Month: June 2014 Page 1 of 3

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of June 30th-July 6th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Is the New World Order quickly becoming the New World Disorder?
2. Will Iraqi violence eventually cause Nouri al-Maliki to resign?
3. Does Jean-Claude Juncker becoming the new president of the European Commission increase the chances of Great Britain leaving the EU?
4. How will corruption charges levied against Amado Boudou affect the Judicialist Party?
5. The “clock of the south”: What does it mean?
6. Is the West Africa Ebola outbreak becoming worse?
7. How long will Thailand’s generals stay in power?
8. Is Poland currently experiencing a “golden age”?
9. Will an HRC inquiry into Eritrea force the country to improve its human rights record?
10. How should Russia respond to Ukraine’s free trade agreement with the EU?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of June 30th-July 6th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Is Hillary Clinton making the same mistakes that led to her defeat in 2008?
2. Should some businesses be forced to repay part of the compensation awards they received from BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill?
3. Does the Golden Gate Bridge really need a suicide net?
4. Should the U.S. sign the Ottawa Convention?
5. Did the Supreme Court issue the correct ruling in the Aereo case?
6. Should a negative revision of first quarter GDP figures be a cause for alarm?
7. How should the U.S. tackle violence in Central American nations?
8. What lessons should the Tea Party learn from its failure to bring down Thad Cochran?
9. In regards to the protection of privacy, What grade does the Roberts court deserve?
10. Will Ed O’Bannon win his case against the NCAA?

2014 NSDA Nationals: Rende Repeats in USX; Saffran Bookends the 2013-2014 Season in IX

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NFL Overland ParkLast Friday, the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament concluded in Overland Park, Kansas and two national champions were crowned.  In United States Extemp, Arel Rende of Booker T. Washington High School (OK) became the fourth extemper in NSDA history to defend a USX national championship.  Rende triumphed by seven ranks over Cosmo Albrecht of Robert E. Lee High School (TX).  To repeat as champion Rende had to win the USX final round for the second consecutive year as he entered the final ten ranks behind Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA).  Wartel ended up finishing third in the tournament and was the highest placing junior in the field.  Rende becomes the first extemper in NSDA history to win the USX final round in consecutive years.

In International Extemp, Miles Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) won Florida’s first IX national championship.  Saffran began the season by winning the Wake Forest National Earlybird and becomes the first extemper since 2007 to win the season’s first national circuit tournament and NSDA Nationals.  Dylan Adelman of Lakeville South High School (MN) took second by eight ranks, but won the national final round championship.  This gives Lakeville South three final round titles over the last five years.  Adelman’s win also means that a Minnesota extemper has won the IX final round at the last four national tournaments.  Rohan Dhoopar of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) finished third and was the highest placing junior in the IX field.  Lily Nellans of Des Moines Roosevelt High School (IA) came up three places shy of winning a career grand slam at this year’s NSDA Nationals, but she ends her high school career with the major championship record.

Extemp Central congratulates all of the finalists and this year’s national champions and their coaches.

Here are the results of the 2014 NSDA National Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of June 23rd-29th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. What should be the priorities of the new House Majority Leader?
2. Is Andrew Cuomo doing enough to address New York’s heroin problem?
3. Should the federal government raise the gas tax?
4. What reforms should be made to the IRS?
5. Does the U.S. need a new constitutional convention?
6. Is the GOP heading for a split?
7. How will the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on software patents affect the IT industry?
8. Are local minimum wage laws preferrable to state and federal action?
9. Should the U.S. send ground troops back to Iraq?
10. Is immigration replacing the economy as the biggest issue of the 2014 midterms?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of June 23rd-29th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Should the Kurds cheer for the fracturing of Iraq?
2. How can Pakistani political figures rein in the national army?
3. Should the West increase its sanctions on Russia?
4. Is a solution in sight for Venezuela’s political crisis?
5. How can the international community better deal with refugees in conflict zones?
6. Would U.S.-Iranian cooperation on Iraq produce benefits with regards to limiting Iran’s nuclear program?
7. Is Africa’s economic boom sustainable?
8. Should Latin American countries take in Gitmo prisoners?
9. How will violence in Iraq affect global oil prices?
10. Is Argentina headed for a technical default on its debt?

