Robotics team for home-schooled students excluded from competition

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 7, 2014) - The city of Indianapolis is getting ready to host the VEX Robotics Championships at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

More than 130 teams are expected to compete, but one team is feeling left out.

Team "ID:10T5" is made up of home-schooled students who don't have a robotics team at their school. The team's coach Barry Atwell asked the city if he could register but he was told the team didn't qualify.

"Honestly I couldn't understand it, I thought what a great opportunity to encourage organizations like ours," said Barry Atwell, the team's coach.

According to the city only teams affiliated with local schools can sign up. Atwell was surprised when he logged on to the website and saw his team was registered after being told they could not participate. City officials said the team was entered into the competition by mistake. By then Atwell had already told the kids they were signed up.

"It was terrible we were really excited when we found out about that and then finding out they were excluding us after all, very disappointing," said Josiah Atwell, a home schooled student.

A spokesperson for the city blamed a glitch in the system.

"This has never been about excluding any team, any kids in the city, we want everyone to be able to participate," said Emily Garrett, spokesperson for Mayor Greg Ballard.

City officials said they are reviewing the rules for next year and hope to open the competition up to teams without school backing.

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