Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:05

Clarifications & FAQs open October 1 and close May 1. Official Rules Clarifications/Changes are made to correct the rules in the Science Olympiad Rules Manuals. FAQs are replies to commonly asked questions. If a FAQ reply changes the meaning or corrects a rule it will be posted as a Clarification. The Official Rules Clarifications and FAQs apply to all states and all tournaments and originate at the National level (please check your Regional or State Website for special updates pertaining to your regional or state events). The official event rules can be found in the Science Olympiad Rules Manual free online and in print versions; each registered member must join through their state Science Olympiad organization to participate.

To view posted FAQs or to Submit a Question for a Rules Clarification, please select one of the five titles in blue below.  To search for a key word use the search function. To see all FAQ responses, use the Printer-Friendly Version button below. To see if a similar questions to yours has been asked, click on the Reveal Questions button. For Trial event questions, please submit them under the Reveal Questions button at the very end under Trial Events.

The Submit a Question form is to be used to ask questions about a specific section and paragraph number in the event rule that might be unclear, not to be a help or answer desk. Only specific clarifying questions will receive replies. They will be posted if they are not a repetition of what is already stated in the rules. Concerning specificity about what is allowed please read the Code of Ethics and General Rules. For questions about team size and team qualification see the respective web page.

Questions that will not receive a reply: those that are already answered and posted, what materials to use, how to build a device, if a device complies to the rules, what will be covered on a test or how to coach the event. These questions should go to your coach or see the links under Events.

General tournament, facilities or site-specific questions should go to your State Director.

Division B Events

Division C Events

General Questions

Coaching/Team Requirements

Trial Events

Division B Events

Division B Events

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:20

Questions must be directed toward the rules. We cannot pre-judge your device by answering questions on whether it complies.

Earth/Space Science

Earth/Space Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:40

Dynamic Planet - Div B

Dynamic Planet - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:40

Meteorology

Meteorology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:44

Road Scholar

Road Scholar

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Rocks and Minerals - Div B

Rocks and Minerals - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:43

Solar System

Solar System

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:47

Inquiry/Nature

Inquiry/Nature

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Experimental Design - Div B

Experimental Design - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Mystery Architecture

Mystery Architecture

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:00

Write It Do It - Div B

Write It Do It - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

Life/Personal/Social Science

Life/Personal/Social Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

Microbe Mission - Div B

Microbe Mission - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:48

Disease Detectives - Div B

Disease Detectives - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:48

Ecology - Div B

Ecology - Div B

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:32

Anatomy and Physiology - Div B

Anatomy and Physiology - Div B

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:49

Herpetology - Div B

Herpetology - Div B

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:51

Physical Science/Chemistry

Physical Science/Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:49

Chemistry

Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:49

Crime Busters

Crime Busters

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:37

Potions and Poisons

Potions and Poisons

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:55

Physics

Physics

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:50

Hovercraft - Div B

Hovercraft - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:50

Optics

Optics

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:37

Thermodynamics - Div B

Thermodynamics - Div B

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:57

Technology

Technology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:51

Towers

Towers

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:38

Battery Buggy

Battery Buggy

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:58

Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:58

Wright Stuff

Wright Stuff

admin Wed, 2011-08-24 14:46

Division C Events

Division C Events

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:20

Questions must be directed toward the rules. We cannot pre-judge your device by answering questions on whether it complies.

Earth & Space Science

Earth & Space Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:52

Astronomy

Astronomy

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:52

Dynamic Planet - Div C

Dynamic Planet - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Rocks and Minerals - Div C

Rocks and Minerals - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Inquiry & Nature of Science

Inquiry & Nature of Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Experimental Design - Div C

Experimental Design - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Fermi Questions

Fermi Questions

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:27

Game On

Game On

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Write It Do It - Div C

Write It Do It - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Life, Personal & Social Science

Life, Personal & Social Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Ecology - Div C

Ecology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Disease Detectives - Div C

Disease Detectives - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Anatomy and Physiology - Div C

Anatomy and Physiology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Microbe Mission - Div C

Microbe Mission - Div C

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:20

Herpetology - Div C

Herpetology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Physical Science & Chemistry

Physical Science & Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Chemistry

Chemistry

albert Wed, 2017-09-13 15:21

Chem Lab

Chem Lab

admin Fri, 2014-09-12 11:10

Forensics

Forensics

admin Mon, 2014-09-08 13:46

Materials Science

Materials Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Physics

Physics

albert Wed, 2017-09-13 15:23

Hovercraft - Div C

Hovercraft - Div C

admin Fri, 2011-10-28 10:40

Optics - Div C

Optics - Div C

admin Mon, 2014-09-08 13:47

Thermodynamics - Div C

Thermodynamics - Div C

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:21

Technology & Engineering

Technology & Engineering

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:58

Helicopters

Helicopters

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:59

Towers - Div C

Towers - Div C

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:27

Mission Possible

Mission Possible

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:23

Mousetrap Vehicle

Mousetrap Vehicle

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:25

General Questions

General Questions

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:19

Please do not use this form for EVENT RULE questions as they must be submitted by selecting one of the 46 events listed. This page refers to questions that apply to all events and to Science Olympiad in general. 

