GAD Coaches’ Manual

The Coaches Manual is being revised for the 2023-24 school year. 

The pages included in each section are listed below the section heading. You can download all of the pages within a tabbed section by clicking on the title of that section.

Cover and Notebook Tabs

Cover Page
Labels for Tabs (2 versions)
p. i Table of Contents
p. iii How to Use This Manual

Contact Information/Names and Dates

p. 1 Advisory Board
p. 2 Competition Coordinators
p. 3 USAD/State Officials
p. 4 Competition Dates
p. 5 Calendar

Background Information

p. 6 GAD History
p. 8 How the Decathlon Works
p. 9 To the AD Coach

Registration/Team Eligibility/Study Strategies

p. 10 District Registration
p. 11 Team Selection
p. 13 Team Eligibility
p. 18 Examples of Accepted/Unaccepted Courses
GPA Calculation Information (links to GPA section on USAD website)
p. 20 Request for Student Replacement

p. 21 Academic Elective Course
p. 23 Study Strategies
p. 25 Additional Study Strategies

District Competition

p. 27 Conducting a District-level AD Program


p. 29 What Tests to Take?
Test Dates Notification Form (online)
p. 30 Guidelines for District-level Testing
p. 31 USAD Calculator Policy
p. 32 Testing Answer Form


p. 31 Essay
p. 35 Judging Essay and Rubric Explanation
p. 36 Essay Practice Prompts


p. 37 Interview
p. 38 How Interview is Judged
p. 40 Interview – Sample Topics
p. 41 Tips for Constructing a Resume
p. 42 Interview – Sample Resumes
p. 44 Interview -Sample Schedule
Interview Scantron


p. 45 Speech
p. 46 Prepared Speech
p. 48 Speech – Coaching Tips
p. 50 Speech Descriptors
p. 51 Impromptu Preparation
p. 54 Speech “Toastmasters” Tips
p. 55 Speech Evaluation Form
p. 56 Timing Cards
p. 59 Sample Speech Schedule
Showcase Speeches

Super Quiz

p. 60 Super Quiz – Relay
p. 61 Super Quiz – Scoring


p. 62 Explanation of Scoring
p. 63 Scoring Tips
p. 64 Division Groupings
p. 65 Wild Card Invitational
p. 66 Wild Card-Directions for Calculating Scores
Wild Card Self-calculating Excel Spreadsheet (This .xls file includes instructions and a sample spreadsheet)

State Competition

p. 71 Teams Advancing to State Competition
p. 73 Code of Student Conduct
p. 74 Dress Code
p. 75 General Rules
p. 76 State Competition – Identification Numbers
Volunteer Form (online form)

Sample Documents

Pages in this section are samples only. Please use the updated pages found in the Forms and State Competition Registration Packet sections of the website (will be updated every January). If a link to an online form isn’t active the form is probably not updated yet. 

p. 77 Competition Schedule
p. 78 Directions
p. 79 Parkview Campus Map
Intent to Participate (online form)
Preliminary Team Roster (online form)
p. 80 Return Cover Sheet
p. 81 Coach’s Agreement
p. 82 Team Registration
p. 84 Request for Special Needs/Consideration
p. 85 Student Registration
p. 86 GPA Worksheet Instructions
GPA Excel Worksheet (links to USAD website)
p. 88 Awards Banquet Reservations
p. 89 Hotel Room Registration Information
p. 90 Hotel Rooming List
Media Information (online form)
T-Shirt Order (online form)
p. 18 Request for Student Replacement
p. 35 Essay Practice Prompts
p. 41-42 Sample Resumes
p. 59 Sample Speech Schedule
p. 43 Sample Interview Schedule


GAD Honor Cord Order Form – links to online store

USAD Content Standards

USAD Online Testing & Training Center