2014 Competition Guide


Welcome & Introduction

Rules & Clarifications

Scoring Spreadsheet

General Competition Information

Design Tips

Eligibility Requirements
Paper Competition
Business Meeting

Judges Training Meeting

Team Captain Meeting

Display Judging

Site Layout



Post Construction

Lateral Load Test

Vertical Load Tests
- Loading Devices
- Deflection Measurement
- Sway Measurement

Bridge Weight

Data Entry

History & Results



Competitor Preparation:

  • Hopefully you have practiced a lot.
  • You must be familiar with the rules that govern the construction sequence.


Host Equipment/Preparation:

  • Have the construction site completely ready prior to the start of the competition
  • Assign a Marshal to the bridge. The Marshal should have the judging forms for the bridge.
  • A set of the rules and current clarifications at each construction lane.
  • A stop watch for each lane.
  • A clipboard with pencil for each construction lane.


Construction Video: Construction.wmv, 5:50 minutes, 14.6 MB

HINT:  Go to YouTube and search on "Steel Bridge Competition" for a lot more video.


When all is ready the Team Captain notifies the lead Lane Judge that the team is ready to start.

The Lane Judges verify that all safety equipment is in place and the site is ready. Once they are convinced that all is as it should be, they start the team with a countdown.

One Lane Judge should have primary responsibility for the stop watch. If any Judge calls out "Stop", the stop watch is stopped as well any activity on the floor. Judges should stop the erection of the bridge if any of the rules governing the erection sequence are violated. As specified in the rules, the Team Captain is told the reason for the stop work order and is given a short time to consider, with the team, how they can build the bridge without violating the rules.

At no time should the Judges or spectators make suggestions to the team on how they can comply with the rules. It is the team's responsibility to figure it out. Judges just tell them what the rules will not allow them to do.

If the team is unable to find a means for constructing the bridge according to the rules, then the Head Judge is called in to rule the bridge as being ineligible to complete the competition. The Head Judge marks the applicable ineligibility on the construction checklist and has the Team Captain sign the bottom of the form. Anytime a bridge is ruled as being ineligible, it is removed from the remainder of the competition and does not proceed to the subsequent stations and tests.

'Accidents' as defined in the rules do not result in stop time. One Lane Judge should have primary responsibility for keeping the checklist for construction and will record accidents as they occur.  Judges must call out accidents as they occur in a LOUD VOICE so that everyone can hear them.

Accidents must be rectified immediately.  A Builder involved in an accident may not contribute to the construction of the bridge until the accident is dealt with.  For example, a Builder drops a fastener in the water.  The Builder must immediately quit what they are doing and retrieve the fastener. If the Builder has to create another accident by stepping in the water to retrieve the errant fastener they are not assessed for the necessary accident. However, if a Builder does not move to rectify the accident, then they can be called on it again, and again, and again, and... until it is rectified.  Each time is tabulated as another accident.

Time is complete when the Team Captain indicates that they are done AND the Judges ensure that all items and people are where the rules say they should be.

Bridge Inspection

Before beginning the post construction check, the rules allow the two builders or one builder and the team captain (see rule 10.10) to inspect the bridge to see if anything was missed. They may not touch the bridge but may use measuring equipment (their own, not the competition measuring equipment) as necessary to verify compliance with requirements. The Judges are not to provide any input to this process, even if they see a problem.

If the inspection team finds a problem that can be fixed with additional construction repair time, they are allowed to. The stop watch is reset and accidents and penalties are assessed as they occur. Since the scoring treats time and accidents differently under repair time than during initial construction, the time and accidents are placed where indicated for repair time on the forms. There is a large penalty for using 'repair' time.  See Rule 10.10 for more information on repair time.

At the conclusion of the construction sequence, the team's time is recorded where indicated on the construction judging form/checklist. The Team Captain is allowed to review the checklist and appeal any issues to the Lane Judges and Head Judge as necessary.  After all appeals have run their course, the Team Captain then signs the bottom of the form indicating that the recorded data is accurate.