2016 CIE/USA-DFW Nothing But Net Challenge - VEX Robotics Tournament

2015 VEX Robotics Competition

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CIE/USA-DFW will be hosting our second annual VEX Robotics Competition (VRC)!  Last year, CIE/USA-DFW successfully hosted the Skyrise VRC regional level competition at Rice Middle School, receiving positive feedback from all participating teams and volunteers. This year we aim to have even more participating teams as we prepare to host the Nothing But Net Challenge (regional level) on February 13th, 2016.   The competition will be located at Schimelpfenig Middle School, with 24 teams participating.

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the largest and fastest growing middle school and high school robotics program globally with more than 12,000 teams from 33 countries playing in over 1,000 tournaments worldwide. Each year, an exciting engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build innovative robots and compete year-round in a variety of matches. In addition to learning valuable engineering skills, students gain life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, communication, collaboration, project management, and critical thinking. The VEX Robotics Competition prepares students to become future innovators with 95% of participants reporting an increased interest in STEM subject areas and pursuing STEM-related careers.

This year, teams will be competing in the Nothing But Net ChallengeNothing But Net is played on a 12 foot by 12 foot field by two alliances: one red and one blue.  An alliance consists of two randomly paired teams during qualifying rounds or selected teams during the elimination round.  The objective of the game is to score more points than your opposing alliance by making baskets of normal balls in low (1 point) or high (5 points).  In addition to normal balls, teams have the ability to pick up bonus balls that are worth twice as many points, 2 and 10 respectively, for low and high goals.  At the end of the match, teams also can score additional points by lifting their alliance member’s robot off the ground using their own robot!  For a low elevated robot (one 4 inches of the ground), teams will get an additional 25 points.  But if they are able to raise their team member’s robot 12 inches off the ground, they will score an additional 50 points.  The below diagram shows the layout of the field, with the red and blue squares signifying the starting points for the robots:

The tournament hosted by CIE/USA-DFW is one of many local tournaments in the metroplex.  These tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels.  Local champions go on to compete against the best teams in the world at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April!

Important Level of Competition Dates:

  • Dallas Regional Tournament: 16 teams minimum required in attendance.  .

  • North Texas Regional Championship: February 27th, 2016 at Greenville High School (Qualifies teams for worlds)

  • World Championship: April 20th through April 23rd in Louisville, Kentucky.  The world championship will feature 1,000 teams from cities all over the world!

    Example Day Schedule:  

Saturday: 2/13/16

VEX Nothing But Net

7:30 AM

CIE EP team\Volunteers\Helpers @ Location

8:00 AM

Open Facility


Begin Check-In


Begin Inspection


Practice Matches


Schedule Qualifying Matches

9:00 AM

Close Check-In


Close Inspection

9:20 AM

Close Practice Matches

9:30 AM

Opening Ceremonies

9:45 AM

Qualification Rounds

10:00 AM

Skills Challenge

12:00 PM


1:00 PM

Continue Qualification Rounds

2:00 PM

Close Skill Challenges

2:30 PM

Close Qualification Rounds

2:45 PM

Alliance Selections

3:15 PM

Elimination Rounds

4:30 PM

Close Elimination Rounds

4:40 PM

Awards Ceremony

5:00 PM

Event Closed

2015 Photos:

Awards are given out to teams striving four categories: excellence, tournament champions, sportsmanship, Judges award, and design. Here, members of the CIE/USA-DFW executive leadership team stand with award winning teams!

Two alliances attempt to stack cubes in the Skyrise VRC competition at Rice Middle School in 2015.

The Head Judge

Ms. Yin Yang is a highly experienced robotics coach and judge. She served as a VEX World Championship Judge for college-level and high school divisions from 2009 to 2015, a Lead Judge for Regional VEX tournament in 2013, and our Lead Judge in 2015. She was also Assistant Coach for VEX Team 9090 T-VEX from 2010 to 2012.

Useful Links:

VEX Robotics Education: (http://www.roboticseducation.org/ )
VEX Robotics: http://www.vexrobotics.com/   



The Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE) was founded in 1917 in New York by a group of Chinese engineers who graduated from American universities and served in various industries in the United States. CIE’s mission is to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) awareness all over the United States. The DFW Chapter was established in January 1989 and registered in the state of Texas as a non-profit organization in 1992. Over the years, the DFW chapter has established close ties with major corporations and government bodies around the world. Leaders from these sponsoring organizations are featured in the chapter’s annual convention by sharing their experiences and insights in business and technology. For more information, visit http://www.cie-dfw.org.