Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of June 10-16, 2024

Note:  These will be the last practice questions for the 2023-2024 season.  Check back for new questions on August 5.

1. Was the result of the Indian elections a major setback for Narendra Modi?
2. Is America’s national debt imperiling the global economy?
3. To what degree should Claudia Sheinbaum stick with AMLO’s agenda?
4. Could the Conservative Party finish third in the British parliamentary elections?
5. Is there anything the West can do to push China to improve its human rights record?
6. Would “deglobalization” make the world less safe?
7. Should Germany consider a nuclear weapons program?
8. Would it be in Turkey’s best interest to form a closer relationship to China?
9. Will battles over “culture war” issues inhibit cooperation among nations in the Americas?
10. How can South Africa best tackle income inequality?

US Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of June 10-16, 2024

Note:  These will be the last practice questions for the 2023-2024 season.  Check back for new questions on August 5.

1. Can the U.S. prepare for simultaneous wars in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East?
2. Will President Biden’s new asylum restrictions have a significant effect on migration levels into the United States?
3. Should the U.S. be alarmed at growing marijuana use?
4. Will Amazon’s entry into the grocery business fail?
5. Should more U.S. states pass legislation to ban smartphones from schools?
6. Is it too late for President Biden to change the way voters perceive the state of the U.S. economy?
7. Due to the growth of legalized sports gambling, will sports betting scandals become more common in U.S. sports?
8. How should Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson handle upcoming negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union?
9. Is there a case the SEC could bring against Keith Gill for market manipulation?
10. What can lawmakers do to solve America’s housing crisis?

National Points Race

2023-2024 Extemp Central National Points Race: New Standings After the Extemp TOC & NCFL Nationals!

Updated standings for the 2023-2024 Extemp Central National Points Race have been released.  Check them out by clicking here or the “Natl Points Race” tab above.

The new standings do not reflect much of a change at the top as highly ranked competitors did not attend this year’s Extemp TOC or the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Grand National Tournament.  Sruti Peddi of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ) remains the nation’s number one ranked extemper, holding a 106 point lead with one tournament remaining.

That tournament will be the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa.  The last top 25 before NSDA decides which extemp category at NSDA will receive a 50 points bonus.  Since 15 of the top 25 competitors are doing International Extemp, this means that the winner of International Extemp will earn 250 points and the final round winner will receive 50 points.  The winner of United States Extemp, which has 5 ranked competitors, will receive 200 points and the final round winner will receive 40 points.

US Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of June 3-9, 2024

1. Due to Donald Trump’s conviction, should the Republican Party choose a different presidential nominee?
2. After his conviction, will Donald Trump have to do jail time?
3. Will Robert Kennedy, Jr. qualify for CNN’s presidential debate?
4. What should the U.S. do after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a ceasefire proposal with Hamas?
5. Will the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic play a role in the 2024 presidential election?
6. How will AI affect Internet search results?
7. Will Vermont’s Climate Superfund legislation survive legal challenge?
8. Is Boston’s community policing model working?
9. What cuts in the U.S. military budget should be made?
10. Should the FDA approve MDMA for PTSD?

Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of June 3-9, 2024

1. How should the results of the South African elections be interpreted?
2. Is Netanyahu right to reject President Biden’s three-phase deal to end its war with Hamas?
3. Do democracy activists in Hong Kong have any more cards to play?
4. Is the international community failing to cure the causes of refugee flight?
5. Have drug cartels damaged the credibility of Mexican elections?
6. Will the fighting in el-Fasher decide the outcome of Sudan’s civil war?
7. How should South Korea respond to North Korea’s trash balloon campaign?
8. Will Rolexgate shorten the presidential term of Dina Boluarte?
9. Is it too soon for the European Central Bank to lower interest rates?
10. Will the new Dutch coalition live up to its pledge to reduce immigration?

2024 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament: Cao Claims Title After Last Year’s Runner-Up Finish and Laps the Field to Do It

#20 Amy Cao of Ridge High School (NJ) won the first two National Points Race tournaments at the beginning of the season and she returned to her winning ways last weekend in Chicago, Illinois when the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) held its Grand National Tournament. Cao, who was runner-up at last year’s NCFL Grand Nationals, won a commanding victory, doubling up her nearest competitor, Max Smith of Ronald Reagan High School (WI), in cumulative ranks to win her first national championship.

Cao has won each time she has made a National Points Race final round this year. Her victory is the first time in a decade that a New Jersey extemper wins the NCFL National Championship as Monica Coscia of Montville Township High School won in 2014.

There was a three-way tie for second place between Smith, #8 Taylor Burris of the Potomac School (VA), and Noah Darby of St. Thomas More Catholic High School (LA). The tie way broken based on final round performance, with Smith beating Burris by one rank and Burris beating Darby by two ranks for third place. Burris was the highest ranked competitor in the field and, like Cao, was also in finals last year. This was Burris’ third top three finish in a National Points Race tournament and her fifth National Points Race finals appearance this season.

Vasu Lakshmanan of Shrewsbury High School (MA), who reached Yale finals in the fall, placed fifth in their second National Points Race finals appearance of the season. Lakshmanan finished three cumulative ranks clear of sixth place finisher Chloe Leng of the Hawken School (OH), who was a finalist at the Florida Blue Key in October.

Some other notable finishers were #14 Siri Ural of Shrewsbury, who dropped in semi-finals after reaching finals at last year’s national tournament. #24 Kajal Parmar of Cary Academy (NC) reached quarter-finals and #21 Nick Pienkos of Marquette University High School (WI) dropped in octa-finals.

Cao will earn 150 points for her victory because the Grand National Tournament is a second tier event. All extempers who reached elimination round will earn points. New National Points Race standings will be posted next week.

