VIQRC Drive Team Training Course: 2024-25, Rapid Relay

The Drive Team Training Course is designed to teach VEX IQ Robotics Competition (VIQRC) team members the nuances of the VIQRC game rules and how VIQRC tournaments are run. Students are expected to understand the rules of the game, and to advocate for themselves if they feel the rules are being misapplied or misunderstood by the Head Referee or other event personnel.

This course takes approximately 4 hours to complete.

Throughout this course, you will find links to external resources that include important information for drive team members. Please take time to read the identified sections of each resource before moving on to the unit exam.

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Unit 1: VIQRC Rapid Relay Terms and Field Setup

Introduction

This unit introduces the 2024-25 VIQRC game, Rapid Relay, and provides general and game-specific definitions for competitions that run using the Rapid Relay rules.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Define general terms for VIQRC games
  • Define key terms for VIQRC Rapid Relay
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Rapid Relay game field layout
  • Recognize the differences between Match types and their Autonomous and Driver-Controlled periods
  • Describe how and when disablements and disqualifications are communicated to Teams
  • Classify rule violations as major or minor violations
  • Determine whether a violation is Match Affecting or not

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VIQRC Rapid Relay Terms and Field Setup

VEX IQ Robotics Competition (VIQRC) Rapid Relay is played on a 6’ x 8’ rectangular Field, set up as illustrated below.

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The primary objectives of the game are to Pass the Balls between Robots, score Balls through Targets, and Clear Switches. Balls are introduced to the field through the Loading Station or, during the last 15 seconds of a Match, a Rapid Load Zone. Points are awarded based on how many Goals are Scored, how many Switches have been Cleared, and how many times the Alliance successfully Passed the Ball before scoring it.

In the Teamwork Challenge, an Alliance composed of two (2) teams with one (1) Robot each works together to score as many points as possible in a 60 second Match.

Teams may also compete in Robot Skills Challenge Matches, where one (1) Robot tries to score as many points as possible.

Read the first few segments of Section 2—"The Game," “Field Overview,” "General Definitions," & "Game-Specific Definitions"—of the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual now, and stop when you get to the segment titled “Scoring.”

  • Learn about the field and game objects in VIQRC Rapid Relay and their starting locations
  • Read the general definitions that apply to most VIQRC games regardless of the season, including the variety of Match types
  • Review how a Head Referee determines when a Violation is Score Affecting and what the penalties for rule Violations should be
  • Learn the terms specific to VIQRC Rapid Relay

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 2: VIQRC Rapid Relay Scoring

Introduction

This unit describes how and when Teams and Alliances can earn points in VIQRC Rapid Relay.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Explain how objects are scored when Driver input and Robot motion continue after the end of a Match
  • Evaluate whether a Goal has been Scored
  • Determine whether a Switch has been Cleared
  • Describe the requirements for a Pass and identify Balls that are not eligible for Passes
  • Calculate the maximum number of Passes that can be awarded in a specific Match
  • Identify all ways a Team or Alliance can earn points during a Match
  • Recall recommended methods of tracking Goals and Passes for Rapid Relay
  • Calculate points earned by a Team or Alliance during a Match

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VIQRC Rapid Relay Scoring

Alliances and Teams earn points in VIQRC Rapid Relay by Scoring Goals, Clearing Switches, and Passing the Ball. Each of these ways to score has specific criteria that must be met for points to be awarded.

Read the next two segments of Section 2—"Scoring" and “Scoring Examples”—of the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual now, and stop when you reach the segment titled “Safety Rules.”

  • Discover when Scoring statuses are evaluated in a Rapid Relay Match
  • Learn the point value assigned to each scoring method in Rapid Relay
  • Review the criteria for points to be earned for each of the scoring methods in Rapid Relay
  • Read about recommended ways to track Goals and Passes during a Match
  • Study some sample Matches and the resulting scores

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 3: VIQRC Safety and Game Rules

Introduction

This unit introduces the safety rules for VIQRC events, and reviews the general rules that apply to most or all VIQRC games.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Identify situations in which a Robot should be disabled
  • Differentiate between student-centered and non-student-centered behaviors
  • List the requirements for Teams before and during Matches
  • Explain when and how a Drive Team Member can legally handle their Robot mid-Match
  • Describe how a Robot must be set up at the beginning of each Match
  • Summarize the rules for Robot expansion in Rapid Relay
  • Describe what happens to a Ball that leaves the field during Match play, and how it can be returned based on the time left in the Match
  • Explain how and when a Ball can be retrieved by a Loader

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VIQRC Safety and Game Rules

The VIQRC rules for safety and general gameplay (rules <S1>, <S2>, and <G1> through <G11>) are rarely modified, and provide consistency and continuity for Teams across competition seasons. These rules establish a baseline for expectations of Team behavior and Robot operations at an event. The specific game rules for VIQRC Rapid Relay (rules <SG1> through <SG6>) provide requirements and limitations on how a Robot can interact with Field Elements and game objects. Because each season’s game is different, the specific game rules change significantly from season to season.

