Day of Tournament

The following policies have been developed for use specifically at the Wisconsin State Science Olympiad Division B and C Tournament.The policies are in alignment with National Science Olympiad policies while establishing policies for Wisconsin Science Olympiad specific activities and procedures. Regional and Invitational Tournaments offered in Wisconsin may develop their own policies and procedures. Coaches should consult with Invitational and Regional Directors if they have any policy questions.


Before the Tournament

Tournament Forms

Required forms for WSO Tournament Participation. These forms will be collected at registration and are required for participation. The medical release forms will be confirmed at registration, and the coaches will retain these documents. If a school district already has a medical release form/procedure, please share this documentation at WSO tournament registration.

W9 Form, if needed for Membership Fees

Using The Wisconsin Science Olympiad Logo

Science Olympiad teams holding a current membership in Wisconsin Science Olympiad Div C, as well as organizations, colleges or schools hosting a Wisconsin Science Olympiad program, are welcome to use the official Wisconsin Science Olympiad Logos for t-shirts, flyers, or printed materials such as tournament programs. Wisconsin Science Olympiad Div C Teams may sell their own t-shirts or items locally as fund-raisers, but anyone wishing to use the Wisconsin Science Olympiad Logos or name for any other promotional, sales or marketing purpose (such as for a DVD, CD or book) must contact Wisconsin Science Olympiad, Inc., at, to receive written permission.
To protect the trademarks of Wisconsin Science Olympiad, Inc., and to promote a consistent visual identity, the WSO Logos and symbols and marks may vary in size, but cannot otherwise be altered, tampered with, modified, incorporated into other marks, or overprinted with other words or design elements. You may not modify or alter the WSO Logos in any way, except size, including proportions, colors, elements, type, font or in any other respect. You may not animate, morph or otherwise distort the WSO logo's perspective or dimensional appearance. See Branding Guidelines below:

WSO Branding Guidelines
WSO Logos


Combining Small Schools

Smaller schools may combine students to form one Team if total enrollment of the combined schools would not be greater than 300 students. Rationale for this includes: 1) In Wisconsin there are many schools with small enrollments. Even though individual students may be outstanding, there is not the base available to form a Team with depth. This would enable the students to feel they have a chance of equal competition to achieve national recognition. 2) In a smaller school, where the teacher has the complete science program, it is more difficult to be involved with all the science enhancement activities such as Jr. Academy of Science, Science Fairs and Science Olympiad. By combining schools, a teacher could divide the responsibility and give the students greater flexibility. This would also allow communication between schools to encourage academic cooperation.

Home-Schooled Students

Home-schooled students are absolutely encouraged to form Teams and participate in Science Olympiad. Several Home School Teams represented their State at the National Tournaments!  Due to differences in state laws/regulations, criteria governing home school participation in Science Olympiad are established by each state. Wisconsin Science Olympiad accepts Home Schooled Teams if they are recognized and registered as a Home School by the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Limit on Team Members from other Schools

The National Science Olympiad's written policies states that "the students must be from the membership school (recruiting from neighboring schools is not permitted) and that the principal must sign the Final Team Registration Form stating, "that all of the above students are active members of our school". Note that in all cases it says school, not school district.

Team Student Limit - State Tournament

Each Team may enter up to fifteen (15) students from the same school to compete in 23 team scored events. Schools may field multiple Teams and are encouraged to do so. Each Team, however, must have a separate Head Coach and a separate paid membership to WSO. A school is considered to be a separate school if it has a separate administrator. For Division B, only five (5) ninth graders and for Division C, only seven (7) twelfth graders are allowed on the Team. Students must be from the membership school (recruiting from neighboring schools is not permitted). Ninth grade students can compete at only one level.  Note: Exhibition Teams at the State Tournament may have more than 15 students. Also, Teams that choose to Audit events at State, may add students to their team of 15 to participate in those events.

Exhibition Teams and Auditing of Events

Exhibition teams, or sometime referred to as "junior varsity" teams, provide an opportunity for schools to expand the Science Olympiad experience to a greater number of students at their school. Wisconsin Science Olympiad supports the development of Exhibition Teams by encouraging tournaments in the State to invite multiple teams from schools to participate. The Wisconsin State Tournament offers an opportunity for ten teams beyond the Top 50 medal winning teams to participate. Exhibition teams are identified for State Qualification based on the same criteria as "regular" or "varsity" teams. Exhibition teams are considered open teams with no limitation on number or grade-level of students. Exhibition teams are eligible for duplicate medals at the Award Ceremony. Auditing of events is in reference to the five events not chosen for team score by Division C teams at the State Tournament. Teams choosing to do more than 23 events, may involve additional team members beyond their standard team of 15 students. Students competing in Audit events are also eligible for duplicate medals like Exhibition team members.  In regards to Self-Scheduled Events, Exhibition teams will schedule after the Competing Teams schedule. Dates will be provided by the State Director. Depending on space and time constraints at the State Tournament, Exhibition teams may not be offered the complete set of of events. (Update 2-28-2018)

