Single driver VEX IQ teams at WORLDS!

So, I’m on the Facebook yesterday and I’m seeing a non trivial number of teams thinking that they are going to come to WORLDS with a single driver. For the most part, it seems like this is happening because of travel arrangements.

I’m assuming they are going to be disappointed when they get to Dallas and have to set their controller down after 0:35. Can REC Foundation send out a blast to all IQ teams exactly what the policy will be at WORLDS? If these teams need to get a second driver, the more time they have to do so the better.

13 Likes

Can you help me out here and cite what makes you think they can play only the first 35 seconds? At the town hall they said they would allow single drivers, BUT they would be walking the pits and if there were roboteers of an eligible age, they would flag the single drivers.

1 Like

Last year there were rule modifications that allowed a single driver to drive the entirety of a match. Don’t quote me but I think the rules still stand. There are one person teams and the rec foundation needs to account for this.

We will quote you, this rule has been fully discussed and reviewed, it is intended for when a locality has covid restrictions and is not for use for teams that simply have a single driver available to compete.

3 Likes

The Q&A’s have been pretty extensive on this. They all point to local health guidelines being the driving force for an allowable 1 person team and that a 2 person driving team is at the core of the task.

https://www.robotevents.com/VIQC/2021-2022/QA/1086

2 Likes

So the team would be in violation of the Code of Conduct, which has them being bounced from the event. Zero seconds vs 35 seconds.

G8A doesn’t really cover having one driver, it is about having two drivers and how they interact. It would be the path of least anguish for RECF to say "you broke CoC, single driver gets only 35 seconds.

But lets play along for the bonus round. Team 23 A and 23 B have single driver robots. RECF says needs two, can 23 go “Ok, drivers for A&B will drive on each other’s team”. Is RECF going to allow that and violate the “roboteers stay with the teams?” guidelines?

Your best course of action would be to snitch on the teams planning to bring just one driver so RECF can watch for them.

This is against parts of rule <G6>:

[quoted for context] <G6> The Robot must represent the skill level of the Team. Each Team must include Drivers, Programmer(s), Designer(s), and Builder(s). No Student may fulfill any of these roles for more than one VEX IQ Challenge Team in a given competition season. Students may have more than one role on the team, e.g. the Designer can also be the Builder, the Programmer and a Driver.

b. Within a single event, a Driver may only drive for one (1) Team. If a Team attends an event with only one (1) Driver in attendance, then that Team is granted an allowance to use another qualified Driver from the Event. This substitute Driver is given an exemption for this event and may only Drive for this one Team at that event. Once the event is over, the substitute Driver will go back to his or her original Team. This exception is only granted if a Team has one (1) Driver in attendance due to reasons outside of the Team’s control, such as illness.

c. When a Team qualifies for a Championship event (e.g., States, Nationals, Worlds, etc) the Students on the Team attending the Championship event are expected to be the same Students on the Team that was awarded the spot. Students can be added as support to the Team, but may not be added as Drivers or Programmers for the Team.
i. An exception is allowed if one (1) Driver and / or one (1) Programmer on the Team cannot attend the event. The Team can make a single substitution of a Driver or Programmer for the Championship event with another Student, even if that Student has competed on a different Team. This Student will now be on this new Team, and may not substitute back to the original Team.

Violations of this rule will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in tandem with the REC Foundation Student Centered Policy as noted in <G2>, and the REC Foundation Code of Conduct as noted in <G1>.

Honestly, I forgot that part of the town hall exactly, but what you said sounds right… But I guess we will see how they word it in the manual update.

I just know there are a lot of teams out there, especially IQ teams, that aren’t following the discussions, aren’t following the Q&A, etc. They remember seeing a bunch of one person teams back in December, never really read the rules about it and just heard it was true so they’ll just go with it.

If RECF is proactive about it, the teams will have time to plan to get a second driver. Maybe only one kid from the team can go, then they can find another driver and get them ready to go by the time the tournament comes around.

It seems like that’s what’s happening with some of the posts I’m seeing on Facebook. I engaged with a mom who didn’t even realize that they could just find another driver as long as it’s not for strategic purposes. Of the three kids on the team only her daughter was allowed to go. The earlier the RECF reaches out the better, so I think it would help to be a little proactive about it. I think these teams can find additional drivers to go if they know that they are expected to do so.

I know that they are not going to want to see single driver teams at this IQ event.

2 Likes

What do you think they will do?

1 Like

I don’t know… But I don’t want teams to find out bad news (if there is any) after they spend a few grand! Honestly after these last two years… Yeah I don’t know.

So my original post is to try and get the RECF to be clear about what they expect and the sooner the better!

3 Likes

I love that the #1 rule of Vex training videos have been “Use Common Sense”!

That works when a pit has 10 kids and only one driver.
SEND TWO KIDS TO DRIVER STATION PLEASE.

