SCU Finalists Los Altos Dembner & Herman and Champions Shah & Solanki.
The Year of the Hybrid?
Will this be the year that a hybrid team finishes atop the POI rankings? Will this be the last year that SCU breaks to octos?
Archibishop Mitty/Cupertino duo Jigar Shah & Hersh Solanki, debating under the Brooks Academy flag, are making a strong case that this might be their year. Shah & Solanki followed up their terrific performance at the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational by running the table in prelims at the November 21-23 D-C Invite, racking up a 6-0 record and the #2 seed heading into the octafinal round. Competing in the single-largest field ever entered at D-C, Shah & Solanki defeated Irvington and Saratoga before facing off against Evergreen Abushama & Cochinwala in a highly anticipated semifinal round. The Brooks duo dropped the Evergreen powerhouse, and current #1 POI ranked team, on a 3-0 before locking horns with Los Altos Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman in finals. Shah & Solanki emerged from finals with a 2-1 split and the 2014 Dempsey-Cronin title. Evergreen's Basil Abushama was named top speaker in a field of 196 debaters. POI is pleased to note that 10 of the 16 teams breaking to elims were comprised of debaters who (1) attended the POI Debate Institute or Winter Workshop or (2) are coached by POI Debate Institute or Winter Workshop staff.
Full tournament results can be found here.
Concerns Regarding the Break
This years iteration of the Dempsey-Cronin Invitational saw 98 teams entered into open with a particularly brutal break to 16 (16.3% of the total field). The tournament also saw 88 teams entered into novice parli with the same 16-team break (18.2% of the total field). Participants could not avoid feeling or experiencing the collective discontent that comes with having most 4-2 teams (21 out of 25 went home after round 6) being shut out from making a run for the SCU title. The overly thin parsing of advancing teams from the pack saw some worthy competitors on the outside looking in. Of particular note are 2014 UOP champs Sonoma Academy Greenberg & Kolling with the #17 seed and NPDI finalist Sierra Maciorowski (hybriding with O'Dowd's Sophia Yau-Weeks) with the 18 seed. POI hopes that next year SCU will add elimination rounds or cap its field size. SCU's popularity has exploded in the parli community but its current field size-to-break ratio doesn't do justice to the tournament or to its competitors.
CPC Adds New Tournament
The colored paper circuit added a new fall tournament to compete directly against the "anything goes" D-C parli behemoth with the November 21-22 debut of the Colt Classic at James Logan High School. Parli at this newest CPC invite saw 20 teams (whisper-prepping in airplane mode under the Bentham-gaze of a prep room proctor) compete in five prelims with a break to quarters (to D-C: that's a real break of 40% of the total field btw). Emerging victorious in the end was Monta Vista's Jain & Rosenthal who defeated Lowell's Sutton & White on a 2-1 split. While POI did receive a copy of the elim bracket and results, we have no additional information regarding the tournament as Colt has not published its results or provided a packet.