The catapult contest involves both pre-convention preparation and at-convention competition.  Grade groups will be 6th and under, 7th to 9th, and 10th and up.  The SCL reserves the right to change this grouping based on the entries received.  Any changes made in these divisions will be announced after the pre-convention portion of the contest is received but before the at-convention competition begins. The SCL’s desire for this competition is for fair and equitable competition among students of similar levels of ability, and to encourage creative, thoughtful, inspired work, not just to hand out ribbons.  Students may make entries in groups or alone. Groups may consist of no more than 6 students, and the group will be classified by the participating student with the highest grade.  For example if a group is composed of 3 students from grades 5, 6, and 9, then the group would enter competition in the 7th to 9th grade group.

Base measurements must be no larger than 6 square feet.  Exact length and width dimensions may be determined by the students in whichever manner best suits a particular student’s or group’s design.  The diagonal measurement of the base must be longer than the height of the catapult (i.e., designs in which the Catapult has been effectively turned on its side will be disqualified). Catapult arms may be no longer than 3′ 6″ long.  Arms should be rigid (no ‘whip arms’) and may not include a sling.  No trebuchets, please.  At the convention catapults will be tested tossing a standard size/weight Hacky Sack (to be supplied by SCL for the sole use of this competition).  Places will be awarded by length of throw with the catapult throwing the Hacky Sack the farthest receiving 1st place (within each grade group). NB: Please keep safety in mind when constructing your catapult. Please use durable materials that will not break, crack, tear, or splinter during use.

Prior to convention each entrant must build and test a catapult to the above specifications. Construction and design should be completed by the students submitting the Catapult entry into the competition. Parents and teachers can (and should) supervise and assist in the use of any tools, but the work and design should be the students’ own. Additionally, the Catapult must be tested with adult supervision for safety and durability prior to the competition.


To encourage historically accurate and/or inspired design, each contestant or team of contestants must submit a 1-2 page double spaced (typed or handwritten) paper on the catapult.  This paper should include the names, grades, and school of the participants within a group, the dimensions and building materials used for the catapult, and a description of the design as well as what historical sources students used to develop the design.  If a catapult design is based on a style of catapult used during a certain period of history or by a certain region of the world, this information should be included in the paper as well.  Catapults must be accompanied by such papers to be accepted to the competition.  Work not need be time consuming and should be grade appropriate (we’re essentially looking to see that students put some thought, and hopefully researched some Roman history while developing a design; we are not treating this as an essay contest).  In the event of a tie (within a grade group) in the distance part of this competition, the papers will be used as a tie breaker.  Papers with thorough documentation and evidence of historical inspiration or accuracy will score higher than those with poor documentation and no research.  If no clear winner can be established, ties will be awarded. NB: Essays must be completed and submitted to the Olympika Chair during convention registration; late entries may not be accepted.

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