Month: June 2015 Page 1 of 3

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of June 29-July 5, 2015


HOTtopics1. How will the Obergefell case impact the Republican presidential primaries?
2. Is Bernie Sanders becoming a significant threat to Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations?
3. With no rate increase in June, is the Federal Reserve poised to raise rates in September?
4. Do recent decisions indicate that the Supreme Court now leans to the left?
5. Will the revised U.S. hostage policy put more Americans at risk?
6. Should the U.S. care about the Greek debt crisis?
7. Are transgender rights the next civil rights battleground?
8. Will Space X’s failures deter private investment in the space industry?
9. Should orthodox Christians in America follow the “Benedict option”?
10. How will the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage affect future First Amendment cases where religious and civil rights clash?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of June 29-July 5, 2015


HOTtopics1. Will the Danish People’s Party benefit by being left out of Denmark’s new government?
2. Is South Africa’s ANC becoming autocratic?
3. What reforms are needed to fix the European Union’s economic malaise?
4. Does mass deforestation constitute a threat to Indonesia’s economy?
5. Is the international financial system defenseless against the next global economic crisis?
6. Why is piracy becoming a significant concern in Southeast Asia?
7. Is a UN resolution that honors Srebrenica victims counterproductive to resolving ethnic tensions in Bosnia?
8. Is a better nuclear deal with Iran possible?
9. How should the British government respond to the Tunisia hotel massacre?
10. Should Greece hold a referedum on the Troika’s bailout terms?

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of June 22-28, 2015


Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!quiz-01

To access a list of all our old quizzes, click here.

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of June 22-28, 2015


HOTtopics1. Should the Nieto back off of reform efforts following the results of the Mexican midterm elections?
2. Is Pope Francis strengthening global efforts to do more about climate change?
3. What steps does Cristina Fernandez need to take to fix Argentina’s economic problems?
4. Is the UN losing credibility?
5. Should global investors be bullish about Iraq’s oil market?
6. Is the targeting of the leadership of terrorist groups counterproductive?
7. How can China diffuse political tensions in Hong Kong?
8. Is David Cameron’s austerity program necessary?
9. Can Amama Mbabazi defeat Yoweri Museveni?
10. Is migrant policy or the possibility of a “Grexit” a bigger threat to the future of the European Union?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of June 22-28, 2015


HOTtopics1. Should the Charleston church shooting be considered an act of terrorism?
2. Is Donald Trump a serious presidential candidate?
3. Will a crackdown on dissident Republicans strengthen John Boehner’s power in the House?
4. Should South Carolina remove the Confederate flag from its state grounds?
5. What should Republicans do if the Supreme Court rules against the ACA in King v. Burwell?
6. Was the Iowa Republican Party misguided in ending the Iowa Straw Poll?
7. Does President Obama risk becoming a lame duck if he continues to push for more free trade deals?
8. Should Uber drivers be considered employees instead of independent contractors?
9. What kind of gun control does America need?
10. How should American schools handle truancy?

Site News: Off-Season Schedule


buzzWith the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament in the books, Extemp Central will head into its off-season posting schedule until August.  During this time, questions will still be uploaded on Mondays (for any extemp camps that may want to use them or for competitors that want to do some off-season prep) and quizzes will still be posted on Wednesdays.  However, premium topic briefs and R&Ds will not return until August 4 and 5, respectively.  Extemp Central will make a post when the SpeechGeek Market makes 2015-2016 seasons subscriptions available.

We will also finalize our posting of state tournament results in the coming weeks, as well as do a year-end wrap-up pieces to chronicle all of the big stories on the national circuit.  Additionally, a National Points Race write up and standings sheet that encompasses all of this year’s ranked competitors will be released near the end of the week.

Finally, Extemp Central has secured interviews with some of the season’s top competitors.  Interviews with NSDA International and United States Extemp Champions Brian Anderson and Brian Yu, NCFL Grand National Champion Yijia Liang, and MBA Extemp Round Robin and Extemp TOC winner Josh Wartel will be posted in August.  Extemp Central also hopes to do another “season preview” piece by gathering information about some of the competitors to watch next season.

2015 NSDA Nationals: Anderson’s Comeback Ends Kentucky’s Title Drought; U.S. Extemp Splits as Yu and Wartel Edge Out Sirot for Overall and Final Round National Championships


Dallas 15After a thrilling five days of competition in Dallas, the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) wrapped up its annual national tournament by crowning new national champions in International and United States Extemp in some of the closest contests in recent memory.

Brian Anderson of LaRue County High School ended Kentucky’s twenty eight-year-long main event national championship drought by staging a come from behind victory in International Extemp. Anderson entered the final round ten ranks behind Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL), but won the final round by five ranks over Alex Ye of Gabrielino High School (CA) to overtake Graham and win by two ranks. If Graham had won, Trinity Preparatory would have retained the International Extemp championship for the second consecutive year.  Anderson is the first NSDA International Extemp champion to win the overall tournament and the final round since 2012. His win also marks the fourth time that a Kentucky extemper has either won or tied for first place in an NSDA extemp final since 2003.

