AGazine, November 2015

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

News & Notes Coaching Tips Down Memory Lane Past AGazines


News and Notes

Upcoming Academic Games Events


17 Palm Beach Academic Games League (PBAGL) LinguiSHTIK Tournament Rounds 1 & 2
New Orleans Academic Games League (NOAGL) Equations Rounds 1 & 2 Jr/Sr
18 Midwest Intermediate Unit 4 (PA) On-Sets Tournament (Elem)
NOAGL Equations Rounds 1 & 2 El/Mid
19 Beaver County Academic Games League (BCAGL) Presidents Tournament
20 Western Pennsylvania Academic Games League (WPAGL) Tournament


1 PBAGL Social Studies Training (Teachers Only)
NOAGL Equations Rounds 3 & 4 Jr/Sr
2 Midwest Intermediate Unit 4 (PA) LinguiSHTIK Tournament (MJS)
NOAGL Equations Rounds 1 & 2 El/Mid
4 St. Bernard Parish Propaganda Tournament El/Mid
9 Midwest Intermediate Unit 4 LinguiSHTIK Tournament (Elem)
10 NOAGL First Semester Awards Ceremony
15 Riverview (PA) Intermediate Unit #6 LinguiSHTIK Tournament
17 WPAGL On-Sets Tournament

If you do not see your league’s events above, please send your calendar.


Coaching Tips


Assign each player a group of presidents from this year’s range. Give each player a form for each presidents that is filled in with basic information: Party, Family and Early Life, Occupations and Offices Held, Domestic Events of Presidency, etc.

On the date when some or all of the information is due, make copies of each form and distribute to all team members. Then have players take turns presenting their president to the team.

You could also have each player write at least one 6-4-2 question for each president he/she was assigned. Compile the questions into practice rounds.


Group players in threes and have them practice setting Goals as follows.

  • Roll red cubes to determine the Goal-setter. The player who wins rolls the cubes as usual.
  • Each player selects a variation.
  • Every player in the group pretends he/she is the Goal-setter.
  • When someone is ready with a Goal, he/she sets that Goal. Everyone tries to write a Solution for the Goal using any cubes in Resources.
  • If players can’t figure out Solutions, the Goal-setter explains what he/she had in mind.
  • The cubes in that Goal are returned to Resources and another player (not necessarily in order) sets the Goal he/she came up with.
  • Repeat the process until each player has set a Goal.

In this manner, more Goals can be set and solved in less time than when playing full shakes.


Down Memory Lane

I Think, Therefore … I Play: Celebrating 50 Years of Academic Games, prepared by Stu White for the 2015 tournament in Orlando, is a treasure trove of memories. Here’s one of the many stories in this magnificent publication.

Stu White recalled “The Wacky Years” at Clague Junior High in Ann Arbor MI.

In my office at my home, I have four displayed mementoes of my halcyon days as AG coach at Ann Arbor Clague: a Thinker, an EQUATIONS game once owned by Orhan Oker, a photograph of the 1981 Middle Division Double Sweepstakes Champions and the framed score sheet authenticating Clague’s Junior ON-SETS championship over Murray Wright in 1979. That sheet and the image of the Double Champs are the tangible evidence of national greatness. It belied the assumption that the Clague players and I were simply gaming jesters. It offered credence that I was blessed with remarkable players who surprised me with their grace under pressure. Their ability to rise to the competition was my purest gratification.

Our Clague practices were freewheeling 60-minute adventures wherein I hatched outlandish schemes to keep them interested. “Guts Equations” was a favorite. Real easy … each player had 5 seconds to move or challenge. Another one … no paper and no writing utensils. Another one … on my signal, Forbidden becomes Required! Another … ON-EQUATIONS! The group plays with all the cubes and cards from ON-SETS and EQUATIONS after setting a single digit Goal. EEEEAAA!

We were a rollicking motley crew and our team names proved that. “Dr. Pidz Whiz Kidz” (I was Dr. Pid – Stu Pid), “Clague Yo-Mamas,” “Clague Uneroos,” “Clague – Stupid Oughta Hurt,” “Clague Attack Muffins,” “Nixon Road Toads,” and “Clague – No Adult Supervision.” Our teams were a collection of brilliant players, most of whom had a screw loose until they got to states or nationals. We were a summer camp for cabbage heads. “To the Crazy-Mobile Robin!”


Clague players with their Nationals awards


Stuart White in later years

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