2011 Nationals Results…

NationalsCheck out the results from this year’s National Tournament in Kissimmee, FL. Plus, you can look at previous years’ results to see how much you have improved over the years.

These standings should inspire you to continue the hard work you did this year or make you want to start studying now to improve for next year’s Nationals.

Looking Forward to Florida…

All of the participants for this year’s AGLOA National Tournament will be staying at the Orlando Sun Resort. I’ve heard how nice and spacious it is. Too bad you can’t tell that from their website. The resort just recently changed management, so it has a new name. Previously, it was owned by Ramada. If you look up Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort, then you can see more information about it and a few pictures of the location.

Luckily, it’s not at a downtown location, like Cincinnati and Knoxville were, where the hotel has to be 20 stories high with only two elevators. This resort is spread out into 5 or so wings that each surrounds their own pool (or so I’ve heard). You can kind of see from these photos that there are only two floors in each of the wings, so you won’t have to wait for the elevator for hours. I would venture to say that the building still looks like this, even with the management change. There’s a main building that houses the convention center/ball rooms, which is where the tournaments are going to be held.

I’m really looking forward to having Nationals at this location, because it is going to be easy for the tournament organizers and coaches to have all of the players in one place. In the past, we have had to split up the high school and younger students into two hotels. It’s a real pain for anybody that has students in Elementary or Middle Division AND Junior or Senior. The two hotels were not close to each other, so you had to rent a car just to go back and forth.

Actually, this is my fifth Nationals in Florida. It’s, by far, the location I have visited the most on Nationals trips.

My first Nationals, in 1997, was as a Middle Division player. It was not at all a successful trip in terms of winning awards, but it was very memorable for me. And that says a lot, because I have a horrible long term memory. I didn’t remember from that trip how scuzzy the Ramada Plaza Hotel Gateway (Elem/Mid hotel) was, but I would get a second chance to see. My second trip to Kissimmee, when I was a sophomore in high school, was a pretty awesome trip. That was the first time staying at the Radisson Resort Parkway (Jr/Sr hotel), which is the hotel to compare all others to. It’s a gorgeous place, and I had one of the best nights after the awards hanging out with the older players from my school. It was also the trip that I got my first Thinkers.

When I was coaching during my time in college, the 2004 Kissimmee trip was the Nationals that I coached three out of the four Sweepstakes teams (my Senior team came third overall). My last trip in 2008 was a very successful one, too. The students that I had coached in Elementary and Middle Division were part of the conglomerate Senior team that won Sweeps. And Adil Yousuf won Senior Individual Sweeps, as a junior, to secure his spot on the “Wall of Fame”.

I’ve got a really excellent group of Senior Division students this year, and I want them to remember this trip for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, they prepare enough to do just that.

See ya in Kissimmee!

2011 Louisiana AG Inivitational…

It has been 10 years since we have had a state-wide tournament in Louisiana. I know, because I competed at the last one. This year, we have decided to resurrect a tournament between all the leagues in Louisiana (Jefferson, Natchitoches, New Orleans, and St. Bernard). I can’t be sure how many students will show up, because there is always an excuse not to go to an Academic Games tournament. Based on the qualifiers in all divisions in all the leagues, we could have 150+ competitors. It’s going to be called the Louisiana Academic Games Invitational.

The former state tournament, the Louisiana Tournament of Champions, had issues with student attendance. They were always held after the leagues’ local competitions, but before Nationals. We are sticking to that time frame; however, we are hosting the tournament on a Saturday. They used to take place during the school day, on a Thursday or Friday. For this new competition, students do not have a problem with missing school. Most kids were afraid of missing school for the state tournament and Nationals so close to final exams. Hopefully, this change will help draw students to the competition.

We only played the math games, On-Sets and Equations, at the Louisiana Tournament of Champions. We are also only going to have competition in the math games at the LA AG Invitational. I don’t know if that deters some students who excel in the reading games from participating. The New Orleans and St. Bernard leagues don’t have competitions in LinguiSHTIK, so that’s not really a plausible option. There might be a need to add competition in Propaganda or Presidents if this tournament were to grow in size and popularity. Being that the cube games require someone to play against, and the reading games can be done individually, practice with other students from different schools is really beneficial to players.

The Louisiana Tournament of Champions was not a Nationals qualifying event. That meant that students usually didn’t take it seriously. There was nothing to lose if you didn’t do well. We probably will never make our Louisiana AG Invitational a mandatory tournament to attend Nationals, but I would like to think that the current AG students will take this invitational seriously. A lot of the students that I have seen go to Nationals in the past five years have been very focused on doing well at Nationals. They were driven to doing well. The LA AG Invitational will be the last “practice tournament” all of these students will have before attending Nationals, where there is no turning back.

Next Saturday, we will see if the hard work and effort that went into planning this tournament will help turn it into a success.

Getting Set for Presidents…

If you know me, you know that I have two interests: Academic Games and animation. I’ve been into both for most of my life. The two consume my free time and my work time.

Academic Games can get pretty stressful and take months to truly prepare for–and years to perfect. The same can be said about making animations. On the lighter side, the two activities can be fun and enjoyable. Here’s a little video from a few years back.


I love how this one video is a great teaching tool for kids, a way of preparing for Presidents, and a classic example of animation that should be preserved. I’m pretty stoked that I get to teach the two totally different subjects that I enjoy.

P.S. Don’t take this video verbatim. I mean, really, it’s the Animaniacs.

Posted in New Orleans Presidents by Craig Zeller. No Comments

Merry Christmas Everyone…

Santa ThinkerOK. It’s not quite Christmas, yet, but I’ve been working for the past two weeks on my present to everyone. Some of you have already peaked under the tree to see what it is. Luckily, I’m not Santa, so you’ll still get your gift even if you haven’t been nice.

e-Equations is a Facebook application using my Flash “game” that I have previously posted online. It’s not a fully functioning game right now, but it works if you and a friend want to sit together (at the same PC) and play. My future plans for the game include instructional tutorials for players who are just learning the games; more realistic game play, which would be things like a timer, variations, challenging, and solving the Goal; and turn-based multiplayer functionality, which means you and a Facebook friend could challenge each other in a game of Equations online.

Yes, I will be doing the same thing for On-Sets and Propaganda, in the near future. Presidents, World Events, and LinguiSHTIK are not a blip on my radar right now. If you want to get some practice with Prop and Pres, then I’d suggest going to AGLOA’s Online Learning page to play those game now. If you want to see what other things I’ve been working on, then you can go to my website: FlambeauxStudios.com.

P.S. You can now use your Facebook account to use AbloG. Another Christmas miracle!