The Paly Voice

Debate team receives first bid to Tournament of Champions

Phoebe So, Author

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The Palo Alto High School debate team is one step closer to attending the Tournament of Champions after executing a strong performance in Texas last weekend.

The Tournament of Champions is an annual debate tournament held in May that showcases qualified debaters from all over the nation. In order to be eligible, debaters must receive a minimum of two bids from designated tournaments throughout the year.

Junior Travis Chen earned the debate team’s first bid of the season to the Tournament of Champions after competing in the Greenhill Fall Classic in Addison Texas from Sept. 22 to 23.

At the tournament, Chen earned a bid in Lincoln-Douglas debate after reaching semifinals.

“I think I did pretty well,” Chen said. “I got into semifinals of the tournament … there was around a hundred or so debaters in my event.”

In preparation for the tournament, Chen did research beforehand.

“This tournament we debated the topic, ‘Resolved: the United States ought to grant constitutional due process rights to non-citizens accused of terrorism,’” Chen said. “So essentially it was about whether we should give due process to the terrorists that are currently in Guantanamo Bay and other places … I did research and I wrote cases beforehand supporting both sides of the resolution.”

Chen, who debated in the Tournament of Champions last year, needs to attain one more bid in order to attend again this year.

“You need two bids to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, which is a tournament at the end of the year where people who qualify go,” Chen said.

The debate team’s next tournament will be this weekend, Sept. 29 to 30, at Long Beach, Calif. where eight Paly debaters will be present.

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