Rules for Your Hackathon

Being extra clear ahead of time can prevent headaches down the road

Check out our full recommended rule list at

Making your rules clear will help you keep your hackathon fair for all attendees, and easily be able to point to specific rules if you have to disqualify hackers for cheating.

We know that some hackathons vary though, so are including some specific rules your team should decide on.

  • How many people per team?

    • Can hackers participate solo?

    • Can the teams be as large as they want, and you might just have only 4 prizes?

    • We see hackers have the most success with teams of a maximum size of 4

  • Can they crosspost to other hackathons on the same weekend?

    • If there is a digital event in the same timeframe of your event can they submit to both?

    • We generally recommend no but you should very clearly state this

  • Do they have to submit code?

    • Is there a specific format?

      • GitHub link,, Google drive link, etc?

  • Can they use publicly available frameworks?

    • Do they need to list said frameworks in a readme?

    • What about LLM/ChatGPT/AI usage?

      • We generally recommend having a rule to credit any tools used/be clear on what they made vs what they are using by having a detailed readme. Clarify it should not be a reskin of an existing AI tool. While LLMs can be great tools, focusing on what was created/changed/built on during the weekend vs what was just used is how we recommend framing it. If they do not credit it, disqualify/report to

  • Can they make multiple projects?

    • Recommend No

  • Can they submit to multiple challenges?

    • Recommend Yes

  • Deadline for submissions / time they can work on their projects

    • Make it very clear they cannot work on their project before the event.

  • Will judging will be in person?

    • Will it be science fair style?

      • Recommended

    • Or will everyone demo to the larger group

      • Recommended only for very small events

  • Who is allowed to participate

    • Students only?

    • Age Range?

    • No mentors/volunteers/organizers

  • Are there any categories that require hackers to be a specific demographic?

    • Example: Beginners track where at least half the team must have this be their first hackathon.

    • Make sure to state how many of the team members must fit the category in your rules before the event.

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