Competition Rules & FAQ
2020-2021 Official Rules + Procedures
For MATHCOUNTS Competitions
Please click the button below to go to the Official Rules + Procedures for the 2020-2021 MATHCOUNTS Competition Series. The MATHCOUNTS Foundation reserves the right to alter these rules and procedures at any time. Coaches are responsible for being familiar with the rules and procedures outlined on that page. Coaches should bring any difficulty in procedures or in student conduct to the immediate attention of the appropriate chapter, state or national official. Students violating any rules may be subject to immediate disqualification.
General Program Questions
What exactly does a MATHCOUNTS competition consist of and what changes has MATHCOUNTS made for 2020-2021?
The Competition Series is the nation’s premier middle school math competition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year some aspects of the program will be modified to ensure the safety of our students, coaches and volunteers. Learn more about the program. Learn more about the role of a coach.
For the 2020-2021 Competition Series:
- Students will compete in 4 levels of competition: chapter, chapter invitational, state and national.
- The Competition Series is designed as a school-based competition, and schools can register 1-15 students to compete at the chapter level and beyond. For this year only, any student whose school will not register and will not support the student’s participation through the school can register as a Non-School Competitor (NSC). Learn more about NSC eligibility in the Official Rules + Procedures.
- The Chapter, Chapter Invitational and State Competitions will be conducted online on the AoPS Contest Platform. The National Competition is planned as an in-person event.
- In the first 3 levels of competition, every student competes as an individual and takes the Sprint and Target Rounds, which are designed to take 70-80 minutes to complete. At the National Competition, students also compete in a Team Round and a fast-paced, bee-style Countdown Round.
- In addition to the mailed kit of materials and online resources, MATHCOUNTS will provide 4 online practice competitions. These will be released each month starting in October 2020. Registered schools receive access to the first three practices for their 1-15 official competitors, plus up to 50 additional students from the school. The January practice competition will only be available to registered schools' 1-15 official competitors.
How do students advance to each level of competition?
Please refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete information regarding advancement.
- Advancing to the Chapter Competition: For school-based competitors, advancement is determined by the coach at their school. NSCs automatically compete at the Chapter Competition, as this is included with their registration.
- Advancing to the Chapter Invitational Competition: The top student from each school and the top 20% of students from each chapter (based on their scores on the Sprint and Target Rounds) advance to the Chapter Invitational Competition. NSCs are not considered schools, and therefore can advance to this level only by scoring in the top 20% in their chapter.
- Advancing to the State Competition: The top 5 students from each chapter and the 10 next highest scoring students in the state (based on their scores on the Sprint and Target Rounds) advance to the State Competition. Additional state level advancement details will be announced prior to the Chapter Invitational.
- Advancing to the National Competition: The top students (up to 4) from each state (based on their scores on the Sprint and Target Rounds) advance to the 2021 Raytheon Technologies MATHCOUNTS National Competition. Additional national level advancement details will be announced prior to the State Competition.
Are there awards for each level of competition?
Yes. Because registration and advancement are still mapped to our 500 chapters and 56 states, MATHCOUNTS is working with local and state coordinators to recognize and provide trophies and other awards to top-scoring students and participants at every level of competition.
Is the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series in my area?
Yes! The first 3 levels of competition take place online and represent students from more than 500 chapters located in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and in schools worldwide affiliated with the Dept. of Defense and State Department. Any U.S. middle school (with students in grades 6-8) can register.
Please refer to the list of Registered Competition Schools for 2020-2021 to see if your student’s school already has registered for this year.
Who is eligible to compete?
Please refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete information regarding student eligibility, including information about NSCs.
Students enrolled in grades 6-8 are eligible to participate in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series. Students taking middle school mathematics classes who are not full time students in grades 6-8 are not eligible. All types of schools—public, private, charter, virtual and home schools—are eligible to register for the Competition Series. In addition to their registration form and payment, participating home schools must submit a separate Home School Participation Form. Tutoring/enrichment centers or other groups that do not function as students' official school of record are not eligible.
When are the competitions and what happens if I have a conflict of dates for my local competition?
MATHCOUNTS is releasing the dates of the competitions now and has taken care to avoid major holidays and days of worship. Refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete details.
- Online practice competitions: released on October 15, 2020, November 15, 2020, December 15, 2020 and January 22, 2021. Coaches determine the 1-15 students who will represent their school at the Chapter Competition. All of a school's registered competitors (1-15 students), plus up to 50 additional students at the school, will have access to the first three practice competitions. The January practice competition will only be available to a school's registered competitors (1-15 students).
- 2021 Chapter Competition: February 5-6, 2021 online. Students will have a 24-hour period to take the test (1:00pm ET on February 5 through 1:00pm ET on February 6).
