League Rules

Officers  |  League Meetings  |  Games  |  Divisions  |  Entering Players  |  Fees  |  Schedule  |  Seating  |  Time Limits  |  Team Scores  |  Delinquency  |  Materials  |  Playoffs  |  Nationals RulesNationals QualifyingIndiv. Sweepstakes


  1. The League Director is responsible for all aspects of the league: meetings, finances, competition, participation in the national tournament, etc. The Director sets the date, time, and location of league meetings and presides at them.

The League Director is Brother Neal Golden.

  1. The Treasurer, appointed by the League Director, handles all financial duties, including:
  • Receipt of dues, fees, donations, and any other income;
  • Disbursement of all payments;
  • Establishment and maintenance of the NOAGL bank account;
  • Handling all matters related to the league’s incorporation and tax-exempt status;
  • Presentation of a financial report at each league meeting.

The Treasurer is Brother John Larose.

  1. A Game Coordinator is appointed by the League Director to supervise the competition in an individual game for one or more divisions.
  • Each Game Coordinator receives the entries from the schools, schedules the rounds, supervises the judges and scorekeepers, re-seats individual players as necessary at rounds, tallies and publishes the results from each session, and chooses the readers for Propaganda and Presidents.
  • Each coordinator supplies information to the Publicity Director and Webmaster needed to publicize the results of each competition.
  • Each coordinator gives the Awards Coordinator the list of award winners in each game.

The Game Coordinators are:

  1. The Awards Coordinator is responsible for the purchase and distribution of all awards in accordance with the league policy on awards. The Awards Coordinator may enlist the help of others to set up and distribute the awards at the ceremonies.

The Awards Coordinator is Paula Hidalgo.

The current NOAGL policy for awards is as follows:

  1. The Alumni Director, appointed by the League Director, handles all relations with former academic games players, including:
  • Compiling contact information for alumni;
  • Organizing social events for alumni;
  • Working with the Development Director in fund-raising activities aimed at alumni;
  • Working with the Training Director to pair alumni volunteers interesting in training teachers and students with interested schools;
  • Presenting reports at league meeting on alumni initiatives;
  • Creating a newsletter sent to alumni at least annually;
  • Forming one or more alumni committees to assist in the accomplishment of the above tasks.

The Alumni Director is Craig Zeller.

  1. The Publicity Director, appointed by the League Director, promotes NOAGL through the local media and educational organizations. The duties include:
  • Distributing news releases before and after competitions and other league events;
  • Contacting local groups of schools and educators (e.g. principals associations, professional organization such as mathematics or social studies teacher associations) to inform them about what NOAGL offers;
  • Making sure the Webmaster has the information needed to post information about league activities;
  • Forming one or more committees to help with the above tasks.

The Publicity Director is Craig Zeller.

  1. The Development Director, appointed by the League Director, solicits donations to help NOAGL, Inc. accomplish its mission.

The Development Director is Leila D’Aquin.

  1. The Training Director, appointed by the League Director, supervises the teaching of the games played in the league to students and teachers. The duties include:
  • Scheduling training sessions;
  • Responding to requests for training from individual schools or groups of schools;
  • Working with the Alumni Director to obtain instructors for the training sessions;
  • Supplying the Publicity Director with the information needed to publicize the training sessions.

The Training Director is Brother Neal Golden.

  1. The Webmaster, appointed by the League Director, develops and maintains NOAGL’s web site and online presence.

The Webmaster is Craig Zeller.

  1. NOAGL has no standing committees. However, temporary officers may be appointed as needed to chair special committees.

Examples of special committees: committee to evaluate the awards program, committee to review the Nationals qualifying rules, committee to plan social events outside of tournaments

League Meetings

  1. An organizational meeting is held near the beginning of each school year. At this meeting, the calendar for the school year is finalized along with the rules for Nationals qualifying, league dues, entry fees, any changes in these rules and procedures, and any other necessary business.

The meeting is usually held on the day after Labor Day at 4 pm at a site chosen by the League Director.

  1. At the organizational meeting, votes are taken on the basis of one vote for each school represented at the meeting. Occasionally, special votes are taken later in the school year on matters not covered at the organizational meeting. These votes, on the same one-vote-per-school basis, are taken either by e-mail, at a round of play, or at a special moderators meeting.
  2. Another meeting is held in May after all local and national competitions are complete. The main purposes of the meeting are to:
    1. Draft the calendar for the following school year.
    2. Review the most recent school year and consider any proposals for changes to these procedures.
    3. Consider the proposed AGLOA rules changes for the upcoming year.

