On October 7, Ashland’s Hannah Doyle & Alex Webb debated teammates Sarah Aaronson & Maya Davis in finals at the South Coast Invitational, held at Marshfield High School in Oregon. Negating the resolution, “The USFG should abolish high-stakes testing in public schools,” Doyle & Webb earned the win over their teammates Aaronson & Davis with a critique of capitalism.
The South Coast Invitational included a variety of debate formats. Only three preliminary rounds were featured in the parliamentary division, creating a tough break to finals that required a 3-0 record. Doyle & Webb and Aaronson & Davis advanced to finals as the only undefeated teams, with identical speaker points. With a 2-1 record, Ashland's Daniel Noonan & Jackson Rice came in third place, the top non-breaking seed.
Nine schools from Eugene-area and southern Oregon made up the open parliamentary debate field of sixteen entries. There were even less competitors in the novice division, with eight entries from only five different schools. This is typical for Oregon tournaments this early in the year because not all schools are ready to compete yet, but if the trend this year mirrors previous years, the field will continue to increase over the course of the season.
After the first three rounds, four of the five novice teams had a 2-1 record, so the tournament directors decided to break to semifinals. Without time for a final round, the championship was decided by speaker points, with North Medford’s Grant Lulich & Gabi Taylor taking first place and Ashland’s Claire Yanez & Jasmine Yanez coming in second.
In accordance with Oregon parliamentary rules, each round provided three topic options for debaters, of which two were struck by competitors before prep. Previously released topic areas included tax reform, political reform, and educational reform. The topics were generally policy-oriented with most of them referring to domestic issues in the United States.
Entries in open parli exceeded those from any other debate style at South Coast, illustrating the expansion of parliamentary debate on the Oregon circuit. Next up for competitors will be the annual tournament hosted at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
Our Oregon correspondents are Hannah Doyle, who competes for Ashland High School, and Gabriel Graville, who competes for Lake Oswego High School.