Lynchburg, VA – (November 11th, 2021) The Liberty University debate team hosted their 32nd annual debate tournament on the weekend of November 5-7. This year’s debate tournament featured seventy competitors from thirteen different colleges and universities. Undergraduate students competed across three divisions based on experience levels Novice, Junior Varsity and Open.
The event featured six preliminary rounds of competition, where students argued on both sides, 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”. Followed by a single elimination tournament where the top four Open, top five Junior Varsity, and top twelve Novice teams advanced based on the results from the preliminary rounds.
The Novice division showcased competitors with little to no experience in debate and cleared to a partial Octafinals featuring teams from George Mason University, James Madison University, Liberty University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the University of Miami. The Final Round saw top seeded Adonis Ortiz & Eric Pelletier from James Madison defeat third seeded Jeffrey Fuchs & Sama Al Ani from George Mason on a 3-0 decision. In addition to winning the tournament, Eric Pelletier from James Madison was recognized as the Top Speaker of the Division.
The Junior Varsity division showcased competitors with limited experience in debate cleared to a partial Quarterfinal featuring teams from James Madison University, Liberty University, the University of Mary Washington, and the University of Miami. The Final Round saw second seeded Avery Dover & Ainsley Rucker from Mary Washington defeat top seeded Josiah Joyce & Jackson Posey from Liberty on a 3-0 decision. In addition to being the tournaments runner up, Jackson Posey from Liberty was recognized as the Top Speaker of the Division.
The Open division is the highest level of competition in CEDA debate cleared to a Semifinals featuring teams from Binghamton University, Liberty University and Rutgers University – Newark. The Final Round saw top seeded Rachel Solsman & Addison Wagner lockout with their second seeded teammates Jordan Ramsey & Justice Wallenmeyer from Liberty. In addition to winning the tournament, Rachel Solsman from Liberty was recognized as the Top Speaker of the Division.
The tournament marked the eighth weekend of the competitive season and provided an opportunity for a total of over ten thousand minutes of speaking time for undergraduate students. Students engaged in a minimum of three debates in favor of the resolution and three opposed, requiring them to test their hours of research and preparation on both sides of the topic. The format enables students to build skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
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.