- Be at the site on time and with all your bridge parts, pieces, tools,
etc. and all the required safety equipment.
- When directed by the judges move your bridge pieces into the designated
- Layout your members, fasteners, piers, and tools according to the rules.
- Have the construction site completely ready prior to the start of the
- 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 measuring tape.
- A strong magnet.
- Masking or other tape for marking members that need to be watched during
- Scale for checking weight of heavy members.
- Member size box.
- A clipboard with pencil for each construction lane.
Staging area with bridge laid
out and ready to go
Once the team begins to move their equipment and materials into the staging
area, the judges can start checking the members for compliance with the rules
using the judging checklist obtained from the bridge Marshal. The judging
checklist is to be printed from the scoring
Also ensure that all competitors are wearing the required safety equipment
correctly. See rule 11.1.6 for details.
Note: Everything that goes into the staging area is subject to the rules
whether it is used in the bridge or not. Any noncompliant item will be
Competitors are responsible to make sure that members, fasteners, tools,
piers, and other items are placed as specified in the rules.
Competitors are encouraged to be efficient in laying out their items so as to
not inhibit the flow of the competition.
After all the judging checklists has been completed and all items
checked, the team captain is to sign the bottom of the preconstruction
checklist. The team captain's signature indicates that they understand
and accept any penalties that have been levied. The team captain should be
given time to check the rules and make any appeals necessary to the head
judge before signing the form.
There are several common violations that seem to with disappointing
frequency. Some are design issues, others are either fabrication or
erection issues. The following sections are intended to warn bridge
designers and to alert the judges.
Rule 10.2.3.2: Member size
for larger views
It would appear that the majority of
violations to this rule result from designers pushing the specified limits. The
judges will try to orient that member in the most advantageous position
to get it in the box, but if it doesn't fit EASILY into the box a
penalty is imposed. It would be wise to allow a little "wiggle room".
Rules 10.2.4: Fastener
In the 2003 season there were a
number of teams that modified their bolts and nuts contrary to the
rules. There have been questions recent years that lead the rules
committee to think that there are still some competitors who would like
to modify their bolts! The bolts may not be ground to a point on
their ends. Bolts or nuts welded to members become part of the
member that they are welded to, and by the definition of rule 10.2.4.1 may no
longer be considered a fastener.
Rule 11.2.6: Tool Size
A tool must not weigh more than 20 pounds. A
tool or unassembled part of a tool must not exceed 3' 0" x 6" x 4" in dimension. Look for these tools in both the preconstruction and construction
Starting in 2012 this rule is different than in prior years. Read it closely to
determine the implications.
Rule 11.6.1: Items Layout
Read this section carefully! There are a number
of specific requirements about where particular types of items can be
Watch for how competitors layout their items in the
staging yard. As in years past, teams were required to provide clearance between items
and the items must be touching the ground. With the 2010 rules this changed
requirement for certain items to be in designated locations in the staging
yard and fasteners may be in contact with each other, however every
temporary pier, member, tool, and fastener must be in contact with the
ground. This change as been
maintained in 2013. In the provided
image, some of the nuts and bolts are not in contact with the ground and
hence are illegal. This must be fixed before timed construction.