Philo Hosts PA Debate

Phillips Academy placed fourth in the third annual Andover Invitational Parliamentary Debate Tournament, hosted by the Philomathean Society this past Sunday.

Nearly 300 students and 75 judges were present, making the invitational the largest tournament ever held in the history of the Debating Association of New England Independent Schools (DANEIS).

The Hotchkiss School won the overall tournament, beating Phillips Academy by 37 points.

Twenty-six schools participated in the tournament, including Phillips Exeter Academy, Deerfield Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, and other schools that are part of DANEIS.

The tournament consisted of three rounds of parliamentary debate and was divided into novice and advanced levels, allowing a wide range of debaters of varying experience to participate.

“We had a lot of young and experienced debaters, having the first chance to compete in a tournament. That was good just to get experience for everyone,” commented Jack Sykes ’12, Co-Head of Philomathean Society.

Phillips Academy entered 12 students into the competition this year.

Rachel Murree ’14, Shireen Aziz ’13 and Tyler Olkowski ’13 placed 5th, 16th and 20th among the novice debaters.

Farris Peale ’14, Haonan Li ’13 and Nikita Singareddy ‘13 placed 10th, 12th and 28th respectively among the advanced debaters.

The Andover Invitational is a world-qualifying tournament, meaning that top performers can earn the opportunity to compete at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship (WIDPSC), which will take place this spring in Brisbane, Australia.

This year, Nat Warner ‘13 of Choate Rosemary Hall earned world-qualifying status for his performance at the invitational.

While the judges were calculating the final results of the tournament, attendees participated in lighthearted “triple-speak” competitions.

“The triple-speak competition was a terrific and humorous time filler. Debaters seemed to enjoy that [the] triple-speak-offs became a battle to see who could insert the most innuendo into his or her talk,” said Sam Prouty, debate coach at Hotchkiss.

The Philomathean Society began planning the tournament in September. Despite its magnitude and last-minute adjustments after debaters from Loomis were unable to attend, the tournament ran smoothly.

“We were really satisfied with how well we were able to do it, just because there were so many people,” said Sykes.

“The fact that there were great schools there, great debaters and that it seemed like everyone had a really good time and learned something meant that it was successful,” said Lloyd-Thomas.

“This was one of the better debate tournaments I have been to. Because [there were] so many different debaters, it was a lot more challenging,” added Peale.

In order to make the planning process more efficient, the Philomathean Society worked to create computer programs that matched opponents into competing pairs and managed scoring and registration.