If our school has two teams, are students allowed to participate with both teams?

If our school has two teams, are students allowed to participate with both teams?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:19

No, students may not compete on 2 teams in the same tournament.

Can we laminate cheat sheets?

Can we laminate cheat sheets?

admin Thu, 2015-11-12 13:30

See General Rule #1.

General Rule 2 states that participants may not communicate with the outside. How will the laptops be checked to insure that their internet capability is disabled?

General Rule 2 states that participants may not communicate with the outside. How will the laptops be checked to insure that their internet capability is disabled?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:11

Event Supervisors are not willing to share their methods of insuring that students do not communicate with the outside during an event.

How far in advance of the regional and state tournaments are the schedules sent out so coaches can figure out student placement in events?

How far in advance of the regional and state tournaments are the schedules sent out so coaches can figure out student placement in events?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:17

This depends on each tournament Director's timeline. You may need to inquire about the schedule directly with each of your directors. The very tentative national schedule is generally posted in the Coaches Manuals.

How much is the initial registration fee?

How much is the initial registration fee?

admin Fri, 2012-10-26 14:31
The National registration fee is $60 per team and is included in the state registration fee. Please check with your State Director to register. State websites can be accessed through the www.soinc.org

I was looking for FAQs for an event, but there aren't any questions or answers for that event.

I was looking for FAQs for an event, but there aren't any questions or answers for that event.

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:24

You are correct.  There are very few questions and answers posted this year because the rules have been generally well written and we have received few questions that are worthy of posting.  We are responding to all questions that come in but be aware that responses may take up to a week.    Please be sure to read the parameters that we use to decide what questions we will or will not answer. These parameters may be found at Event Info/FAQs...

In past years, there have been live links for the various events to access online resources. Did I miss them, or is there a change in policy?

In past years, there have been live links for the various events to access online resources. Did I miss them, or is there a change in policy?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:12

Material on the website has been contributed by coaches, event supervisors and workshop presenters from all levels of competition. Any additional material will be posted as it becomes available. If you would like to contribute material (non-copyright) please contact the Science Olympiad National Office.

May a 9th grader compete in both the B division and C division, since B is 6-9 and C is 9-12?

May a 9th grader compete in both the B division and C division, since B is 6-9 and C is 9-12?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:20

No, you must choose one or the other at a tournament.  You may not be on two rosters at the same tournament.

May a team member participate in the state competition if they cannot participate in the regional competition?

May a team member participate in the state competition if they cannot participate in the regional competition?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:23

Each tournament is independently organized. Your team may be composed of any students who meet the requirements. They do not have to be the same as those who competed in previous tournaments.

On what dates are the regional, state, and national tournaments, or where might I find them?

On what dates are the regional, state, and national tournaments, or where might I find them?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:26

Contact your Regional and State Director for information about those tournaments. All known future National Tournament dates can be found on the "Tournaments" page on this website and in the current Rules Manual.

What is the policy of using resources during competition this year?

What is the policy of using resources during competition this year?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:21

Allowed resources are different for each event. Please read each Event Rule and the General Rules in the Rules Manual for information on using resources.

When will the Rules Manual be sent?

When will the Rules Manual be sent?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:13

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

Where are the event rules on this website? I would like to be able to print the rules instead of copying from someone else's manual.

Where are the event rules on this website? I would like to be able to print the rules instead of copying from someone else's manual.

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:49

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:13

Answers to all questions about rules can generally be found in the Rules Manual by reading the rules carefully. The Clarifications and individual Event FAQ pages have only selected answers to corrections or common misunderstandings.

Where is the best website to obtain info and materials on how to make devices for competion?

Where is the best website to obtain info and materials on how to make devices for competion?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:14

Researching information is part of the competition and is the responsibility of the contestants. Some information available from Science Olympiad on the internet can be located on the page for that event. To access event pages, go to the Menu, then choose either Division B or Division C Events.

