A National Championship! BEST teams had always wanted to be crowned National Champion. BEST had enjoyed hosting multiple Regional Championships but never anything beyond that. The nature and design of the BEST Robotics program is one to keep costs low and allow teams to compete locally, keeping their travel costs down. Plus the expense of a major national event was alway a looming concern. Where would we host it? What would it cost? Would teams be able to make the journey?
In 2009, with the recent decision to switch control systems to the VEX Cortex controller, BEST began a relationship with VEX Robotics who annually hosted a huge national robotics event of their own. In 2010, they were holding the VEX World Championship in Dallas, Texas (the effective birthplace of BEST Robotics – just to the north of Dallas in Sherman). Dallas is a destination and pretty easy to get to when traveling. With the new relationship, VEX invited BEST Robotics organizers to host a BEST National Championship event in parallel with the VEX Championship in the Spring of 2010. It was a great opportunity and all of the gears were aligning for it to be a success, so BEST leadership moved forward and committed to its first ever National Championship, pitting the top 4 finishers from each Regional Championship (3 at the time) in a next level competition.
Twelve total teams from the Regional Championships were advanced to the National Championship. But wait….it was taking place in April of 2010, some 5 months after the Regional Championships in 2009! Still, BEST worked hard and organized a fantastic event for 12 top teams at the Dallas Convention Center Arena. While hundreds of VEX teams were in attendance for the VEX World Championship event, those 12 teams from BEST Robotics and their limited fans in attendance totally DROWNED OUT the VEX crowd! It was an amazing display. None of the teams from VEX had ever seen such excitement! The small group from BEST Robotics showed why they are the BEST!
It was also one of the most complex fields and game designs to-date, 2009 High Octane! The field had electronics, IR communication, and several moving parts with motors and servos; the theme employed some complex chemical equations and BASE-2 scoring system to top it all off! Even with all this complexity, there were no issues encountered and all went as planned; a big credit to the game designers.
Complete National Championship Website
The entire National Championship website is below. Take a look around at all that happened during this amazing event!
The first-ever BEST Robotics team to be crowned National Champion is….
Metro Homeschool (Blue Springs, Missouri – River Valley BEST)
Here is the complete breakdown of the winners…