Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Guidelines PDF

Scoring Guidelines Word Doc

Science Olympiad Scoring Best Practices Guide

Sample Excel-Based Scoring System Download


  1. All teams who participate and compete according to the rules must be scored and ranked. Please account for all 60 teams and make every effort to break all ties (except P/NS/DQ as explained below), following the guidelines under the scoring section of the event rules, where applicable. In the rare event that a tie can't be broken, award points according to the place tied and then skip the next place (e.g., if two teams were tied for 3rd place, both get 3 points and the next place team would get 5 points).

  2. Teams/devices that do not meet the requirements in the event rules will be allowed to compete if possible and are to be scored and ranked below those who met all of the specifications. They will be awarded event points in relation to their rank. Event Supervisors may, at their discretion, allow students to modify any device before it is impounded to bring it into compliance with the rules. That discretion, if extended, must be made available to all competitors equally. Any modification must be completed, and the device impounded, before the expiration of the impound period. Supervisors and Officials may not provide assistance or advice regarding the type of modifications or how to accomplish them prior to, or at any time during the tournament day. Supervisors are encouraged to post or have available student self-checklists/team scoresheets such as those posted for many technology events on:

  3. Teams making an honest attempt to participate that cannot be assigned a raw score because of time, mechanical failure, wrong dimensions, etc., will be listed as a “P” for Participation for the raw score on the score sheet and will be awarded N points. “N” is equal to the number of teams registered to compete in the Tournament (we expect 60 teams for each division) as shown on your score sheet. Any device which, in the judgment of the Event Supervisor, is a safety hazard to competitors, judges, or spectators, will not be allowed to compete and will be listed as a P (Participation) for the raw score on the score sheet and will be awarded N points.

  4. If a team does not show up or does not make an honest attempt to participate, the team will be listed as a No Show or “NS” for the raw score on the score sheet and awarded N+1 points. This includes teams who may be present but display no preparation for the competition.

  5. Teams should be Disqualified or “DQ” only for misbehavior (to include excessive use of improper or vulgar language) or cheating. Put DQ as raw score and award N+2 points on the score sheet. Also, note on the score sheet the reason why teams were disqualified. Event Supervisors may remove from competition any student(s) whose personal or ethical behavior does not adhere to the Science Olympiad Code of Ethics. This action will disqualify the affected student(s) from participation and scoring in that event only. If any team is DQed or Ranked Below Others or placed in a lower tier, inform the student as soon as a problem occurs (and remind the student to inform their coach). If the problem was not determined until after students had left, contact head coach by cell phone immediately. Be sure to list the detailed reason on the score sheet and the Counseling Form.

  6. Teams who were scored and had a raw score placed on the answer sheet are to be awarded points for each place as follows: 1st – 1 point, 2nd – 2 points, - up to 60th – 60 points

  7. Teams considered as PARTICIPATION, NO SHOW, OR DISQUALIFIED will be ranked and assigned points as follows:

    Rank Points
    PARTICIPATION (P)= N points =60 points
    NO SHOW (NS)= N + 1 points =61 points
    DISQUALIFIED ( DQ)= N + 2 points =62 points

    Note: N = number of teams registered to compete for each division of the tournament not the number of teams that actually enter the event. We expect 60 teams to be registered for each division at the national tournament, so N=60. (Note 2: states (not NSO) with low numbers for P in selected events may reward teams for P by using the number of teams that actually enter the event.)

  8. Provide raw scores and any supporting documentation when turning in the score sheet (answer sheets, master answer key, student papers, etc.). When turning in your scores, you will be asked to participate in a Score Counseling session to explain how you scored the teams (formulas, tie-breakers, etc.) for all 60 places, double checking that the forms are filled out accurately before they are entered into the computer. This will cut down on questions and mistakes that are discovered after the tournament. Please record the reason why a team was disqualified, not ranked, ranked below, or received only a participation score.

    Note: NATIONAL TOURNAMENT SCORING POLICY-At the end of the Science Olympiad National Awards Ceremony each team’s head coach will be provided one copy of the final scores. Places are tentative and may change if any scoring inconsistencies are brought to the attention of the arbitrators and verified within one hour after the ceremony is completed. If changes occur, the appropriate medals and trophies will be awarded. Teams will not be asked to return awards. In the rare case of a problem, the head coach (only) should contact the tournament director. Scores for the National Science Olympiad are not official until they are posted on the website.

Science Olympiad National Tournament

Completed By:


Checked By:


Event: ___________________________________
Supervisor: _____________________________________________ Division: B C

Cell Phone number where you can be reached in the next 2-3 hours: ___________________________________

Front Desk: First check to see if any Appeals have been filed? Yes - No If yes, please check for appeal’s resolution prior to submitting scores. Then please collect and place these in six separate B/C boxes: B/C Event Supervisor Evaluation B/C Spirit Award B/C Copy of Test AND Answer Key and/or Electronic Copy of Test & Key if not already sent

Before sending the supervisor to Score Counselors: ensure that Student tests and answer sheets or scoresheets are placed in Rank Order from 1st to 60 th and they also have these: Attendance Form any Spreadsheet (with formulas) where appropriate for review.

Counseling interview questions:

  1. How was the event run Timed Stations Written Test Hands-on Activities or Combination/Please Describe



  2. How was the Winner determined High Score wins Low Score wins
    Check or record Criteria here: (distance, number, closest to target, other) ___________________________________

  3. Please select a few students’ tests/results and ask how the score was derived, and check to see that all page scores were totaled correctly. Review the spreadsheet and verify that the scoring formula was correctly applied and that rank ordering was correct..

  4. All ties (except P/NS/DQ) must be broken. Record method of breaking ties here:

    Note: High Score generally wins, but often the tiebreaker may be the Low Score (e.g., mass), so please check one: High Tie Score wins Low Tie Score wins (Remember: In the rare event that there is a tie, give points according to the place tied and then skip the next place (e.g., all teams tied for 3rd place get 3 points)

  5. Correct ranking for ALL 60 schools (teams get the same number of points as place, e.g., 30th place gets 30 points)

  6. Verify all Participation (P), No-Shows (NS) and Disqualifications (DQ) as at National Finals these should be very rare. Any team making an honest attempt to compete/participate (P) but not able to be ranked because of time, mechanical failure, wrong dimensions, etc., should be given N points, where N = total # of teams. Teams that do not show up (NS) should be given N+1 points (be sure to check the Attendance Form for possible omission). Only teams that are disqualified for egregious behavior problems or cheating should be given N+2 points.

  7. Red Flags: Were students informed as soon as a problem occurred (and reminded to inform their coach) if DQed, Ranked Below Others, placed in a Lower Tier or only awarded a Participation Point (as this may often effectively place a team at the very bottom) Yes If No, contact head coach by cell phone immediately.

    Be sure to list the detailed reason here: ________________________ (and/or on the score sheet)

    If the problem was not determined until after students had left, contact head coach by cell phone immediately.
    Please list who was notified and when: ___________________________

Rev 1/18/12