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Unfolding the Future of America's Children

The National Academic League® motivates and recognizes academic athletes much like their athletic peers. By successfully combining the important aspects of team sports -- such as competitiveness, strategy, teamwork and cooperation in a group effort -- with important aspects of learning -- such as problem solving, critical thinking and scholarship -- the NAL® generates the same popular enthusiasm and pride as do sports teams. It's cool to be smart! 

Making role models of young scholars has a tremendous peer-group effect that is positive throughout the schools. NAL® students gain essential skills and experiences that they carry with them throughout their lives. NAL® games promote educational soundness. Students learn how to learn and by extension how to work and become successful, productive adults. All levels of students can compete. Participating students are honored for their scholarly endeavors with trophies, medals, and recognition as well as peer and community attention. By each season's end, each league has determined a champion school that participates in the National Tournament conducted through video conferencing NAL® -

The History
The NAL® was founded by Drs. Terrel H. Bell and Donna L. Elmquist. Donna Elmquist, Ph.D. is President of Terrel H. Bell and Associates, and is an educational author and researcher and public school and university educator. Dr. Bell served as the U.S. education leader under three presidents. When serving as U.S. Secretary of Education in the Reagan Administration, Dr. Bell commissioned the report A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform that launched the school reform movement. In their book How to Shape Up Our Nation's Schools, Drs. Bell and Elmquist first described the concept of building a network of academically competitive leagues to rival interscholastic athletic competitions. In 1991, they launched the pilot program in Salt Lake City, Utah to bring substance to their vision. As we look back, we take great pride in the legacy we have built to motivate and recognize academic athletes across the nation. Each year, the regular season begins in October and continues through February. Across the nation, schools compete with one another to determine the champion of their league. Each champion school moves into the the National Championship tournament that begins in March. This exciting single elimination tournament, played using distance-learning facilities, results in a NAL® champion team.

Contact Us

We Love to Hear From You!

We invite you to send us your pictures, items of interest, media publicity, testimonials, and anything else you would like to share.

We also invite you to share strategies and tactics you use with your teams. Let us know how you use the NAL® Study Book©, or which web sites you find most useful. Now we're not asking you to give away all your secrets, but won't you share your ideas, tips and suggestions for coaches and players?

NAL Email Address

[email protected]

National Office

National Academic League©
2223 S. Highland Drive, Suite E6-123
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
TEL: 801-554-9031
FAX: 888-217-7999

501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation

The National Academic League© is a program of Terrel H. Bell & Associates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The NAL® depends on individual and corporate contributions. Sponsors receive recognition nationally and in their local communities for supporting their schools. Many school districts are interested in participating, but need sponsorship from local businesses, organizations, and parents. If you would like information about participating, contributing, or sponsoring a team, please contact us.