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ISU Bengal debate wins in close-out tournament

December 11, 2018

Photo of debate team.
Left to right, Rianne Quigley, Rowan Smith, Jett Smith, Conner Coutts, Brant Lindsey and Deja Bingham. 

POCATELLO ­– Idaho State University’s ISU’s Rupp Debate Society team quickly delivered a tournament-halting 12-0 winning streak, eliminating the need for semi-final rounds and resulting in a ‘close-out’ win at the Climb Online Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The Bengals took home the top four prizes in varsity open individual public debate and were also honored with recognition for the top three speakers at the tournament. This is the seventh consecutive tournament in which Bengal Debaters have reached final rounds or produced awards in the top three posts.

In Open Public Debate, the top four winners were: fourth place Brant Lindsey, a political science major, from Rexburg; third place, Conner Coutts, secondary education major, Pocatello; second place, Rowan Smith, major undeclared, Pocatello, and first place to Jett Smith, communications major, Pocatello. Public Debate, known as IPDA, is a one-on-one debate format with cross examination between the speakers.

Top speaker honors for the tournament went to Coutts, third, Smith second, and Smith first. Speaker points are assigned every round to all competitors regardless of their win-loss pattern, and are often used to seed speakers based on quality and ability in advanced rounds, or to award sweepstakes honors at some tournaments. 

“The tournament director noted that ‘they hadn’t seen such a decisive performance from a single squad in a very long time,’” said Sarah Partlow Lefevre, ISU Rupp Debate’s head coach. “We’re very proud of the team. Our veteran members were joined by a handful of newcomers for this tournament, and everyone shared in the success.”

This is the team’s seventh competition for the term, and the third Climb Online tournament. ISU has been participating in online debate since its inception in 2016. Rounds are facilitated with cameras and microphones, and can be conducted from almost any computer.

Attending the most recent tournament were teams from University of the Cumberlands, Kentucky, Seattle University, University of Washington, University of Washington, Bothell campus, and ISU. 

The Bengals will resume their season at the Great Salt Lake Invitational, Jan. 19-21 in Utah.

The ISU Rupp Debate Team is supported by James A. and Sharon Rupp; the ISU Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion; the College of Arts and Letters; and the students of the ASISU. 



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