Scoring will be conducted consistent with all Science Olympiad rules (including clarifications and FAQs) and policies.  Relevant policies include the Code of Ethics and General Rules, Scoring Guidelines, Laser Policy, Building and Tools Policy, Eye Protection Policy, Copyright and Use Policy, Significant Figures Policy, Battery Policy, and Calculator Guide. All of these rules and policies are publicly available on the national organization website.


If a team believes they have been treated unfairly, or in a manner inconsistent with Science Olympiad rules and policies, they have the right to seek recourse. The Head Coach for any such team may file an appeal using our Arbitration Form to outline their case and requested remedy. Only a Head Coach acting on behalf of their team may file an appeal; individual students, parents, assistant coaches, alumni, and other third parties lack standing to submit an appeal. Additionally, teams may not file an appeal to request an adverse action against one of their competitors.

All appeals will be reviewed by the Arbitration Director, who may gather evidence and input from whichever source(s) they deem appropriate.  Appeals will not be considered if received more than one hour after the publication of the final results.

Team Sanctions

At the independent discretion of the Tournament Director(s), offensive, disruptive, unethical, or illegal behavior by students, coaches, parents, or other individuals may result in sanctions against those individuals or their affiliated team(s). Behaviors that may potentially result in sanctions also include repetitive or egregious violations of tournament policies. Sanctions against teams may include team penalty points, disqualification in an event, or disqualification as a team. Sanctions against individuals may include temporary or permanent bans from participation in, or attendance at, the tournament. Any imposed sanctions are subject to appeal and review by the Arbitration Committee.

Students Below Grade Level Designations

Our tournament acknowledges the national policy stating that "schools with grade levels lower than those stated in a Division are permitted to invite members below the grade level designations". In alignment with this policy, our tournament has implemented the following process for any such students.

The student's parent or guardian, Head Coach, and Principal or Assistant Principal must review the event rules and jointly discuss which event(s) are age-appropriate and safe for the individual student. The Principal or Assistant Principal must then submit a written request at least two weeks prior to the tournament:

Within one week of receipt, the Tournament Director(s) will review requests and communicate back a final decision on both the student's overall participation and their participation in each specific event. Decisions will be made with consideration of student safety and district policies.


What level of rules are observed at the SHSSO Invitational?

We ask all supervisors to closely follow the invitational/regional rules for their events. We believe that the topics and challenges reserved by the rules for the State and National Tournaments are inappropriate for our invitational tournament. 

Are teams held to the membership and composition rules set by the national organization?

Yes. Our tournament expects all teams, supervisors, and scoring staff to follow all rules, policies, clarifications, and FAQs published by the national organization. This includes team composition requirements such as having no more than fifteen students per team, no more than seven of whom may be in twelfth grade. Students should not be competing in one event under one team number and in a different event using their school's other team number.

Are teams required to submit a team roster or wear wristbands?

No. As an invitational tournament, we do not believe the potential benefit of these measures outweighs their administrative burden to the competing teams. However, we reserve the right to request a roster from a participating school if we suspect that team membership or composition rules are not being followed. Failure to adhere to these rules could result in competition penalties, up to and including disqualification, at the discretion of the Tournament Directors.

Will students arriving late to an event be allowed to participate?

This decision is at the discretion of the Event Supervisor. While we encourage our Event Supervisors to allow late arrivals to participate to the fullest extent possible, we defer to their judgement. The integrity and fairness of competition is paramount.

When are students expected to arrive for self-schedule events?

Students should plan to arrive and be ready to compete at the start of their selected time slot. Given the large number of participating teams, your students should not arrive near the end of the designated time slot and expect to be given the opportunity to compete.

Can possession of phones, smart watches, and other electronic devices during competition result in disqualification?

This decision is at the discretion of the Event Supervisor, and should be based upon their best judgment as to whether the offending students were attempting to gain an unfair advantage. We strongly recommend that students do not have phones, smart watches, or other electronic devices on their person while competing unless such devices are explicitly permitted by that event's rules.

A minor clerical error or answer key mistake was noted by my students: will you adjust the results?

If you submit an arbitration within one hour of the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony, such a request will be considered by the Tournament Directors. Please note that if all teams were treated consistently, we are unlikely to overturn the results. For mechanical events where scoresheets are filled in during the event session, students should be reviewing their results before leaving the competition area. 

Since we release raw scores, tests, and keys to all participating schools, it should be possible for your students to identify their accurate placement if a minor clerical error was made.