Palos Verdes Peninsula High School hosted its first national circuit tournament on the weekend of January 19th. In the final round, Bishop O’Dowd’s Claudia Hester & Alden O’Rafferty defeated iLEAD’s Sierra Horvath & Jackson Paluck affirming the resolution “The USFG should legalize physician assisted suicide." 

Peninsula stood out as one of the most organized tournaments of the season, running 15 or 30 minutes late at the maximum. “The tournament was the only tournament that has run on time for two days," said Paluck. 

The tournament featured several seasoned debate judges who provided useful and educational advice for the high school debaters in attendance. “Over the course of the prelim rounds, I’ve realized that while SoCal has definitely shifted a bit more towards fast paced, analytic debate, I continue to see the pattern of debaters losing themselves in superficial “rules” based tangents," said USC college debater Meera Keskar, who judged at the tournament. "I would love to see more weighing and collapsing in round.” 

Peninsula featured diverse topics areas that allowed a variety of different arguments within rounds. “The tournament had better resolutions than the majority of the tournaments I have been to,” said Los Angeles Center For Enriched Studies’ Ruby Scanlon.

Sierra Horvath agreed: “The resolutions were interesting and not skewed towards one side,” she said. Unlike most tournaments, the list of possible topics was released before hand, allowing debaters to prepare information that could be used during the rounds. This encouraged informed debate rounds throughout the tournament.


Mission Vista Katherine McGraw & Raquel Parizeau def. University Kai Soto-Dessen & Michael Wu (2-1)

Bishop O'Dowd Claudia Hester & Alden O'Rafferty def. iLEAD Daniel Timor & Matthew Alberti (2-1)

New Roads Ben Wasson & Nolan Windham def. Los Angeles Center For Enriched Studies Jonathan Obeda & Ruby Scanlon (2-1)

iLEAD Jackson Paluck & Sienna Horvath w/o iLEAD Ari Moore & Olivia Dutcher (n/a)



iLEAD Paluck & Horvath def. New Roads Wasson & Windham (3-0)

Bishop O'Dowd Hester & O'Rafferty def. Mission Vista McGraw & Parizeau (3-0)



Bishop O'Dowd HO def. iLEAD Jackson PH (3-0)

Full results can be found here. 

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