Rule G19 -

Ball control is limited while Hanging. Robots which are not contacting the Floor may control a
maximum of two (2) Balls.

This is the August 2021 update. If I read this correctly, the previous teams that hang and dump all the balls will violate this rule.


Yes, that is my interpretation of the rule, and as far as can tell, it what you said is correct. I would guess that VEX did this because one of the high hanging dumper robots can solo max out the field, and two of them would just destroy the game, and it wouldn’t be fun for anyone else. I would imagine that VEX thought of this design, but didn’t think that teams could manage to get all 22 balls inside their robot, half of them under the bar, and high climb while still staying in sizebox.

In short, they were not playing the game how it was meant to be played. So VEX decided to make that illegal.

There are two ways to beat a game though. The first is to take a shortcut and make a robot that “beats the game” in that you find a loophole so you can easily take a shortcut to all the points (a classic example is Next Level). The second way is to outplay the game in that you play the game how it was designed to be played, but you are far better at it than VEX thought (a good example is Rise Above).

Now that VEX has outlawed the shortcut or loophole that makes the game not be played how it was designed to be (unless there is another one that is still undiscovered), it’s probably going to be played how it was intended to, which I would guess is scoring 1 or 2 at time by somehow shooting them. But with the way things are going, I’m not convinced that VEX solved the problem with this rule. The catapult robot design is getting scarily good…

I’m looking forward to hearing others’ thoughts on this.


I’m thinking that they want the robot to hang and throw the balls at/in the scoring area; I believe they don’t want this to be the same system, rather trying to implement two systems in one so they don’t contradict one another. Dumping, in my opinion, defeats this purpose, as it encourages little movement (other than collecting balls). VEX wants us to throw/lift, as that’s the whole gimmick of the new game – height.

Although I do agree the game was “cracked” by the Chinese bot that’s capable of scoring max score by itself (and I was pissed that they posted it on YouTube at such an early stage), but I wouldn’t call it a loophole, as the teams who did it were playing by the rules and they did it quite creatively. Calling someone exploiting a loophole infers some unethical conduct and it’s not the case here. The classy thing for the VEX GDC to do would be to at least give some recognition like a design award to the teams who did it and encourage them to work out a new design with this newly revised game manual.


I apologize if it came across this way.

What I meant was that you can beat a game by thinking outside the box. You can come up with a solution that the game designers didn’t think of. So while you are not playing the game the way it was originally intended, it is perfectly legal and ethical. It often even takes more effort to come up with a design like this as VEX will often give leads to the design(s) they think will be most effective.

I think this would be a really cool way to celebrate all the teams’ efforts who spent hours and hours building a legal high climbing dumper robot. Personally, I tried it, and it is no easy task.

I appreciate your thoughtful insights, and I think you raise some very valid points. I wish you the best of luck this year!


We were really surprised by this change, as we were very advanced in the project. From our point of view, this change closes many opportunities for students, focusing all 1 or 2 types of design. I have read that it was due to the Chinese teams … that is not entirely correct since there are teams that make total points with the catapult system and apparently it is more accurate.

I feel like it wasn’t the Chinese teams, more so their chosen design. I believe the GDC wanted teams to be shooting the balls into the high goal (there really hasn’t been a shooting focused game in VEXIQ since 2016), and not to dump them all at once (they probably envisioned a very back-and-forth game between intaking the balls and shooting them). Also, once the dumper design was advanced enough to go under the low bar, robots of that design could practically clear the whole field (I believe the lowest time taken for one alliance was 38 seconds!), which means their alliance partners could end up doing very little in their match (depending on the agreed upon strategy). The GDC probably felt as if the dumper robots went against their vision for this game (how it would play out across the world), and thus changed G-19 to better reflect their vision.


I understand, it seems more competitive if they left it like that, and that the determining factor is time, then the teams should focus on cleaning and improving the engineering for speed

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