Month: May 2023

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 29-June 4, 2023

1. Will South Africa’s economic situation continue to worsen the longer the ANC holds onto power?
2. Who will be Iran’s next Supreme Leader?
3. Has Greece fully recovered from its debt crisis?
4. What reforms does Great Britain need to make to the NHS?
5. How can AMLO ensure that Delfina Gómez succeeds him next year?
6. What should Australia do in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
7. Is the European Union too big or not big enough?
8. What is most needed to revive the Middle East peace process?
9. How can China solve its youth unemployment problem?
10. What if Ukraine loses?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 29-June 4, 2023

1. Did Speaker McCarthy outmaneuver President Biden on debt ceiling negotiations?
2. Is U.S. consumer behavior becoming increasingly polarized along political lines?
3. How can Ron DeSantis capture the Republican presidential nomination?
4. Should the U.S. federal government regulate adolescent use of social media?
5. Is it too early for Congress to regulate the artificial intelligence industry?
6. What would a bipartisan reform of Social Security look like?
7. How will artificial intelligence affect future U.S. political campaigns?
8. Will the Texas Senate vote to remove Ken Paxton from office?
9. Does the U.S. have a dysfunctional foreign policy toward Turkey?
10. Will the debate over reparations split the Democratic Party’s diverse coalition?

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 22-28, 2023

Note:  This will be the last news quiz of the 2022-2023 season.  News quizzes will resume in the fall.  Practice questions will still be uploaded through NSDA Nationals.

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

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 22-28, 2023

1. Does the Durham Report bolster President Trump’s re-election effort?
2. Should New York City cease being a sanctuary city?
3. How will the need for critical minerals for electric cars shape U.S. foreign policy?
4. Should Democrats demand tax increases as part of a debt ceiling deal with Republicans?
5. Is JPMorgan Chase becoming too big?
6. Has the U.S. done enough to help schools recover the “learning loss” from COVID?
7. Will transgender rights be a major issue in the 2024 presidential election?
8. What can be done to bridge the growing urban-rural divide in politics?
9. Will Tim Scott’s presidential candidacy gain traction?
10. Which tech firm will be the biggest beneficiary of AI?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 22-28, 2023

1. How will Russian capture of Bakhmut affect the Russo-Ukrainian War?
2. Could greater reliance on AI by government agencies make the risk of nuclear war higher?
3. Will Erdogan win another term?
4. Why are Ecuadorian politics so dysfunctional?
5. Will the Chinese yuan become the global reserve currency over the next two decades?
6. Are Mexico’s drug gangs growing stronger?
7. Is “debt trap” diplomacy a fair characterization of China’s actions in Africa?
8. Will growing sectarian tensions in India hinder its geopolitical dreams?
9. Should Iran continue to fund proxy forces throughout the Middle East?
10. Is ASEAN responding effectively to Myanmar’s civil war?

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 15-21, 2023

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

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 15-21, 2023

1. Can Russia win a war of attrition in Ukraine?
2. Could a regional agreement on Iran’s nuclear program be an effective substitute for action by the P5+1?
3. Should significant sanctions remain on Syria for the forseeable future?
4. Will the drive for green energy deal another blow to global free trade efforts?
5. Why have Chilean leftists lost political momentum?
6. Will Mexican voters give AMLO’s party a supermajority in 2024?
7. Would new leadership reinvigorate the cause of Palestinian statehood?
8. Will Pakistan be able to hold general elections later this year?
9. Is it unwise for South Africa to distance itself from the United States?
10. Will the Middle East’s drive for nuclear power enhance China’s influence in the region?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 15-21, 2023

1. Was the CNN town hall a success for former President Trump?
2. Will increased border crossings provide new momentum for immigration reform?
3. Is the Biden re-election effort stumbling out of the gates?
4. Should the U.S. provide greater incentives for green energy companies to relocate their operations from China?
5. Is white supremacy the biggest terrorist threat that faces the United States?
6. How should drone technology be used by the U.S. military as it prepares for the next war?
7. Should U.S. airlines be forced to pay passengers for delays?
8. Does President Biden have the constitutional authority to ignore the debt ceiling?
9. Should Democrats schedule primary debates for 2024?
10. Does the U.S. need to loosen its securtiy-clearance process?

2022-2023 Extemp Central National Points Race: New Standings After the University of Kentucky TOC and the Extemp TOC!

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

The next National Points Race event takes place over Memorial Day weekend when the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) hosts its national tournament.  That competition will be a second tier event, awarding 150 points to the national champion and providing points for all competitors that reach the octa-final round.

2023 Extemp TOC: Paltzik Wins Another Leg of the Grand Slam; Plano West Wins Team Sweepstakes

Last weekend, the second major tournament of the 2022-2023, the Tournament of Champions of Extemporaneous Speaking, took place at Northwestern University. 45 extempers made the trip to Evanston, Illinois for the event.

#1 McKinley Paltzik of Phoenix Country Day School (AZ) continued to put together the most dominanting season the circuit has seen in 18 years, winning her fourth major championship by five ranks over #6 Gabriel Bo of Plano West Senior High School (TX). It marks Paltzik’s seventh National Points Race win of the year, tying the record set in last year’s competition by Daniel Kind of Lake Highland Preparatory School (FL).

