Dear Mac: Trouble with Teammate

Every month, Mac answers your questions about debate, all while giving wise advice. Submit a question to her here!

Dear Mac,

I have a teammate that does not appear to be doing his best or putting in his best effort. I think my teammate could do a better job in his AREI’s, such as using two pieces of evidence and making his impacts more than one sentence long. However, I don’t know how to tell him. Can you help me?


Trouble with Teammate

Dear “Trouble with Teammate,”

Debate is an activity that is supposed to be centered around teamwork, so I am sorry that you are having issues with your teammate. In regards to your teammate putting in more work, sometimes debaters just have work ethic issues while doing research and writing cases. Sectioning off certain parts of a case can worsen this issue. I have found that sitting down and working with your teammates at the same time has helped me in the past. Collaborating with your team will lessen each debater’s workload and allow you to create a strong case while doing an equal amount of work. 

Team collaboration can also help increase the bond between your teammates and create friendships! Forming friendships is always super fun and can also help solve this issue by creating an environment where your teammates feel safe enough to ask for help and questions. This way, instead of not doing the work, your teammates will come to you to ask about any questions they have. You can also turn to them and ask them to improve on something if you need it. 

If this issue worsens even after you have tried these methods, consider speaking to your coach or teacher. Let him or her know that there is more work being done by yourself and that you would like your teammates to help more. Your coach or teacher can ask them to put in more of an effort or change the arrangement of teams. 

In conclusion, teamwork is a tricky thing but it is all about communication. Whether it is working and speaking to your teammate directly about it or asking your coach or teacher, it is crucial that you talk to someone. I hope that after this you are able to speak to someone and maybe the work will become easier. Good luck!



Workshop and Season Dates Announced

The OCDL is excited to announce the dates for the 2020-2021 season.

Middle School

  • Workshop – September 19
  • Scramble – October 24
  • Holiday Tournament – December 5
  • Winter Classic – January 30
  • Spring Tournament – March 13
  • OCDL Championship – May 15

High School

  • Fall Tournament – November 7
  • Winter Tournament – February 6
  • Spring Tournament – April 24

The 2020 Orange County Debate League Digital Workshop will take place on Saturday, September 19th. Students will have the opportunity to take online classes taught by experienced debaters and coaches. There will also be a demo debate at the beginning of the workshop, during which current debaters will demonstrate what an advanced debate looks like. Unlike the previous years, students will not have to pay a fee this year; however, a $15 donation is suggested (please see below). 

Classes offered at the workshop will include:

  • A-R-E-I Arguments
  • 4 Step Refutation
  • Advanced Opposition Strategies
  • Debate Basics
  • Heckling and Points of Information
  • Importance of Speaker Roles
  • Introductions and Conclusions
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Making Great Use of Your Prep Time
  • Persuasive Public Speaking
  • Stock Policy Issues
  • Strategic Topic Narrowing
  • Weighing Impacts
  • Award-Winning Notes 

The League will also be offering free judge training classes for any students, parents, or volunteers that want to get certified. 

Students are encouraged to attend the workshop to help further their knowledge of debating. We look forward to seeing you all there!

By Krishna Thaker and Mackenzie Mauldin

Digital Tournament, May 23, 2020

We will be holding a digital tournament via Zoom to end the 2019-2020 season.

Here is some preliminary information to help you begin planning for this tournament:

Name: OCDL End of Year Online Tournament
Date: Saturday, May 23rd
Time: 8am-4pm
Platform: Zoom
Number of Rounds: 4
Keeping endangered species in captivity does more good than harm.
USMCA is better than NAFTA.
The internet should be a public utility.
On balance, distance learning is better than traditional learning.

Changes – Because of the digital format, the following changes from standard OCDL tournaments will occur:

  1. No judge training will occur at the tournament
  2. No preparation time, beyond the time it takes to distribute students into various debate rooms, will be given
  3. Students will not be required to copy their arguments/cases to colored paper and will be allowed to read directly from printed papers or electronic devices if they choose
  4. Students will be encouraged to self-time
  5. A modified rubric has been created and will be distributed.  The presentation column of the rubric will state expectations for online presentation skills
  6. There will be no awards ceremony
  7. Awards will be reduced and announced by email or published to the OCDL website
  8. Ballot distribution and return will require judges to submit their scores directly to Tabroom

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mark Hobbs at or Bora Oztekin at

March 14 Tournament Cancelled

We write to share important information about new steps that we must take with respect to Covid-19 for the March 14 Spring Tournament. To ensure the safety of our entire community, the tournament is canceled.  We greatly appreciate the support received from the entire OCDL Community as we work with health authorities and government officials to take necessary steps in support of the safety and education of our community and surrounding communities. For more information related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019, please visit Please stay safe and share this correspondence with students, families, judges, and other volunteers. 

Precautions to Continue to Take:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Big Apple Meets Big Orange

On Saturday, November 2nd, eighteen OCDL students (and a few of their parents) attended the New York Debate League’s Fall Tournament at West Side Secondary School in Manhattan. The tournament featured roughly 120 students from local schools including Dalton, Nightingale and the Hackley School debating the following topics:

  • Schools should be year round
  • Adolescents should have the right to make their own medical decisions
  • Museums should return artifacts to their country of origin

For this tournament, the OCDL students were part of a conglomerate squad comprised of debaters from five different schools. The individual debaters included Kha-han D, Chloette H, Courtney H, Sina E, Sabina S, CJ S, Lance Y, Luca S, Kion M, Ryan M. Deema J, Iris S, Naomi T, Sasha C, Noelle K, Stavan S, Christian J, and Erik U. And in keeping with the spirit of travel tournament success, the group took home a first place squad award for both total wins and percetage wins! 

Not only did the students have a great day debating, they also took in some of the sites of New York including a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The group even went to see Wicked, the muscial.  

These students will be staying a bit closer to home at our next competiton on Saturday, December 14th at Buena Park High School. See below for specific results from New York! 

School Awards
1st Place Overall Wins – Orange County Debate League
1st Place Percentage Wins – Orange County Debate League

Team Awards
2nd Place – Team HYS (Courtney, Lance, CJ)
3rd Place – Team KST (Noelle, Naomi, Stavan)
5th Place – MHM (Ryan, Chloette, Kion)

Speaker Awards
2nd Place – (Top OCDL Speaker) Kion M
8th Place – CJ S
10th Place – Courtney H
12th Place – Lance Y
13th Place – Luca S
15th Place – Chloette H