Hi. I am a new coach to a VEX IQ team just this year. It is unclear in my reading through the rules whether the Robot Skills Challenge is mandatory or optional for teams. Would someone please help clarify this for me?
At an event, there’s the teamwork challenge, which is what most people think about, and then the two parts of the robot skills challenge, driver skills and programming skills (one minute each). The skills challenges are not mandatory at an event, but you eliminate yourself from some awards. Also, if, for example, the excellence award winner also is the tournament champion, then an invitation to states/regionals/worlds would go to the highest skills for the event.
The only thing you are required to do at a tournament is the teamwork challenge.
You can, but are not required to
- turn in the notebook,
- do the skills challenge,
- and turn in a STEM.
That said, it definitely makes sense to at least do your driver skills runs, just for practice if nothing else. And you’ll probably find that on the day, even if you haven’t got a great programming run at the ready, your kids will probably program something really simple to score a couple of points. It’s all good practice!
Another thing: Skills is the total of the best driver skills run + best programming run. So even if programming only nets a few points (or even 0…sometimes even a good program just doesn’t work), it all adds up to the total skills score.
Also, generally, making an attempt, even if it scores 0, is considered more favorably by the judges for Excellence, than not even making an attempt.