April 9, 2013 8:48 AM Subscribe
Last week Emporia State University won the National Debate Tournament for the first time. Ryan Wash and Elijah Smith won the round over Northwestern's Peyton Lee and Arjun Vellayappan in a close 3-2 decision. (link goes to a video of the round)
This makes them the first team ever to win both the Cross-Examination Debate Association national tournament and the NDT, the two policy debate tournaments which name national champions. (The NDT is an invite-only tournament; CEDA's national tournament is an open-entry tournament. Many teams that attend the NDT skip CEDA's tournament, making the feat of a double championship even less likely.)
If you're unfamiliar with policy debate, here's what you need to know: Two teams of two debaters each compete in a round. One side - the affirmative - advocates a resolution by proposing a test case; the other side - the negative - opposes the resolution by arguing against the affirmative team. This year's resolution is "Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power." Emporia State's affirmative only slightly addresses the resolution, which is not uncommon in contemporary policy debate.
Read the text of Emporia State's "Home" affirmative
The "Home" argument is essentially an evolution of the "project" style of debate pioneered by Louisville
, where a team argues that policy debate is exclusionary and asks the judge to vote to endorse minority participation in debate.
read judge Scott Harris's 11-page ballot here: (.doc format
) or here: (as a web page
Read a summary of Harris's ballot
The tournament was also notable for Georgetown University's team going undefeated in the prelim rounds, without a single judge voting against them until the elims. This feat is rare and was last done in the early 90s by an Iowa team.
Previously on the Blue - critical policy debate