Month: February 2023 Page 1 of 2

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of February 27-March 5, 2023

Here is this week’s news quiz.  Good luck!

2023 California Invitational: Vakkalagadda Notches Another Win for Bellarmine College Preparatory; Trivedi Takes Second After Winning Final Round

When Harvard held its big national circuit event two weeks ago, the University of California-Berkeley was holding its own, returning to in-person competition after two years of having the tournament take place in a virtual environment.

In the cumulative tournament, Rohit Vakkalagadda of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) emerged as the winner, outlasting a field of 138 competitors. Vakkalagadda’s victory was narrow as he defeated Nirja Trivedi of Westview High School (CA) by two ranks.

Vakkalagadda’s victory marks the third time in the last five years that Bellarmine College Preparatory has won the event. The last Bellarmine extemper to win was Kush Narang, who captured the 2020 title.

Trivedi won the tournament’s final round, where the top four competitors were separated by one rank. #25 Isaiah Sohn of Redlands High School (CA) placed third and Sophia Gerrans of George Washington High School (CO) finished fourth. Gerrans was the only non-California extemper to make it to the championship round of competition.

In terms of cumulative ranks, which Berkeley tabulates from preliminary rounds until finals, Gordy Sun of the Harker School (CA) finished a mere rank behind Gerrans. Six ranks back of Sun was sixth place finisher Ali Malik of Monta Vista High School (CA). Aadi Chauhan of Bellarmine took seventh.

Due to the large field, the California Invitational broke to octafinals, so competitors reaching the final round had to survive three elimination rounds to make the top seven. #22 Francis Olakangil of Bellarmine made a charge into quarter-finals but dropped there. The same was true of #25 Kashish Priyam of the Harker School. Stanford United States Extemp winner and 2021 California Invitational Champion Michelle Jin of the Harker School dropped in preliminary rounds.

Since the California Invitational is a third tier National Points Race competition, Vakkalagadda will receive 100 points for his victory. Since only the top six in a final round receive finalist points, Chauhan will receive the same points as a semi-finalist for being seventh.

All quarter-finalists at the tournament earned a bid leg to the 2023 Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. The same is true for the University of Kentucky TOC in April.

Here were the results of the 2023 California Invitational at Berkeley (Click here for tab sheet):

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of February 27-March 5, 2023

1. Are global politics moving in a more leftist direction?
2. What can Southern European nations do to revive flagging birthrates?
3. Should Saudi Arabia seek a rapprochement with Syria?
4. Will the Qosh Tepa Canal lead to greater regional conflict in Central Asia?
5. Is South Africa making a mistake by forming closer ties to Russia and China?
6. What reforms do Latin American nations need to make to their prisons?
7. Is it in Russia’s best interest to get into a new nuclear arms race with the West?
8. Should the Iranian government sacrifie its nuclear program in exchange for a reduction of Western sanctions?
9. Will growing debt problems in the developing world create a global economic crisis?
10. Could Chinese weapons assistance make Russia turn the tide in Ukraine?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of February 27-March 5, 2023

1. If President Biden runs for re-election, will he face a significant primary challenge?
2. Would a significant breakdown of globalization make American inflation worse?
3. Who will win the Chicago mayoral election?
4. Should there be an expansion of the Medicaid program?
5. Is the Democratic brand “damaged” with blue collar workers?
6. Will the federal government have to do more work beyond Biden’s infrastructure bill to help the adoption of electric vehicles?
7. Would it be a mistake for the U.S. to give fighter jets to Ukraine?
8. Is the U.S. in a new nuclear arms race with Russia?
9. Should states prioritize teacher recruitment or teacher retention?
10. Is gun violence in the U.S. a public health problem?

2023 Harvard National Forensics Tournament: Paltzik Narrowly Defeats Peddi to Extend Undefeated Streak; Cao Wins Tiebreaker for Third

For the first time in three seasons Harvard held its National Forensics Tournament in person. The switch did not dampen numbers. In fact, the opposite occurred as 232 extempers entered this year’s tournament, 58 more than the previous edition.

#1 McKinley Paltzik of Phoenix Country Day School (AZ) continued her undefeated march through the season, defeating an impressive cadre of extempers to become the first Arizona extemper to win Harvard since Bill McDonald of Brophy College Preparatory did it in 2012. Her win also ends a two-year winning streak at the tournament by the state of Florida.

#6 Sruti Peddi of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ) did not make Paltzik’s road to the title easy, coming within two ranks of dethroning her in the championship round. Paltzik and Peddi each earned two first place ranks from the final round panel’s five judges but Paltzik’s ability to capture two second place ranks versus Peddi’s one proved decisive.

