Prior to the tournament team members will have prepared the solutions to a series of complex Physics problems. For the IYPT New Zealand tournament there is a choice of seven problems. Ideally solutions to all seven problems would be prepared by the team, although it is possible to pass on two problems. For the International tournament there are seventeen problems to prepare.
In a Physics Fight, there are three teams present, each of which will assume one of three roles: the Reporter who presents their solution to a problem, the Opponent who challenges the Reporter to demonstrate their solution and the Reviewer who summarizes and evaluates the arguments from the other two sides. The fight proceeds as a round robin, with each team assuming all of the roles. On Day 1 of the IYPT New Zealand tournament only the roles of Reporter and Opponent will be carried out. There will be no Reviewer. The Final of IYPT New Zealand on Day 2 will include all three roles.
During the fight, the jury sits at the back of the room. The size of the jury ranges from five to seven.
The reporting team has one minute to decide if it wants to accept the challenge. A team can reject a challenge, but after the first two rejections, points will be deducted from the final score.
The reporting team has five minutes to prepare their response to the problem. The team members can communicate only with each other during the entire fight.
A single member makes an oral presentation of the solution to the problem, incorporating the theoretical background to the problem and experimental evidence for the solution. Twelve minutes are allowed for making the presentation, using Powerpoint and a projector. View Reporter video:
(The problem presented states: “A paper sheet is on a table. If one blows along the table the sheet begins to glide over it. Determine the flight characteristics of the paper.”)
After the presentation, a member of the opposing team has two minutes to briefly ask questions of the reporter, and after three minutes of preparation, engages the reporter in a debate about the presented solution. The opponent can take up to five minutes to present the case against the reporter, and the remaining time to a total of fifteen minutes is in the form of a debate, with the opponent discussing the validity of the reporter’s presentation.
At the conclusion of the debate, a member of the reviewer team can question both the reporter and the opponent. Two more minutes are allowed to prepare, and the reviewer then comments on the qualities of the report and the opposition.
At the end of the review, the jury has two minutes to question all three teams. Each member of the jury individually scores the work of the reporter, opponent and reviewer with a score out of 10.
The fight continues with the roles of reporter, opponent and reviewer switched until each team performs all three roles. The reporter’s average score is multiplied by a coefficient of 3.0, the opponent’s by a coefficient of 2.0, and the reviewer’s by a coefficient of 1.0. After a fight each team ends with an aggregate score out of 60.