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> 2017 Nationals, April 20 - 22, 2017
Villager from th...
post Apr 26 2017, 01:46 PM
Post #81


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Hi friends, I am Koki from Shanghai High School International Division.

As many of you have seen, our scores and Shanghai Foreign Language school's scores should have won us 2nd place and 4th place in Division II, respectively. However, our team awards were not recognized, and the trophies and banners were not given to us, let alone the scholarships.

Furthermore, we have three students in our team who were not recognized for individual high score awards: Conrad Yuk Cheung Conrad with 8447.0 points (Honors 2nd place, with SISU's Tiancheng Zhou in first place), Koki Ajiri with 7238.7 points (Scholastic 2nd place, Issac Bruley from Wilmot in first place), and Dejia Tu with 7163.6 points (Varsity 3rd place)

What do you guys think about this phenomenon? The CEO of the organizing committee in China has declared that if this doesn't change, he will stop running USAD in China beginning from next year.

Personally, my team and I are absolutely enraged by this ridiculous competition. We worked equally as hard as any other U.S. team but in the end our efforts have been made in vain. As an international team, we understand that we are invited to participate, but we did indeed qualify for the U.S. Nationals in the In-China competition with equally rigorous standards (with scores higher than many U.S. states) and I am absolutely certain that nowhere in the rules is it written that international teams are not eligible to the same awards as the U.S. teams.

As a final note, this January, my team and I hosted the first USAD scrimmage in China. Now that I look back, I feel ashamed to have promoted this competition that I used to love deeply to hundreds of Chinese students.

I love AcaDeca. I have devoted my entire high school career to it. But it has to stop its political protectionism nonsense.

And a big thank-you to Dr.Evil Calculus from CDO HS for giving us the scores right after the competition smile.gif

I am open to criticisms and comments so please feel free to reply below. Thanks smile.gif
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TinDefacto
post Apr 26 2017, 05:05 PM
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Hi Koki,

First of all, it's super awesome to finally see a Decathlete from China posting on here -- you all are a voice that's been missing for a long time, and with all the talk about the international expansion on here I think it's really important to hear from some people who have actually been impacted by that expansion firsthand. Plus, the bigger the community the better anyway. smile.gif (Invite your friends!! xD)

Second of all, I want to say that I completely agree with you -- I think it's horrendously unfair that international teams can put in so much work only to come to (inter)Nationals and get shafted at awards. You're right; it is some weird kind of protectionism, and it's really unfair to you all. You did put in the effort that should have been recognized properly, and this is something that I hope will be changed soon.

That being said, however, this was the way that it has been being done from the start. The China organizing committee knew; everyone in the US organizing committee knew. It wasn't a secret that you guys weren't going to be eligible for overall awards. It wasn't a case of USAD last-minute deciding this without telling anyone. It should have been made clear to all of you from the get-go by the Chinese organizers, and I'm sorry you didn't know. :/

I can't imagine what that must feel like. But please, don't let this ruin your love of Decathlon. Change is happening slowly, and regardless of the decisions of the Decathlon administration, it is still a great thing. You still have a rich (I don't mean monetarily) and strong program in China, and with the videos I've seen, it's way cooler -- I hope you'll find your love will survive. smile.gif


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Honourable Honor...
post Apr 26 2017, 06:47 PM
Post #83


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Hello, Koki.

I definitely understand your frustrations. As an individual competitor, my situation was highly similar to yours. It does seem very frustrating and unfair that Chinese teams, who must work even harder than most American teams to make it to nationals, should be denied credit for their accomplishments. Certainly, judging by the scores, several Chinese teams and individuals earned the right to acknowledgement for their achievements.

However, it's important to remember that the value of AcDec (or AcaDeca, or whatever your favorite abbreviation is) does not come from a medal, banner, or even a scholarship. First and foremost, you and the other two students from China whom you mentioned may not have received a medal for your accomplishments, but you know that you achieved at the highest level in the world in Academic Decathlon. You know you earned that medal. I can imagine this can seem frustrating, but to me, far more important than being denied a medal for my 2nd place finish is knowing that I earned it. To be honest, the medal really isn't that important. It's the achievement that matters. You and your team should be just as proud of your accomplishments as if you had received medals. You pushed yourself, and your scores speak for themselves.