Paltzik and Peddi put some distance between themselves and the rest of the round as Amy Cao of Ridge High School (NJ) and #5 Phoena Lin of Plano West Senior High School (TX) ended up seven ranks behind them. Cao and Lin tied for third with a final round total of 18 ranks. Cao won the first tiebreaker, judges’ preference, three to two.

#21 Kevin Li of Ridge High School (NJ) reached his third National Points Race final round of the year and finished fifth, five ranks behind Cao and Lin.

George Mason University Patriot Games winner Taylor Burris of the Potomac School (VA) was the sixth place finisher.

Several extempers in the top 25 of the National Points Race had their Harvard runs cut short of the final round. #3 Kyle Letterer and #4 Gabriel Bo of Plano West were eliminated in semi-finals, with Letterer dropping to Cai in a judges’ preference tiebreaker. #12 Siddharth Sudhakar of Nova High School (FL) and #17 Tyler Crivella of Seven Lakes High School (TX) went out in quarter-finals. And #7 Jonathan Tubb of St. Mary’s Hall (TX) was eliminated in octa-finals.

All of those who reached elimination rounds at Harvard will earn National Points Race points since the event is a second tier tournament. Paltzik will receive 150 points for her victory, her second at a second tier event this season.

In terms of TOC qualifications, all extempers who reached the quarter-final round earn a bid leg to the Extemp TOC at Northwestern University and the University of Kentucky TOC.

Here are the results of the 2023 Harvard National Forensics Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of February 20-26, 2023

Here is this week’s news quiz.  Good luck!

2023 Illinois High School Association State Speech Finals: Fosdick Upsets McDade and Gupta to Claim State Championship

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) held its State Speech Final last weekend in Peoria, Illinois. In a close final round, Luke Fosdick of Neuqua Valley High School scored an upset victory over #8 Pierce McDade of Normal University School and defending state champion Ajay Gupta of Hinsdale Central High School.

After a competitor’s high and low rank in finals was dropped, Fosdick’s scores of 2-2-2 were enough to defeat McDade’s 1-2-4 tally and Gupta’s 1-3-4 showing.

David Izzo of York Community High School and Hugo Pletcher of Downers Grove South High School tied for fourth with a composite score of 13. However, Izzo won the judges’ preference tiebreaker 3-2.

Avani Rai of Normal Community High School finished sixth.

Fosdick is the first Neuqua Valley winner since Saumya Jain won the title as part of a unique three-way tie at the Illinois State Speech Final in 2014.

All of the finalists earn an automatic qualification to this year’s Extemp TOC at Northwestern University.

Here are the results of the Illinois High School Association State Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of February 20-26, 2023

1. Should Senator Tim Scott seek the Republican presidential nomination?
2. Is the federal government mishandling the Ohio toxic train derailment?
3. Do rising auto loan delinquencies indicate that the U.S. economy is in trouble?
4. Should standardized testing requirements for public schools be eliminated?
5. Why does the percentage of the American workforce that is unionized continue to decline?
6. Should there be federal regulations on the use of artificial intelligence (AI)?
7. What should the U.S. do if China provides lethal supplies to Russia in Ukraine?
8. Should qualified immunity for police officers be abolished?
9. How would an upending of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act affect the operations of online companies?
10. Should there be an age-based competency test to be a federal officeholder?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of February 20-26, 2023

1. Will anyone be held accountable for crimes against humanity in the Russo-Ukrainian War?
2. Can the UN create an effective ocean’s treaty?
3. Will North Korea’s increased missile tests ignite an arms race in Asia?
4. Is Russia trying to destabilize Moldova?
5. Who will win Nigeria’s presidential election?
6. How will the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon affect the Scottish independence movement?
7. Are South Asian nations doing enough to combat air pollution?
8. How can South American nations improve the lives of indigenous peoples?
9. Are Israel’s proposed legal reforms a significant threat to the nation’s democracy?
10. Will leftist battles with central bank authorities throughout Latin America undermine the region’s economic potential?

2023 Stanford Invitational: Marks Wins IX Over Two Top Ten Extempers; Jin Leads Harker Domination of USX

Last weekend Stanford University hosted its 37th Annual Stanford Invitational. Like last year, the event took place in a virtual environment but this year’s event kept the tournament’s traditional name. The tournament allowed extempers to dabble in International and United States Extemp because each category took place in different flights. 53 extempers entered the tournament in Varsity International Extemp and 60 extempers entered in Varsity United States Extemp.

