New and returning coaches will find answers to typical questions here.  Please 

FAQs from Coaches

Team and Registration Questions

Where is the Code of Conduct for students?

Students participating in Science Olympiad sign a Code of Conduct that covers ethics and sportsmanship.  The Code of Conduct will be available through Scilympiad, the scoring platform.  Please visit the directions to register and add students on Scilympiad page for directions on how to set up the Code of Conduct online release form

Do I need to bring a printed roster?

We ask coaches to enter their students' names and predicted events in Scilympiad. However, we still encourage coaches to bring a printed roster and give it to Science Olympiad staff when you check in for the tournament. This is useful as a cross-check in case we receive a test that doesn't have a name, school or team number.

Can students compete in more than one event?

Yes!  Students can compete in up to four events as long as we minimize potential time conflicts. We will work with you as best we can to resolve conflicts.

How do we pay?

Team registration fees can be paid online with a credit card or with a check (we will send an invoice after registration is complete).

Does the Montana Science Olympiad fee include the national fee?

Yes! The$60 national fee is included in your registration fee paid to the Science Math Resource Center. 
You do not have to pay this on top of your
Montana registration fee.

What is the minimum and maximum number of students ona team? How many students from each grade are allowed?

A team may have up to 15 members as well as two alternates (learn more about alternates here). There is no minimum; however, students cannot compete as individuals. We offer different team registration fees for teams of 11 to 15 students and smaller teams of 10 or fewer students.

For Division B, a maximum of five 9th grade students is permitted. Because middle schools that do not have grades 7, 8 or 9 are at a slight disadvantage, they may invite any combination of up to five of their last year’s 6th, 7th or 8th grade students to be part of the team. Possible examples can be found on the Science Olympiad website.

For Division C, a maximum of seven 12th grade students is permitted.

Can our school have more than one team?

Yes, but each team must be registered and paid for. The fees are lower for a second (or more) team (which in Montana, we call a Junior Varsity team). You must register a Varsity team before you can register a Junior Varsity team. Your school can have up to three teams. The first team is called Varsity; the rest are called JV. Please submit the registration form duplicate times to make an entry for each team.

Only varsity teams may earn first, second and third place medals, the team trophy and move on to national competition. JV teams will compete against other JV teams for first, second and third place certificates.

Can our school bring three teams?

Yes. A school may bring a varsity team and up to two JV teams. Each team must be registered and paid for, and students must be rostered specifically on one of those teams.

Are 9th graders Division B or Division C? Can a student be on both teams?

9th graders can compete in Division B (Grades 6-9) OR Division C (Grades 9-12), but they can't compete in both divisions. Coaches working with 9th graders can put some students on their B team and some on their C team, but no single student can be on both teams. Learn more.

Can students below the grade level compete on a team? 

From the National Rules Manual: Students Below Grade Level Designations

Science Olympiad encourages students to participate in the Division that matches current Science Olympiad grade  level  designations.  However,  to  support  the  inclusion  of  students  who  wish  to  participate  in  Science  Olympiad,  schools  with  grade  levels  lower  than  those  stated  in  a  Division  are  permitted  to  invite  members  below the grade level designations. Participation is limited to age-appropriate events (as determined by a coach, principal or tournament director) and prohibited where safety is a concern (such as the use of chemicals). See Team Qualifications for more information.


What can students bring to an event?

The rules page for each event is very explicit about what students may and may not bring. Please read it carefully, as each event is different. For instance, for some events students can bring a 3-ring binder filled with materials; for others, they may bring only one page of notes. Students may be penalized or disqualified if they bring supplies and equipment that are not allowed.

In addition to the event rules page, please also see the back of the rules manual for Chemistry Recommended Lab Equipment, types of calculators allowed, and eye protection guide. Other safety equipment or clothing restrictions might be mentioned in each event's rules page.

Teams not bringing the items listed will be at a disadvantage. The Supervisor will not provide them.

The MSU Bookstore is a possible source for items needed on tournament day.

Can a school have multiple entries into the same event? 

If a school has only one team, then they can only enter each event once.

For example, a team of 15 students may not bring two bridges for the Bridge contest or have two pairs of students take the Forestry test. However, a school can have more than one team (we call it a varsity team and a JV team; other states call it Team A and Team B, or other terms). In that case, each of those teams may enter the individual events -- so in this example, the Varsity team can bring one bridge and the JV team can bring one bridge.

If a school has a varsity team and a JV team, students must be rostered on one or the other of the teams and stay there throughout the competition. In other words, a student may not compete in Astronomy on the varisty team and Forestry on the JV team.

What is impound?

Impound Block, or Impound is a period of time before the main competition period that is typically used to submit builds or devices for the competition. To impound a build, teams bring it to the competition location, check the device in by making sure it meets all rules specifications, and leave the device there until their designated time slot.

The purpose of impound is to ensure that devices are not modified after the beginning of the competition. In many events, target parameters are given, in which the competitor must modify their device on the spot to accommodate for this change. Thus, impound prohibits modifying the device out of competition, ensuring an equitable competition.

If not for impound, teams that compete later in the day would have more time to work on their device and modify it after they see other team's devices. Impound ensures that all teams are on an equal playing field.


What is a trial event and who can compete?

Trial events have not yet become part of the regular rotation of Science Olympiad events but are being tested by states and competitors. In Montana, students can earn a medal for competing in a trial event, but points for that event do not count toward the team trophy.

In Montana, alternates on a Science Olympiad team MAY compete in trial events. Learn more about alternates here.

Questions about specific events?

Please see our events page for updates. As questions and clarifications come in, we will post them there. The event table has asterisks by events that have a question or clarification below. Please also check the National Science Olympiad website for any rules clarifications that come in after each year's rules manuals are printed.

See more FAQs on the National Science Olympiad page