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Academy hosts 50th Forensics Classic
Cadet 2nd Class Michael Whiteside and Cadet 1st Class Harriet Randolph confer at the Air Force Academy's 50th Forensics Classic Sept. 22, 2012. The tournament brought together nearly 300 competitors from 29 colleges in 18 states. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)
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Academy hosts 50th Forensics Classic

Posted 10/5/2012   Updated 10/5/2012 Email story   Print story


10/5/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy held its 50th Forensics Classic Sept. 22, incorporating nearly 300 competitors from 29 colleges in 18 states who competed in all 11 American Forensics Association individual events and three other debates.

The Academy's forensics tournament is one of the few collegiate debate tournaments in the nation to feature both team and individual events at the same venue.

The Academy's current forensics team hosted alumni from previous years' teams, many of whom judged rounds of the tournament, participating for the first time since their respective graduations.

Headlining the cadre of forensics alumni was retired Maj. Gen. Harold Todd, a 1959 graduate and the first Academy graduate to attain general officer rank. Todd spoke to the members of the forensics teams, noting the "critical skills" they gain from forensics "will bear fruit in their personal and professional lives far into the future."

The competition centered on real world issues such as the efficacy of no-fly zones as a mechanism to enforce international security. Though most seasoned debaters do not participate in the tournament they host, many fourth-class cadets experienced their first taste of debate as competitors in the novice levels of individual and team events.

The tournament featured the World's Competition for the second year. This type of debate poses four teams of two against one another with no external research or coaching allowed in the planning stage. Judges then score the quality and strength of a team's argument and the team's ability to rebut.

The weekend concluded with a formal awards banquet held at the Falcon Club that recognized more than 50 of the top competitors in their respective events and crowned Rice University the overall champion in the Individual and Team Sweepstakes and Texas Tech University the champion in the Debate Sweepstakes.

Eighty cadets and 12 cadet candidates from the Academy Preparatory School volunteered to assist with logistics. A total of 29 faculty judges and 17 faculty organizers ensured the rounds all ran on time and made sure transportation, meal and security requirements were all in place. Many of the participating schools lauded the Forensics Classic as the best run tournament in the region and said they would return next year.

For the cadets, this and other forensics tournaments amplify the DOD-wide focus on critical thinking and communication while engaging the cadets in real time problem solving, interpersonal relationship building, and leadership.

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