A trial event is an event held at a competition that does not count towards overall team score. How many, if any, and which trial events are held is usually under the discretion of the organization hosting the competition. At most competitions which hold them, alternate team members (members additional to those competing in the official events) are eligible to compete in trial events.
Trial events provide an opportunity for testing the efficacy and gauging student interest of the events themselves without the risk of affecting team scores.
To find out if any trial events will be held at a competition, check the tournament's webpage or contact a tournament director.
List of Trial Events
This is not a comprehensive list. Both the list of events and the list of locations where an event was run may be incomplete.
|Event||Locations Run (as trial) and other notes||Years Run (nationally)|
|Code Busters||2016 National Tournament in Division C.||N/A|
|Duct Tape Challenge||New York during the 2018 season in both divisions.||N/A|
|Electric Wright Stuff||2017 National Tournament in Division C.||N/A|
|Geologic Mapping||New York during the 2012 and 2013 seasons in Division C.||2014-2016 (C)|
|Green Generation||2013 National Tournament in both divisions, New York during the 2014 season in both divisions.||2015-2016 (B/C)|
|Hovercraft||2016 National Tournament in Division B.||2017-2018 (B/C)|
|Indoor Bottle Rocket||2017 National Tournament in Division C, although it seems to be intended as a replacement or rules modification for Bottle Rocket.||N/A|
|Invasive Species||2013 National Tournament in Division B, New York during the 2014 season in Division B (as Invasives) and during the 2015 season in both divisions. Wisconsin (as Invasives).||2016-2017 (B/C)|
|MagLev||2012 National Tournament in Division C, 2011 National Tournament in Division B, New York during the 2010 season in Division B (as Car of Tomorrow), during the 2011 season in both divisions, during the 2012 season in Division C.||2013-2014 (C)|
|Thermodynamics||Illinois state competition 2017 season in Division C .||2017-2018 (C)|
|Radio Lab/WiFi Lab||Ohio state tournament in 2017, Texas state tournament in 2018, Illinois state tournament in 2018.||N/A|
|Source Code||Michigan state tournament in 2016 and 2017, Texas state tournament in 2018.||N/A|
|Density Lab/Buoy oh Buoy/Buoyancy||Washington state tournament during the 2018 season for Division B, Illinois state tournament during the 2018 season for Division C and Division B.||N/A|
|Interrogating the Brain||Washington state tournament during the 2018 season for Division C.||N/A|
For a more comprehensive listing of trial events, see soinc.org's trial event page.
Removal of Official Events
If inconsistencies in how an official event was run are brought to the attention of tournament officials, the decision to exclude the event from overall scoring may be made. In such a case, it is often said that the event "was made a trial event." Medals and ribbons may still be awarded to the winners of the event, although how medals are awarded may vary from the other official events (in one unusual example, now jokingly referred to as The Lance Crimm Award, medals were awarded to every single team at the tournament).