By winning the final round, Anderson earned fifty National Points Race points and this broke what would have been a tie at the top of this year’s standings in his favor. Although Graham will finish runner-up in the National Points Race, he will get an opportunity to win the competition, as well as an NSDA national championship, next season.  More details about the National Points Race, including complete rankings, will be provided next week.

Brian Yu of Monte Vista High School became his school’s first extemporaneous speaking national champion, edging out Jay Sirot of Montville Township High School (NJ) in a West Coast-East Coast clash of state champions by one rank. Yu, a three-time California state champion in United States Extemp, is the first California extemper to win the event since Evan Larson of Bellarmine College Preparatory did so in 2009.

Although Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA) came up short in his quest for a third major championship, he did end his carer by winning the United States Extemp final round national championship. Entering the final round six ranks behind Yu, Wartel made up three ranks and won the final round by judges’ preference over Sirot. However, he did not cut enough into Yu’s lead to win the overall national title. This marks the third time in six years that the winner of the final round in United States Extemp was not the overall winner of the tournament.

Here are the results of the 2015 NSDA National Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

Sources Used in the 2015 NSDA Final Rounds


Dallas 15As another fun exercise, Extemp Central totaled all of the sources used in the International and United States Extemp final rounds to see which sources were most commonly used in each competition.

Of all publications, The Washington Post was cited the most, with the publication being cited nine times in the International Extemp final and seven times in the United States Extemp final.  One wonders whether this is due to the quality of The Washington Post‘s journalism or if it is due to the fact that it is one of the few big national sources that extempers can cut for free.  The New York Times was in the top three of both extemp categories as well, being the second-most cited publication in the International Extemp final and the third-most cited publication in the United States Extemp final.

A major difference between the two finals is that the International Extemp final saw a greater use of think tanks and scholarly journals.  For example, extempers in that round cited Foreign Policy in Focus, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  United States extempers did make use of some non-newspaper and magazine sources such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress, but these were not cited as often as the other final round.

For those squads looking to diversify their files for next season, these lists may help you determine what you should consider including in your files.

2015 NSDA Nationals: IX & USX Semi-Finalist Placings


Dallas 15Although we await the final placings in International and United States Extemp later this evening, NSDA has already named the exact placings of the semi-finalists in International and United States Extemp.

Included below are the rankings for the semi-finalists in International and United States Extemp at this year’s national tournament.  Competitors that are highlighted in blue are non-seniors who have the option of automatically returning to next year’s national tournament in that same extemp category.  What was very impressive was that two non-seniors – Shreetika Singh of Seven Lakes High School (TX) and Nathaniel Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL) – finished seventh in International and United States Extemp, respectively.

2015 NSDA Nationals: IX Final Round Analysis


Dallas 15With the conclusion of International Extemp, all of the extemporaneous speaking rounds are finished at the 2015 NSDA National Tournament. All that is left is to find out how they ended up and awards can be streamed at this link starting at 6:00 p.m. CST.

Note #1: Notable judges for this round include Robert Kelly of Chesterton Senior High School, coach of the 2002 International Extemp national champion; MBA Extemp Round Robin tournament director Adam Johnson; NSDA Board of Directors Member Pam McComas; and Maria Casa from the Council on Foreign Relations

Note #2: The official number of extempers in International Extemp at this year’s national tournament was 242

2015 NSDA Nationals: USX Final Round Analysis


Dallas 15The 2015 National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) United States Extemp final round has concluded. Here is Extemp Central’s brief summary and analysis of this year’s final round. Awards are scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. CST this evening and they will be streamed at this link.

Note #1: Some notable judges for this round include Todd Hering of Eastview High School, coach of the 2004 and 2005 U.S. Extemp national champion; Mario Herrera of Henry W. Grady High School in Georgia, coach of the National Points Race runner-up in 2012; and Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin tournament director Adam Johnson.

Note #2: The official number of contestants this year in U.S. Extemp was 244.

2014-2015 National Points Race: How Friday’s Finals Will Determine This Year’s Winner


pointsraceheader-01Heading into Friday morning’s final rounds, three competitors remain alive in the 2014-2015 National Points Race competition:  Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School (FL), Brian Anderson of LaRue County High School (KY), and Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA).    Graham and Anderson will be competing in the International Extemp final, while Wartel will be competing in the United States Extemp final.

In this article, what I have attempted to do is to lay out how many points reach competitor could earn based on certain finishes at the tournament and then explain scenarios that would allow each competitor to win the National Points Race.  For Wartel, he can only position himself to win the National Points Race by finishing first or second in U.S. Extemp so those are the only placings listed for him.  By each placing, the number of total National Points Race points a competitor would have at the end of the tournament based on that placing is shown by the placing number.  For example, if Justin Graham were to finish first in IX then he would have a cumulative season total of 762 points.  Since the winner of the IX final round will receive fifty points and the final round winner of USX will receive forty points, the number in parenthesis by the number of total points a competitor might earn by placing at a certain position is how many points that person would earn if they also won the final round.  So for example, if Josh Wartel finishes first in U.S. Extemp and wins the final round he would have 639 points for the entire season.  Although calculations are included for final round victories if a competitor places fourth, fifth, or sixth, it is highly unlikely that with the NSDA’s current setup of the final round counting for 25% of a competitor’s elimination round score that someone would win the final round and place that low.  Still, it is included just in case something unpredictable happens.

