A Historical Tournament

Freshmen+Clover+Fortus+and+Sahi+Sathiyanarayanan+walk+through+the+halls+together+in+between+working+judge+check+in+at+the+front+doors+and+public+forum+check+ins.+%E2%80%9CI+joined+primarily+speech+because+I+really+wanted+to+get+better+at+speech+and+be+more+confident+in+myself%2C%E2%80%9D+Sathiyanarayanan+said.+%E2%80%9CI+think+Speech+and+Debate+was+just+what+I+needed.%E2%80%9D+Working+a+tournament+for+roughly+twelve+hours+on+a+Saturday+boosts+speaking+skills+while+communicating+to+visitors+as+well+as+laying+the+foundation+for+the+stamina+required+for+competing+in+future+tournaments.+%E2%80%9CI+didnt+expect+it+to+be+this+chaotic%2C%E2%80%9D+Fortus+said.+%E2%80%9CIt+actually+takes+a+lot+of+effort.+I+think+it+is+a+huge+commitment.%E2%80%9D+However%2C+the+time+put+in+for+Central+to+take+its+first+steps+as+tournament+host+appears+to+have+paid+off.+%E2%80%9CI+think+speech+and+debate+in+the+future+for+Parkway+Central+is+going+to+be+a+really+huge+success+from+this%2C%E2%80%9D+Sathiyanarayanan+said.+%E2%80%9CI+think+its+worth+it.%E2%80%9D%0APhoto+by+Emma+Li.

Freshmen Clover Fortus and Sahi Sathiyanarayanan walk through the halls together in between working judge check in at the front doors and public forum check ins. “I joined primarily speech because I really wanted to get better at speech and be more confident in myself,” Sathiyanarayanan said. “I think Speech and Debate was just what I needed.” Working a tournament for roughly twelve hours on a Saturday boosts speaking skills while communicating to visitors as well as laying the foundation for the stamina required for competing in future tournaments. “I didn’t expect it to be this chaotic,” Fortus said. “It actually takes a lot of effort. I think it is a huge commitment.” However, the time put in for Central to take its first steps as tournament host appears to have paid off. “I think speech and debate in the future for Parkway Central is going to be a really huge success from this,” Sathiyanarayanan said. “I think it’s worth it.” Photo by Emma Li.

Welcoming competitive students from around the St. Louis area, the English, Social Studies, and ESOL halls were filled with organized arguments. Parkway Central hosted its first debate tournament in recent memory on Oct. 22, following the speech tournament at Francis Howell North the day before. After two years of competing only in virtual tournaments, the local speech and debate community has diminished in numbers, while Central’s team has more than doubled from around 30 members to 68 this year. Due to the overall lack of numbers, traditional hosts have ceased to offer tournaments, leaving a spot open for Central to host. 

After years of students asking to host a tournament, the dream became a reality. Although hosting teams typically do not compete because hosting students recruit the vast majority of judges which could lead to potential bias, the work is far from low.