Vex Worlds Predicament

As we head into the next calendar year, we’re months away from Vex Worlds 2021 in Dallas, Texas. But given the situation with COVID-19 that has yet to dissipate, is Worlds really going to happen? Or will we see another Vex Virtual Worlds for another disappointing year…

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If you ask me, they might just do remote matches, and maybe limit the spots more. Just my prediction.

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If I were an optimist: I think in four months we will have a very clear picture on how the virus works. It would give them a chance to set up proper mitigation methods at the event while also having time to set up ventilation and distancing. 4 months is plenty of time for the country as a whole to get things under control. With the vaccine helping those most vulnerable and essential workers the risk of death will be much lower(although it’s incredibly low for the age groups that compete in vex). I do expect that vex and the REC foundation will do everything in their power to make sure the event is as safe as possible since Worlds is essential to the company’s profits as well.

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Then again, it’s been 8 months since the pandemic started, and they still really haven’t… anyway, with the change of leadership in the country, @kmaster is probably right, there is a chance that they will get it together.

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If you ask me, it’ll happen but worlds will be moved to a much later date, possibly even late summer. Idk if anyone else heard but Kalahari in Ohio was moved from January to May, which would normally be after worlds. I honestly wouldn’t mind a long season, because really we could just have a shorter break between the 20-21 and 21-22 seasons.

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as has been stated in the numerous other topic asking this question, it is still too far in the future to know for certain.

However, we can make a rough guess by looking at the data. The numbers during April in 2020, the United States was getting about 26,000 new cases a day. Currently, we are getting well over 200,000 daily cases.

And while we have indeed started the process of vaccination, I expect it will be well over 4 months for the effects of the vaccine on total case numbers to start.

We also need to consider that gatherings for thanksgiving, christmas, and new years, as well as the introduction of a new strain of covid thought to be more contagious, we will likely see numbers go up more before they start to go down. I expect at the very least we will see numbers 10 times greater in april then we did last april. Be aware this is just my personal prediction I have made from looking at trends and considering the factors that may lead to growth. I am by no means an expert at epidemiology.

But if I’m correct, or anywhere near correct, then frankly I don’t see how recf could reasonably host worlds this year with over 10 times the number of daily cases as it took to cancel worlds last year.

What I expect to happen is for there to be a smaller, live remote worlds. Given that recf has worked hard to push this format, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be planning to use it for worlds. But I don’t think recf will/should host an in-person event for worlds this season.

I’m not going to go into the morality/economics that hosting worlds in spite of these circumstances would entail, or the possibility of a postponement. if you want to see discussion on these matters there is a lot of it in this topic:

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All of your points are legit in my opinion especially being that it’s way too early to tell.

I have seen school sports be successful for some districts where there haven’t been super spreader events. I think a balance is possible between event capacity, testing, mitigation practices, and others factors including who is most at risk. Obviously worlds will be a lot more difficult to hold but certain measures will definitely reduce infections.

The only thing I may not agree on is about cases being higher and looking just at a number. We also should be looking at the age distributions, where they’re concentrated, the most common areas for transmission, etc. although it’s controversial, I argue that kids should mostly worry about transmitting it to the most vulnerable. I haven’t seen outer counties but with my county, kids make up less that .1% of deaths and single digit percentage hospitalization rates.

If we’re at the point that the vulnerable are vaccinated, then we could start asking ourselves if having kids at an event is actually worth it. I’m not arguing for putting kids together because they don’t die, but it’s just a point that we shouldn’t overlook the fact that there are different risks for different people. If you’re completely healthy and your family isn’t at risk either then it’s up to you in judging whether or not you’d go to an event. On the flip side, if you make the risk assessment that you have a condition and live with people in risk then it’s your responsibility not to go to an event where cases may be present.

I agree that cases will keep increasing even with vaccines rolling out. We should keep trying our best, however, to protect ourselves and other people while things are still playing out.

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I second this. They now have the technology to fully host tournaments online, so a “Virtual World Championship” may not be so disappointing after all; you would still have the opportunity to be crowned world champion. However, it definitely is not the same as being at the venue, but I’m sure they will still be able to replicate the experience of the World Championship in some way shape or form virtually this year.

