2018 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:

  • 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 staging area.
  • Layout your members, fasteners, piers, and tools according to the rules.


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 measuring tape.
  • A strong magnet.
  • Masking or other tape for marking members that need to be watched during construction.
  • 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 spreadsheet.

Also ensure that all competitors are wearing the required safety equipment correctly. See rule 10.1.10 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 penalized.

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.

Common Violations

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 Member size limits.

Click on Thumbnails
for larger views



Rule 10.6.1

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 8.2.3, 8.2.4, and 8.2.5: Bolt, Nut, and Hole Specifications

Bolts and Loose Nuts must not be modified in any way (they may be painted) from their purchased condition. Bolts may not be ground to a point on their ends. Nuts may be welded to members. Holes must meet certain requirements specified in the rules.

Rule 10.2.3: Tool Size

A tool must not weigh more than 15 pounds.

Rule 10.6.1: Items Layout

Read this section carefully! There are a number of specific requirements about where particular types of items can be placed.

Watch for how competitors layout their items in the staging yard. Certain items are to be in designated locations in the staging yard and nuts and bolts may be in contact with each other, however every member, tool, loose nut and bolt must be in contact with the ground. 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.