Update: 2020 VEX Robotics World Championship is Canceled

I just had a minor thought pop up: What will happen to the Online Challenge winners and the teams that earned a birth into this year’s Worlds by Excellence/Tournament Champs/Skills during Turning Point? I know the Community Award’s prize was paid entrance into this year’s worlds, so will that fee apply to automatic qualification for next year?

So regarding awards, will they just not take place, and how will the team execute the introduction of the new season game.

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No. One. Knows. Yet.

The tone of that paragraph seemed like they were talking about more than just that specific event.

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Dang. That sucks. Feel bad for everyone who made worlds this year

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as my last year in vex, and my first time qualifying for worlds, I am kinda speechless right now. Thanks vex for all the good memories, the fun tournaments the rivalries, and the laughs.

hate to leave like this

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it was one hell of a ride

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That would be disappointing, and I guess if the US Open kicks the can… who else is going to hold a big event that can host all those teams?

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We could ship the bots there, someone will unpack and setup on the field, and you can control over the internet.

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It is cancelled as per my mentor

When will the new game for next year be announced?

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Hi everyone,

I know the past 12 hours has been hard to process. Honestly, it’s been hard for me and the rest of the REC Foundation staff too.

I appreciate all the suggestions about how to acknowledge all the hard work teams put into this season. And all I can say we are actively looking at ways to recognize teams for their 2019/2020 successes. Right now it’s all hands on deck to return phone calls and emails, contact VEX Worlds suppliers and sponsors, cancel travel plans, etc. There is soooo much to do. But as I stated yesterday, we do want to find a way to celebrate this season and conclude it on a positive note.

So please be patient!

Thanks,

Dan

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VEX Worlds is canceled. FRC events are canceled. Battlebots is postponed. Sports are suspended. Schools are closing. My annual post-Worlds vacation is a music festival that, although not canceled yet, probably will be.

Dan has done an excellent job of conveying the importance of safety, the reasoning, logistics, and background of the decision. I couldn’t state it better than he already has, except to personally reiterate how difficult the past two weeks have been for his staff, and how much respect I continue to have for his leadership of the REC Foundation.

So, instead, I want to talk a bit more directly to the community, the VEX competitors, mentors, and friends.

As some of you know, I also mentor an FRC team. At the end of each season, right before the final day of the FRC championship, John V-Neun gives our students one of my favorite speeches. A forum post won’t do it justice, but it essentially goes as follows:

“For the past 4-6 months, you have been on a roller coaster. It has had the highest highs, and the lowest lows. One way or another, win, lose, or otherwise, there will be a point tomorrow at which the roller coaster comes to a screeching halt. And when it does, I guarantee that it will be a jarring halt. It doesn’t matter if you have a gold medal around your neck, or are carting the robot back to the trailer in pieces - the roller coaster has come to an end, and that can be a deeply emotional moment. And - that is perfectly okay. Acknowledge it. Give yourself a moment to cry, cheer, reflect silently, whatever you need.”

There are two main reasons I love the “roller coaster speech”.

  1. In that final moment, you often don’t feel the emotions you may expect. I have won a world championship, and been depressed the next day because after months of 100-hour weeks, I didn’t know what to do with my time now. That can be a shock; having a reminder that it is coming can be helpful.
  2. It helps to put in perspective that you are not in this alone. The robotics community’s strongest asset is each other - we are all riding the roller coaster, through its highs, lows, and screeching halts.

Yesterday, the roller coaster crashed to an end far earlier than anyone could have expected. I feel like the speech is more applicable than ever.

Like most of you, this was an emotional realization for me. Over the past 13 years, I have been a student competitor, an MC, a Head Referee, an FRC mentor, a core part of the VEX Worlds planning team, the Chairman of the VEX GDC. I literally do not even remember what it is like to have spring months that are not completely consumed by robotics (and this is true for most of the staff at VEX, FIRST, and the REC Foundation). For this reason alone, public health crisis aside, the next few months are going to be… strange.

So, I guess what I want to say is, take a moment. Take a breath. Reflect on the journey of the season, reminisce about a fun moment from your league event, be proud of the robot you’ve had the opportunity to create. Wash your hands, make sure your loved ones are aware of the seriousness of this generation-defining event.

“When will I get to compete with my robot again?”
“How will we determine a world champion?”
“When will we find out the new game?”

Nope - not answering those questions today, and I encourage you to set them aside for a day as well. Today, I’m listening to my favorite music, spending time with friends, playing some Witcher 3, and reflecting on the journey. We will attack tomorrow, tomorrow, and we’ll do it as a community. (4-6 feet apart from each other, of course)

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Thank you Grant and Dan. It certainly feels weird with my spring not being consumed by robotics.

On another note

Excellent choice of video game.

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Thank you for helping pick us all up from the bottom of heartbreak. We will get through this the way we get through every robotics challenge - together, as the biggest team.

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Great thoughts. Excellent ideas. Everyone just pause and take a deep breath. this to will pass.

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“For the past 4-6 months, you have been on a roller coaster. It has had the highest highs, and the lowest lows. One way or another, win, lose, or otherwise, there will be a point tomorrow at which the roller coaster comes to a screeching halt. And when it does, I guarantee that it will be a jarring halt. It doesn’t matter if you have a gold medal around your neck, or are carting the robot back to the trailer in pieces - the roller coaster has come to an end, and that can be a deeply emotional moment. And - that is perfectly okay. Acknowledge it. Give yourself a moment to cry, cheer, reflect silently, whatever you need.”

One of the best competitive robotics quotes I have ever heard. Really appreciate you sharing that Grant. That’s going up on the robotics room wall.

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That sucks. This year has been great, I finished my new robot right before the announcement was posted…

  • You still worked on worlds even though it could be canceled
  • You knew it would be canceled

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We are just going to finish our build of the robot and then reveal it since our school is out for 3 weeks because of corona. Just because Worlds is cancelled doesnt mean your robot doesnt have to stop working.

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