Vex Worlds Pit Rules


Does anybody know what the rules about what you can do in the pits at world’s this year will be. i.e. Can we setup arenas and the like.



fields set up in pit may not be more than 8’x8’

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Something I’ve heard of is teams talking to their neighbors for a shared field setup with mutual usage. Ideally, you’d have a group of 4 so that the field can be in the center, with room for each team to work.

I’ve also heard of partial fields perhaps, while being a bad idea for tripping hazard issues, an 8x8 field and the team works within. (Again, a bad idea.)

A single row (or 2 for those with small work spaces) of flags and some accompanying field tiles will probably be sufficient for most teams.



Not allowed this year … according to FAQ - strict 8x8 limit…

Now I think there should be alternative approaches, such as leaving a space at the end of each aisle to allow 12x12 team provided full practice field… question would be equitable access…

probably won’t happen this year.

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I think we need to clarify whether this 8x8 limit is only for teams with one pit. For example, teams with two pits next to each other could do 8x12 or teams with access to the other side of the pit dividers (as @Got_a_Screw_Loose was saying) could do a full 12x12 field. I believe they cited fire codes as the reason for 8x8, but I don’t see why a setup like this would cause those issues.

EDIT: Essentially as long as the pits don’t extend into the aisles, I would think it should be fine

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Because I don’t think the Official Q&A would be the best place to ask this (and because I’m not going to Worlds :cry:), where would we find out? It makes sense to me to allow teams to share pits for various reasons (same organization allocating parts, private field for auton, etc.).
But, if it was specifically cited as teams not being allowed to have full fields, just minurarure fields, then that’s the rule.

And, if this interpretation is upheld, and possibly clarified to include some sort of ludicrous “stay in your own pit” rule, it could cause technicality problems for some teams. (Scouts, alliance discussion, checking out robots, etc.) [But, that last part was a ridiculous reach that won’t happen. … Right?]



Try this.



Okay. Searching the above document, there is no rule against combining pit spaces. There is a rule, however, about not moving pits to “share” with another team. The purpose of this is to eliminate hassle when locating teams for interview, queue, etc.

Teams are also discouraged from “building” structures in their pit area. I notice it does not say that it is disallowed. (Except when it spans into the aisleway or above the pit area structure)

I would assume that this would allow teams to combine (not really “share” in the indicated sense in the document) pits to have a full field.

I have to assume that @lacsap saw something I missed in the document or I’m looking at a different one. I heard of (in casual conversation) teams sharing put space for a full field in the past, but I can’t 100% validate.

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I believe it was on their official Vex Worlds update email that it specifically stated 8*8 max.

See Pit Setup at Worlds

GBR post from there:



The VEX Worlds Team Update email from earlier today is asking that teams setup a partial field no larger than 8x8:

Please Note: Teams will have access to a 10x10 pit space. Due to space constraints and safety concerns, VEX Robotics Competition and VEX U teams will only be permitted to setup a partial field no larger than 8x8 in size and it may not extend outside of their designated pit space.

From the 2019 VEX Worlds FAQ, it sounds like the change is coming from the Fire Marshal:

Q. Can my team have anything outside of their allotted pit area?
A. No, for the safety of everyone at the event, teams are not permitted to have any
items outside of their 10’x10’ pit area per the Fire Marshall.

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Adding - I don’t think they thought this through well, and they didn’t apparently put it into the official FAQ, so hopefully it will not be strictly enforced. Personally, I think that if you can get multiple (4?) areas to agree to share and keep a full field out of the aisles & fully in the pit areas you should be able to do so.



Ah, thanks. (Still sad I won’t be at Worlds, and thusly didn’t get that email. :cry:) (I’m just trying to do what I can here.)

Maybe we (someone actually going) email and ask specifically? Maybe they just didn’t think about this possibility, or were unintentionally prohibiting further inter-team (possible international) collaboration on an interpersonal level.

[Even if they don’t change it, nobody please call this an “injustice” and make a forum post about it!]

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These rules come from the fire marshal if I remember correctly.

Which means, regardless of what you do or don’t confirm now, if the fire marshal spot-checks the event, anything they determine to be problematic will be dealt with in a hurry, lest the whole event be shut down due to fire safety violations.

Additionally, potentially neglecting fire safety practices just for the sake of combining pits and/or building a full field is grossly irresponsible.



Yes, as mentioned it was contained in a team blast. Jim Crane also posted about pit size in context of signature events. He had stated teams would be able to put half field in their pits, when I asked him to clarify with regard to the 8’x8; restriction, he said those dimension where imposed by the Fire Marshal, and when referring to half fields, he meant square footage equivalent.

That said, each team has its needs - I can see setting up a 6x6 in a pit with different part of the game to test autonomous… but bigger than that it seems you will be directed to the practice fields.

I suggested in the future saving some space at the end of aisles for team provided fields to augment the capacity of practice fields… will see if that happens - right now there are too many questions in my mind about fair sharing in that situation. It could be a source of tension…

Having been to events where there was a single practice field swapped over to skills, that does not sit well with teams. The one event where we had two dedicated practice fields, that was well received. This year’s game was a pain to store/transport/setup. Still I will try to have two or more practice fields in the pit moving forward (depending on complexity of setup and willingness of teams to bring additional fields).

Looking forward to seeing many at Worlds and can’t wait for new game reveal:)



Why would it be a fire hazard to have a field in the pits, given that the pit space is used anyhow and that lots of fields are set up elsewhere?



It is not just a matter of fire but crowd evacuation paths. In the past, full field would extend into the aisle.



But the full field would be contained within the pit spaces. I fully understand keeping aisles clear, but I’m not quite getting the argument against combining pits.

Alas, if it was explicitly stated in the emails sent out, I suppose they have their reasons.

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Fire marshals are not VEX experts. Their rule is probably simplistic, like “not more than 65% of the floor space in a booth can be occupied”, or else “at least 35% of the floor space in a booth must be unobstructed”. To them, a field is an obstruction. The fact that most of the field is just a padded floor is not a detail they’re going to care about. Field walls are trip hazards, etc.

I haven’t dealt with a fire marshal directly but from what I’ve picked up hearing about them in relation to VEX Worlds over the years, I think they have a very wide latitude to approve or disapprove of things. Some things are probably written rules in the fire code or something, but I think a lot of it is just up to them and their gut feel. One thing I’m pretty sure of is if they say “no”, then you better fix it because they can shut down the event.

If there were to be a horrible fire at the KEC, and some kids got injured or worse because they were tripping over fields in pit areas while trying to get out, the fire marshal is going to take a lot of the blame. With that in mind I think it’s understandable why they can seem very strict and sometimes arbitrary. The decisions they have to make may very well be life or death decisions.



So just for clarification, since we are taking 2 teams to Worlds, and our pit areas will be next to each other, we can theoretically have a 12x8 field or have a 12x12 if we share with the teams behind us?



I does not appear so as phrase in the email blast - it specifically limits teams to 8’x8’ limit.

One of the issues may be that removing the poles from the drape structure may weaken it.

I expect people to try different things. It will be interesting to see how event staff will manage it.

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