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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.

asked 17 Nov '17, 23:53

akshayvenkat97's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


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."

(18 Nov '17, 00:07) utkalsinha6★

@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.

(18 Nov '17, 00:41) vijju123 ♦♦5★

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.

(18 Nov '17, 00:42) akshayvenkat975★

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.

(18 Nov '17, 01:05) utkalsinha6★

@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.

(18 Nov '17, 01:08) utkalsinha6★

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!

(18 Nov '17, 02:18) swetankmodi ♦♦6★

@utkalsinha - Though I do agree your notion about ICPC Reservation helping the society to become better as a whole, denying incentives for the ones who are actually work hard can have a very hard-hitting negative impact in the long run.

(18 Nov '17, 11:05) akshayvenkat975★

I understand that they want to promote icpc and that it is an inter-college competition and all. But why do they need to apply this rule to EACH Indian regional. They could just make 1 team compulsory per college for the entire country and the other seats can be given merit wise. That way 270/500 would be reserved but the rest of the seats will be merit wise.

(18 Nov '17, 19:28) abdullah7686★
showing 5 of 8 show all


Among all the pertaining issues , I believe the organizers at Gwalior site decided to keep a more sensible and fair criteria for selecting teams for the Onsite Round.

Edit: Of course one may argue for the fairness of this criteria as well, but compared to what happened in Kanpur and Amritapuri, this is much fairer.

alt text


answered 18 Nov '17, 13:38

utkarsh1997's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

edited 18 Nov '17, 13:56

This seems good !

(18 Nov '17, 14:06) shashank961★

I think Gwalior's algorithm only seems fair because they had less slots. Because of that less teams filled it and they didn't have to face the scenario where a team has solved 4 questions and is 3rd rank in their college. This algorithm wont work with other sites.

(18 Nov '17, 23:03) shubham_bits6★

Firstly, Gwalior had atleast 160 distinct institutions (which completed registration ofc) and from which at least 1 problem was solved (I checked myself). It isn't less, considering Kanpur had about 170 and it also had more slots. So that point of yours doesn't make sense.

I like to believe they would have given 3rd ranked teams a chance if they had more seats. I think they tried to maximize number of unique participating colleges (ICPC spirit or whatever) while respecting the merit criteria, to some extent.

(19 Nov '17, 11:48) utkarsh19974★

I called it (relatively fair) for 2 reasons:

  1. They didn't blindly select top ranked teams from every college. They set a bar (3 questions initially, then 2 for leftover problems). So this means 1 point alone won't get you a seat.
  2. This gave second ranked teams in an institution, with a respectable score (4 or more) a chance to get qualified.

I saw Chennai's selection criteria, and it's equally fair.

(19 Nov '17, 11:48) utkarsh19974★

I would like to suggest a slight correction, it's not just 240 unique colleges that fill the initially decided 250 slots but to accommodate all the teams solving 1 question the seats were increased so that all 269 unique colleges get a chance to compete. Similarly Kolkata/Kanpur increased their seats to 168 instead of initial 160 to accommodate all single solvers, preference being given to single solvers over the teams solving 5 questions. This has been happening for last many years however this time due to reduction of seats from amrita meritorious teams which could have attended one regional in other years on similar ranks got robbed of the chances.

Secondly why is the onus of increasing awareness only undertaken by amrita and kolkata ? Gwalior and Chennai had their own criterion of reserving some seats for meritorious teams(I fervently support this). Again concealing the rules right till the end forced some teams like ours to jeopardize our chances by going for the regionals which had most seats (Amrita and Kolkata). We were pretty sure of not coming first from any site in our college hence went for the sites with most seats.

We did fairly well in the online round coming 73 in the contest and finishing 3rd in our college. Top two teams from our college very deservingly are going to their respective regionals. Three teams from our college below us due to not filling Kolkata and Amrita are also going regionals. We aren't.


answered 18 Nov '17, 22:49

shubham_bits's gravatar image

accept rate: 57%

edited 18 Nov '17, 23:10


Thats really saddest story mate since two above you and even three below you made it to next round. I agree that they should(and must) make the Selection rules clear before hand since we should be knowing what we are signing up for !
And like chennai went for 90-30 rule ! Amritapuri should have atleast gone with 200-50 rule !

