Starting from scratch - what do we need?

Hello all!
I’ve just started teaching Industrial Technology in a high school vocational program that serves seven different school districts. Cut to the chase - the powers-that-be here are excited about the fact that I want to start a VRC club here. We won’t try to compete until next year, but would like to possibly sponsor a tournament at some point in the spring.

There have been a few changes since I last did this with middle schoolers a couple of years ago.

We have NOTHING on hand here, aside from a few tubs of old CORTEX-based robot parts that have apparently been in storage for at least five or six years. I can figure out what I’ll need to get in order to build robots and drive them. The big question is:

Exactly WHAT would we need to get to be able to host a tournament? Game floor perimeter (new style, apparently), floor tiles, game elements - got it. What about these new GPS code strips that I’m seeing in the catalog? Are they necessary for high school competition? Field controllers, competition switches, yada yada yada - I have to put together a wish list for my Dean (we’re on a community college campus). Would someone who actually hosts tournaments please send me a checklist of everything that we’ll need to get in order to pull this off.

Thank you!



If you’re starting from scratch, get one of these for every competition team you plan to have

And then also get some more tools at your discretion, as well as at least two more batteries.

At the point where the competition super kit isn’t enough, I’m fairly confident you’ll know exactly what else you need at that time.


Sorry - I had bumped the post button before I had finished writing - I know exactly what I need to get robots themselves up and running - it’s the stuff for hosting a tournament that I need to know about. I had a game floor at my last school for practice, but that seems to have been upgraded in the past year or so, and I’ve never hosted a tourney before, so I’m not sure exactly what all we’ll need to get to do that.

Thanks for your reply!


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Also fyi mods will edit your post to remove your email address.


The old-style metal field perimeter is still legal for use, so you don’t need to replace that. If you’re using one for skills challenge matches, it needs to have a set of the GPS code strips that you mentioned (they’re built in on the new portable perimeter).

If you visit Robot Events and find the Event Support Specialist for your area, they’ll be a great source of info.


Just fixed that - I was able to go into the account and update it to my current situation, so I’ve removed that part of my post.

First, see if there are any companies in your area that assist in running VEX tournaments, like how does for Arizona. If there are, they could probably direct you much better than anyone here.

If you need to run it yourself, you should first reach out to your Event Support Specialist and see what they can tell you. The major things you need are:

  • Lots of space
  • At least 3 fields, 2 for competition/skills, and 1 for practice
  • Someone who knows how to run Tournament Manager
  • Lots of volunteers

At this school, we have nothing - it’s been at least ten years since they last did a team, and that was in BEST Robotics. They’ve never competed in VEX before, so there’s no competition equipment here at all. I’m in a “I woke up this morning and decided that I’m going to host a VEX tournament - what do I need to get to do that?” situation - we’re starting totally from scratch.

If I read your post correctly, the new perimeter kit (which is definitely what we’ll get) already has the GPS stuff built in, and we won’t have to add that to our PO?


Posting to General Discussion will give you are wide range of answers - definitive to do list for you:

Being certified EP will give you access to special section of VEXforum for EP discussions.
(edit for clarity - all EP’s need to have taken EP Certification course_

Have a great season!


No it won’t. It gives you access to Event Partner Certification Course, which is different from the actual event partner category. I believe you either need to be added manually to the actual EP category, or it does it automatically when your associated email account is given EP status on RobotEvents.


If getting 3-4 fields is difficult, you can also contact teams in your region to “borrow” fields from for the duration of the competition. Teams in our region always love to help out and donate field elements or fields during competitions.

here are some of the links i have been letting others use if you need help dm me or find my activites in my profile

also here is a forum for starting

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Oh and don’t forget Bob’s links to everything VEX Robotics


the link to that was in my team links

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