ICPC 2017 Results - But Why?

Hello Codechef Community,

I had earlier recorded my thoughts about the online round, and the subsequent calls for a “recontest” , here (LINK)

With some of the regional sites releasing the results today, I just thought I’d record my conception of the same here.

Amritapuri has 250 slots, and almost 230-240 unique colleges have been invited. This is ABSURD! Yes, the spirit of ICPC is to spread the idea of programming far and wide, but is this move going to backfire in the long run? There are teams who have secured a rank > 2000 in the list and qualified, but teams that came within 100 ranks in the original rank list, lose out simply because they couldn’t attain the “college first” rank.

I, for one, gave Competitive Programming my everything for the past one year, in the hope of performing well in ICPC. There are many many others who do the same, but ultimately lose out on this because of this dubious selection criteria.

What happens if they give up on competitive programming because of this? I know there’s an argument that one shouldn’t materialistically do CP for the purpose of results in contests, but come on! Losing a coveted spot at the regionals because of no fault of theirs, seems to be extremely hard to digest.

Maybe having a certain slot (50-60% of the seats) reserved for the college-first teams, and giving the rest to other well performing colleges ought to be an option. But not many regionals seem to be following this, this is a huge loss to the community.

With the selection of online round questions being a little queer, and selection criteria becoming a tight leash, ICPC is losing its sheen in my opinion.


Will update as and when the other sites upload their results :

Amritapuri : https://icpc.amrita.ac.in/2017/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/selectedteams.pdf

Kolkata : http://icpckolkata.in/teams-selected-for-onsite-round/

Kharagpur : http://acm.iitkgp.ac.in/selectedforonsite_2017.pdf

Gwalior : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0r9LajL0nPhcnk4SVlWN3hTT3hKenB4cG9LbHlHZXMzOFdF/view

Chennai : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1A5alb4B29hs4BFzPDWgHOp-NGzBU91EV

EDIT: Chennai and Gwalior have declared results as well.


On the flip side, it is also justified in a way. It’s obvious that one in better CP environment colleges would do well and hence tough competition. But a top performer from a college with low CP environment also has to be praised as despite his situation, he is performing in CP and didn’t lose faith against the typical notion “CP is only for tier 1-2 college students.” Else, it would be like all qualifiers would be from the same college. We are living in a democratic society whose moto is “Sabka saat, Sabka vikas.”


I can understand where you’re coming from, and I’d be devastated too, had I been in your shoes and lost a coveted spot to a team that barely managed to get 1 of the questions correct.
But the thing is when we decide to participate in a contest we are signing up for all the rules that come attached with them, in ICPC’s case it’s an international collegiate programming contest, so they are not really interested in the best teams, but in the best team from a particular college, just like how it was in inter school competitions back in our schooling days, when every school could only field one team in an inter-school comp, irrespective of some being “superior” to other schools or how it’s in the qualification for FIFA World Cup where every region has some fixed spots, just because Europe has better teams than say, Asia, Italy can’t cry foul because they had to go through a higher level of competition.

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I very much understand the scheme of this, buddy. But it really is dubious, that almost 240 unique colleges are fielded out of 250! Oh come on, they are fielding only Brazil from the South American Region, and completely neglecting Argentina,Uruguay,Chile and everybody else to field Oceania and Tunisia!

To be quite honest, ICPC doesnt hold much charm to me. The only experience, which I was looking forward to, was that this a team contest- and I did got to learn a lot from my team mate @segtree .

Amritapuri at least had decency of giving slots to teams solving all 5, so they at least showed a kind gesture to merit here.

Maybe having a certain slot (50-60% of the seats) reserved for the college-first teams, and giving the rest to other well performing colleges ought to be an option. But not many regionals seem to be following this, this is a huge loss to the community.

Yeah, even I thought this would make sense, but what can we do about the system :confused:

Also, when you know that the criteria of selection isnt exactly merit, at least for me then that contest doesnt hold much priority. I would rather participate in some other contest where theres no reservation of any kind. (Well, 1 seat per college is a kind of reservation XD).

Theres nothing to feel devastated of dear, just enjoy whatever experience you can get, try harder next time. Wish you best :slight_smile:


@utkalsinha , while I agree to your points, let me clear one thing up. CP does not depend so much at college, but on your own personal practice. So yeah, you should understand why he feels that way when he sees a team doing cakewalk problem with 10+ penalties gets selected.


Okay, then consider this. A bunch of guys, who decide to apply for a contest for the sake of it, solve a single solitary problem that requires literally NO knowledge of CP or its concerned attributes, and still get the hotseat compared to someone who worked their asses off throughout the year.


