CyberSCI Rules – Regional Events


  • Code of conduct requires fair play from all teams to ensure the success of the event.  
  • Canadian university and college students are eligible.  
  • No help is allowed from coaches (or anyone) once the event begins.
  • Points are given for finding the correct answer and for explaining how it was obtained.
  • Top three teams in each* region get interviews with great employers for real cyber jobs. (*5 out of 6 regions during Covid)
  • The top team from each region is invited to the CyberSCI National Finals in Ottawa in July 2021 (Covid permitting).
  • The top teams from Nationals go on to represent Canada at an international event in Prague, Czech Republic in September 2021. (Possible Covid postponement to December 2021.)

Details follow…

Code of Conduct

Participants, sponsors and coaches are expected to fully embrace the principle of respect for the event and the other participants.  Players will not try to exploit the game system or the rules in unintended ways. Please consider fair play, even if something is not listed in the rules below. Whenever the bounds of fair play are not obvious, the CyberSCI organizers should be consulted before any action is taken.

In particular, attacks (such as Denial of Service) against the scoring system or the other participants will result in immediate expulsion from the event, and possible further sanctions against the attackers’ school at future CyberSCI events.


The CyberSCI events are open to students attending a Canadian university or college.  Participants must be full-time students, or have graduated from full-time studies no more than 60 days prior to the CyberSCI event date.  Each school can form up to two teams of four participants each.
(Hint for the “Welcome” challenge – 60 days prior to event date.)

NOTE:  Some teams from the CyberSCI regional competitions will move on to the CyberSCI Canadian National Finals.  There are more restrictive rules for the Nationals where you must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, and must be aged 25 or under on Dec 31/2021.

Therefore, students who are beyond the age limit, or are not Canadian citizen/permanent resident, can participate at Regionals in January, but cannot advance to Nationals in July (or beyond).  

For teams composed of some players who are eligible for the Regionals but not for the Nationals, then partial substitutions at the Nationals are allowed.  The minimum requirement for substitution is that at least two team members from the CyberSCI Regional team must be eligible for, and willing to participate in, the National team.  Otherwise, the whole Regional team forfeits their spot at the CyberSCI National event.

Coaches and Other Resources

Coaches are allowed to help their teams, and are strongly encouraged to do so before the event… but not during.  Extra “participants/helpers” such as (but not limited to) coaches, spares, friends, or other students are not allowed.  If this is discovered then your team will be disqualified.  Especially if the extra participants/helpers are cyber security professionals, in which case your team could be disqualified for this year, and next.

CyberSCI organizers will do what they can to dissuade this kind of extra help for teams.  But the organizers cannot be held responsible for undiscovered cheating.  The cost of absolutely guaranteeing “no helpers at all” is beyond the resources available to CyberSCI.  We have to rely upon peoples’ honesty.  (This last sentence is just an acknowledgement of reality – it is not a nod-and-wink that we’ll turn a blind eye to helpers behind the scenes. Helpers are definitely against the rules.)


Each CyberSCI event is a series of a half-dozen or more cyber challenges.  Teams are required to present their answer to each challenge to the mentors/judges at the event.  Points are given for finding the correct answer and for being able to explain how it was obtained.   

“Saving” solutions for the last minute (to surprise other teams) is a useful tactic in other events, but not at CyberSCI.  This is because points can only be obtained through the mentors/judges and there is a risk of them being too busy during the final minutes of the event.  To discourage this tactic, no more than one answer per team will be allowed in the last five minutes of the event. (H_i_n_t – Only one submission during last 5 minutes of event.)


The CyberSCI event on January 23, 2021 is a *regional* event.  All members of the top three teams in each region win the right to interview with the Regional sponsor(s) for their area, when available. (5 of 6 regions now have at least one sponsor during this Covid period – we thank them!)  

In addition, the top team from each region wins the right to compete at the CyberSCI National event in July 2021 (in Ottawa, or online – depending upon the Covid situation).  Winners of the CyberSCI Nationals will go on to represent Canada at the European finals in September 2021 (Prague, Czech Republic – in person, pandemic permitting).  An additional international tournament is also expected in December 2021 so by then we are almost certain the international travel is going to happen!