Zoom rooms, pets on parade and a holiday sweater fashion show are just a few examples distinguishing the 58th annual John Edie Holiday Debate Tournament from its previous 57 runs. But one constant participants of this prestigious event can count on is high-quality, competitive debate in a variety of formats including policy, Lincoln-Douglas, public forum, Congressional debate and World Schools, as well as a novice/middle school policy division.
Blake announced in mid-October it would host the tournament online Dec. 18-20 rather than in-person at a local Minneapolis hotel, as previously planned. The change hasn’t deterred participation; 981 students and 339 judges from 155 schools across 37 states and three nations have registered, and 300 Zoom breakout rooms will accommodate them.
Following the tournament, Blake will hold its 13th annual Twin Cities Public Forum Round Robin on Monday, Dec. 21. The event welcomes a diverse judge pool and highlights the activity of debate to a wider audience. This year, every public forum team in the round robin includes someone who identifies as a woman, a gender minority or BIPOC. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, Blake will present its fifth annual Diversity and Inclusion: In Debate and the Classroom Conference.
Aware of the fatigue from so many online activities, Blake’s debate directors and coaches hope to ensure excellent debates while also giving their guests “more than just another tournament weekend at your desk.” A few activities in the works include a "Pets of Blake Debate'' video showcasing the various pets of Blake students and coaches and alumni helpers, and a holiday sweaters video including all the coaches and student participants from the various round robin schools. After Friday’s debates, students are invited to join Zoom breakout rooms with coaches from various college debate programs who can share information about their programs and answer student questions.
If you are interested in seeing some of the weekend’s debates, visit the tournament website.