<T1> The Head Referee has ultimate and final authority on all gameplay ruling decisions during the competition. Scorekeeper Referees score the Match, and may serve as observers or advisers for the Head Referees, but may not determine any rules or infractions directly. When issuing a Major Violation or Minor Violation to a Team, The Head Referee must provide the rule number of the specific rule that has been Violated. Violations of the REC Foundation Code of Conduct may involve additional escalation beyond the Head Referee’s initial ruling, including (but not limited to) investigation by an REC Foundation representative. Rules <S1>, <G1>, and <G2> are the only rules for which this escalation may be required. Event Partners may not overrule a Head Referee’s decision.
Note from the VEX GDC: The rules contained in this Game Manual are written to be enforced by human Head Referees. Many rules have “black-and-white” criteria that can be easily checked. However, some rulings will rely on a judgment call from this human Head Referee. In these cases, Head Referees will make their calls based on what they and the Scorekeeper Referees saw, what guidance is provided by their official support materials (the Game Manual and the Q&A), and most crucially, the context of the Match in question. The VEX Robotics Competition does not have video replay, our fields do not have absolute sensors to count scores, and most events do not have the resources for an extensive review conference between each Match. When an ambiguous rule results in a controversial call, there is a natural instinct to wonder what the “right” ruling “should have been,” or what the GDC “would have ruled.” This is ultimately an irrelevant question; our answer is that when a rule specifies “Head Referee’s discretion” (or similar), then the “right” call is the one made by the Head Referee in the moment. The VEX GDC designs games, and writes rules, with this expectation (constraint) in mind.