Regulations of the New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament
Qualification event for the International Young Physicists’ Tournament

I. International Young Physicists’ Tournament and the NZYPT

The International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT) is a competition among teams of secondary school students testing their ability to solve complicated scientific problems, present solutions to these problems in a convincing form and defend them in scientific discussions, called Physics Fights (PF).

The New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament (NZYPT) is the official qualification tournament for New Zealand students to participate in the International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT) and is open to all secondary school students.

II. The problems of the IYPT

The 17 problems are formulated by the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of IYPT and sent to the participating countries not later than in October. The National Organising Committee (NOC) selects 7 of these problems to be used in the qualification competition NZYPT. The 7 problems for NZYPT are published on the New Zealand Young Physicists’ website

III. The participants of the IYPT New Zealand

  1. School teams

Any school in New Zealand is able to request entry into NZYPT prior to the published deadline, up to two teams. In cases where a school does not have enough suitable students, schools may combine, at the discretion of the NOC, to form a team.

  1. Entry Fee

The entry fee is $180 per team with an early bird entry of $105.

  1. Late entries

The decision about the participation of such a team is taken by the NOC.

  1. The membership of the teams

An NZYPT team is composed of three secondary school students. The composition of the team cannot be changed during the tournament. The team is headed by a captain who is the official representative of the team during the PF.

  1. Team Leaders

The team is accompanied by a teacher who is the team leader. All teams must supply at least one teacher to act as a judge (at the regional tournament in which the team is competing). The competition cannot take place without sufficient judges. Any team who cannot bring at least one judge must notify the regional organizers to see if it is possible for the team to compete. The judge does not have to be a physics teacher but must be someone with a Physics based degree OR a previous participant of IYPT.

  1. National Final

Individual school teams are responsible for all costs associated with team travel and accommodation due to their participation in the National Final of NZYPT in Christchurch on Sat 24th March 2018.

IV. The Jury

The Jury (at each level of the tournament) is nominated and organized by the NOC. It consists of members from universities, (parents and supporters of NZYPT with relevant degrees from) science related industries and schools. The team leader from each team is included in the Jury (unless the school has supplied additional jury members). Where possible team leaders should not be judging their own team and should not grade the same team more than twice.

V. The agenda of the NZYPT

The NZYPT tournament is held during a period determined by the NOC (from February to May). All teams participate in a one-day Regional Tournament in either Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) is responsible for the conduct of the tournament in their region according to these (NZYPT) IYPT NZ Regulations. The NOC decides on the members of the LOC.

In the Regional Tournaments all teams participate in three Selective PFs where each team must report on three different problems during the regional competition. The top two teams from different schools from each region compete in the National Final along with other top teams from the regions selected so as to be proportionally representative of the overall entry.

NZYPT is a schools based competition and only one team from each school can participate in the National final of NZYPT. Should a single school gain 1st and 2nd place in the regional competition the school may select which team continues to the National final. (Note Rule III 4. The membership of the team must remain the same: schools cannot select students from both teams).

VI. The Physics Fight regulations

In the course of a PF the members of a team may communicate freely only with each other as long as they do not disturb the fight being heard by the judges.

Before the beginning of a PF, the Jury and the teams are introduced.

Three or two teams participate in a PF, depending on the total number of teams competing on the day of the tournament.

The PF is carried out in three (or two) Stages. In each Stage, a team plays one of the roles: Reporter, Opponent, Reviewer (or Observer). In the subsequent Stages of the PF, the teams change their roles according to the scheme:

Three teams PF
Stage 1 2 3
1 Rep Rev Opp
2 Opp Rep Rev
3 Rev Opp Rep

In the Regional Tournaments the role of Reviewer is replaced by the role of Observer. In the case of two team PFs there will be no Observer role.

VII. The Stage regulations

The performance order in the Stage of a PF:
Reserved time in minutes
The Opponent challenges the Reporter for the problem
The Reporter accepts or rejects the challenge
Preparation of the Reporter
Presentation of the report
Questions of the Opponent to the Reporter
and answers of the Reporter
Preparation of the Opponent
The Opponent takes the floor, maximum 5 min,
and discussion between the Reporter and the Opponent
Questions of the Reviewer to the Reporter
and the Opponent and answers to the questions
Preparation of the Reviewer
The Reviewer takes the floor
Concluding remarks of the Reporter
Questions of the Jury

VIII. The team performance in the Stages

The Reporter presents the essence of the solution to the problem, attracting the attention of the audience to the main physical ideas and conclusions. Standard devices for presentation are whiteboard and computer data show projector. For further devices the teams should consult the organizers. Live demonstrations of the phenomena encountered in a problem are encouraged.

 The Opponent puts questions to the Reporter and criticizes the report, pointing to possible inaccuracy and errors in the understanding of the problem and in the proposed solution. The Opponent analyses the advantages and drawbacks of both the solution (major part) and the presentation (minor part) of the Reporter. The discussion of the Opponent should not become a presentation of his/her own solution. In the discussion, the solution presented by the Reporter is discussed. The opposition report may start with a presentation using a data projector and continue in the discussion phase with the use of diagrams and calculations on the whiteboard.

