VEX VRC "Turning Point"

2018-2019 Referee Training

Thank you for volunteering this season!

The 2018-2019 game "Turning Point" will be played at each of the TUSD Robotics tournaments this season. The training documents and videos found on this page should help you prepare to referee the game. The main goal of the referee is to make sure all robots are in the proper starting positions and to consistently enforce the rules of the game. Each match will be scored by a minimum of two referees and a head referee will oversee the matches and make any final decisions that may be needed.

Thanks again for volunteering to referee for TUSD Robotics!

Game Overview

VEX Robotics Competition Turning Point is played on a 12’x12’ square field configured as seen above. Two (2) Alliances – one (1) “red” and one (1) “blue” – composed of two (2) Teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen (15) second Autonomous Period, followed by a one minute and forty-five second (1:45) Driver Controlled Period.

The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by High Scoring or Low Scoring Caps, Toggling Flags, and by Alliance Parking or Center ParkingRobots on the Platforms.

Watch the Game Here

The Details:

There are eight (8) Caps, six (6) Posts, nine (9) Flags, twenty (20) Balls, two (2) Alliance Platforms, and one (1) Center Platform.

Caps can be Low Scored on the field tiles, or High Scored on Posts, for the Alliance whose color is facing up at the end of the match. Flags can be Toggled to red or blue, and are Scored for the Alliance whose color is Toggled at the end of the match. Low Flags can be Toggled by Robots, but High Flags can only be Toggled by Balls. Turning Point is intended to be a back and forth game, no scored object is safe!

Alliance Platforms can be used for Alliance Parking by Robots of the same color Alliance as the Platform. The Center Platform can be used by Robots from either Alliance for Center Parking. An additional bonus is awarded to the Alliance that has the most total points at the end of the Autonomous Period.


  • Each Low Flag Toggled = 1 point
  • Each High Flag Toggled = 2 points
  • Each Cap Low Scored = 1 point
  • Each Cap High Scored = 2 points
  • Robot that is Alliance Parked = 3 points
  • Robot that is Center Parked = 6 points
  • Autonomous Bonus = 4 points

Score sheets will be provided to help score each match. Click Here to view the scoresheet.

Video 1: Referee Position Overview

  • Head Referee is the only one who should discuss the rulings with teams
  • Consistently enforce rules of the game as written
  • Referees can warn teams and help them avoid breaking rules
  • Be positive
  • When a referee is lenient with one team, it hurts the opposing team
  • At the end of a match, each referee will complete and submit an accurate score sheet

Video 2: Before the Match

The main points found in the video below:

  • make sure robots are set up correctly
  • make sure the game field elements are set up correctly
  • robots will be checked at robot inspection, but they must begin a match 18" x 18" x 18' or smaller and they may not expand beyond 36" horizontally during the match
  • legal pre-load balls must be touching their robot (not any other robot) and within the filed perimeter

Video 3: Safety and Human Interaction

The main points found in the video below:

  • robots may not damage field elements, scoring objects or other robots in any way
  • offending robots may be disabled and/or disqualified and will need to pass a re-inspection before returning to the field.
  • Drive team members may not touch their robot at any time during the match unless the robot has not moved at all; also known as the "Forgot to turn on your robot" rule (after Autonomous Period).
  • Drive team members may not touch field elements or break the plane of the field perimeter at any time during a match.
  • Safety goggles must be worn during the match and during practice testing.

Video 4: Tipping, Entaglement, Damage & G12

  • As stated in rule G12, strategies that aim solely at destruction, damage, tipping over or Entanglement of opposing Robots are not allowed. Referees must determine if these actions are intentional or egregious.
  • A Robot is Entangled if it has grabbed, hooked, or attached to an opposing Robot or Field Element.
  • Clear verbal warnings are very important to give before a disqualification.
  • Alliances who attempt to utilize the Center Platform should expect vigorous interactions from opponent Robots. This contact would not be considered a violation of G12.

Video 5: Disqualifications, Disablements, and "Match Affecting"

The main points in the video below:

  • Disqualification (DQ)- when a team or alliance is disqualified from a match due to a rule violation. This only happens after a match is complete.
  • Disablement- when a team is no longer allowed to control its robot for the remainder of a match because of a rules violation.
  • DQs are rare and must be egregious and match affecting
  • Disablements are also rare and are issued during a match by asking a team to put down their joysticks.
  • Warnings are always given before DQs and disablements
  • A disablement should be given if a Robot becomes entangled in the net.

Video 6: Scoring Rules **Very Important**

The main points of the video below are:

  • Use the core of the cap to help determine if red or blue has scored. If the core is not touching foam or posts, then no team has scored with that cap.
  • Caps that leave the field will be returned to the nearest foam tile, low scored for the opposite Alliance color of the last Robot to contact it.
  • Robots may not be in contact with Low flags and Caps at the end of the match.
  • High flags must only be toggled with a ball.
  • When Robots are parked on a platform, they may not be touching the foam tiles.
  • When Robots are parked on the center platform, they may not be touching the opposing Alliance platform.

Video 7: Possession and Hoarding

The main points of the video below are:

  • A Robot may possess a maximum of one Cap and two Balls at one time.
  • A Robot is considered hoarding if it is actively blocking opposing Robot access to more than 2 balls or more than one cap in any of the four corners of the field.

Video 8: Trapping and Pinning **Very Important**

The main points of the video below are:

  • A Robot is trapping if it has restricted an opposing Robot into a small, confined area of the field, approximately the size of one foam field tile or less, and has not provided an avenue for escape.
  • Trapping can be direct (pinning an opponent to a field perimeter wall) or indirect (preventing a robot from escaping from a corner of the field).
  • A Robot may not trap an opposing robot for more than five (5) seconds during the Driver Controlled Period.
  • A Referee should provide a clear visual and loud count to begin the pin count of 5 seconds.
  • A Pin or Trap count ends when a Robot backs off by at least 2 feet (one foam tile).
  • The Robot may not trap the same team again within 5 seconds, or the count will resume from where it left off.

Video 9: Robot Expansion

The main points of the video below are:

  • Once the match begins, a Robot which is contacting the Expansion Zone may expand vertically with no height limit.
  • Once a robot is fully outside of the Expansion Zone, it must return to the 18' height constraint.
  • A Robot which expands to toggle a high flag or block a launched ball while outside of the Expansion Zone will result in a disqualification.
  • A Robot may never expand more than 36" horizontally during the match.

Video 10: The V5 Control System

A new control system is now legal to use in official VEX tournaments. Watch the video below to learn more about it.