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VEX Robotics Competition - Turning Point

Turning Point

VEX Robotics Competition Turning Point is played on a 12'x12' square field configured as seen below. Two Alliances - one "red" and one "blue" - composed of two Teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen second Autonomous Period, followed by a one minute and forty-five second Driver Controlled Period.

The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by High Scoring or Low Scoring Caps, Toggling Flags, and by Alliance Parking or Center Parking Robots on the Platforms.

Turning Point Field Layout

There are eight Caps, six Posts, nine Flags, twenty Balls, two Alliance Platforms, and one Center Platform.

Caps can be Low Scored on the field tiles, or High Scored on Posts, for the Alliance whose colour is facing up at the end of the match. Flags can be Toggled to red or blue, and are Scored for the Alliance whose colour is Toggled at the end of the match. Low Flags can be Toggled by Robots, but High Flags can only be Toggled by Balls. Turning Point is intended to be a back and forth game, no scored object is safe!

Alliance Platforms can be used for Alliance Parking by Robots of the same colour Alliance as the Platform. The Center Platform can be used by Robots from either Alliance for Center Parking. An additional bonus is awarded to the Alliance that has the most total points at the end of the Autonomous Period.


Each Low Flag Toggled

1 point

Each High Flag Toggled

2 points

Each Cap Low Scored

1 point

Each Cap High Scored

2 points

Robot that is Alliance Parked

3 points

Robot that is Center Parked

6 points

Autonomous Bonus

4 points

Download the full Game Manual here

Experts view - Chris Calver, Education Manager at Rapid and VEX Robotics Competition referee gives his opinion on the 2018/19 challenge.

The 2018-19 season is the biggest shake-up in the VEX Robotics Competition for some years. The new game reveal always brings a lot of excitement and teams are desperate to get their hands on the new elements to start designing and testing. But this year, it's not just about the new game, it's also about the new V5 control system that will be legal for this season alongside the existing Cortex system. And if that wasn't enough, there are some changes to the tournament structure as well! Let's dig into the detail.

Firstly, I want to take a look at Turning Point itself. This game combines elements of several games from the past which means teams will be able to dig into the history books to get some ideas for designs, but this is a very multi-disciplined game and so combining all these ideas is going to take some real thought. Here is what the official game blurb has to say:
The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by High Scoring or Low Scoring Caps, Toggling Flags, and by Alliance Parking or Center Parking Robots on the Platforms

The first thing that strikes me about this game is how few game elements there are. We got used to In the Zone where the Field was absolutely chocka-block with cones before the match started - and then once the match was underway, another 24 cones were introduced to the field in the form of Driver Loads. The low number of elements in this game might give you a hint about how Turning Point matches are going to unfold - there will be lots of descoring and rescoring throughout the match.

From my first glance at the rules, it looks like teams can descore the caps from the posts and rescore them as their own colour. The flags are also interesting as they will be scored one way then the other back and forth throughout the match - timing is going to be key!

Firing balls has shades of Nothing but Net which was a great game, but by the end of the season teams were clearing the field of balls before the end of the match so left with nothing to do. In this game, the net will keep balls in play (or at least these fired the right way!) so the scoring of flags can occur all the way up to the end of the match.

It looks like both teams start with 9 points before the match begins so descoring will be as big a part of autonomous as scoring. Also, the autonomous line means blocking strategies in the autonomous period are out of the question which I am pleased about - there is nothing more satisfying than a team nailing a good autonomous routine.

Once again, we have parking bonuses this year but now with a twist - you can park on your own colour platform in relative safety, but the higher scoring centre platform is going to be a free-for-all with very little protection from being pushed off. Again, timing might be key here.

I could talk all day long about strategies for this game - there are so many possibilities.

For this season (and probably next), both the existing Cortex and the new V5 systems will be legal. So are the teams who get their hands on V5 early in the season going to be at an advantage? I'm going to stick my neck out and say...maybe!

V5 is awesome, it's a massive step up from Cortex and so it should be. One of the big factors is the motors which are at least twice as powerful as the 393 motors for Cortex. So, V5 teams should clean up, right? Well I said maybe because for now at least, V5 users will be limited to a maximum of 8 motors where as Cortex users can have 12. Because this game is so multi-disciplined, having the flexibility offered by more motors will help Cortex users stay competitive. V5 users might need to be more creative with how they use their limited motor count. The V5 vision sensor will be a godsend in autonomous though!

Finally, I mentioned changes to the tournament structure. Those that have competed before will be familiar with the knockout stages being alliances of three teams and best of 3 matches to progress to the next stage - it's now alliances of two and single match knockouts so reliability and consistency is going to be king! Good luck everybody.

Get the FREE VRC Hub App – All your VEX Competition rules in one place!

The FREE VRC Hub app for Android and iOS replaces all previous VEX Robotics Competition scoring apps and is available to download. The VRC Hub gives you access to rules and regulations at your fingertips as well as having a utility for quickly adding up scores. Visit the Google Play Store or iTunes Store to download now.