At this point Carver has already given you some details about how we started the year with our debate team at the Kansas City Parliamentary Debate Cooperative. We even gave you a preview of the awesome food that we are fortunate enough to indulge on while we travel. Thankfully, this was only the beginning for this debate season, one that spans from the beginning of July to the end of March. Let me explain what the highlights of this year will be, based on my past two years of experience from this team.
The year starts with the parliamentary debate coop, in which we knock off the rust and outline for ourselves how we should improve as the year commences. We have a little time to ourselves, and then our mini-camp begins in August, one week before the fall semester begins. Our mini-camp holds for the debaters a strange mix of excitement and nervousness. We are always excited to get back to work and enjoy the activity that we devote our lives to, but then we get nervous when Chuck (our head coach) divvies out assignments for research.
|The wonderful William Jewell |
College in Liberty, Missouri
Following a solid month of hard work and early preparation for the year, we will travel to Liberty, Missouri for the William Jewell College Season Opener. This is one of the most important tournaments of the season, as it sets the framework for what teams are the most competitive, as well as who we should and should not be concerned with. Last year, the winner of both halves of the Jewell tournament went on to win both the NPTE and NPDA National tournaments, proving how the season opener is a good predictor of how competition will unfold throughout the season.
After more preparation and hard work, we will travel to St. Louis, Missouri, Topeka, Kansas, and Portland, Oregon for more tournaments. This will be the agenda for the fall semester, and will inevitably be challenging, yet rewarding.
|The University of Utah, host |
of the "Salty Mile High"
Following winter break (and more topic research), we will travel to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah for the Mile High Classic, a traveling tournament that is consistently tough for its competitors. Like William Jewell’s tournament, this is a good predictor for how the national tournaments play out. This tournament utilizes topic areas; we know what we will be debating prior to the tournament, rather than having to guess based on current events and issues. The combination of deep topic research, along with the teams that consistently enter the tournament makes it one of the most grueling yearly events for the parliamentary community. Last year, our reigning national champions made it to semifinals in the first half, and won the second half, proving once again that if you can tame the Mile High beast, your chances of conquering at our national tournaments are favorable.
Following Mile High, UT Tyler will host our own tournament for the second time, followed by a trip to San Diego, California for the Pt. Loma Round Robin, and then, we begin prep for nationals. Our nationals prep generally runs from the end of February through Spring Break, and then the tournaments take up a two-week period leading up to the end of March. We first have the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, a topic research tournament where you must qualify based on your point accumulation throughout the season from wins and losses. Second is the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s National Tournament, an open tournament that generally holds over 150 teams. Both are very grueling events, and require massive hours of research and argument preparation. Both tournaments are hosted this year in Flagstaff, Arizona by Northern Arizona University.
As you can see, this will be a very busy year for the UT Tyler Parliamentary Debate Team. As each tournament comes and goes, Carver and I will be tweeting and blogging about our competition and our progress. You will also get pictures with more food, do not worry.