Note from the editor: As noted in our previous guest post/announcement from Isaac Sommers, we at Ethos understand the frustration of not being able to compete in normal/physical nationals. Thus, I and others at Ethos want to help make debaters more aware of some of the potential alternatives for gaining experience and pursuing excellence.
For those who don’t know me, my name is Isaac Sommers—I am a Stoa and NCFCA alumnus, a J.D. student at Harvard Law School, co-founder of Integrity Communication Debate Camps, and the owner & founder of Ziggy Online Debate. I know the pandemic has created a lot of unfortunate situations for everyone, including many debaters who have worked hard and expected to have a final chance to demonstrate their hard work and even win some scholarship prizes at Nationals. However, even though NITOC and NCFCA Nationals may be cancelled, debate doesn’t have to be.
With my nearly 9 years of experience running online tournaments, combined with Ace Peak‘s expertise, Ziggy Online Debate & Ace Peak have teamed up to offer Online Nationals for Stoa and NCFCA debaters (TP and LD). Although these are not league-affiliated tournaments, they are designed specifically for debaters from each league, with the tournaments using each league’s resolutions. Anyone who has 2 green checkmarks on Speechranks is qualified for Nationals—just like with NITOC, and anyone who has 2 winning records from official NCFCA tournaments is also qualified. Students can even cross-register in the tournament for the other league: for example, a Stoa TP team with 2 green checkmarks can compete in both The Online Championship for Stoa Students and The Online Championship for NCFCA Students.
Moreover, we have partnered with a number of colleges to offer substantial tuition discount scholarships to the top debaters at Nationals. In fact, we have over $1,500,000 in scholarships (yes, you’re reading that number right—$1.5 million) that we can award to the top competitors at our National Championship tournaments. Remember—even if you are not sure what college you will end up attending, simply having a scholarship offer from one or several schools can be a powerful negotiating tool when trying to get scholarships from other colleges. Don’t lose interest simply because your college plans aren’t certain yet!
We also would like to note that we have changed some of the rules of the tournament compared with our previous tournaments. In particular, we now allow the use of webcams, and we will be using Discord instead of Skype.
However, we need YOU to help spread the word—you have friends and know other families in Stoa and NCFCA, many of whom have not heard about this tournament. No one should miss out on scholarship options and a National Championship just because they didn’t hear about it. Even if you are not personally interested in this, you can always share this post with people who might wish they had known about this!