Define "Bound" Notebook

The scoring rubric for the Design Award gives three extra points for notebooks that are bound. Can you clarify bound? Is a notebook that has a “Comb” binding considered “Bound”?

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A bound Engineering notebook refers to a notebook that is equivalent to the bound Engineering Notebook that Teams receive in their welcome kit. The easiest way to be sure your team is using a bound notebook is to simply use the notebook provided. There are instructions and examples included in the front of that notebook to guide teams as to what is expected in an Engineering Notebook. If Teams need additional notebooks they may order them through the VEX website or by purchasing equivalently bound notebooks on line or in local office supply stores.

One important aspect of a bound Engineering Notebook is that blank pages cannot be added or removed. A “comb binding” does not meet this criterion and would not be considered a bound Engineering Notebook.

Teams may tape drawings and/or code onto the existing pages of an Engineering notebook. In this case the students should sign across the edge of the added material so that their signature is on both the added material and actual notebook page. If added material is too large to fit on a single page, as in the case of certain CAD drawings, the added material may be attached to the page and folded into the notebook.

Teams are also urged to review the “Team Design Notebooks and Team Journals” document that may be found on the competition teams page of This document is intended to help teams understand content that judges are looking for in an Engineering Notebook.