National Catholic Academic
Junior High Decathlon

In collaboration with the
National Catholic Educational Association

The National Catholic Schools Academic Junior High Decathlon (or AJHD) strives to cultivate academic talents, collaboration and organization, and celebrate them in the context of spirit-filled competition.


Registration is now OPEN through December 2, 2022
Instructions are found on our Join Us tab

Friends of the Decathlon
Please consider a donation – DONATE HERE

A big thank you to St. Augustine High School in San Diego for producing a short marketing video for the Academic Junior High Decathlon. They have been a host for the last several years of the Diocese of San Diego event. Check it out here:

AJHD Marketing Video

National Academic Junior High Decathlon Coordinator

Questions? Please email:

What is the Catholic Academic Junior High Decathlon?

  • The Academic Junior High Decathlon is a one-day competition for Catholic School students in grades 6-8. This year the event will be in-person where available and online/virtual for schools not in the vicinity of an in-person event.
  • Schools register online – 2 options – 1. with 10 students on a team participating in the full day, or 2. with 1-5 students competing in Individual Subject tests only as a POD (Part of Decathlon)
  • There are 10 events:
    • Two are collaborative team efforts – a Logic Quiz with 20 rigorous thinking problems, and a Super Quiz with 50 multiple choice questions on five broad academic themes.
    • The remaining eight events test individual knowledge of the Roman Catholic doctrine, English, Literature, Science, Mathematics, Current Events, Social Studies, and Fine Arts (Art and Music).
  • Topics for these events are available on a Resource List in October.
  • Study Guides (practice tests and guidance) are available for purchase separately, also in October.
  • Awards are given for individual and team performance, and the winning school team from each geographic arch/diocese, and winners of individual subject tests competes in a National championship which is held shortly after the main competition.


The Catholic Schools Academic Decathlon was founded in September of 1989 by Dr. Mark Ryan who was then a junior high teacher at St. Aloysius School in south-central Los Angeles. Dr. Ryan had a vision for an academic event to parallel the athletic competitions so prevalent in schools. What began as a tiny competition involving a handful of schools from the greater Los Angeles area has grown to become a statewide event involving Catholic junior high students from across the United States.

The Decathlon is under the guiding jurisdiction of the California Catholic State Superintendents Curriculum Committee (CCSSCC).

Participating Dioceses:


  • Phoenix


  • Fresno
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Rosa


  • Denver


  • Joliet

North Carolina

  • Raleigh

South Dakota

  • Rapid City

Rhode Island

  • Providence


  • Richmond

Participating Dioceses