Event Participation Limit for Team Members at Tournament

For the individual State events, a Team may enter no more than one (1) student team (see each Event Rules for number of students permitted per team) in any one event. However, if Regional or Invitational Tournaments are small or don't host all events, Directors may choose to announce that more student Teams may participate in individual events. Aside from these limitations, Teams may enter as many or as few events as they wish.  Teams are not required to provide the maximum number of participants listed unless the event specifically so states. They will, however, be at a disadvantage if they choose this option for any event. An individual student may participate in no more events than there are sections for the competition. In other words, a four-section competition permits a student to enter a maximum of four events. A five-section competition permits a maximum of five events. Penalty for a student for entering more than the maximum is disqualification from all events.

At-Large Qualification for State

An event team that earns a Gold Medal in an event at their assigned Regional Tournament will qualify for an At-Large invitation to participate in that one event at the State Tournament even if their School Team did not qualify for the State Tournament.


Safety is of utmost importance. Event Supervisors are obligated to prevent unsafe acts and devices. Safety decisions are NOT subject to appeal as long as they are applied equally to all Teams. Participants may not bring or use flammable liquids or flame sources of any type, such as matches, lighters, alcohol, and acetone, nor bring or use acids/bases of any concentration except for lemon juice, vinegar and other mildly acidic/alkaline naturally occurring substances.

State Qualification

Criterion 1: The Team must participate at a WSO Regional Tournament in their assigned geographic Region. Participating means they must enter a minimum of 10 events at that Regional Tournament.
Criterion 2: Each Team must provide at least one (1) Regional Event Supervisor or Assistant*, and the necessary materials, equipment, exams, and personnel, for at least one (1) event at the Regional Tournament. *This is agreed to by the Regional Director to meet needs.
Criterion 3: The Team must place in the top 50 medal count for all Regional Tournaments to be eligible to compete at the State Tournament. Counting of medals proceeds as follows: Medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze as a whole) will be counted by excluding multiple teams from schools to establish the 50 State Qualifying Teams.  Medal count ties are broken by the following two criteria in order: (1) Greater number of competing events. (2) Best performance in competing events (e.g, greatest number of 4th place rankings). This criterion will be applied to establish the 50 Team maximum roster at State, only if necessary. Each school will be offered an invite for only one team to participate in the pool of 50 teams. Multiple teams from schools that meet the other State Qualifying Criteria will be offered to compete as an Exhibition Team in which students will be eligible for individual medals at State.  For Exhibition Team determination from a school, the medal count will be the sum of all medals earned by all teams from the school not including the medals earned by the Qualifying Team from that school. (Change 12-6-18) The number of teams to receive invites as Exhibition Teams is dependent on availability of space in the State Tournament schedule which is 60 teams for each division. Any elimination of Exhibition teams will be based on the Qualification Criteria. Exhibition teams may also be limited in their event choices at the State Tournament. Preference will be given to schools to bring an exhibition team over schools brining multiple exhibition teams. (Clarification 1-12-18)


The Day of the Tournament

General Event Rules Policy

Although the Official Rules will not change many of them are complex. Explanations and clarifications can be expected and announced up to and on the day of the Science Olympiad Tournaments. Please watch for corrections and clarifications.
Teams may not interpret the rules so that they have an advantage over the rules or another Team. Unless otherwise stated, it is generally understood that, if notes, resources, calculators, etc., are not excluded or restricted, they are permitted unless they violate the spirit of the problem. Except, no direct or electronic communication is permitted with external resources  (including people, places, etc.) during the competition. This effectively excludes the use of any computer, PDA, calculator, wireless devices, phones, etc. that have access to external communication or data retrieval during an event, unless specifically permitted.
Please note that those events scheduled from 9:30-10:30, for example, begin promptly at 9:30. Students must get to the proper location (room, arena or field) and be on time to compete in that event.

Limitations on Science Olympiad Facilities and Competitions

At Wisconsin Science Olympiad events, the facilities provided by the host are "in the play" and considered to be equal to all Teams. If a school's team equipment is lost or damaged during competition, Wisconsin Science Olympiad or the host facilities holds no responsibility.

Limiting Entry into Science Olympiad Events

WSO Directors and/or Event Supervisors at the Wisconsin Science Olympiad maintain the option of excluding entry into the event to all but Team members. Several events, particularly the build events are considered spectator events, and are viewable by the public. Only those students actually competing in an event may enter areas where events are held. All other persons are to remain out of the building or the area at all times. If a student, coach, teacher, chaperon or parent interfering with or disrupting the conduct of an event, the team is subject to disqualification.


