Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Guidelines PDF - updated 4/19/18

Scoring Guidelines Word Doc - updated 4/19/18

Science Olympiad Scoring Best Practices Guide

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  1. All teams who participate and compete according to the rules must be scored and ranked. All ties for the top medal and trophy places must be broken. To break event ties use the procedures in each event rule. In the 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). To break ties for a team place count the highest number of gold medals, then silver and so on.

  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. Teams with the fewest points will be awarded the highest trophies.

  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. To prevent scoring errors, after turning in the score sheet with raw scores and all supporting documentation (answer sheets, master answer key, student papers, etc.), you will be asked to participate in a Score Counseling session to explain how you scored teams (formulas, tie-breakers, etc.) for all 60 places. The reason a team was disqualified, not ranked, ranked below, or received only a participation score must be recorded.

    Note: NATIONAL TOURNAMENT SCORING POLICY - At the end of the Science Olympiad National Tournament Awards Ceremony each team’s head coach will be provided one copy of the final scores. Within one hour after the ceremony is completed the head coach may submit compelling evidence of a scoring inconsistency using this Team Ranking Inquiry Form (will be a live link at the 2018 National Tournament). If the evidence is verified, the appropriate points, medals and trophies will be awarded for that team only. Thinking that your team "did better" than scores reflect is not considered compelling evidence. Teams will not be asked to return awards or to relinquish any points. Scores for the Science Olympiad National Tournament are not official until they are posted on the website.

Science Olympiad National Tournament

Checked In By:


Reviewed By:


Event: ___________________________________
Supervisor: _____________________________________________ Division: B C

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

Front Desk Checklist:

1. Are there any Appeals? Yes - No If yes, please check for appeal’s resolution prior to submitting scores.

2. Has an electronic copy of Test/Key/Device Spreadsheet been e-mailed to Yes - No  If not, collect a Flash Drive of the Test/Key/Device Spreadsheet or remind them to send it by the end of the day.

3. Collect these Forms and place in 3 labeled file folder boxes: Spirit Award Nominations  Event Supervisor Evaluations  Lockheed Martin Coaching Excellence Award Nomination Form (from coaches if any)

Before sending the supervisor to Score Counseling: 

4. Bundle Team Papers together with a rubber band (placed in Rank Order from 1st to 60th):  Team Tests  Answer Sheets  Team Checklists

5. Bundle Supervisor Papers and place in large envelope received at registration:   Blank Test  Answer Key  Team Checklists  Event Master Scoresheets (spreadsheets with formulas)

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 scoresheet/spreadsheet and verify that the scoring formula was correctly applied (if not using the national spreadsheet) and that rank ordering was correct.

4. All ties for the top medal and trophy places (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: ___________________________

Revised 4/19/18