The Tiger Speech and Drama Forensics Team is currently in Phoenix, Arizona for Nationals. This tournament has over 6,000 students competing in it and is split up by event in different schools and venues around Phoenix.
The first two days consist of three students competing in a West Kansas District-wide debate team; these students are competing in what is called a “Worlds School Debate”. This means that teams from all over the world are competing. They competed against a Canadian team yesterday. Their judges also judged teams from China and Mexico. Teams from Africa, Singapore, and Taiwan, as well as states all over the U.S., are at the competition. Megan Blackburn, coach of the forensics team, said, “All of the motions are to be answered with what is best for the world and not be US-centric-which is really hard to do.” These motions include things such as artificial intelligence and its effect on the workforce, establishing a permanent host city for the Winter Olympics, and more.
Teams from the West Kansas District include students from Garden City, Maize, Nickerson, Salina South, and Clay Center. Debaters are selected by the district committee coaches based on who will represent the district best. The three students competing in Worlds are Morgan Peters, Audrey Reh, and Brie Smith. Blackburn was one of the district coaches selected for the Worlds Team.
Yesterday, the students debated using only impromptu motions. “The motions are announced one hour before the teams debate,” Blackburn shared. The students work in teams of five, but only three actually speak in the rounds. No electronic devices are allowed while preparing and the Worlds format must be used to write the entire case within an hour. Then, the students begin the debate for that case.
Blackburn shared that if the team doesn’t break to out rounds, they will then move on to a different competition called supplements event. Morgan Peters and Brie Smith will be competing in poetry. Audrey Reh will be competing in impromptu speaking. Corvus Williams and GeriAnne Meals will compete in supplemental using poetry they wrote and will be performing it starting today.