Vex Worlds Predicament

Not one team has signed up for Worlds yet. Everyone must be cautious. If Worlds were to be canceled, they’d do it in March.

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It doesn’t help that the RECF hasn’t made any official updates regarding worlds since September (afaik), and that was when cases were at a much more reasonable bar (yet still terrifying). I’m not asking for a yes or no to whether or not worlds is happening, but a simple response like “We are still evaluating our options” or something even more generic would be enough to calm down the community.

There was also supposed to be an update to the qualification criteria for worlds on January 15th, which I believe was never released either.

To the forum members at the RECF,

Please consider the risks that many students and mentors are taking right now to prepare for the in-person world championship that you have not given any updates on in roughly 4 months. The community isn’t trying to start a fight, they just want some level of clarity, which I believe is fair to ask for given that organizations like FIRST and CREATE have both given updates regarding their (inter)national events.

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I don’t know if Worlds is technically “scheduled” and being actively planned at this time, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we are never given the message that it is scheduled and to make plans for it. It seems most likely that the RECF slowly plans it in the background, but things never clear up in time for them to make a public statement that it is going to take place. This way, they can avoid having to come up with a cancellation date.

I agree though that they’d cancel in March, because of state comps. They couldn’t wait any later because they probably don’t want to mess up school districts’ planning and organization efforts after tickets have been bought, reservations made, and so on. That’d be a nightmare.

Kay Baily’s website shows that it is scheduled. So it would be canceled if RECF decides to cancel Worlds.

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students are still worrying about this like it’s a life or death situation. Don’t put yourself in a life or death situation to make this one happen…

The most generic solution to this problem would be to put it in perspective. Perhaps we could all realize this is a competition designed to get kids into stem careers, and that in 20 years in our ostensibly stem related careers, all that will matter is if we are productive and enjoying what we’re doing then, not what happened in 2021.

But does this really carry the implication that Worlds is 100% on as of right now? I think it might still be scheduled just so they have their foot in the door even as there is a low chance of anything being viable.


I agree that just because the convention center website shows worlds on its calendar doesn’t officially prove anything and that in 20 years the outcome of 2021 worlds wont matter to a majority of people, but what we care about at the moment is the present, and when teams are pouring hundreds (even thousands) of dollars and hours into a season with no clarity given regarding the outcome the result is a lack of trust and and a lot of skepticism.

Time and money are both very valuable things and while I agree that it’s up to an individual to decide how they want to spend those things, its also the responsibility of those running the activities that we participate in to give clarity on their end to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Granted, its not fair to assume that RECF should have a plan in place for hosting worlds during COVID since no one predicted that the situation would be this bad, but when other competitive orgs that compete with vex have made more recent and more impactful updates regarding their large-scale championships, I believe that the RECF is somewhat obligated to do the same thing, no matter how generic that update is.

Considering signature events as well, the Kalahari resort event (I believe) was rescheduled to sometime in May, which ends up after the world championship is supposed to happen. What is the point of hosting a signature event after the event it qualifies for has already occurred?

I don’t think that anyone is trying to pressure the RECF with worlds, a genuine human understands that pandemics are very challenging to deal with, especially when you have no experience dealing with them, but that (to me) is not an excuse for not providing any updates regarding a very large-scale event in a very long time that many people pour hours of time and thousands of dollars into preparing for.

Communication is very crucial to creating confident, stress-free relationships, and I think competitive robotics teaches that idea at a young age just as well as any other sport.


I agree that it would be nice for recf to make more statements on this situation, but at the same time, as individuals it should be very easy to evaluate for ourselves the likelihood that worlds will not happen. recf probably doesn’t want to make a statement that essentially just says “we don’t know yet”, when it should be pretty obvious to all competitors that we shouldn’t rely in the slightest on worlds occurring.


I don’t compete in VEX anymore but I’m pretty sure that’s still robotics, lol. (Although not at the expense of public health, of course.)


The things that would have happened by now haven’t. Seemingly a sign that it won’t happen or is at least unlikely.

