V5 Ban Concerns?

I saw recently that an event partner in NZ made a facebook comment discussing a plan to ban V5 robots from the NZ national competition. As a team who has already spent thousands of dollars on V5 kits and already spent hundreds of hours of work on a V5 robot this greatly concerns me. Ever since V5 was announced VEX had assured us that V5 would be completely legal for Turning Point, yet what NZ is trying to do seems to imply the opposite. Furthermore, this seems to directly contradict what was said in this Q&A post:

We really don’t want all our work building with V5 to be nullified by a change in ruling that we thought wouldn’t be allowed. How can I be sure that my region won’t ban V5 for this season?

Email your regional support manager

Asked and answered - Qualifying Tournaments may not prohibit equipment specified as legal in the Game Manual, nor are they allowed to change the tournament format, i.e., best of 1 to best of 3, nor are they allowed to change the judging procedure in the Judges Guide. If they do, then the question is it a valid qualifying tournament.

@lacsap Where did you get this from. I have heard it several times but I cant ever find where it comes from. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks.

@Ethan W.

There is an EP Q&A specifically to address EP questions.

Excerpt answer from an EP Q&A from Jim Crane:

which consistent with every answer regarding Qualifying Tournament format.

@lacsap Thank you. I thought I was going crazy not being able to find it. That makes sense now.

Is this EP Q&A accessible to the public?

no - it is a forum for EPs only, who all have access.

The governing documents for qualifying events are Qualifying Criteria, Game Manual, and Judges Guide/Rubrics - which are all public.

The questions relate to EPs mainly.

There were a few questions about event modifications around judging and tournament format - all answers have been consistent with what is stated in the public documents.

What you’re missing is V5 cannot be purchased in NZ and there’s actually no firm ETA either. Probably December some time however that’s right on summer holiday break with schools not returning until February. Realistically V5 is not an option for teams competing at the NZ Nationals 22-24 Feb 2019.

If you’re in the USA V5 hardware is available and shipping. Looks like you’re from CA so it seems incredibly unlikely that your concerns would ever be realized.

Is it actually not available for purchase? I thought shipping was just delayed?

Maybe read the whole sentence?

I apologize, my statement was not meant to contradict what you said. I was just expressing surprise, as I had no idea that V5 was not available for purchase even in some parts of the world.

Grant Cox’s update on shipping status indicates that International orders are being processed:

I do not know what NZ situation is.

It’s like this Reddit - Dive into anything

Then why does it need to be banned? If you’re confident that V5 won’t be an option for Nationals, then surely anyone using it will be worse off anyway? Why ban it? Unless you’re not actually confident that V5 won’t be an option.

To me this just disadvantages teams that end up going to Worlds - they’ll have far less time working with V5 before going (if they even have it). A team will either need to decide they have a high chance at getting to worlds and get V5 early to get experience with the system (or, decide if they just want to stay on Cortex). Or teams that qualify for Worlds will be stuck with Cortex essentially due to time constraints.

I just don’t understand the argument for banning V5. If you’re arguing it’s better than Cortex systems then surely you admit you’re just shooting NZ teams in the foot for worlds. If you’re arguing it’s worse then what’s the harm in letting teams use it?

It also means we can’t encourage any new teams to enter the program before next season (if V5 is allowed then). There is absolutely no point in investing in Cortex just for NZ Nationals (even though V5 is available) only to then need to upgrade next season. This also applies to current teams that might need more motors for Nationals, etc. It would be unfortunate if they had to invest in a system that they’ll just be replacing in a few months.

There’s no relationship between NZ Nationals participation and teams trying hard to qualify for worlds. Any team who is that confident (BO1 cough cough) would invest in V5 right now via whatever means possible and start working with the platform. How many NZ worlds teams do you know of that competed with their nationals robot? How many do you know who completely rebuilt after nationals?

I’d say almost every team who’d want to compete at NZ Nationals will have V4 hardware now. It’s very unlikely a new team who purchases V5 hardware when school fires up next year would realistically have something prepared in time so that’s an invalid argument. Each year KiwiBots run the Kiwi Challenge specifically to fill in the gap between nationals and new season.

I’m told there is no stock allocation for NZ as yet and we’re dependent on supply via AU. Sure a team could order a V5 system bundle direct from the US however they’re paying USD188 shipping and dealing with import costs too - that is a committed team who’d prepare a V5 robot in parallel with their V4 in anticipation of winning an advancement spot. How about extra batteries and motors? We might see V5 system bundles in December if we’re lucky but I’m absolutely confident teams will want more than 4 motors and 1 battery. There are too many unknowns Nathan and the consensus was that making a call sooner rather than later would be wisest. Do we really want just a couple of teams at NZ Nationals with V5 who can afford to bypass the cortex trade-in and burn money on shipping? It is in the hands of our regional support manager now.

