Frequently Asked Questions

General

Is this an in-person tournament?

No, neither the Mini nor Satellite tournament take place in a single, centralized location. Mini takes place from home, and Satellite takes place at your school under the supervision of your team's coach.

Can my team compete in both the Mini and Satellite Tournaments?

Yes, we'd love for you to compete in both tournaments! To compete in both tournaments, your team will need to register for both tournaments.

We can only compete at one of the BirdSO Invitationals. Which should we choose?

We are bringing our best effort to both tournaments, so you can’t go wrong with either tournament! There are two major differences: the tournament format and the date. You can find official details about tournament formats here — Satellite requires your team to compete in person at school, while in Mini (mini SO), competitors compete at home. If you are unable to use your school facilities for Science Olympiad for any reason, then your only option is compete in our Mini Tournament.

Otherwise, you should consider the different dates. The Mini Tournament is in mid-December, before the regular tournament season, so if your team wants to start practice competing early on, it is a great choice. However, it also might be near the end of the academic term for many schools. Our Satellite Tournament is in mid-February, and depending on your home state, might be closer to Regional or State competitions making it good practice for those tournaments.

If all these factors are balanced, the event slates are slightly different. Notably, our Satellite Tournament includes six computer science events per division as part of a Computer Science Initiative. We’d love for you to get the chance to compete in these events if you don’t have the opportunity to do so elsewhere!

How many teams can my school register?

Schools may send a maximum of 4 teams per division to each of our tournaments.

Do I need an invitation to register or who can register for the tournaments?

Any team registered with a state Science Olympiad organization may register for our tournaments. You do not need an invitation. Registration details can be found here.

Do attending teams need to write a test or provide volunteers?

Teams will not need to write or grade any tests, proctor any build events, or provide any aid to the tournament staff. We will take care of everything so that your team can concentrate entirely on the competition.

Do I need to attend the Opening Ceremony and Awards Ceremony?

While we’re working hard to make the Opening and Awards Ceremonies exciting and would love to have your attendance, you are not required to attend.

Are you following the National schedule? What schedule are you following?

We are not following the National Tournament schedule. You can compete in any event at any time while the tournament is in progress. For the Satellite Tournament, you can only compete in events while you are at your school under the supervision of your team’s coach.

How many places will receive medals/trophies/other awards?

For both divisions, custom medals will be awarded to the top 15 teams in each event, and trophies will be awarded to the top 15 schools. Certificates will be awarded to the top 30 teams in each event, and participation certificates will be awarded to all students. If the team limit increases, more medals and trophies will be given out.

Will we be able to see our graded tests?

Yes! All tests will be returned in Scilympiad, where students may review their responses and points earned. For our Mini Tournament, they will be released on January 6, 2022, at 5:00 PM Pacific Time. For our Satellite Tournament, they will be released on February 29, 2022, also at 5:00 PM Pacific Time.

Events

Where can I find what events are being run and what rules are being followed?

You can find our event slates for Satellite here and for Mini here. For many of these events, rules are available in the official Rules Manual available at soinc.org/2022-rules-b and soinc.org/2022-rules-c. Not all of our trial events can be found in the official Rules Manual—for these events, please see the pages for our Mini and Satellite tournaments. Because our tournaments are not in-person, some events will have changes to how the rules are followed. You can find these in our Events and Modifications documents also on those pages.

How will build events be run, given that the tournament is not in-person?

Build events will be run according to the Event Modifications document for each tournament, which are available on the webpages for our Mini and Satellite tournaments.

Will we be shipped materials for events like Forensics and Experimental Design?

We will not be shipping out materials for any events. Because of the tournament format, parts of some events may not be able to run or will need to be modified. You can find event-specific details about this at this on the webpages for each tournament: Mini and Satellite.

Policies

What are your policies on cheatsheets/binders?

For our Satellite Tournament, no online cheatsheets or binders are permitted. For our Mini Tournament, whether online cheatsheets or binders are permitted is event specific—please see our Event Modifcations document, linked on the webpages for our Mini and Satellite tournaments.

Which events will require that I stay in the browser?

Unless otherwise stated in the Events Modifcations documents (Mini and Satellite) or explicitly allowed by the Event Supervisor, you must stay in the Scilympiad testing tab at all times during the event.

For Mini, can I be in the same room as my partner?

No. Even if you and your partner reside in the same location, not all partners have the option to do so. Participants may use any method of online communication such as video call, voice chat or the built-in Scilympiad chat.

If I’m participating in the Satellite Tournament do I need to be competing at my school or can I compete at home?

You must be competing at your school under the supervision of your team’s coach.

Does my team need to compete on a single day or can we do events across different days in the date range?

You may compete in any way that suits your schedule during the date range for each tournament, whether that be a single day, multiple days, or the whole range.

What are you doing to ensure the integrity of competitors?

Competitors are expected to follow all tournament policies (including our Academic Honesty Policy) and not to engage in behaviors that would confer an unfair advantage over other competing teams. We will monitor anomalies in event submissions as well as out-of-browser time tracked by the Scilympiad test-taking platform. We understand the technical difficulties that are associated with a virtual tournament, so we will investigate each incident thoroughly and include coaches in the process to make sure no team is unfairly penalized.