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The Regulations of the International Student Physicists’ Tournament

Kyiv, January 2009


1. General


The International Student Physicists’ Tournament (ISPT) is a scientific team competition in the field of physics among the students of the universities.


It is organized in form of physical fights (PF) – scientific discussions on the problems presented by participants.




  • The team consists of 4-6 university students. The participation of school students or Ph. D. students is not allowed. The membership of the team cannot be changed during the tournament.
  • The team is headed by the captain, who officially represents the team during the tournament.
  • The team can be accompanied by one or two team leaders.




  • The jury of the ISPT consists of international representatives and team leaders.
  • The university students cannot be jury members.




  • Problems for the ISPT are proposed by the Organizational Committee.


Structure of the ISPT


ISPT consists of:


  • At least three selective fights;
  • Semifinal PFs;
  • Experimental tour for the team captains (for those teams who participate in final);
  • Final PF.


The scheme of selective fights is possibly formed so that each two teams don’t compete in the same group more than one time.


2. The Physics Fights regulations


The Physics Fight is leaded by the Fight Leader, assigned on the jury meeting. The usual number of teams participating in one PF is three, but in certain cases it may be also four or two. Each PF consists of 3, 4 or 2 stages. In each stage, every team acts as a Reporter, Opponent, Reviewer or Observer. After each stage the roles are changed according to the table:




The initial roles between teams before each fight are determined by the captain competition or by drawing lots. Captain who wins the competition determines the order his team selects the row in PF table. Then the right of choice is given to the captain who takes second place and so on. Then captains choose the rows in table.


Rules of challenge


The Opponent team may challenge the reporting team on any problem except:


  • Excluded by the Organizing Committee;
  • Already reported by the Reporter team;
  • Already opposed by the Opponent team;
  • Already reported by the Opponent team.


The following of this rule should be checked either by the Fight Leader and the members of participating teams.


If the challenge is impossible, the bans d), c), b), a) are successively removed, in that order.


During all selective fights each team may declare one eternal rejection on the challenged problem (for all selective fights) and three tactical rejections. In the case of more than three tactical rejections each extra one decreases the reporter’s coefficient by 0.2. Tactical rejections and reporter coefficients are renewed before each fight.


The time regulations


Before each PF the teams and jury members are introduced. After that the captains’ competition is organized.


1. The Opponent team proposes the problem to be reported by the Reporter team

1 min for each problem


2. The preparation of the Reporter

Up to 5 min. at the discretion of Fight Leader


3. Report

9 min.


4. Questions of the Opponent team (any member) to the Reporter

2 min.


5. The preparation of the Opponent

2 min.


6. Opposing

5 min.


7. Discussion between the Reporter and the Opponent

3 min.


8. Questions of the Reviewer team (any member) to the Reporter and Opponent

2 min.

9. The preparation of the Reviewer

1 min.

10. Review

3 min.


11. Discussion between the Reviewer, Reporter and the Opponent

5 min.


12. General discussion of the teams (any member of team except Observers)

5 min.


13. Concluding remarks of the Reporter

1 min.


14. Jury qualifying questions

at the discretion of Fight Leader


15. Putting marks

1 min.


16. Jury remarks

5 min.


17. Additional speeches (if needed)

at the discretion of Fight Leader


During each stage of the physics fight the team cannot consult any person that is not a team member.


During one physics fight each team can take a time-out (1 min.) It is prohibited to take a time-out so that the member of other team is interrupted.


Fight Leader


The task of the Fight Leader is to organize the physics fight.

The Fight Leader is responsible for:


  • Following the time regulations;
  • Announcing the problems, grading, introducing the speakers etc;
  • Controlling the kind of questions; the same questions should not be repeated;
  • Controlling the discussion; Fight Leader may interrupt the discussion in case it is not constructive;
  • Determining the way the initial roles are distributed between the teams (drawing lots, captains competition etc).


The Fight Leader is not obliged to:


  • Check the correctness of the statements of speakers;
  • Comment the grades of the jury;
  • Answer any doubtful questions not connected with the obligations and rights of the Fight Leader.