Common sense is not so clear when

1.) Kids/families are unwilling to travel. Covid is a valid concern, potentially leaving only 1 driver.
2.) There are many Vex teams that are just one driver. Covid difficulties and inability to gather has contributed to this.
3.) Inflation has absolutely ravaged the pocket books of many families. Many cannot afford compounded expenses of travelling. Jet fuel, labor, food, lodging - not one aspect of living has gone untouched. Pooling resources to send even one family for Worlds representation is a tall order right now.

With how difficult the world has been for the past 2 years and counting, I think it makes sense for REC to err on the side of being more inclusive than exclusive.

Single driver teams have been competing up and through states. It wouldn’t be reasonable to up end the entire structure for teams that have operated the first 90% of the season that way.

Putting down a controller after 35 seconds, or trying to find an alternative driver to travel with just seems unreasonable given the complexities of the world at this time.

For most teams, this is their last and final event.

The 2022-2023 season should be the one that mandates two person teams / two drivers.

6 Likes

However, RECF has been clear for the majority of the season that this is not their intention. They thought they made it clear in the rules and when the realized teams were still using it for strategic gain, they made a clear emphasis in the town hall.

Just because teams have operated this way, doesn’t mean it was legal. For example, I have wondered how many of the skills scores were made with the dump bot even though that design was outlawed in the August update. I am betting at least a few of them from events where referees are not up on the rules like they should be.

I come from an active region with really great EPs and referees. We talk about these rules, often in advance of a tournament, to make sure that all the teams are approaching the game as RECF has intended.

Allowing a single driver team at Worlds, where local guidelines are not an obstacle, would be a clear advantage for those teams. When a match is only 60 seconds, the transition to a second driver and their ‘getting their wits about them’ can eat several, crucial seconds.

7 Likes

Then don’t travel. There are 100’s of teams that can travel with two drivers. Make arrangements to have a second driver. If the family is going with a driver and a sibling, then use the sibling as the second driver. I’m going to guess that you had a “POD” of people, take one of the children, teach them how to drive in the next 4 weeks and take them.

Yep, Covid has and is a problem. If Covid is still a problem for you, can I really, really suggest NOT going to a venue with 12,000 other people in a state where masking and vaccinations haven’t been a huge requirement (But to be fair, Dallas County does have a 70% population that has one or more shots)

It’s a tall order for most all the teams going to Worlds. Be creative in fund raising. There have been dozens of threads about how to make money. STEM Robotics gave away the last of our $3,000 set aside for teams to help them go to Worlds as a first time team. There is money out there.

No, their job is to inspire roboteeers. They have rules that they have been ultra clear about for the entire season . Local Covid rules means one Covid driver, then that’s the rule. Show up, show your local (not made up because we are special) rule and you get a pass. No pass because it’s expensive, we don’t want to and the other reasons.

But near as I can tell, in the US there are no school districts, towns, cities or states that have mandates that would preclude you from having a team with two drivers. Singapore is screwed, they can’t travel at all. I feel sorry for them.

Things changed. And to be honest, the town hall and the description came out well before State / Regional championships. Had you been playing the VRC game this year, there was a plethora of rule changes and teams have grumbled, but coped with it. Lack of teams not keeping up with rules isn’t my or RECF’s problems.

Common sense still works. Never a fan of “whataboutilism” as an argument justification. Follow the rules like the 90% and go with 2 drivers. Or don’t go.

I’ve been a long time champion of the under dog, but having tough time flying all of this as a reason. Not happy that there will be a stack of coaches and parents pleading their case with some overworked volunteer.

But, since you are new (and welcome to the group), you’ve been able to get great advice from a number of people that have been around for awhile. Good luck with your two driver team at VEXIQ Worlds in a month!.

Nope. I was against the two drivers at the start. I was reminded that the mission is to inspire, not find the best robot. Communications is a top skill to learn, having two drivers means there needs to be communication. Needs to be a communicated strategy. Needs to be communication to build teamwork. Teamwork works both ways, with two drivers and with two robots.

9 Likes

Point is we are reading stories where only one kid and one family is willing to travel. You are saying that unless at least two team members travel, than no one gets to travel and no one gets to participate?

You are hypothesizing theoretical pods and theoretical siblings that may or may not exist. The entire travel unit might consist of just one child and one adult.

I agree that if there were teams that were 100% risk adverse to covid, that team would not participate at all. How every family views covid and makes decisions based on covid is not a monolith. The net effect is covid definitely increased the number of smaller member teams or single child teams this season.

In theory one can get “more jobs”, “better jobs”, “more sponsors”, “more savings”, “better investment decisions”, “more creativity”… so on and so forth. Objective truths though is that ceteris paribus (all other things being equal), people have much less resources today than in 2019.

Being more inclusive than exclusive is inspiring. You may have all the resources financial and manpower wise to field multiple multi kid teams to worlds, but not everyone can do so. There seems to be a lot of assumptions that teams can produce another child driver on demand but that is not realistic.

