Our SRS Debate Squad put up some remarkable performances on Saturday at McQueen High School.
Speech & Debate
Most participants in Speech and Debate would agree that it is one of the most intellectually challenging, fun activities to participate in. Students prepare for and compete at local tournaments that are hosted by the National Speech and Debate Association. In this process, students put to use all the skills they acquire at Sage Ridge: they research, organize, and present arguments for both sides of important, real-world issues. Students learn quickly how to present themselves with confidence, and they gain the invaluable ability to think on their feet and control their thoughts even as they are being cross-examined. Besides the numerous skills they gain, they also join a unique, cohesive community that values camaraderie and support at the same level it values competition.
At Sage Ridge, the Speech and Debate team has a unique flexible structure. Students do not need to commit for the entire year, or even a season, but gain activity credit based on the number of tournaments they choose to attend:
• Participating in three tournaments = one season of activity credit
• Participating in four tournaments = two seasons of activity credit
• Participating in five tournaments = three seasons of activity credit
So to “join debate,” students need to simply check the debate calendar, see what tournaments they can commit to, and then communicate with the debate coach about preparing to compete.
The “speech” side of “speech and debate” includes events such as extemporaneous speaking, poetry reading, dramatic monologues, humorous interpretation, storytelling, and original oratory, to name a few. At local tournaments, these events are typically held on Fridays. Students may elect to compete in speech events, debate events, or both.
The “debate” side of “speech and debate” consists of five varieties.
Our team really left an impact tonight at Spanish Springs High School. Two of our teams made it to the final rounds, and we came away with a third place and a runner-up in a strong field
Lincoln Douglas Debate revolves around contemporary value judgments. Topics change every two months. This is an individual event that runs longer than PF and stresses philosophical assertions as well as those based on research. Sample topic: “Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.”
Policy Debate allows debaters to present new policy plans in the United States government (“Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States”). Only one topic is debated for the year. This is a partner event. Policy debate has the longest and most challenging format, and it also requires the most specialized knowledge of any other form.
In Big Question Debate, opposing contestants debate a topic concerning the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion (Sample topic: “Resolved: Objective morality exists”). Topics will address deeply held beliefs that often go unexamined. Students can compete as individuals or as a team; this means rounds can be 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, or 1 vs. 2.