Competition Updates


Please note: For all entries that require documentation materials (comprising a “portfolio”) secured in a clear front report cover, visit this site for a sample report cover. 

General Rules and Regulations – For letter B, eliminate "Other than for the VEX event"; therefore the rule should read, “TSA members, advisors, and chapters must be currently affiliated with TSA in order to enter any competitive event.” Updated 12/12/16

Team Eligibility
Unless otherwise designated in a competition’s eligibility guideline, the maximum size of a team is six (6) members. Updated 1/13/17



MS Catapult Design

Please note the clarification that is underlined for Procedure L:
When teams receive their bucket and the fire command is given, they will have one (1) minute to launch as many hollow plastic practice golf balls as possible, one at a time, to accumulate as many points as possible in the net. Each team must cease firing at
one (1) minute. No shots made after time has been called will count. 

Updated 9/29/15

Use these links to view a chipping target and plastic golf balls for MS Catapult Design. The target shown in the link will replace the one pictured in Procedure M in the competition guidelines. Added 10/27/15

Adjustment to the first sentence of Procedure M:
The center of the scoring net will be approximately 15' to 25' from the launching area; students should use their tape measure to determine the distance to the center of the target in order to adjust their catapult for accuracy to that distance. Updated 1/19/16

MS Forensic Technology

Please note the following additional tool that is required in each student forensic tool kit
(Regulation E):
11. duster and dust (for fingerprinting) Updated 12/10/15
12. fingerprint lifting tape (or clear packing tape, but NOT everyday Scotch tape) Updated 1/29/16

The written test scores of individual team members will be averaged and recorded as a
single team score on the rubric. Twelve teams with the highest scores will be selected as
semifinalists for the on-site problem. Recognition awards will be provided for finalist team
placement only. Updated 10/2/15

National TSA conference information

The on-site problem for Forensic Technology at the conference will require participants to:

  • demonstrate 1-2 techniques/procedures for evidence collection using their toolkits
  • write an analysis of the crime scene

Teams will be allowed 20 minutes to review the crime scene and collect items, and 15 minutes for the written analysis. 

Regulation F, third bullet should read: Creation of a proportional drawing that accurately represents the crime scene. (Note The crime scene template in the toolkit may be used to create the drawing, but the drawing does NOT need to be to scale.) 
Updated 3/28/16

MS Junior Solar Sprint

The link for the JSS website in the Time Limits section of the guidelines (on page 215) and in the sidebar (on page 216) is incorrect. The correct link is

Please note that registration on Cvent is required in order for a team to have access to the online resources for JSS.

The vehicle will be steered via a guide wire that runs the length of the track (typically fishing line) and the vehicle must be attached to the guide wire by a minimum of  1 attachment point. To avoid confusion please consider that the JSS vehicle must be easily attached (and removed) from the wire without disconnecting the guide wire. Updated 4/24/17
Eye screws that are in the closed position will not be permitted to race.

MS Structural Engineering

The design layout drawing (included as an illustration under Competitions/Themes and Problems) does not state a specific opening size for the testing rod and nut. Students should create a reasonable/appropriate size for the opening. Updated 11/1/16


Under the PRE-BUILT STRUCTURE section of the rubric, Laminations should read:





Laminations containing two (2) or more pieces of like size material, glued together with the grain running in the same direction.

Laminations with different sized pieces glued together with the grain running in the same direction.

For this year’s specific design challenge, follow the link to the Structural Engineering information on the “Themes and Problems” page, Themes and ProblemsUpdated 5/25/17



HS guide, Competitive Events Eligibility chart (page 27)
The eligibility for Future Technology Teacher should read “two (2) individuals per chapter” Updated 12/9/16


For the high school events listed here, the LEAP rubric “Exemplary” text should read as noted below.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
Debating Technological Issues
Engineering Design
Fashion Design and Technology
On Demand Video
Software Development

Exemplary (for individual events)               Exemplary (for team events)

The individual’s efforts are clearly                The team’s efforts are clearly
communicated, fully-detailed, and                communicated, fully-detailed, and
convincing. Identification and/or                    convincing. Identification and/or
incorporation of the LEAP Be. Know.            incorporation of the LEAP Be. Know.
Do. criteria is excellent.                                   Do. criteria is excellent.

Updated 10/13/16

HS Architectural Design
The Official Rating Form, Semifinalist Presentation/Interview, minimal performance criteria for Team Participation should read: The individual/majority of the team is minimally engaged in communicating with judges. Updated 2/27/17

HS 3D Animation
ELIGIBILITY should read: Participants are limited to three (3) teams of two to six (2-6) members per state. Updated 10/24/16

Please note updated Regulations D and H below.

D. Participants will provide their own computer systems for the on-site portion of the competition. Each team member, to a maximum of six (6), may have one (1) laptop/desktop loaded with desired software; one (1) monitor; power strip; 20' extension cord; paper; and pencils.

H.  Semifinalist teams must transfer all files to a single computer, either with a USB flash drive or external hard drive, to create the final rendered animation. The judges will only view the final rendered animation on a single computer; no other computers from the semifinalist teams will be viewed during the evaluation process. Semifinalist teams leave their equipment and entry for judging and return to claim their equipment at the time and place stated in the conference program. Updated 2/16/17

HS Biotechnology Design
(page 59) Eligibility should read “Participants are limited to three (3) teams per state, two to six (2-6) members per chapter.”

HS Chapter Team
The Official Rating Form (at the top) should include the following text:
Updated 11/4/16

HS Children’s Stories
The pop-up book created for this event should be for children 4-8 years old. Updated 10/24/16

HS Coding

There is no required programming language for this event. Students may use the language of their choice, however, Java, C++, or Python is recommended. 

Teams are strongly encouraged to bring a fully-charged laptop and spare battery for this competition. Updated 12/16/16

Participants will be presented with a series of coding problems that must be completed on site at the conference. Evaluation will be based on the successful completion of the problems and the time in which it takes students or teams to complete all the challenges.

In addition to the specific HS Coding competition rules and regulations, students also must adhere to TSA’s general rules (found in the HS competitive events guide).

The USA Computing Olympiad website and the ACM-ICPC International website are helpful resources for the Coding event. Additional resources that can be used to prepare for the event are listed below:






Updated 9/29/16

HS Debating Technological Issues
Updated Subtopic 3:  By allowing students to use electronic resources – and devices – for conducting research, writing papers, tackling math assignments, or completing group work for class-initiated activities, etc.,  are students missing out on the development of some intrinsic educational skills? Updated 2/21/17

The Official Rating Form (top of page 148) should read:

HS Digital Video Production
This event consists of two (2) separate video components:
1. A 30-second public service announcement (PSA)
2. A three (3) minute digital video
Both the 30-second PSA and the three (3) minute video should reflect the current year’s theme.
For more information, go to this link:  Themes and ProblemsUpdated 3/2/17

HS Dragster Design
For this year’s specific design challenge, follow the link to the Dragster Design information on the “Themes and Problems” page, Themes and ProblemsUpdated 3/2/17

HS Extemporaneous Speech
The Official Rating Form (at the top) should include the following text:

Updated 11/4/16

HS Technology Problem Solving
Procedure E should read, “Each team also is required to bring the following items:” Updated 1/27/17

HS Software Development
The Official Rating Form (top of page 300) should read:

HS Structural Design and Engineering

Through a random selection process, an 8" to 12" span (distance between vertical supports) will be determined just prior to the stress testing of structures. Updated 11/1/16

The 1/32" balsa sheets noted in the materials list for the carrier structure may be used only for the carrier structure - and not for the truss girder structures. Update 1/6/17

HS Technology Bowl
The Official Rating Form (at the top of page 345) should include the following text:
Adherence to the resume specification determines a participant’s eligibility to take the Technology Bowl written test. Updated 11/21/16

VEX Robotics Competition

The LEAP resume will not be required for participants competing in VEX at the national TSA conference.