In International Extemp, Aidan Marks of Benilde-St. Margaret’s (MN) narrowly defeated #2 Theodore Gercken of the College Preparatory School (CA) by two ranks in a split final round. Among the five finals judges, Marks took two first place ranks but a third place rank and two fourth place ranks. Gercken captured one first place rank but an errant sixth place rank doomed his overall composite score in what was his sixth National Points Race final round appearance of the season.

#10 Charlotte Reitman of the University School (FL) finished third after managing to get a first place rank and two second place ranks. But Reitman’s chances of winning the tournament were dashed by taking a fifth and sixth place rank.

Nathan Cai of Brophy College Preparatory (AZ) took the last remaining first place rank in the final round, also securing a second and third place rank. However, picking up a sixth place rank caused him to finish tied with Reitman and he lost a judges’ preference tiebreaker 4-1.

The last two finalists in International Extemp came from the Harker School (CA) as Joy Hu finished four ranks behind Cai for fifth. This was five ranks better than teammate Michelle Jin, who placed sixth.

In United States Extemp, the Harker School dominated. Jin and Hu reversed their fortunes from International Extemp, taking first and second place, respectively. Jin overcame a sixth place rank in finals after capturing two first place ranks, defeating Hu by two ranks.

Jin and Hu’s Harker teammates Gordy Sun and Kashish Priyam finished third and fourth. Sun and Priyam were making their second National Points Race final round appearances this season as Sun was a third place finisher in IX at the James Logan MLK last month and Priyam was the runner-up in USX there was well.

All of the Harker School’s extempers took every available first place rank in the USX final round.

Ali Malik of Monta Vista High School (CA) finished fifth in USX, one rank behind Priyam. Malik defeated Lakshya Chaudhry of Vancouver Debate Academy (Canada) on a judges’ preference tiebreaker 3-2.

There were several ranked competitors in the National Points Race that did not clear to the final round of IX or USX. #6 Sruti Peddi of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ) reached semi-finals in both categories, while #13 Brandon Cheng of Flintridge Preparatory (CA) reached the semi-final round of IX. IX runner-up Gercken also went out in the quarter-final round of USX.

All of the finalists will receive National Points Race points since Stanford was a fifth tier event. Jin and Hu will receive credit for their USX finishes instead of their IX finishes because they did better in USX. For their victories, Marks and Jin will receive 40 points.

With regards of TOC qualifications, all semi-finalists will receive a bid leg to the Extemp TOC at Northwestern University. All finalists receive a bid leg to the University of Kentucky TOC.

Here are the results of the 2023 Stanford Invitational (Click here for tab sheet):

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of February 13-19, 2023

Here is this week’s news quiz.  Good luck!

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of February 13-19, 2023

1. What does the future of European energy look like?
2. Should the EU open formal membership negotiations with Ukraine?
3. Has the Erdogan government effectively responded to the Kahramanmaras earthquake?
4. Is North Korea running out of foreign policy options?
5. Should Bolsonaro return to Brazil?
6. Is the Arctic the next major battleground between global powers?
7. What does Israel need to do to bring Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords?
8. Should China abandon the Belt & Road Initiative?
9. Is the AUKUS alliance working?
10. Should stratospheric aerosol injections be used to combat climate change?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of February 13-19, 2023

1. Has President Biden’s foreign policy been too erratic?
2. Will U.S. consumer spending levels decline in the next economic quarter?
3. Should Chinese companies be barred from owning U.S. farmland?
4. What should the U.S. do to ends its nursing shortage?
5. Does the U.S. need to make more investments in its air defense networks?
6. Should states loosen child labor laws to deal with worker shortages?
7. Was President Biden’s State of the Union speech a success?
8. Should “medical aid-in-dying” laws be made universal throughout the United States?
9. Will the growing legalization of sports gambling create new hardships for the U.S. working class?
10. Should Congress repeal the Iraq war authorization?

2022-2023 Extemp Central National Points Race: New Standings After the Barkley Forum!

New standings for the 2022-2023 Extemp Central National Points Race have been released!  These results reflect the results of the Barkley Forum.  You can find them by clicking on the “National Points Race” tab at the top of the page or by clicking here.

The next major National Points Race competition will take place in a virtual environment this weekend when Stanford hosts its annual invitational tournament.  The event is a fifth tier competition, so all extempers that place in the top six will receive points.  Since Stanford allows extempers to double enter in International and United States Extemp, an extemper’s best finish will count toward the National Points Race.

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of February 6-12, 2023

Here is this week’s news quiz.  Good luck!

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