AGazine, June 2012

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

AGLOA News Outstanding Senior Outstanding Educator Down Memory Lane Past AGazines

News and Notes

World Events Suptopics

Presidents Rules Changes

  • Under the rotation that is already in effect, Elementary and Middle Divisions play Presidents #25-44 in 2012-13.
  • As in Propaganda, players may not answer until after the second reading of the clue.
  • Each clue is projected as the first reading of the clue begins.
  • Additional themes will be added to the rotation for all divisions, and Junior/Senior will play two themes each year. For 2012-13 the themes are as follows.
    • Elementary/Middle – Cabinet Members
    • Junior/Senior– Cabinet Members & Election Opponents

      For #25-44, American Leaders Group 4
      (Cesar Chavez, John Foster Dulles, Sandra Day O’Connor, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Henry Kissinger)

Equations and On-Sets

  • Two additional items will be printed on the back of the variation sheets:
    (a) the last cube procedure from the tournament rules
    (b) the list of -1 penalties.
  • A slightly revised scoresheet will be used. (Download it here.)
  • The -1 penalty for making a bonus move when ahead in the match is extended to Elementary and Middle Divisions.

Equations Only

  • Middle: The Remainder variation is eliminated and Multiple of k is now perennial.
  • Elementary/Middle: The odd and even variation lists are revised as follows:

Perennial Variations



0 wild


Multiple Operations

Three-operation Solution


Odd Variations (2012-13)

Two-digit numbers



# Factors

Even Variations (2013-14)



Decimal Point
Smallest Prime


Perennial Variations



0/x wild


Multiple Operations

Base m

Multiple of k

Odd Variations (2012-13)

# of Factors

Powers of the Base


Even Variations (2013-14)



Decimal Point


  • Add the following chart to the examples of valid charts in the Appendix.
  B BR R
  • Middle/Junior/Senior: Writing “= (Goal)” after the Set-Name makes the Solution incorrect.

2012 Outstanding Senior: Connor Hayes

Almost every year, at least one of the Outstanding Senior Award winners at the AGLOA National Tournament played a large role in creating or saving a school’s Academic Games program. That description applies to Connor Hayes from Seton-LaSalle High School in Pittsburgh.

His sponsor Benjamin Schrader told the story in his nomination letter.

Seton-LaSalle Academic Games would not exist without Connor Hayes.


It was Connor’s sophomore year when he agreed to begin a three-year leap of faith with me, which has ultimately led us here to Oglebay. When I first met Connor, he was a six-time National Qualifier at Mount Lebanon High School and had two top ten finishes in World Events. He was continuing to compete with Mount Lebanon even though he no longer went to school there, and still he made that leap of faith.


Most students when asked, “How would you (as someone who is nationally recognized) like to compete in Academic Games for a school that has never played before and, frankly, has no resources?” would have run the other way, but not Connor. He took it as a challenge.


It turned out that we actually did have one resource, Connor. And when Connor placed first in Senior Division World Events last year, we felt like we all had won. Connor means so much more to our program than just being our best player, our National Champion. He has, on his own accord, recruited, taught, supported, and led Seton-LaSalle’s Academic Games players, most of whom had never even heard of Academic Games, let alone played them.


For every trip we took to a local competition in a “questionable” van, for every time someone looked at our team and asked, “Where are the rest of your players?”, for every time someone asked at practice, “What is an ‘on-sets’?”, for every time we questioned if he belonged here, there was one constant and that was the worst paid teacher, coach, and mentor you are ever going to find, our Outstanding Senior.

2012 Outstanding Educator: Holly LaCoste

Holly LaCoste started the Academic Games program at St. Philip Neri School in Metairie LA twelve years ago. She did so because the school did not offer any extra-curricular activities for students who loved to learn.

Holly discovered some old Equations games in her classroom, learned to play, and started the club. Numbers increased, and she developed devoted members who continued playing in high school. She qualified students for Nationals the second year her school competed, and she has attended Nationals every year since. Although she’s had some help over the years, she has been the sole coach of the team for all four games played locally.

When choir and the drama club changed their meetings to the same days as Academic Games practices, she began coaching three days a week to give everyone the opportunity to participate. She always teaches her students that the most important part of Academic Games is having fun learning.

Holly generously helps other schools train their students, including high schools that her former players attend. Jordan Holmer, a 2012 Outstanding Senior, recalls an incident when he played at St. Philip that illustrates Holly’s concern for her players.

Mrs. LaCoste first invited me to play Academic Games when I was in third grade. Her love of the games and dedication to teaching are the reasons why I stuck with it and became the player I am today. She taught me how to be a good player and how to deal with defeat, especially in Equations which she knew I hated to lose at. During my second Nationals in Charlotte, I was one of several kids who got sick at the tournament. I had to run out of a Presidents competition because of the condition I was in, and Mrs. LaCoste came right after me. Her dedication to service, learning, and the betterment of the Academic Games program is what makes her an Outstanding Sponsor, and I am proud to call her my coach.

Down Memory Lane

Once upon a time in a land far, far away…no, once upon a time in the early years of Equations and On-Sets, each player could call a timeout once during the match. The timeout had to be called as soon as a shake ended and lasted one minute. During the timeout, all players could consult books, tables, notes, or people except another player involved in a shake. However, no notes, books, or tables could be brought back to the match.

Players often called timeout to walk around and clear their heads after a tough shake. They also utilized the timeout to stall while ahead in the match.

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