The replacement of Round Robin at 2020 Vex Worlds

From the Worlds 2020 Agenda, it appears that the round robin system for division champions will be shelved, instead opting for a 8 division bracket that will be played in divisions. However, from a competitor standpoint I believe that this system will be less favorable to round robin because of…

  • The minimum amount of matches the division champions would be able to play
  • The possibility for finals matches to not be between the 2 most competitive divisions
  • The proposed locations of the Quarterfinals and Semifinals Matches

Firstly, we have to think about the amount of effort the division champions put into this competition. At minimum, they have probably given up tons of time on weekends, after school, and on school breaks just to build their robots to be some of the most competitive in the world. And how do we reward them? With the possibility of playing only 1 match in the same division they played in for all of worlds. When round robin was present, all the matches would be played in Freedom Hall, and each team was guaranteed 5 matches. And to go from playing 5 matches in an arena with over 3 thousand people watching you to simply playing on the same division field that you played on for all of worlds is absurd. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be grateful they made it to worlds, I’m saying that they deserve more than everyone else for being one of the top 16 teams in the world

As well, with a bracket, there’s a possibility that we won’t be seeing the best matchups in finals. The way the bracket will be decided hasn’t happened yet, so for now we will be assuming it is random. Through round robin, we would see everyone play each other and (most often) the 2 best teams come out on top and play against each other in the finals. However with a bracket, if the 2 most competitive alliances in vex face off in the Quarterfinals, then finals wouldn’t be the “Greatest 2 Minutes in Robotics” we know and love.

Finally, the location. I touched a bit on this earlier, but the proposed locations for Quarterfinals and Semifinals matches are on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Arts Fields. But how does that reward our division champions? They get to play on the same field they played on for all of the event, which is nothing compared to freedom hall. The teams who have shown that they can, time and time again, be one of the best robots in the world deserve to play under the lights with 3 thousand people watching them. That’s the atmosphere they need

In conclusion, #bringbackroundrobin and #bringbackfreedomhall


It’s the last year in Kentucky, so I think freedom hall should be all of the finals. Having quarterfinals and on would be like a celebration of the past 5 years and memories formed at the hall. Bo3 would be nice to have but if timing is a main concern for having only Grandfinals at worlds then i think bo1 would be suitable for the quarterfinals and semifinals if it were held in freedom hall. Many deserving teams would only get the honor of “winning their division” rather than “making rr” or “making it to freedom hall.” If it were run similarly to frc worlds finals that’d be pretty sick too


I’m here to add some facts, no opinions about the change or your reaction to it.

As we all know, last year had 6 divisions. The round robin tournament was 15 matches and took ~38 minutes for an average of ~2.5 minutes per match (I’m surprised it was that fast, it always seems like it takes longer). An 8 division round robin tournament would be 28 matches and take ~70 minutes if we kept the same rate as last year.

The elimination bracket between the divisions will be best-of-3 for all rounds so each alliance is guaranteed at least two matches.


I absolutely agree. The atmosphere of freedom hall is amazing and I definitely think that all division chams should get to play there. Maybe a double elimination bracket type thing, but there should definitely be more freedom hall matched than just finals.


This is an attitude I find troubling - this is a path close to one of “entitlement”, and of minimizing the efforts of the vast majority of participants. The median team at Worlds likely spent just as much time on their robot as those who finish first. I would hazard to say the amount of time spent even by the “worst performing robot” (which NOBODY wants to be) is within the same realm as the “top performing robot”. Are there very talented competitors who perform well? Absolutely. Are they recognized as such? Almost certainly. What about the rest of the field?


Okay, And. If a median team became division champions, they would deserve to be there as well. I was worried about the way I phrased this, so just so you know I don’t mean entitlement, I mean that they earned it


But will they be in freedom hall? And as well, what about my 2nd point

I think it’s about creating a good reward for doing well in competition. For many teams who make it “to the dome”, getting to play there is the reward. Now, that opportunity has been restricted much further to only 4 teams from my understanding, rather than 12 last year. Moreover, as a spectator, you simply can’t get better than the highschool round robin. Cutting half or more of this prime content for spectators doesn’t make sense to me, given the amount of effort and money that goes into putting on a good show at worlds.


I agree with you completely, but I understand the time constraints from the RECF side

Would this be solved by a double elimination Bo1 bracket?


I think it could be. A double-elimination tournament between 8 alliances takes 15 matches—coincidentally, the same number as last year’s round robin between 6 alliances.


They could likely run 3-4 matches at the same time in freedom hall, similar to how they do the skills robin. That will drastically reduce time, and then when theres 2-4 alliances remaining then they run matches individually.

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I stated that I am only providing facts. I do not get into opinion discussions about decisions that VEX / RECF make.

The agenda says “Division Champion Overall Quarterfinals and Semifinals (in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Arts Divisions)” so no, they will not be in Freedom Hall.


My bad, thought you were with vex. Thank you

This is just my personal opinion, but I would rather that not be the case. I would want to be able to watch each match.

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Assuming nothing changes schedule wise and the lower portions of the bracket are played on the division fields will there be enough seating for spectators. I know in the past even division finals filled the stands and left people watching from the sides. I am worried that having part of the bracket not in freedom hall will only make this issue worse.


And the Semis will have to be in two of those divisions…

So, they will have to ask the crowds to clear out. Otherwise half of VEX WORLDS will be at each of the two semis.

Next year they will have a smaller arena, so they are probably prototyping what they will have to do next year, as everyone won’t fit in there like Freedom Hall.

I do not envy the people putting these schedules together. Sounds like the worst job in the world as for as I’m concerned.


I would rather see a quarterfinals round played in 4 of the divisions, and then a round-robin between the remaining 4 alliances in freedom hall. That would solve the issue of time, and it would be closer to the experience of previous years in the dome. Plus, it would make it more likely that the 2 strongest alliances would play each other in finals, unless they had to play each other in quarterfinals.


what is round robin? This is my 1st year in vex so I dont really know anything about worlds.

At worlds, all of the teams are split up into divisions. Each of those divisions (ex. Math, Science, etc) compete in their own tournament and try to be division champions. The division champions (meaning both teams in the two team alliance) of each division compete in a round robin. Because there are 6 divisions, each alliance plays five teams. Round robin functions a lot like qualifiers in a normal tournament. The top 2 teams from the round robin do a best of 3 match to decide the world champions.

The division level matches are all played in a large, open area in the Kentucky Convention Center while all the matches in the round robin and higher are played in an enormous auditorium (That holds 3k people). This is why teams consider round robin “making the dome” as well as an enormous achievement.