Division B Events

Earth/Space Science

Dynamic Planet - Div B

Rocks and Minerals - Div B


(section: 2 / line: 1)

2014-03-10 02:44 Is each team permitted one page of notes or is each student allowed a page of notes?

This year's rules state that each student may bring one non-programmable calculator AND one 8.5" x 11" two-sided page of notes. This means that per team they may have 2 calculators and 2 pages of notes. Each student's notes may be different from their partner's notes.

Road Scholar

Solar System


Metric Mastery

(section: 3 / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 2)

2013-11-04 01:50 The "plus one estimated digit" rule only applies to analog equipment, not to digital, right? Students should not be estimating digits on a digital scale, digital thermometer, etc. Correct?

Correct. You can not estimate a digit on digital measuring devices.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 1)

2014-01-07 01:30 Can we use scientific notation in our answer?

Yes, proper scientific notation will be an acceptable format for an answer in the Metric Mastery event.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 2)

2014-01-07 01:45 Does the "plus one estimated digit" rule apply to a vernier caliper? One of markings on the vernier scale is supposed to be exactly “aligned" with a marking on the main scale which will gives the exact reading.

No, you are correct. On a vernier caliper there would not be an estimated digit.

Rotor Egg Drop

(section: 1 / line: 3)

2014-02-28 16:45 Are feathers allowed as an attachment to a homemade wing or blade?


(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-02-28 16:47 In the sentence, "The device must use wings or blades that rotate around a central axis to slow the descent of the egg", does the "axis" have to be a physical axis (like an axle) or can it be conceptual axis (like the earth's axis)?

Either conceptual or actual is acceptable.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2013-12-19 13:54 Does the statement at the device must fit inside a 51cm cube in any orientation mean that the device must be able to rotate in all directions inside the cube? I don't understand the intent of the "any orientation" phase.

The entire device (with the cup), in both launch and flying configuration, must fit into a 51 cm cube in any orientation the student chooses. The entire device does not have to rotate in the 51 cm cube when it is being measured it just has to fit within the cube.

2014-02-28 17:12 Must the device be able to fit in the cube in any orientation the judge chooses? "Any orientation" could mean if it can be fit, it passes or that all orientations must fit.

Students will be the ones who choose the orientation of their device in the cube and place it in the cube for verification. Students must be the only ones to touch their device. As long as it fits into the allowed dimensions of the cube,in flying configuration which means with the cup attached, then it passes.

(section: Event / line: 1)

2014-02-28 16:56 Does the rotor have to revolve around a central axis a minimum of onerevolution? How is revolution defined (approximately onecomplete turn to be determined by event supervisor?)

The rotor should rotate at least once around a central axis or it could be determined to be a parachute or glider. It will be up to the event supervisor to determine whether the device has rotated around the central axis.

2014-02-28 17:05 If the students' rotor design does not encourage parts other than the cup to hit first, will the students be tiered if the cup is not what hits first due to causes out of their control such as air drafts/currents?

Students will be placed in Tier 3 or 4 if the cup does not hit first. Construction 3.d. "No other shock absorbing or cushioning materials can be used..." If another part of the device hits first it would act as a shock absorbing material.

Experimental Design - Div B

Write It Do It - Div B

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 11)

2014-03-09 20:13 Are abbreviations allowed to be concatenated? For example, if one has defined N = north, and E = east, is NE -> northeast valid, or will it be penalized?

Yes, this is allowed as long as each part is correctly defined.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 3)

2014-03-10 01:11 It is stated that any single letters or words may be used. However, do those words have to be in English. Specifically, are students allowed to use letter combinations that correspond to chinese characters (pinyin)?

The standard English keyboard is identified for use with all Science Olympiad tournaments. However, each tournament may - at their discretion and announcement to competing teams - provide additional or alternate languages that may be used. If the PC standard 101 keyboard is able to make Chinese characters, this would only be acceptable if the event supervisor has identified non-English language may be used. For nationals, English is the identified language. Using keyboard symbols to create non-English words will not be acceptable.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 7)

2014-03-10 01:03 In Write it Do it, it says you can use any symbols on the PC standard 101 key keyboard. On that keyboard there is an "and" symbol, can the and symbol I make look different than the one on the keyboard, or does it have to be the same?

