2020 OCDL Holiday Tournament Results

On November 29, the Alumni Association hosted a Holiday Tournament Prep Session.

On December 5, 2020, the Orange County Debate League [OCDL] held its annual Holiday Tournament on the video communication platform, Zoom. 

Over two hundred students from different schools competed in four rounds of debate on the following topics: 

  • Defund the police 
  • People should not eat meat. 
  • Requiring video to be on during distance learning does more good than harm. 

This was the second tournament of the school year that was moved to an online platform due to a consistent rise in COVID-19 cases in the Orange County area. 

Prior to the day of the tournament, all judges, coaches, and students were sent a “live” document that included any necessary Zoom links, all online debate rules, and naming conventions. Judges were also sent a separate guide with all policies and rules that they would need to familiarize themselves with before judging. 

Easy accessibility to all necessary information allowed the tournament to run very smoothly. We experienced little to no delays and very few technical issues. 

Winners of the tournament, for both the novice and open division, were announced the following Monday through an email from OCDL Treasurer Ben Hughes. 

The winners included: 

OPEN DIVISION

Team Awards

1. Fairmont HAC Red LTK

2. Fairmont AH Stripes NLS

3. Pegasus Senior QDS

4. New England Academy NHP

5. Pegasus Senior STY 

6. Pegasus Junior PSY

7. Heritage Oak PQ

8. Fairmont HAC Red SCK

9. Fairmont AH Stripes TSS

10. Fairmont AH Stripes CAP

11. Pegasus Senior PSY

12. Pegasus Senior ZSM

13. Pegasus Senior PJL

14. Fairmont HAC Red HS

15. Heritage Oak HTV

Distinguished Teams (alphabetical order): Fairmont North Tustin ABH, Fairmont North Tustin JGA, Heritage Oak DGL, Pegasus Junior TWE, Pegasus Junior YKL 

Speaker Awards

1. Noelle K

2. Everett Y

3. CJ S

4. Naomi T

5. Grace Y

6. Lance Y

7. Chloette H

8. Saara D

9. Ella T

10. Christian J

11. Rohan S

12. Tegan W

13. Bea E-C

14. Dillan S

15. Shaurya M

16. Courtney T-M

17. Olivia T

18. Ella W

19. Karan S

20. Willie T

21. Stavan S 

22. Christina V

23. Jinyu Z

24. Alisha Z

25. Rachel N

26. Austin K

27. Aashna S

28. Suraj S

29. Leo A

30. Alexis K

Top Speakers by Grade Level:

8th-grade Noelle K

7th-grade Everett Y

6th-grade Alexis K

5th-grade Arham S

Distinguished Speakers (alphabetical order): Sherine A, Sahiba C, Arjun G, Andrew H, Matthew H, Lance J-N, Roy K, Milania K, Dharma L, Ryan L, Joshua L, Jacob L, Krishna P, Nathan P, Justin P, Sascha P, Kayla R, Arjun S, Seleen S, Arham S

Squad Awards

Overall Squad Award :

1. Pegasus Senior

2. Pegasus Junior

3. Fairmont Historic Anaheim 

4. Fairmont Anaheim Hills Stripes

5. Heritage Oak

Tournament Award (Percentage of Wins by Squad)

1. Pegasus Senior

2. Fairmont Anaheim Hills Stripes

3. Fairmont Historic Anaheim Red

4. Fairmont North Tustin/Pegasus Junior

NOVICE DIVISION

Team Awards:

1. Fairmont AH Solids GLC

2. Cogito CHS

3. Fairmont AH Solids THP

4. New England Academy GPS

5. New England Academy HL

6. Beatty Middle School LWG

7. Fairmont AH Solids GPW

8. St. Francis AFW

9. Fairmont AH Solids GSN

10. Fairmont AH Solids SKW

Speaker Awards:

1. Olivia W

2. Sophia W

3. Maya G

4. Shriya G

5. Ben H

6. Kingston H

7. Neil G

8. Akshna G

9. Baylen S

10. Jase P

11. Eva C

12. Lydia L

13. Adit S

14. Eli C

15. Kiera K

16. Nick C

17. Jordan D

18. Micah H

19. Sidney S

20. Aaron L

All in all, this was a highly successful tournament and we at the O absolutely cannot wait to see what is in store for this upcoming year. 

Reflection: My experience teaching at the first virtual debate workshop

Saturday, September 19th marked the first-ever Orange County Debate League (OCDL) digital workshop. Students, teachers, and coaches came together for a day of fun and engaging classes. 

In addition to preparing students for the coming season, this yearly event helps raise funds for the OCDL program, its tournaments, and other league-related activities. 

However, this year, health concerns and COVID-19 guidelines forced the league to change to an online format using the Zoom Meetings application. Teachers like me were asked to make personal Zoom accounts and send the login information, ID, and passcode, to OCDL Treasurer Ben Hughes. 

The day consisted of three blocks, separated by quick breaks. Students were given the login information for all the classes they signed up for and could join during the corresponding block. 

As a junior in high school, I have attended three workshops as a student and have taught at the last four, so I am considerably familiar with the usual format. Nevertheless, this time things were very different. 

On the positive side, it was less nerve-racking since I was teaching from the comfort of my room and did not have to stand in front of a class full of students. 

On the other hand, the changes made me quite nervous because I did not know what to expect. I was worried that I would not be engaging enough or confusing the students because, as any student or teacher will tell you, distance learning is a whole other beast. There was also the concern over students keeping their mics and cameras off the entire time, making it nearly impossible to create a dialogue with the students. 

Usually, I would be able to gauge how well the students were understanding the material based on their facial expressions. This helped inform the speed at which I would deliver the information. But the limitations of online learning made this impossible. 

Thankfully, I predicted that such problems would occur and prepared accordingly. For example, I made it clear to the students at the beginning of class that they would need to turn their cameras and mics on if they want to get the most out of the class. I also gave the students my email so they could ask me any questions if they were too shy to ask me during class. Such strategies made the virtual learning environment a little more genuine for both my students and me. 

Ultimately, I would say that this experience taught me a lot about effectively communicating my ideas even when my audience is not physically in front of me. At least if we are still forced to be online for the next workshop, I will know how to better handle the situation.