No need to wait, November is here and so is debate

The+LHS+Debate+team+poses+for+a+photo+with+their+awards+at+Lincoln+Southwest+High+School.+Courtesy+of+Luke+Moberly+%2811%29.
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No need to wait, November is here and so is debate

The LHS Debate team poses for a photo with their awards at Lincoln Southwest High School. Courtesy of Luke Moberly (11).

The LHS Debate team poses for a photo with their awards at Lincoln Southwest High School. Courtesy of Luke Moberly (11).

The LHS Debate team poses for a photo with their awards at Lincoln Southwest High School. Courtesy of Luke Moberly (11).

The LHS Debate team poses for a photo with their awards at Lincoln Southwest High School. Courtesy of Luke Moberly (11).

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By Anh Mai

Now that it is November, the Nebraska’s Debate season has begun. The Lincoln High Debate team has been hard at work preparing for their season with full-team practices that started in mid-September.

 

“The regular season goes until March,” junior Madeline Walker said. “But there are two tournaments afterwards that debates can qualify to: The Tournament of Champions, and the National Speech and Debate Association Nationals.” The previous year, 4 people qualified for the TOCs (Tournament of Champions) and 7 people qualified for the NSDA Nationals (National Speech and Debate Association Nationals).

 

This year, there were about 25 people on the team. They usually have one competition per week. “Debate is essentially a structured argumentation against another team, with beginning arguments and rebuttals, as well as further speeches. Depending on the event, you can either be by yourself or with a partner.” Walker said. During their competitions, they have 5 rounds in preliminary and then participants with a winning record continue on to the elimination rounds.

 

To start off a debate, each team will read a case which establishes their argument for that round. Then other teams are given the opportunity to respond with a refute and the round is finished up with summary speeches and a judge decides who won the round. These usually last about 45-100 minutes.

The team’s debates require copious amounts of preparation. Not only do they have to research their arguments but also their counter-arguments. They spend time doing background research to prepare for “cross fire” or “cross examination.” During the cross examinations, they are asked questions by the other teams where “it is really important to look well informed.” WalkerLewis said. The Lincoln High debate team also holds practice rounds for more preparation and practice. Debate members must write many drafts for four minute speech for both sides of the debate, the “pro” and the “con,” as one of their preparatory steps. They also must brainstorm potential arguments in order to respond to any possibly arguments and practice their debate numerous times.

 

We have practices on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 3-5, but it is entirely up to individual members which ones they want to go to,” junior Luke Moberly said “One great part of debate is that it is completely flexible and compatible with other activities – students can choose how many tournaments or practices they go to.”

 

When choosing a topic, the debate team chooses from either Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, or Congress depending on the event and the debate they choose. Usually, their topics end up being about current issues such as gun violence. But the team’s main is about what is morally correct.

I have always been interested in debate, and when people came to my English class to talk about debate freshman year it seemed like something I would enjoy, and it was,” Walker said. “For me personally, debate really helped me gain confidence and feel as though my voice mattered. Debate is really helpful in that it provides a community of people who care about world and social issues.”

 

Debate is great for those who love learning. If you don’t like how school can sometimes limit your thinking, joining debate will give you the opportunity to think more creatively,”Moberly said. “It really teaches you how to think critically without making it seem like work – you have fun while debating and you truly join a family that will stay with you for your entire time here at Lincoln High.”

For those who are interested in joining the team, contact Victoria Freeman at vfreeman@class.lps.org or any fellow debate team member. Or you can attend open practices everyday after school in S231. Opportunities to sign up for competitions are also including in the open practices.

Madeline Walker (11) and Luke Moberly (11) pose with their awards at Lincoln Southwest High School. Photo courtesy of Luke Moberly.