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


Post Construction

Competitor Preparation:

  • Make sure that you bridge meets all clearance and spatial requirements during design and fabrication.


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 maintain control of the judging forms for the bridge.
  • A set of the rules and current clarifications at each construction lane.
  • Templates for verifying that clearance and spatial requirements have been met.
    • Under bridge clearance
    • Vehicle passageway above the decking supports
  • String for checking clearances when the supporting surface is not flat.
  • Tape measure (25 ft or more).
  • Plumb bob and/or four foot level for checking Rule 9.3.7.
  • A clipboard with pencil for each construction lane.



Clearance Check Video: Clearance.wmv, 3:24 minutes, 8.8 MB


Once the Team Captain turns the bridge over to the Judges for the post construction check, the team can do no more work on the bridge. It is inspected 'as is' by the Judges. Judges are to use the judging checklist and rules to verify compliance of the bridge. Any violations are recorded on the judging form. Teams are only allowed to repair certain violations as dictated in Rule 9.4. Certain violations must be fixed--if it is not possible to fix these problems then the bridge will be ruled ineligible for any awards by the Head Judge and not be approved for load testing.

Once the Judges finish their work, they meet with the Team Captain (and ONLY the Team Captain) to review the results. If the Team Captain disputes the findings or asks for clarifications he/she works with the Lane Judges to resolve the issues. If the disputes are not resolved, the Head Judge is called in to make a ruling. At the end of this process the Team Captain is to sign the bottom of the form which, along with the rest of the judging forms, is then given to the Marshal who escorts the bridge to the next station.


Common Violations

There are several common violations that seem to occur 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 to these persistent problems.

Click on thumbnail for
larger image


Rule 9.3.5

Rule 9.3.4

Rules 9.3.4, 9.3.8, and 9.3.9:

This year there is a passage way above the decking support, allowing top chord bracing in the structure. There is also a navigation clearance under the bridge. There have always been clearance problems at the competition as teams, for some unknown reason, feel the need to push these limits.

The clearance is measured with a template. Alternatively, the judges may measure from a taunt string line if there is a question of the flatness of the floor. The height of this clearance varies from year to year and is likely to be different than shown in the accompanying image.

Rules 9.4: Connections:

Be sure to read this section carefully. We tend to see quite a few violation of these rules.