There is one scenario that could produce a mathematical tie between Graham and Anderson.  In the National Points Race, ties are broken with the following criteria (in order of importance):  number of wins, number of top three finishes at National Points Race competitions, and number of National Points Race final rounds.  If all of this fails to break a tie, then co-champions are declared.

So here are the possible combinations of points that each of the three competitors could earn in their respective final rounds:

2015 NSDA Nationals: International Extemp Final Round Preview


Dallas 15Possessing the National Points Race bonus at this year’s NSDA Nationals, International Extemp has been a brutal fight through twelve rounds.  The thirteenth and final round, which will be contested at 11:00 a.m. CST on Friday, will determine not only the 2015 NSDA International Extemp National Champion, but also the winner of the 2014-2015 National Points Race.  Extemp Central will provide a brief recap of the final round after it concludes.

The following preview is designed to let readers know a little about each of the participants in this year’s final round, which features three of the top ten extempers in the National Points Race.  The final round also features four state champions and its competitors share eight TOC qualifying tournament titles and twenty-seven 2014-2015 national circuit final round appearances.

2015 NSDA Nationals: USX Final Round Preview


Dallas 15The first of two extemp categories on Friday’s main event schedule, United States Extemp will take place at 9:30 a.m. CST. As usual, Extemp Central will provide a short recap of the round after it concludes.

The following preview is designed to let readers know a little about each of the participants in this year’s field. This year’s final features two returning finalists, one of whom is in the final round for the third consecutive year.  Four of the competitors have a state championship to their credit (with two competitors winning their state’s extemp title three times) and the final round extempers have three TOC qualifying titles and twelve TOC qualifying tournament final round appearances to their credit.

2015 NSDA Nationals: Friday’s Finals Are Set!


Dallas 15Roughly thirty minutes ago, the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) posted the finalists in International and United States Extemp for the 2016 national tournament.  Competitors will enjoy a day off tomorrow, but will resume competing on Friday morning.  The United States Extemp final will be contested at 9:30 a.m. CST, while International Extemp will take place shortly after that round at 11:00 a.m. CST.  Both final rounds should be live streamed and Extemp Central will provide that information as it is forthcoming.

The final round of International Extemp appears to be a strong one as it will feature several national circuit champions, state winners, and four competitors in the top fifteen of the National Points Race.  Rohan Dhoopar of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) will be making his second consecutive appearance in the IX final and fellow Californian Alex Ye of Gabrielino High School, who was a semi-finalist at last year’s nationals, will join him there.  Florida will have two finalists as well, with National Points Race leader Justin Graham of Trinity Preparatory School and Noah Wexler of Nova Senior High School aiming to keep the IX championship in the Sunshine State.  Brian Anderson of LaRue County High School (KY), the winner of the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (TOC) last month, and Glenbrooks winner Jack Glaser of George Washington High School (CO) will also be in the final round.  Graham will be the only non-senior in the IX final.

International Extemp’s results further narrows National Points Race possibilities as fourth-ranked Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler of Durham Academy (NC) was eliminated, thereby leaving only Graham, Anderson, and Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA) to contest the championship.  Scenarios for the National Points Race will be released tomorrow.

The United States Extemp final should also be competitive as all of the competitors that are participating in it are ranked in the top forty of the National Points Race.  Josh Wartel and Brian Yu of Monte Vista High School (CA) will be appearing in the USX final again, with Wartel making his third consecutive appearance.  New Jersey is the only state with multiple extempers in the USX final thanks to the efforts of Harvard runner-up Shawn Kant of Ridge High School and New Jersey United States Extemp State Champion Jay Sirot of Montville Township High School.  Vishal Narayanaswamy of James Madison Memorial High School (WI) will be in this year’s final, improving on his seventh place finish at last year’s nationals, and Texas Forensic Association (TFA) U.S. Extemp winner Marshall Webb of Saint Mary’s Hall will join Kant as the other non-senior in the championship round.

United States Extemp could have had an even more stacked final round if a few ranks had changed as several other highly touted competitors did not make the final cut.  Jasper Primack of Newton South High School (MA), who won Yale and the New York City Invitational this year, ended up one round shy of making the U.S. Extemp final for the second consecutive year.  Other notables that dropped in semi-finals included California Invitational winner Ethan Hu of Leland High School (CA), Nathaniel Saffran of Trinity Preparatory School (FL), and Micah Cash of Booker T. Washington High School (OK).

Check back tomorrow for some small capsules on each of this year’s NSDA finalists as well as how Friday’s final rounds will affect the National Points Race.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén