On October 21, the annual Claremont Bargain Belt Invitational at Claremont High School ended with a final round between Los Osos' Ryan Nam & Joseph Naseib and Redlands' Mohan Dasari & Ishaan Shrivastav. Negating the resolution, “The United States Federal Government would decrease its nuclear arsenal,” Nam & Naseib won the round on a 3-0 decision, arguing that the affirmation’s plan of distributing nuclear weapons to U.S. allies disproportionately favors countries with better economic and technological potential.

Left to right: Ryan Nam & Joseph Naseib and Mohan Dasari & Ishaan Shrivastav pose before finals. Image courtesy of Redlands' Richard Hu. 

Left to right: Ryan Nam & Joseph Naseib and Mohan Dasari & Ishaan Shrivastav pose before finals. Image courtesy of Redlands' Richard Hu. 

The name “Bargain Belt” derives from the purpose of the tournament: providing a cheap and accessible opportunity for all southern California debaters. The tournament does not charge a school-wide entry fee, and provides free lunch to all competitors, judges, and coaches.

While the tournament split up most of the debate events between novice and open divisions, parliamentary debate was once again offered only in a single open division with four preliminary rounds, marking this as the fifth year the tournament has lacked a novice division. With 25 entries representing 13 different schools, this year’s parliamentary division broke the top 32% of competitors into the quarterfinals round. 

Due to the large numbers of competitors in other events and a lack of available classrooms, debaters used outside picnic tables and benches to run a majority of the preliminary rounds. Luckily, most competitors didn't seem to mind. “Debating outside was pretty new to me at first, but honestly it made rounds more relaxing and laid back," said Bonita's Camille Leung. 

To avoid arguments on what type of debate each round was, tournament coordinators announced whether a resolution was value, fact, or policy before each round. “[I've] done so many rounds where half of my speeches are just talking about why a debate is fact instead of value or vise versa. Framework is so important nowadays and debating under the framework instead of about it made it way more enjoyable and educational," said Claremont's Alex Abarca. Redlands' Mohan Dasari, one of the tournament's runner-ups, agreed. "I'm just glad I didn't have to debate about the debate," he said. 

The top three speakers were Claremont’s Sanjar Junisbai and Eric Ni, and Bonita’s Camille Leung, respectively.

Next up for SoCal will be the annual Spartan Fall Classic at Schurr High School on October 28-29, before a long break from tournaments in November.  


QUARTERFINALS 

Redlands Mohan Dasari & Ishaan Shrivastav def. Arcadia Olivia Chen & Anabell Xu (2-1)

Claremont Sanjar Junisbai & Ashton Ngiam def. Vista Murrieta Uma Nair & Mason Stackman (3-0)

Los Osos Ryan Nam & Joseph Naseib def. Redlands Renata Shammo & Farzeneh Talebi (3-0)

Claremont Edward Rumbos-Perez & Alex Walburg def. Redlands Andrew Hopwood & Brad Schindler (3-0)

SEMIFINALS 

Redlands Dasari & Shrivastav def. Claremont Rumbos-Perez & Walburg (3-0)

Los Osos Nam & Naseib def. Claremont Junisbai & Ngiam (2-1)

FINALS

Los Osos Nam & Naseib def. Redlands Dasari & Shrivastav (3-0)



Our Southern California correspondents are Ryan Nam, who competes for Los Osos High School, and Mira Ogawa, who competes for University High School.