Fall 2016 Debate Win Update | Communication Studies
January 5, 2017

Fall 2016 Debate Win Update

State Champions: Garret Hammonds and Abron Hester were the Fall 2016 NPDA Texas Interscholastic Forensic Association State Champions!

UNT Debate brings home a State Championship!

The University of North Texas Debate Team competed at the 2016 Fall Texas Intercollegiate Forensic Association (TIFA) Championship Tournament. The team of Garrett Hammonds (senior) and Abron Hester (junior) advanced as the #1 seed to the elimination and defeated 3 additional Texas colleges on their way to be winning the Championship. The competition, hosted by Tyler Junior College, began on Thursday November 3rd and concluded on November 5th. In NPDA competition, debaters compete in teams of two and are given a new topic 15 minutes before each debate. NPDA style of debate acts as a platform to discuss numerous topics students might not have a chance to discuss in the classroom. UNT was represented by three teams: Hammonds and Hester who won the tournament, Maggie McGehee (sophomore) and Avery Davis (freshmen) formed the second team, and Domenique Hester (freshmen) and Matthew Davis (freshmen) formed the third team. "The tournament provides rigorous competition for students across the state of Texas. The UNT debate team has been preparing for this tournament for months and the results are a testament to their hard work and dedication", said, Colin Quinn, former UNT debate and current argument coach. This is only the second year UNT has competed at the Fall TIFA Championship Tournament in NPDA style debate.

The tournament began with a field of 18 universities and/or colleges from across the state of Texas competing in six (6) preliminary debate rounds. Each team debates three (3) Government and three (3) Opposition rounds in the preliminary debates. These debates and elimination rounds are assigned new topics for each round 15 minutes prior to the start of the debate. In the championship round, UNT was on the Opposition, and debate the topic, "The United States should make Election Day a national holiday". Teams that win four or more preliminary debates advance to elimination rounds, which functions similarly to March Madness. A loss in the elimination rounds signals the end of the competition for that team. The UNT team of Hammonds and Hester advanced to the elimination rounds as the top seed compiling five wins and one loss in the preliminary rounds. Their 6 wins were against the Lone Star College, Howard Payne University, Texas A&M, Texas State University, and Tyler Junior College while their one loss was against Wiley College. Hammonds and Hester only lost 1 ballot out of 9 in the elimination round on the way to winning the State Championship.

The tournament awarded speaker awards to the top 10 debaters out of a field of 70 debaters. Abron Hester was recognized as the 2nd speaker and Garrett Hammonds was recognized as the 6th speaker. Debaters range from novices to highly experienced, but all debaters are evaluated on a scale of 1-30 points. In 6 preliminary rounds Abron received a total 171 speaker points and Garrett Hammonds received 169.5, a difference of 1.5 between the two speakers.

Cameron Classic: UNT Debate's Cortez Proal recognized as Top Speaker at the tournament. The 2nd place finish represents the best result UNT has achieved to date and caps an amazing Fall 2016 for the team.

UNT Debate concludes Fall 2016 in the Finals!

The University of North Texas Debate Team competed at the 2016 Cameron University Christmas Classic Tournament. The teams participated in the 3 events; Parliamentary debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, and Persuasive speaking. The team enjoyed success in all three, but really shined in Lincoln Douglas debate, where students compete individually against students from other schools. UNT was represented by Cortez Proal (sophomore), Emily Jackson (freshmen), and Logan Boehmisch (senior). There were 21 students representing 9 different schools in the Lincoln Douglas division. After 4 preliminary debate rounds Emily Jackson and Cortez Proal advanced to elimination rounds. Only the top 8 debaters advanced to elimination rounds. The elimination rounds are win and advance or lose and go home. Ms. Jackson advanced as the 8th seed and lost her first debate. Mr. Proal advanced as the 6th seed and won his first elimination debate against the 3rd seed from Kansas Wesleyan University on a 3-0 decision. In the semifinals, Mr. Proal defeated the 2nd seed from Kansas City Kansas Community College on a 2-1 decision. In the Championship round Mr. Proal lost a very close debate to the #1 seed from Sterling College. Mr. Proal was also recognized as Top Speaker at the tournament. The 2nd place finish represents the best result UNT has achieved to date and caps an amazing Fall 2016 for the team.

In Parliamentary debate tournament began with a field of 29 teams represented by 13 universities and/or colleges from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Competing in six (5) preliminary debate rounds teams are made of 2 students. Parliamentary style of debate acts as a platform to discuss numerous topics which students might not have a chance to discuss in the classroom. A new topic is given 15 minutes prior to each debate. UNT was represented by 3 teams; Emily Jackson & Cortez Proal, Garret Hammonds (senior) & Colin Aslay (junior), and Domenique Hester (freshmen) & Logan Boehmisch. Teams that win three or more preliminary debates advance to elimination rounds, which functions similarly to March Madness. A loss in the elimination rounds signals the end of the competition for that team. The teams of Jackson/Proal and Aslay/Hammonds advanced to the elimination rounds which included the top 12 teams at the tournament. Both teams were eliminated from the tournament losing on 2-1 decisions in first elimination round.

In Persuasive Speaking, the 3rd format UNT competed in at the tournament, UNT was represented by Garret Hammond. Persuasive speaking is an individual event where the focus is to change, reinforce, or instill the attitudes, beliefs, and values of the audience. Although there are rarely rules that dictate what topics or formats are permissible in persuasive speaking, most topics are policy-based: speakers advocate a specific policy proposal to address some need and offer their recommendation in a problem/cause/solution or cause/effect/solution format. There were 28 competitors from 13 different schools. Mr. Hammonds finished 9th overall.

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