The victory is Paltzik’s third consecutive major victory, a streak that goes back to winning last year’s National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) national championship in International Extemp. It puts her in elite company as only four extempers in history have won four or more major titles. She is the first extemper to win the first two legs of the grand slam since Jacqueline Wei of Plano West, who did so during the 2018-2019 season.

The only major title that Paltzik has yet to win is the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) National Championship. If she were to win that, she would become only the second extemper in history to win a career grand slam, something that the circuit has not seen since Kevin Troy of Eagan High School (MN) accomplished the feat in 2005.

While Paltzik took three first place ranks in the final round, the other four first place ranks were dispersed to two other competitors. #5 Phoena Lin of Plano West took two first place ranks and finished third overall, one rank behind teammate Bo. Aidan Marks of Benilde-St. Margaret’s (MN) took the other two available first place ranks and finished fourth, one rank behind Lin.

#3 Sruti Peddi of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ) finished fifth, the only competitor to reach the final round of both TOC competitons this season. And #7 Taylor Burris of the Potomac School (VA) was the sixth place finisher.

All of the finalists except for Marks have reached three or more National Points Race final rounds this season. Paltzik was making her seventh final round appearance; Peddi was making her sixth; and Bo, Lin, and Burris were making their fourth.

University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (TOC) winner #12 Pierce McDade of the University School (IL) missed out on a chance of a TOC double-up after dropping in semi-finals. Other notables who were eliminated in semi-finals included #2 Theodore Gercken of the College Preparatory School (CA) and #24 Katherine Lee of Plano West.

Northwestern University also awards a sweepstakes trophy to the best performing team at the tournament. This was won by Plano West, who had 25% of the semi-finalists at the event. The Potomac School was second and Phoenix Country Day was third.

Since the Extemp TOC counts as a third tier event, all competitors who reached elimination rounds will receive National Points Race points.

Here are the results of the 2023 Extemp TOC at Northwestern University (Click here for tab sheet):

2023 University of Kentucky TOC: McDade Captures First Postseason Title in Divided Final Round; Sun Finishes Second

Editor’s Note: Preparing students for AP testing led to the delay of this write up. Our write up of the Extemp TOC will follow on Thursday and there will be an update to the National Points Race by early next week.

A few weeks ago, the University of Kentucky hosted its annual Tournament of Champions (TOC) event. 74 extempers converged on Lexington, Kentucky for the third tier event, which was narrowly won by #12 Pierce McDade of the University School (IL).

McDade won his first National Points Race event, and the first event of the post-season, by one rank over #17 Gordy Sun of the Harker School (CA) and two ranks over #3 Sruti Peddi of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ) and #8 Amy Cao of Ridge High School (NJ).

The five judges in the final round split their first place ranks across five different competitors and Cao almost won the tournament without taking any of them. In the end, an errant six did not cost McDade the tournament as Sun and Peddi’s chances of winning the title were dashed by a sixth place rank in their final round score.

Peddi and Cao tied for third place, but Peddi won a judges preference tiebreaker 3-2 for her fourth top three finish of the season.

Fifth place was won by Sumedh Seetharam of Scottsdale Preparatory Academy (AZ), who finished two ranks behind Cao and two ahead of California Invitational winner, #9 Rohit Vakkalagadda of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA).

#10 Charlotte Reitman of the University School (FL) and #14 Kevin Li of Ridge dropped in the semi-final round. Other ranked competitors dropped in quarter-finals. These included #2 Theodore Gercken of the College Preparatory School (CA), #7 Taylor Burris of the Potomac School (VA), #13 Isaiah Sohn of Redlands High School (CA), #18 Tyler Crivella of Seven Lakes High School (TX), and #20 Anastasia Koch of Eagan High School (MN).

This year’s TOC is the first to be awarded third tier points in the National Points Race. McDade will receive 100 points for his victory while all competitors who reached elimination rounds will earn points.

Here were the results of the 2023 University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions (Click here for tab sheet):

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 8-14, 2023

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

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 8-14, 2023

1. Should U.S. schools have later start times?
2. Will there be any presidential debates in 2024?
3. Has the Biden administration mishandled U.S. border policy?
4. Should politicians be allowed to block social media users from their private accounts?
5. What reforms should be made to the horseracing industry?
6. Is it time to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center?
7. How should the Federal Reserve react to new unemployment data?
8. Should New York City’s criminal case against former President Trump be moved to federal court?
9. Who is the most vulnerable Republican senator running for re-election in 2024?
10. Should Daniel Penny face criminal charges for the death of Jordan Neely?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 8-14, 2023

1. How will China’s demographic decline affect its long-term geopolitical aspirations?
2. Will King Charles III be Great Britain’s last monarch?
3. What concessions should Prime Minister Fumio Kishida make to South Korea to strengthen Japanese-South Korean relations?
4. Should Latin American countries nationalize their lithium industries?
5. Will the Thai military nullify the result of the country’s upcoming elections?
6. Should the EU change its debt rule?
7. Why are civil wars around the world on the rise?
8. Are Lula da Silva’s attacks on Brazil’s central bank misguided?
9. How can Saudi Arabia play a larger role in Middle East diplomacy?
10. Would Western isolation of the Taliban regime be a mistake?

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 1-7, 2023

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

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