Note from the editor: Like Isaac Sommers notes in this guest post, I also understand the frustration that you/debaters may be feeling or have felt over the tournament cancellations—especially since I have a younger brother in Stoa who for the first time was nationally qualified in multiple events. Thus, I and others at Ethos wanted to help make debaters more aware of some of the potential alternatives for gaining experience and pursuing success.
Due to NCFCA Nationals and Stoa NITOC being cancelled for the 2020 season due to the pandemic currently sweeping our globe, many debaters have been left without options for what to do with the remaining months of this debate season.
The decision of the leagues to cancel future tournaments was certainly the right one for public health. Even if younger people generally seem less likely to suffer more serious covid-19 complications, there is a much higher risk of being a carrier of the virus, which can and has lead to thousands of deaths—especially in more-vulnerable population groups, but certainly not limited to those groups of people—due to a failure to engage in proper social distancing practices.
Understandably, however, many debaters feel frustrated, sad, and upset. These are just a few of the emotions I have observed in the various debate communities. And I understand why. For many debaters, this is their senior year. For many, this is the last time they’ll get to see old friends for a while. For many, it’s an exciting and engaging event with which to hone your skills and engage in friendly, healthy competition.
That’s why Ace Peak and Ziggy Online Debate have teamed up to offer a high quality tournament series! These 4-day tournaments consist of a qualifying tournament for each league’s debaters in May (“The Online Qualifier”) and a national championship for each league’s debaters in June (“The Online Championship”). Qualification standards for The Online Championship can be viewed by clicking the links at the bottom of this post. All tournaments will have 6 prelim rounds and full outrounds all the way to finals.
The tournament schedule will be very different from a traditional Ziggy tournament. Just like a physical tournament, there will be multiple rounds each day and each round will have a pre-set start and end time. Judges must judge at least three prelims and at least one outround. Judges will be assigned rounds to judge (such as “Rounds 1, 3, and 5,” for example), and are responsible for judging one debate from ALL of those rounds, or the debater that signed them up will be penalized.
These standards are considerably more rigorous than the traditional flexible schedule offered by the Ziggy Semester tournament series, but this is necessary to ensure high quality and competition for everyone who participates in the Ace Peak x Ziggy tournament series.
Note that the rules for this tournament series are also different from Ziggy’s rules, so you’ll need to carefully review those rules and the judge manual before signing up. Pricing is higher than traditional Ziggy tournaments due to the additional level of work required to run a tournament of this scale, but sibling discounts and early bird pricing is available. And remember—there’s zero travel or hotel costs associated with our tournaments!
We know that an online tournament cannot fully capture the experience of a physical tournament, but our students deserve the opportunity to make the most of this debate season despite the unfortunate events of 2020, and the Ace Peak x Ziggy tournament series will provide precisely that opportunity—both through our Online Qualifier and the Online Championship.
Links to all the info you need about each Online Qualifier are available below!