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March 29, 2011 > Local schools participate in Speech and Debate tournament

Local schools participate in Speech and Debate tournament

State Qualifications Tournament

By Rajeswari Ramanathan

"Are the judges ready? Are our opponents ready? Is my partner ready?" The debater stood next to the desk ready to give her rebuttal. Three judges sat with their score sheets, listening to every word carefully, as the student began to argue her point.

On March 5 and 6, the Golden Gate Speech Association held their annual State qualifications tournament, this time, at James Logan High School in Union City. Debate rounds took place on March 5, with Speech on the following day. While 27 schools participated in total from the Bay Area, two Tri-City schools, Irvington High School and James Logan High School, earned many victories. These winners will go on to State Competition later in the school year.

Clad in suits and professional dresses, students roamed hallways and the courtyard as they practiced their lines, researched and relaxed with co-debaters. Debate consisted of four types: Policy, Parliamentary, Public Forum, and Lincoln-Douglass; Speech consisted of more than ten different styles. Nevertheless, both speech and debate contests build coherent speech, communication skills, confidence, and understanding of current events in politics and the world in general.

"That is what I love about debate! I love the fact that I can argue on my side to such a great extent with all the evidence to back up my points, and that speaking really boosts my confidence," said freshman Emily She, a Pinole Valley High School Public Forum debater. "Whether we win today or not, I cherish Public Forum because it's challenging, yet worth the effort."

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