(18 Nov '17, 23:11) pankajkhan5★

We can whine all about the shit is shit.. but so is the education system in India...and so is every damn system in India. Yet we have been living through this.

One thing i have learnt is, whining about the system will only waste your time.


Nothing is going to change for a long time.Welcome to India.

Want to go to regionals??

Here are a few tips.

1) Do not apply for amritapuri.

or 2)Leave the country.

or 3)join a shit college.

or 4)Be the best in your college no matter how shit the contest is.

Plain and simple.

If someone from your college did it, it is because it was possible.Accept it.

PS:my team ranked Top 50 in online round, not selected for amritapuri. :)


answered 19 Nov '17, 20:25

spj_29's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

edited 19 Nov '17, 20:35


Unfair selection criteria + 200 Regional seats reduced is the main cause of all this for the Amritapuri site. Something similar happened at Kanpur (selection of top ranked team from every college).

We had lost our hopes too (top 50 in the Online round, same as you) since in one site we were 3rd, and in the other site we were 2nd. We were equally surprised (and happy) that Gwalior decided to go with a better criteria. Even if we hadn't made it there, I would have been still happy since they didn't select all the one pointers who were supposedly the top ranked teams of their respective college.

(19 Nov '17, 21:24) utkarsh19974★

I feel this problem wouldn't have arised if all sites had declared their selection criteria beforehand.

ICPC is not a very good tournament because it doesn't promote fair competition (good teams always lose out).

Sadly, I also don't know of any team contest 'bigger' than this (probably because there isn't any other). Team contests are fun too :/

(19 Nov '17, 21:27) utkarsh19974★

If someone from your college did it, it is because it was possible.Accept it.

True, but its possible only for one of us, right ? XD [I mean, rank 1 is possible only for 1 team. Then luck and other things start playing dominant role. ]

(19 Nov '17, 22:35) vijju123 ♦♦5★

@vijju123 tip number 4 applies here.. :P

(19 Nov '17, 23:55) spj_296★

Well....XDXD. I cannot find a counter-testcase for your points :p

(20 Nov '17, 00:00) vijju123 ♦♦5★

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 :/

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 :)


answered 18 Nov '17, 00:37

vijju123's gravatar image

5★vijju123 ♦♦
accept rate: 18%


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

(18 Nov '17, 00:43) akshayvenkat975★

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 :p

(18 Nov '17, 00:44) vijju123 ♦♦5★

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

(18 Nov '17, 00:53) sdssudhu6★
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 17 Nov '17, 23:54

akshayvenkat97's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Nov '17, 19:17

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.


answered 18 Nov '17, 01:02

shashank96's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Nov '17, 14:08


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.

(18 Nov '17, 02:19) vijju123 ♦♦5★

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 - to see the name.

(18 Nov '17, 03:12) lebron7★

@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.

(18 Nov '17, 10:13) shashank961★

@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.

(18 Nov '17, 10:16) shashank961★

How does that make someone a "good programmer" ? I am baffled by this point of view of yours, @shashank96

(18 Nov '17, 11:00) akshayvenkat975★

My implication was someone who knows how to code and program to certain extent can easily fool any fool plagiarism detector. As we know there isn’t any program which can check the logic of the code. I didn’t imply that any programmer who can cheat is a good. It was a mere assertion of someone’s capability of understanding a code and refactoring it to avoid plagiarism detection rather than categorising.

(18 Nov '17, 11:42) shashank961★
showing 5 of 6 show all

Lesson learnt. Do not apply to Amritapuri next year :)


answered 19 Nov '17, 20:15

spj_29's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%


(19 Nov '17, 20:17) vijju123 ♦♦5★

May be they want teams of world finals level and after that next 500-600 different colleges to spread awareness about coding in India, so that they will produce quality coders after 10-15 years across all over India. By the way my team iota_decoded (rank around 140), also won't be going to regional this year too :).


answered 18 Nov '17, 19:28

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accept rate: 0%

My suggestion here can be , instead of each region selecting top team from each college, the top team (in the online round)from every college gets seat in whichever region they applied for, and the rest of the seats are allocated merit wise. This way there will be diversity as well as more seats available for teams who performed better but could not achieve top rank in college.


answered 18 Nov '17, 16:42

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accept rate: 0%


I don't want diversity, its the aim of ACM ICPC. Even I could'nt get selected though our rank was 172.

