Masters Autumnal Debate Tournament Garners Top Results for STS Middle School Debate Club
By: Melony O'Neill, STS Teacher
On Friday, November 5, the STS Middle School Debate Club participated in the first Canadian Nationals style debate competition of the season. 12 STS Middle School students participated in the Masters Autumnal Invitational Debate tournament in both the beginner and open divisions. The resolution for this prepared debate was, “this house regrets the rise of social media as a primary source of news distribution” along with an undisclosed impromptu resolution. Students needed to be fully prepared for their debates and this requires that students generate their constructive speeches and prepare by way of researching their three strongest contentions in advance. We were very proud of the way STS students prepared for this debate and their preparation was duly noted by the judges and teacher supervisors alike. For some students, this was their very first debate ad for others this was their second or third debate of the season. Prior to this debate, students have been participating in British Parliamentary-style debates.
Students, parents, and teachers were extremely patient as there were over 300 people on the Zoom call and sign-in took well over the expected time. Once entered, students who were named after war-time locations, were organized into break-out rooms. Each debater is required to bring a parent judge to judge at the tournament. A special thank-you is extended to the STS parents who also spent their Friday evening judging the two separate debate sessions. Debate tournaments cannot happen without the strong support of parents as judges. All parent judges are in-serviced on the judging protocols in advance of the debates and coached on how to fill out the judging ballots. We encourage all parents of debaters, or friends who are over 17, to take part and judge so that their children can experience the thrill of debate!
Our debaters were well-prepared and handled their debates with great finesse and strategy. Arguments, constructive speeches, signposting, clashing, rebuttals, and points of information were all done with growing confidence and execution. Students experienced their first taste of debate using the Canadian National Format.
Having over 300 people in the first debate tournament of the season, speaks to the enormous popularity and competition of debate with Middle School students across the city and province. Debate coaches, Ms. O’Neill, Ms. Westers, and Mr. Bodnar joined the Zoom call and were very impressed with the caliber and skill exhibited by STS debaters in both rounds of debate. The second impromptu round’s resolution was, "this house prefers a world where the student minimum wage is the same as the standard wage”. When students are given an impromptu debate topic, they are allowed 15 minutes to prepare for the debate. This preparation does not allow any access to the internet and students must rely solely on their minds, current events, theory of knowledge, and history to build their argumentative speeches and persuasive rhetoric. A debate is a competition between two teams of speakers. The one team who presents the strongest persuasive arguments and clash against the other is declared the winner of the round. Debaters are assigned points for the following areas: organization, evidence and logic, delivery, refutation and clash, and format. We would like to proudly announce the results of this exciting debate competition.
Beginner Division Results: There were 32 teams and 64 individual speakers at this debate.
First place - Best Beginner Team in the Tournament: Ava F. '26 and Amaara L. '26
Best Beginner Speaker: Ava F. '26
Second Best Beginner Speaker (TIE): Amaara L. '26
Open Division Results: There were 34 teams in the Open competition.
Second Best Team Award: Kamran S. '25 and Rain L. '25
Eighth Best Team: Chloe L. '26 and Rahmaan S. '26
Many thanks to all debaters, who competed with courage and grace:
Amy X. '25 and Mes Udolu J. '25 - Open
Huxley R. '27 and Agam S. '27 - Beginner
Hassan K. '25 and Noah F. '25 - Open
Kamran S. '25 and Rain L. '25 - Open
Ava F. '26 and Amaara L. '26 - Beginner
Chloe L. '26 and Rahmaan S. '26 - Open