Site News: Off-Season Content Schedule

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buzzFirst, Extemp Central would like to thank all of our loyal readers for using the site during the 2013-2014 season.  An additional thank you goes out to all the competitors, coaches, and judges who sent us tournament results, NSDA qualifiers, and updates throughout the year.  Whether you are going to be competing next year or are a senior that has finished their high school career, we hope that you have found the website informative and useful.

The Extemp Central “off-season” runs from the end of NSDA Nationals to August 1st.  The R&Ds and premium topic briefs will return on August 1 and August 5.  Extemp Central will notify all readers of when they can purchase a 2014-2015 season subscription for the topic briefs, which will once again include a free 2015 NSDA IX & USX topic area analysis, and the archive.  Existing accounts will expire in July.  The price for premium content will remain $25.

Other content will continue to be rolled out on the site during the off-season, though.  The HotTopics IX and USX questions will continue to be posted throughout the summer for those competitors who wish to outline or run speeches.  The weekly quizzes will also continue to be released on Wednesdays.  Our Facebook and Twitter accounts will link to these posts.

During the offseason, a survey will be posted for all readers to fill out so that content can be improved for the 2014-2015 season and I encourage everyone to fill that out.  A “Year in Review” piece will also be posted to the site during July.  Modifications will be made to the 2015 Extemp TOC qualification board to reflect the results of the 2014 NSDA Nationals and a 2014 State Champion Roll Call will be posted.  If you have state results from Hawaii or Tennessee, please send them to me.

When the 2014-2015 season begins in August, we will begin our regular, weekly updates of content.  The National Points Race will return in 2014-2015, and in August the tournaments in this year’s points race and the format of the competition will be revealed.  Extemp Central will also seek to do interviews with several of this year’s champions.

Have a great summer!

-Logan Scisco

2014 NSDA Nationals: IX & USX Semi-Finalist Placings

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NFL Overland ParkFollowing the conclusion of each final round, the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) recognizes the placings of each semi-finalist. Here are the rankings for the semi-finalists in International and United States Extemp at this year’s national tournament.

Extemp Central’s final write up of the NSDA National Tournament will be delayed until late Monday or Tuesday due to the fact that I am moving and will be without Internet access for the next few days.

2014 NSDA Nationals: IX Final Round Analysis

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NFL Overland ParkThe International Extemp final round has concluded. Here is Extemp Central’s analysis of this year’s final round. Awards will take place at 6:00 p.m. CST tonight. They will be streamed at this link.

Note: Notable judges for the final round include MBA tournament director Adam Johnson; Maria Casa, the director of national programming and outreach administration for the Council on Foreign Relations; and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.

Note #2: This year’s national tournament saw 236 students compete in International Extemp.

2014 NSDA Nationals: USX Final Round Analysis

NFL Overland Park

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The United States Extemp final round has concluded. Here is Extemp Central’s analysis of this year’s final round. Awards will take place at 6:00 p.m. CST tonight. They will be streamed at this link.

Note: Notables judges for the final round include Lisa Miller of Nova High School, coach of the 2011 NFL USX national champion; 1988 and 1989 NFL USX national champion David Kensinger; MBA tournament director Adam Johnson; and Sharon Volpe of North Allegheny Senior High School, coach of the 2009 NFL IX national champion.

Note #2: 247 competitors squared off in USX at this year’s national tournament.

2014 NSDA Nationals: IX Final Round Preview

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NFL Overland Park236 competitors began the week in International Extemp and now the field has been chopped down to six.  One of those six competitors will become the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) International Extemporaneous Speaking Champion.  The IX final round will commence at 11:00 a.m. CST on Friday.  Extemp Central will provide a recap of the final round after it concludes.