The Reviewer presents a short estimation of relative merits and errors in understanding from the discussion and the presentations of Reporter and Opponent. This may be presented using a data projector.

The Observer does not participate actively in the PF.

During one PF only one member of a team takes the floor as Reporter, Opponent or Reviewer; other members of the team are allowed to make brief remarks or to help with the presentation technically. In the Regional Tournament no member of the team may take the role of Reporter more than twice.

IX. The rules of problem-challenge and rejection

  1. All problems presented in the same PF must be different.
  2. Selective PF

The Opponent may challenge the Reporter on any problem with the exception for a problem that:

  • a) was rejected by the Reporter earlier
  • b) was presented by the Reporter earlier;
  • c) was opposed by the Opponent earlier;
  • d) was presented by the Opponent earlier.

If there are no problems left to challenge, the bans d), c), b), a) are successively removed, in that order.

During the Selective PFs the Reporter may reject the challenge of two different problems in total without penalty. For every subsequent rejection, the coefficient of the Reporter (see section X), is decreased by 0.2. This reduction continues to apply during the following PFs.


X. The grading

After each Stage the Jury grades the teams, taking into account all presentations of the members of the team, questions and answers to the questions, and participation in the discussion. Each Jury member shows integer marks from 1 to 10.

The highest and lowest marks from the jury are averaged to form one mark and added to the other jury marks. The mean of these marks is evaluated as the mean mark for the team.

The mean marks are multiplied by various coefficients: 3.0 or less (see section IX) for the Reporter, 2.0 for the Opponent, 1.0 for the Reviewer and then transformed into points for this stage.

XI. The resulting parameters

  1. For a team in the PF

The sum of points (SP) is the sum of mean marks, multiplied by the corresponding coefficients and rounded to one decimal place.

  1. For a team in the Regional Tournament

The total sum of points (TSP) equals the sum of SPs of the team in all Selective PFs.

If there is a tie in the Regional Tournament, the team with the top report mark wins.


XII. The National Final of the NZYPT

Nine teams will be selected from the regional tournaments to attend the National tournament. There should be at least two teams from each region with the other three places decided by proportional representation based on the number of schools entering a regional tournament. (Note there is a maximum of one team per school in the final).


Format for National Final 2018. 

The National final is composed of 9 teams decided by proportional representation from the regional competitions. Six of the teams are decided as the 1st and 2nd placed schools from each regional tournament. The final 3 teams are decided by proportional representation as per the entry of teams in each region received by the cut-off date for the tournament.

1. The first two rounds of the final are group stage fights. There are 3 teams in each group with the same 3 teams fighting it out for top place in their group (based on selective fights by challenge) over two fights.

The group stage fights only involve (a challenge), a Report and an Opposition. There is no Review: the third team in the room is an Observer for this part of the fight. To ensure as many members of the team are involved as possible two members of the team should be involved in this stage unless there are multiple (more than 3) rejections by the reporting team. Each team member may only take the floor once as either Reporter or Opponent in each fight of the Final.

2.  The second round of the group stage has the same three teams in another fight with the order of the challenge changed. This ensures each team opposes a different school to the first round.


Grand final regulations:

The top placed team from each room in the group stage of the final will have an elective fight to decide the top three places in the tournament. This PF will consist of a Reporter, Opponent and a Reviewer stage.

During this PF every team member must take the floor as either reporter, opponent or reviewer. At the end of the group stage each team selects three problems in priority order to report in the Grand Final. Any problem that has been previously reported in the group stages can be chosen.

The order of the teams is decided by random draw with Team 1 reporting first as per VI. The Physics Fight regulations section. Each team in the Grand Final reports their first choice of problem unless this problem has already been reported by another team. In this case the team presents their second choice and so on. Each team member may only take the floor once as either Reporter, Opponent or Reviewer in the Grand Final.


No member of a team may take the floor more than once in each PF of the final. 

All members of the team must take the floor once in the Grand Final elective fight of the final.


Final result

The NZYPT National school winner is determined by the total of the SP of the Grand Final alone.


IYPT New Zealand squad selection

The Selection Committee chooses up to ten students which includes the three students from the winning team as the New Zealand squad for IYPT. Any student who has participated in NZYPT is eligible for selection in the New Zealand squad for IYPT and students will have been nominated from the regional tournaments. The squad members are each allocated a different IYPT problem to solve and present to the selection committee approximately two weeks later. The Selection Committee chooses the five students to represent New Zealand in the IYPT that year from these solutions.  Students will generally be selected for the NZ squad if they have not taken part in the New Zealand IYPT Team before. Outstanding students may be considered to travel for a second year if they have skills essential to the team.

The team leader of the team winning the National Final is invited to attend IYPT as a Team Leader of the New Zealand team, provided some of their team is selected for the New Zealand team. Other team leaders are offered a place as a Team leader of the New Zealand team in order determined by the number of members in the New Zealand team and the placing of their team in the National Final. These other team leaders will be chosen at the discretion of the NOC.

Any team leaders or jurors accompanying the New Zealand team to IYPT must take part in and facilitate team training.


XIII. The status of the regulations of the NZYPT

 These regulations are established by the NOC and may be changed only by the NOC.

 12th February 2018