Hi everyone!  We are super-excited to be diving into the new VEX game, Turning Point. I’ll start out here by providing links to some helpful resources for the new game:

Turning Point cap and ball specs

Sample Appendix A page with dimensions for cap and ball.

At this stage of the season, I strongly recommend that both coaches and team members read threads on the VEX Forum related to Turning Point. People around the world are talking about game strategy, robot mechanisms (including the pros & cons of each mechanism design), and analysis of scoring points. It is an amazing resource — why not let people the world over help your team in the early stages of planning?

Read the Rule Book

I cannot stress this enough — every coach, mentor, and student needs to read the entire Turning Point game manual multiple times. Paper is so *retro*, but in this case I believe that nothing beats a printout and a highlighter pen; reading the rule manual on an iPhone is a sure-fire way to miss lots of important information.

In addition, there is so much in the rule book that is NOT in the YouTube video that it’s not even funny. Like, the video mentions nothing at all about the expansion zone, which is the only area on the field where robots can expand taller than 18″.

Engineering Notebook

BEFORE YOU WRITE ANYTHING IN YOUR NOTEBOOK THIS YEAR, read this post about the Design Award. There are numerous preliminary steps to the design process that must be included at the start of your notebook, before you launch into the build/prototype process. If you don’t have these items first in your book, you can’t fix it later.

In our rookie year, we had no idea that we needed to describe the game in our own words at the start of the book. The idea is to be a real engineer about this: you can’t start designing a bridge until you REALLY understand all the specifications required for the bridge. Similarly, you can’t start building a robot until you REALLY understand how the game is played, what the robot building restrictions are, and how to score points.

Awards Appendix

It does not appear that there is an updated “Appendix D: Awards Criteria” for this year’s game as of this writing. I will update my VEX Awards post with any relevant information when it becomes available. I am assuming that there will be some updates, or else they would just have re-posted last year’s document.