VEX Robot World Cup 2011

October 11th, 12th and 13th of October 2011 in New Zealand.

The VEX Robot World Cup will qualify the tournament Champions for the 2012 VEX World Championships.

The VEX Robot World Cup is a gathering of top robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with/against the best of the best. The 2011 VEX Robotics World Cup will include top teams from around the world that can be made up of any combination of High School and/or College/University alliances. To make the VEX Robot World Cup accessible to top performing teams, space has been secured to ensure that each and every country will be able to be represented by a team.

Teams will be made up of two robots that form an ‘alliance’ before the competition and represent their country for the duration of the competition. Teams will play the 2011/12 VEX game Gateway.

The Competition will be based on the High School Rules. Teams (alliances) will be formed a few weeks before the competition starts and the qualification rounds will be used to establish the rankings of the teams prior to going into the pool rounds. The pool rounds will consist of four pools with five teams in each competing in the same way as the Rugby World Cup format. Details to follow.

Special thanks to our primary partners: NZICT, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Glidepath and Massey University. The commitment and support of these partners ensures a great experience for everyone attending the 2011 VEX Robot World Cup.

We want you to attend so let us know if you are interested, come and visit New Zealand, we are planning a trip to Rotorua after the event as well.

Awards Information
We will be recognizing the Tournament Champions and the Tournament Finalists at the VEX Robot World Cup. The Tournament Champions will take away the $NZ10,000 prize that is to be used to help them get to the VEX World Championships in Los Angeles, April 2012.

More Information
Please see Robot Events VEX Robot World Cup for more information.

Any possible funding for teams travelling from the U.S.?

And I assume college teams will be kept together with both their robots… Are allowances going to be made for college teams who only have one robot?

Also, how much freedom do we have to pair up beforehand, so we have more than just a couple weeks to work together? (assuming going with the two-team-becoming-one-team option…)

It looks fun!

AURA is super excited about the RWC (robot, not rugby) - so excited we just all stopped studying to discuss the news :stuck_out_tongue:

@Joe, these answers are unofficial but from my understanding your college team can alliance with a high school team if you want, so you each contribute one robot each to the alliance (i.e. you can have HS-HS, HS-College, or College-College). And… you can pretty much start alliance-ing now! And if you win the competition, that funds your trip right? :stuck_out_tongue:
P.S. Check your PMs.

Who’s coming from overseas!? We want to see as many of you as possible!

Hi Uncle Joe and all,


We are working on as many ways as possible to help teams from around the world that want to come to the Vex Robot World Cup. So far we have an accommodation grant sorted for the days of the competition and the grant for the entry fee. As/if we manage to get more we will post that info. Let us know your plans and we will try to find hosts for your team.

Yes we will keep teams together if they wish BUT we have been looking at a way for alliances to pair up before the event. One suggestion is:-
-that all teams (NZ and international) post their Robot Skills scores on the web with you tube video to prove that score. Information on the web will enable international scouting to take place. This means that anyone can do a robot skill test at any time not just a competition and have it count.
-These skills will then be used to rank the robots.
-We will do alliance selection using that ranking as per normal i.e Rank 1 chooses their alliance partner etc. (This will be done online via facebook or such like)
-If a team wants to stay together then they can decline an invitation to be part of an aliance if asked and we will not apply the ‘decline and you cannot accept again rule’

Almost correct but we anticipate a formal aliance selection process as described.

-The alliances will then play qualification rounds over two days to rank the alliances.
-The elimination rounds will be broken into 4 pools of 5 alliances as per the Rugby World Cup. How do you suggest the pools are made up? i.e. which ranks go into a pool to try to get the best alliances to the final without too many upsets.

