Upper school hosts national debate challenge

Henry Vogel

Many of the top debaters in the country gathered today on the upper school campus at a national Lincoln-Douglas tournament hosted by Harvard-Westlake.

The event began with a small pre-tournament round robin called the Debate.LA Challenge. The larger tournament will begin on Saturday and conclude on Jan. 5 at the Courtyard Sherman Oaks where the top 16 debaters from the competition will face off to name a winner.

Harvard-Westlake Debate Coach Mike Bietz said there will be 204 students and 98 judges from 57 schools and 16 states competing in the tournament.

During the tournament, the U.S. Debate Team will hold training at the upper school campus to prepare for the World Schools Debating Championship this summer in Singapore. Debaters will be coached by their coaches and representatives of the the National Speech and Debate Association, formerly known as the National Forensic League.

The debate team will also host an inter-league Middle School tournament at the Upper School on Jan. 10.

In total, approximately 400 students will be competing at the two tournaments, and all rounds are open for observers.