The weekend of September 15th, Notre Dame High School in San Jose kicked off Northern California's parliamentary debate season with a thrilling two day tournament. In the final round, Campolindo’s Shannon Bonet & Sharon Yuan defeated Irvington’s Anushka Kulkarni & Ryan Lee, affirming the resolution that “The USFG should impose sanctions of China in response to its treatment of the Uyghurs.”
While Campolindo proposed United States sanctions on China’s surveillance technology, Irvington offered a counterplan for both countries to cooperate in counterterrorism efforts. The debate narrowed down to a question of which method would effectively halt China’s mistreatment of the Uyghurs. Both teams had previously debated each other in the fourth preliminary round, where Kulkarni & Lee took Bonet & Yuan’s only lost ballot throughout the tournament.
“I always enjoy debating Anushka and Ryan because they’re not just an academic challenge but also amazing and insightful individuals,” said Yuan, additionally joking that China rounds “are never not fun.”
On Saturday, Notre Dame featured 5 preliminary rounds for both novice and open divisions. Despite an hour delay before the first round, teams were back on schedule by the third round to conclude the tournament on time. Sunday’s elimination rounds ended by 6:30pm, allowing teams to return home by dark.
In the open division, 16 out of 64 teams advanced to octofinals— earning the tournament a one point penalty for the insufficient break of 25 percent of teams. A majority of advancing teams had 4-1 records, while the remaining teams either had a perfect 5-0 record or a high seeded 3-2 record. Due to the mildly harsh break, several non-breaking 3-2s received penalty compensation points.
Former champion Los Altos’s Ryan Lee broke on a 4-1 record with new partner Campolindo’s Sophie Stankus, reaching quarterfinals before dropping to Kulkarni & Lee. Former finalist Alden O’Rafferty also broke on a 4-1 record with new partner Connor Whitehill before dropping to Menlo-Atherton’s Quinn Hammel & Russell Ives.
Tournament resolutions included a variety of policy, fact, and value resolutions. Finalist Lee said, “I liked how there were a variety of topics that we were familiar and unfamiliar with,” though he said that the affirmative action and sperm donation topics were controversial, and “backed a certain side into a corner that might’ve been hard to get out of without being offensive.”
O’Rafferty reflected on last year’s tournament in comparison to this year’s, remarking on changes in the variety of resolutions. “I think the resolutions were a bit off this year, but that's more of a personal preference,” she said. “I joined debate because I love learning about policies and their impacts, and fact rounds don't fulfill that [purpose] as much for me.” She noted that the tournament, however, was in no way unfair.
In the novice division, Menlo-Atherton’s Peter Koenig & Andrew Morris took first seed as the only 5-0 team, followed by teammates Noah Savelson & Anthony Waller and Los Altos’s Kiefer Tierling & Arthur Zhou.
In novice speaker awards, Walker took 1st place, followed by teammate Koenig and El Cerrito’s Ben Weschler. In open speaker awards, semifinalist Irvington’s Isha Sanghvi claimed 1st place, followed closely by octofinalist Campolindo’s Liana Belinsky and semifinalist Club Parli’s Jessica Zhu.
Campolindo Shannon Bonet & Sharon Yuan def. El Cerrito Devyn Barram & Audrey Dowling (3-0)
Menlo-Atherton Quinn Hammel & Russell Ives def. Bishop O’Dowd’s Alden O'Rafferty & Connor Whitehill (3-0)
Los Altos/Campolindo’s Ryan Lee & Sophie Stankus def. Menlo-Atherton’s Amrita Bhasin & Lauren McDonnell (2-1)
Irvington’s Anushka Kulkarni & Ryan Lee def. Hillview’s Katie Doran & Alex Yu (3-0)
Los Altos/Bellarmine Tamur Asar & Luke DiMartino def. Nueva Ben Shahar & Eugenia Xu (2-1)
Irvington’s Reetam Ganguli & Isha Sanghvi def. Campolindo’s Liana Belinsky & Anish Visht (3-0)
Club Parli Albert Hao & Jessica Zhu def. Rishabh Chowhan & Aaron Lin (2-1)
Evergreen Jenna Bao & Winnie Dong w/o Esha Dadbhawala & Nidhir Guggilla (N/A)
Campolindo Bonet & Yuan def. Los Altos/Bellarmine Asar & DiMartino (3-0)
Irvington Ganguli & Sanghvi def. Menlo-Atherton Hammel & Ives (3-0)
Club Parli Hao & Zhu def. Evergreen Bao & Dong (3-0)
Irvington Kulkarni & Lee def. Los Altos/Campolindo Lee & Stankus (2-1)
Campolindo BY def. Irvington GS (3-0)
Irvington KL def. Club Parli HZ (3-0)
Campolindo BY def. Irvington KL (3-0)