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Americanism Committee Announces Changes to the Contests
Before reading this article, it is advised that the reader go the NSSAR website and pull up the new score sheet for reference while reading this article. The link to the score sheet can be found at www.sar.org/Commmittees/Americanism.
Over the past two years the National Americanism Committee has spent a large amount of time discussing and reformatting the document used to record points for the Americanism and President General’s Streamer contests. This process has led to multiple formats of the score sheet using different computer programs.
During this same time frame, a number of new categories were added and a number of loopholes were unintentionally created. Due to the growing size and complexity of the score sheet, the National Medals & Awards Committee and many individual members expressed concern over this complexity and illogical layout of the form.
To that end, a special subcommittee was appointed to review the score sheet to close as many loopholes as possible. During this process, the subcommittee determined it would also be beneficial to address the size of the score sheet and to determine a single format for the score sheet.
The resulting score sheet was published on the National website during the second quarter of 2010. The score sheet is in Microsoft EXCEL format so that the simple act of data entry will result in the posting and calculation of points that are earned. These points are then totaled and reported on a single cover sheet.
For ease of use, a single score sheet format has been retained to record and calculate the points for the three different contests that the National Americanism Committee administers:
- The Liberty Bell (chapter level) and Allene Wilson Groves (state level) Americanism Contest which measures how the chapter or state society meets the stated SAR goals in programming for the general public.
- The President General’s Streamer Contest which measures how the chapter or state society meets the stated SAR goals in terms of administrative functions or support of collateral organizations.
- The President General’s Cup which is awarded to the chapter that demonstrates the best overall program with respect to the Americanism and President General’s Streamer contests as measured on a per capita basis.
Expectations of the New Score Sheet
To that end, the new score sheet seeks to meet the following goals:
- Provide space for specific data entry that documents activities that generate the reported points
- Reduce the number of pages/tabs on which data entry is required
- Group certain categories together in a logical format so that a single event can be recorded on a single page/tab
- Increase the number of chapters that are eligible for consideration in the President General’s Cup Contest by reducing the number of categories
- Close all loopholes by providing specific directions as well as clarify verbiage defining what it takes to generate points so as to remove an unintended emphasis on “just generating points”
- Standardize the way points are calculated across all tabs (specifically, color guard participation)
So What has Changed
The primary changes to the score sheet are of three types.
- Standardization of language across all tabs, specifically using the same word to describe the same thing on multiple tabs.
- Standardization of reporting across all tabs, specifically if the same type of activity (i.e. color guard participation) can be reported on multiple tabs, then the same format is used on each tab.
- Clarification of rules and guidelines so that loopholes are closed, specifically the inclusion of language that prohibits the consideration of the same event within multiple categories (i.e. a grave marking that could be construed as a special observance)
In addition to these types of changes, a Summary Page has been included which provides an expanded listing of the rules and guidelines as they relate to the completion of an entry and the various contests. Also included on this page are specific criteria regarding what is considered a valid entry and the deadline for submission.
With respect to the valid entry definition,