Start/Register a team

ISO follows all national Science Olympiad policies with regards to Teams and Qualifications unless otherwise posted. Any deviations from these policies must be approved by the ISO Executive Board yearly. To apply for a variance, please contact an ISO State Director.

Team Divisions

ISO currently has 3 divisions:

  • Division A (K-5)
  • Division B (6-8)
  • Division C (9-12)

How to Form a Team

Considering starting a team?

  • Review the Tips and Advice provided by national Science Olympiad pertaining to Basic Advice, Organizing a Team, and Membership Benefits.
  • Review the national Science Olympiad and ISO Policies carefully!
  • Register your team with ISO. This places your team (or teams) at a Regional Tournament to compete against other ISO teams in February or March. For more info on registration read below.
  • Register for and attend the Great Lakes Coaches’ Clinic. The clinic covers everything from new coaches and organizing a team to how to help your students in each of the events. It is recommended that you bring somebody along with you to participate in the sessions since there are too many for one person to get to all of them.
  • (For B & C divisions only) Attend an invitational tournament. This is the best way for the kids to get the jitters out, see what a tournament will be like, and get some extra practice. These tournaments have an additional cost outside of the team membership fee. Some invites will register through ISO, and some will register independently. Visit the Invitationals page for more information about each invitational and registration.

The competitions are fun and exciting. In Division A, there are about 12 events happening throughout the day. In Divisions B & C, there are 23 events for each division, so 46 total events happening throughout the day. Most events are run in Labs or classrooms and are hands on events (which do not allow spectators). There are also building events that are open for the public to watch like Towers, Airplanes, Egg drop, etc. These are usually held outside or in Gyms.

Team Registration

Divisions B & C

Regional Placement

If you are registering one team only, that team is your varsity team. Any additional teams are JV teams. Final registration deadline is January 7, 2024 (11:59pm).


Teams will be assigned to a regional tournament based on:

  1. A tournament that is within their geographic area.
  2. A tournament that is not a date conflict for the school.

Some tournaments have restricted enrollment; only schools within the geographic area for that tournament are allowed to attend these tournaments. The following tournaments have restricted enrollment:

  • Western Illinois University
  • Parkland College
  • Southwestern Illinois
  • Rock Valley College and U-46
  • Chicago Public Schools at IIT
  • Waubonsie Valley Division B

Expectations for Teams

Your school will be asked to run at least one event and possibly an event for each team you have registered at the regional tournament. For example, if you registered a Varsity, JV #1, and JV #2 teams, your school would be required to run at least one event but may be asked to run up to three events. You will be able to request the events you would be able to run during the registration process. The regional director will do their best to match your team(s) with events that you selected during the registration process.


If you register a team before November 15, 2023 (11:59pm):

  • Schools are guaranteed one varsity and one JV team at an assigned regional
  • Schools will be charged $350 for Varsity
  • Schools will be charged $300 for Junior Varsity

If you register a team after November 15, 2023 (11:59pm):

  • Schools will be charged $400 for Varsity
  • Schools will be charged $350 for JV
  • Schools are guaranteed a place at a regional for a Varsity team
  • There may not be room at the tournament for your JV team
  • Teams must be registered by the final January 7, 2024 (11:59pm) deadline.

Multiple JV Teams


  • Schools can register a maximum of two JV teams by January 7, 2024 (11:59pm).
  • If the regional tournaments cannot accommodate both JV teams, ISO will refund the full JV registration fee or schools may have the option to move to a different regional to have JV team(s) depending on availability at other regional sites

Elementary Science Olympiad