Spencer Dembner

Lowell wins State; Disqualification sparks controversy

Spencer Dembner
Lowell wins State; Disqualification sparks controversy


When the dust settled, the CHSSA State Tournament at Mission College narrowed down to a final round between Lowell’s Thomas White & Emily Hall, and Archbishop Mitty’s Vivek Thangam & Chiara Caraccio. Affirming the resolution “Media coverage of the 2016 presidential candidates has helped citizens make informed voting decisions,” Lowell won the round and the championship on a 4-1 decision. But in getting there, the tournament faced more controversy than almost any other this year.

The tournament's first 6 rounds were double-elimination, followed by single-elimination quarters, semis and final rounds to determine the championship. Lowell defeated Sonoma Academy's Greenberg & Kolling in round 6, received a bye through quarterfinals, then defeated Evergreen's Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala, TOC champions, in semifinals.

Archbishop Mitty received a bye through both round 6 and the quarterfinals, facing off against Greenberg & Kolling in semis. And that’s where things got interesting.

Debating on the negation, Sonoma’s key argument was a topicality that challenged the definition of “right-to-work laws” as discussed in the resolution, arguing that they referred to agreements limiting mandatory union membership. The judges, by a 3-2 decision, agreed.

In response to the round, Mitty filed a formal protest under CHSSA rules. In proving their topicality, Sonoma had asked the judges to google a definition, which at least one did. Mitty successfully argued that doing so violated CHSSA evidence rules because it amounted to the judges finding outside information on behalf of Sonoma. The decision was reversed, and Mitty advanced to the finals.

With States, Hall & White win their second championship, following the 2015 University of the Pacific Invitational.


Lowell Thomas White & Emily Hall - Bye

Evergreen Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala def. Cleveland Menegaz & Turkel

Archbishop Mitty Vivek Thangam & Chiara Caraccio - Bye

Sonoma Academy Greenberg & Kolling def. Redlands Ricksecker & Pepper


Lowell WH def. Evergreen AC (3-2)

Mitty TC def. Sonoma GK (result reversed due to protest)


Lowell WH def. Mitty TC (4-1)

Full results and packet here

Facebook post here


Round 1, Flight A: Societal interests are best served when public officials send their children to public schools.

Round 2: California should substantially raise the price of water during drought periods.

Round 3: The electoral college does more harm than good.

Round 4: Artificial intelligence poses greater threats than benefits for humanity.

Round 5: National security should be valued over the individual's right to asylum

Round 6: USFG should place economic sanctions on countries that limit access to the internet.

Quarters: Gun regulation

Semis: USFG should enact a 'right-to-work' law

Finals: Media coverage of the 2016 Presidential candidates has helped citizens make informed voting decisions