VEX Excellence Award

I have a quick question. At a competition we went to, a middle school team won high school excellence, and another middle school team won middle school excellence. Are there any rules about more than 1 excellence being award to the same school division?

What tournament did you attend that this occurred?

Interesting scenario. In the qualifying criteria in the spots chart notes:

and further on:

To me it appears the intent is to give one award to a middle and high school team.

VRC Qualifying Criteria

As always, for questions about a specific event, contact the Event Partner and Regional Support Manager.

A few years ago, judges inadvertently awarded both Excellence and Design to the same team during regionals. It was rectified quickly before all the teams left.

My understanding has been that the main excellence award can go to any team at the event. The middle school excellence award goes to a middle school team. So I can see where both excellence awards could be given to middle school teams.

Hate to disagree - but how do you come up that two are the best robotics program of their class? :slight_smile:


I will post in the EP Q&A and see if RECF will shed light on this.,

Yes, it would be nice to get a clarification. My understanding is that there are three ways to code an excellence award in a tournament: excellence, high school excellence, and middle school excellence. An excellence award is open to any team at the event. The high school and middle school excellence awards are limited to either a high school or middle school team.

Maybe there has been a mistake in how excellence awards are coded in for mixed tournaments. The issue might be that when you set up a mixed tournament, you never know if you are going to get 10 middle school teams - so you select thet generic “excellence” award. Once 10 middle school teams sign up, the middle school excellence is added but the generic excellence doesn’t get changed to high school excellence.

Excellence and Design went to the same team at several tournaments in my state last year, and a few events in previous years, but i don’t think it’s happened so far this year.

I agree with you that they should go to different teams, and this is the most logical interpretation of the rules (except when there is only one team who fits the criteria).

Edited to add: I remember one event where they gave out a long list of judged awards, but almost all of them went to the same team who won Design or Excellence. (But at least that tournament gave Excellence and Design to different teams!)

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Really wish that wouldn’t happen. Spreading out the awards, as you are supposed to, encourages all of the teams and acknowledges all their hard work… Especially needed if the robot does not perform well.

I don’t think this happened. I think OP misunderstood.

I looked at the events 2075A has gone to, and I found one that had an excellence winner that was a middle school team. 11101A won excellence at Tracy Triangle Winter VEX Tournament. There was only one excellence award, and it was given to a middle school team. There was not a separate excellence award for middle school. Maybe they “won” the award but it wasn’t entered into robotevents?

It has always been our practice in Wisconsin that once the Excellence Award winner has been determined, that they are them removed from consideration for any other judged awards. We then move down the list of judged awards, Design, and then the others that we choose to give (typically Amaze, Build, Create, and sometimes Think, in that order and Judges (if there is a worthy team)) and once a team is awarded one, they get removed from the list for any other judged Award. In other words, no team ever receives 2 judged awards.
As for mixed events, if there are enough of both Middle School and High School teams (>10) to give a High School Excellence Award and a Middle School Excellence Award, then they are given to a High School team and a Middle School team, respectfully.

I love this way of doing it. (It also seems to be what VEX recommends.)

This way, as many teams as possible will get an award.

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Events need to follow the judges guide if it is to be an official event. Both judges guides have the following clause. So, technically, they have to do this for the event to qualify to higher levels.
vex iq.JPG

I disagree. I think penalizing a student who had the best programming at the event just because other members of their team did well is unfair. If the decision is a dead tie between 2 teams getting a judged award then sure bring already won awards in as a factor at the last second. However if 1 team is better, and deserves an award, they should get it.

Imagine this totally realistic scenario of a 3 person team. Team captain, head builder and head programmer. If the head programmer does such an amazing job they win the think award. The head builder can do as amazing job as he wants and his actions will never be rewarded, your saying “ehh that guy’s contributions are not important” and refusing to give them say the create award.

Other than excellence which is about all around performance, every award is about 1 aspect of a team. This means all team members who were not involved in that 1 aspect have not earned an award and still deserve to do so.

Lastly one of the points of awards is to give other teams something to strive for, to see examples of what excellent programming looks like and want to emulate it. Every time you give an award to “someone who wouldn’t have won it in a vacuum” you are pointing all other teams to the wrong people as an example. I think if a single team shows up with 3 separate details that show

the best programming
the best creative design solution
the best design process

And they are not winning the excellence award, they should be walking away with all 3 of those related rewards.

Well, you have to take that up with the REC Foundation. As their judge’s guide says, that’s just how it is.

I agree with this idea, too, although it does not seem to be what VEX recommends.

I like both ideas, but I think I actually like yours a little better, especially since each award may have a different team in second place.

My preference would be this:

  1. If a team wins Excellence, they aren’t eligible for any other judged awards.
  2. The Judges Award can only be given to a team who did not win any other judged awards.
  3. All other awards (Amaze, Build, Think, Innovate, Create, Sportsmanship, Energy, etc., but not Judges) are given to the most deserving team, unless that team won the Excellence Award at the event (and there are other teams who fit the basic minimum criteria for the award).
  4. If the Excellence Award winner is the only team who fits the minimum criteria for an award, they may receive that award even though they also won Excellence.

Edit: This isn’t what the rules say to do (they say no team can win more than one judged award), but this is a system I think would be good to use.

Since my initial post, I have thought about it some more and realized I’m not sure which system I prefer, as long as teams know that just because they won one award and not another, that doesn’t mean they weren’t equally qualified for other awards. Maybe some events should give out awards for the runners-up in the Excellence Award judging. Those could even qualify for States at really large events.

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Regardless of what one might prefer, only 1 judged award per team is not a recommendation - it is a clearly stated requirement.

People run afoul of that “guideline” all the time and there are no consequences. I already struggle to get people to judge my events and we ask them to read this document, but there is no guarantee they will.

Judging has always been a black box, and after hosting my fair share of events I’d prefer it stay that way.

The key is to have a rock solid judge advisor. We are fortunate to have one who has judged at Worlds and is at all our events to keep things consistent with a pool of great judges from various backgrounds. I wish I always got their food orders right :frowning:

Yeah. I have one or two really good judges. But we host 9-11 times a year and I can’t expect those few to be at all of them. We’re working to develop a larger pool, but it’s a slow roll.

Side note we do a church style pitch in. That’s been pretty popular.

Wow, impressive that many events! me a mere 4 per season - due to building scheduling and it impacts our school’s budget (custodial costs absorbed by school). also, my family does want to see me from time to time!