The project involves designing and constructing a toboggan with a metal frame and a running surface made completely out of concrete. The sled must weigh less than 300 pounds (136 kg), have a working braking system, and be fitted with a roll bar to protect its five passengers. Each competing team must complete a technical report summarizing the design, which is presented at a public technical exhibition.
Teams are judged for top speed, best run, most improved team, braking, and aesthetics. Each year an award is also given for the best overall entry.
It is traditional for teams to choose a theme for their sled; they often wear appropriate costumes and incorporate elements of the design into their technical exhibit and sled aesthetics. This has become a major part of the competition, making up a large part of the spirit award, as well as the best uniforms award. Theme ideas are most often drawn from pop culture or retro references, or based on the team's home university and its location.