AGazine, July 2012

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

AGLOA News Outstanding Senior Down Memory Lane Past AGazines

News and Notes

The restructured AGLOA Executive Board met at the site of the 2013 National Tournament in Charlotte, NC on the weekend of July 13 – 15. The members of the Board are:

    • Brother Neal Golden, New Orleans LA, President
    • Rod Beard, West Bloomfield MI, Vice-President
    • Larry Liss, N. Palm Beach FL, Secretary
    • Nancy Kinard, Tequesta FL, Treasurer
    • Jim Davis, Pittsburgh PA
    • Stuart White, Ann Arbor MI
    • Steve Wright, Shelby Township MI, Legal Counsel

The Board accomplished the following items at the meeting.

  • Revised the Cheating Policy for the national tournament.

If a player is found to have cheated, then the Arbitration Panel will reduce the player’s score to zero for that individual and for his/her contribution to the team score for that round (regular or playoff). In addition, the student is prohibited from receiving an award as an individual or a member of a team in the game in which the cheating occurred; furthermore, the student is not eligible to have his/her name announced or go on stage to receive any award.


Also, depending on the severity of the violation, the Panel may do any or all of the following:

  • Disqualify that player from further play in that game;
  • Remove the player from individual sweepstakes competition;
  • Ban repeat offenders from the next year’s national tournament competition;
  • Strip the student from receiving any awards.
  • Revised the Nationals Qualifying Policies slightly.

The number of participants from a league in a division is determined by the average number of players in the three most popular games in that division in the league.


For instance, suppose Elementary Division has the following numbers of entrants: Equations (95), World Events (50), Presidents (120), and LinguiSHTIK (100). Then, the average number of players in that league is 105 [ (120 + 100 + 95) / 3]. The maximum number of qualifiers that league may take in Elementary Division is 20, since the division’s average is between 76 and 125.


The following tables list the maximum number of players that may attend the National Tournament from each Division in a league.

Elementary/Middle Divisions
Average # local participants (as explained above) # Nationals Participants
5-25 5
26-50 10
51-75 15
76-125 20
126-175 25
176-225 30
226-275 etc. 35
Junior/Senior Divisions
Average # local participants
(as explained above)
# Nationals Participants
5-25 10
26-50 15
51-75 20
76-100 25
101-125 etc. 30

Leagues may establish qualification criteria that qualify fewerplayers than the rules above allow.


In order to play a particular game at the AGLOA National Tournament, a player must have (a) played that game in the local league and/or regional/ state tournament that year using the National Tournament Rules, and (b) for Equations, On-Sets, and LinguiSHTIK, finished in the top 70% of the players in the division in that game.


For Equations and On-Sets, Adventurous variations must be played locally by qualifiers. At the AGLOA National Tournament, the Now or Never versions will be played.


Leagues may seek exceptions to the above rules by submitting a written request to the AGLOA Board no later than April 1 of the national tournament year.

  • AGLOA will assume that all students and adults attending the national tournament will use the hotel facilities chosen by the organization unless a district, league, or school informs AGLOA otherwise by March 1.
  • Appointed Dwayne Fontenette (New Orleans) chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee and charged him with developing a budget for the committee’s work and choosing the members who will plan the celebration that will begin with the 2014 National Tournament in Knoxville and continue through the 2015 Tournament in Orlando.
  • Analyzed the end-of-year 2012-13 Financial Report.
  • Reviewed the proposed contract for the 2017 National Tournament at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV.
  • Developed a list of four cities to explore for the 2016 Tournament.

2012 Outstanding Senior: Alex Cunningham

Alex Cunningham climaxed his 11-year Academic Games career with an Outstanding Senior Award at the 2012 AGLOA National Tournament in Wheeling, West Virginia. If you just did the math, you realize that Alex started playing when he was in the second grade in Sharon City, PA.

His coach, Kelly Roys, recalls:

He was so tiny, all you could see was his head above table level, and other players thought he would be easy to beat. They soon learned that was not the case, and Alex qualified for Nationals as a third grader. That year at Nationals in Equations, he earned a 6 the first round, 6 second round, 6 third round, and was winning the fourth round. It came down to the last move in the last ten seconds. I think Alex got nervous during the countdown and made a hasty move, costing him the 6.

Kelly continues:

Because our district has no Academic Games coach beyond sixth grade, when Middle and High School players have questions, I do my best to answer and always add, “Ask Alex.”


Where did Alex get all his expertise? Absolutely through his own initiative. He has had to figure most of it out on his own or ask his high school teachers. He then holds practice sessions at his house so that he and his teammates can experiment with new concepts and strategies.

Alex enjoyed writing questions, study guides, and quizzes for the younger players. Like all the Outstanding Seniors, Alex was heavily involved in many activities at Sharon High School–seven AP courses, the dual-enrollment program that allowed him to take college classes part-time, Student Council, Junior Class President, School Board Representative, and Newspaper Editor. He also found time to participate on the swimming and tennis teams and broadcast the football games online. He is also an accomplished musician, earning state recognition for piano.

Down Memory Lane

Senior Equations once included a “Permute Goal” variation. The Solution-writer could permute the cubes of the Goal to any other legal value for his/her Solution.

This variation put tremendous pressure on the Goal-setter to avoid setting a Goal that could be permuted to an expression that had a one-cube Solution. At that time, an opponent could challenge “Possible with One Cube” and win the shake.

The variation was removed after a few years because it prevented players from setting Goals that tested whether opponents understood the mathematics needed to solve difficult equations. An opponent could simply permute the Goal to something simple.

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