A contest may consist of one round of judging or two rounds (a Preliminary Round and a Finals Round). The number of rounds is determined by the contest organizer.
If there will be two rounds of judging, teams will compete in the Preliminary Round first and may be randomly split into clusters for this round of judging. The number of clusters and number of teams per cluster will be determined by the number of teams registered. Team order will also be determined by random draw. Each cluster may be judged by a separate group of judges. The final score for each team will be based on the combined total of the scores from the Team Journal, Team Presentation, and Machine Design and Operation. Prior to the start of the Preliminary Round, judges will inspect the machines to deem them safe and assess potential rule infractions.
The top-scoring team from each Preliminary Round cluster will advance to the second round of judging, the Finals Round, with any remaining Finals Round slots being filled by the highest scoring teams that remain. The total number of advancing teams will be determined by the number of registered teams. The Finals Round will proceed in the same manner as the Preliminary Round, however, with the same group of judges scoring all teams. Preliminary Round scores will not be taken into account during the Finals Round except for Team Journal scores which will carry forward to the Finals Round. Scores will be based on the combined total of the scores from the Team Journal, Team Presentation, and Machine Design and Operation.