Our initial suggestion is
PoolA= Ranks #1,#5,#9,#13,#17
PoolB= Ranks #3,#7,#11,#15,#19
PoolC= Ranks #2,#6,#10,#14,#18
PoolD= Ranks #4,#8,#12,#16,#20

RWC 2011 knockout structure

Following the Robot World Cup pool matches, the knockout rounds will follow the same structure as RWC 2003 and RWC2007. The full structure is as follows:

Quarter Final 1: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A
Quarter Final 2: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D
Quarter Final 3: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B
Quarter Final 4: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C

Semi-Final 1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
Semi-Final 2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Bronze Final: Loser SF1 v Loser SF2

Final: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

We welcome comments on the structure, it is our intention to have the finals playing off between the best two alliances.

I think this is unfair, because it makes it easier for the 4th place alliance as the whole of pool D is easier. Imo it should be:

PoolA= Ranks 1, 8, 9, 16, 17
PoolB= Ranks 3, 6, 11, 14, 19
PoolC= Ranks 2, 7, 10, 15, 18
PoolD= Ranks 4, 5, 12, 13, 20

That way there is more close competition between the teams in pools.
This does also give a greater advantage to the alliances that were seeded higher.

I don’t know if Robot skills is a good idea for sorting the alliance selection, because some robot skills scores will not be representative of a robot, because of the design eg. Apertures “HAND OF GOD” robot would hypothetically not be able to get a high-score as it is immobile.


This is the sort of feedback we are looking for. We will seek advice on all aspects and consider all submissions.

Is it? Possibly, but relative to seed #4 their next competitor is 4 below them in the 4,8,12,16,20 layout (for all pools) in the 4,5,12,13,20 layout seed 1’s next closest rival is 7 steps below them. What is the best?

Thanks we will look into the ‘pool structure’.

What do others think/suggest?

We’re a bit confused about how the ‘qualification’ for NZ teams will work, since we assume that there will be more NZ teams that want to compete than spaces available after international teams have filled in. This is what we’re guessing is happening:

  • There are 40 ‘teams’ (one team = one robot), which register individually.
  • International teams gain automatic ‘qualification’ to the competition, subject to balancing of countries.
  • New Zealand teams will have to compete in skills challenges at the monthly scrimmages and post their scores in a national table, and the top x number of teams will ‘qualify’ for the competition, dependent on the number of spaces left after international teams.
  • The 40 ‘teams’ then register for competition, and post videos of their skills challenges online, and get ranked #1 to 40.
  • Starting from Rank #1, we go through alliance selection to form 20 ‘alliances’, although teams can decline without penalty in order to stick with their pre-arranged alliance partners.
  • Competition begins with 20 alliances in 4 pools of 5 alliances each.

Does that sound right? If any part of that is wrong, please clarify - we got a bit confused about the posting of videos online and how that affected ‘qualification’ for the competition, since international teams qualify automatically but NZ teams don’t.

What would the minimum number of NZ teams be (i.e. if 100 international teams said they wanted to come, how many spots would be held for NZ teams?)

You also mentioned qualification rounds before the pool rounds to determine rankings of alliances. I would assume that that’s separate to posting videos online for alliance selection, and re-ranks the alliances in real matches rather than from skills challenge scores?

(We agree with Telemascope about the pool structure - it gives rank #1 a better chance of getting through to the knockout stages.)
It took me awhile to figure this out, but the way that they do it for Rugby World Cup is interesting:
The teams are divided into ‘bands’ of four by ranking (i.e. Band 1 = Teams 1, 2, 3, and 4; Band 2 = Teams 5, 6, 7, and 8; etc.), and then they are randomly drawn into the pools, one band at a time, which keeps it nice and random and introduces another element of luck into it. This year, the first three bands were drawn into the pools in this order:
Pool A: 1, 7, 13 (rank 12 isn’t competing)
Pool B: 4, 6, 9
Pool C: 3, 8, 11
Pool D: 2, 5, 10
You could say Pool A has a big advantage (which is fine because it’s New Zealand’s pool), and Pool B has a tougher pool, but because it’s done randomly no one can complain about bias or anything like that. A possible idea?

As is, the first seed is in the strongest pool and the lowest seed is in the weakest pool. I don’t think this provides the right incentives for teams to do well in qualifiers.

Have a read of this doc.