An individual who cheats during the Competition will be penalized by disqualification of the Team from that event. If cheating occurs by a Team in more than one event, or in successive years, the Team may be disqualified that year, or the following year, from the entire Competition. If an event Team, or Team member, or anyone associated with the Team, deliberately takes an action that impairs the ability of other Teams to fairly complete, that Team will be disqualified from the event. In addition, the event Team member(s) involved in the incident may be ineligible for any future Science Olympiad competitions.


If a Team member or members or persons associated with a Team commit(s) an act of vandalism, the Team will be disqualified from the competition. No member of that Team will be awarded a medal in any event. An individual who commits an act of vandalism may be barred from future competitions.

Each sponsoring school must pay the cost of repairing damage from any act of vandalism. A school must pay this restitution before it can register a team for the Science Olympiad in a subsequent year.

Vandalism means a deliberate action that results in damage to property. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti, damage to facility property and damage to the personal property of competitors, Event Supervisors, volunteers and spectators.

Constructed Devices

This policy applies to events that require a device to be constructed and brought to the Wisconsin Science Olympiad. The students involved with the design and construction of the device will receive no physical construction assistance from any parent, coach or other non-school member. Parent and coach assistance can consist only of technical verbal advice. In Wisconsin other students at the school are encouraged to help with the actual construction of the devices. Please be advised that at the NSO the lead student must be present and operate the device when it is operated for scoring. This does not apply in Wisconsin. Consult NSO policies for further information.

Wristbands Required

Head Coaches will be provided with 15 Wisconsin Science Olympiad Official student wristbands and one head coach wristband at the Registration Desk. These wristbands are to be worn by the 15 competing Team members from that school during the course of the competition. The wristband must be properly attached to the wrist of the participant and must not be capable of being slipped off or removed. A student not wearing an official WSO wristband properly attached valid for that year will not be allowed to enter an event or participate in the competition. Exhibition teams and Auditing students not on the 15 member Team will be provided wristbands and will be required to wear them. 

Communication Procedure between WSO Officials and Teams Regarding Concerns, Questions, Disputes and Appeals

Formal concerns, questions, and disputes regarding Rules, Scoring and Clarifications may be asked by ONLY the Team's Head Coach. ( The Head Coach must be wearing the HC wristband ). These concerns and questions must be presented directly to the WSO State Committee person for that event. A Head Coach must make an attempt to resolve the question with the WSO State Committee person. The Head Coach may choose to appeal an unresolved situation by submitting a written Appeal Form to the WSO Div C Arbitration Board in the scoring room. The Arbitration Board will make a decision. This Appeal procedure is not intended to stymie the expected conversations and communications between participants and WSO Officials.

The Appeal procedure becomes effective only when a dispute is unresolved. Frivolous appeals will be denied. Event Supervisor and WSO Officials judgment calls are not subject to review. Event Supervisors are extremely busy during competition. Do not interfere with an event while it is in progress.

The Arbitration Board will decide immediate consequences regarding DQs and Appeals which may include DQ from any event a student participated in or preventing a Team from further participation. The Arbitration Board can also recommend long-term consequences to include barring an individual from future events, teams being put on notice, and Teams being disqualified from future SO tournaments.


The National Science Olympiad has two forms of disqualifications, one for behavior and one for failure to satisfy the requirements of the rules. Teams will be disqualified for misbehavior to include, but not limited to, vulgar language, cheating, vandalism, rudeness, and for exceeding maximum events limits, improper communications, disregard for safety, etc. 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.

Communication between Teams and State Event Supervisors

Direct communication about concerns and questions regarding Rules, Scoring and/or Clarifications between a Team and a State Event Supervisor is NOT permitted either before the Tournament or after the Tournament. Email, phone calls, letters, or other media messages are not permitted. Any concerns or questions will receive comments and answers upon posting them on the WSO Message Board. The penalty for violation of this policy is disqualification of the Science Olympiad Team from the Tournament.

A State Event Supervisor may not, in any way, work with an individual high school Wisconsin Science Olympiad Team. A State Event Supervisor may work with Science Olympiad students and coaches at a workshop or clinic at a neutral site where many high schools are invited. Students and coaches are encouraged to communicate with the State Event Supervisors and other officials by using the WSO Message Board. Questions with their answers will be posted here to enable every team to benefit. State Event Supervisors may post additional information on their specific event?s page, also.

Scoring at State Tournament Details

Scoring of Events at State Tournament Teams/devices that do not meet the requirements/specifications of the event rules will be allowed to compete, if possible, and are to be scored and ranked below those who met all of the requirements/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 regarding the type of modifications or how to accomplish them prior to, or at any time during the tournament day.