As long as what is written is readily apparent it refers to the "and" symbol and not something else, it would be accepted. Keep in mind that the "+" is not the same as the "and" symbol.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1-3)

2014-03-10 01:07 Will a penalty be assessed for abbreviated fractions (e.g., 1/2 for "one-half")?

No, fractions may be referenced as 1/2 or 3/4 etc.

Life/Personal/Social Science


Disease Detectives - Div B


(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: vi. / line: 1)

2013-12-19 14:09 Are the diseases restricted to the ones listed in the parentheses, or are those simply the most important ones?

Diseases are restricted to the ones listed in the rules.

Water Quality - Div B

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 6)

2014-03-09 19:33 In the construction of the salinometer/hydrometer, would the use of a multimeter (not built by the team) in checking the electrical conductivity of a circuit (built by the team) during competition be legal?

Yes, it is okay to use a purchased multimeter as part of the device the students build provided that none of the components were manufactured to measure water quality/chemistry. They need to be able to explain how they built it.

Entomology - Div B

(section: 2 / line: 2-3)

2014-03-25 15:44 Can pictures be added to the field guide? They would be glued in next to each organism that is listed in the guide.

No. Pictures, notes, drawings are not allowed to be glued into the field guide. Students may write or draw in their field guides but may not insert anything in addition to the pages and allowed tabs.

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 1)

2014-03-10 01:27 Does "annotation" indicate that a student may write in the margins of their commercially published reference?


(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 3)

2014-03-27 19:39 Does "annotated" with reference to the commercially published resource include covering pages of the book with other printed sources of information?

No, you may not cover pages of the book with other printed sources of information.

2014-04-23 01:42 Does "annotated" with reference to the commercially published resource include covering pages of the book with other printed sources of information?

No, covering pages of the resource book with other printed sources of information is not allowed.

Physical Science/Chemistry


Can't Judge a Powder

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1,2)

2014-03-09 02:23 Are students allowed to bring graduated cylinders?

No, graduated cylinders are not on the list of items that students may bring.

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: v / line: 1)

2013-12-23 03:16 Are graduated beral pipettes permissable?

Yes - Beral pipettes are permitted for Can't Judge a Powder, whether graduated or not.

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: vi / line: 1)

2013-11-06 16:43 Can the 9-v conductivity meter be commercial product, or does it have to be home-made?

As long as the conductivity meter is operated by a 9 volt battery, it is allowed.

2014-01-01 20:10 Is the 9-volt Conductivity tester to be assumed as "not to exceed," or only 9-volt allowed?

The rules say that students may only bring specified items. Teams may bring only 9-volt conductivity testers, per General Rules in the manual.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 5)

2014-01-01 20:12 The rules say, "Chemical gloves are optional, but recommended." Specifically, what are "chemical gloves"

Chemical gloves are safety gloves worn when working with potential dangerous chemicals. They usually take a while to degrade, are not easily permeable, and are strong. Most are made of Neoprene, nitrile, PVC, PVA (We should not use these), and latex.

(section: 3 / line: 1)

2013-11-06 16:44 how many grams of the sample are given to the students? If they run out, can they ask for more without penalty?

It will be up to the Event Supervisors. The Event Supervisors may notify the students at the beginning of the competition if refills will be allowed or not, students may ask the Event Supervisor.  Since materials vary widely in density, there is no minimum or maximum number of grams Event Supervisors are to provide to the students.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 5)

2014-01-01 20:32 Rule 3d states not to say endothermic or exothermic, a web guide gives 5pts for: "...0.2 grams of the powder was dissolved in 3 ml of DI the temperature decreased from 23.3C to 21.8C thus inferring that dissolving the powder in water is endothermic."

When in doubt, read the Rules Manual. Students should not write inferences. They should only write observations. When answering questions, they should write the number(s) of the observation(s) that would be used to answer the question. Examples with inferences in them should not be listed. There is no place in the rules manual that says how to punish a team that writes an unneeded inference. However, if a team writes an unsupported inference and lists that inference to answer a question, it would receive a maximum of 2 points.

