Category Archives: History

More TOC History: Octafinals Bid Tournaments Since 1996-1997

In order to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, debaters must earn bids at invitational tournaments by reaching the designated elimination round. The most competitive TOC qualifying tournaments award bids to all teams in the octafinals. Since the 1996-1997 season, the number of octafinals bid tournaments has remained between seven and ten: Greenhill, St. Mark’s, Glenbrooks, MBA, Emory, Harvard, and Berkeley have been mainstays while Wake Forest, Redlands, Stanford, Blake, and Michigan have spent at least one year on the list. Since that season, 37 schools have won at least one octafinals bid tournament with 20 schools winning more than one tournament and 16 schools winning at least one tournament in multiple seasons.

What school has won the most octafinals bid tournaments? How many teams have won multiple octafinals bid tournaments in the same season? Who holds the record for most octafinals bid wins in a career by a debater? The answers—as well as a complete listing of the winners and runners-up at every octafinals bid tournament held in the last 15 seasons—are below the fold.

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Even More TOC Trivia: Non-Seniors in Elimination Rounds, Part 2

Can’t get enough TOC history? “More TOC Trivia: Non-Seniors in the Elimination Rounds Since 1995” prompted several questions that merited a follow-up. How many non-seniors have reached the final round of the TOC? The semifinals? How have they done as seniors? Who has won the most elimination rounds at the TOC? The answers (again, since 1995) are below the fold.

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TOC XL Trivia: Westminster Wins Third Consecutive Championship

The 40th Tournament of Champions was held this past weekend at the University of Kentucky. Capping off a historic run, the Westminster Schools claimed its third consecutive championship by defeating Lexington High School’s Tyler Engler and Arjun Vellayappan in the final round. Interested in digging a little deeper into the results from this year’s TOC? Some historical perspective and trivia is below the fold.

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The Tournament of Champions In The 3NR Results Archive

The results from every Tournament of Champions since 1995 (XXIV through XXXIX) are now accessible via The 3NR Results Archive. Packets remain missing for 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, and 2008; if anyone has access to these packets (or to results from prior to 1995), please email the author.

1995 — Immigration
1996 — China
1997 — Juvenile Crime
1998 — Renewable Energy
1999 — Russia

2000 — Education
2001 — Privacy
2002 — WMD
2003 — Mental Health Care
2004 — Ocean Policy

2005 — UN Peacekeeping
2006 — Civil Liberties
2007 — National Service
2008 — Sub-Saharan Africa
2009 — Alternative Energy

2010 — Social Services

Some statistics have already been provided from the last 15 runs for the roses. More TOC-related content will be shared over the course of the next week.

Top Speaker at the TOC: A History Of The Mark Shelton Award

This year marks the 40th running of the Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky. In the run-up to the tournament, we will be sharing several notes about its history here on The 3NR. First up: the top speaker award.

Since 1993, the top speaker award in policy debate at the Tournament of Champions has been named the “Mark Shelton Top Speaker Award” in honor of one of the most accomplished high school debaters in Kentucky’s history. Who was Mark Shelton? And why is the top speaker award named in his honor? Below the fold is an article from the April 1995 issue of Rostrum—”A Tribute To Champions“—that details his story as well as a complete listing of the past top speakers of the TOC.

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Damien Becomes First School To Win Two NDCA National Championships

The National Debate Coaches Association National Championships has quickly grown to become one of the most prestigious high school debate tournaments in the United States. Since relaunching in 2006, the NDCA National Championships have brought together the vast majority of the nation’s best policy debate teams for an intense postseason tournament. This year’s champion was Nadeem Farooqi and Pablo Gannon from Damien High School in La Verne, California. The win marks Damien’s second in the past three years and gives them the honor of being the first team ever to win the NDCA National Championships twice.

The results from each of the six NDCA National Championships tournaments are presented along with some statistics below the fold.

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Help Us Compile The History of the Woodward 1st and 2nd Year National Championships

The 1st and 2nd Year National National Championships in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas Debate will be hosted this coming weekend by Woodward Academy in College Park, GA. In an attempt to preserve the institutional memory of the tournament, we have been efforting to create a comprehensive history of the event beginning with a list of each year’s champions, runners-up, and top speakers. If anyone can help us fill in the gaps, please let me know. Results packets from the missing years would also be greatly appreciated; if coaches could take a few minutes to dig through their archives, I would love to be able to complete our archive.

Fisher and Spies Make History at National Debate Tournament

Early this morning Matt Fisher and Stephanie Spies made history by becoming the first duo ever to win both the Tournament of Champions and the National Debate Tournament. Matt and Stephanie won the TOC in 2007 while at Glenbrook North High School and the NDT in 2011 while at Northwestern University. They also became just the sixth and seventh individuals ever to win both tournaments.

If that wasn’t enough, they also became the first duo ever to win both the National Forensic League National Tournament and the National Debate Tournament. Matt and Stephanie won NFL Nationals in 2007 and became just the fifth and sixth individuals ever to win both tournaments.

Most impressively, Matt and Stephanie became just the third and fourth individuals in debate history to win all three national championships — NFL Nationals, the TOC, and the NDT.

Who are the other two? Who has come closest? The answers are below the fold.

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The Run For The Roses: Breaking Down The Tournament of Champions, 1996-2010

This May will mark the 40th running of the Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky. Founded in 1972, the TOC has long been considered America’s foremost debate competition. Ever wonder which schools have had the most success at the TOC? Curious as to which state has advanced the most teams to elimination rounds? Want to know which schools have put together the longest streaks of elimination round appearances?

While results dating back to the founding of the tournament remain elusive, I have recently been able to compile the elimination round results from the last fifteen runs for the roses. Below the fold is a comprehensive breakdown of the results from 1996 through 2010. Two notes before digging in:

  1. For the purposes of this review, the run-off round counts as an appearance in the elimination rounds. A win in the run-off round, however, does not count as an elimination round win.

  2. Preliminary round packets are not yet available for each of the years included in this review. When they do become available, it will be possible to include preliminary round results and elimination round seedings in a future study.

Without further ado, what follows is everything you ever wanted to know about the last fifteen TOCs (but were probably embarrassed to ask).

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