Binghamton, NY – (September 30th, 2021) Binghamton University hosted the 4th Annual Phyllis Schatz Invitational over three days of competition on September 24-26. The tournament marks the first in person tournament for the Cross Examination Debate Association since the American Debate Associations National Tournament in March of 2019 due to COVID-19. Binghamton University’s Debate Team is the first team to host a hybrid tournament featuring both in person and online competitors.
This year’s tournament saw ninety-two competitors from fifteen different colleges and universities compete across three divisions based on experience levels: Novice, Junior Varsity and Open. Undergraduate students competed in six preliminary rounds of competition on the topic: “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase prohibitions on anticompetitive business practices by the private sector by at least expanding the scope of its core antitrust laws”. At the conclusion of the preliminary debates the top fifty percent of each division was seeded into a single elimination bracket based on how they had done so far.
The Open division broke to a partial quarterfinal round featuring teams from Baylor University, Binghamton University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Kansas. The Final Round saw top seeded Alex McCarthy & Jon Mantis meet their second seeded teammates Ryan Snow & Alex Barreto to closeout the division for the University of Kansas. Lawson Hudson from Baylor was crowned the Top Speaker of the division.
The Junior Varsity division also broke to a partial quarterfinal round featuring teams from George Mason University, Liberty University, and the United States Military Academy. The Final Round saw top seeded Darshni Patel & Aansa Virk meet their third seeded teammates Brandon Green & Luke Palmieri to closeout the division for George Mason University. In addition to winning the tournament George Mason’s Darshni Patel was recognized as the Top Speaker of the division.
The Novice division featured competitors that are new to debate and cleared to a partial octafinal round featuring teams from Binghamton University, Cornell University, George Mason University, James Madison University, Liberty University, Oakton Community College and the University of Rochester. The Final Round saw a 3-0 victory for James Madison’s Adonis Ortiz & Eric Pelletier over George Mason’s Jeremy Brown & Aarush Jambunathan. Amanda Magpiong from George Mason was recognized as the Top Speaker of the division.
The tournament provided students from eight different states the opportunity to put their research and preparation to the test. Students were assigned a minimum of three debates arguing in favor of increased government antitrust actions and three debates arguing against it. Each team is given a total of thirty-six minutes of speaking time in each debate, building critical thinking skills in a highly competitive format. Undergraduates are constantly challenged to refine their arguments between debate rounds based on the feedback they are given from the forty-eight judges that were in attendance.
More significantly the hybrid tournament model demonstrated by Binghamton University reminds us that there is light at the end of the tunnel for a full return to the benefits of in person competitions. For the schools that were able to attend in person they were able to build the bridges of face-to-face mentorship and camaraderie and foster the strong academic experience that has been a hallmark of policy debate for decades.
Cross Examination Debate Association was founded in 1971. CEDA is currently responsible for formulating the annual intercollegiate policy debate topic used in tournament competition throughout the nation. Throughout the season, CEDA calculates National Sweepstakes Standings, the national and regional rankings of member institutions based on compiled tournament results.