Weirdest Things Refs Have Done


What are the weirdest things that refs have done at a competition?

For me: When the ref refused to count the cap on the center platform.

Note: I am not trying to embarrass refs or any other volunteers at a competition. I understand and appreciate their hard work in keeping an event running.



A ref at one of my February tournaments made auton count as a tie, even though we lost. For some reason, they said that that morning they had received a notice about a rule change, and it said that the alliance platforms only counted as 1 point in auton. I brought it up to the EP, but a few matches afterwards so that they wouldn’t change the score.

At the same tournament, a different (inexperienced and rude-tempered) ref gave us a ‘strong verbal warning’ for pushing another robot with our own. We weren’t trapping or pinning, but the ref severely misunderstood the rules. I talked to him, and he lectured me about no bugging the refs (what else was I supposed to do?). I then talked to a parent from our team (coach was gone), and the two of us talked to the EP. The ref was asked to apologize, and he didn’t do much more refereeing for the rest of the day.



I had a ref say we won even though the opponents clearly won because they said that flags don’t count if they started on the color that they finished in

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At our home tournament, we got second place and our enemies bot was short enough that we could climb on them. We got stuck & they DQed us, I attempted to fight it but first, he said it was pinning, then match affecting. The end match result was 23-10 ( we won ). A couple of weeks later we discussed it with another ref & he said that it was the wrong call.



So last year my team and i competed in China at Robocom for In the Zone. In one of our matches another team got 2 cones stuck in their robot since they couldn’t remove them the refs stopped the match, took the offending robot off the field and then started the match up again afterwards.

I believe @Andrew_Jesus has a video of the situation if i am not mistaken.



We got illegally flipped over in a match, and we brought it up to the head ref. He gave the team a warning instead of a dq. Our alliance partner went back to him later, and the ref said it should have been a dq.



When the Head Ref tried to be the MC at an event at the same time, causing almost no commentary to be made during the entirety of the competition.

…wait, that was me, wasn’t it



We were forced us to hold our controllers during autonomous or face a DQ for the match a few years ago



Remember the good old days when refs expected you to put your controllers on the ground during auton?



I have done the same! It gets easier with practice but there’s always the risk that I’ll have to abruptly mute the mic mid-sentence to start a pin count.

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One time we were running too far ahead of schedule during a tournament (like always). So the match was delayed by a few minutes and one of the refs went and bought the other refs food.

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Reminds me of stories I heard in China where teams would call timeouts in the middle of the match, which refs would allow and then they’d have to start the match over



our schools events are always pretty student run, we have competent student refs, and the rest of the event is run by volunteers that may or may not know anything about vex. its weird when all the refs and inspectors come hang out in our pit with us when not working lol.

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Seems like it would be easy to rig awards… hmmmm…

But actually, it’s awesome to have student run events. I was going to set up and ref a school scrimmage (my bot given to another driver) just for fun, but never got the chance to.



Our states was student run. I won volunteer of the year!



@JustinM keeps showing up to ref events. That’s pretty weird. I mean a competent ref at an event?



A referee at a middle school kept scoring autons wrong until it almost made a massive difference… oh wait a second, that sounds awfully familiar…

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Great job running states- it was very efficient and fun for my team. I know how hard it is to hold 2 competitions in a row.



A ref declared a 16-11 in eliminations a tie and requested a rematch- and the head ref agreed.

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In the dome at SS Worlds, our opponents knocked us over, so my team brought it to the head ref. He said the tipping had to be intentional and egregious. We pulled out the rulebook to show him it had to be either intentional or egregious, so he changed his story and said egregious actually just meant intentional. We then showed him the part of the rule book where egregious was defined as match affecting, so he changed his story again and said the different parts of the rulebook had to be considered independently, and since egregious was not defined in all 4 sections of the manual, it only meant match affecting in the 1 section it was defined in. He then told us we were being disrespectful.

And then a few matches later, the same team was DQed for almost tipping over 185A, even though there was no rule against their action because 185A never actually tipped.

Great fun.