Region 9 Tournament-Specific Rules (“House Rules”)

Below is a listing of rules specifically applicable to the Virginia Region 9 Tournament.  These rules do not necessarily apply to any other tournament, whether within Virginia or elsewhere.

  1. No wheeled travel, either in the halls or in the performance areas. This means nobody on skates, scooters, skateboards, wheeled footwear, SegwaysTM , carts, wagons, chariots, etc.  Wheelchairs for people who habitually use them and baby carriages for the very young (driven exclusively by adults), are the only exceptions. (Please consider leaving your stroller in the car; there simply isn’t room for all of them.) If your team’s solution (in any problem) involves a ride-on vehicle, team members may only ride it during the 8-minute presentation.
  2. No fog machines. (This is also a Virginia State Tournament rule.)
  3. No strobe lights.
  4. No weapons, or realistic depictions of weapons. Teams must obey the Fairfax County Public Schools policy regarding weapons while on FCPS grounds.
  5. No dyes, bleaches, or other substances that can cause permanent stains, unless the substance is kept in a sealed container throughout the performance.  This includes substances like mustard, grape juice, tomato sauce, hydrogen peroxide, ink, etc.
  6. No materials deliberately thrown or fired toward the audience – not even popcorn or confetti.
  7. No adjusting the room lighting.  (This was a general clarification for all problems a few years ago and has always been a Tournament Rule for Region 9.).
  8. No flash photography during performances.
  9. No special or additional lighting for videorecording performances.
  10. No highly-pressurized gases in the building. Commercially produced aerosol cans are permitted, but remember that if you leave a mess or a stink for the teams that follow you, you might receive an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty. If you have a specific question about a pressurized container that you would like to use, the Tournament Director will answer your questions and maintain the secrecy of your team’s solution.
  11. No abuse of pressurized gases – the gases are often toxic/poisonous and should be used only under adult supervision and only for purposes approved in container the instructions.  Thus, for example, helium must not be used to create funny voices.
  12. No “Coke & Mentos” mixtures or other similarly powerful chemical reactions.
  13. Regional Requirements for teams performing Problem 4, aka the Balsa problem:
  1. Problem 4 teams are required to check-in at Weigh In 90 minutes before their scheduled long-term performance time. If the team is unable to comply with this requirement (for example, if the 90-minute lead time conflicts with their spontaneous competition), the coach should contact the Balsa Problem Captain or Tournament Director prior to the day of the tournament to schedule another time.
  2. Teams may purchase balsa from any supplier as long as the cross-section of the wood meets the requirements stated in the problem statement and Program Guide (Resources page).  NOVA North Region 9 requires that each team provides the weigh-in judge with a photocopy (hard copy) of receipts for balsa purchases showing the purchase information with the date of the transaction.  This is regardless of whether the Balsa wood was purchased from CCI or another vendor.
  3. Teams should bring the glue that was used to build / construct the structure(s) to weigh-in.


In addition, remember that Fairfax County Public Schools prohibit eating and drinking in any classroom. This applies to audience as well as teams. Lunches and snacks may be eaten in the Gymnasium Lobby or Cafeteria.  Please help to ensure that we remain welcome guests in the schools by respecting this rule.

These rules are in addition to the Program Rules of Chapter V of the Program Guide.  Please ensure that your team is familiar with all of these requirements and restrictions.

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