With that being said, missing out on scholarships is unfair. That is something to be upset about. Sadly, I don't see this policy changing any time soon. Nevertheless, your achievements still stand regardless of the extent of their recognition.

Secondly, the skills and lessons you learned from Academic Decathlon will be important for the rest of your life, especially in the subjective areas. For Chinese teams, the benefits of mastering speech, interview and essay in another language would presumably only be magnified. I was very impressed to see Chinese decathletes medalling in all three subjectives, beating out native English speakers in speech, interview, and essay. The value of math and science is also readily apparent in our increasingly technology-centered future, and the importance of social science and economics to the future leaders of one of the world's most powerful nations cannot be underestimated. Perhaps subtler are the benefits derived from literature, art and music, but these areas offer a window into the human condition and a view of history more centered on its effects on real people rather than a list of facts. All of these benefits are independent of whether the USAD decided to give you a banner.

In summary, don't give up on Decathlon because of a flawed policy. You seem just as dedicated to AcDec as any American I've met. I've explained why I love the competition despite its faults. Hopefully, when you look back on your time in AcDec you'll remember the reasons why you dedicated your high school years to it. Remember all the great friends you made. As my coach has told me, "Don't look back in anger."

Congratulations on your achievements.

By the way, I've never done any scrap booking before. Maybe one day smile.gif


--------------------
Mark Saving
Texas State Meet High Scorer 2017
All-Time Highest Objective 7-Event Score at Nationals and/or Enats (6,802.9)
2nd Highest Score Nationals 2017 (9,250.9)
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Stanley Tree
post Apr 26 2017, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (Villager from the Far East @ Apr 26 2017, 01:46 PM) *
Hi friends, I am Koki from Shanghai High School International Division.

As many of you have seen, our scores and Shanghai Foreign Language school's scores should have won us 2nd place and 4th place in Division II, respectively. However, our team awards were not recognized, and the trophies and banners were not given to us, let alone the scholarships.

Furthermore, we have three students in our team who were not recognized for individual high score awards: Conrad Yuk Cheung Conrad with 8447.0 points (Honors 2nd place, with SISU's Tiancheng Zhou in first place), Koki Ajiri with 7238.7 points (Scholastic 2nd place, Issac Bruley from Wilmot in first place), and Dejia Tu with 7163.6 points (Varsity 3rd place)

What do you guys think about this phenomenon? The CEO of the organizing committee in China has declared that if this doesn't change, he will stop running USAD in China beginning from next year.

Personally, my team and I are absolutely enraged by this ridiculous competition. We worked equally as hard as any other U.S. team but in the end our efforts have been made in vain. As an international team, we understand that we are invited to participate, but we did indeed qualify for the U.S. Nationals in the In-China competition with equally rigorous standards (with scores higher than many U.S. states) and I am absolutely certain that nowhere in the rules is it written that international teams are not eligible to the same awards as the U.S. teams.

As a final note, this January, my team and I hosted the first USAD scrimmage in China. Now that I look back, I feel ashamed to have promoted this competition that I used to love deeply to hundreds of Chinese students.

I love AcaDeca. I have devoted my entire high school career to it. But it has to stop its political protectionism nonsense.

And a big thank-you to Dr.Evil Calculus from CDO HS for giving us the scores right after the competition smile.gif

I am open to criticisms and comments so please feel free to reply below. Thanks smile.gif


I think this is one of the most offensive things USAD has done in its history. Tin_Defacto pointed out that the executive committees knew about this, and if that is the case some change needs to happen at that level if anyone thought that this is acceptable. I was one of the people who was very upset that teams from China were being accepted into the nationals meet and higher scoring teams from the U.S. were not allowed to go anymore. I am still upset that there isn't multiple bids from certain states (TX/CA/AZ specifically), but I don't think that blame should be laid at the feet of these teams from China, but rather at USAD. As the idea of "only the best should compete" has been replaced in my mind with "everyone deserves a chance to love this program", hearing a student from China as dedicated as Villager from the East brightens up my soul and makes me happy. I hope something gets corrected, and that this never happens again. To not recognize a team or individuals for their effort over the course of a whole year makes me sick to my stomach.


