AGazine, December 2013

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

News & Notes Sallie Johnson Down Memory Lane Past AGazines


News and Notes

The Cost Sheet for the 2014 AGLOA National Tournament was sent to leagues and districts at the beginning of December.

The hotels for the tournament are:

Holiday Inn (primarily Elem/Middle)
525 Henley Street
Knoxville TN 37902
  Hilton (primarily Junior/Senior)
501 West Church Avenue S.
Knoxville TN 37902
Crowne Plaza
401 W. Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville TN 37902

All events of the tournament will take place at the Knoxville Convention Center.


Tournament Registration per each Coach and Player
Tournament Registration per Non-Coach Adult

$110 per person
$55 per person

II. Hotel Rooms
(All coaches and players MUST stay on-site.)
Maximum 4 persons per room
$125 per room night
at each hotel
III. Food Costs (all meals at the Convention Center)
(All coaches and players must choose meals.)
Three breakfasts, three lunches, three dinners
Meals begin with Friday night dinner and end with Monday night dinner
Sunday night dinner on your own
$150 per person

Events across the AGLOA leagues during the next month:

3 Preliminary National Tournament Registration Form due to AGLOA from leagues/districts
11 Michigan League of Academic Games (MLAG) Saturday Tournament – 5 locations
14 Palm Beach Academic Games League (PBAGL) Social Studies Tournament – Round 1: Current Events & Presidents (#1-24)
Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV (PA) Jr/Sr Presidents Tournament
Martin County (FL) Social Studies Tournament – Rounds 1 & 2: Current Events/Presidents
New Orleans Academic Games League (NOAGL) Jr/Sr Presidents (#1-24)
15 Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV (PA) El/Mid Presidents Tournament
NOAGL El/Mid Presidents (#1-12)
17 Jefferson Parish (LA) M/J/S Equations Tournament
St. Bernard Parish (LA) Presidents Tournament

To see all of our of upcoming events, visit our Calendar page. If your league’s events are not listed, please send us your schedule.


Sallie Johnson – II

Click here to read Sallie Johnson – Part I


When Sallie went to Nationals, she noticed there were not any African-American students playing LinguiSHTIK. So she asked an English teacher at her school, Betty Barton, to coach LinguiSHTIK and Propaganda. Their Elementary team went to the national finals in Ling against Lois Fink’s perennial powerhouse from Allegheny Valley, PA.

It was getting late because of many overtimes. Betty was getting a little nervous, and her kids were shaking. Lois wanted to stop. I wanted to keep going, but Betty said “OK.” So they regrouped and beat us by one point. We finished 1-1-2 in the math games and Ling, but we were too low in World Card [forerunner of World Events]. So Lois’s team won sweepstakes. 

Sallie continued her involvement with Academic Games even after becoming a principal. She retired in 2001 but still trains Academic Games coaches in Detroit.

They fired everybody who knew anything about Academic Games downtown [administration building]. “You can’t leave,” they said. “I’ve taught 36 years. That’s long enough. You guys are too disrespectful.” “Please agree to be in charge of the Academic Games program so it won’t die.” I said, “OK.” So I’m Director of Academic Games for the Detroit Public Schools.

I set my own schedule. I spend thirty hours in the fall. I have a team to teach the different games. We’re now bringing in the charter schools. On-Sets and Ling are my favorite games. I do the On-Sets class and let someone else teach Ling. I always start with Equations because some prior knowledge is there.

She thinks it was a mistake when the school system began paying the coaches.

The union said, “Football coaches and other coaches all get paid. We’re putting in as much time with these children and more.” Those of us who did it didn’t care about the money. We just loved it.

Now, the challenge is people who won’t move past one game. They’re just coming for that extra money. As a result, they don’t give what they need to for the children to grow and progress. I don’t have any authority. If you don’t play Adventurous, you should move on.

The system pays for students to come to Nationals. One thing we have going for us is that we don’t need them for anything except that money. We don’t need someone downtown to tell us what to do or how to do it. Academic Games is one of two programs in the system that have continuously been successful. The other is Math/Science. So it brings them a little glory.

The transition to AGLOA for 2012-13 presented a challenge.

To be honest, I had to do a lot of praying. I meditate every day. I had to really get myself together to the 2013 Nationals. I came because my children have a right to come to Nationals because the other one [NAGP] was dissolved.

Many of the feelings I had when we split were gone. I didn’t need to bring anything from the past. You don’t need that in your consciousness. I had to do a lot of soul-searching. It took a couple of months. I knew I needed to go into it with an open mind. I didn’t want to put any issues on the kids.

I needed to get a clear understanding of the rules that were different to teach them in a positive way. Intellectually, I had heard about Now or Never. I didn’t believe that was the reason for the split. I had to release all that. I don’t believe we need to make things simpler for our children. The A Flub was a thinking process that was removed. I told myself, “Get rid of that; learn Now or Never. Good. This is easier. I wonder if so-and-so is still there?” I remembered evil things that certain people said and did. I was happy they weren’t here.

In general, the tournament is well organized. People have been real friendly to us. I was happy to see everybody.


Down Memory Lane

The 1974-5 Official Equations Tournament Rules divided the Adventurous variations for Elementary Division into three groups.

  • Goal-Setter variations (reinterpretations of *)
  • Variations to be chosen by the player to the immediate left of the Goal-Setter (interpretations of √)
  • Variations to be chosen by the third player

In the previous two issues, November and October, we listed the variations to be chosen by the Goal-Setter and player to Goal-Setter’s left. Here are the variations that could be chosen by the third player.

  1. (Goal 50 to 100) The Goal must be between 50 and 100, inclusive.
  2. (Two-digit numerals) Two-digit numerals are allowed in a Solution.
  3. (Two-prime Goal) The Goal must equal the product of exactly two primes. (One is not a prime number.)
  4. (Three-operation Solution) A Soluton must contain at least three operation symbols.
  5. (0 wild) The 0 is wild for any digit but must stand for the same digit wherever it is used.

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