I don’t understand what you mean by saying there’s no relationship between the two? To qualify for worlds (Cortex + V5) you need to do well at Nationals (Cortex only). The relationship is that Nationals participation is a prerequisite for worlds (exceptions being previous year winners invitations, of which we have none).

There’s a difference between the financial investment and then the other type of investment required to build a robot - effort. I completely agree that most will rebuild, but without the experience of knowing V5 it would take a lot longer to create a robot that’s of high quality. Not everyone has had the luxury that you and I have had with the beta program in already having an idea of how well the motors perform, experience of VCS, etc. For the confident teams you mention, I think it would be unadvisable to spend any time on V5 before Nationals, Bo1 as you say means that you want to devote as much time as possible into perfecting every part of your robot with the Cortex system. Diverting some of that away into learning V5 would be a bad idea IMO.

I remember multiple instances of teams in the past that started in the new year and for whom their first events were the scrimmages just before Nationals. This needn’t necessarily be a new school either, but could just be an additional team at an existing organisation, etc. We also had a new team come to their first event at the last scrimmage, which I feel kind of bad about that they just invested in Cortex.

I also don’t think it’s an invalid argument. Not every team going to Nationals has to be an A-tier robot. Even if a new team only builds a basic drive + cap flipper I’m sure they’d still have a good time.

Again, what would be the bad thing about having teams on multiple platforms? VEX / RECF clearly decided that was okay by allowing both systems and the different motor limits. If you think that V5 will be OP and hence are limiting it to nerf that approach then say that, which despite your arguments, I still think will negatively affect NZ’s chances at worlds (I guess we’ll see). If you think that V5 is worse then why does it need to be banned?

People want transparency and to know what’s going on. If the decision has been made then it’s a super important one and there should have been a blog post / announcement to all the teams already (I can’t find one). If a decision hasn’t been made then this is definitely the kind of thing that also should have been communicated to teams beforehand in case anyone did do their own importing as you said. I don’t know if there’s been updates to the other schools keeping them updated, but if it’s just those who have teachers as part of the NPG then I feel the inside information there could be a bit of an issue. Imagine if a school had bought V5 after you make the decision but before it’s publicly announced. That would be terrible.

Again, my whole thing just comes back to how well NZ is going to perform at worlds. I really don’t want to see NZ continue the trend of falling further down towards the middle of the VRC. I feel that restricting the use of V5 at Nationals will most definitely restrict the use of V5 at Worlds by NZ teams, or produce sub-par implementations of them. Which basically means that the RSM is betting on Cortex being better than V5 at Worlds, or we’re going to fall even further backwards.

Not exactly happening to singapore too.

I suspect the shipping status refers to shipping to the regional distributors (eg. Asia IFI for Singapore).

We are at quite a similar situation as NZ.

In fact, Asia IFI still have not decide on the price list and the trade-in details.

Lets hope we will get our v5 by Dec…

Even as a team with v4 that lost a tournament in the finals to a team with v5 today, I strongly believe that a v5 ban is wrong. Putting aside the whole NZ-teams-would-be-screwed-at-worlds issue, this has really negative implications for other regions. Do EPs just get to make up their own rules at their convenience? Could they decide the amaze award and the team with the most APs after quals qualify to states / worlds instead of the tournament champions? Could they bring back third alliances or ban partner remotes? Could they say the excellence award can only be given to an all-girls team? None of these seem like good or likely decisions, but neither is a regional v5 ban. And v5 is just as fundamental to the game as 2 team alliances or fair qualification spots.

Vex made a lot of mistakes with regards to v5. The fact that 315G had the resources to build a full v5 robot months ago and many international teams won’t have them until January is indefensible. But the rules are the rules, and they should exist statically and absolutely. Granting EPs the freedom to invent their own rules at their discretion could really change the dynamic of not just NZ but also future years and future competitions. A v5 ban is unfair too (consider a team that spent thousands of dollars on v5 and can’t use it because they don’t qualify to worlds) and it just spells trouble down the road.

Bring v5 back!

I am not going to debate the V5 and NZ issues on this forum. The issues we have regarding V5 in NZ are way too complex to go into here and do not involve the rest of the world. When I get to my office tomorrow I will be letting all NZ teams know what will be happening, when and why. A few people will not be happy (that is a given) but you can never please everyone. We are focussed on fairness and equality in NZ for all teams from the rookie to the World Champion. The vast majority of teams in NZ will be very happy and that is the best we can hope for. In this case we are not taking the feelings of anyone outside NZ into account as it is a totally internal affair and does not involve them.

Just for the record I am not an Event Partner I am the Competition Support Manager for Oceania and nothing is done without careful discussion with all my Event Partners and the USA. We are trying to do the best we can in a very remote region (V5 supply wise). None of this will happen in Australia or the Pacific Islands as they do not have the same issues.