The 2017 National Parliamentary Debate Invitational at the University of California, Berkeley concluded with two teams from The Nueva School reaching finals. Champion teams Adam Keller & Paco Poler and Leo Rossi & Neeraj Sharma both emerged victorious from their semifinal rounds, debating on the topic, “The United States Federal Government should significantly increase its efforts to eradicate mosquitos in one or more of the following countries: the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, and/or Sudan."
Before closing out the invitational, Keller & Paco triumphed over Bishop O’Dowd’s Claudia Hester & Alden O'Rafferty in semifinals, while teammates Rossi & Sharma prevailed over Los Altos’ Ryan Lee & Varun Paranjpe.
Within the junior varsity division, Ashland’s Daniel Noonan & Sienna Scoggin defeated Dougherty Valley’s Eric Luo & Chilsea Wang on a 4-1 decision in the final round, arguing against the resolution that “The United States Federal Government should significantly increase its pressure on the Republic of Turkey to provide reparations for the Armenian genocide." Prior to the match, Noonan & Sienna were victorious over Hillview’s Katie Doran & Alex Yu in semifinals.
The National Parliamentary Debate Invitational at UC Berkeley features a pool of experienced judges, encouraged to write their own paradigm and to give oral reasons for decision. This provides a strong contrast to October’s Totally Free Tournament, where teams were asked to bring judges with minimal experience. “I think that it was nice to have a high level debate competition with judges who were familiar with the event,” said Bellarmine’s Luke DiMartino. “It’s such a rare experience to get quality coaching from college debaters, but the comments I received from my judges at this tournament were particularly insightful.”
Debaters appeared to be satisfied by the resolutions presented at NPDI, which were developed by a group of UC Berkeley students and alumni. “I thought the resolutions at this tournament were very pointed and specific. In particular, I liked that they were all policy,” said Irvington’s Hamza Qadeer.
Compared to the previous 2016 tournament, this year’s NPDI welcomed a significantly larger entry pool. While 2016 featured 65 varsity entries and 54 in junior varsity, 2017 included 91 teams in the varsity division and 78 in junior varsity. The five preliminary rounds continued to be double-flighted to keep the tournament running in timely manner.
“The organization is pretty good… it's a little delayed but considering how big the tournament is, it's reasonable,” said Nueva’s Eugenia Xu.
This year, like last year, NPDI chose to not disclose speaker awards. “We believe they are still representative of the inequality still prevalent in debate," said Isabella Riezler, a Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley team member and topic committee member. "Often, people of color and women are excluded from speaker awards not because they’re poor speakers, but because they don’t fit the typical idea of what a “good speaker” should sound like."
Lake Oswego Gabriel Graville & Alex Li def. Ashland Hannah Doyle & Alex Webb (3-0)
Campolindo Arjun Chimni & Colin Jones def. Dougherty Valley Tristan Shaughnessy & Albert Sun (2-1)
Nueva Leo Rossi & Neeraj Sharma def. Campolindo Shannon Bonet & Sharon Yuan (2-1)
Los Altos Alex Wong & William Zeng def. Irvington Shevanti Kumar & Vidushee Mishra (3-0)
Notre Dame Luke DiMartino & Daenerys Pineda def. Bishop O’Dowd Michael Jayasuriya & Shawn Schulz (3-0)
East Valley Aditya Mehta & Jwalin Joshi def. Irvington Reetam Ganguli & Isha Sanghvi (2-1)
Irvington Hamza Qadeer & William Yoo def. Ashland Sarah Aaronson & Annika Larson (3-0)
Nueva Ben Cheng & Ben Shahar def. Los Altos Tamur Asar & Evan Si (2-1)
Campolindo Kevin Deng & Krish Visht def. Los Altos Jodie Bhattacharya & Zooey Nguyen (3-0)
Nueva Adam Keller & Paco Poler def. East Valley Nidhir Guggila & Serena Zhang (3-0)
East Valley Anthony Gavrilchenko & Kevin Keechempallil def. Berkeley Kai Burgmann & Talia Wolf-Jacobs (2-1)
Goldberg Amos Karlson & Ben Schwartz def. Peninsula Thomas Li & Jessica Zhu (2-1)
Bishop O’Dowd Claudia Hester & Alden O'Rafferty def. Irvington Anushka Kulkarni & Ryan Lee (3-0)
Los Altos Javin Pombra & Daniel Vesurai def. Dougherty Valley David Si & Brandon Zhang (2-1)
East Valley Anirudh Mani & Janav Sharma def. Stockdale Niteesh Kuchakulla & Reena Somani (3-0)
Los Altos Ryan Lee & Varun Paranjpe def. Stockdale Warren Alphonso & Rishi Shah (3-0)
Goldberg Academy Karlson & Schwartz def. Lake Oswego Graville & Li (2-1)
Los Altos Pombra & Vesurai def. Campolindo Chimni & Jones (2-1)
Nueva Rossi & Sharma def. Los Altos Wong & Zeng (2-1)
Los Altos Lee & Paranjpe def. Notre Dame DiMartino & Pineda (3-0)
Campolindo Deng & Visht def. East Valley Joshi & Mehta (3-0)
Irvington Qadeer & You def. Nueva Cheng & Shahar (2-1)
Nueva Keller & Poler def. East Valley Mani & Sharma (2-1)
Bishop O'Dowd Hester & O'Rafferty def. East Valley Gavrilchenko & Keechempallil (3-0)
Los Altos LP def. Goldberg Academy KS (2-1)
Nueva RS def. Los Altos PV (2-1)
Nueva KP def. Campolindo DV (2-1)
Bishop O'Dowd HO def. Irvington QY (3-0)
Nueva RS def. Los Altos LP (2-1)
Nueva KP def. Bishop O'Dowd HO (3-0)
Our Northern California correspondents are Emily Her, who competes for Dougherty Valley High School, and Anoushka Singal, who competes for Irvington High School.