Extemp Central has provided an overview to give its readers some background on who they will see in tomorrow’s final.  The format used for each participant is similar to that used for our “Sweet Sixteen” pieces for the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin in January.

This year’s IX final has five states represented.  Seniors make up two-thirds of the round, and five of the finalists are former participants in the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin.  The IX final features the only two female extempers left standing in either extemp category at the end of twelve rounds of competition.  Three of the competitors come from schools that have had an extemper win an IX national championship within the last five years.  Five competitors have won state championships, and three of them won Extemp TOC qualifying tournaments this season.

2014 NSDA Nationals: USX Final Round Preview

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NFL Overland ParkSix competitors remain from the estimated 248 extempers that began the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament on Monday.  The United States Extemp final will take place tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. CST.  Extemp Central will provide a recap of the round after it concludes.

Extemp Central has provided an overview to give its readers some background on who they will see in tomorrow’s final.  The format used for each participant is similar to that used for our “Sweet Sixteen” pieces for the Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin in January.

This year’s USX round is equally split between juniors and seniors and features four state champions, as well as the defending USX national champion.  The participants share nine Extemp TOC qualifying tournament titles between them.

2014 NSDA Nationals: Friday’s Finals Are Set

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NFL Overland ParkThe finals postings have dropped at the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament and we now know who will be competing in the International and United States Extemp finals on Friday morning.  After competing for twelve rounds, all of the finalists will have tomorrow off to rest.

Throughout the entire tournament, the top five of last year’s final round of United States Extemp continued to trudge forward, but semi-finals completely blew up the idea of having anything resembling last year’s final round.  Three of last year’s finalists, all of whom placed second through fourth, will not be appearing in Friday’s final.  Christopher Jordan of Brophy College Preparatory (AZ), Chase Harrison of Millburn High School (NJ), and Adam Stromme of Eagan High School (MN) were eliminated after round twelve.  Also eliminated was Nida Ansari of Riverside High School (SC), who was the only remaining female competitor in the event.

These eliminations do not mean that Friday’s USX final will not be interesting.  Arel Rende of Booker T. Washington High School (OK) will have an opportunity to defend his national title.  He will square off against a geographically diverse field that includes Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA), who placed fifth at last year’s nationals.  Jasper Primack of Newton South High School (MA), the George Mason University Patriot Games winner in December, and two-time California USX state champion Brian Yu of Monte Vista High School (CA) are other notables in the final.  Rounding out the USX final are Arizona Division I state champion Joe Russell of Brophy College Preparatory (AZ) and Winston Churchill USX champion Cosmo Albrecht of Robert E. Lee High School (TX).

In International Extemp, Lily Nellans of Des Moines Roosevelt High School (IA) will square off with Miles Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) for the last time in a 2013-2014 final round.  Nellans will be participating in her third consecutive NSDA extemp final round.  Three of the other speakers in the round are Montgomery Extemp Round Robin alumni:  Isabella Paretti of Cypress Bay High School (FL), Rohan Dhoopar of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA), and Gabe Slater of Denver East High School (CO).  Rounding out the field will be Dylan Adelman of Lakeville South High School (MN), who just barely missed out on last year’s final round and placed seventh.

No school managed to get more than one extemper into this year’s final rounds across both categories.  California and Florida each have two finalists, which is more than any other state.

On Friday, the U.S. Extemp final will kick off at 9:30 a.m. CST and will be followed by the International Extemp final round at 11:00 a.m.  Both rounds are being streamed online by the NSDA at this link.  Time permitting, Extemp Central will provide a breakdown of all of this year’s finalists tomorrow.

Extemp Central congratulates all of the finalists on their accomplishment and wishes them the best of luck on Friday morning.

2014 NSDA Nationals: Semi-Finalists Released!

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NFL Overland ParkThe field in International Extemp and United States Extemp has now been cut to fourteen.  Competitors have two more rounds of competition this afternoon which will determine who will be in Friday morning’s final rounds.

