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.