Crime Busters

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: xv / line: 1)

2014-03-10 01:42 The rules state "Each student may bring one 8.5" by 11" two-sided page of notes..." do these notes need to be the same, or may each student bring a different set of notes?

No, the notes do not need to be the same, each student's notes may be different.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 5)

2014-01-01 20:12 The rules say, "Chemical gloves are optional, but recommended." Specifically, what are "chemical gloves"

Chemical gloves are safety gloves worn when working with potential dangerous chemicals. They usually take a while to degrade, are not easily permeable, and are strong. Most are made of Neoprene, nitrile, PVC, PVA (We should not use these), and latex.


Shock Value

Simple Machines

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2013-11-06 16:42 Can a computer be used as a tool for the device testing portion of the event?

No. Computers/tablets/etc generally aren't allowed in Science Olympiad events unless explicitly permitted in the specific event rules, since they can potentially violate multiple general rules.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2013-11-06 17:01 Do students need to impound their reference material secured in a 3-ring binder?

No, only the device, tools, and supplies must be impounded. Reference materials, writing utensils, and calculators do not need to be impounded.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 2)

2014-03-09 16:32 How should teams who fail to impound their device be scored?

That is up to the individual event supervisor. It's recommended that they get a MS and TS of 0 for not making an honest attempt.

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 1-2)

2014-01-02 03:12 Do students have to hang the masses from the lever, or are they allowed to set the masses on top of the lever?

General rule #2 applies, they can do either.

(section: 2 / paragraph: f / line: 3)

2014-03-09 20:35 Can the device include a mass" that is used to achieve static equilibrium befor the test masses are added?

Any masses used in this manner must be fixed in place before impound.

(section: 2 / paragraph: f / sub-paragraph: none / line: 1)

2014-03-09 16:37 Does the mass range of 50.0 grams - 1200.0 grams define both the provided/known masses and the unknown masses?

Yes, the mass ranges apply to both Known and Unknown Masses per rule 2.f.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 5)

2013-11-01 01:21 Under the catagory of "Wheel& Axle", are "Belt & Pulleys" included?

Yes, Belt and Pulley sare included as part of the Pulley simple machine type for both Simple Machines and Complex Machines.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: iii. / line: 1)

2014-01-02 03:23 If "Questions are limited to the following static equilibrium simple machines" only, will there be questions on objects that are moving or calculations of things like "kinetic energy" as the rule mentions?

No, This does not apply to Div. B, Simple Machines.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: iii5 / line: 5)

2013-11-01 01:23 Under the catagory of "Wheel & Axle", are "Gear Systems" included?


(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-02 03:24 Is there a standardized way that the masses are intended to be attached to the levers?

No, teams can utilize the flexible loops on the masses to hang them, or they can set the entire mass on their own hanger of some sort.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2013-11-06 17:17 Regarding the phrase "using an known mass and lever", are these simply the tools available to the competitor that are allowed to be used, or are the students REQUIRED to utilize the known mass to determine the unknown mass?

Yes, the rules state that students are to use both the known mass and a lever to determine an unknown mass.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: v / line: 1)

2014-03-09 16:50 Can the hangers that the masses are hung from, be movable? For example, can the loops of the given masses, be attached to movable ringed hooks that the students slide along the two arms of their weighing device?

Yes, as long as the hooks are only used for attachment and the entire device only uses the Law of the Lever for calculating the unknown mass. General rule #2 applies: http://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: v / line: 3)

2014-01-02 03:25 Can the tools include a spring scale attached to the device (levers)?

No, a spring scale would not be within the spirit of the problem and would violate general rule #2, in addition to not abiding by rule 4.b.v. regarding using only the principles of a lever to calculate the mass.

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2013-11-06 17:21 Are points to be assigned as whole points only? Rounded or truncated? For example, if the measurement takes 15 seconds, is the TS value assigned as 18 points, 18.75 points, or 19 points?

Points will be assigned to the significant figures of the measuring equipment available to the supervisors. Contact local tournaments for information to the precision of their tools.

(section: 5 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2013-11-06 17:23 Is the Mass Score in whole points, rounded or not, or in decimal? For example, if the actual mass of the unknown was 1000g, and the calculated value was 990g, is the scored MS value assigned 29 points, 29.7 points, or 30 points?

