There appears to be confusion among the coaches about G8. In particular, there are perceived contradictions between the rule G8-b, the blue box clarification, and the current Q&A post on the topic. See below for each of the statements.
G8-b: "It is at the Team’s discretion whether they wish to have one Driver or two." Blue box: "If a Team has the capacity to include multiple Students, it should also be expected that they will not take advantage of this single-Driver exception for strategic gain." Q&A answer: "We will not be implementing, requiring, or endorsing any specific "validation tests", as it is ultimately at the Team's discretion whether they wish to have one Driver or two."
G8-b and the Q&A answer both give the Team the "discretion" of having one or two Drivers, but the blue box states that Teams that have the "capacity to include multiple Students" is "expected that they will not take advantage" of the decision.
I'm not advocating for a single Driver versus two Drivers but is there a process to acknowledge when a Team doesn't have the capacity to have two Drivers?
The Q&A is closed for the 2021-2022 season. Any rule changes or clarifications pertaining to the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship will be included in the April 5 Game Manual Update. Teams attending VEX Worlds who wish to pre-submit questions for the driver's meeting should have received a contact form via email; if not, please contact your REC Foundation Team Engagement Manager for more information.
Coaches confused about G8
Note: This response comes directly from Grant Cox, Chairman of the GDC.
The original intent of G8-b and the referenced Q&A post, coupled with its blue box explanation, were that Teams would have the opportunity to use their discretion in alignment with the spirit of a teamwork-oriented competition. Out of respect for Team privacy and varying local health guidelines around the world, we had hoped that this level of explanation would be adequate, and that Teams would value the opportunity to teach these teamwork/fairness principles more highly than just focusing on seeking competitive advantages.
Put simply, it has come to our attention that this has not been the case. So, the February 1st Game Manual Update will include the following revisions to rule G8 to bring this "spirit" into a more black-and-white ruling.
Point "b" will state the following (portion bolded for emphasis):
b. For the 2021-2022 season, Teams restricted by local health guidelines may elect to have one Driver in the Driver Station, instead of two. If only one Driver is present in the Driver Station, they may drive for the full Match, and a controller switch is not required. If two Drivers are present in the Driver Station, the controller switch rules in <G8a> would then apply. It is at the Team’s discretion whether they wish to have one Driver or two; however, taking advantage of this exception for strategic gain is considered a violation of this rule, and may be considered a violation of the RECF Code of Conduct.
The blue box explanation will state the following (portion bolded for emphasis):
The intent of point “b” in this rule is to provide flexibility for Teams who are unable to meet in a traditional capacity due to local health guidelines. As noted in the definition of “Team”, teamwork is a core tenet of the VEX IQ Challenge, and the two-Student drive team is intended to be a fundamental application of this skill. If a Team has the capacity to include multiple Students, it should also be expected that they will not take advantage of this single-Driver exception for strategic gain.
Teams that exhibit the following behaviors may be in violation of <G8b>, and/or the RECF Code of Conduct, and should be prepared to share relevant health guidelines with RECF staff upon request:
- Utilizing two drivers in Qualification matches, but utilizing only one Driver in Finals Matches or Robot Skills Matches.
- Utilizing only one Driver in Matches, but permitting interactions in the pit area between multiple Students similar in nature to interactions that would occur between two Drivers in the Driver Station.
- Meeting outside of the event setting in a manner consistent with interactions that occur between two Drivers in the Driver Station, yet only utilizing one Driver in Matches.
To answer your specific question:
is there a process to acknowledge when a Team doesn't have the capacity to have two Drivers?
Teams who find themselves in this situation, or Event Partners who have a concern regarding a Team potentially exploiting this rule for strategic gain, should contact to their REC Foundation Team / Event Manager for further details.