and parents.

Its sort of implied as they fall into the other event attendees but we include pretty much everyone at an event in this writeup except the EP, judges, referees, and other event staff in these statements. I haven’t witnessed any issues, but I’ve heard of things and there have been messages here about issues with bad behavior of event officials. I see these as applying to EVERYONE. I think the code of conduct needs some revisions.

2 - I remember after each match in Nothing But Net, the two alliances ALWAYS took the time to meet and say hi/congratulations. Seems this has gone by the wayside more and more each season. I think we need to get this back as a reminder about the PEOPLE in our matches and on our teams. Its easy to complain about things behind a keyboard or joystick. Not so much when you look them in the eye and shake their hand.


Those were the days. My team still makes a point to do this, and people usually are surprised.
Even things as small as laying down your controller during auton gets some odd looks this year (a ref literally said “you guys are old school” when we did this at state).


Nothing wrong with old school… We would all be better off getting some of that back.


Pretty sure EPs and event staff fall into universe that is described in the Code of Conduct. Most affiliated with teams in some manner. But hey, if you want we can ask the RECF to have them spell it out in the Code. Note that Judges team affiliation is noted on sign in.


The RECF usually breaks more things than they fix :stuck_out_tongue:
Just respect everyone and there’s no issue.


I like it! Keep it simple - and be nice!


Don’t forget that volunteers talk to each other, and the Judges know who has been naughty and who has been nice. Naughty teams don’t win judged awards.


The other thing I would say is this - if you don’t submit an engineering notebook, it’s impossibly hard to justify giving that team an award.

How that book should be laid out has a specific set of requirements which at our event was checked. Following that format goes miles and miles towards being competitive.

I won’t say more, but that’s my suggestion.


Same. Some teams in my area don’t even thank the volunteers/judges/refs once during an entire tournament.


I am sure they do and I wouldn’t expect them not to. My point is the COC makes a specific effort to include everyone else in the write up except them.


I agree. We should respect all of the volunteers and their hard work because they are one of the main reasons why we can even do robotics. We are very fortunate that they support us in doing robotics. All of these tournaments happen because of them. We are very lucky to have such wonderful volunteers.


Since one team is representing their school & acting rude, that could [and will] have a bad effect towards that entire school. This could also mean that prevents their entire club from winning judged awards from that event.

Imagine getting your entire club disqualified because one person acted badly, or yelled at teams and/or volunteers.

Volunteers took their time off to ref, and should be treated like everyone deserves…respect.


Code of Conduct is for teams. That is why it is written as such. As for EP and all the volunteers, we serve at the pleasure of the RECF. If there are substantive issues, then you can be sure they are worked out professionally. If it does not, you can be sure the EP will not have their events approved in the future.


After attending the WPI Signature Event, I can definitely tell you that it isn’t yet gone. My team always makes sure to thank our alliance and opponents for a fun match, but we were beat to that multiple times by other teams coming to us. It was great to see everyone enjoying their matches.