St. Vincent de Paul High School will host the Bay Area Junior High Speech & Debate Tournament on March 25. SVHS has been hosting the event for at least the past 13 years. It is one of the few opportunities that middle schoolers have to compete at this level at no charge.

The competition format consists of two areas.

In Speech, competitors can enter a solo effort in the categories of Expository (to inform and educate on a topic); Humorous Interpretation (acting out all characters in a scene from a comedic play); Dramatic Interpretation (acting out all characters in a scene from a dramatic play); or Original Oratory/Advocacy (persuasive speech on a particular topic).

In Debate, a team of two compete against each other covering a topic on policy. This year’s topic is modeled off of the national topic which is Foreign Policy toward China. The competitors will be arguing whether the United States should increase involvement with China in the area of space development, specifically space debris. Students are expected to research the topic and have properly cited evidence as part of their argument. They must also be able to argue both sides of the topic.

Although this tournament typically hosts North Bay Area students, the competition is open to any middle schooler in the Bay Area.

Because it is free, St. Vincent’s relies on parental support to organize and offer food during the event, and the SVHS debate team runs the tournament itself. The debate program at SVHS pays for the prizes given to the winners.

SVHS Debaters are available to the teams for coaching. The SVHS Debate team is currently ranked as one of the top in the nation, so this is an incredible opportunity for up and coming debaters to learn from the best.