The mass score will be decimal, based on the precision of the measurement tools used by the Event Supervisor.

Sounds of Music

(section: 1 / line: 1)

2014-01-23 03:22 May two students on the same team build the same type of instrument - say, both strings - if one instrument does treble and the other does bass?

No. The instruments must be 2 different types.

2014-01-23 03:24 With regards to the instrument-specific test, should a plosive aerophone be classified as a percussion instrument or a wind instrument?

It is a wind instrument per Hornbostel–Sachs.

(section: 1 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 2)

2014-03-09 21:01 What type of instrument is a hammered dulcimer (precursor to the piano), string or percussion?

It's a chordophone instrument per Hornbostel–Sachs.

(section: 2 / line: None)

2014-01-23 03:25 Is it possible to use pre-made cane such as cane that is gouged, profiled, and shaped. I would use this cane to construct a reed by hand.

No. That is a reed block.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 2)

2014-01-23 15:31 Regarding use of rosin, is powdered rosin used in gymnastics, baseball, bowling acceptable?

Yes, it is not a commercially available music item.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 1,2)

2014-03-09 20:05 Are questions about playing specific musical instruments within the scope of this science competition? For example: "What is a technique of the left hand and arm in which the pitch of a note varies in a pulsating rhythm?"

No. Rule 4.d.i clearly states questions are on general acoustic knowledge and the types of instruments brought by the competitors. Musical technique questions are are out of the realm of the rules UNLESS they are referring to WHY a technique makes that sound (i.e. how does the speed of the bow/air affect the sound - bowing/blowing faster is louder, why does vibrato change the sound).


Wheeled Vehicle

(section: 3 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: n/a / line: 1)

2014-01-16 20:20 Does the "non-metallic, elastic material" (possibly a rubber band) mentioned in Section 1 qualify as a "drive string"?

Yes, if the elastic material is wrapped around the axle it becomes the 'drive string' and would not incur a penalty if it comes free and touches the floor.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-01-16 20:26 3.a. states using a "single integral device" .... Does that rule out a system combining two energy sources, such as using rubber bands along with a fishing pole system?

A single integral device (a single vehicle) could include a device which has two or more separate sections/energy sources even if they are dissimilar such as rubber bands and a fishing pole as they are complimenting each other to achieve a goal of greatest speed.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-16 20:36 How many non-metallic elastic devices can I have to power the vehicle?

There is no limit as long as they all meet the "non-metallic, elastic" rule.

2014-01-16 20:37 If a fishing pole is used as the elastic device, do the metal ferules violate the non-metalic rule?

No, as long as the metal ferrules don't provide any energy to propel the vehicle, it is okay.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2013-12-19 15:38 Can the attachment of the dowel to the vehicle encircle the dowel? Technically, the dowel itself would not then be the "Foremost part of the vehicle", the attachment mechanism would be.

The vehicle may have a device to attach the dowel to the vehicle and permit the removal of the dowel for transportation and/or any necessary adjustment. This device must not extend more than 2 cm from the front of the dowel and would then become the foremost part of the vehicle. This attachment device must serve no purpose other than to attach and hold the dowel on the vehicle.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-10 02:11 Does a 1/4" x 1/4" piece of balsa qualify as a 'dowel'?

No, a dowel by definition is a solid cylindrical rod.

(section: 3e / line: 1)

2014-01-16 20:39 The 1/4" wooden dowel that must be attached to the front end of the vehicle, can it be a square dowel or must it be a round dowel?

By definition, a dowel is a cylindrical rod.

(section: 6 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2014-01-16 20:59 What happens if a vehicle goes beyond the target distance? Would I still take a distance score but placed the team score in Tier 2 as a competition violation?

The vehicle may go past the the Target Line without penalty. If the vehicle goes past the Target Line the Distance Score is still the distance from the Measurement Point on the vehicle to the Target Line to the nearest 0.1 cm. It is a point (Measurement Point on the vehicle) to line (Target Line) measurement.

(section: 6 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2014-01-16 20:43 If the center line tape disappears under the wheel of the vehicle but is not visible on the outside of the wheel, is that a reason for losing the Center Line Bonus?

No, if the center tape remains completely within the vehicle's track, i.e. the Center Tape is not visible outside of either wheel of the vehicle's widest axle the Center Line Bonus will be awarded.