The May meeting is usually followed by dinner.


  1. The games played in League competition come from the three subject areas covered by the AGLOA National Tournament.

Mathematics consists of the games of Equations and On-Sets.

Language Arts consists of Propaganda and LinguiSHTIK.

Social Studies consists of Presidents and World Events.

  1. NOAGL competition consists of Equations, On-Sets, Propaganda, and Presidents. Adding another game to the schedule or replacing a game with another game requires a majority vote of the league schools at a regular or special meeting.
  2. Play in each game is governed by the rules in the current year’s AGLOA National Tournament Rules. Any exceptions are determined at a meeting of moderators and promulgated at least one week prior to the first round of competition in a game.

The primary adaptation NOAGL makes for its local play is to phase in the national lists of Equations variations in all divisions. Also, a Reading Game Coordinator may decide to use fewer or more questions or examples than called for by the national rules.

  1. Each round of a cube game is timed according to the procedure used at the AGLOA National Tournament. That is, 30 minutes plus 5 additional minutes to complete the last shake.

See XI-B-2 of the current AGLOA Equations Tournament Rules.


  1. In all games, play takes place in four divisions.
  • An Elementary Division player must be in the 6th grade or below.
  • A Middle Division player must be in the 8th grade or below.
  • A Junior Division player must be in the 10th grade or below.
  • A Senior Division player must be in the 12th grade or below.
  1. For Equations and On-Sets, a Learners Division is formed if there are enough entrants, as decided by the Game Coordinator. To participate in Learners Division, a player must:
  • Be in fifth grade or below.
  • Not have played the game (Equations or On-Sets) in any league previously if the player is in fifth grade.

Learners Division plays only the basic game for the first few rounds, then a limited set of variations for the remaining round(s). The list of variations and rounds in which they are played are determined by the Game Coordinator in consultation with the League Director.

Entering Teams and Individuals

  1. In all games, a team consists of no more than five players. Exceptions to this rule may be made by the Game Coordinator for certain divisions if the number of entrants warrants it.
  • If the number of entrants in a division is small, the Game Coordinator may form teams of four rather than five or, for an even smaller number of participants, teams of three.
  • In some cases, as in Learners Division, the Game Coordinator may conduct only individual competition.
  • In all rules below that refer to teams of five, adjust each rule when teams in a division consist of fewer than five players.
  1. There is no limit to the number of players a school may enter in a competition in any division of any game. A school enters its students in a division in teams of five. However, if the school has additional players or has fewer than five players for a division, the Game Coordinator groups the extras with players from other schools to form “conglomerate” teams.
  • This is done prior to round one of the game, although adjustments may be made based on the actual attendance at Round 1.
  • When the Game Coordinator has formed as many teams of five in a division, there may be one-to-four extra players who are placed individually in matches on a round-by-round basis.
  1. Depending on the number of teams entered in a division, the Game Coordinator divides competition into one or more subdivisions (districts).
  2. In any division in which a school has at least one five-member team, any extra player from that school in that division or a lower division who is not on a five-player team of the school may be used as a substitute for a round to replace an absent player on one of the school’s complete teams.
  3. No player who participates in any competition of another league (Jefferson or St. Bernard) is eligible to play in the corresponding NOAGL competition for that academic year. Special circumstances, such as a student transferring from a school in one league to an NOAGL school during the school year or students practicing in a NOAGL cube game competition because there are too few students in the other LA league, are handled by the League Director on a case by case basis.


  1. Each member school is assessed a fee for annual dues. Payment is due no later than the second week of the first league competition in which the school participates. (For one-day tournaments, see #27 below.)

The League dues are $30. If not paid by the due date, the school incurs a penalty of $10.

  1. For each game, a non-refundable fee is assessed for each student registered for that game. Any student registered after the deadline incurs an additional late fee.
  • Note that any registered student who is unable to participate may be replaced by another non-registered student from the same school who is eligible to play in the registered student’s division. There is no additional charge for such a substitution.

The fee for each player for each competition is $5. A student registered after the deadline incurs an additional $3 fee. If game fees are not paid by the due date, a penalty is levied that equals $10 or $1 per player, whichever figure is smaller. If a sufficient reason is presented to the Game Coordinator for late payment, the penalty may be waived.

