Code of Ethics & General Rules



V. 2019 (note changes in bold)

The goal of competition is to give one's best effort while displaying honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship. Everyone is expected to display courtesy and respect (see Science Olympiad Pledges below). Teams are expected to make an honest effort to follow the rules and the spirit of the problem (not interpret the rules so they have an unfair advantage). Failure by a participant, coach, or guest to abide by these codes, accepted safety procedures, or rules below, may result in an assessment of penalty points or, in rare cases, disqualification by the tournament director from the event, the tournament, or future tournaments.

  1. Actionsanditems(e.g.,tools,notes,resources,supplies,electronics,etc.)are permitted, unless they are explicitly excluded in the rules, are unsafe, or violate the spirit of the problem.

  2. Whilecompetinginanevent,participantsmaynotleavewithouttheevent supervisor's approval and must not receive any external assistance. All electronic devices capable of external communication as well as calculator applications on multipurpose devices (e.g. laptop, phone, tablet) are not permitted unless expressly permitted in the event rule or by an event supervisor. Cell phones, if not permitted, must be turned off. At the discretion of the event supervisor, participants may be required to place their cell phones in a designated location.

  3. Participants,coachesandotheradultsareresponsibleforensuringthatany applicable school or Science Olympiad policy, law or regulation is not broken. All Science Olympiad content (e.g., policies, requirements, clarifications, FAQs, etc. on must be treated as if it were included in the printed rules.

  4. Allpre-builtdevicespresentedforjudgingmustbeconstructed,impounded,and operated by one or more of the 15 current team members unless stated otherwise in the rules. If a device has been removed from the event area, appeals related to that device will not be considered.

  5. Officialsareencouragedtoapplytheleastrestrictivepenaltyforrulesinfractions (see examples in the Scoring Guidelines). Event supervisors must provide prompt notification of any penalty, disqualification or tier ranking.

  6. Stateandregionaltournamentdirectorsmustnotifyteamsofanysite-dependent rule or other rule modification with as much notice as possible, ideally at least 30 days prior to the tournament.



I pledge to put forth my best effort in the Science Olympiad tournament and to uphold the principles of honest competition. In my events, I will compete with integrity, respect, and sportsmanship towards my fellow competitors. I will display courtesy towards Event Supervisors and Tournament Personnel. My actions will exemplify the proud spirit of my school, team, and state.


On behalf of the coaches and assistants at this tournament, I pledge to encourage honesty and respect for tournament personnel, our fellow coaches, and other team members. We want our efforts to bring honor to our community and school.


On behalf of the parents and spectators I pledge to be an example for our children by:

  • respecting the rules of Science Olympiad,

  • encouraging excellence in preparation and investigation,

  • supporting independence in design and production of all competition devices,

and respecting the decisions of event supervisors and judges.

Our examples will promote the spirit of cooperation within and among all our participating teams.


On behalf of my fellow supervisors and tournament personnel, I pledge to run my event with fairness and respect for the participants and their coaches. Our actions will reflect the principles of the Science Olympiad program and display the pride we feel as representatives of our colleges, universities, companies, states or organizations.