--------------------
Academic Decathlon Coach, Dulles High School
2017 Texas Large School State Champion
AP World History teacher
Former Varsity Head Coach, Girls Soccer


Pearland High School '08
2008 Team State champion
2008 Varsity State champion

“It’s all these guys. They’ve been with us for a while. They believe in each other. They put up with me and go out and do it better the next day. They’ve got the courage of a lion.” - Frank Martin
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Scholastic Under...
post Apr 26 2017, 07:31 PM
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Much like Hartman, I have consistently been one to critique the increased involvement of international teams in lieu of more deserving US teams from the Texas, California, and Arizona. However, this critique is directed at those international teams that come in and score sub-30k, as they essentially bought an undeserved spot over an American team that may actually be able to achieve something with that spot. I believe it is absolutely ridiculous that the Chinese teams do not get honored in places that they ought to. The fact of the matter is that the #2 team in Division 2 was a Chinese team--if we are going to have team rankings, then I believe this should be respected. We invited the team, why should they not be able to reap the full benefits of the great effort that they put in?

On the individuals side, as much as it frustrates me, they are not going to change their policies on international and individual competitors earning overall medals and scholarships. My senior year, 4 individual competitors were top 3 in their respective divisions, and yet not a single one got recognition. Not only were they in the top 3, but every single one of them was #1--and yet none got the trophy nor the medal that this distinction deserves. I strongly disagree with this, but it is the way that it is. I understand the frustrations of both international and individual competitors alike, but remember that Decathlon is much more than the medals and recognition--it's the bonds you form, the knowledge you gain, that truly make Decathlon so fantastic. While you have every right to be angry and frustrated, don't let that ruin your love for Decathlon--the system in place has its flaws, but the first step to fixing things like this is getting it acknowledged by those in power. Don't lose hope or love, just be thankful for the time that you've had thus far in Decathlon and hope with the rest of us that many others get to gain all that Decathlon can give them.


--------------------
Nicholas Welch
MRHS Scholastic 2013-2016
E-Nats Scholastic Score Record Holder
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TinDefacto
post Apr 26 2017, 11:33 PM
Post #86


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To clarify something: as far as I know, the main reason USAD made this policy in the first place (i.e. that of the medal-matching and not recognizing overall international top scores) was to make having the international/individual competitors at Nationals more palatable to the US teams. I do think a lot of people would be freaking out if the Chinese teams had been recognized for their overall scores. Now, I would just tell them to get over it, but I also think that China and any other countries sending teams should only be sending one per state or province.

(Also, I'd like to point out in regards to a comment above that a fair amount of the Chinese competitors, though certainly not all, do natively speak English. The far majority of the students enrolled at the competing schools are from wealthier, higher-income backgrounds, too.)


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Sebastian J. Garza
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Scholastic Under...
post Apr 26 2017, 11:52 PM
Post #87


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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Apr 26 2017, 06:33 PM) *
To clarify something: as far as I know, the main reason USAD made this policy in the first place (i.e. that of the medal-matching and not recognizing overall international top scores) was to make having the international/individual competitors at Nationals more palatable to the US teams. I do think a lot of people would be freaking out if the Chinese teams had been recognized for their overall scores. Now, I would just tell them to get over it, but I also think that China and any other countries sending teams should only be sending one per state or province.

(Also, I'd like to point out in regards to a comment above that a fair amount of the Chinese competitors, though certainly not all, do natively speak English. The far majority of the students enrolled at the competing schools are from wealthier, higher-income backgrounds, too.)

I'd say that if they're going to complain, then they just need to get better. If a Chinese competitor beats them fair and square, then it's on them for not doing better.


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Nicholas Welch
MRHS Scholastic 2013-2016
E-Nats Scholastic Score Record Holder
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TinDefacto
post Apr 27 2017, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Apr 26 2017, 06:33 PM) *
Now, I would just tell them to get over it, but I also think that China and any other countries sending teams should only be sending one per state or province.

Oops, ambiguous wording -- let's split that into two sentences:

Were people to complain that the Chinese teams got recognized for their overall team scores, I would just tell them to get over it. However, I think any complaints about China sending more than one team per province are valid.

QUOTE (Scholastic Underdog @ Apr 26 2017, 06:52 PM) *
I'd say that if they're going to complain, then they just need to get better. If a Chinese competitor beats them fair and square, then it's on them for not doing better.

