DECA Area moves online

Rachel Matteson, News Editor

What defines the DECA* Area** experience?

 It’s the anticipation of sitting in the crowd waiting to hear your event and name as your competitors’ names are called one by one. It’s the wave of relief that washes over you when you finally hear your name and your friends high-five you as you get up to approach the side of the stage. It’s the feeling of knowing you were a top performer when you receive the medal being strung around your neck upon arrival.

It’s that rush of adrenaline when you finally step on stage and you can see the hundreds of DECA members from Area 4 sitting in the crowd. And it’s the sense of accomplishment as the Liberty student section cheers when you place for the first time and receive a second medal, signifying that you were one of the only nine competitors who moved on to DECA State in your event.

But what happens to the DECA Area experience when everything turns to an online setting? This is the problem Liberty’s DECA members are facing now: Area 4’s competition is officially moving online. 

“The biggest thing that’s changed is the presentations. Rather than being presented real-time and in front of the judges, they’re all going to be recorded. This will give students the opportunity to re-record as many times as they would like before they choose the final recording,” DECA teacher Chris Gapinski said.

While categories such as the pre-planned presentations will be making minor changes (like not allowing the judges to ask questions at the end of the presentation), other events will be undergoing more drastic shifts. 

“Normally, in case studies and roleplays, students get their scenario when they first sit down and are given 10 to 30 minutes to prepare, but this year they will be getting the scenario ahead of time,” Gapinski said. “The exact time frame hasn’t been decided yet, but they will have longer to prepare. It’ll most likely be closer to a day.”

Other than the changes being made to the separate events, new members are completely missing out on the Area experience. 

“DECA Area online won’t even come close to the excitement and the anticipation that in-person Area would have for any new or returning member. It will definitely be a new experience,” senior DECA member Maddie Plowman said. 

Even though Area competition will definitely look different this year, students are still looking forward to it.

DECA members’ skills are still tested by Area, and it can be used as a benchmark to see how well students react to putting their knowledge to the test, even if they don’t advance to state competition,” senior DECA member Trevor Wong said. “That’s what I think is special about Area: it gives all members a chance to experience the core of DECA competition,”. 



*DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. It is an association of marketing students and encourages the development of business and leadership skills.

**Area competition is the first competition competitors must pass to go through to State. Washington is broken up to 12 different Areas. Liberty is a part of Area 4.