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Division B Rules Clarifications

Updated 02-Jan-2015

This page will be kept up to date to include all National Rules Clarifications, New Jersey Rules Clarifications and National Event FAQ Responses. All rules clarifications issued by National Science Olympiad and decisions posted to the Event FAQs also apply to all New Jersey Regional and State Tournaments.


National Science Olympiad Rules Clarifications

National Science Olympiad Events FAQs

Event rules for ALL Science Olympiad events printed in the 2015 Official Rules Manuals supersede any and all materials found at the "Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki" or anywhere else online. The "Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki" is not maintained by National Science Olympiad. National Science Olympiad does not publish any event rules online or any location other than the Official Paper Based Rules Manual or Event Rules Mobile Apps.

Jump to:
Air Trajectory - Bridge Building - Crime Busters - Dynamic Planet - Elastic Launched Glider - Entomology
Green Generation - Picture This - Simple Machines - Wheeled Vehicle - Write It/Do It

Air Trajectory (section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)
Does the gravitational potential energy need to convert directly into air pressure or can it go through multiple conversions to get to the air pressure force.

It can go through multiple conversions, but 100% of the energy must initially be gravitational potential energy. (11/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 3 / paragraph: b,c, / line: 1)
Does the air pressure/movement generated by by the falling mass have to be immediatley applied (either directly or indirectly) to the projectile or can it be stored and then released?

It can be stored and released, but 100% of the initial energy must come from the falling mass and event supervisors must be able to verify this. Also, all chambers must automatically return to ambient air pressure. (11/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 1)
During competition, can a team use a different air chamber for each launch?

Yes, as long as the device remains safe and within other specs. (11/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)
Is a Foose ball legal to use as a projectile?

No, only the listed items in rule 3.f. are allowed as projectiles. (10/30/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 3f / paragraph: a / line: 3,4)
Polyurethane foam practice golf balls almost never use the word "plastic" in their advertising, although polyurethane is clearly a plastic. If the package says "PU foam practice golf balls" is it OK?

All the words "plastic", "practice", "golf", and "ball" must appear somewhere on the packaging or advertising description of the product, but not necessarily all in the same spot. (11/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 3f / paragraph: a / line: 3/4)
Please define "plastic practice golf balls". Are high density polyurethane foam practice golf balls allowed?

The most common type of plastic golf balls are plastic dimpled and plastic with holes and HDPE foam types are legal. As long as they are commercially marketed as "plastic practice golf balls", they may be used. It is recommended that students bring the packaging if there is a question. (10/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 4 / paragraph: a / line: 2)
It's stated that the launch area is "1.00 m x 1.50 m (parallel to the launch direction)," does this mean that launch area is 1.50 m in length along the launch access and 1 m wide?

Yes, the 1.5 m side of the launch area is the side that is parallel to the launch direction and the front of the launch area is 1 m wide. (10/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 4 / paragraph: e / line: 1)
The height of the target is not specified in the rules. What are the limits on how high or how low the targets can be compared to the launching area?

Rule 4.d. explicitly says that the target is either tape on the floor or panels lying on the floor. There should not be any significant difference between the floor height in the launch area and the targets. (10/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 4 / paragraph: g / line: 1)
Can a team take one shot each for both targets and then decide which target it takes a second shot and/or take a bucket shot (if allowed by 4.i)?

Competitors may choose either target for their first shot. They may then choose to take their second shot at the same target or their first shot at the other target. If they qualify to take a bucket shot after their first shot at a particular target, they must ask for the bucket when they wish to take the second shot at that target. (10/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 2)
How can the competitors make measurements after the launch without touching the target?

Competitors will be told the distance of the targets from the launch area and can measure their impact locations from the launch area if outside of the target. (10/25/2014)

Air Trajectory (section: 4 / paragraph: i / line: 7)
If the projectile bounces off the bottom of the bucket and then out of the bucket would the bonus count?

Rule 4.i states that "making contact with the inside bottom surface is worth an additional 100 points." It does not state that after making contact the projectile must remain in the bucket, so the bonus is given even if the projectile subsequently bounces out of the bucket. (10/25/2014)

Bridge Buliding (Union County College Regional only)
Measurements related to rule 5C will be made to the nearest 0.1g. (12-Dec-2014)

Bridge Building (section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)
Must the outside width of the Bridge be at least 5.0 cm for the entire span? What does "at any height along its span" mean?

Yes, the outside width of the Bridge must be at least 5.0 cm for the entire span (Div. B - 35 cm and Div. C - 45 cm). "At any height along its span" means that the 5.0 cm width for the entire span can be at any height on the bridge as long as it is not below the top surface of the Test Supports. (10/27/2014)

Bridge Building (section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)
If the outside width of the bridge at the bottom chord is 5cm out to out, can the top chords be less than 5cm out to out in order to better support the loading block?

