Single driver VEX IQ teams?

I’m in Florida. We have basically been open for a while. State dictates that schools can’t make their kids wear masks, etc. I am NOT wanting to touch that with a 39.5’ pole, I’m just saying that there are no restrictions placed on the teams in my area.

At my event yesterday, there were a couple of teams that tried to drive with a single driver.

Here are the relevant rules and Q&A:

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So a team should be able to document “teams who are unable to meet in a traditional capacity due to local health guidelines” if they need to use a single driver.

From:

https://www.robotevents.com/VIQC/2021-2022/QA/870

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So, when a team tried to drive with a single driver, I told the team that:

  1. We would not stop them.
  2. We would file a COC violation with RECF.

These are basically the instructions that we got from RECF. All teams used two drivers after I spoke with them.

However, most of the teams that I’ve talked to that have gone to other events are saying that at those events the teams are simply allowed to use a single driver, without any mention of the blue box or the Q&A. What’s happening around your neck of the woods?

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We have a mask requirement for elementary age students in Michigan but we are still running in-person events with pairs of students. I have had one single driver because his teammates were sick. Every other team has been compliant and we do announce that we are running pairs at the drivers meeting.

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But does this work with how the rules are written? The rules are talking about local mandates. If this had happened in years past, they simply would have had to find another driver from another team for the day.

I think it does – from the Q&A you linked above:

(emphasis mine)

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The argument you would need to make is that the parents feel it is unsafe for their child to hand off a controller to another student, while arguing at the same time that it is safe for them to go to an in-person event with hundreds of students, with little social distancing, standing next to the other drivers. (It doesn’t matter what diver’s station configuration I use, the kids will be close in my venue. With the rainy day yesterday, they were packed in.)

I would not enforce it at the event as the decision is the team’s to make. I would definitely write up a COC violation, as it is the RECF’s job to determine if the team did so for strategic gain. If a team did so for strategic gain, then it is definitely a violation and they should be DQ’d for the event. The rules are written to help the EP to not have to deal with it during the event, and I do appreciate that. RECF will enforce the rule.

This provision is probably more applicable to single driver LRT teams, with students who are kept at home and not going to school or clubs in person at all.

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I’m not sure I agree – the club-specific or parent-requested health and safety guideline could be as simple as “students who are feeling sick don’t go to events”, which seems pretty reasonable to me. Depending on the specific circumstances, I think there are situations that would justify some, but not all, of a team’s students missing an event due to their health and safety guidelines.

If a team has only one student at an event due to their health and safety guidelines, then I read G8 as allowing that one student to drive for the full minute. If a team has more than one student present at an event, then in my view they have “the capacity to include multiple students” per the G8 blue box, and I would expect them to use two drivers.

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So that’s where I would go with G6:

Yeah there definitely is some overlap/conflict there – I still think G8 would allow a team to operate with a single driver if they only have one student at an event. But admittedly that interpretation is based in part on the context of those two rules rather than purely the text of the rules themselves – i.e. that G8b is a specific COVID-related exemption and not the permanent fixture the G6 has been.

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I agree with you and this is a good discussion point. I do not have any mandate in my community that requires single drivers so I should have followed G6. That said, I wouldn’t allow a blanket “single driver” policy. Fortunately my instance was a league night.

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I didn’t realize this was becoming a thing? I thought that teams had the option of only having one driver just like last year. Am I incorrect in this? I might have to make a change in how I am running things!!!

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It’s very important to check the game manual frequently to stay up to speed on any updates.

The clause from last year that allowed teams to choose to run with one driver was not present in the initial release of this year’s game manual. It came back in an update over the summer, but a “blue box” was added to clarify that teams should not be taking this option for strategic gain.

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We had one organization at an event this weekend use single drivers for every match. The team would switch drivers between matches most of the time. The team had multiple drivers at the event (two were even twins) and when the dad/coach was asked about it he quoted G6b stating that teams may elect to have one or two drivers in the box. I asked why he was only electing to send one driver to the box and he said because the kid wants to drive for the entire time. I then discussed the blue box and he stated that he felt there was no strategic gain for having one driver and dismissed the blue box as a whole. This dad/coach also had to be stopped from yelling step by step directions to the driver during the match. I feel that these teams were in violation of the COC by using the single driver for strategic gain and should be DQ from the event? Thoughts?

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I would gather the information and report it to the REC foundation. I would include your TEM and EEM, as the old guidelines indicate that you notify your RSM.

Seems like there are a number of code of conduct violations here. But, you did the right thing by letting them play. Now you need to follow up.

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I just submitted my evidence and requested that a rules violation resolution process be performed. I really hated to see an “ace” driver for these teams drive in the finals, while the rest of the team sat by watched.

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