Vex U Q&A 200 IQ Rulings

There’s already a thread about the GDC’s nonsensical Q&A answers, but most people don’t read the Vex U Q&As, so I thought this topic deserved some extra attention.

A few months ago I asked a Q&A that resulted in COTS (commercial off the shelf) bearings, linear sliders, and ball and socket hinges becoming legal in Vex U. VUR7 Bushings and Similar Components : Robot Events Ostensibly these parts are all considered “fasteners.” Weird, but a welcome change nevertheless.

I decided to ask more Q&As about the definition of a raw material. (In Vex U, raw materials are categorically legal.) I hoped the GDC would continue to broaden the category of legal Vex U parts. To begin, I asked a question about the legality of sheet metal and metal billets- components that are raw materials by most dictionary definitions. VUR3 And VUR4 Clarification : Robot Events I noticed that sheet metal and metal billets undergo some of the manufacturing processes that should make them illegal according to rule VUR3. I was confident the GDC would lawyer their own rules again to keep sheet metal and metal billets legal, and then we could apply their new standard to other parts to get them legalized too.

As expected, the GDC again lawyered their own rules to legalize billets and sheet metal. They are (apparently) considered raw materials because they undergo a finishing process listed in VUR4, even though they also undergo illegal primary fabrication processes listed in VUR3. This is an interpretation of the rule that directly contradicts the written rule, but it is a useful interpretation, because it should mean all anodized or heat-treated parts are legal. So, I asked a third Q&A to make sure we were understanding the new rule correctly. VUR3 and VUR4 Follow Up (COTS Gears) : Robot Events I asked about the legality of COTS gears that have undergone heat treating.

The GDC decided that COTS gears are not legal. To justify this, they lawyered their own rule yet again, saying that the real test of a part’s legality is whether the manufacturer intended for it to be used as a raw material or a prefabricated part. This is an interpretation of the rule that:

a.) has no basis anywhere in the game manual
b.) directly contradicts the GDC’s ruling on other “raw” materials (T slot aluminum extrusion, etc.)
c.) is impossible to apply consistently, since we cannot read the minds of the manufacturers
d.) is circular- your definition of “raw material” can’t include the phrase “raw material”

The GDC has obfuscated their own rules at every opportunity. Instead of applying and refining a consistent set of rules to all parts, they make up a new standard whenever they want, even if the standard is not based in the game manual, contradicts existing standards, cannot be enforced, and is fallacious. As such, I asked my final Q&A, pointing out the inconsistencies between their many different standards and asking when to apply each standard.
VUR3 and VUR4 Differing Standards : Robot Events I submitted this Q&A on November 16. I was careful to be respectful to the GDC, sympathize with the difficult job they have, and follow the Q&A guidelines strictly.

It is now December 20. The Q&A is still “pending review,” even though 4 different Q&As asked after it have been let through. It obviously does not break any rules, and even if it did, it shouldn’t take over a month of review for the GDC to figure that out. Instead of taking accountability for and cleaning up their inconsistent standards, the GDC is trying to censor the discussion around those standards. (And if you’re on this forum, you know that Vex has lots of experience censoring the discussion around something, rather than taking accountability for it…)

I’m so tired of these Q&A answers. Many of the VRC responses in the last few months have been better, but the Vex U responses have continued to be nonsense. Here’s to hoping it gets better : /


This is something I’ve wanted to say for a long time. I am finally going to say it. It’s not like there’s anything else they can take from me at this point.

Full disclosure, this is all conjecture. It is based solely on the experience I had while on the committee.
I am not on the GDC. Nor was I on the GDC when these Q&A answers were created and discussed.

I am not a betting man, but if I were, I’d bet the GDC had no say in the result of this and subsequent answers. It would not surprise me if there was a conversation that went something like; “I don’t care what the point of the program is, make them buy our gears.” and the GDC had to then try to have it halfway make some sort of logical sense because, for whatever reason, they are unable to answer things 1. concisely, and 2. bluntly. One of which may be an internal thing, while the latter is a more political one.

Unfortunately, most things like this cannot accurately be contributed to the ignorance or malice of the committee. Believe it or not, the GDC actually really cares about the experience of the competitors. They just might not always be allowed to.


Unfortunately, MOST things like this cannot accurately be contributed to the ignorance or malice of the committee.

Emphasis mine.


Thanks Sid. This actually clears a lot of stuff up.

It would explain why nylon screws, colored tubing, etc. are illegal, and why the high-up’s responses to those changes were so contradictory and confused. Vex just wants to sell their own products lol. Bc it’s not like the GDC members haven’t competed before / don’t care about the student experience. Their bosses on the other hand…

It’s still frustrating, but if you’re right and it’s out of the GDC’s hands, even less blame goes to people like Grant, and even more blame goes up the chain to Tony and Bob. Worlds is gonna be interesting this year…


Very much so. For all the censoring done on the forum, they can’t do anything in person. Time to pass out G2M flyers and explain to everyone why vex is bad.


G2M stickers :eyes:


Please make stickers, ill pay for one to proudly stick on my robot.


Watch them cancel worlds (LRT moment)

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