We had a VEX competition out here in BC today, as well. The original poster would likely have found something to whine about out here too.
I was head inspector at the tournament and we passed many robots that would not have passed inspection at Worlds.
Some teams left their 9V backup battery adaptors at home, a five hour drive and ferry ride away. Oooops. Guess the O.P. would like us to send them home to get them. No… of course not. Forgetting the 9V battery puts the team at a competitive disadvantage, which was explained to them and they promised to have the battery at their next event. Unprofessional? Maybe to some, but in my world professionals exercise discretion and judgement and keep their eye on the big picture.
Some teams, coming to their first tournament, made a mistake and used high-impact acrylic, thinking it met the rules. Unfortunately it was a fairly integral part of their design and wouldn’t have been ready to go for at least the first half of the tournament if they had to rebuild. We explained the difference, and when it started to crack, allowed them to tape off the cracks to protect people and the playing field from sharp edges. They did very well in the consolation finals, and went home excited, enthused and planning to rebuild their robot using polycarbonate.
We had one team use 1/8" acrylic… it was an easy rebuild for them to fix that, and they were happy to do it. Everyone fit the sizing box (eventually) and everyone had to file down their sharp edges… but we probably missed a few in the morning inspection rush. We had some rookie inspectors volunteering for their first time at an event, and even those of us with five or six years of inspecting experience sometimes miss the occasional scratchy bit.
The volunteer refs did a great job of running the tournament. Tactical blocking and defensive maneuvers played a role in most games. Some teams might not have liked all the calls, but no one whined about it. Many robots fell over, but that sometimes happens when a robot lifts 15 sacks up in the air. The refs were fair and consistent all day, at least from my point of view.
This was our second BC tournament in two weeks. Last week we had 41 teams compete in Surrey, this week was a largely different group of 49 teams. We were pleased to have two past world champion VRC teams in the field, from Gladstone and WASABI, as well as two past world finalists from Gladstone and Exothermic. It was particularly exciting to see teams from Isfeld Secondary, on Vancouver Island, come within two points of knocking some of them out in the semis. Seen many 125-126 games in the semis? That series went best 2 out of 3.
Anyway, the O.P. is correct… the rules say teams are supposed to have a 9V backup battery. But the rules also say that common sense is to prevail. Sounds like a great tournament in Toronto, and I am glad to hear that we’re not the only ones keeping our eye on the big picture when welcoming novicies to VRC!