GHS Varsity Debate Sweeps October CDA Tournament, Take Top 3 Speaker Positions

On Saturday, October 10, the Greenwich High School Debate team went to the October Connecticut Debate Association (CDA) debate tournament, the first formal CDA tournament of the school year.

2019 Debate tournament at GHS. Photo Benjamin Shi

Unlike a typical debate tournament, which would require the team to visit another school, this one was conducted online due to COVID-19.

Six total teams, three varsity and three novice, attended the tournament. The varsity debate team performed spectacularly, taking the top three speaker places.

Ambika Grover, Sophomore, took 1st place speaker; Arjun Kishore, Sophomore, took 2nd place speaker; Benjamin Shi, Junior, took 3rd place speaker.

This was out of more than 100 varsity speakers from all over Connecticut. Two varsity teams went undefeated with a 3-0 record; Grover and Kishore took 1st place as a team (beating Oxford in the finals), while Shi and Finkelstein placed 4th as a team out of more than 50 varsity teams.

The other varsity team, Schaumburg and Blank, placed 12th with a solid 2-1 performance.

The novice teams, many of them first timers, also did really well.

The topic of the day was whether Chinese and US social media companies should be treated equally in the US, with a heavy emphasis on TikTok and WeChat.

The topic was one of my personal favorites and led to many nuanced arguments. Our team is looking forward to repeating our successes in future debates.

Surprisingly, debate tournaments run pretty well online.

In fact, debate’s more rigid structure allows online tournaments to be very similar to in-person ones.

I had debated once and judged once using the online format, and was familiar with it already, so there were no technical difficulties on my end. The debate lasted for the full day.