Here are the results of the 2024 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

US Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 27-June 2, 2024

1. Will the Trump campaign recapture the Sun Belt in 2024?
2. Would it be counterproductive for the U.S. to sanction the International Criminal Court over a possible indictment of Israeli leaders?
3. Do U.S. schools have a major grade inflation problem?
4. What killed Red Lobster?
5. Is Donald Trump’s support among African American voters overstated?
6. Does the Biden administration need to push for more school funding to handle an influx of ESL students?
7. Should Samuel Alito recuse himself from criminal cases concerning Donald Trump and January 6?
8. Is American neo-liberalism dead?
9. Should California abandon its bullet train project between Los Angeles and San Francisco?
10. Does it still serve American national interests to engage with international institutions?

Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for th Week of May 27-June 2, 2024

1. Who will be Iran’s next president?
2. Will China squeeze, rather than seize, Taiwan?
3. Would an ICC indictment of Benjamin Netanyahu hasten the end of the war in Gaza?
4. Does Germany need an early election?
5. Are Haiti’s gangs getting stronger?
6. Is a summer election more advantageous for the Conservative Party than holding an election in the fall?
7. Should the West ease its rules on what its weapons in Ukraine can be used for?
8. Is the Philippines doing enough to stabilize Mindanao?
9. Should Mexico follow El Salvador’s approach to crime?
10. How can wealthier nations increase the number of people willing to do military service?

Extemp Central News Quiz

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 20-26, 2024

Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz!

Note:  This will be the last news quiz of the 2023-2024 season.  Questions will continue through NSDA Nationals.  News quizzes will return the first week of September for 2024-2025.

2024 Extemp TOC: Morel Returns Plano West to the Winner’s Circle, Beats 40 Other Competitors to Win the Season’s Second Major

This year’s Tournament of Champions of Extemporaneous Speaking, hosted by Northwestern University, attracted a disappointing field of only 41 extempers for the national extemp circuit’s second major championship.

Sasha Morel of Plano West Senior High School (TX) won a decisive victory, beating Kajal Parmar of Cary Academy (NC) by eight ranks in the final round. Morel earned five of the seven available first place ranks.

Devarsh Borah of Edina High School (MN) rounded out the top three with a third place finish.  Borah finished four ranks behind Parmar.

#12 Taylor Burris of the Potomac School (VA) was the highest ranked competitor in the field and made the final round, placing sixth. The only other ranked competitor in the National Points Race who made elimination rounds was #18 Kate Liu of Plano East Senior High School (TX), who dropped in semi-finals.

Even though the field did not attract many of the extempers in the top 25 of the National Points Race, the final round featured extempers from five states.

Plano West had two extempers in the final as Abraham Zhang took fifth.

Morel is the first Plano West extemper to win the TOC since Jacqueline Wei in 2019. Plano West has had three champions at the event, including Morel, since 2018.  The school also won the tournament’s sweepstakes award.

All of the extempers that reached elimination rounds will earn National Points Race points.

Here are the results of the 2024 Tournament of Champions of Extemporaneous Speaking (Click here for tab sheet):

Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 20-26, 2024

1. What does the sacking of Sergei Shoigu signal about the future of Russia’s war in Ukraine?
2. Should the EU shrink its existing membership?
3. Does Tajikistan have a jihadism problem?
4. How will rising unemployment impact the South African elections?
5. Are the high debt levels of Western European nations too high?
6. Is North Korea gearing up for an invasion of South Korea?
7. Should Panama shut down migrants passage through the Darien Gap?
8. Has Mexican democracy slid backwards under AMLO?
9. Is the rise of digital ID systems a threat to privacy rights worldwide?
10. How would the end of Israel’s wartime coalition affect its war with Hamas?

US Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 20-26, 2024

1. Should President Biden promote his plans to tax richer Americans and corporations more?
2. Are higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles a good idea?
3. Is there too much “punditry” in American journalism?
4. Why are Democratic Senate candidates polling better than President Biden?
5. Is “judge-mandering” becoming a big problem in the American legal system?
6. Will the rise of AI worsen American income inequality?
7. Are the agreed upon debates between Biden and Trump taking place too early?
8. Is U.S. public education collapsing?
9. Can the U.S. economy wean itself off of cheap Chinese goods?
10. Is it more likely that interest rates go higher or lower by the end of 2024?

Extemp Central News Quiz

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 13-19, 2024

Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz!

US Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 13-19, 2024

1. Should Donald Trump lose his Secret Service protection if he is convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence?
2. Will TikTok’s lawsuit against the U.S. government eventually reach the Supreme Court?
3. Should media organizations be given greater protection from lawsuits?
4. Does the U.S. need to rethink its approach toward autocratic states?
5. Is President Biden focusing too much of his re-election effort on shoring up his base?
6. Would the collapse of the liberal international order do significant damage to U.S. national security?
7. Does Donald Trump need to select a moderate vice presidential candidate?
8. Should the TSA be abolished?
9. Does the IRS need more funding?
10. Should the U.S. reverse its position on Ukrainian attacks on Russian oil refineries?

Extemp Hot Topics

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 13-19, 2024

1. Do more open migration policies by Western governments make it easier for totalitarian states to hold onto power?
2. Are the fates of Ukraine and Taiwan interconnected?
3. How significant is the global competition for semiconductors?
4. Should Israel have been allowed to compete at Eurovision?
5. How will East Asia’s demographic crunch affect global politics?
6. Has the Israel-Hamas war proved that Hamas is incapable of governing?
7. What does a warming global climate mean for global health outcomes?
8. Would it be a mistake for the Democratic Alliance to coalition with the ANC after the next South African election?
9. Is China winning its “cold war” with the West?
10. Will the result of the Panamanian presidential election produce positive economic results?

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