VEX Information
The division of middle school from high scool now entails two possible routes for middle school teams.  There is a middle school specific contest that makes use of the VEX IQ equipment.  It is a smaller, and simpler to use solution for middle schools.  The game is played on a smaller field and game play is simplified.  We will have a VEX IQ Challenge at the TSA State Conference in April.

The second route for middle schools is to continue to compete in the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC).  However, the middle school teams will have to compete against high school teams.  New rules for both competitions can be found by following this link

All teams that compete at the Alabama TSA State Conference must be pre-registered VEX teams (have a team number) and must register for the Alabama TSA event on the REC website (this is so you will be in the database for computer scoring - this is at no additional cost).  We can not allow teams to participate without having paid VEX team fees and being assigned a team number by REC or who have not registered for the event on both the REC website and the Register my chapter website.

A Communication from Steve Ballard

I wanted to let everyone know that as of today we have 57 VEX EDR robots registered in the state of Alabama with! Last year we had 168 robots registered in the state of Alabama by April 2017. Hopefully, with more schools coming online with PLTW we can push our total number of robots in the state closer to the 190 mark!
VEX “In the Zone” Events that are thus far listed in the state are listed at  By the way robotevents has a new and improved website and has updated tournament manager as well. I have a good feeling that the twelve (12) schools that hosted VEX EDR events last year will step up and host again this year.
But we definitely need events in the Florence/Muscle Shoals area, Mobile area, Dothan, Opelika, Tuscaloosa areas, and we need more events in the Birmingham area as well. I now have four VEX EDR fields and game equipment for each so I could bring a field and field elements to help out at an event if needed be.
Hosting an event can be a fundraising opportunity for you and your robotics team! Most events charge $30.00 - $50.00 per robot to compete at a tournament, and don’t charge admission to spectators to watch the competition. What we have found from hosting a VEX Robotics event the last five years is that profits from the concession stand are, in our case, always very, very good. Last year around $1,350.00 To date we have in the state five VEX EDR “In the Zone” events posted on robotevents. Jeff Ostrowski from Gulf Shores Middle school is hosting a VEX In the Zone event on October 7th in Gulf Shores. Bo Shaw is hosting an event November 4th at White Plains High School and I plan to host; BrewTech’s VEX “In the Zone” State Qualifier on Saturday, November 18th. Then Wade Sims at Hazel Green High School is hosting a tournament on January 20th 2018 and finally, Nick Ciuzio at Enterprise High School has a tournament on Saturday February 10th, 2018. With more coming online shortly.
Jacksonville State University has hosted our Alabama VEX VRC Robotics State Championship for the last four years. The event is usually held the first Saturday in March. In order to qualify for the Alabama VEX State Championship a team must win an Excellence Award, a tournament champion award, or a design Award at a local Alabama tournament to qualify.
Teachers/Advisors who want to become an event partner and host a VEX EDR, “In the Zone” Event will need to contact; Leslie Cruse, our Alabama Regional Support Manager at; 903-431-0093
Please email or call Leslie and let her know you are interested in becoming an Event Partner (EP) and she can help get you set up and send you the information to get you started!
If you have any questions about VEX Robotics please contact Leslie, me, or any other Alabama EP or VEX robotics advisor.  Thank you all for what you do for our students!
F. Steve Ballard
Engineering Academy Instructor
PLTW, TSA, and VEX Robotics Advisor
Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School
4405 Brewbaker Drive Montgomery, Al 36116
334-284-7100    IP# 79619  FAX 334-284-7110

1. Do you have to register your robot with to participate in the Alabama TSA VEX Robotics Event? Yes, you must first register with then after doing so you will go to and find the TSA Competitions then find the Alabama TSA State competition and register for it. Registration for the Alabama TSA VEX StarStruck event is free from robotevent but students will have to register for the Alabama TSA Conference which is $40.00 per student. For more information please go to or call or email Ben Scheierman. View this link to register a team
2. Just a reminder, schools/advisors shouldn’t wait to the week before an event to register their robot(s) with or the event you want to attend. Some events close a week to two weeks before they are scheduled.  Robotevents will need time to process your order and get it posted so that you can register for an event.
VERY Important Information! TSA VEX Robotics Events are run differently from a VEX Robotics Event. Please visit this website to learn more about the state and national TSA VEX Event
In other words for VEX at TSA it is one robot against another robot, no alliances.
4. It is now required by VEX VRC that all robots have a 9-volt Battery Backup Battery on your robot? It is now a required piece of equipment and it’s on the judges’ inspection list.  Therefore a robot cannot pass inspection without it. You can order the 9v battery backup through VEX Robotics.
5. It is required that every robot has license plates attached to their robots on opposing sides of their robots.
VEX Game Manual Rule R-19   To participate in an official VEX Robotics Competition Tournament a team must first register on Upon registering they will receive their VEX Team Identification Number (VEX Team ID#) and a welcome kit containing VEX Team Identification Number Plates. Every robot should have their VEX Team ID# Plates displayed on a minimum of 2-opposing sides.
VEX Game Manual Rule R-19 –C c. Robots must use the colored plates that match their alliance color for each match. (i.e. Robots on the red alliance must have their red plates on for the match) It must be abundantly clear which color alliance the robot belongs to.

6. Another question - where did you get the battery clips? Go to VEX VRC, then products, then new products. Battery Clip (4-pack) P/N: 276-4042
7. Where did you get the Extension Cable Retaining Clip (10-pack)  P/N: 276-4128
I hope this helps, if you have any questions please let me know!
F. Steve Ballard
Engineering Academy Instructor
PLTW, TSA, BEST Robotics, and VEX Robotics Advisor Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School
4405 Brewbaker Drive Montgomery, Al 36116
334-284-7100    IP# 79619  FAX 334-284-7110


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