Team Members

Hello, I had a question regarding team membership. As your probably familiar with, per rule <G6>

No * Drive Team Member* may fulfill the role for more than one team. What about a non drive team member? could someone who was not a part of the drive team (say only did the engineering notebook) fulfill a role for more than one team?

I think it’s fine. One of my team members did this at a recent tourney WITHOUT our permission. Our coach got angry, but nothing happened to us (or them).

I wonder how it would affect judging? If the judges were to see the same handwriting in two different notebooks in entries that were made at around the same time, could/would they penalize both of the teams for awards?

I doubt they would notice unless it is VERY bad handwriting

Having judged before, I look for every team member to contribute to the robot’s design. If I can’t see evidence of that in the notebook and interview, it would impact how I compare that team to another where it is clear that all have participated in the robot’s design process. Note that this does not mean I would lower scoring, some teams printout and glue to notebook so it would be hard to tell who wrote what.

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During the length of the competition, the person may only be in one team and one team only. It is not worth the risk, and if someone notices, it won’t be good for your teams reputation. I see this as something to just accept that the first team a member is part of in a comp, they are locked in to be a part of that team until the competition ends.

I know this would be a one-off “what-if” scenario, but what if you were at a tournament and there was someone competing alone? I think it would be ethically possible to “donate” a non-drive team member to be on his/her drive team, but would it also violate the spirit of the rule?

I only ask this because I remember that when we went to Worlds for SS, there was a one-man team in our division, so my coach and team all went to his matches to cheer him on. We were only a team of 3, so we couldn’t add to his drive team.

this rule is stupid and a knee jerk reaction abhorrent yet rare behavior.

I have all freshman, they have no idea what they are good at yet. This stupid rule makes it hard for people to try new things and move to internal teams that have gaps.

The rule is basically impossible to enforce, but the fact I cannot “legally” move my kids from one plate to another after we find out they would be a better fit in another role is a ridiculous situation to be in.

My team is not qualified for the World Championship. Can he join a team that has already qualified for the World Championship? He does not play DRIVER. It is mainly to help qualified teams maintain programming.

That would be totally legal, and even if it’s not, it’d be unenforceable.

But more broadly, we should be able to agree that this rule is absurd.

What purpose does that serve? Was there an issue with drive team members switching to other teams? Did it ruin the experience for anyone? I see cross-team collaboration as one of the best parts of Vex, and taking part of that away during competitions is a huge mistake on Vex’s end. What if an organization has a better driver on a worse sister team that doesn’t qualify for Worlds? Should the team fly out a less skilled driver and hurt their own chances at Worlds? Are they somehow being unethical by allocating the better driver to the better team? And what if team members don’t work well together and decide to split up? If you drive for one team in August, is it fair that you’re locked onto that team for the rest of the year or forced to leave Vex altogether?

And then there’s the issue that this rule is so difficult to enforce. The head ref at big events isn’t going to know every single face and what team they belong on, so it’s really the responsibility of the students to report this type of thing to the referees. Which is absurd. If a team switches members, whether or not they will be disqualified isn’t actually dependent on a fair interpretation of the rules, it’s dependent on how much their opponents want to win and what lengths they’re willing to go to. Do we want to encourage an environment where teams snitch on their fellow competitors to gain an advantage? Does that uphold VEX’s and the REFS’s mission statement?

I’m a one-man team and I love building, programming, and competing. But I’ll be the first to admit I’m a terrible driver, and I’d love to find a new driver. If my friends on local teams don’t qualify for Worlds and I do, why shouldn’t I fly them out to Worlds? They get to compete, I get to build and program a robot that will be driven better, and we’re not plate swapping or using the same robot for multiple teams. Is there some ethical violation I’m missing?

Yes. I actually did this when I was a competitor back in 2007. Say you’ve brought two robots to a tournament with one set of students to drive them, and that built both of them. At some point in qualifiers, one of your bots has lost a match and the other hasn’t, and now your bots are set to play against each other. If your team is honest, they will put good drivers on both bots and make an honest effort with both bots (like my team tried to do). If your team is a little less honest, you will have the bot with the worse record throw the match to the bot with the better record so your team has a better chance of getting one of their bots to eliminations.

If you read the Q&A on <G6>, this seems like it would be fine. The intent of <G6> appears to be preventing the same drivers from competing for multiple teams during a given time period. Permanent team swaps where you will not be playing again this year for the team you left does not appear to be what they were trying to target.

According to the game manual, the drivers are the three students who are representing a specific team for a match and not just the person who drives the robot. This means you can switch controllers and switch roles around, but you just have to make sure the three students who are representing do not have a student who previously represented another team during the tournament.

The rule exists to prevent immoral advantages when it comes to communication, driving, etc. during the matches. As I said above, the definition of a driver is different from the assumption that just the person who holds the joystick is the driver.

The rule is only applied per-tournament. You cannot switch and have people moving around different teams until the tournament is over, but when the tournament is over students can move to another drive team for the next tournament.

Practically every rule that has been enforced in the game manual has been made over time and experience. There most probably was someone, or multiple people taking advantage of the driver-swapping which would result in unfair advantages of some sort.

EDIT//: Just re-read the game manual. I guess the rule changed from ITZ to TP:
In The Zone

Turning Point


People, I think the goal here is that the team members are on one team. If they are subbing in for another member because that team only had one team member for one event, I’d say that is fine.

However, having members drive for other teams because they are better is NOT in the spirit of the rules. Additionally, having members program for other teams because they are better is also not in the spirit of the rules. Having members do the notebook for other teams is not in the spirit of the rules. Having teams build the robot for other teams in bot int he spirit of the rules.

It doesn’t say that you can’t help the other teams, but the other teams should be doing the work.

It’s actually fairly simple.

I really hope they make an update to include this clarification for the World’s manual. I personally liked the interpretation that each team should include different members for the same competition. I understand that the intent of the rule is to consolidate an organization’s talent into specific teams, but not allowing for drive team changes between events is, as previously mentioned, a bit excessive and silly. The spirit of the rule is great, but the wording is severely lacking.

The qualified teams can’t do their own programming?

Not to make a statement about the good or bad of the rule itself, but note on the official Q&A they specifically state “Conversely, a Student driver who is still associated with another Team may not fill in as a “substitute” driver for a single day. VRC does not require more than one Student for any given Match, like VIQC does, so “substitute” drivers should never be necessary.”

VEX’s elementary programming is very simple.Some of the students in the team quit. The captain wants to choose the best teammates to in the championship.

I mean no offense in this, but I believe that this is exactly what the rule intends to stop (when it comes to the drive team) (I also don’t know if this same rule applies in IQ, I am just taking this situation in the context of VRC). This rule is mainly to prevent the consolidation of talent for either the state or world championship. For example, if team 000A qualified but team 000B did not, this rule is to prevent 000B’s better driver from switching teams for the championship. However, changes earlier in the season would likely be allowed because obviously things happen and students leave, get in arguments, or simply do not want to stay with their team. You can officially petition for a change in teams if an issue arises.

Don’t think this is the real intention.
It surfaced out in a previous thread some time ago, but the intention is really to prevent multiple-teams organisations in getting their teams into states by switching drivers around.
eg. 000A qualifies for the state in a regional competition, the drivers from 000A will not be allowed to help their sister teams 000B or 000C to qualify for states in other regional competitions.

This rule is mainly for big regions that have many regionals to qualify for states, but of course, it does affect everybody in how we need to operate.