The reason for posting videos is to allow teams to register their robot skills score without having to be at a formal event. This will help teams in remote areas and those that have too few teams to hold regular scrimmages, after all it is a robot against the clock.

One alliance of two robots.

Correct. The alliances will be formed before the World Cup and I should have called the qualification rounds 'aliance seeding’ rounds. These seeding rounds will take place during the first two days of the competition.


Please clarify


We thought long and hard on this one and could not think of a fairer way of ranking teams that are spread around the world/country. Please let us have any ideas you may have. Promote your robot and get the attention of the scouts.

We did read the document, hence the confusion. That document says that international teams get automatic qualification and NZ teams have to do skills challenge (posted during scrimmages, which has been changed now), but in a previous post you said:

Which made us think that international teams have to qualify as well? It’s a bit confusion, because the same mechanism is being used to rank all of the teams and also qualify NZ teams… Unless you mean two separate rounds of video posting (One round for NZ teams only, and then select the top x teams for the competition, and then a second round for everyone for ranking for alliance selection).

I think what Oliver (Mundi) was trying to say is that it will make teams want to qualify in position 20 rather than position 1 so that they can get into a weaker pool and have a better chance of getting into the knockout rounds, hence not providing the right incentives to do well in qualifiers.

Possibly if you did the random draw method after qualifiers, then it is not in any team’s interest to try and go for a specific position since the pool they get put in is pretty much random, so they might as well try and go for as high a ranking as possible.

Looking forward to some VERY intense skills videos if there ends up only being one NZ spot! :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for answering our questions so late into the night!

Thanks for raising the question. We will work on a revised document that is clearer.

In the meantime, it is our intention and hope to get an even spread of teams from around the world. In a way you could look at it as two rounds but in practice we see things following this course.

1/ International teams let us know they want to compete and we reserve places for them. Owing to distance etc we will not have a qualifying criteria for international teams but we may have to limit numbers so let us know quickly if you are considering entering. So far teams from Mexico, UK, Spain, Portugal, Australia and the USA have expressed an interest.
2/ The entries for international teams closes.
3/ New Zealand teams are qualified to fill the open slots based upon their Robot Skills scores. *
4/ Alliance selection takes place for the event BEFORE the event and all qualifying teams will be asked to post videos of their robot skills on youtube before this selection process. Aliances will be selected from the 40 robots that have qualified.

  • New Zealand teams that want to have their Robot Scores that were not achieved at an official event (eg in a garage) considered for rankings can post evidence of them achieving the score on youtube.

We hope that is clearer

Yes, sorry, I didn’t word that properly. The whole of pool D is not easier when compared to seed 4, because each player is 4 places below them.
What I really mean that it is logically as easy for Seed4 to win their pool as it is for Seed1. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing?

Modified teams in Pools—Teams in PoolB swaped with teams in PoolC–Then then PoolC swaped with PoolD—
This has been done to try to avoid top seeds meeting too early. And the differences between teams being as balanced as possible in QF & SF(assuming there are no surprises and teams perform accordingto their rankings)
**this is still being investigated

PoolA= Ranks #1,#5,#9,#13,#17
PoolB= Ranks #2,#6,#10,#14,#18
PoolC= Ranks #4,#8,#12,#16,#20
PoolD= Ranks #3,#7,#11,#15,#19

RWC 2011 knockout structure

Following the Robot World Cup pool matches, the knockout rounds will follow the same structure as RWC2003 and RWC2007. The full structure is as follows:

Quarter Final 1: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A
Quarter Final 2: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D
Quarter Final 3: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B
Quarter Final 4: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C

Semi-Final 1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
Semi-Final 2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Bronze Final: Loser SF1 v Loser SF2

Final: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

Any international teams on forums coming? :slight_smile:

^BUMP. (now to lengthen the message because apparently my message needs to be 10 characters… -.-…)

well my team would love to come but not enough $$$$ for that and worlds


The map shown on the Robot Events page is incorrect. The venue is correct. The actual address of the venue is “89 Quay Street, Auckland Central, Auckland, New Zealand”.

Please see link below.