Want to be in real VRC next year...

Hello everyone!

I have spent the last months preparing for the VEX competition that our school put us in. I was happy I had the opportunity to participate in building a robot for this competition. This was the TSA version of the VRC.

When I got to the conference, I was rather disappointed. The organizers needed the student’s help in putting the field together.
Then they went and completely changed the game. They didn’t want the hassle of organizing alliances so they just changed the game to a 1 - on - 1, with the same time limit. they had already removed the autonomous period because it was just too much to ask to get schools to purchase whole fields.
The organizers did not make any appropriate changes to the rules on account of the 1v1, so the entire match ended up being about match loading. Also, they got the corner goal rules wrong and made it legal for a robot to use the first 20 seconds to push all 8 preload scoring items into the corner goal for a score of 8 points. Nobody touched the centre wall of objects.

Our robot won (staying within the proper rules, we ignored the corner goals), with 24 points in 2 minutes, but it felt cheap and not worth anything, especially as they told us that anyone could go to nationals if the school supported you (ours does not).

Anyway, I thought you guys might be interested to read that… I don’t mean to complain, but I want to see what you guys thought of such a radical change of the game. The community here seems great and I really want to be involved in the real VRC next year, with no cheapiness.

However, the school will not pay for a whole field. Is this necessary for programming the robot for autonomous period? How do you guys go about it?

Also, how many team members are necessary? We have 2 per team at the moment.

Anything else we should know/do? We did nothing in the way of preparing for this comp except to build the robot.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

Many thanks,
sqiddster

For the past 2 years I competed on a middle school team in the official VRC and we competed against high school students. Eventually our mentors got tired of us losing to the high school students and we started our own mini kind of league in our area for middle school kids as the high school students mainly participate in first. We now play older games unfortunately so now anyone can go online and look at other peoples robot and copy it. This completely takes away from the experience. I now mentor a team in this “mini league” and it is very unorganized. The rules needed to be carried out properly to prevent cheating, the first tournament we went to there was no autonomous, and we play on an 8’x8’ field instead of the regulation 12’x12’:(. I completely agree with what you have said and I too wish that my school would begin participating in official VRC.

For practice, you can build your own Field, start with Thread, Building a Cheap Field.

If you start your own Vex Regional, the Teams can pool together their resources, or look for a Sponsor to buy the Official Field…

Part of the Team Building Process is the Fund-raising and Relationship with the Community ( Your Sponsors )…

If needed, build only a small section of the field for autonomous. Buying foam tiles http://www.foamtiles.com/carpet-tiles.html from a different seller is possible. The VEX Sack Attack page also has a pdf containing low-cost build methods to create an entire field.

[https://vexforum.com/wiki/index.php/Team_Organization_Guide - how to start a team starting with registration at robotevents.com](https://vexforum.com/wiki/index.php/Team_Organization_Guide - how to start a team starting with registration at robotevents.com)

How have people gone buying unnofficial foam tiles? If the texture is even slightly different, aren’t we just asking for a nasty surprise come tournament day?

sqiddster, I understand your situation. I began VRC last year through TSA. I will agree that the level of competition for TSA Vex may not be as high as others. It does, however, make for a great beginning for many new teams.

As far as tiles go, anything is better than nothing. My programming “field” for Roundup last year entailed a taped-off 6’ x 6’ section off laminate tile. It ended up working out fine, i just needed to make a few adjustments the morning of the competition. With our current field we use non-official tiles from Sams Club. They work great. The only noticeable difference may be with line sensors, but i cannot confirm this since I never use them

As far as a field, our school has not purchased one either. Our club agreed that the money spent on a field could benefit us in other ways considering we are still relatively new and growing. Like I said, I did just fine with tape and a floor goal for Roundup last year. After our success at TSA Nationals, I worked with my father and we constructed a field from plywood. Its robust and ought to serve the school for years to come. Not to mention it only costed a fraction of the official one.

Hope that helps some

Also, did you mean by this that you aren’t attending Nationals?

At least its nice to know there are more TSA members on this forum, I’m trying to find out who all will be competing here:
https://vexforum.com/showthread.php?p=283081#post283081