Read the final three segments of Section 2—"Safety Rules,” "General Game Rules,” and “Specific Game Rules”—of the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual now, and stop when you get to Section 3: The Robot.

  • Learn that Robots may be disabled if their operations are deemed unsafe by the Head Referee (rule <S1>)
  • Recognize that everything Teams do in VIQRC is expected to be student centered, and that all behavior should be respectful and professional (rules <G1>, <G2>, and <G4>)
  • Learn about the actions and interactions that are allowed during a Match (rules <G5> through <G7>)
  • Read about the requirements for Teams before and during Matches (rules <G8>, <G9>, & <G11>) including what’s allowed in a Driver Station and who can control the Robot
  • Discover how and when a Driver can interact with their Robot during a Match (rule <G10>)
  • Review the list of requirements for Robot starting positions (rule <SG1>)
  • Review the limits on Robot expansion during a Match (rule <SG2>)
  • Learn what happens when a Ball leaves the field (rule <SG3>)
  • Recognize the legal ways to Load Balls based on the remaining Match time (rules <SG4> & <SG5>)
  • Read about how and when a Loader can retrieve a Ball from the Pickup Zone (rule <SG6>)

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 4: VIQRC Rapid Relay Robot Inspection Rules

Introduction

This unit presents the Robot and Robot inspection rules.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Discuss the Robot inspection process
  • Identify the appropriate actions when a Robot fails to pass inspection or is later found to be in violation of an inspection rule
  • Recall the maximum starting size for a VIQRC Rapid Relay Robot
  • Recognize the basic materials allowed in construction of Rapid Relay Robots

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VIQRC Rapid Relay Robot Inspection Rules

The Robot and Robot inspection rules impose limitations on the components that may be used when building a Robot to compete in VIQRC Rapid Relay. VIQRC is a “closed” system that intentionally limits the variety of parts available to Teams, both to simplify the rules and ensure that emerging Teams have ways to be competitive. The closed nature of VIQRC also provides an additional layer of constraints that Teams must analyze and work within to “beat” the game and other competitors.

Teams should familiarize themselves with the Robot Inspection rules and use them as a guide to ensure their Robot meets all requirements.

Read Section 3—"The Robot" and “Inspection Rules”—of the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual now, and stop when you get to Section 4: The Tournament.

  • Learn that a Team may only bring one Robot with multiple swappable manipulators or extensions to a particular event (Rule <R1>)
  • Learn that Robots must be student centered, and must be designed, built, and programmed by Student Team members (rule <R2>)
  • Read that Robots can’t compete until they pass inspection, and learn what to do when a Robot doesn’t pass inspection or is found to be in Violation of an inspection rule during the event (rules <R3> and <R17>)
  • Review the Robot size limits and the configurations in which the Robot will be inspected (rule <R4>)
  • Read the rules that govern allowable materials & quantities (rules <R5> through <R16>)

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 5: VIQRC Tournament Rules

Introduction

This unit explores the roles, definitions, and processes of a VIQRC tournament.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Describe the authority and and responsibilities of a Head Referee during an event
  • Recognize how and when a Team can appeal a Head Referee’s ruling
  • Identify the minimum requirements for a Team to get a score for a Match
  • Understand the correct penalty when a Team delays the start of a Match
  • Determine whether a specific Match should be replayed
  • List the effects of a Disqualification on a Team or Alliance
  • Describe the requirements and tolerances for Match fields and field elements
  • Explain how a Team can end a Match early
  • Recognize how Teams are assigned to Alliances for Finals Matches

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VIQRC Tournament Rules

VIQRC Tournament roles, definitions, and rules remain consistent across most competition seasons. They govern how an event operates, and many of the rules govern behind-the-scenes operations of the event.

Read Section 4—"The Event", “Tournament Definitions,” and “Tournament Rules”—of the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual now, and stop when you get to Section 5.