- 2021 Chapter Invitational Competition: February 25, 2021 online. All students will be required to take this test at the same time: 7:00pm ET.
- 2021 State Competition: March 25, 2021 online. All students will be required to take this test at the same time: 7:00pm ET.
- 2021 Raytheon Technologies MATHCOUNTS National Competition: May 9-10 in Washington, DC.
Can a school participate in more than one MATHCOUNTS program?
Yes! We encourage schools to participate in all 3 MATHCOUNTS programs!
Registration + Payment Questions
How do schools register for the Competition Series?
Registration is a 2-step process this year:
- Registering and paying through the MATHCOUNTS Foundation
- Setting up online access to the AoPS Contest Platform
To register and pay through MATHCOUNTS, a school representative can…
- Register online here. This is our preferred method with faster processing, so you'll get your materials sooner!
- Download the offline form here. You can email this form to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to MATHCOUNTS Competition Series Registration, 1420 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
By October 1, 2020, the AoPS Contest Platform will be set up for coaches to access. Coaches will need to provide student information to set up access for their students at that time.
How do non-school competitors (NSCs) register for the Competition Series?
Before registering, NSCs must ensure they are eligible. A student may register as an NSC only if their official school of record is not registering for the Competition Series and will not support student participation in the program through the school. MATHCOUNTS may contact the schools of registered NSCs to confirm that the school is not participating in the Competition Series and reserves the right to cancel an NSC’s registration, without refund, if their school registers for the Competition Series.
Registration for eligible NSCs is a 2-step process this year:
- Registering and paying through the MATHCOUNTS Foundation
- Setting up online access to the AoPS Contest Platform
The parent/guardian of an NSC must register online here and must pay with a credit card. Offline forms are not accepted for NSCs.
By October 1, 2020, the AoPS Contest Platform will be set up for NSCs to access. The parent/guardian will need to provide NSC information to set up access for their child at that time.
My student’s school isn’t registered for the Competition Series. How do I sign up?
Parents/guardians and other volunteers not employed by the school:
- Check with the school’s administration and math department to ensure a program is not already established at the school. You also should refer to the list of Registered Competition Schools for 2020-2021 to see if a teacher already has registered.
- Get permission from the school administration to register, if there is no program already established and you would like to start one. We recommend having this permission in writing from a school administrator to keep for your records.
- If you receive permission from the school administration to register, complete a school-based registration at www.mathcounts.org/compreg.
- If the school will not register for the Competition Series and will not support your child’s participation in the program through the school, complete an NSC registration at www.mathcounts.org/compreg.
What is the difference between a home school student, a virtual school student and an NSC? How do I know what type of registration I should complete?
Refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete details regarding NSCs, virtual schools and home schools.
- A home school student is a student whose official school of record is a home school—even if some of their coursework is done through a virtual program or service. Home school students should not register as NSCs and instead should register as school-based competitors and complete the 2020-2021 Home School Participation Form.
- A virtual school student is a student whose official school of record is a virtual school—even if that student is doing their coursework at home. Virtual school students should first try to register as school-based competitors through their virtual school by contacting school administrators/educators. A virtual school student should register as an NSC only if their virtual school will not register for the Competition Series and will not support their participation through the school.
- An NSC is a student whose school—whether virtual or brick-and-mortar—will not register for the Competition Series and will not support their participation through the school.
My child is enrolled at a brick-and-mortar school but this year is taking all their classes in virtual school. How do we register?
If you child’s official school of record is the brick-and-mortar school, they should register through that school, even if they are doing virtual classes.
If your child’s official school of record is the virtual school, then they should register through the virtual school. If your child’s official school of record is a district-wide online school—and students at that virtual school are not segmented into smaller schools for enrollment purposes—please contact the MATHCOUNTS national office to ensure you complete the proper registration. Refer to the Official Rules + Procedures for the Competition Series for complete details regarding NSCs, virtual schools and home schools.
How do I indicate in my registration which students are team members and which students are individuals?
Because there is not official team component at the chapter, chapter invitational or state level, every student is considered an individual in the Competition Series this year. Advancement is determined by individual scores at every level. However, the online practice competitions do have a team round so students can solve problems together, and we encourage coaches to provide as many opportunities for collaboration as possible during meetings and practices.
Where is the offline registration form for NSCs?
NSCs are required to register and pay with a credit card online at www.mathcounts.org/nscreg. Offline registrations are not accepted for NSCs.
How much does it cost to participate?
Early Bird Rate: Registrations received (postmarked) by Oct. 1, 2020
- $30 per student for school-based registrations
- $60 for an NSC
Regular Rate: Registrations received (postmarked) by Dec. 1, 2020
- $35 per student for school-based registrations
- $65 for an NSC
Late Rate: Registrations received (postmarked) by January 15, 2021
- $40 per student for school-based registrations
- $70 for an NSC
Title I schools receive a 50% discount on their registration fees. Title I schools are public/charter schools that meet one or both of the following criteria: (1) 40% or more of the school’s students qualify for free/reduced lunch; (2) the school receives School Wide Title I funding. NSCs are not eligible for the Title I schools discount.
