Regulations 2021

Regulations of the New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament

And Qualification for New Zealand representation in 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 NZYPT

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. 

2. Entry Fee

The entry fee is $105 per team in 2021.

3. Late entries

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. National Final

Individual school teams are responsible for all costs associated with team travel and accommodation due to their participation in the National Online Final of NZYPT. These costs should be minimal in 2021.

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. In 2021 the top team from each region competes in the National Online Final.

NZYPT is a schools based competition and only one team from each school can participate in the National final of NZYPT. (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:

                      Stage 1          Stage 2         Stage 3


   1                  Rep                 Rev                  Opp                                   

   2                  Opp                Rep                  Rev                                    

   3                  Rev                 Opp                 Rep                                   

In the Regional Tournaments, and the group stages of the Final, 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 . . . . . . . . . .         1

The Reporter accepts or rejects the challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          1

Preparation of the Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            5

Presentation of the report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             12

Questions of the Opponent to the Reporter

and answers of the Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             2

Preparation of the Opponent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . .           3

The Opponent takes the floor, maximum 4 min.

and discussion between the Reporter and the Opponent . . . . . . . . .          14

The Opponent summarizes the discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             1

Questions of the Reviewer to the Reporter

and the Opponent and answers to the questions . . . . . . . . . . 3

Preparation of the Reviewer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                    2

The Reviewer takes the floor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                   4

Concluding remarks of the Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            2

Questions of the Jury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             5

Grading and collection of scores from 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.

2. 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

Three teams will be selected from the regional tournaments to attend the National tournament.

Format for National Final 

The National final is composed of 3 teams (the top team from each region).

The winning school from each region will be required to submit videos of all of the presentations they might want to use (using YouTube), by 5.00 pm on Friday 11th June.

The videos will not be viewed until the tournament begins except to check that the links work correctly.

The tournament will have two stages – selective fights (i.e. opposer challenges) in the morning and elective fights (i.e. presenter chooses) in the afternoon.

Both stages would have team rotating roles between presenter / opposer / reviewer.

The tournament will involve one jury who will judge both stages.

At the end of PF1 (stage one) teams will elect the problem they wish to present in PF2 (the second round). The first choice of problem going to the first-place team and so on. Teams cannot choose to report the problem reported in PF1 to report in PF2.

To ensure as many members of the team are involved as possible two different members of the team must be involved in PF1 and all  3 members of the team in PF2.

The winning team will be the team with the highest number of points from the aggregate of the two rounds.

Whilst Zoom makes it possible for teams to work individually from home we recommend that they meet together at school, so that they can work together more effectively.

Physics Fight 2Room 1
Team 11st place PF1
Team 22nd place PF1
Team 33rd place PF1
Physics Fight 1Room 1
Team 1Eg Auckland 1
Team 2Eg Wellington 1
Team 3Eg Christchurch 1

Order of Performance in the Final

The order of performance of teams in the Final is as per Section VI. The Physics Fight regulations and the Team numbers are drawn by lot at the start of PF1.
The order of the teams in the Grand Final PF2 is decided by the sum of points from PF1. The highest scoring team is Team 1, the second highest scoring team is Team 2, and the third highest scoring team is Team 3.
 The order of performance of teams in the Grand Final is as per Section VI. The Physics Fight regulations.

Summary of the National Final

All presentations that Team wish to report on need to be converted to 12 minute YouTube videos.
Links to the videos must be sent to NZYPT.
There are two Physics fights in the final. PF1 is selective (challenged)  PF2 is elective  (team nominated).
No member of a team may take the floor more than twice in PF1.

All members of the team must take the floor once in PF2  as either Reporter, Opponent or Reviewer.

NZYPT National Final result

The NZYPT National school winner is determined by the total of the SP of   PF1 and PF2.

IYPT New Zealand squad selection 2021

The National Selection Committee (NSC) selected the NZ squad of top students from the national entry of videos submitted online. Each squad member was allocated a new  IYPT problem to solve and present to the NSC. The NSC then chose five students to represent New Zealand in the IYPT Online in 2021. Individual entry for this process is $20.

XIII. The status of the regulations of the NZYPT

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

14th March 2021