  • Review the scope of the Head Referee’s authority and responsibilities (rule <T1>)
  • Discover the actions a Team must take if they wish to appeal a score or ruling made by the Head Referee (rule <T3>)
  • Learn whether a referee may review Match videos to help determine a score or ruling (rule <T3a>)
  • Review the minimum requirement for a Team to get a score for a Match (rule <T5>)
  • Discover what should happen when a Team delays the Match start (rule <T6>)
  • Explore the extreme circumstances that might warrant a Match replay (rule <T7>)
  • Read the potential effects of a Match Disqualification on a Team or Alliance (rule <T8>)
  • Learn that field elements have allowed tolerances, and that referees should check everything before each Match (rule <T10>)
  • Learn how a Team can end a Match early, and when Match Stop Times are recorded (rule <T13>)
  • Review how Teams are ranked and assigned to Alliances for Finals Matches (rules <T17> through <T19>)

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 6: VIQRC Rapid Relay Robot Skills Challenge Rules

Introduction

This unit provides an overview of rules for the Robot Skills Challenge at VIQRC Rapid Relay events.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Identify the two types of Robot Skills Challenge Match
  • Describe the changes to field and robot setup for Robot Skills Challenge Matches
  • List the ways Loading changes for Robot Skills Challenges Matches
  • Determine whether a Team has utilized all of their opportunities for Robot Skills Challenge Matches
  • Summarize how a Team must reset the Robot after handling it in an Autonomous Coding Skills Match
  • Identify Balls that should be removed from an Autonomous Coding Skills Match when a Robot is handled
  • Recall the Match type that allows Drivers to move freely around the Field
  • Specify how and when a Team can receive a Skills Stop Time for a Match

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VIQRC Rapid Relay Robot Skills Challenge Rules

VIQRC tournaments offer Teams opportunities to compete in the Robot Skills Challenge, and some tournaments are in-person or live-remote Skills Only events. Participation in the Robot Skills Competition is a requirement for some Judged and performance-based awards at VIQRC events.

Read Section 5—"Robot Skills"—of the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual now.

  • Learn about the two varieties of Robot Skills Challenge Matches, and that most game rules are the same as in Teamwork Challenge Matches
  • Discover how the Match and Robot are set up for a Robot Skills Challenge Match (rule <RSC3>)
  • Learn how Loading and Rapid Loading work in Robot Skills Challenge Matches (rule <RSC4>)
  • Learn that all Teams will be given the opportunity to play a specific number of each type of Robot Skills Match (rule <RSC7>)
  • Review how and when a Team can interact with their Robot during an Autonomous Coding Skills Match (rule <RSC8>)
  • Read about how Autonomous Coding Skills Matches routines can and cannot be started (rule <RSC9>)
  • Discover how and when a Team can receive a Skills Stop Time for a Match (rule <RSC10>

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 7: VIQRC Game Manual Updates and the Q&A System

Introduction

This unit assists students in understanding when Game Manual updates occur and how to utilize the Q&A System.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Predict dates of important updates to the Rapid Relay game manual
  • Locate and use the Official VIQRC Q&A system

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VIQRC Game Manual Updates and the Q&A System

Return to the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual and read Section 1 now.

  • Read about the philosophy and intent of the rules, and their focus on student exploration
  • Note the schedule of planned updates to the Game Manual over the season
  • Learn the location and importance of the official VIQRC Question & Answer system

Once you’re done, return here to check your understanding of what you’ve learned.


Unit 8: Code of Conduct/Student Centered Policies

Introduction

This unit describes the REC Foundation Code of Conduct and the Student Centered Policy.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student should be able to:

  • Describe the Code of Conduct policy
  • Explain the Student Centered Policy
  • Understand what may happen when violations occur

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Code of Conduct and the Student Centered Policy

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation considers the positive, respectful, and ethical conduct of all students, teachers, mentors, parents, and other event attendees an important and essential component of all REC Foundation-sanctioned events.

Read the Code of Conduct and Student-Centered Policy in the REC Library.

  • Learn the expectations of the Code of Conduct
  • Review the Violation Resolution Process
  • Read the descriptions of student-centered vs. non student-centered

That’s it! You’re now ready to take the final unit quiz and proceed on to the final exam for this course. If you need to refer back to the content referenced in this course during the season, it’s all available in the VIQRC Rapid Relay game manual and the REC Library.


VIQRC Drive Team Training Course Final Exam

Congratulations! You've reached the end of the course, and are ready to assess your knowledge in the final exam. Click this link to proceed to the final exam.