UMDCYL: Cybergames Youth League


Join us for an informational livestream on Wednesday, November 16th at 3:45 PM! We'll talk about the UMDCYL -- what it is, how it works, and how you can get involved. You can ask your questions in a chat window during the live stream, and the stream will be stored for later review.

The UMDCYL is like a combination between a robotics and programming competition, where students in each school collaborate to design and program solutions to web-based games. In each of the six league matches, your school's program will be pitted against those of the other participants to see whose program makes the most points.

The winner of the season will be the school with the best record following the matches. Games are exciting, challenging, intellectually stimulating and fun. It teaches students some programming basics and, through cooperation with their teammates and competition with other schools, encourages them to create sophisticated designs with limited resources.

Everything is online and only requires a web browser. As a result, there should be no expense to your school to participate. To illustrate, we had 40+ middle and high school students come through and create programs in 5-15 minutes each during UMD's Science Day 2016 this October.

Each school will be given access to their own play-testing arena where your students can work on their own programs. Schools can manage their teams as formally or informally as they like and can have as many students as are interested. For example, your team could be an after school group, a group that meets during a relevant class, a free period, or over lunch time. Students can easily work independently at home.

However you choose to run your team, each school must choose and submit one program -- typically the highest scoring one your school develops -- for each league match. The programs submitted by each school will run in parallel over a number of rounds to see which program scores the most points in the given challenge.

After the season's completion, UMD will host the "UMDCYL Invitational" on campus where students can get awards, meet each other, play matches in person, enjoy free food, win prizes, and listen to speakers. The UMDCYL is being funded through a UMD outreach grant, so during the event we will meet with team coaches, advisors and other interested parties to get feedback and discuss ideas for future outreach programs.

We will be inviting all high schools in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin to participate and would love to add your school to the league.

Would you be interested in coaching or advising a group at your school? Do you know a teacher or community member that might be? Do you need anything from us to help get you going? If you have any questions about the UMD Cybergames Youth League, please don't hesitate to contact me at or 218-726-7988.