Yes, as long as the width of the Bridge is at least 5.0 cm for the entire span it doesn't matter at what height the 5.0 cm minimum width is located. (10/27/2014)

Bridge Building (section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)
Can the bridge be say 1cm wide with a thin outrigger along it's length to meet the 5 cm wide requirement?

Yes, that is one way to meet the requirements of rule 3.e. (10/27/2014)

Bridge Building (section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)
May the loading block be placed at any height of the Bridge as long as it is in the center of the span?

Yes, the loading block may be placed at any height of the Bridge as long as it is in the center of the span and not below the top surface of the Test Supports prior to testing. (10/27/2014)

Crime Busters (section: 2 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: xv / line: 1)
May students bring one or two individual resource pages (not in a binder), as in past years? Are students allowed to remove resource pages from the binder to use while working during the competition?

Most event supervisors are going to go by the book, which means the two pages would need to be in a binder. There are no rules on the removal of the pages, but it might be best to ask the event supervisor if removal of the pages would be allowed. (10/27/2014)

Dynamic Planet
4.e. should read "Calculate the buoyancy of a given watercraft in water samples of varying density." (12/29/14)

Dynamic Planet (section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 8)
Do we need to know specific ocean ridges, currents, trenches, fault lines, boundaries, etc. for the competition?

No. The competition will emphasize the processes that create these and other phenomena. (12/1/2014)

Elastic Launched Glider (Union County College Regional only)
The event room is 100' long by 45' wide by 19' high. It will be shared with the Wright Stuff event (16-Dec-2014)

Elastic Launched Glider (NJIT Regional only)
The event room is 200' long by 105' wide by 33' high at the center and as low as 16' 8" at the walls. (22-Dec-2014)

Elastic Launched Glider (section: 4 / paragraph: G / line: 1)
Can the other team member help load the glider in the launcher as long as only one member actually launches the glider?

Yes. (10/27.2014)

Entomology (section: ? / paragraph: ? / sub-paragraph: ? / line: ?)
The Official Insect List has a glaring error. The family listed for "scale insects-twig or leaf" is wrong. It should be Coccidae, not Dactylopiidae which is cochineal insects.

From the rules... "The taxonomic scheme is based upon the Audubon Insect and Spider Field Guide. Any arbitrations questions will defer to this resource as the correct answer. " and on p 512 cochineal bugs are labeled as Family Dactylopiidae. its not a perfect system, and no book I am aware of will resolve every issue that can arise with the fluidity of insect taxonomy. (10/26/2014)

Green Generation (section: 3 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)
Does the limitation to Div C apply to both Legislation and Economic Opportunity or just Economic Opportunity?

Both topics of Legislation and Economic Opportunity in Solving Problems will apply to only Division C. Division B will not have any questions related to Legislation and Economic Opportunity in Solving Problems. (10/27/2014)

Green Generation (section: 3. / paragraph: a. / sub-paragraph: i. / line: 2)
3.a.i. lists "....... nutrient cycling, community interactions, population dynamics, species diversity and indicator species (2015 and 2016.)" Is population DYNAMICS in 2015 but NOT population GROWTH?

The basic ecological principle of how populations grow/dynamics will be covered in 2015 and 2016. (For eg- J curve, S curve, predator-prey interactions). Population growth human caused issues will be covered in 2016 ( For example- habitat loss, deforestation, desertification). (11/25/2014)

Picture This
A TEAM OF: 3. should read A TEAM OF UP TO: 3. (10/29/14)

Picture This (paragraph: f / sub-paragraph: none / line: 2)
After reading, it was my understanding that the team members will rotate when a correct term is given. Is that correct?

No, the team members will rotate drawing when a correct term is given or a word is passed. (11/13/2014)

Simple Machines (section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)
For the first class lever component, does the total length of the bar have to be less than 80 cm or the individual sides from the fulcrum?

For the class 1 lever the load point to effort point measurements must be less than or equal to 80.0 cm. The size of the the fulcrum is irrelevant to this measurement. (10/27/2014)

Wheeled Vehicle (section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 1)
Can other parts of the vehicle (not the wheels) extend beyond the 25cm by 60cm rectangle in a ready to run configuration?

Yes, rule 3.c. applies only to the wheels. (10/22/2014)

Write It Do It (section: Compet / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: b / line: 1)
While writing can words be crossed off or erased if a mistake is made?

Yes, strikethroughs may be used to identify text that is not part of the completed instructions. Even though technically not acceptable since it cannot be made on a standard typewriter, students are not expected to perfectly write instructions and if mistakes are made, strikethroughs would identify that the text is NOT part of the written instructions ...therefore wouldn't be docked in scoring. (11/25/2014)