Why aren't the rules on the web?

Why aren't the rules on the web?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:17

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

Why aren't the schedules for nationals, state and regionals all the same? It is very difficult to reorganize the teams at every level of competition because of time conflicts with the studied events. Why aren't all competitions required to be con...

Why aren't the schedules for nationals, state and regionals all the same? It is very difficult to reorganize the teams at every level of competition because of time conflicts with the studied events. Why aren't all competitions required to be con...

admin Wed, 2008-11-26 13:15
There are 500 different tournaments with 500 different sets of unique limitations. The national schedule is posted in September. You might ask your local tournament director but keep in mind that they must build their schedules around limitations such as availability of space, event supervisors, equipment, etc.

Coaching/Team Requirements

Coaching/Team Requirements

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:18

Questions on coaching a team, study resources and membership requirements.

Are there any other places where we can get practice tests for the events?

Are there any other places where we can get practice tests for the events?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:49

Yes, dozens of them, but the best sources are the Test Packets from each National Tournament that can be ordered from the Science Olympiad Store. Many others are listed under each event on this website.

If a school has grade levels below those designated for their division (A3-6/B6-9/C9-12), may students from the lower grades participate on a team in a higher division?

If a school has grade levels below those designated for their division (A3-6/B6-9/C9-12), may students from the lower grades participate on a team in a higher division?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:51

With the concurrence of your tournaments organizers, to encourage and support the inclusion of all children who wish to participate in Science Olympiad, schools with grade levels lower than those designated in a division (e.g., K-8, 3-7, 7-12) are permitted to invite members below the Division grade level designations if no other outlet (such as a division-specific team) is available. We prefer and encourage students to participate in the division that matches current Science Olympiad grade level designations. Participation is limited to age-appropriate events (as determined by a coach, principal or tournament director) and prohibited where safety is a concern (such as the use of chemicals).

If a student no longer attends the school but is at another school that does not have a team, may she compete on our team?

If a student no longer attends the school but is at another school that does not have a team, may she compete on our team?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:25

No, but they are welcome to form a new team even if it is with only a few students at first.  

If we qualifiy for nationals, but are short team members, may we use alternate team members to fill in?

If we qualifiy for nationals, but are short team members, may we use alternate team members to fill in?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:27

Each tournament is independently organized. Your team may be composed of any students who meet the requirements on page 2 of the Coaches Manual and Rules. They do not have to be the same as those who competed in previous tournaments.

May we put a team together & register outside the school, having the team made up of students from the school? May the coach be a parent or does it have to be a teacher from that school?

May we put a team together & register outside the school, having the team made up of students from the school? May the coach be a parent or does it have to be a teacher from that school?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:54

No. Please see the official Science Olympiad policies on Team Size & Grade Levels (https://www.soinc.org/divisions_abc) and Team Qualifications (https://www.soinc.org/home_virtual_schools) for team composition questions. While parents or other adults are excellent team coaches, a principal must sign the team roster, and most school administrators will require a contracted person, staff, or faculty member to organize all school paperwork necessary for travel to Science Olympiad tournaments, including permission slips, and medical and media release forms. As the Science Olympiad team is representing the school, the school needs to follow all the proper procedures for student supervision, liability and safety. Please see our Volunteers page for more info. (https://www.soinc.org/volunteers)

Please tell me how to find and print the event rules. We are having trouble navigating the website.

Please tell me how to find and print the event rules. We are having trouble navigating the website.

gerard Mon, 2008-11-10 15:11

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

What is the official rule on alternate team members?

What is the official rule on alternate team members?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:46

There is no "official" rule on "alternate" members.  Alternates may participate only if one of the 15 regular team members can't make it the day of the competition or if a team member becomes ill or injured. Alternates may not fill in if there is a schedule conflict or if the schedule changes on the day of the competition.

Some tournaments restrict the number (if any) per team and sometimes allow them to participate in trials events and drop off impound items. Many tournaments issue and require "regular" team members to wear "hospital style" wrist bands so alternates do not "accidentally" cover for a late member.

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:53

Answers to all questions can be found in this knowledge base. The Clarifications  and individual Event FAQ pages have been merged into this Knowledge base.

Trial/Pilot Events

Trial/Pilot Events

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:21

For general information and pdfs regarding trial events, please visit the Trial Events information page.

To ask questions about a Trial Event or to find out which events will be held, contact your Regional or State Director.

Advisor Communications

Advisor Communications

admin Thu, 2012-10-25 13:14

Internal communications between SOINC advisers.