The sixth annual Claremont Bargain Belt Invitational took place on October 13th. With thirty-two parliamentary teams competing in the open division and more teams competing this year than last, the Bargain Belt marked the second Southern California tournament of the season. Despite four preliminary rounds and a break to quarterfinals, Bargain Belt finished in a single day— an unusual event on the Southern California circuit.
In a unanimous decision, Claremont’s Edward Rumbos-Perez & Alex Walburg won the final round against Redlands East Valley’s Amy Underwood & Maha Quadri, debating the resolution that “Russia poses the greatest threat to Middle Eastern stability.”
As the negation, Rumbos-Perez & Walburg had a lot of flexibility. “The freedom of choosing any one of the groups, countries, people who were involved,” said Rumbos-Perez, helped construct their winning strategy. Choosing Iran as the greater threat to Middle-Eastern stability, he said, allowed him and his partner to have “a bigger scope than Russia”— they drew on examples from the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, militant activity in regional hotspots like Lebanon and Yemen, and involvement with terrorists.
Students that attended appreciated the one day tournament and the reduced financial burden required to attend the Bargain Belt invitational: the tournament forwent school fees, and the entry fee for parliamentary debate was only $24. In addition, the cost of hired judges was reduced by 33% compared to a typical invitational, which can run up to $200 per hire, and students were provided with food throughout the day. These cost reductions made Bargain Belt, true to its name, a bargain.
Because the tournament allowed double-entries in parli and speech events, competitors like Bonita’s Camille Leung had an extremely long day. “The tournament ran really, really, really late,” Leung said. Her final round of competition ended at around 10:45pm, after rounds of both parliamentary debate and extemporaneous speaking.
Claremont Edward Rumbos-Perez & Alex Walburg def. Redlands Shantanu Sindha & Ethan Driscoll
Claremont Alex Abarca & Angelo Thomas def. New Roads Jack Adams & Neal Hebrard-DeFrance
New Roads Frank Gerolmo & Sean Grey def. Bonita Camille Leung & Logan Terry
Redlands East Valley Amy Underwood & Maha Quadri def. CVHS Independent Andrew Hong & Kyle Pak
Claremont Rumbos-Perez & Walburg w/o Claremont Abarca & Thomas
Redlands East Valley Underwood & Quadri def. New Roads Gerolmo & Grey
Claremont RW def. Redlands East Valley UQ