Early-Bird Registration Policy & FAQ


In regions where there is a high density of teams, it can be difficult for teams to register for tournaments due to the volume of teams registering for events relative to the number of open spots in events. The use of Early-Bird and Standard registration periods will help reduce this problem. Contact your REC Foundation Regional Support Manager (RSM) for details about registration policies for events in your region.

  • The Early-Bird registration is only for non-Championship Tournaments and is not used for Workshops, Leagues, Scrimmages, or Championship Tournaments including Signature Events or in areas where the RSM has turned off Early-Bird registration.
  • The Early-Bird registration period is from when registration opens until 6 weeks prior to the tournament date.
  • Each team starts the season with three (3) opportunities to register during the Early-Bird period. An opportunity is taken away each time the team registers for a non-Championship tournament, whether during the Early-Bird period or Standard period. An Early-Bird opportunity is not taken away if a team registers for a tournament hosted by their school or organization (where the team’s coach is the Event Partner).
  • The Standard registration period begins immediately after the Early-Bird registration period. It allows any team, regardless of their number of registered events, to sign up and fill the remaining capacity of the tournament.

Example: A Team has not registered for any tournaments yet. There are three events that are 8, 10, and 12 weeks away, as well as a fourth tournament that is 5 weeks away. The team would like to attend all 4 events. There are two different ways this can be done.

  • Scenario 1: The team registers for the three events that are 8, 10 and 12 weeks away first, using up their three Early-Bird spots. Because the fourth tournament is only 5 weeks away, they can register for that event as well since it falls in the standard registration period.
  • Scenario 2: The team registers for the event that is 5 weeks away. They then register for the events that are 8 and 10 weeks away. The team will be blocked from registering for the event that is 12 weeks away during the Early-Bird registration period because they have already registered for 3 events. They must wait until the standard event registration period to sign up for that event.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the Early-Bird registration period?

A: The Early-Bird registration period begins as soon as the tournament is open for registration and lasts until six weeks prior to the tournament at which point standard registration begins.

Q: When does the standard registration period start?

A: Six weeks prior to the first day of the tournament.

Q: Who can register during the Early-Bird registration period?

A: There are two groups that are eligible for Early-Bird registration:

  • The Event Partner’s teams
  • Teams that have not yet registered for 3 non-Championship tournaments

Q: Do you get your Early-Bird back once the tournament occurs?

A: No, Early-Bird is not something that you use and then get back. Early-Bird is a time period during the registration period leading up to a tournament. You can only register during this time period if you have not already registered for 3 other tournaments. Once you have registered for 3 tournaments, you are no longer eligible to register for any tournament during its Early-Bird period. Early-Bird registrations reset each competition season.

Q: Can the Event Partner register their teams during the Early-Bird registration period, even if they have previously registered for 3 other tournaments?

A: Yes, the Event Partner can register their own teams to their tournament during the Early-Bird registration period, no matter how many other tournaments they are already registered for.

Q: Who can register during the standard registration period?

A: Any teams can register during the standard registration period until the capacity of the tournament is met, or if the number of teams per organization set by the Event Partner is reached.

Q: Does putting your team on the Waiting List of another tournament count as one of your tournaments?

A: No, Early-Bird eligibility will only look for teams who have registered for another tournament.

Q: Do Signature Events and State Championships count as tournaments?

A: No, only non-Championship Tournaments count. Signature Events are considered Championship-type tournaments because they qualify teams directly to the VEX Robotics World Championship. Signature Events have their own Early Bird system that is independent of non-Championship events.

Q: Do all tournaments have an Early-Bird period?

A: No, some tournaments do not have as much of a demand, and typically do not fill. The Early-Bird period gives teams that have not registered for three or more events an opportunity to register. In some situations, this may not be needed.

Q: Does a league, workshop, or scrimmage count as one of your tournaments?

A: No; leagues, workshops, and scrimmages do not count toward your limit of 3 tournaments.

Q: Does an invitational tournament count as one of your tournaments?

A: Yes, invitational tournaments count toward your limit of 3 tournaments.

Q: What is an invitational only tournament?

A: Each Event Partner is allowed to host a closed event if they host another equal or larger event that is open to all teams.

Q: If a team has not paid the event fee, will that tournament count as one of the tournaments?

A: Yes; an early bird registration is counted at the point of registration, not at the point of payment.

Q: Do you have to pay the REC Foundation Team Registration before registering during the Early-Bird registration period?

A: Yes, all teams must have officially registered and paid for their REC Foundation team registration before registering for tournaments, even during the Early-Bird period.

Q: Can a team put themselves on the Waiting List during the Early-Bird registration period?

A: The wait list should only be used once the tournament has filled to capacity. It does not give priority to teams that put themselves on the Waiting List during the Early-Bird registration period for Standard registration.

Q: Can you swap with another team who has registered during the Early-Bird registration period?

A: Swapping with another team in your organization can only be done during the Early-Bird registration period if the team that is swapping in is also eligible for Early-Bird registration.

Q: Is Early-Bird for one team per organization or for all teams in each organization?

A: Each team is considered a unique team for Early Bird and each team is counted separately. This means if team 0000A has registered for three tournaments, they are no longer eligible for Early-Bird Registration, but if team 0000B has only registered for two tournaments, they are still eligible for Early-Bird Registration.

Q: What do I do if I have questions regarding the Early Bird registration program?

A: Please contact your RSM.

Q: Can I opt-out of the Early Bird Program?

A: It is up to the RSM to turn on or off the Early-Bird period for specific events. If an event has Early-Bird disabled, that event will still count as a tournament a team is registered into for events that have Early-Bird enabled.

Q: Do completed tournaments (past events) that my team has registered for count toward Early-Bird registration count?

A: Yes, all tournaments in the current season count, even tournaments that have been completed.