  1. For competitions that do not have a second week of play, game fees (and annual dues, if applicable) are due at check-in time prior to the beginning of the first round of play. For one-day tournaments, all fees must be paid in full at check-in. For all other contests, game fees are due by the second week of tournament play in that game.

For each game, a registration form/invoice will be sent to each school with instructions concerning payment of fees for that game. In general, when paying fees, each school should submit an envelope containing a completely filled-in invoice and the payment (cash or check). Make checks payable to “NOAGL.” If fees are mailed, they must be addressed to the league treasurer and postmarked no later than the due date to avoid late fee status.

  1. Schools will not be permitted to register for any NOAGL contest until all fees for previously entered contests are paid in full. Also, schools who have participated in their first contest of the year may not register for any subsequent contest until their annual League dues for that year are paid in full.

Schedule structure

  1. The Game Coordinators for Equations and On-Sets makes the schedule for each division.
  2. If the number of teams entered in a division of a cube game warrants it, the coordinator will divide the teams in that division into districts. The coordinator will try to make the districts equal in strength.
  3. If possible, a team plays every other team in its district at least once and not more than twice. The Game Coordinator may make exceptions depending on the number of teams in a district.
  4. If a division is not broken into districts, the team champion is the team with the most points at the end of the last round. If two or more teams are tied for first, a playoff will be held.
  5. If a division is broken into two or more districts, the district champions will meet in a playoff to determine the league champion. If necessary, a preliminary playoff will be held to decide a district winner if two or more teams tie for first in the district.
  6. The number of rounds of play and the dates of the rounds in each game are finalized at the League meeting at the beginning of the school year.
  • If changes must be made because of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the Game Coordinator adjusts the schedule as necessary.

Seating Players at Competitions

Reading Games (Propaganda and Presidents)
  1. Game Coordinators for reading games assign players to tables for purposes of checking each other’s answers and keeping score.
  • The game coordinator assigns three players to each table (with some tables having four if necessary) so that no player is at a table with a schoolmate.
  • If a school enters such a large number of players in the division that it is impossible to avoid players from the same school at a table, the coordinator assigns players from different teams of the school to the same table.
  1. Tables of just two players are avoided even if it means creating tables of four.
  2. In no instance are players from different divisions seated at the same table.
Cube Games (Equations and On-Sets)
  1. A match involves either two or three teams according to the schedule created by the Game Coordinator.
  2. A match consists of competition at five tables. Play at each table involves one member of each team in the match.
  • If teams in a division consist of fewer than five players, the number of tables in each match is adjusted accordingly.
  1. For each match, the players of each team are seeded one through five. The match begins with the number one players at table one, number two players at table two, etc. For the first round of competition, the moderator/coach seeds the players.
  2. After the first round of league play in the game, players must be seeded according to the cumulative points they have scored thus far in that game.
  • The player who has scored the most points must play at table one; second highest scorer at table two, etc.
  • If two players have the same number of points, the player who was at the higher table in the previous match remains ahead. (Note: Cumulative points do not carry over from one cube game to the next.)
  • If a team is missing a player for a match, the other players move up so that the team has no participant at Table 5 (or at Tables 4 and 5 if two are missing, etc.).
  1. A substitute (see Rule 23) is seated according to the cumulative points scored by the substitute, not according to the points of the player being replaced.
  2. Sometimes the Game Coordinator must make adjustments in the seating before the round begins because of absent players or extra players not assigned to any team.
  • A player with no opponent does not receive an automatic 6 and must be moved to a different table or have another player moved to his table.
  • The first criterion when moving a player is to match two (or three) players who have no opponents at their assigned table(s) provided the players are not from the same school.
  • In no case will a player be moved to a table that already has three players. As a last resort, one of the three players at a table may be moved to another table with less than three players in order to avoid having two players from the same school competing at the same table.
  • In some instances, the Game Coordinator adjusts the seating of players within the same match so that each player has an opponent.

Example: In a three-team match, two teams may have only four players. So Table 5 has only one player. In this instance, one of the players from Table 4 of the match should be moved to Table 5.

  • The score of any player who has been moved to a table in a different match counts for his team in its scheduled match.
  1. If a player violates the seating rule (41), then:
  • If the player plays at a higher table than she should have, that player keeps whatever score she makes.
  • If the player plays at a lower table than she should have, that player is given the lowest possible score for that table. That is, for a two-player table, the player scores 4; for a three-player table, the player scores 2.
  • The scores of the other player(s) at the table are adjusted accordingly as are the scores of the teams.
  • The exception to this rule is that a player moved to a table by the Game Coordinator (or by someone delegated by the Game Coordinator) is never penalized for sitting at the wrong table unless the player moves to another table on her own.