Exactly -- totally agree.

Something that may perhaps need to be brought up though -- the grading systems they use their are not necessarily like the A/B/C standard used in the US, so perhaps one could argue it unfair to pit them against one another. I do know that at some point, perhaps only the first year and only with one school, to determine the students' brackets, they tested each of the those who wanted to participate on their prior knowledge of the topic. The top third were then designated Honors, middle third Scholastic, and bottom third Varsity. This definitely would give them a significant advantage, especially as many teams in the US struggle very hard to find Varsities. That being said, take this with a grain of salt, because I don't know if they still do this/if this was even more than one school. Perhaps Koki could shed some insight on this?


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Sebastian J. Garza
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Villager from th...
post Apr 27 2017, 02:20 AM
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Dear all,

Thank you for your understanding and replies. I will definitely continue committing to USAD to promote its spirit to more students. And you guys are absolutely right- camaraderie and hard work trump trophies and banners. Being perpetually trapped in this state of anger and sadness will not help much in ameliorating this competition, therefore I will attempt to tackle this problem with a positive outlook, with reason and justice on my side.

Regarding your question, TimDefacto, I assure you that (at least in the case of our school) the scholastic bracket standards were strictly enforced in terms of GPA (Honors with 3.75-4.00, Scholastic with 3.00-3.74, Varsity 0.00-2.99). Last year we employed the ranking system to determine one's scholastic division (I forgot the exact boundary but it was quite cut-throat, ~top 50 for Honors; top 150 for Scholastic, and the rest for Varsity? Our school rarely have students below 3.0 GPA). The official exam that you mentioned was employed this year at other schools across China. I do agree that the scoring system was unfair because an honors student might have intentionally performed poorly to get classified as a Varsity, etc.

This post has been edited by Villager from the Far East: Apr 27 2017, 02:25 AM
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zzzptm
post Apr 27 2017, 09:37 AM
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QUOTE (Villager from the Far East @ Apr 26 2017, 08:20 PM) *
Dear all,

Thank you for your understanding and replies. I will definitely continue committing to USAD to promote its spirit to more students. And you guys are absolutely right- camaraderie and hard work trump trophies and banners. Being perpetually trapped in this state of anger and sadness will not help much in ameliorating this competition, therefore I will attempt to tackle this problem with a positive outlook, with reason and justice on my side.

Regarding your question, TimDefacto, I assure you that (at least in the case of our school) the scholastic bracket standards were strictly enforced in terms of GPA (Honors with 3.75-4.00, Scholastic with 3.00-3.74, Varsity 0.00-2.99). Last year we employed the ranking system to determine one's scholastic division (I forgot the exact boundary but it was quite cut-throat, ~top 50 for Honors; top 150 for Scholastic, and the rest for Varsity? Our school rarely have students below 3.0 GPA). The official exam that you mentioned was employed this year at other schools across China. I do agree that the scoring system was unfair because an honors student might have intentionally performed poorly to get classified as a Varsity, etc.


Hello Villager and welcome to the board.

11 years ago, I wrote this about Academic Decathlon: http://demidectalk.com/index.php?showtopic=74

I know the date says 2009, but we had a forum crash and this was a topic that we made sure survived that crash.

Scoring and awards issues have been problems before, and they will be problems again. Back in 1986, I had the highest Scholastic score in the state of Texas, but because Superquiz wasn't included in personal totals that year, I wound up being the third-highest score, officially. Scoring issues will always be a thorn in the side of AcDec.

But there is a reason why, even four years after my last round as a coach, I'm still participating in an AcDec forum.


--------------------
The "m" is silent and "Zzzptm" is only one syllable...
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Allan21996
post Apr 28 2017, 07:52 PM
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Medium Enats Results are out. We won our 3rd straight National title.