(section: 2 / line: b)

2014-03-14 01:06 Can you use a laptop during competition?

Yes, this is covered in the remote control of devices spreadsheet linked from the event homepage and as referred to in para 2.h of the rules. The voltage of any batteries on the laptop must be verifiable to be within permissible limits. And of course, use of a laptop must not allow the competitors to get outside help for the event

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2013-12-23 02:16 Can more than one team drive the same Robot?

No, as stated in the description para 1 the task is to design and build a robot to accomplish a task, not just to accomplish a task. General rule #7 applies in that current team members must have constructed all pre-built devices. Note competitive robots can be made rather cheaply and do NOT require expensive parts. Successful teams have built systems using all new parts for ~$50.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2013-12-20 17:38 May a LEGO Mindstorm NTX be controlled by a device using an app to control movement such as an iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Would the device be considered to be remotely controlling the robot through radio waves?

Yes, as long as the device uses one of the frequencies allowed in the rules as outlined on the NSO website, that would comply with the remote control through radio waves. However, be careful of the device used, it must not allow control or aid from sources outside the competitors.

(section: 2 / paragraph: B / line: 1)

2013-12-23 02:22 Can we use Bluetooth as a remote control?

Yes, Bluetooth, among other standards, is explicitly allowed in the general rules on radiof frequencies referenced in the printed rules. The general rules are accessible from the Robo-Cross event page at: http://www.soinc.org/sites/default/files/uploaded_files/Remotecontrolgeneralrules.pdf

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-03-27 15:58 Is a helicopter or other flying device a legal robot in this competition? In other words is it within the rules for a robot to be able to fly over the playing surface?

Yes, nothing in the rules says flying devices are not legal. This is all provided the robot is safe, still fits with a 30cm cube, and follows other associated rules.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2014-01-06 03:21 If a commercial kit is used what would qualify as a funtional modification?

As per rule 2.c, commercial kits may be used, but must have at least one functional modification. A functional modification is already defined within the rule as the lack of a modification causing the robot to either not work or working differently. This means either a robot pulled out of a box or a kit built that exclusively follows a manufacturer's directions would not be legal for competition. A team is, however, allowed to start with the raw kit/device, run tests on the device, and make modifications prior to competition. Competitors are, in fact, expected to do so prior to the competition as there is no complete device designed for Science Olympiad Robo-Cross that is commercially available.

(section: 2 / paragraph: d / line: 9)

2014-03-27 16:01 It says that the robot in the ready to run position must fit inside a 30 x 30 x 30 cm square. Does the robot have to be turned on while it is being measured?

Yes, ready to run means it is prepared for competition and can begin immediately after being measured without intervention from the competitors.

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 4)

2014-03-27 16:08 Does the passive device need to start in the claw of the robot at the beginning of the competition or can it be placed in the robot starting box and picked up later in the competition?

No, it does not need to start in the claw. It does need to fit in the 30 cm box with the rest of the robot. The passive device will be considered part of the robot and scored as such if it is left in a different Zone than the Robot at the end of the competition. See Rule 6.a.v.

(section: 2. / paragraph: b. / line: 1)

2013-12-23 02:32 The sentence says the Robot "May be controlled remotely by radio, infrared, or wired control Boxes to the robot". LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots are programmed and not remotely controlled. Would this type of robot be acceptable?

Yes. Programmable controllers on the robot or in a remote box are allowed. But if the robot is touched after the Event Supervisor says "1, 2, 3, go" the time will stop per rule 5.f.iv.

(section: 3 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 2)

2014-03-27 19:32 Technical Documentation examples are now posted on the website under Div. B - Robo Cross.

Examples of the technical documentation are now on the website under Div. B - Robo Cross. Illustrations may be in any form - photos, hand drawings, etc. Documentation must be clear and legible.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 1)

2013-12-20 17:55 Please provide the geometry of the bonus jug. For example, is the cross section circular (bleach bottle) or rounded square (milk jug) and is the connection between the bottom of the jug and the wall rounded.

