AHS speech and debate

The students on Arcadia High’s Speech and Debate squad have a reason to celebrate as they head to the District Qualifying tournament in March 2022.

Team members compete in 10 to 20 tournaments per year. There is an Arizona competition, Division 1, and Division 2 tournament. Arcadia participates in Division 1, which is a two-day event. The top teams from that event will represent Arizona in the National Tournament.

“We have 20 kids on our roster,” said Speech and Debate Coach Clayton Guy. “They are excited to compete!”

Guy has been the coach for eight years and explained that topics change monthly. December’s Lincoln Douglas [a form of debate where one person versus another person] topic was “Resolved: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike.”  

The Public Forum [teams of two] topic was “Resolved: Increased United States federal regulation of cryptocurrency transactions and assets will produce more benefits than harms.”

There is a set format, rules, judges and requirements for debate and speech. Each round takes about 45 minutes and most first nights of competition have four rounds.

“We attend 10 in-person events in Arizona,” Guy said. “Each tournament has their number of rounds, quarters, semis and finals – if any, and they can be two or three days long.”

Guy explained that a debater or team needs to win seven (or eight for larger tournaments) rounds during a match to succeed. 

“The same will happen at our state tournament. All schools participate, and then the teams will have seven or eight rounds if they keep winning,” he said. 

At the State and District qualifying tournaments, 30 to 50 Arizona schools will participate.

“We are delighted to be attending finals. We have been able to build a great bond with new members and have been blessed with great talent,” junior member Trex Jones said. “This year, we have competed like never before. We are excited to show our community how hard we have been working and hopefully bring a trophy home to Arcadia.”

There will be over 30 event types at the competition – five different debate subjects and 10+ speech events. Topics are chosen among board members and announced closer to the tournament.

“This is the best we have done in Nationals.We feel good about our future. My goal is to help the team succeed in winning, participating, or learning. It’s to have the team grow and have fun,” Guy said. 

There will be over 30 event types at the competition – five different types of debate and 10+ speech events. Topics are chosen among board members and announced closer to the tournament.

“We had one team last year become the second runner up in District qualifying for Nationals,” Guy said. “This is the best we have done in Nationals.

We feel good about our future. My goal is to help the team succeed in winning, participating, or learning. It’s to have the team grow and have fun.”