The Fight Leader has a right to:


  • Stop the speaker breaking the time regulations;
  • Decline the questions that repeat (and also the jury questions that are not qualifying);
  • Interrupt the discussion in case it is not constructive;
  • Debar the team from participating in the PF, in case the team regularly breaks these Regulations (in case of the jury agreement);
  • Give additional time for the report and opposing (up to 1 min., and 1 min. more in case of the jury agreement);
  • Give floor to the team leaders and observers after the grading.


The Fight Leader has not right to:


  • Break the time regulations of the Physics Fights (except discussion time);
  • Interrupt the speaker before the time for his action ends;
  • Comment the teams performance and express the own opinion;
  • Put questions in a form of a hint about the answer.


The rights and obligations or the Fight Leader cannot be changed during the tournament.


3. Special regulations of the finals and semifinals


Semifinal Physics Fight


Depending on the jury decision, 9 or 12 teams with the highest TR rating participate in the semifinal fight.

In case of the equal TR the team with higher TSP is preferred.

In case of the equal TSP (to within 0.01) jury organizes the lightning tournament between respective teams. The conditions of it are determined by the jury.

The semifinal fight consists of two rounds. The roles of teams are distributed by drawing lots or captains’ competition.

During the semifinal fight each team can take two time-outs (1 min. in each half of the fight).

During the semifinal each team member can take floor not more than 3 times, but not mote that twice in one half of the fight.

The problems of the Semifinal Physics Fights


In each semifinal group 10 problems are used. They are determined according the rating list.

The rating list is formed by the teams from respective semifinal group. Each team puts the integer number of points from 0 to 100 to each problem so that the total sum of points is equal to 100.

Then the Jury selects 10 problems with the maximal total rating.

The opposing team can challenge the Reporter on each of those 10 problems. During the semifinal Reporter can reject the challenge two times without any restrictions. In case of more than 2 rejections, the coefficient of the Reporter if decreased by 0.2.


The teams participating in the Final


The winners of semifinals are 3 (4) teams with the maximal sum of points in respective groups. If the winner cannot be determined, the TR and then TSP is also included. The winners of semifinals participate in the final.


Final Physics Fight


Each of the Final participating teams can choose the problem for the Final report from general list (in order determining by TR and, after that, TSP).


4. The grading


The result of the team participation in the ISPT is determined by the total rating TR and total sum of points TSP.

TR (total rating) – sum of the ratings of a team during all selective fights;

TSP (total sum of points) – the sum of SPj during all fights.

SPj (sum of points) – sum of averaged points of the team that takes j-th place in the current Physics Fight, multiplied by respective coefficients and rounded to two decimal places.

Rating is characteristic of the success of the team participation in the current Physics Fight and, for the team that takes j-th place in the current Physics Fight it is determined from the table:





5. Other regulations


The functions of Reporter, Opponent and Reviewer are determined in the same way as in the Regulations of the International Young Physicists’ Tournament with following corrections:

  • The report may be presented by two Reporters with equal rights;
  • The Opponent should mainly analyze the content of the report;
  • The Reviewer should mainly analyze the form of the report and should also mention the drawbacks of the report that were not mentioned by the Opponent;
  • In case of questions to the Reporter, Opponent of Reviewer, if needed, the Fight Leader may allow other member of the respective team to give an answer.


The grading of the teams is carried out in the same way as in the Regulations of the International Young Physicists’ Tournament with following corrections:


  • In case of 5-6 jury members, the lowest mark is not included in the average;
  • In case of 7-8 jury members, one lowest and one highest marks are not included;
  • In case of more jury members, the total number of extreme marks thrown away is one quarter of total number of jury members, rounded up.


From these marks, the number of lower ones is equal to the number of higher ones or exceeds it by one.

Then the marks that are left are averaged and multiplied by respective coefficients.

The jury members put marks according to their discretion and conscience. But it is desirable to grade both content and form of the report, opposing and review; the content and manner of discussion, quality of questions and the teamwork.

The jury members who put the extreme marks must comment them.

In case of any issues concerning these Rules, all controversial questions are solved on the general jury meeting.

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