Updated: March 12, 2018




Official Rules Clarifications are made to clarify or correct the rules printed in the manuals. These Official Rules Clarifications apply to all states and all tournaments and originate at the national level. Click here to Submit a Question or view FAQs.

Battery Buggy - 10/18/17 (Division B) 7.b. should read, edits in bold: Each Run Score is the sum of four (4) components: Time Score, Distance Score, Center Line Bonus and Penalties.

Forensics - 9/7/17 (Division C) 3.a. should read... a. The competition will consist of evidence from Parts 3.b.-e. and analysis of the evidence in Part 3.f. Analysis or questions can only be on the evidence topics included in the competition. The amount of evidence included will be according to the following table:
Level # Part b samples # Part c samples Part d chromatograms Part e Part f
Regional 3-8 5-9 1 type + Mass Spectra 1-2 topics Required
State 6-10 6-12 1-2 types + Mass Spectra 1-3 topics Required
National 10-14 10-18 1-3 types + Mass Spectra 3-5 topics Required
The collected evidence and other data given could be used in a mock crime scene.

To adjust the Forensics scoring so it matches the table, 4.b. should read:

4.b. The score will be composed of the following elements (percentages given are approximate):

Part 3.b. 20%, Part 3.c. 20%, Part 3.d. 15%, Part 3.e. 15% and 3.f. 30%.

Mission Possible - 11/28/17 (Division C) Three sections should read, edits shown in strikethrough and bold:

4.b.vi. Use light to initiate a chemical reaction to begin the next action.

4.b.xi. Use a thermal reaction a change in temperature which expands a gas to activate the next action.

4.f. Timing and scoring begins when a competitor pulls a magnet from the device and Timing stops when the beginning of the word "END" is heard or when 180.0 seconds elapses, whichever comes first.

Mousetrap Vehicle - 10/18/17 (Division C) 3.e. should read, edits in bold: An approximately 1/4" diameter round dowel must be attached to the vehicle approximately perpendicular to the floor. The bottom of the dowel must be = 1.0 cm from the track's surface and must be easily identified by the event supervisor.

Roller Coaster - 9/7/17 (Division B) 5.c. should read, edits in bold: Height Score = (100 - device height). The device height is measured in cm at the highest part of the device measured from the floor or the table (if used) rounded down to the nearest cm.

Science Olympiad Policy for Significant Figures (12/5/12)


  • North Dakota Rules Clarification: At the State Science Olympiad, we will not be including trial events into the total team scores. This ruling has been made upon advice from the national office. (The national event likewise does not include trial events into total team scores). (Posted 10/28/02).

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