News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

March 7, 2011 — Vol. 27 No. 10

Debate Team Earns First Seed in National Tournament

ISU Debate Team members

The Idaho State University debate team of Tony Johnson and Matea Ivanovic was named district champions in February and will be the first seed for the district at the National Debate Tournament in March.

Johnson and Ivanovic, who represent the ISU James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society, were ranked as high as eighth nationally during the academic year in the Bruschke rankings. The National Debate Tournament will be held March 25-28 at the University of Texas at Dallas.

"We are proud to represent Idaho State on a national stage where we can shine brightly among elite institutions," said Sarah Partlow Lefevre, director of the ISU James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society.

Johnson and Ivanovic finished first above teams from Weber State, the University of Denver, The University of Wyoming, The University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, Gonzaga and the University of Oregon.

"Qualifying for nationals is a great accomplishment in itself," Lefevre said. "Only approximately 40 percent of teams competing earn a spot in the NDT and only 78 teams from the entire nation compete for the national championship."

The Bruschke ranking system evaluates every team who has competed in policy debate nationwide since the beginning of the academic year and was developed by Professor Jon Bruschke from California State University, Fullerton. His system incorporates the team's overall performance, the quality of the tournaments the team attends, win percentages and wins against teams in the top 25.

Over the course of the fall semester, Johnson and Ivanovic won 68 percent of their debates and have a record of 10-3 (76.9 percent) against the current top 16 in the National Coaches Poll.

During the early part of spring semester the pair dropped in the Bruschke Team Rankings, due in large part to inactivity, but remained in the top-20 of the national Hansen ranking. They also were in 10th place nationally in wins against the top-25 teams.