Covid restrictions differ on localities. If restrictions ran from last May to this March or say runs until this May is it really fair to say “ok, restrictions lifted, you have 10 days to find another child willing to travel out of state for multiple days and join the team?”

The “haves” have no empathy for the “have nots” but that unfortunately is true for most things in life it seems.

By the letter of the law, certainly REC can decide to put to the manual and this is the way it is at Worlds.

Given scenarios of seeing single driver at states (this is only past two weeks), there’s the legal concept stare decisis. There’s precedence for allowing this to happen. Obviously, we don’t have details of why/how these scenarios happened. But the EP’s would have determined it was allowable. By extension, the EP’s trusted the coaches, the families, and the kids that no malfeascence was intended. Teams end up with single drivers for many possible reasons aside from strategic gain.

Asking ourselves objectively, is now the time to suddenly penalize those teams?

For the “haves”, it seems the sentiment is yes.

Sometimes, we just don’t have another child readily available. The first paragraph assumed siblings just existed.

Scrounging up another child is probably easier than breeding one or cloning an existing child but it is not a trivial task this late in the season.

1 Like

I would like to welcome the lawyer to the forum.

The rules are clear. Just because something was allowed at one event/locality doesn’t mean the Worlds will be enforced the same way.

I predict that RECF will make a clear statement regarding this issue soon.

1 Like

I doubt they will make a NEW statement, since they were pretty clear in both the Townhall and the rules updates. I don’t think they can be any clearer that that.

Boiled down: You need 2 drivers unless local Covid rules trumps it.

The rules have been the rules. But I’m good, I’ll be sending my teams with their dump trucks that were OK in the first version of the VIQ rules. And my VRC teams will be there smacking your robots platform for the last 30 seconds to bounce them off. After all that was OK at one time, why can’t I play that way now?

Edited to add: A good chunk of the posts above me are “we want to do single driver for a wide range of .” I offered ways to get past the reasons and was met with “too hard”.

And I’ve decided that this makes me sad. This entire program is about solving problems. Let me couch this as: “Put balls into the high goal” “That’s too hard, I want to push a ball under the bar and get the same points” Huh? Thats not how this works.

Figure it out bud. Problem solve it. Break the big problem down to smaller problems, Break those problems down to even smaller ones. Solve the little ones, merge those solutions into others and then you are closer to solving the big problem.

“How do I get $10,000 to go to Worlds” One person isn’t going to give you $10,000. Do you know 10,000 people? Ask them all for a dollar. That’s the two spans of the problem. Your answer falls in-between. Maybe 50 people give $100, that gets you 1/2 way.

But I’m not buying into the “This is too hard for ME so I want rules changed.” Sorry, this doesn’t work that way. In fact, life doesn’t work that way. Life isn’t fair, the fair comes in July.

Sorry that I’m a lousy lawyer, but I’m on a trip next week, I’ll try to stay in a Holiday Inn.

7 Likes

If you are under any kind of Covid restrictions, you shouldn’t be attending worlds in person. That’s the sole purpose of LRT and there being an LRT division for worlds. LRT could also be a cost effective measure as well if you can’t travel.

It’s unfortunate teams cant attend world because of cost and that does suck, but this problem has existed since day one and the rules of always been teamwork. I think the forum has made it pretty clear, anybody that shows up as a one person team better be in a plastic bubble, have a video of them being in a plastic bubble at every single tournament they’ve been at, and have 500 pages of local health documents saying so. Because other people on your team couldn’t travel for whatever reasons, one person driving should not be allowed.

5 Likes

Here is official update from RECF to all VIQC Worlds teams:

Two Drivers for VEX IQ

VIQC Teams participating in the VEX World Championship events are expected to follow the Game Manual rule, <G8>, regarding number of Drivers. In most cases, the expectation is that VIQC teams will consist of two Drivers with the only exception being if local health guidelines would inhibit the team from having two Drivers. If a Team has the capacity to include multiple Students, it should also be expected that they will not take advantage of this single-Driver exception for strategic gain. If a Driver cannot attend the VEX World Championship event, <G6>c.i, allows for a single substitution for a Driver, even if that student has competed on another Team. This Student will now be on this new Team, and may not substitute back to the original Team.

All VIQC Teams with only one Driver will be required to share relevant health guidelines with RECF staff during the Inspection process or Teams can submit a Single Driver Verification form to be pre-approved to utilize only one Driver. Form submissions will be accepted until Friday, April 22nd.

Teams with a single Driver that do not meet the requirements of b will be required to follow the process in <G8>a and may not operate a Robot for more than 35 seconds.

Reminder: The next VIQC Game Manual Update will be released on April 5, 2022.

9 Likes

Hey, how about that?

6 Likes

I had no position on this as VRC EP and coach. Just relaying info here as info only communicated to team contacts.

2 Likes