Guide to Judging: Judging Roles


The purpose of this section is to ensure a consistent judging process is followed at all VEX U, VRC, and VIQRC Qualifying Events, the planning and execution of which are led by adult individuals known as Event Partners. This section describes the roles and responsibilities of the Judges, Judge Advisor, and Event Partner in the Judging process.

In VEX U, VRC, and VIQRC Qualifying Events, teams of students showcase their knowledge and skills in designing, building, and programming a robot. Students demonstrate their knowledge of the Engineering Design Process by documenting their design process in an Engineering Notebook.

Students exhibit their driving skills and game strategy during match play and skills challenges. All these activities are to be completed by the students with minimal adult assistance. Students must make the decisions, complete the work, and demonstrate their learning and knowledge to Judges for their team to qualify for Judged Awards.

All Judge volunteers should take care to dress appropriately for the role, such as wearing comfortable footwear and professional attire. Judge volunteers should avoid wearing any clothing or items that would give the appearance of a conflict of interest with any team at the event.

Managing Conflicts of Interest:

Conflicts of interest occur when there is a relationship between a Judging Volunteer and one or more teams or organizations at the event. Additionally, that relationship could create, or appear to create a situation where teams will not be judged fairly, and that discussions during award deliberations will not be impartial. It is the responsibility of the Event Partner to avoid these situations whenever possible by recruiting judges and particularly Judge Advisors who do not have these relationships.

Due to the volunteer nature of most event staff, this may not always be possible. If some judges do have conflicts of interest, it is their responsibility to declare those conflicts to the Event Partner and Judge Advisor, and to mindfully avoid advocating for or against the teams with which they have a relationship or participating directly in the judging process for those teams, such as participating in Team Interviews or Engineering Notebook evaluations.

Judge Advisor

  • Must have passed Judge Certification Course
  • Have no conflicts of interest with any teams attending the event.
  • Organize and oversee the overall judging process at an event.
  • Facilitate deliberations and deliver final award winners to Event Partner
  • Judge Advisor age requirements
    • VEX U – Must be at least age 21 or older
    • VRC – Must be at least age 20 or older and not part of a VRC team competing at the event
    • VIQRC – Must be at least age 20 or older

Note: Any exceptions to the volunteer age rules would be rare and would require approval from the REC Foundation Manager


  • Highly encouraged to have passed the Judge Certification Course for local qualifying events. Event Partners and Judge Advisors should encourage all Judges to be certified for Event Region Championship or Signature Events.
  • Judges evaluate teams to determine eligibility for Judged Awards
  • Judges who interact directly with students must work in groups.
  • Judge Volunteer age requirements
    • VEX U – Must be at least age 21 years or older.
    • VRC – Must be at least age 18 years or older and not part of a VRC team.
    • VIQRC – Must be at least age 18 years or older. Younger volunteers ages 16-17 may be judges if paired with another judge who is 18 or over. Volunteers in this situation should be mindful of Youth Protection: An adult must not be in a situation where they are alone with minors.

Note: Any exceptions to the volunteer age rules would be rare and would require approval from the REC Foundation Manager

Event Partner

  • The Event Partner oversees the planning and operation of the entire event, and provides support for the Judges and Judge Advisor.
  • The Event Partner is an Adult over the age of 18 that is not a student on a VRC team.
  • The Event Partner and Judge Advisor must be two different eligible people – an Event Partner may not serve as a Judge Advisor at their own event, and Event Partners may not recommend or assign Judged Awards to any team.
  • The Event Partner and the Judge Advisor should work together to come up with a schedule for judging teams at the event, and to ensure there are adequate Judges for the event. If judging in person, it is recommended to have 2 Judges for every 8-10 teams at an event to conduct interviews, plus additional judges to evaluate notebooks. At smaller events the same judges can likely conduct both interviews and Engineering Notebook evaluations. Larger events are advised to have dedicated Engineering Notebook judges.
  • It is helpful that some, if not all, Judges have a background in STEM or robotics in order to evaluate the more technical awards. Good sources of volunteers can be local STEM-based companies or sponsors, local colleges, VEX U teams, and program alumni.

Continue to the next section, Guide to Judging: Event Preparation and Execution