1st Edgewood(CA) 40,147.8
2nd Collegiate(PN) 34,661.0
3rd Watertown(WS) 29,884.4

Top Individuals

Honors
1st Edgewood Benjamin Lin 7,661.3
2nd Edgewood Jessica Doan 7,195.3
3rd Edgewood Darren Lam 6,784.0

Scholastic
1st Edgewood Peter Tran 6,837.7
2nd Edgewood Andrew Obeso 6,749.1
3rd Collegiate Adam Russell 6,502.4

Varsity
1st Edgewood Nathaniel Lyons 6,895.0
2nd Collegiate Spencer Brennen 5,185.9
3rd Hardaway(Georgia) Robert Mcabe 4,857.1


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If you're truly passionate about Decathlon(or anything), money, resources, ability, should never hold you back. It should only drive your passion further, because than you're truly achieving something.
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TinDefacto
post Apr 29 2017, 12:57 AM
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And BASIS Chandler takes the Small E-Nationals championship title -- the first national title California has lost since 2012!

Scores coming soon to an ADSIC near you. happy.gif


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acadecker
post Apr 29 2017, 01:03 AM
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And we came in a very close 4th place in the Medium enats. I am actually pumped that we defeated the team from Texas.


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Still coaching Academic Decathlon after 28 years!
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TinDefacto
post Apr 29 2017, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE (acadecker @ Apr 28 2017, 08:03 PM) *
And we came in a very close 4th place in the Medium enats. I am actually pumped that we defeated the team from Texas.

I saw that!! Congratulations!! biggrin.gif

Team scores here!


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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jun 15 2017, 01:43 AM
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"At the conclusion of the recent Academic Decathlon National Competition in Madison, WI, it came to our attention that certain notable achievements by international students and teams were not acknowledged. This was unfortunate and steps have been taken to address this oversight. USAD will review appropriate means to recognize such achievements at the 2018 National Competition in Frisco, TX and will post same on this website when a new policy on this subject is approved."


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kdarrow
post Jun 16 2017, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jun 14 2017, 08:43 PM) *
"At the conclusion of the recent Academic Decathlon National Competition in Madison, WI, it came to our attention that certain notable achievements by international students and teams were not acknowledged. This was unfortunate and steps have been taken to address this oversight. USAD will review appropriate means to recognize such achievements at the 2018 National Competition in Frisco, TX and will post same on this website when a new policy on this subject is approved."


Uh oh. What will this look like? Are they doing this retrospectively? Does this mean they will replace US teams? My problem is, always has been, that the foreign teams are not playing by the same rules.


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TinDefacto
post Jun 16 2017, 07:51 PM
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QUOTE (kdarrow @ Jun 16 2017, 12:26 PM) *
QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jun 14 2017, 08:43 PM) *
"At the conclusion of the recent Academic Decathlon National Competition in Madison, WI, it came to our attention that certain notable achievements by international students and teams were not acknowledged. This was unfortunate and steps have been taken to address this oversight. USAD will review appropriate means to recognize such achievements at the 2018 National Competition in Frisco, TX and will post same on this website when a new policy on this subject is approved."


Uh oh. What will this look like? Are they doing this retrospectively? Does this mean they will replace US teams? My problem is, always has been, that the foreign teams are not playing by the same rules.

Interesting, interesting. Glad to hear; I'm curious as to how this will be worked out. It doesn't seem like they're doing this retrospectively -- that's why they mentioned Nationals in Frisco.

Do you mean not the same rules as in not necessarily having the same H/S/V guidelines?


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kdarrow
post Jun 17 2017, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Jun 16 2017, 02:51 PM) *
QUOTE (kdarrow @ Jun 16 2017, 12:26 PM) *
QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jun 14 2017, 08:43 PM) *
"At the conclusion of the recent Academic Decathlon National Competition in Madison, WI, it came to our attention that certain notable achievements by international students and teams were not acknowledged. This was unfortunate and steps have been taken to address this oversight. USAD will review appropriate means to recognize such achievements at the 2018 National Competition in Frisco, TX and will post same on this website when a new policy on this subject is approved."


Uh oh. What will this look like? Are they doing this retrospectively? Does this mean they will replace US teams? My problem is, always has been, that the foreign teams are not playing by the same rules.

Interesting, interesting. Glad to hear; I'm curious as to how this will be worked out. It doesn't seem like they're doing this retrospectively -- that's why they mentioned Nationals in Frisco.

Do you mean not the same rules as in not necessarily having the same H/S/V guidelines?


"Steps have been taken" leads me to believe that they may have already done something. I took that as retroactively. The guidelines for international teams will always bother me. If one of their students came to the US as an exchange student, they would have to compete as an Honors.


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