Machine Specifications and Penalties

Required Specifications

  1. Machine Dimensions: No more than 5’ x 5’ x 5’
  2. Number of Steps:
  3. Senior Division: 15 – 20 Steps
  4. Junior Division: 10 – 15 Steps
  5. Steps Labeled: Each step must be labeled on the machine with a number and correspond with a written list of steps in Team Journal.
  6. Advanced Components:
  7. Senior Division:
  8. At least 1 Chemical Reaction Step
  9. At Least 1 Electrical Step
  10. At Least 1 Fluid Power Step
  11. At Least 1 Mechanical Action Step
  12. Junior Division: Encouraged to incorporate Advanced Components, but not required.
  13. Safety: Machines must be safe for all team members and observers. Refer to Advanced Components section for additional safety guidelines.
  14. Flying Objects: All objects must stay within the parameters of the machine.
  15. Run Time: No more than 2 minutes. There is no minimum Run Time.


  1. Corporate logos without written permission. If permission to use a logo is granted, a written letter of permission must be provided and be kept with the machine.
  2. Safety issues as deemed by the Judging Committee.
  3. Use of live animals, hazardous material (toxic, noxious, dangerous), explosives, or flames.
  4. Use of profane, indecent or lewd expressions, offensive symbols, graphics, or language.
  5. Any device requiring a combustion engine.
  6. Unsafe machine or intentionally causing loose/flying objects to go outside set boundaries of machine.
  7. Damaging another team’s machine.

Penalty Deductions

  1. 3-Point Deductions: Human Intervention
  2. 5-Point Deductions: 
  3. Restarting the machine during a run.
  4. Machine run longer than 2 minutes.
  5. Resetting of machine for more than 4 minutes during a restart.
  6. Causing a delay in judging.
  7. Unintentionally causing a loose/flying object to go outside set boundaries of machine.
  8. 10-Point Deductions:
  9. Exceeding the machine dimensional limits.
  10. Too many or too few steps.
  11. Any number of steps not labeled on the machine.
  12. Each missing Advanced Component required (Senior Division ONLY).
  13. Exceeding the Team Journal Reflection 1-page limit.
  14. Coaching or questioning by team’s teacher, mentor, a parent or a student not on the team during judging.
  15. 20-Point Deduction: Unsportsmanlike conduct by team members or affiliates.