Seasons Of VEX

The VEX season is broken down into 8 phases:

1) Game reveal - From worlds reveal for about 45 days - This is the time that teams crack the game, figure out the nuance, define a strategy and set to building.
2) Coda - school closes, teams go on holiday, members are forced to go to entertainment camps like Disney, Poconos, Weird Uncle Foster’s place in Delaware (but he has a huge boat), mountains, summer fairs in Iowa where they try to kill you with corndogs and grilled butter corn, upper Michigan with Fish Boils or on the east NE Clam bakes. - It’s desolation, no metal, no robots, maybe a video game. It’s winter for the Kiwi, bundled in 100% itchy wool, too frozen to build anything without frost killing it. Total progress is 1/2 of 1%
3) Renewal - Schools in the US open, classes start, freed from the shackles of parents and siblings, reunited with their friends. Builds start, design starts again, events on the horizon. Singbots rise as a leader in early events.
4) Coda II - Christmas break - US students slump into forced family holidays - design plans and schedules fall away like crumbs from holiday Christmas cookies. Singapore has an uptick in activity as school holidays do give a chance to work. Meanwhile, Kiwi summer has started in New Zealand which means, build and BBQ is in full swing. Summer is short but the days are long, so it’s beach in the morning, wrench VEX parts in the afternoon, BBQ in the PM to chew as teams clash. Lager rinse repeat.
5) Dark January - US Schools return, teams are depressed, but have some ideas. Sadly event are picking up, so teams are taking a clawbot with some features to events. Singapore racks up scores and with no surprise since it’s still summer and fun, NZ teams strike some top scores. But all teams start to stare death in the face. January events are not kind to them and what were winning designs are overcome by the dreaded META. Death strikes a second blow, FRC started 6 Jan and shipping delays are not hours but weeks with IFI.
6) “The Push” - Events like “Last Chance Finale” and “Gotta Win here to Go” are on the horizon. They eat all of late Jan and Feb until they all slam a stop at “State and Regional Championships”
7) There is a 56 hour gap between the last State and Regional Championship. Its were teams go WE WON WE WON WON WON. It is amazing and I and other mentors cherish it for 55 hours. Two threads post at hour 56;
7.a OMG how will we pay for this, how do I find the money, can we just camp out on the street with the robot and beg for food?
7.b OMG our robot is crap, how do I pay for the parts we need, can we just camp out on the street with the robot and beg for robot parts?
8) We do both, we have a great time, we go to worlds, it’s wonderful, we meet so many great people, have so much fun. On the last night they have fireworks and the new game is revealed and we start over.

I’d like to position this as a main post with details about the 8 phases and then talk about the ways roboteers can get the most out of each phase.

So please edit this top doc first, or start fleshing out one of the 8 points (or even detail out a coda)


If you’re not part of a school, or you can take robot stuff home, then Coda I is a great opportunity for Vex sleepovers galore. Every day can be a robotics day, and maybe you can do some of the fun stuff you would do at Weird Uncle Foster’s place like fishing or weedeating or something whenever you get tired of robots. If you have a field at home you can blow up an air matress and turn it into robotics barracks. Such a good opportunity to grind out a crazy robot and get walked at Mall of America. Good times.


I don’t know about others but, honestly, @Foster, somewhere between 3 and 4 this all became painfully irellevant to me, because I lost the faith in the adults being able to get things right.

I beg you, please, be kind and don’t remind us how vex used to be fun.

(emphasis mine)


Sorry, you must have seen the rough draft:

1) Game reveal - From worlds reveal for about 45 days - This is the time that teams crack the game, figure out the nuance, define a strategy and set to building. Posts on the forum are around wanting 3D parts to get around the new VEX Part 276-0000 (4 way axial claw with rotation sensor ($199.99) ) being out of stock and shipping in 6 weeks. I deleted it since it has now become in stock.

The original was "Death Strikes more blows with just a whisper of the scythe. The FRC competition starts on Jan 6 and the warehouse is overwhelmed with teams wanting parts for their 6 week season and VEX teams trying to catch up for lost time. Same day shipping slides from shipping delays of a few extra hours but weeks with IFI.

But one of death’s cruelest slashes are by “Death by Referee”, proxied by a volunteer that has signed up to do some public good but hasn’t fully groked the nuances of the mult-tome rulebook. The forums grow with frustration of “defeat snatched from the jaws of victory” by a bad call.

Death shows she the ultimate cruel mistress, with the embedded “DQ for robot parts flying out of the field perimeter” in the rules. Across the gamescape, top teams leave in defeat with a few inches of 1/8" braided cord hanging over the field perimeter. You hear her hollow laugh as the nuts for air tanks hit the wall, she twitches her talons and the nut jumps and land outside. A 242 point lead becomes zero.

But that was pretty grim, even for me. So I trimmed it some.

I did fix the section you quoted to now be

to lend some hope that things will get better.


Our events end 2 weeks before the State Championship… which is Feb 11th. No Feb Vex for us.

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Deep envy, I have 10 events (VRC, VIQ, VEXU) between now and Delmarva Champs on 11 March. My robot widow spouse is not a fan of my Jan - Mar lifestyle.


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