Congratulations on all having a fantastic start to the VEX 2020-21 Season so far - it’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through Term 3, and have already run over 10 Kiwibots events since mid-Term 2 when events could start up again.
As the organisation grows (and the world continues to adapt to the ongoing curveballs that the pandemic throws at us), we are cleaning up the systems in place to make sure that all our Kiwibots community are able to enjoy the programme safely. We are working hard to keep things transparent to our community, as well as outline expectations of the programme.
This following post is filled with important information about our events and these new systems. Please read this information carefully, and note relevant deadlines.
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Team Registration vs. Event RSVP
As you will have heard by now, we now have mandatory team registrations and RSVPs of attendees to all our events so that we can continue to improve our events and ensure the safety and fun for all participants. These are two separate systems, and are outlined in detail below. Thank you for everybody's patience and feedback as we continue developing our platforms – we are pleased to share that we are on our final version of the Kiwibots RSVP system and there should be no further changes.
RSVPs of Attendees
In light of COVID-19 and as part of good eventing practise, we have introduced mandatory RSVPs for all our events. This is to help ensure that we stay within safe operating levels of the different venues we use, as well as maintaining an auditable contact tracing record of people on site. In cases of emergency, our Regional Coordinators to be able to access emergency contact details for someone, or in case of evacuation be able to know who is on site at any time.
Every single person attending the event must RSVP so we have an accurate head count of persons on site. Think of this like sending an RSVP to a birthday party, or booking a ticket for a show. Those who have not RSVP’d in advance may be turned away if we are operating at max venue capacity. We recommend RSVPing at least 24hrs prior to the event. This RSVP system applies to everyone, including siblings, spectators, volunteers, and even our own Regional Coordinators.
We have made this easier for groups like families, so that one lead parent can enter their own details, and then also add on two guests, one for a competing child part of XYZ team, and another for a spectator sibling. RSVPs should be completed by students and parents themselves, rather than by a teacher, to ensure emergency contact details are personally relevant and that any extra attendees like siblings are captured on the door list.
On the day of the event, we will have a number of devices available for you to self check-in quickly, as well as QR codes so you can do so on your own device on arrival. It will be as simple as typing the first and last name, and the system will match it from the door list. If you have not managed to RSVP before the event closes registration, you may be able to RSVP at the door on the day, conditional to available space.
From Term 3 onwards in each season, teams must do the following to compete at VEX scrimmages:
Teams must be registered on RobotEvents, and pay the $200AUD fee to RECF (subsequent teams from same organisation, e.g. 1234B and 1234C, are $130AUD each). This is the registration cost for the 2020-21 season and is done once per season. These funds go directly to RECF and do not come to Kiwibots – it helps to fund the banners and trophies for Nationals, the support of our Regional Support Manager Jess McGaffin in AU, use of Tournament Manager, development of games, and other supporting systems that make the entire robotics competition possible. This fee also gets your organisation a Welcome Kit for the season, including a scoring element, Engineering Design Notebook, and license plates for the robot.
For each event, registered and paid teams need to reserve their team a spot at the scrimmage via RobotEvents (Robot Competitions > Filter Country to New Zealand). This enters them in the team draw used to create the match schedule – ie it lets the event managers know in advance how many robots plan on competing at that event and once they have turned up and checked in on the day, we can create the match schedule. We recommend that a Team Coach, Teacher, Lead Parent or similar role takes responsibility for this being done prior to scrimmages, as it will need to be the person who also has the RobotEvents login for their team/organisation.
Kiwibots Event Participation Form
We have received a lot of feedback over the last 10 years regarding the VEX Competition Waiver and its applicability to NZ Law, as well as questions around privacy and responsibilities. We’ve now created a Kiwibots Event Participation Form (attached) that will apply each season (similar to sporting teams) that we will require to be signed to partake in the season. We've tried to keep the language in it as simple as possible so it is clear what the expectations are of anyone taking part in the Kiwibots programme.
We ask that these are completed and returned to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to Monday 31st August 2020. To help make this easier, we have also made this form available to be signed digitally – it has all the same information, just a different digital format. Anybody under 18 taking part should select “Minor” for the form, and it will require the electronic signature from a parent/guardian at the end.
Thank you to all the schools who have already completed their Kiwibots Event Participation Forms and returned these to us.
RECF Consent Forms
In the same vein as above, RECF still have their consent form which needs to be signed for the season. Previously, we have required these to be signed prior to participation at Nationals. From this season on, RECF has now made these Consent Forms compulsory for participation. This form is also valid for the full season, and must be completed online. Ideally, this should be completed before events, and in future seasons, Kiwibots will be sending out a “Season Welcome” pack that includes our form, a draft timetable, the RECF Consent Form and other pieces so you can receive this information all together. For teams that are going to compete at Nationals, this consent form will be checked to see if it’s been submitted prior to competing at the event.
If you have any questions about this waiver, I would suggest getting in touch directly with Jess from RECF with your questions.
Hopefully all the above is outlined clearly – if you have any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our National Manager, Janet, will try and respond in a timely manner as well as looping in your local Regional Coordinator to support as appropriate.
Have a fantastic season – we are hugely grateful to be able to run in-person events given the global climate, and looking forward to seeing our Kiwi kids continue to excel in robotics.
Ngā mihi nui,
The NZ Robotics Charitable Trust