Rules Queries


We had a visit from one of the organisations supporting VEX IQ locally with the Arena etc. to our school last week. All went OK but I had a couple of questions regrading rules - however, the guy that visited was new and couldn’t really answer my questions so I’ll throw them up here:

  1. Is the starting position on either end of the board on the same side (i.e. both on left or right hand side at opposite ends). During our test runs he was lining them up on opposite sides at each end. When I queried this he wasn’t sure of the setup.

  2. For the autonomous challenge, may we choose what end we begin at?

  3. For the autonomous challenge, is the bridge normally balanced at the beginning or tilted towards the end you start at?

  4. For the autonomous challenge, may we pick the robot up once it has stopped and place it in either of the two starting positions?

Basically, all of my questions are in relation to this video - is what these kids did allowed?!


I can unofficially answer these questions. For an official answer post in the official Q&A forum but these are pretty easy questions.

  1. Starting positions are on the same side of the field, one within each scoring zone. Page 3 of the game manual is an excellent diagram to refer to.

  2. Yes

  3. It is up to the team doing the run how they want the bridge to start. However, once the match starts the teams may not adjust the bridge.

  4. Yes

The only thing I would point out about the video that was not followed is that one of the orange hexballs should have been removed from play when they chose to start the robot on the orange scoring zone starting position that the ball was partially in. Per <PSC1.c> that object should have been removed/not scored.

If you have not already read the game manual, it is a great place to start! Here’s a link:

I agree with curiousworx, except I’m not sure the hexball should be removed. The team did not touch the hexball, and it wasn’t in the way of their robot when they placed it on the field.

As a coach, I would tell the team that the field refs would be within the rules to remove that hexball.

As an EP, I would tell the field refs to try to give the teams as leeway as possible.

However, everything the team did in the above video IS legal.


Because of rule PSC1c the hexball that was in the starting position they used when moving the robot should have been removed.

<PSC1> A team may handle their Robot as many times as they want during a Programming Skills Match.
a. Upon handling the Robot, it must be immediately brought back to a legal starting position
b. If the Robot is possessing any Hexballs when the Robot is being handled, these Hexballs will be removed from the playing field and can no longer be used
c. If there are any Hexballs in the Robot Starting Position where the Robot is being placed, these Hexballs will be removed from the playing field and can no longer be used.


Your interpretation of that rule is definitely the “letter of the law”. However I believe the spirit of the rule is this: If a hexball has to be moved so that the robot can be legally placed into the starting position, then that hexball is removed from play.

The problem with your letter of the law interpretation is the “Boaderline Cases”, what if the ball is just barely overhanging the starting zone? The team cannot stop their skills run in the middle and ask for a ruling. The “if you have to touch the hexball to legally set the robot” interpretation is very cut and dry: No judgement needed.

It would be nice to get an official answer from Karthik on this one.



As an event partner I feel that it is important to follow the “letter of the law.” I absolutely agree that this should be addressed to get an official answer on the intent, but until that happens I would keep assuming the intent of the rule out of the picture. I’ve had discussions with multiple coaches at past Indiana state championships over things like this I would not want to be arguing from my opinion of the intent of a rule if at all possible.

This is also why I really miss easy access to all of the rulings in the official Q&A. They used to produce a single document every night that had the entire Q&A for easy access at an event, simplified rules questions considerably.



Yes, I agree, the letter of the law interpretation is the only thing that can be used, unless there is some clarification by VEX, for instance last year’s Bank Shot “letter of the law” rules would allow a robot to lean over the fence to more easily drop balls into the goal, however Karthik made a “spirit of the law” ruling to say that was illegal. That is what I am hoping to get out of this conversation: a ruling from the VEX GDC.


There will be very few cases where this ruling will really make any difference. A good team will avoid doing things where the ball could fall in this area, before they move the robot there.

On the other hand, teams using a strategy that may require them to move balls, will NOT be the top-scoring teams.

Even knowing that I’ll be attending tournaments run by both Paul and Jay early next year, I don’t really care how this is called.



Yes, you are right. The way this is officiated will not likely decide the skills winner of an event. Much ado about nothing.