Friendship Academy Closes out Inaugural Campolindo Parliamentary Tournament

At the first annual Campolindo Parliamentary Tournament (CPT), hosted at Campolindo High School in Moraga, Calif., Friendship Academy’s Jenna Bao & Winnie Dong closed out with teammates Esha Dadbhawala & Nidhir Guggilla. In semifinals, Bao and Dong defeated Club Parli’s Albert Hao & Jessica Zhu on a 2-1 decision, while Dadbhawala & Guggilla defeated Los Altos’s Tamur Asar & Henry Shi on a 3-0 decision, both on the resolution “China should subsidize the use of AI technology in its hospitals and health centers.”

The semifinals round between Bao & Dong and Hao & Zhu consisted of a topical affirmative and a capitalism kritik, eventually followed by theory defining kritiks as unfair. The three judges for that round each voted on a different argument. Meanwhile, all three judges voted on a theory argument in the debate between Dadbhawala & Guggilla and Asar & Shi.

The tournament, which only hosted a single open division after collapsing its novice division into varsity due to low turnout, broke to semifinals from a pool of 38 teams. Bishop O’Dowd’s Paulina Harding claimed first in speaker awards, followed by semifinalist Asar in second place, and semifinalist Zhu in third.

(from left to right) J Bao, Dong, Dadbhawala & Guggilla posing after their semifinals round

(from left to right) J Bao, Dong, Dadbhawala & Guggilla posing after their semifinals round

From the start of registration, the CPT set itself apart from most other invitationals, with a one-day schedule and experienced judge requirement reminiscent of the 6x4 Invitational. In addition, the CPT was distinct because of its tournament staff: the tournament was run primarily by debaters on Campolindo’s parliamentary debate team, with logistical help from head coach Trevor Greenan.

Sharon Yuan and Shannon Bonet, co-presidents of Campolindo’s debate team, have been working on tournament preparations since last winter—planning out logistical details with their administration, setting up the Tabroom website, sending out emails, and hiring judges. Those efforts paid off, as debaters interviewed believed the tournament was well-organized, and valued their judges feedback.

“Despite running on time, I didn’t feel too rushed between rounds. There was time to do other things, i.e. catch up with novices on how their rounds were,” Asar said, “I thought the judges we had were very competent and gave us quality feedback that helped us improve. Many were willing to talk extensively about their decision and what could have been done better.”

David Gomez-Siu, a former president of Campolindo High School’s debate team, commented that it was extremely impressive that the largely student-run tournament went so smoothly.

“Personally, seeing [current Campolindo leadership] expand the team that I helped run in the past few years was fulfilling and made me extremely proud of them. I hope to see Campo run this tournament in years to come as well,” he said.

“Mad props to two students running most of the tournament themselves,” Zach Moss, a coach in the Club Parli network, agreed, “It’s always nice to support student run tournaments.”

Despite being seniors, Yuan said that she and Bonet would make running the tournament “a priority for future leadership members to continue.”

As advice for students who want to run tournaments at their own schools, she said, “start as early as possible [and] involve the administration every step of the way.” And though bypassing paperwork and regulations might be easier, Yuan recommended against that path. “Even though it might have been faster. . . maintaining a cooperative relationship with the administration is conducive to being able to actually host events now and in the future,” she said.


Friendship Academy Jenna Bao & Winnie Dong def. Club Parli Albert Hao & Jessica Zhu (2-1)

Friendship Academy Esha Dadbhawala & Nidhir Guggilla def. Los Altos Tamur Asar & Henry Shi (3-0)