News, On campus

Speech and Debate Team to sponsor national tournament

Front row, left to right: Tyler Johnson, Paola Pastor, Maleah Bridges.
Second row: Mik Davis, Amanda Smith, Joel Watlington, Aaron Thomas.
Third row: Sistina Hammonds, Elliot Payne.
Fourth row: Jay Norsworthy, Isaac Kandel, Gilberto Rivera, Coach Jacob Metz (Photo provided by Mik Davis)

The Tennessee Tech Speech and Debate Team wins the bid to sponsor the 2019-2020 International Public Debate Association National Championship Tournament and Convention for the first time.


They event is scheduled during spring break in March.


“This is the first time that Tech has ever hosted a national debate tournament and we’re really excited,” Mik Davis, senior speech and debate team member, said.


Kevin Bryant, communication instructor and volunteer speech and debate coach, said the national competition usually consists of 350-400 competitors and 100-150 judges. The speech and debate team works with the IPDA executive council to plan and put on the national tournament.


Qualified teams travel from all over the country to compete at nationals.


In the past two seasons, Tech sponsored two smaller tournaments which qualified them to sponsor nationals.


“The tournament is so pivotal,” Bryant said. “This kind of launched us into being able to host nationals.”


Bryant said this year’s tournament took about 2,000 hours of planning and preparation. The team provided three meals to participants and judges, used the iMaker Space to make trophies and offered two additional events [editorial impromptu and radio broadcasting] that aren’t commonly offered, Bryant said.


The team received many awards so far this season, including two teams in semifinals and Mik Davis getting third place speaker.


The speech and debate team has competed in three tournaments throughout the southeast this semester and is scheduled to compete at Middle Tennessee State University next weekend.