This topic is an abbreviated version of the Scoring section in the Rules of the Road.

Both Instant Challenge and Team Challenge appraisers need to assign teams scores.  

The scores assigned are of 2 types:

  1. Subjective
    A subjective score is an opinion on the number of points a team should receive.  Because the score is an opinion, multiple appraisers are asked to assign a score.  The actual raw score will be the average of each appraiser assigning a score.

  2. Objective
    An objective score is one where the appraisers need to agree on the points to award.  Examples of objective scores include the weight held by a structure or whether a light blinked or not.  For such scores, multiple appraisers may still be scoring the item, but prior to assigning a score on their score sheet they need to agree on the value.

Score sheets for Instant Challenge and Team Challenge while both containing the two types of scores differ considerably.

For Instant Challenge, the range of legal scores that can be assigned is listed on the score sheet.

For Team Challenge, appraiser score sheets has a Range Column.

  • an item with up to some amount like 25 is subjective
    Note that on the score sheet you will likely see a different range of values (up to 30).  This is different than listed in the Challenge. The reason for the difference is to make scoring easier for the appraisers.  We use a uniform score range of 0 to 30 for all subjective scores on score sheets.  This allows appraisers to develop a scale and use it throughout the scoring process.  The scoring program then maps the consistent range of 0 to 30 to the range specified in the Challenge.  (sample appraiser score sheet)

  • an item with 0 or 10 , or a list of values, or a formula is objective
    An item such as weight held can be any value up to a limit (the sum of all the weights available to the team).  0, 5, or 10 indicates these area the only legal values.


Another topic related to scoring is deductions. A team is given a deduction when they violate the rules either intentionally or unintentionally.  The amount of the deduction is subtracted from the corresponding score to remove any gain the team received by the infraction (thus leveling the playing field).

Deductions have their own section in the Rules of the Road.  Here are few points about scores and deduction that are worth remembering.

  • subjective scores cannot be challenged by a team (they are opinions)
  • objective scores can be challenged by a team
  • deduction can be challenged so it is better to issue a deduction on a subject score rather than bury the reduction in the actual subjective score
  • a deduction always need a written reason for it being given
  • a deduction on an item cannot exceed the points awarded for that item

Your job as an appraiser is to recognize situations that might require a deduction. Unlike safety issues that might require you to act during a presentation, deductions are handled during the scoring after the presentation is over.  You and your fellow appraisers should engage your Head Appraiser to determine if and what deductions are given (sample deduction worksheet).

NH Destination Imagination takes full advantage of DI's Scoring Program.  This Scoring Program handles all the scaling and tabulating of the scores.  This gives appraisers more time to spend with the kids and spend less time on paperwork.