Time Limits for Rounds

Reading Games (Propaganda and Presidents)
  1. The length of each round is determined by the number of questions read. The time limits for each question are those listed in the AGLOA Tournament Rules for each game.
  2. The Game Coordinator determines the number of questions read in each round. The questions come from those sold yearly by AGLOA to leagues for local competition.
Cube Games (Equations and On-Sets)
  1. The players at each table play as many shakes as time allows, scoring each shake according to the AGLOA Tournament Rules.
  2. Each round is timed as follows.
  • After 30 minutes, players are told not to start any new shakes and that they have 5 minutes to finish the current shake.
  • After five additional minutes, players are told to stop making moves if there has not been a challenge or Last Cube Procedure. In this case, each player must write an Equation using any cubes remaining in Resources. Any player with a correct Equation scores 4 for the last shake; a player without a correct Equation scores 2.
  1. When the last shake at the table is completed, the cumulative scores are tallied on the scoresheet and individual scores assigned according to the scoring rules in the AGLOA Tournament Rules.

Team Scores

  1. The team’s score for a round in any game is the sum of the scores of its individual players.
  2. For Equations and On-Sets, the team scoring the highest total points for the match receives 6 points for team standings. The second place team gains 4 points. The third place team (if there is one), scores 2.
  3. If two teams tie for first in a match, each receives 5 points for team standings (the third team scoring 2). If two teams tie for second, each gains 3 points (the winner receiving 6). If all three teams tie, each receives 4 points in the standings.
  4. For both team and individual competition in every game, position in district standings is determined by total points.
  5. The Game Coordinator keeps a record of the scores of all individuals and teams from round to round and issues regular reports to the competing schools.
  6. Any request for a score to be corrected must be made before the next playing date of that game. If the score occurred in the last round of the game, the request for a correction must be made within 48 hours of the scores being promulgated by the Game Coordinator.
  • This rule refers to errors in recording scores on the scoresheet or Match Report Form or in entering scores into a computer. Any protests of a ruling by a judge during a match must be made before initializing the scoresheet. (See “Some General Comments on Officiating” at the beginning of the AGLOA Manual for Equations and On-Sets Officials.)

Delinquent Teams and Players

  1. If a team is scheduled for a match in Equations or On-Sets but has fewer than 50% of its players arrive to compete, the team is counted as having played the match but gains no points for district standings.

Examples: In a normal five-table match, if fewer than three players of a team (counting substitutes) participate in the match, the team does not earn the 2 points for a third-place finish in the match. If competition consists of four-player teams, if only one of the four players competes, the team scores 0 for district standings.

  1. The starting time, date, and site for a match are set by the League schedule. If a player is more than 15 minutes late, play begins without him. If the player arrives after the match begins, follow the AGLOA Tournament Rules for the player’s score for the shakes (questions) missed.
  • Exceptions to this rule can be made can be made by the Game Coordinator if a team or individual, fearing tardiness, calls the host school or Game Coordinator to ask that their match be delayed or sends word that they are caught in traffic, the bus is late, a car was involved in an accident, etc.

Playing Materials

  1. For all rounds of league competition, each player must have a pen or pencil.
  2. The League provides a scoresheet for each table (with the appropriate information on the back depending on the game).
  • The scoresheet and any other materials referred to below are copies of the forms that can be downloaded from the AGLOA website.
Reading Games (Propaganda and Presidents)
  1. The League provides an answer sheet for each player.
  • For Propaganda, the League provides a list of techniques for each player.
  • For Presidents, the League provides each player with a copy of the Gazeteer Chart for the range of presidents being played in the round and a 6-4-2 sheet for each table.
Cube Games (Equations and On-Sets)
  1. The League provides at least one copy at each table of the variations being played in each division.
  2. Each player must have paper to write solutions on.
  • For On-Sets, each player may have a chart that follows the guidelines and examples listed in the AGLOA On-Sets Tournament Rules and Appendices.


