Video replays for eliminations

Now I know there has already been a lot of discussion on this, but although video replays shouldn’t be allowed during qualification matches due to it taking up a lot of time, what if video replays were allowed for eliminations or semi-finals and up? This could eliminate some bad calls that refs make (due to some events having inadequate reffing), and would overall make teams have more acceptance about why something was called at an event (I have seen a lot of people go on rants about how unfair a call was). what do you guys think?


I agree, I’ve never understood why the don’t allow video replay for calls


The foundation of the reason is that it exposes the referees to ridicule. While the rules are set in stone, determining whether the call warrants a warning or disqualification can be debatable. It is up to the referees discretion to make these calls, and when someone gets disqualified emotions run pretty high, especially if the rule that was broken isn’t immediately apparent. This could lead to people seeing the same video, but saying different things, and then drama breaks out, and will spoil the event for everyone. That’s the general idea.


It’s hard to standardize across all the events.

It needs one or more dedicated volunteers and isn’t practical for most EPs.


Nothing significant has changed since previous discussions on the matter.

Unless someone really has groundbreaking information to add to the conversation (which is very doubtful), please just refer to the old threads about this.


Currently the RECF is trying to fix this with the referee certification. This should lead to less bad calls.


What if it was made optional though? Some EPs would be willing to do it but the rules don’t permit it.

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Then you create the issue where teams only go to events with replay. It increases the burden on those EPs, and for EPs without the resources, they might not be able to host events, generate funds for their teams, etc.


Honestly, this doesn’t really fix any issues. The elimination rounds is where this issue would be the worst just because DQs mean you’re out. This is the most emotionally charged part of any comp, while being DQ’d in qualifications sucks it doesn’t typically lead to fights, just frustrated gripes and grumbles. The worst part of the issue still remains.


I’m also not in the mood for being at events until 7 PM because people would argue calls all day.


I’d say less arguments when replays exist

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Not necessarily, when somebody has a video, you often see them come online freaking out about whether or not it’s a DQ and it leads to an argument on here and often times people don’t come to a true conclusion. The goal is to keep those arguments from happening at the events themselves so it doesn’t spoil the entire event for everyone else. Nobody likes waiting on the field for an hour for the debate to finish.


Well, that’s because of a rule misunderstanding, lots of the time at a competition a ref doesn’t see something and the argument is about what happened, like if a ref doesn’t see them push you into their stack, they just see you and a falling stack

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This can also work both ways where the kids don’t have a correct understanding of the rules and get upset when they get DQ’d. Either way, things just start getting complicated. This is also why there should be at least three refs on the field to make sure that the head ref has somebody to consult if they did not see it.


Ok. Please explain why this approach wouldn’t work…

REF-ONLY viewable video, and only when they choose to do so.

VEX positioned video (at specific/required spot attached/clipped to field to see all the major issues). IF a ref needs to re-see something, or someone brings up something specific that the refs missed (it happens even to the best ref’s), then a head ref or all refs can review the video PRIVATELY to get clarification. It’s even possible that multiple refs saw something different, and want to clarify between them only.

They can even jump to a timecode for specific clarification, and ignore the rest. (If they see something ELSE that wasn’t brought up, they have the option of calling it out if it is egregious, however, most minor items that no one called out may continue to be ignored - and that’s ok).

NO ONE ELSE should see these videos, except VEX HQ where they can use it as feedback to clarify some rules, if needed, on their own.

You still have to trust the refs, but it gives them another option to validate their initial call.

I can’t see how that approach wouldn’t work. I know it would have helped in matches I’ve seen this year, even if only the REFs had that ability when they wanted it.

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I’m a bit of a fatalist on this. There are always going to be close calls. There are always going to be blown calls. People make mistakes. The world is messy, but goes on despite/because of mistakes.

What are the benefits of VAR? A few more “correct” calls?

What is the price? Delays, equipment cost, administrative costs, and training are the obvious. Further focus on the competition and fuel for the “winning is the most important thing” ethos. A raised barrier to entry for new EPs is another.

Like most competitive endeavors, the amount of time participants spend at competitions is a small fraction of the time they spend preparing. It is this time preparing that drives the most value - for sports, the training time builds conditioning, skills and work ethic. In robotics, the preparation time is where most problem solving happens, leading to the development of skills and work ethic.


This goes back to the problem of funding. Many events simply don’t have the money to set up a recording system at their fields. And even big-name events struggle to get every second of every match.


Parents are also videoing sometimes and they will use that video basically the same way as if they were showing the video. Not to say that these EPs need to keep these matches moving fast with as little of a break in between to keep the competition on schedule, then there’s the fact that the ref can make a ruling and chose not to review then get ridiculed and vilified about how he didn’t review. Honestly the current method while not the most accurate is probably the most efficient and best way to not have the refs vilified, cause if the refs keep getting criticized eventually volunteers will start running out and we will have to pay for the refs.

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Who’s funding this?

VEX Robotics is a product company, and there’s no incentive to doing this.

RECF would not have the manpower or resources to do this for all the events that happen across the whole entire world.


Now that V5 has the Vision Sensor, the GDC could really incorporate it into future games. In addition to the 2 alliances of 2 teams each, a third team of 3 referee robots would be assigned to each match. The referee robots would score a point for themselves when 1 or 2 of the other referee robots agree to the same call. The 3 referee robots with the highest scores after match play would referee the elimination rounds and be given the “Zebra Award”. Referee robots could participate in a separate “Referee Skills” field, where human players “pick from a hat” of scenarios to re-enact for the referee robot to make calls. Referee robots that make it to the elimination rounds would qualify for states/regionals/worlds.

Once this really takes off, human referees (and VAR) won’t be necessary!