The bonus jug will be a plastic milk or juice jug provided by the local event supervisor and will be what is available locally. It is recommended to use a jug that is squared on the bottom and has 4 sides, not a rounded jug. If there are more than one playing fields are a competition, the jugs must be identical.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 2)

2014-03-14 01:40 Will the handle on the bonus jug be placed facing up, facing down, or will competitors be allowed to choose?

The position of the handle on the bonus jug (if there is a handle) will be up to the event supervisor. All teams will have the jug placed in the same position and orientation.

(section: 5 / paragraph: c,e / line: 1,1)

2014-01-06 03:24 The rules state that the robot may move the bonus jug and robot parts may end up in or on the Bonus Jug. Can the Bonus Jug be ON the robot itself within the scoring zones and be scored according to the zone the robot is in?


(section: 5 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-27 16:13 If the objects are inside of the jug, but still attached to the the robot, will they count for points?

Yes. The key language in rules 6.b.ii and 6.b.iii is: "...in or fully supported by the Bonus Jug..."

(section: 5 / paragraph: f / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 1)

2013-12-23 02:48 Are the wires that connect a controller to the robot considered "part of the robot" with regard to this rule? If the wires are long enough that they touch the ground outside of the playing field, are they considered out of play, stopping the run?

No, the wires from the controller are part of the controller. No part of the rule requires time stop for the controller touching the ground.

(section: 6 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: ii,iii / line: 1)

2014-03-27 16:14 The robot carries a container and some items are picked up and stored in the container. If the container is dropped on top of the bonus jug that is facing up, are the items in the container considered fully supported by the jug and are awarded 3x ...

If the container is fully supported by the jug, yes, the objects in it are fully supported by the jug.

(section: 6 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2013-12-20 20:22 Should the reference here be to Para 5, line 2, not 5.a., which does not require any identifications?

Yes, 6.c. should read: The score will be reduced one point for each incorrect identification in 5. line 1-2.

(section: Unknow / line: Unknow)

2013-12-23 02:49 May a cell phone be used as the remote control for the robot?

Yes. The general rules referenced in para 2.h at http://www.soinc.org/sites/default/files/uploaded_files/Remotecontrolgeneralrules.pdf specifically allow smartphones. However, be aware, some tournaments may have rules against cell phone use by competitors, I suggest you clear such use tournament by tournament.

Boomilever - Div B

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-01-23 15:55 3a says that the Boolilever must be attached to the mounting hook(s). If the attachment base on the boomilever has no hole but rests against the mounting hook does that count as "attached"?

Yes, the boomilever may rest against the mounting hook.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2013-11-30 07:48 Is it 5 cm below Contact depth of actual Boomilever being tested, or 5 cm from Contact Depth line?

Please refer to the posted Rules Clarification.

2013-11-30 07:55 Does rule 3d mean that the loading block must be at or above 5cm below the contact depth before start AND during loading? For example, can the loading block be at 25cm below the center line of the hook if the contact depth=20cm? Will this depth be...

The rule does not state that the loading block must be at of above 5cm below the contact depth during the loading. Testing will continue until failure of the Boomilever which is defined in 5.f.line 3.

(section: 3g,h / line: 1)

2014-01-23 15:36 Can we use dowel joints to connect/join wood pieces in addition to adhesive? i.e. the dowel pins are made of wood.

Dowels are allowed as long as they are made of wood and meet the requirements of rule 3.g.

(section: 5 / paragraph: i / line: 2-3)

2014-03-27 19:41 What is the correct usage of the stabilization sticks (i.e. door stop end bumper only, wood dowel end only, either wood dowel or door stop end, or does not matter)?

To correctly use the stabilization sticks, the door stop end bumper should be used to touch the bucket, not the wood dowel end.

(section: 5 / paragraph: j / line: all)

2014-01-23 15:52 Please explain "Failure." Should loading stop if a piece breaks off the structure? Rule 3.a. states that it must be a single structure.

Failure is defined specifically in rule 5.j. Rule 3.a. defines the construction parameters of the structure, not what happens to the structure during loading. Therefore, if a piece breaks off the structure during loading and the structure is still supporting the load, loading will continue until failure occurs as defined in 5.j.