  1. For team competition in all divisions of each game, the only playoffs that are held are for first place.
  2. A playoff is conducted to break first-place ties between/among individuals in all games in Middle, Junior, and Senior Division.
Reading Games (Propaganda and Presidents)
  1. If two or more teams tie for first at the end of the last round of competition, the Game Coordinator conducts a playoff using extra questions supplied by AGLOA.
  • If possible, the playoff is scheduled as soon as possible after the last round, before individuals have left the competition site.
  • If it impossible to conduct the playoff on the same day as the last round, the playoff is scheduled for a date, time, and place agreeable to all teams involved in the playoff.
  1. The playoff is conducted as follows.
  • Players are seated with one member of each team at each table in order of scores from highest to lowest. Individuals who are tied for first and are not members of teams in the playoff may be seated at a separate table or mixed in with the team playoff participants.
  • Players are provided the same materials (scoresheet, answer sheet, technique list or gazetteer chart, etc.) as in the regular competition.
  • One question from each of the four sections of Propaganda or from each range of Presidents covered in the competition is read. Players answer and score as in the regular rounds.
  • When all questions have been read, scores are tabulated and the winner announced. If Propaganda teams or individuals are still tied, then they are co-champions. If Presidents teams or individuals remain tied and additional questions are available, another round is played until the tie is broken. If, after all extra Presidents questions have been read, the teams or individuals are still tied, they are co-champions.
Cube Games (Equations and On-Sets)
  1. If the teams tied for first tie in the last round of regular competition, then a “sudden death” playoff is conducted as soon as possible before any players leave the match site.
  • All players return to the table where they just competed to play one untimed shake.
  • Players are provided the same materials (scoresheet, variation sheet, etc.) as in the regular competition
  • The Goal-setter is determined as at the beginning of any match.
  • Players record their scores and turn in the scoresheet.
  • If the teams tie again, players return to the same tables and play another untimed shake, determining the Goal-setter as at the beginning of any match.
  • Teams continue playing overtime rounds until the tie is broken.
  1. If the condition stated at the beginning of Rule 67 does not apply, the Game Coordinator schedules a playoff match at a date, site, and time agreeable to all teams involved in the playoff.
  • Players are seated with one member of each team at each table in order of scores from highest to lowest, following the seating order from the final regular round of the tournament.
  • Players are provided the same materials (scoresheet, variation sheet, etc.) as in the regular competition
  • If two teams tie in the playoff match, apply the sudden death procedure described in the previous rule until a champion is determined.
  1. For all situations not covered by the previous two rules, the Game Coordinator decides how to proceed.

Examples of situations not covered include teams tied for first in a district and four-way ties.

National Rules

  1. For all situations not covered in these rules, the AGLOA Tournament Rules for each game govern competition.

Nationals Qualifying

  1. The rules governing how players qualify for Nationals are finalized at the opening meeting of the school year and disseminated to all schools prior to the first round of competition for the year.

The following Nationals qualifying rules are in force for 2013-2014 and beyond.

  • Each qualifier must compete in all four games played by NOAGL.
  • Each player’s rank is determined by the sum of his/her four scores.
  • Raw scores (6-4-2 scale) are used in Equations and On-Sets.
  • Propaganda and Presidents scores are scaled to make the highest score in the division equal to 24, which is the highest score possible in four rounds of Equations or On-Sets.

Example: If the highest Propaganda score in the division is 110, multiply each player’s score by 24/110 or .218.

  1. The standings for Nationals qualifying are kept by the Game Coordinators for their divisions.

The Junior/Senior qualifying lists are maintained by Brother Neal Golden and the Elementary/Middle lists by Brother Laurence Konersmann.

  1. The number of Nationals qualifiers in each division is determined by the rules laid down by AGLOA.

The current AGLOA guidelines for determining the number of Nationals qualifiers in each division are as follows.

  • The number of qualifiers is based on the average number of participants in the three games with the largest participation.
  • Elementary and Middle:
Avg.# participantsMaximum # allowed at Nationals
5-25 5
26-50 10
51-75 15
76-125 20
126-175 25
176-225 30
(and so on for more participants)


  • Junior and Senior:
Avg.# participantsMaximum # allowed at Nationals
5-25 10
26-50 15
51-75 20
76-100 25
101-125 30
126-150 35
(and so on for more participants)

Individual Sweepstakes Standings

  1. The top five players in each division receive awards.
  2. To be eligible for an Individual Sweepstakes Award, a player must play all four games.
  3. The scores for all four games (as adjusted for the reading games) are added to determine a player’s rank in the Individual Sweepstakes standings.