Youth Coding League (YCL)

The Youth Coding League turns ‘coding’ into a team-based spectator sport that is both entertaining to watch and fun to compete in.  

The Youth Coding League is a competitive after school coding program for middle school students. Student teams work along with coaches to prepare for a final, spectator-friendly coding competition at the end of the season.  Students learn computer programming basics with the language Python, completing a game as a team using all of the skills they learn along the way. Industry mentors, typically current software developers, are also available to provide additional support and guidance to League teams.
Are you a parent or school interested in learning more? Contact Beth Casagrand, Director, Youth Programs, at

Youth Coding League FAQ

How do teams work?

Teams are made up of students in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. Each League team can have between three and six students. Each team must also have a coach, typically either a teacher, parent, or volunteer.  Coaches do not need to know Python but should be comfortable in following lesson plans. The fall season kicks off in September.  Teams meet at least once a week for an hour, leading up to the competition in January.

Who can coach at YCL team?

Each team is responsible for finding a coach, typically a teacher, parent, or other volunteer. GlobalHack will provide training as well as an easy-to-implement curriculum for all League coaches. Coding or technology knowledge is preferred but not required to coach — we ask that the coach is open and willing to learn along with their team. For coaches that have no coding experience, we will pair the team with an experienced mentor who is willing to lend extra help.

How long does the season last?

The League season will begin in August and last until the competition on January 25. Teams will meet on a weekly basis, but may meet more frequently closer to competitions.

How much does participation in the YCL cost?

The cost is $250 per team. There are a limited amount of scholarships available for schools and youth organizations in which 50% of the student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch. Please contact Beth at for more information.

How does a school sign up to be part of the YCL?

We have a limited number of spots. Please contact Beth Casagrand at for more information.

Can I be a Youth Coding League mentor?

Industry professionals, serving as mentor volunteers, are an important part of the Youth Coding League! We are always looking for individuals with a strong coding and teaching background to help out our teams.  Please contact Beth Casagrand at for more information and to sign up to be a volunteer.

What can I expect at the YCL competition on January 25?

Part competition, part collaboration— the students’ coding knowledge will be demonstrated in a spectator-friendly manner. Students are scored on four separate areas.  They present their final game project, their code is reviewed and scored, they demonstrate their skills in a live coding challenge, and they participate in a teamwork challenge.  

What will teams learn during YCL?

YCL participants learn a programming language called Python. By the end of the program, they will have learned to write a fully functional game from scratch. They will learn computer science concepts like variables, data types, expressions, if/else statements, and loops. It is our goal that participants gain confidence with their knowledge of technology and coding during the program and grow inspired to continue learning beyond the YCL.

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