VEX Robotics Competition as a High School Varsity Sport?

Lately, I’ve had the idea that my school’s robotics program could be transformed into a varsity-lettering sport in the school. My school participates in the VEX and FRC competitions as part of our robotics program. I’ve researched online and found out that this is actually a thing in some places (The Minnesota State High School League even recognizes robotics as an activity in the state, and was the first state association to hold a FRC state tournament link). I got to thinking as to how this could work.

The requirements for lettering in robotics (for the VEX side of our program) would be consolidated into a two-part process to assess the merits of each member: 1) Team performance in the VEX season, and 2) Coach evaluation of the members within each team. The first part, the performance part, would be based on a “checklist” that has “achievements” worth a varying amount of points, depending on the significance of the achievement. Achievements would cover a wide range of things like winning awards, qualifying for state at a local tournament, making it to the elimination matches at state, etc. Some examples of point values are below:
*Winning an award would be worth for example 5 points.
*Winning a local tournament would be worth 15 points.
*Making it to the state elimination matches would be worth 35 points.
*Qualifying for Worlds at state would worth 15 points (some achievements add on to another in a “bundle” to represent the overall significance of the event), and so on.

Teams would have to earn a certain threshold of achievement points (such as 75 points, 100 points, etc) to pass the performance part of lettering. The threshold would have to be high enough to make the difficulty of lettering on par with the other sports we have in the high school. The checklist and threshold would also be revised every year at the beginning of each season based on various factors such as overall VEX program successes, competitiveness of our region and state, etc.

As for the evaluation part of lettering, the coach (or faculty advisor) would evaluate each member within a team that passes the performance part to determine whether the member contributed enough to the team to be worthy of a varsity letter. Factors in the evaluation would include the level of commitment the member gave to the team (attending 80% of build sessions with the team, working a certain amount of hours per week for the team, etc), type and degree of contribution to the team itself (such as programming, building a mechanism of the robot), outreach and mentoring, etc.

Those who passed both parts would receive a varsity letter.

I wanted some feedback on this as I draw up a proposal to take to my VEX coach to see what he thinks. If you can provide any, that would be greatly appreciated.

I know that in Arizona VEX is considered a “sport” by the AIA (Arizona interscholastic association) they handle all the sports around arizona so if i really had pushed i could have gotten a varsity letter.

Interesting idea, I don’t see why you couldn’t!

“Sport”. Odd.

Well i think its classified as an athletic event not an actually sport but it still counts as a sport in terms of varsity letters and what not.

Tbh I dont see VEX robotics as a sport. The season is too long and the competition is way too easy. There are also not many scholarships compared to other branches of robotics. If you want to do varsity robotics, look into something like FRC or ROV. Their build season are much shorter and rigorous, the robots are hard to build, and there are many scholarships available

I live in Arizona and my school gives varsity to our robotics students after a year of being in the club

At Cavelero Mid-High and Lake Stevens High School’s robotics program, we give out letters to high school teams who have competed at the state tournament, the world championship, or won an online challenge.

These are helpful links I searched which states if robotics is a sport or not:
Ask
FIRST (Indirectly States)
Fox
And, of course, our team being on the Chevy Spotlight for “Inside High School Sports”: http://www.gamedayhighschoolsports.com/articles/detail/IHSS/Houston/Chevy-Spotlight/Westbury-Christian-Robotics-Club---Chevy-Spotlight
So, according to Ask, FIRST, Fox, and Chevy, Yes. This is a High School Varsity Sport :slight_smile:

It’s officially classified as an AIA (the high school sports association for Arizona) “Activity”