Get Involved > Start a Team

Start a Team

It always starts with one. Whether you’re a freshman who just heard about the program on Facebook, or a teacher who once competed yourself, you can be the person who brings Academic Decathlon to life at a new school.

The big picture is simple:  recruit a team to explore a theme, ten exciting events at a time.

If you’re a student, look for friends who are up for a challenge. Remind those thinking about college applications that starting a new Academic Decathlon team can be just as compelling a story as winning a national championship. It’s not what you’ve won, but what you’ve done. Once you have your first recruits, you might set up a club. If so, you’ll want to find a faculty advisor—a coach. You’ll also need to ask your school for permission to try a new activity, especially if it involves travel.

If you’re a teacher, look for that first student, one with curiosity, drive, and a bit of spunk. He or she can help you find a second. And a third.  

There are lot of rules to learn—about how scoring works, about how to divide up a team, about how to give a speech—but, for now, don’t sweat the details. You don’t need a complete team the first time you participate, and you don’t need to learn every subject or medal in every event. The big picture is simple: recruit a team to explore a theme, ten exciting events at a time.

As you get organized, be sure to reach out to the program director in your state, or to someone at the national organization. You’ll be given more details on where and how to participate locally, and help with meeting the eligibility guidelines. Your first event might be online, or it might be a regional meet bringing together dozens of schools. Either way, no matter how you do, you’ll have taken the first step toward mastering the program—and toward building a new tradition at your school.

Please contact Academic Decathlon for details or contact your state director.