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LSSU Engineering Day
RUBE goldberg Machine Competition Rules

The following rules have been changed as of Fall 2007 for the 2008 competition. Rules are subject to change.

Following are the national rules for the Rube Golberg Machine Competition. Official and unofficial teams will follow the national rules.


  • The machine must complete the task as described in the challenge.
  • The machine must be no larger than 6 ft x 6 ft x 6 ft. LSSU will provide a table approx. 27 inches high to accommodate the presentation of the machine.
  • The machine must have a minimum of twenty (20) steps. There is no maximum number of steps.
  • The machine must run for no more than two (2) minutes per run.
  • The machine will have a maximum twenty (20) minute reset time.
  • No corporate logos or names may be displayed on the machine unless provided by RGI.
  • No live animals may be used in the machine.
  • The machine must not imply profane, indecent or lewd expressions.
  • Any loose or flying objects must remain within the set boundaries of the machine. This includes, but is not limited to: drops of water, slivers of balloon, and other "small" objects. Steam and other gasses are exempt from this rule.
  • The machine may utilize one (1) air compressor hose and one (1) power cord. No other cords may be run to or from the machine. (Host site determines availability)
  • No flames may be used on the machine.
  • No hazardous materials or explosives can be used on the machine.
  • The machine must be safe to the satisfaction of the RGMC officials (judges). The contest Chairman must approve any questionable items prior to competition.
  • Any destructive actions against another machine is grounds for disqualification.


  • Each team member must be enrolled as a full-time high school student.
  • Each team may have a maximum of (12) members. Only (2) may interact with the machine once the contest has begun.
  • Each team must have a Teacher Advisor.
  • Entries are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The host site will determine the maximum number of teams.


  • All machines entering the National Contest mus have won a local contest that uses these official rules.
  • Each team must submit one (1) concise, typed copy of a step-by-step description of their machine no later than twenty-four (24) hours before the contest begins.
  • A team captains meeting will be held thirty (30) minutes before the contest begins.
  • During tabulation, the audience will be allowed on stage to view the machines more closely. Teams are encouraged to run their machines and be available to answer any questions during this time.
  • Each team will remove its machine and clean up its area following the contest.
  • Participation in the contest implies consent to use contest photographs in local, regional and national publicity.
  • Media will be allowed viewing of one extra run after the final run of the competition.



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