(18 Nov '17, 18:44) ayushtiku55★

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.


answered 18 Nov '17, 00:07

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accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Nov '17, 00:53

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!

(18 Nov '17, 00:16) akshayvenkat975★

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.

(18 Nov '17, 00:46) gooner074★

Hey, guys, I agree with you I understand that you guys did not deserve the things you must deserve, but the thing we must see also This programming etc must be to go to the roots of every institute across the country then only it will stimulate overall development.I give an example of myself, my seniors have some idea regarding the icpc ,but they have not participated since they have not learned things, but I started learning programming ,in the view of preparing for icpc likewise some people also have started to learn with me, in the same way the next level our juniors will also going to learn things ,better than us.If we keep on giving slots only as per ranking then there will be no chance given to others to think about participating in it since at anyways they will not select.Note:You may think that they must have their own interest in doing that,those people who scored most are from top class colleges across country,the level of content given will be different from other low grade colleges according to NACC if we given the others also chance there it will bring some change in institute ultimately every thing goes in development mode. Note:Don't think I am commenting in view I am supporting myself,I am also not shortlisted for onsite round I also secured a good rank in online test.Sorry for those who got hurted with my words.


answered 27 Nov '17, 21:56

syamphanindra's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 27 Nov '17, 21:59

Yes, your opinion , noted , accepted and agreed. Most of the people here are not against the college-first quota as long as there is quota for the well performing teams too. Like Chennai had 75% Slots for College first teams and 25% Slots for well performing teams. May be AMRITAPURI regionals and KOL-KAN regionals could have done the same.

(28 Nov '17, 00:24) pankajkhan5★

Yaa I agree too with you

(29 Nov '17, 23:24) syamphanindra3★

My team 'Sharingan' didn't qualify for the second round ...we had solved two questions and we were the rank 1 team from Vivekanand Education Society's Institute of Technology...instead a team named 'ApplesndOranges' was selected which was second from our college and had solved only 1 question....plz provide proper justification or reevaluate the list


answered 19 Nov '17, 19:10

vrangr's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

maybe they disqualified you due to plagiarism, mail them about this.

(22 Nov '17, 01:40) swetankmodi ♦♦6★

A just similar situation in our college also. @vrangr


answered 20 Nov '17, 02:29

saurabh0612's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Can someone tell total time mentioned in the result of amritapuri region is in which unit?


answered 21 Nov '17, 01:45

shikherjaiswal's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

seconds, if I'm not wrong!

(21 Nov '17, 07:54) akshayvenkat975★

I have seen some People on other sites making similar complain about India that ICPC in order to promote CP is giving so many World finals Slots to India while better teams from stronger countries are missing out.

The Same philosophy is being followed for online rounds too.

PS:- I didnt give ICPC online round so I am not saying whether all of this is right or wrong. Just that whatever complain you are making , same complain is made by some people in stronger countries.


answered 21 Nov '17, 14:40

tssr's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


Honestly, I cant even google out such a discussion. Can you provide link to support your claim?

The Same philosophy is being followed for online rounds too.

In online round, teams solving even cakewalk problem with 10 penalties is qualified. At WF level,even in worst to worst case, the qualified teams would be solving at least 8+ questions from onsite round. The variation of level and reservation hence argues against your post. Then, foreign teams also apply to Indian regionals, so again...

(21 Nov '17, 14:58) vijju123 ♦♦5★

hey man lesson learnt!!


answered 22 Nov '17, 03:09

gresitepisinas's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Just noted this fact - Amritapuri's waiting list has 40 teams under rank 100 ! Now that its past the confirmation time, so most likely all these teams won't get selected.

Link : Amritapuri Waiting list

Note : The contents of the link may get changed over time, but I can't post the screenshot because of the reputation requirement :(


answered 22 Nov '17, 11:16

udayraj_123's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 22 Nov '17, 11:17

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question asked: 17 Nov '17, 23:53

question was seen: 9,160 times

last updated: 29 Nov '17, 23:24