AGazine, October 2012

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

AGLOA News A Conversation with
Sue Mellon
Down Memory Lane Past AGazines

Events across the AGLOA leagues during the next month:

  • Oct. 16: Palm Beach Academic Games League (PBAGL) Basic (4-5 only) and Adventurous Equations Rounds 7 & 8
  • Oct. 17: Indian River (FL) EquationsTournament – II
  • Oct. 20: Michigan League of Academic Games (MLAG) Regional Tournaments
    Regions A, B, & F: Huron HS, Ann Arbor
    Region C: Farwell Middle School, Detroit
    Region D: Bates Academy, Detroit
    Region E: Bunche Middle School, Detroit
  • Oct. 23: Martin County (FL) Equations Coaches Meeting
    PBAGL Basic/Classic Propaganda Tournament (Sections A & B)
  • Oct. 24: Indian River (FL) Equations Tournament III
  • Oct. 26: Jefferson Parish MJS Propaganda Tournament @ Haynes Academy
  • Oct. 30: PBAGL Basic (Section D)/Classic (Sections D & E) Propaganda Tournament
  • Oct. 31: MLAG League Fees ($175) due for returning schools
  • Nov. 5: RESA II (WV) Training Session, 9-3 pm
  • Nov. 6: Martin County Equations Practice Rounds 1-2 (El/Mid only)
  • Nov. 7: St. Bernard Parish On-Sets Tournament
  • Nov. 8: Western Pennsylvania Academic Games League (WPAGL) Presidents Tournament @ Seneca Valley Middle School
  • Nov. 13: Martin County Equations Rounds 3-4-5 (El/Mid)
    PBAGL Basic (4-5 only) & Classic LinguiSHTIK Tournament Rounds 1 & 2
    New Orleans Academic Games League (NOAGL) On-Sets Round 1 Jr/Sr @ Jesuit High
  • Nov. 14: Indian River Social Studies Tournament: Presidents #25-33 & Current Events
    NOAGL On-Sets Round 1 Jr/Sr @ Christian Brothers School

If your league’s events are not listed, please send us your schedule.

Nationals Qualifying Rules – I

The AGLOA Board has asked leagues to submit their rules for determining their Nationals qualifiers. Over the course of this year, we’ll share those that come in. You can compare how your league does it to what others do, all within the AGLOA guidelines.

Palm Beach (FL) Academic Games League

  • A player must participate in at least two of the three seasons:
    • Mathematics: Equations – six of eight rounds;
    • Social Studies: Presidents – first two days, World Events – two of first three days plus last day;
    • Language Arts: LinguiSHTIK – four of six rounds, Propaganda – three of four rounds.
  • A player must finish in the top five (including ties) in at least one of the three seasons.
  • Qualifiers must play in the State of Florida Tournament.
  • Qualifiers must play at least three games (preferably four) at the national tournament.
  • Qualifiers must attend the national trip meeting and Nationals team practices.
  • Qualifiers will be placed on national teams based upon results of local and state scores at the discretion of the All-Star Coaches.

A Conversation with Sue Mellon

Sue Mellon played Academic Games for two years (1974-6) at Kittanning High School in Pennsylvania. Three teachers coached the games according to subject area, and all practices were held at the same time after school.

There were only boys in the Math room. So I ended up where the girls were in the Language Arts room. I played Propaganda and LinguiSHTIK and Strange Bedfellows. How’s that for a name from the past? I was OK in Ling but very good in Prop and Strange Bedfellows.

After not qualifying for Nationals as a freshman, Sue studied over the summer and finished second in Armstrong County as a sophomore to qualify for the tournament in Gatlinburg, TN.

It was a lot of fun, and I was really looking forward to doing it my final two years. But the district abolished the program. They told parents it was money.

Fast forward to 1989 when Sue was hired to teach at Springdale Junior-Senior High in Pittsburgh. Liking a challenge, she earned her Masters degree in Special Education with a focus on behavioral problem youth. She was hired to help struggling students in reading and math.

Remembering how Academic Games made learning fun, Sue was directed to Jim Davis, who was looking for someone to help him with the 7-12 grade program. They worked together until Jim retired in 1998. She not only took over as Academic Games coach but also filled his shoes as Gifted Coordinator. Assisted by Jim Harrington, a Social Studies teacher, she coaches all six games that are played in the Western Pennsylvania Academic Games League (WPAGL).

Even though she didn’t play the math games herself, she enjoys coaching them.

I love introducing bases to my 7th and 8th graders. I’m from the era when we learned that in math class.

I come from a game-playing family. When I was teenager, my mom and I would stay up until midnight playing Spill and Spell and Boggle. We played Cribbage while we cooked supper. Academic Games was just an extension of that.

She has her own requirements for participation within the WPAGL framework.

I make them play four games. Some places make them play all six. That’s too grueling. To get district funding, we can’t let the number going to Nationals get too low.

She has a few students whose parents can afford to pay for the Nationals trip. But most sell hoagies, flower bulbs, and candy from February to April to defray the expense.

Keep up the good work, Sue!

Down Memory Lane

These three proposals were passed by the Mathematics Rules Committee in 1990.

  • Remove the rule instituted in 1989 limiting the use of powers and roots in Middle Division. Specifically, remove the rule limiting the index of a radical to a positive or negative integer and requiring any exponent to be an integer.
  • In On-Sets, allow players to use pre-printed charts for recording the cards in the Universe.
  • In both Equations and On-Sets, require players to circle on the back of the scoresheet the variation(s) the player selects for each shake.

Comments are closed.