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Science Olympiad Policies

The Science Olympiad organization has policies that apply to the national organization as well as its 50 state chapters.  To view these policies, visit the national website.  In addition to the policies outlined by the national organization, Indiana has created the following policies that all tournaments within the state must follow.

Indiana Science Olympiad Policies

Rules Policy

If you need a Rules clarification, you must submit your question to the National organization. Indiana will follow rules as clarified by the National organization unless stated otherwise. To review questions/clarifications already submitted or to submit your own question, go to the National Rules Clarifications page.

It is expected that all tournaments in Indiana will use the event rules as published in the official Science Olympiad manuals. Indiana tournaments will apply the National Rules Clarifications as listed on their rules clarification page. Decisions regarding clarifications that are specific to Indiana tournaments are made by the Indiana Science Olympiad Executive Board and will be posted on this website under rules clarifications.

"If it doesn’t say you can’t, then you can, as long as it does not violate the spirit of the rules or the competition."

Home School Policy

Science Olympiad is a team activity, not an individual one, so a home schooled child must be a member of a team. A team consists of up to 15 children. Participation is extended for Division B (grades 6-9) and Division C (grades 9-12). Since there is no official method to determine what grade a home school child is in, we have established that a child’s equivalent grade will be determined by their birth date. Therefore, a child who will be eleven years old on September first, will be considered a sixth grade student and so forth. This calendar age will be used to determine eligibility for Division B and Division C. A child may compete with a higher division team than their age indicates, but not a lower one. For example, a tenth grade student can only compete in Division C while a sixth grade student could compete in Division B or even C. If a child has an academic relationship (such as taking a course) with a public or private school, they can only compete on that school’s team, and may not participate on the Home School Team. He/she may not be a member of a Home School Team even if that school, public or private, has no team. An exception would be providing a letter from that school’s principal saying that they could not compete on that school’s team whether or not there is a team. It is presumed that a Home School Team will be composed of children who have a pre-existing relationship of working together on a regular basis. We will require a statement from the coach as to the nature of that relationship. An "all star" team assembled by student abilities rather than by their preexisting regular study relationship, would not be allowed. Since this is a new aspect of the Indiana Science Olympiad, we may establish additional criteria as the home school activity materializes and unforeseen problems become apparent. Our desire is to provide this opportunity to as many children as possible while, at the same time, keeping the playing field level.


Alternates may accompany the team to the tournament. Each tournament may specify how many alternates are allowed.

  1. Alternates are in addition to the 15 team members.
  2. There is no limit to the number of alternates.
  3. Alternates replace full-team members when full-team members are absent and participate in the entire competition. They may not fill in for a regular team member for a single event because of a time conflict.
  4. Alternates may participate in trial events.
Team Ties Broken

Ties are broken by which team has the most gold medals. If same, then Silver medals. Next is bronze medals, fourth place, fifth place, etc. until tie is broken.

Refunds and Weather Cancellations

If a school has to withdraw from competing in a regional tournament, no refund is given. This is due to the fact that a regional has already been allocated the funds to prepare for the tournament. If a Regional has to be cancelled due to inclement weather, it will usually not be rescheduled. If a team cannot get to Regional or it was cancelled, every effort will be made to reschedule team(s) to a later Regional Tournament. If it is the last Regional, there is usually no recourse. There is no refund.

Scoring Appeals

Overall scoring appeals must be reported to the Director of the tournament within 48 hours of the awards ceremony. Individual events have a one hour maximum after the event is finished to file a complaint.