What is included with my registration?
For both schools and NSCs, registration includes:
- Entry into the Chapter Competition. Schools can send however many students they register (1-15 students per school). NSCs are considered 1 student.
- The mailed School Competition Kit, with a hard copy of the MATHCOUNTS School Handbook, participation certificates and ribbons.
- Competition entry for the school’s students for as far as they progress in the Competition Series. If a student progresses to the state or national level, there are no additional registration fees required.
How can I obtain a copy of the MATHCOUNTS W-9 form?
Please send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Request MATHCOUNTS W-9.”
What forms of payment are accepted? Can I pay with a credit card?
For NSC registrations, MATHCOUNTS only accepts payments via credit card. For school-based registrations, MATHCOUNTS accepts payments via credit card, check, purchase order (PO) and money order.
- Credit card information cannot be provided on offline registration forms. To pay with a credit card, either 1) register online or 2) submit an offline form and select “Credit Card” as your payment option so MATHCOUNTS can send you an electronic invoice to accept payment.
- POs can be used with either online or offline registrations. The PO number must be provided if registering online, and a copy of the PO must be included with offline registration forms.
How can I get an invoice for my school’s Competition Series registration?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Request Competition Series Invoice” and in your email include your school name, city, state and ZIP code.
If I already have submitted my registration, can I add additional students at a later date?
Yes, if you initially registered fewer than 15 students, you can add more students to your school's registration (up to a total of 15 registered students) as late as January 15, 2021.
How can I get a refund for my Competition Series registration?
Due to the online nature of the competitions this year and the pre-announced competition dates, no refund requests will be granted for 2020-2021.
Registered Coach Questions
Where can I find the MATHCOUNTS School Handbook with solutions?
Log in to the Coach Dashboard and click on the “Competition Coach Resources” link. In addition to the step-by-step solutions, an additional 50 handbook problems (#201-250) and their solutions are provided to coaches through the Coach Dashboard.
What happened to the School Competition? How do I select my official chapter competitors without a School Competition?
In lieu of the School Competition, MATHCOUNTS is providing 4 online practice competitions (available on the AoPS Contest Platform) that feature problems from past MATHCOUNTS problems. Coaches may use any or all of these practices to determine the 1-15 students who will represent the school at the Chapter Competition. Chapter competitors are determined by the coaches.
When can I expect to receive my mailed School Competition Kit?
School Competition Kits are mailed on a rolling basis from mid-August 2020 through January 31, 2021. Generally kits are shipped via USPS Priority and arrive 1-2 weeks after we receive your registration. If you have not received your kit within 3 weeks of registering, please email email@example.com.
How do I submit the names of my students who will be competing at the chapter level?
Participant information will be submitted through the AoPS Contest Platform, which opens starting October 1, 2020. Registered coaches will receive instructions for accessing the Platform and setting up their portal.
When do I need to submit the names of my students who will be competing at the chapter level?
Coaches must identify the 1-15 official competitors who will participate in the January practice competition and represent their school at the Chapter Competition by January 15, 2021. This will be done through the AoPS Contest Platform.
How do I get to the AoPS Contest Platform?
The AoPS Contest Platform can be accessed at artofproblemsolving.com/contests/mathcounts.
My school is registered, and I am listed as a coach. Why can’t I access the Coach Dashboard?
If your school’s registration was completed online, the account that registered the school is automatically given access to the Coach Dashboard. Please note, this is not necessarily the account of the head coach listed in the registration. If a school secretary or someone at your district’s office completed the registration, their account would have automatically been granted this access. Only one person per registered school is permitted to have access to the school’s Coach Dashboard, even if your school’s team has both a coach and a co-coach. If needed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have the Coach Dashboard access switched over to the appropriate person. If you submitted an offline registration form, the Coach Dashboard access was given to the listed head coach.
When can I expect to receive information about my local chapter competition?
Because the Chapter Competition is online this year, the MATHCOUNTS national office is providing information about your Chapter Competition.
- Date: The Chapter Competition will be open from February 5, 2021 at 1:00pm ET through February 6, 2021 at 1:00pm ET. Students will be required to complete the test in one sitting (and will finish in 70-80 minutes), but can do so anytime during that 24-hour window.
- Location: The online competition will take place through the AoPS Contest Platform.
- Student information: Coaches must submit student information through the AoPS Contest Platform by January 15, 2021.
- Other details: More information will be provided closer to the start of the competition about results distribution and other logistical details.
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