What to Pack for the VEX Robotics World Championship

Teams can bring decorations, additional chairs, and other items to have in their pits, but the small space will fill up quickly–especially for large teams that travel with entourages. You have to balance the amount of stuff you bring with the amount of space you’ll have.


Many teams decorate their pits to represent their team, organization, state/region, or country. For the most part, what a team does with their pit is up to them. However, all decorations and equipment must be fully contained within the pit space and cannot extend above the top of the back curtain, and teams cannot fully enclose their pit space. The dividers between pits cannot be removed, but the curtains on the short dividers between adjacent pits may be pulled aside to provide shared space for adjacent teams. Decorations can be attached to the dividers and/or curtains using zip ties, string, shower hooks, S hooks, binder clips, or other similar means that don’t damage the dividers or curtains. Decorating pits is the one thing at the VEX Robotics World Championship that doesn’t have to be done by the students; parents, coaches, and other non-team-members can contribute as much (or as little) to the effort as they choose!

As you pack equipment for the VEX Robotics World Championship, list the contents of each box/bag/case on a labeled index card so you know exactly what should be packed in that bag for the trip home. When bags get unpacked, make sure all packing materials are stored safely in the box/bag/case for reuse on the trip home and not accidentally thrown away.

The Basics

  • A robot (or robots, if you’re competing in the VEX U Robotics Competition)
  • Team license plates
  • Safety glasses for everything but VIQRC
  • Extra batteries, controllers, cables, motors, & brain if you have them
  • Battery charger
  • Power strip
  • Basic tools & parts that might be needed for robot repairs, in lightweight storage containers
  • Duplicates of custom-cut V5 pieces in case of needed repairs
  • Paper template that shows outlines of all custom-cut plastic to demonstrate size limits (V5RC/VURC)
  • Laptop with code base, and laptop charger
  • Phones/watches for team members to keep an eye on the time
  • Engineering notebook
  • Good shoes for lots of walking

Helpful Extras

  • Matching team shirts make it easy to find your team in a crowd, especially if they’re in colors that stand out
  • Cart, wagon, or other rolling device to move the robot and other gear around the venue; small folding hand truck that fits in a check bag may be the perfect choice
  • A blank notebook to record details of items that have been borrowed from or loaned to other teams, and whether they've been returned
  • Portable “pit kit” with important tools and frequently-replaced parts that can travel with the robot
  • Layered clothing in case you get too warm or too cold in the venue
  • Empty water bottles to fill onsite
  • Lozenges for sore throats after lots of cheering during matches!
  • External battery pack & cable to power uncharged controller
  • Extra seating (inflatable or small folding is good, because they compress for travel) for pits
  • Stadium seats for hard bleachers
  • General-purpose tool like a bolt cutter or dremel for cutting axles
  • Field diagram on dry-erase board for strategizing with alliance partners
  • Poster board and markers to make a team schedule (matches, ceremonies, etc.) as a visible reminder
  • Earplugs for the Dome if you’re sensitive to high volume

Just For Fun

  • Booth decor like streamers, non-helium balloons, banners, flags (as long as nothing violates the REC Foundation Code of Conduct)
  • Zip ties, string, shower hooks, S hooks, binder clips, or other similar ways to attach decorations to dividers or curtains
  • Stickers, buttons, wristbands, or other items to trade or give away to other attendees (500+ items is a common recommendation for a team with multiple students)
  • Small bags or other containers filled with things local to their region as gifts for alliance partners and/or event staff
  • Fun stuff for the opening & closing ceremonies in the Dome, like glow-sticks, neon accessories, and inexpensive/disposable inflatables to bounce around the crowd
  • Mascot outfit!
  • Crazy hats and/or costumes
  • Pom poms for the cheering section in the stands
  • Make a button that says “I’m _____ on vexforum.com” (or Discord, or wherever)

“One year we took white 8x10 photo mattes (one for each team member) and a bag of colorful Sharpies and had people sign them who stopped by our table. We decorated the frames with parts and used a team photo from Worlds.” - VEX IQ Coach

“Take a light-colored team shirt and some permanent fabric markers. Have teams from around the world sign your shirt.” - VEX IQ Coach

“Bring a positive attitude! You will get to meet some amazing teams from all over the world! Enjoy it! Have fun! I’m not trying to be mean, but you will likely lose. Perhaps badly. You may make it to the elimination rounds of your division (last year for us) or you may not (three years ago for us). If you hyper-focus on winning, it will detract from the experience. So enjoy every moment!” - V5RC Coach

"Have fun with it! We saw teams making a game out of who could collect the most buttons from other teams. There’s so much to Worlds beyond just the competition!” - V5RC Coach

Additional Info

For more tips on preparing for the VEX Robotics World Championship, visit these additional articles:

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