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There have been multiple threads about this already, but given all the sporting events that we’ve seen happen with covid and the lack of super spreader events surrounding April (with the possible exception of Easter) I do think that an in-person worlds is still possible, but it will definitely not be the same experience as worlds 2019.

I’m honestly not too sure if the virtual competition is even being developed anymore, RECF said that it was something they were testing out at first and based on community feedback it doesn’t seem like teams are too fond of it lol

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I’d rather have no worlds than remote matches.

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really?

I mean obviously remote matches can’t even come close to the enjoyment of in person matches, there’s no question about that, but you’d really rather have nothing than something?

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Ok, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it’s close

He probably just built a wall bot.

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This is super understandable because if anything, I’d want an awesome worlds that’s even better than a regular year, especially to make up for the fact that so many people qualified for the first and last times last year and never got to experience a normal worlds. But REC wanting to be safe about things is also way more realistic because they are probably losing a ton of money from this.

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I agree with your prediction of where the pandemic is going this April. However, I still believe that it’s practical to host worlds in-person. Many athletic associations around the world have come up plans to send athletes to Tokyo this year. Plans include limiting outgoing, frequent testing before and while at Olympic village, and having a medical team with them. Sending athletes to Tokyo is actually harder than sending vex teams to Dallas because athletes can’t wear masks and maintain social distancing while playing. If RECF can organize US teams to come as regional groups and international teams to come as national groups with strict safety protocols (teams must receive negative results before departure and after arrival; teams must stay in hotels appointed by RECF and are prohibited to leave hotel during worlds and etc), worlds can still happen the way everyone wanted.

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Ok, all we need is for teams attending Worlds to have huge political backing from their national governments, plus logistical support from large national organizations, and for dozens of broadcasters from around the world to pay RECF billions of dollars for the rights to cover the event. Then maybe we can start thinking about “running VEX Worlds like the Olympics”. But I don’t think VEX Worlds in its current guise (as much as we all want it to happen) is remotely comparable to an Olympic Games in this regard.


Even if they could make that happen, and adequately enforce those requirements (which I think is a big “if”), I’m still skeptical as to how many teams would be willing (or allowed) to attend in person. If you were a school administrator, would you let a team from your school – children whose safety you’re ultimately responsible for ensuring – travel long-distance (or even internationally) to an event right now, even given any precaution you could think of? Would you go yourself? I guess that calculus is different for everybody, but I definitely know what my answer would be.

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if recf didn’t think that it was possible/practical to host worlds in 2020, they’re not going to think it’s ok when there are more than 10 times the daily cases.

we don’t even have to get into the can it/should it happen safely discussion, because all that matters is how recf is going to respond, and I think it’s a pretty safe bet they will be somewhat consistent with how they’ve been responding throughout this whole situation, and will not have a large in person event for worlds.

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I’m predicting that some teams will not be going to in-person Worlds this year because either their school district does not allow them to go or certain jurisdictions require them to quarantine after they get back.

RECF can potentially make more money hosting both in-person and remote Worlds when full capacity. Also, not many teams are registered, at least at my state. Usually get about 200-300 but my state has 60 teams. You might see decrease of attendance at In-person Worlds.

My most educated guess (not based on a lot of hard facts though, just my anecdotal observations) is that Worlds will definitely NOT happen.

This is because:

A) Look how long we’ve been in lockdown already. If we say we have three months until worlds, that is only a third of the pandemic’s length thus far. It would also imply we are 75% of the way through the pandemic, if we assume it is over by Worlds. Can we confidently say we are 75% of the way to a functioning solution?

B) Look at the stage the U.S. govt is currently in as far as carrying out a cohesive solution. Not that far in the grand scheme of things.

C) Notice that VRC is extremely safety oriented. We must wear safety glasses in matches, even though the chances of getting injured by a Vex robot are minute (as far as I’m aware). Therefore, the RECF certainly will not allow worlds to happen, as coronavirus is a much larger and more logistically challenging issue than preventing getting your eye shot out by a keps nut or whatever (and they already have concerns about that).

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And imagine how much money they’d be losing if they were catching cases (in both senses)!

It’s interesting how people are still hung up on having worlds happen though. Now is probably a good time to take a step back and reprioritize what is important in life, since we aren’t so caught up in the swing of things trying to do stuff like prepare for Worlds and other events.

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