(section: 3 / paragraph: E / line: 2)

2014-01-23 15:10 The rule says around a single vertical axis, but last year when my team was at state we saw a group with a tandem/chinook style helicopter. I was wondering if this is legal according to the 2914 rules, though I also see that it is still phrased th...

Chinook style helicopters are still legal under the 2014 rules, but will not receive any bonus. 3e defines a rotor as a blade or blades which rotate around a vertical axis. Each rotor may have it's own vertical axis.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2014-01-26 22:48 If two (or more) rotors share a common vertical axis (eg, attached to the same motor mast) but rotate on different horizontal planes, are the rotors considered separate rotors?

Rotors are defined in rule 3.e as one or more blades that rotate on a common path around a vertical axis. The rules do not include any requirements for the amount of vertical separation between blades necessary, so blades that are separated to an unlimited extent may still qualify as being part of the same assembly. One blade could be on the top of the helicopter or motorstick and another on the bottom, but still be connected in a single rotor assembly. The "path" referred to in rule 3.e does not indicate that every blade must occupy exactly the same volumetric space on each rotation. Instead, it means that when an assembly is rotated around an axis, each blade also processes around that axis. A key test of whether blades are part of the same rotor are to determine if they are rigidly connected to each other. If one blade cannot rotate independently of another blade, they are on the same rotor and constitute a multi bladed rotor. To test if a rotor is single bladed, the students should demonstrate that it can rotate independent of all other blades on the helicopter without damage to the helicopter.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-01-23 15:22 If the radius is 15 cm or less (which would equal a diameter of 30 cm) how does this relate to rule 3e - the maximum diameter is 25 cm.

The 15cm referred to in rule 3.f is an exception for single-bladed rotors only, as they have less lifting area and their swept diameter is extremely difficult to measure. Any rotor assembly with more than one blade must have a diameter less than 25cm. If a rotor only has a single blade, it must have a radius less than 15cm.

(section: 3 / paragraph: F / line: 1)

2014-02-24 22:52 Do single blades which pass the student demonstration of independent rotation but then function together as a multi bladed rotor during flight still qualify for Scoring Rule 5.a. time bonus, and would the blades be evaluated under Construction Rul...

No, the pre-inspection is not the only time in which a device must be within compliance of the rules. It must remain in compliance throughout testing. As such, if a Helicopter rotor design functions as a two-bladed rotor during flight, it will be judged as a two-bladed rotor. This means the 25 cm rotor diameter limit will apply and the 10% bonus will not.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1-3)

2014-01-23 14:54 Would a two or three-bladed rotor count as a single-blade for the 10% bonus if only one of the blades is covered and the others are left uncovered (without mylar, etc)?

Yes, the other components referred to as "blades" above are not blades as they do not provide lift, they are counterweights. Only the covered surface counts as a blade and presuming all other requirements are met, will count as a single bladed rotor.

(section: 3 / paragraph: F / sub-paragraph: I / line: 3)

2014-01-23 15:28 If the helicopter blade consisting of a single surface has the axis of rotation in the middle of the surface, will it still be considered a single surface for the purpose of the bonus?

No, the axis of rotation in this situation divides the covered region into two separate lifting surfaces, meaning two separate blades.

(section: 4 / paragraph: I / line: 3)

2014-03-10 01:58 Is there a time after a helicopter gets hung up in a ceiling obstacle the judges should use before calling a halt to the time.

The rules do not mandate any amount of time for hang-ups to continue legal flight time. Whether the rotors are supporting the weight of the helicopter or not is the only factor determining whether a flight is over or not and this will be up to the judgement of the event supervisor at the individual tournament. We cannot comment on a specific scenarios or occurrences without having actually been physically present.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 2)

2014-02-24 22:59 How will judges determine that the rotors no longer support the weight of the helicopter?

This will be up to the judgement of the event supervisor. There are simply too many potential scenarios based on local conditions and individual behavior to predict every possibility.

(section: 5 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-03-11 23:44 Could a single bladed rotor that is unpowered ( not powered by rubberband or anything else) qualify for the bonus?

No, as per rule 3.e, rotors must be the lifting surfaces. If a component is not powered, it is not providing lift. Para 3.f, last sentence: A blade is defined as a single surface designed to create lift force as it moves through the air. An unpowered blade is likely to be stationary, so it cannot provide lift.