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


Bridge Weight

Competitor Preparation:

  • Show up with a bridge. (Actually the host can choose to do this measurement at any stage of the competition. At the national event we save this step until after loading.)
  • Note that bridges which fail the lateral test are NOT disqualified! You still need to weigh the bridge even if it fails the lateral test.
  • Hang on... this is almost the end!


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.
  • A means for determining the weight of the bridge.
  • A clipboard with pencil.



Click on thumbnail to see
how we do it at nationals


Care is no longer necessary in transporting the bridge IF the load tests are all done. If you chose to weigh the bridges some time before the load tests, then all the cautions previously stated apply.

The goal at this station is to determine the weight of the bridge to the nearest pound. At Nationals we use scales under each leg of the bridge. We've seen suspension devices at some student conferences. Whatever works and is consistently applies is fine. Digital bathroom scales are a pain to use as most of them are only active for very short time, making reading the gages difficult.

The judging forms and scoring spreadsheet have space to record four measurements. If your device simply gives you the overall weight of the bridge, then enter that number in any of the four cells and leave the others blank. The one caution is the weighing judge should not add up the values. Let the spreadsheet do that.

The team captain should verify all weight measurements and certify the results by signing the judging form. The judging forms are then returned to the Marshal who escorts the team captain to the data entry station if this is the end of the judging or to the next station.