This week we shout out our city's top high school debaters who will be competing at the Tournament of Champions this weekend! Congratulations and Good Luck to Julio Cordero & Rajendra Singh (Leadership & Public Service High School). Congratulations and Good Luck to Hannah Ravenell and Solenne Wolfe of Brooklyn Tech High School. Congratulations and Good Luck to Mira Mehta and Kailey Zhao of Westfield High School! New York City Urban Debate League debaters have qualified to the National Tournament every year since we were founded! And a most incredible thank you and shout out to all the coaches, volunteers, judges and teachers who have supported them on their journey to the national title.
And another huge shout out to all the supporters who donated to the GoFundMe for Raj & Julio to make the trip possible. They raised $4,610 of their $4000 goal by 70 donors in 30 days! Incredible support for incredible and inspirational debaters. Check out their GoFundMe story by clicking here. Thank you to all their supporters and Ms. Neonne Ameer, Hunter Debate Coach and Girls Debate Coordinator for her incredible work on the campaign.
More about the Tournament of Champions from Wikipedia:
The Tournament of Champions (TOC) is a national high school debate tournament held at the University of Kentucky every year on the last weekend in April. Tournament of Champions is considered to be the national championship of the “National Circuit,”. Tournament of Champions is considered one of the most prestigious and competitive American high school debate tournaments. Tournament of Champions uses a bid system, in which placing high enough in certain nationally or regionally respected tournaments earns debaters a bid, with at least 2 bids needed to compete. Some popular bid tournaments include Greenhill (TX), Harvard (MA), and Harvard-Westlake (CA). In addition to attaining 2 bids, competitors can automatically qualify by placing high enough at last year’s Tournament of Champions (or one of the two other national tournaments). Or, they may be accepted as an "at large entry", where they must apply to receive a bid after the season finishes.
The tournament was created by Dr. J.W. Patterson, the former director of debate at the University of Kentucky. Since its 1971 inception, Tournament of Champions serves as the pinnacle of high school debate, allowing the best debaters in the United States to compete without less experienced debaters affecting the rankings. Judges at Tournament of Champions are all qualified, with none of the "lay" or "parent" judges commonly found at other tournaments. Tournament of Champions currently holds competition in policy debate, Lincoln–Douglas debate, public forum debate, and Congressional Debate and individual events.
Tournament of Champions was both a prominent subject and setting for the 2007 HBO documentary Resolved. Director Greg Whiteley initially followed the Policy debate team of Sam Iola and Matt Andrews of Highland Park High School throughout their season until their loss in semifinals of the 2005 Tournament of Champions. After the defeat, Whiteley focuses the film's attention on the pursuit of qualifying to the tournament by the Long Beach Jordan team, which presents a kritik in an attempt to be successful and reform debate practices. While the film shifts focus to the Long Beach Jordan pair, it still makes mention near the end of the film that Matt Andrews (then with Greenhill School) won the 2006 Tournament of Champions without losing a ballot, taking first place with a ballot record of 22-0 (the second team to do so, Pace Academy (Allen/Smith) being the first in 2002). (Excerpted from Wikipedia)
Good Luck everyone and Congratulations!