One of the core components of the Challenge is the Robot Game. This is where your team's robot will compete against the clock to score as many points as possible in the 2 and 1/2 minute match. Each team has at least three tries at the table to get the most points possible. The highest score from the day is the one that counts. The next highest score settles any ties.

The tables are setup in adjacent pairs as seen in the figure at the right. Each team will run head to head against another team during their match. Some tournaments will have more than one pair of tables and may alternate tables for each match. Be sure to check out our website for more information about the number of table pairs at the event.

Robot Game Clarifications and Questions

Teams should email Central Valley Robotics with any Robot Game questions.  See Section 1 for contact information.

The Five Parts of Robot Performance


Teams should arrive at the dedicated queuing area about 1-2 matches before their scheduled match. (This equates to about 7-10 minutes depending on the event schedule.)  Most events will have a dedicated queuing check-in table or volunteer for the Robot Game area.  Team must check-in prior to heading to their table queuing line. For events with multiple table pairs, the queuing area may be roped off into separate lines for each table pair. Only Coaches and Team Members will be allowed into the queuing area. Parents and other guests must view from the designated spectator area. Teams will wait in the queuing area until the Referee calls them to the table.

Team Coach Badges must be worn in the queuing area. Only adults wearing the Coach Badge will be allowed in the queuing area.

Approaching the Table

Teams can bring the following to the table:

  • One robot in compliance with all the Robot Game Rules
  • (optional) A box to store items outside of base
  • (optional) A TV tray to set the box on

Do NOT bring the following:

  • Another robot or any other electronics for mission activity, including a computer.  Programming must be done in the pits.
  • Any mission models.  You must use the ones provided at the table.

Only two team members may be at the table at any given time, including before and after the match.  The rest of the team must stand behind a designated line (about 3-5 feet from the table).  Coaches may not approach the table before, during, or after a match unless to help the team move bulky/large equipment before/after a match (IE: the TV tray or a large box).

Before the Match

The team should get their robot and all materials set up on the table and get ready to go. Teams will have at least one minute to get their robot ready, but may have more time depending on the schedule of the event.  Any additional setup actions as required by the Robot Game are also completed during this time. 

Tables are set up by the Field Reset Crew at the tournament. While they try to set it up to the best of their ability, they are still human and may make mistakes. It is crucial that the team verifies the setup of the field. In the event they feel there is a discrepancy, then they must notify the Referee BEFORE the match starts. Teams are not allowed to touch the field outside of base, except as described in the rules. Once the match starts, the field cannot be changed even if the setup was wrong.

The match starts at the end of the countdown sequence. At events run by Central Valley Robotics, the countdown is “3. 2. 1. LEGO!” Per the Challenge rules, the official start of the match is defined as the moment the first syllable of “LEGO” is spoken.

Please try to keep any official mission models on the table in view of the Referee. This will help prevent your team from accidently carrying them off with you and make sure the Referee scores them properly.

During the Match

The match lasts for 2.5 minutes. During this time, only two team members are allowed at the table, with the rest of the team standing back a few feet from the table (usually designated by a line of tape on the floor).  Members at the table are called Technicians in the official rules. Other team members will be allowed at the table in the event of a catastrophic robot failure. Team members at the table may swap out with team members standing back from the table. Members may also hold equipment when not at the table to assist with an upcoming mission.

Teams will run their robot on the field for the duration of the 2.5-minute match. The robot may return as many times as necessary to Base and team members may only interact with the robot in Base. Interacting with the robot or models outside of Base is not allowed and maybe subject to penalties as described in the Challenge Rules.

The match ends right when the buzzer sounds and the Referee will score the field based upon the state of the field when the buzzer started sounding.  Teams should stop their robot as soon as the buzzer sounds.  Any modifications to the field after the buzzer sounds are ignored.

After the Match

Once the buzzer sounds, only two team members will remain behind with the referee. The rest of the team (including coaches) must head to the Team Waiting Area to wait for the remaining team members at the table. The team should take as much of their supplies as possible with them (IE: box of materials, TV tray, etc.). Anything on the table should be left alone until the Referee clears the table for reset. Please do not to take any Mission Models with you!

The team should not touch the robot or the field unless instructed by the Referee, except for stopping the robot as indicated in rules. Once the Referee finishes scoring the table, he/she will go over the score sheet with the team. Once the team members initial the score sheet, the score is considered final and the referee will clear the field for reset. The team members at the table will collect their remaining robot materials and rejoin their team.

Viewing the Score Sheet and Rankings

As of the MyCVR 7.5.1 Update on November 26, 2018, MyCVR is now the primary score system for our events.  Teams can view their match score sheet as soon as the scorekeeper enters it into the system.  This will now allow teams to see how they did in each match within minutes of the end of a match, instead of days later.  Additionally, overall rankings are displayed in screens at the event, as well as online on the public event page on MyCVR.  

The Head Referee

Teams with any comments or questions regarding their match should consult with the Head Referee. Only student team members may talk with the Head Referee. The Head Referee's job is to ensure consistency and fairness throughout the competition. Any decisions made by the Head Referee are considered final.

Requesting a Score Verification

As mentioned above, the score sheet is considered final once the team members sign the score sheet.  In the Appendix 1 - Core Values Concerns and the Disqualification Investigative Process section, we outline the situations where contesting a score (after leaving the table) can be considered a Core Values Concern.  However, there are situations where the score sheet does not get properly entered into the scoring computer.  If a team feels that their score sheet was not entered properly, a student team member can approach the Head Referee and request that the score be verified. (Team members, coaches, and parents cannot approach the Scorekeeper) The Head Referee will then decide if a score verification is necessary.  All score sheet verifications will occur at the discretion of the Head Referee.   

Resources and Score Sheet

The Robot Game documents and other resources can be downloaded from Challenge Materials and Resources