“Well, 1 seat per college is a kind of reservation” Lol! Our society is moving towards reservation in everything goddamit! -_-


Yes, and hence I urge you not to be upset. Your talent is what will help you ultimately. In case you feel too depressed, get a coding partner. I bet winning laddus every long is <3 as well :stuck_out_tongue:

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Great analogy that, and just to make myself clear, I do agree with you, teams solving just one question and making it to the on-site round is preposterous.

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@akshayvenkat97 Don’t worry there are many competitions like hackercup, codejam round the corner. You can showcase ur talent there.

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Lemme explain to you why the rule is completely justified.

The name of the competition is International Collegiate Programming Contest. Collegiate by defination means “Involving a college”, So it involves colleges and not teams or students. It is an Inter-College Event. It is not named as International Programming Contest or an Olympiad. Colleges compete in this competition, not a student or a team. It is not about diversity but rather the basic philosophy of the competition which is Inter-College. When multiple teams are allowed from a single college, it is basically to fill slots rather than giving the opportunity to the best (coincidently it serves the purpose). Remember all those inter-school competitions (Debates, elocution, cricket, football?. Every school sent their best teams.
Online rounds are not for selecting best teams, but best colleges who can field their teams (Coincidently again the procedure of selecting best colleges also serves in selecting best teams from that college). So everyone who is complaining about this rule is questioning the very basic philosophy of this competition.

Online Round is not really part of the regional, it is to make the job of the participating colleges easier, and is just used as a medium. It is not technically the contest. Online contest is to help identify the best team from the college. Doing it for all colleges at once also helps ranking the college. I will explain you the format.

Online Round = Intra College (May the best team from College qualify)

Regional = Inter College (Official Competition, May the best college from the region win)

World Finals = Inter College (The Grand Finale, May the best college in the world win)

And you are forgetting, if there isn’t best team from college rule, what is to stop from all teams sitting together and coding and increasing their chances. Online Competition cannot keep check from such kind of plagiarism.

Compare this with football, Italy didn’t qualify but Japan did for the World Cup.

There are a lot of better teams around the world and yet Indian teams get World Final slots. If it was about the best teams around the world, I ain’t sure if India will have as many teams in the world finals. So all those teams crying foul about the rules, know that you have other competitions like Code Jam, Snackdown, Hacker Cup to showcase your skills. This is a college competition, not a team or individual event.

All my points are made with reference to this site

Institutions may send …

So you see, like I have mentioned. It is colleges who must send their best teams.

ICPC is a two tier contest

Officially the online round is not part of the ICPC, though the registration is in the ambit of ICPC, that maybe due to multiple reasons. But again it is a two-tier contest.

P.S: Personally I do agree there has to be a minimum criteria (2/3 problems solved) but the one team per college rule is justified. Though you can increase the quality of the colleges participating.


I can totally understand your situation. I’m not against your pov. I was just saying that a high contrast policy might also be equally dubious. You can understand my side if you understand the true reason behind Indian reservation system. There are pros and cons on moving with the mass. Personally, I would consider a nation is good at competitive programmer only if the majority of its coders are >= average rather than a couple of people doing extremely good.


@vijju123 even if the top performer solves only a cakewalk problem, he is the only one who has solved it fast enough from his college. So, he is compared to his/her college peers. For them, he is a hero. What you are saying is typically just like the way 7 stars rated coder thinks about 5 stars rated coders as the ones who have just started considering CP seriously. My views are for the ICPC setting, however, my best wishes to @akshayvenkat97 for other top contests like the upcoming CodeJam 2018.


apply the same logic to World Finals, (countries sending people who solve 1 odd problem end up wasting slots at WFs) and India will be awarded less or no slots at all then!

if there isn’t best team from college rule, what is to stop from all teams sitting together and coding and increasing their chances. 

Our own chef’s plagiarism checker. Lol XD. Its not as inefficient as you think, its just that @admin is lenient when handling these cases.

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Your answer is wrong from the very beginning - name of the competition is “International Collegiate Programming Contest”, which is quite different from “Inter College” stuff you made up. You may check official site - https://icpc.baylor.edu/ to see the name.


@lebron . My bad, I got a bit confused with Collegiate defination and other stuff. I just wrote about what I thought. The rules, the name and the entire idea of representing a college rather than a country or a team points towards what I wrote. I don’t know except the name (which was a honest confusion and mix up with the idea of the competition that I had in mind and the name, I made the correction) my entire answer still stands.

@vijju123 I am not talking about sharing codes, I am talking about sharing logics.
But even if we share codes, A good programmer can change the entire code and avoid detection by any plagiarism checker by changing each and every line.