As expected, the quarter-final round saw some notable names fall by the wayside.  In International Extemp, Lyubov Kapko of Tempe Preparatory Academy (AZ), who finished third last year in Birmingham, dropped.  Former IX semi-finalists Abhishek Bhargava of Jackson High School (OH) and Eric Wang of Solon High School (OH) were also eliminated.

There will not be a repeat of last year’s United States Extemp final round at this year’s nationals.  Carunya Achar of Cypress Creek High School (TX), who finished sixth last season, was eliminated.  The other five finalists from last year’s USX final round remained alive, though, including defending champion Arel Rende of Booker T. Washington High School (OK).

Per NSDA rules, a non-senior competitor that reaches semi-finals earns an automatic qualification back to next year’s national tournament.  Eleven extempers have pre-qualified to next year’s nationals via this route (five in IX and six in USX).  They are indicated in bold in our semi-finalist listing below.

Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) and Brophy College Preparatory (AZ) have a chance to put two extempers into the final round.  Bellarmine’s extempers, Rohan Dhoopar and Alex Doan, are in IX, while Brophy’s extempers, Christopher Jordan and Joe Russell (who we apologize to for failing to put in our quarter-finalist listing last night), are in USX.  California leads all states with seven extempers in semi-finals across both categories.

Of the twenty-eight extemp semi-finalists, five are women.  Four female competitors remain in IX, while only one remains in USX.  A female extemper has only won USX once since 1991.

Extemp Central congratulates all of this year’s semi-finalists.

Strategy: Handling Political Cartoon Rounds

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by Logan Scisco

At a few select tournaments throughout the year, you may encounter rounds that are different from what you are accustomed to.  Instead of drawing three questions and choosing one to speak on, some tournaments may give you a copy of The New York Times and have you draft your own question from the paper.  Others may have you examine editorials, and a few may have you draw three political cartoons and choose one to speak on in the round.  Extempers are usually befuddled by changes to their normal environment and even good extempers stumble in these “experimental” rounds.  This strategy piece will examine approaches to political cartoon rounds so that if you ever come across one you will be comfortable and ready to compete.

2014 NSDA Nationals: And Then There Were 30….

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NFL Overland ParkAt the beginning of the morning, more than 200 extempers were still alive in International and United States Extemporaneous Speaking.  Now the field in each event has been whittled down to thirty.  Tomorrow morning, these thirty extempers will give their ninth and tenth speeches of the tournament.  They will seek a spot in the semi-finals, which will put them two rounds away from the NSDA final round stage and, for any non-seniors, give them an automatic qualification back to next year’s national tournament.  By the end of tomorrow, we will know who the six finalists are in each category.

Octofinals did not carry any of its usual surprises as all of the big names of last year’s tournament and this year’s national circuit advanced to quarters.  Last year’s USX finalists remain alive, as do other USX notables such as Jasper Primack of Newton South High School (MA), Brian Anderson of LaRue County High School (KY), Nida Ansari of Riverside High School (SC), Jad Hamdan of Jackson High School (OH), Cameron James Bonnewell of Lake Highland Preparatory (FL), and Brian Yu of Monte Vista High School (CA).  In International Extemp, two of last year’s finalists remain alive as Lyubov Kapko of Tempe Preparatory Academy (AZ) and Lily Nellans of Des Moines Roosevelt (IA) clear to rounds nine and ten.  They will be joined by other IX notables such as Miles Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL), Dylan Adelman of Lakeville South High School (MN), Abhishek Bhargava of Jackson High School (OH), Gabe Slater of Denver East High School (CO), and Will Walker of Fullerton Joint Union High School (CA) tomorrow.  The names in this paragraph are only a sampling of the great competitors that remain in the field.

California currently leads all the states in most extemp breaks to quarters with nine across both categories.  Texas is second with seven.

A fact that illustrates the depth of this year’s quarter-final field is that eleven extempers in International Extemp have won a state championship at some point in their extemporaneous speaking career.  In United States Extemp,  nine extempers are state champions.

Extemp Central congratulates the thirty extempers in each category who have reached the quarter-final rounds.

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