COMMISSIONER'S ACADEMIC CHALLENGE
Florida's Premier High School Academic Competition
About the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge
Since it began in 1986, the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge (CAC) has been a showcase of Florida’s high school academic excellence. Teams representing school districts throughout the state compete for scholarships, championship rings, trophies, medallions, and of course—bragging rights.
Originally started as the Florida Tournament of Academic Excellence by the Polk County Public Schools, the event became the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge when the Florida Department of Education became involved in the early 1990s.
Held each spring, players answer questions from the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish), physical education, health, and technology. New questions are written each year by educators from high schools throughout the state.
Each participating school district selects a team consisting of six high school students (four players with two alternates) and one coach to represent their district. Some teams are made up of students from one school while other teams are made up of students from several schools across the district. For the 2023 tournament, students enrolled in grades 9-12 during the 2022-23 school year are eligible.
The mission of the tournament is to provide a prestigious academic arena in which Florida’s academically-talented high school students are recognized. The CAC takes place each spring at one of the hotel and convention facilities within the Walt Disney World Resort.
District teams compete with other teams in their division, which are based on district size. The Florida High School Athletic Association awards trophies to the first, second, and third place districts in each of the three divisions—and awards medallions to the members of those teams. The Florida sales team of Herff Jones, Inc. awards rings to the members of the championship team in each division.
“Team Florida” consists of six students—one from each of the three division champion team and three chosen from the remaining teams. Each of these students receives a $1,000 scholarship.
2022 tournament sponsors included the Florida Department of Education, Herff Jones Inc., the Florida High School Athletic Association, Slammer Systems, and Aramark Education. Supplying operational support are the Florida School Districts of Pinellas, Polk, and Suwannee Counties. If you would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact tournament director Lisa Rawls.