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I agree with you. I’m suggesting that in-person worlds COULD happen, if RECF and teams really want to. I won’t guarantee that it WILL happen. Like you said, it’s up to RECF and teams.

Blockquote 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 would, if the safety protocol I purposed earlier were enact. I believe that many teams, even if they qualify for worlds, will not take the risk. But all I’m saying is if teams want to come and RECF wants to host this event, there are ways, even though they’re costly.

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Fair concern. I can agree communication would be useful, but the forumwide debates over whether worlds will happen or not and worrying about it probably isn’t. It is kinda fun to talk about though.

Possibly the most important skill/lesson learned from VRC imo since it applies everywhere…

The problem with giving out updates such as this is that people will hold them to it later, even if they make another update contradicting the first. It would increase frustration, and with this in mind the updates would essentially be “we don’t know” right up until the moment that they do. At that point why even say anything until you do know that something is going to change.

Currently it looks like they are going through with hosting worlds, cause in there case it’s the safe bet. If it is possible for worlds to happen and they don’t then they have a mob of angry robotics kids with keyboards after them, and if they can’t host it then they just cancel.
Personally I suspect that worlds can still happen with vaccines on the way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t. Currently I don’t think there’s to much point in worrying if it will or not. Yes it would suck quite a lot if you work hard and qualify only to see it get canceled, but robotics is about the journey not the destination. Worlds is the destination, all the experience and knowledge you gain, the challenges you overcome to get to worlds is the journey.


I can tell you right now that it will be a big NO from school admin or the ministry of education.

Even if all the safety measures and protocols are adopted for worlds, no one will dare to promise every one attending will not be infected.

And let’s count the cost if one of the students are tested positive… ignoring the reputational cost of RECF, the actual cost will be the medical fees, the quarantined facility, etc. And I am assuming that the student will recover 100% with no long term side effects.

And for this year worlds, you can remove all the international teams from attending in-person.
Even after getting approval to travel, plus tested negative before and after flights, most countries will still expect international travellers to be quarantined 2 weeks.

So for international teams, that means 2 weeks when we reach USA, and another 2 weeks when we are back in Singapore.

I don’t think in-person worlds for international teams will be possible for this year.


2nd that. It’s simply not viable to lose 1 month stuck in quarantine for a 3 day event. FRC is even less viable since all indications point towards 1 day 12 team events if they actually happen. 1 day event, 1 month quarantine. Not happening.

We’ll see you at the VAIC Remote Worlds division 8059A !


I’m guessing vex worlds might be in person because of the distribution of new vaccines. Most people of risk are already receiving these, and worlds is still in a couple months, which is in time for those people to get vaccinated.

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At this point, I would barred any and all spectators except for staff, volunteers, competing teams, and coaches. That would really help us out.

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I think that it would end up getting moved really, instead of cancelled entirely. Kalahari Klassic in Ohio got moved to May, a whole month after our state championship. I really wouldn’t mind worlds taking place in July or even August, giving us almost no time between seasons. Things are looking good for the future, and, at this point, everyone is so sick of this I’d imagine that REC would end up having it (not for that reason but you get what I mean)


This is just wrong. You can’t even get a vaccine if you are under 16. This includes freshman and some sophomores. Not even mentioning middle school.


Yes because they are reserved for high risk and the elderly. It’s been proven that most people under 16 with no underlying conditions aren’t affected very badly (I would know, two of my teammates had it and are fine). Once everyone that needs the vaccine has it, states move onto people that want it but had no reason to get it before, therefore creating a herd immunity. This means that there is really no reason for worlds not to be in person if all of the at-risk people and people that want the vaccine have it.


agreed, however I very much doubt this will be achieved before worlds.

and I think postponing worlds is unlikely, since recf has never once suggested it as a possibility(correct me if I’m wrong), postponing a massive event like that at a short notice is very difficult, and because they would be postponing it indefinitely, which is risky because it could delay the next season by an unacceptable amount.

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