Very First VEX IQ Competition

Hi Everyone,

My elementary team’s first competition is coming up. I’ve never been to a competition either. Any tips for a total novice?

Have fun!
Stay organised.
And make sure to communicate to the other teams.

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The first thing I would say is that your first competition is about learning. Learning what a competition is like, how it works, and what (and what not) to do.

Like StuartV said though, the most important thing is to have fun. Make friends, have a good time, and eat pizza ;).

Here’s the overall picture of how a typical (in-person) event runs.

When you walk in the doors (a little early), you’re going to have a table set up for your team. Put all your stuff down, and then you will need to check in. After check in, you’re going to need to get your robot inspected to make sure it follows all the rules and is legal. Then the matches will start. You’re going to have usually between 5 and 10 “qualification matches”, which are matches where you are randomly paired with an alliance partner. After that are the finals matches. In these matches, alliances are formed based on the rankings. Ranks 1 and 2 are an alliance, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, and so on. Whichever alliance gets the most points in their one finals match wins the event.

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Be ready for the competition. Try not to make any changes to your robot last minute, because you do not know how it will play out in a match.
Don’t get too nervous when you’re driving, remind yourself that there are going to be more competitions and you have many more chances.
If it’s a teamwork competition, talk and strategize with your alliance and watch the matches to see what each team is capable of.
Have good sportsmanship, don’t get mad at the other team, because they tried their best.
In the judges interview, try to have all team members talk. Never say “I” or “me” in the interview unless you’re a one-person team. The judges want to see collaboration and everyone getting a chance to try. Remember that the point isn’t to be the best. Try to make friends, and remember to have fun!
Good luck!

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