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 card and will be awarded N points. ?N? is equal to the number of teams registered to compete in the Tournament (we plan for 50 teams) as shown on the score card. Any device, which, in the judgment of the Event Supervisor, is a safety hazard to competitors, officials, or spectators, will not be allowed to compete and will be listed as a P (Participation) for the raw score on the score card and will be awarded N points. Teams that do not follow the rules regarding resources or specifications of devices, etc., will be allowed to participate (contingent upon the safety hazard) but will be ranked below others.

If a Team does not show up or does not make an honest attempt to participate or does not have a wristband, the Team will be listed as a No Show or ?NS? for the raw score on the score card and awarded N+1 points. This includes Teams who may be present but display no preparation for the competition. Disqualified or ?DQed Teams will receive N+2 points on the score card.

Teams who were scored and had a raw score placed on the score card, are to be awarded points for each place as follows: 1st - 1 point, 2nd - 2 points, - up to 50th - 50 points
Teams considered as PARTICIPATION, NO SHOW, OR DISQUALIFIED will be ranked and assigned points as follows:

PARTICIPATION (P) = N points = 50 points
NO SHOW (NS) = N + 1 points = 51 points
DISQUALIFIED (DQ) = N + 2 points = 52 points

(Note: N = number of teams registered to compete for the tournament not the number of teams that actually enter the event. We expect 50 teams to be registered for this tournament, so N=50)
The total of the Team points earned in all scoring Events will determine the RANK among all Teams. The lowest numerical total is best.

Tie Breaker for Final Team Scores

In the event of a tie in the cumulative final scores for two or more Teams at the Science Olympiad Tournaments, the "tiebreaker" will be determined by which one Team earned the most Gold Medals. Additional ties will be determined by the most Silver Medals and then Bronze Medals and then 4th place finishes, etc, until the point where the tie has been broken.


After the Tournament


Athletic-style medals will be presented to participating individual winners for each event at the Awards Program. In addition, Championship trophies will be awarded to the top three Division C Teams at the State Tournament. The winning Team will be invited to attend the National Science Olympiad Tournament.

The Awards Program is a very exciting and rewarding experience for the participants, their coaches and their families. It is expected that the Teams will attend the Award?s Program and that the winners will come to the stage to be presented with their medals/trophies. In the case where winners were not present to receive the awards, the awards may be requested to be mailed at a cost of $25 for a packet of medals.

Invitation of Multiple Teams to the National Science Olympiad

When more than one Team from Wisconsin Division C is invited from the State Science Olympiad to the National Science Olympiad, the second place Team in the overall score for that year?s WSO will be invited to represent Wisconsin with the first place Team. If either team chooses not to attend the NSO, the third place Team will be invited, etc. National Science Olympiad policy is that only one Team per school is permitted to represent their State at the National Science Olympiad Finals. This, therefore, is the Wisconsin Science Olympiad policy, also.

Announcement and the Finalization of Wisconsin Science Olympiad Division C State Tournament Results

At the Wisconsin Science Olympiad Division C State Tournament, no scores will be posted or announced until the Awards Program. (Exceptions to not posting scores during the competition may and will occur for some events, particularly the build events). All scores are subject to a triple score check process to help insure accuracy. At the end of the WSO Awards Program, each Team's Head Coach is encouraged to access the WSO Avogadro web site to view the Competition Results. Preliminary Non-Official scores will be posted here as soon as possible.

Any scoring inconsistencies or disputes must be brought to the attention of the Wisconsin Science Olympiad Division C Directors by only the Team's Head Coach. This must be within 48 hours of the completion of the State Tournament. Official Scores for the Wisconsin Science Olympiad tournament will be then posted on the results page of Avogadro.

Actual event papers, test booklets, score cards, answer sheets individual questions, and other event documents are not available for discussion or examination before, during or after the State Tournament.

Information Sources

The Wisconsin Science Olympiad web site and/or the National Science Olympiad Rules Clarification Pages will be the official source of information, including last-minute updates and postings, for the Wisconsin State Olympiad events. Coaches and Teams are to visit these web sites for updates and rules clarifications, including immediately prior to the Wisconsin State Science Olympiad Tournaments

The National Science Olympiad web pages contain near unlimited amounts of information. They have listed Web sites of Interest to Educators as General Resources, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Physical Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences with dozens of internet links. Open the NSO Homepage and click on Resources in the left menu. Additionally, clicking on the Events Info in that same menu will provide hundreds of links to resources. Further clicking on Event Descriptions will provide hundreds, if not thousands, of links to detailed information, training, study resources, sample tests, National lists and guides, and FAQs, about each event.