SCUSA Region
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2018 ACM ICPC South Central USA Regional Programming Contest
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SCUSA Site Hosting Information

The South Central USA Regional Programming Contest desperately needs more sites! Potential contestants/schools should not be turned away. Many of us could host. Below is information about hosting:

Overview of SCUSA

SCUSA is a distributed contest. This means that instead of every team going to a single site, we have multiple sites across the region where teams can go and compete. We changed to distributed to reduce travel time and cost for competitors in hopes that it would increase participation.

For this model to work, we need places willing to host a site. For the last several years, we have filled all available seats at the each site. While it might be nice if each site could handle more teams, having more sites is very desirable.

The SCUSA Regional is usually scheduled for a Friday/Saturday towards the end of October or at the beginning of November. Doing it earlier makes getting teams difficult for many schools. Mid-November is the deadline imposed by ICPC. Even though this is an academic event, we are often impacted by athletic events. In particular, home football games quite often prevent a campus from hosting a student activity that weekend (LSU, Baylor, Texas A&M for example). The actual choice of date becomes the weekend near the month change that the most most schools can host (LSU as the judging site cannot have a home game).

For example, based on 2016 projected football schedule LSU can host October 28/29 (home games the week before and after). Texas A&M has a home game.

Site Director Responsibilities

The Site Director is the person who runs everything at the site. One person can do it all or they can utilize as many assistants as they would like (and can get). Delegating where feasible is a great plan. Below is a rough list of responsibilities. In reality, you have to do everything it takes to make things happen.

Space Requirements

Hosting a site means a general meeting room, a place to eat and a competition area. Here are some criteria that each area needs to meet.

Computer and Network Requirements

Obviously the teams will need computers to compete with. These need to be site supplied. If they were competitor supplied by the competitors, it would be difficult to ensure security.

We will generate a USB image that can boot your systems and communicate over wired ethernet (appropriate for use in an existing lab). Here are the minimum requirements for a contestant machine. The key runs self contained (no changes needed to host system).

You will need to provide us the ip address of your printer and the make and model so that we can configure the image properly.

If you do static networking instead of DHCP, we will need a list of ip addresses and mac addresses to customize the image with.

We are currently working to add support for NFS home space if you would prefer that instead of home being on the USB key.

In the future we will probably provide the USB keys. Unless a funding source (read a sponsor) is found, you will need to retain the keys for reuse each year. We will provide the key, the image and the instructions and support for getting the image on the keys (you will need a few volunteers to help with that process).

The contestants use web browsers to view documentation (port 80) and use secure web to submit (port 443). An additional port can be used for remote communication (configuration management). We will handle adapting the firewalls on the contestant machines to ensure that internet access is not available during contests. They will need network access to the printer.

Benefits

So far, it starts to look like hosting a site is all work and no fun. Here is a list of some of the benefits. If you can think of other benefits (or suggestions), please let us know.

Since you run your own site, you might have another opportunity. You might decide that your site can support 18 teams acceptably. You may be able to add an extra team or two of your own in sub-standard location. In other words, you might be able to add an extra young team or two by putting them in locations that would not be suitable for guests or having them use equipment that is different or less capable.