The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Debate takes a bite of the Minneapple Tournament

Carys Hsiung
HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES. Debaters Henry Choi, David Schumacher, Deling Chen and Zain Kizilbash pose with their Minneapple trophies. Kizilbash had mixed feelings about the “…draining but overall worthwhile” tournament.

Teams from all around the country flew in to participate in the Apple Valley Minneapple Debate Tournament Nov. 5-7, one of the few national circuit tournaments in Minnesota.

Five out of eight teams from SPA competed in the varsity division, hoping to qualify for the Tournament of Champions held in Lexington, KY, a goal on many debaters’ bucket lists. This year, Henry Choi, David Schumacher, Deling Chen, and Zain Kizilbash made it to double octofinals and earned their first silver bids of the season.

Local circuit tournaments have three to five rounds per division, each round 45 minutes to an hour long. In contrast, national circuit tournaments have six preliminary rounds and elimination rounds that usually start from runoffs, or triple octofinals, to finals.

Debaters need to win at least four out of the six preliminary rounds for most tournaments which is known as “breaking.” To qualify for the Tournament of Champions, debaters need at least two silver bids or a gold bid, which is determined by how many elimination rounds they win after breaking.

I’m really proud of how our teams did at this tournament… and there are more to come.

— Cerena Karmaliani

Bidding varies at every tournament, but is relatively easier at Minneapple. If debaters reach double octofinals, the second elimination round following preliminary rounds, they get a silver bid. If they win double octofinals, they secure a gold bid by reaching octofinals.

Sophomore Zain Kizilbash described this tournament as “super draining but overall a worthwhile experience.” He added that “[it] helped me prepare for the last couple of tournaments of the topic.”

Captain Cerena Karmaliani said, “I’m really proud of how our teams did at this tournament… I am disappointed by my own performance, but I’ve been to this tournament multiple times and there are more tournaments to come.”

Minneapple was important for many debaters since it was one of their last chances to qualify for the Tournament of Champions. However, this made the tournament more stressful.

Losing at tournaments takes an emotional toll on debaters, especially when the maximum amount of times debaters can lose is two in order to break. Sophomore Annalise Atkinson confirmed, “I found Minneapple to be one of the most ego-crushing tournaments ever.”

Prepping for tournaments can also be tedious and time-consuming. “On my own, I a couple of hours a week,” Karmaliani said. “I worked with my partner the night before and over the past three weeks.”

As a team, Karmaliani and her co-captain Henry Hilton hold practice after school on Mondays while coaches Marit Warren, McKenna Shaw, and Colton Werner hold practice after school on Wednesdays. Practices are comprised of practice rounds, speech redos, and learning how to respond to different arguments.

Varsity teams have yet to qualify for the Tournament of Champions but have another opportunity to earn a bid at the season’s last national circuit tournament: John Edie Holiday Debates Hosted by The Blake School at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis Dec. 15-18.

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Carys Hsiung
Carys Hsiung, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Carys Hsiung. I use she/her/hers pronouns, and I’m a Staff Writer for The Rubicon and RubicOnline this semester. At school, I’m involved in debate and orchestra. I also love listening to K-pop, drawing, and playing the piano. I can be reached at [email protected].

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