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


Judges Training Meeting

Competitor Preparation:

  • Sorry folks... but competitors are not invited to this meeting.


Host Equipment/Preparation:

  • Provide a venue that can accommodate the expected crowd. Microphones and a PA system may be required in some cases.
  • Some place (white/black board or flip chart) to sketch illustrations. Make sure there are sufficient markers/chalk.
  • Advertise the meeting time and location far enough in advance that the judges can arrange to be there.
  • Make sure that each judge has a set of the rules and current clarifications.
  • Copies of the score sheets that will be used during the competition for each judge.  These are to be printed from the scoring spreadsheet.
  • Copies of the Judges Instructions printed from the scoring spreadsheet for each judge.
  • Computer projection equipment if using a training powerpoint or this website.
  • A bridge that you can set up for the judges to see and touch.


Judge Preparation:


Over the years there have been quite a few people unhappy with the judging, particularly at the ASCE student conference level. In order to run a smooth and fair competition it is critical that the judges fully understand the seriousness of their task.

As this is a complex competition, a judges training meeting is a vital step toward having a successful competition. Some ASCE student conferences have had the meeting as much as a week in advance of the competition.  Others have it the day of the competition.

If possible, have the Head Judge run this meeting.  The Head Judge should have had some experience with the competition and be aware of the key points that need to be covered. If you are lucky enough to have a current or past member of the National Rules Committee in the neighborhood, they can sometimes be prevailed upon to help with judges training.

In this meeting, the Judges should review the rules and how they are to be applied at the various stations. The scoring spreadsheet has Judges Instructions embedded that are easily printed with the touch of a couple of keys. Common mistakes should be pointed out so that they can look for them. Judges should also be made aware of how much these students have invested in their efforts and be encouraged to be kind, considerate, and professional in their dealings with the students--regardless of how the students present themselves.

Also, in the spirit of equal fairness for all, it must be emphasized that judges are to

  • NEVER give advice to the competing teams. The teams must stand or fall based on their own efforts.  Once advice starts to flow, there are always hard feelings since it appears the Judges are displaying favoritism.
  • Only meet with the appropriate Team Captain to discuss a particular bridge and it's performance.  Do not discuss any observation and/or ruling with other team members, faculty advisors, or by-standers. Do not let others crowd around when discussing issues with the Team Captain.
  • Only discuss a team's own bridge. Do not allow by-standers and competing teams to challenge decisions regarding bridges that belong to other teams.
  • Do not discuss potential decisions with anyone other than the Judges and Team Captain.

At this meeting the Judges are to be assigned their duties.  Typically one Judge is designated as the lead for their position and given the responsibility of organizing the other Judges assigned to work with them.  This is particularly true for the Judges running the construction lanes.

Note that the Head Judge should not be assigned to a specific station as this Judge must be able to roam and deal with issues as they arise throughout the competition. The Head Judge also controls the operation and flow of the competition.