Thoughts on the new elimination rounds system?

Who came up with this idea geez

I firmly believe that the best of the best teams should be able to adapt to changes thrown at them. Including this

Regarding the NFL, NCAA Basketball, World Cup argument, Will this mean that we can call a timeout in the middle of a match and get a halftime break to adapt and make changes to our strategy?

But some teams are given this challenge to adapt and redesign their entire robot for this new ruleset, while other teams will not.
This makes some teams hindered by this more than others, killing the sense of fair competition.

It’s not that they can’t adapt to changes thrown it them, it’s that this isn’t the type of change they should have to adapt to. Teams should plan to be able to adapt to situations that occur midgame such as tipping over, a stack falling, defensive plays from their opponents, and possible alliances being picked, but they shouldn’t need to adapt to massive rule changes right before the ultimate culmination of the season just a few weeks away.

I guess this is time to dust off the old forum account…

I’ve been involved in Vex competitions since 2011 and gone deep into the worlds elimination bracket four times. I’ve been a huge proponent of two team alliances for a very long time, because I witnessed first hand how many teams try to throw matches at worlds or lie to scouts and say their robot isn’t working to end up in a third alliance member slot. This is a GREAT change. However, I would revert to three team alliances in a heartbeat if that meant also reverting the single elimination change.

In Worlds elimination matches I’ve:
-Disconnected for 5+ seconds 3+ times (even with well tested hardware)
-Had my cortex crash for a whole world finals match (firmware issue, out of my control)
-Won a world finals match (the first in the series I might add) because of a random cube falling off a stack in the middle of the field and rolling onto a tile. The 2015 VEXU finals which are lauded by many to be some of the greatest vex matches of all time would have been over after one match and decided by a rolling cube.
-Been tipped non-egregiously and gotten a DQ in my favour (which I unsuccessfully argued against)
-Been tipped egregiously (in my opinion) and NOT gotten a DQ in my favour (which I did not argue against because I understood the ruling was discretionary)
-Beaten a better alliance in the round robin by 5 pts and then lost to them twice in world finals

All of these situations coupled with a single elimination format make me INCREDIBLY uncomfortable. Consider that every time a ref makes a call on whether to disqualify a team, they will hold both alliances whole season worth of effort in their hands. As someone who has refereed at national competitions I’m very very glad to not be reffing at worlds this year…

I think a great compromise here without adding too much additional time to the competition is making division finals and world finals remain in the best of 3 format.

On another note, this will be my last time at worlds as a competitor, and we are hoping to bring some really special robots to compete in the VEXU division. It pains me that with the proposed format it is likely that only one VEXU match will be played in front of the big crowd. If you aren’t willing to revert the single elimination changes, I would ask that you please consider playing the VEXU division finals in Freedom Hall alongside the round robin, in addition to the world final.

Thanks to VEX, RECF, and in particular the GDC for all the work they do to make this competition a success.


I really agree with everything you said, until your rhetorical questions. There have been plenty of real examples of when an alliance has had an issue, whether it was due to vex electronic failures or not, and then proceeded to win worlds. The example that comes to my mind first is the Skyrise VexU finals with QCC2 and AURA. As we all remember, QCC2 managed to come back and win after losing match 1 when their auton accidentally knocked off a stray cube from the pile into the opponents floor zone. If it hadn’t been for the best 2 out of 3 system, the world would never know that AURA’s auton would have much larger faults in both matches 2 and 3, and QCC2 would be stripped of its World Champion title.

I really do not follow your comparison between ~hour long sports games with 2:00 robotics matches that rely on the unreliability of old electronics.

Having a great discussion about how it all goes in May is just a bit too late for everyone graduating this year and those who put in hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of work in their robots and spent thousands of dollars to get to worlds.

Great time to Update to the New V5 next season!

Exactly. I have been very reluctant to replace some old electronics of mine this season because I need to save money for V5.

While it is a good way to test the v5, testing it this year will have no feedback for v5. They should wait until next year, when it is available to use.

I love it. This removes the incentive to loose matches in qualifications hoping to be picked as the third robot on a good alliance. This happens far too often.

I think if both of our teams understood that there would only be a single finals match, we would do everything in our power to ensure that there were no faults in our systems. To be honest with you, if that set was only one match and the cube roll happened, it would sting a bit but we’d own it. We wouldn’t be stripped of the title, we wouldn’t have earned it. The best teams are the ones who can quickly and reliably adapt to changes, expected or unexpected. I’m backing the GDC on this one, I think trying out new ideas is a step in the right direction in making World Championship more manageable.

This is a really, really good idea. I will be pushing for this change to get more VEX U competitors into Freedom Hall.

I want to respond to the “Why Worlds” question now and let more community members chime in before I answer more of the other questions and claims. First, I will say that we use data and history to make our decisions. While many of us on the GDC are passionate, we do not make decisions like these lightly. Again, I will go into details after more people have a chance to post but I felt this is important for me to say to you. This was a well discussed subject that we did not take lightly.

OK, so “Why Worlds”?

It actually is the perfect place to do these sorts of tests because it has less impact than “trying it for next season”. Why? Only 8% of VRC teams (including VEX U) attend VEX Worlds. Of those 8% only 32% compete in the elimination rounds. That’s 2.6% of teams affected by this change compared to almost 100% if we made the change next season. That is what we on the GDC call a no brainer.

Additionally, we have always not liked that only 24 teams out of 100 make elimination rounds. This way we get 32 per division. More teams get the elimination rounds experience.

I have many responses for your consistency and “the sky is falling” claims. Some of you will not at all like my responses and that’s ok. Some of you may leave the program. While we will be sad to see you go that is definitely your prerogative.

Anyway, I look forward to a healthy and productive discussion.


Thanks for the consideration Paul!

Thanks for the response to that question, and although I disagree about it being a no-brainer (in the sense that it works out in the math but doesn’t change the fact that it’s rather unfair to the teams competing), I can understand how you and the rest of the GDC came to that conclusion, and respect the decision. All I (and hopefully the rest of us here) want is a civil discussion on a matter that affects us all, and hopefully that’s what this becomes. I look forward to hearing your response on consistency, as I think that’s what people are most outraged about from the single elimination proposal.

Things I definitely like about the rule changes:
-more teams get to play in the elimination rounds
-more of an incentive for teams to try and do well to go on to eliminations

Things I 100% dislike about the rule changes:
-single eliminations

I understand this will be needed in order to keep things running faster, but I feel as if there could be some form of compromise as far as this goes. Single elims seem way too brutal and risky for teams who have worked hard and generally competed very well during the qualification rounds on their own merits. Granted, mistakes happen even to the best of us, but in best 2 of 3 elimination rounds, these are generally easier to recover from, vs being knocked out of the entire game because of a battery issue or connection issue or something of that sort.

I really like the 2 team alliances but not the single eliminations. I don’t trust battery / key connections enough for that.

This math is true, but doesn’t consider the fact that 16 of those 32 teams play one match, where 8 teams (two teams from each losing alliance in quarters) were to play one match at the max. It could be 4 teams if all quarterfinals were to advance to game 3. If your idea of granting people the experience of elims is having more people get to play one match, then you will succeed in that. However, if I was one of those 16, I’d be extremely underwhelmed and frustrated.

Sorry to say this but I’d rather have 90% of the community feel the repercussions of changing to a new eliminations system than have to spend 12 months, >3 thousand dollars, and an intense season going against some really strong teams just to lose to what is becoming basically a weighted coin flip. But that may just be me. Anyone care to comment?