The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Hockaday Debate Hosts Tournament


The Hockaday debate department hosted 600 students, 150 judges, 40 coaches and parents on Nov. 11 and 12 for The Hockaday Speech and Debate Invitational. This tournament was one of the biggest tournaments Hockaday has ever hosted on its campus and is the first tournament to utilize the space in the new The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Center for the Arts.

Coordinating an event of this magnitude takes time and careful planning. Calendar dates must be approved by both Hockaday and the state organization that the Hockaday debate team is a part of, the Texas Forensics Association. Fees have to be collected from the attending schools. Catering has to be arranged and food for concessions must be ordered. Trophies have to be bought, the number of rooms being used for events must be verified and assigned, judges must be chosen and student workers have to be coordinated.

Upper School Director of Debate and Forensics Dr. Charles Walts coordinated the event.

We actually start preparing about a year in advance,” Walts said, “Even though we just finished the tournament for this year, we’re already looking forward to next year.”

The Hockaday Speech and Debate Invitational offers 15 different forms of debate and speech competitions. Students competed in congress debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, public forum debate and policy debate. The speech events include extemporaneous speaking, humorous interpretation, dramatic interpretation, oratory speaking, prose and poetry and duo and duet.

Although they do not compete, Hockaday debate students played an important role in ensuring that tournaments hosted by the school run smoothly. They sold concessions, monitored rooms and hallways, guided visitors and ensured that the different competitions started on time.


???Hockasquad!??? The tournament was a HUGE success!

A photo posted by Hockaday Debate Team (@hockadaydebate) on

Maria Sailale, sophomore debate student, worked in the science building and helped guide students to their events.

“I feel like this tournament was a lot more efficient and well-planned out than others I’ve attended,” Sailale said. “You’re normally confused about where to go and things typically start late, but there weren’t problems like that.”

In spite of the Hockaday debate team’s best efforts, the tournament did not go without incident. A group of debaters from an unnamed school kicked the Foucalt Pendulum in the Science Center and a separate group swung the pendulum only an hour later. The pendulum is not damaged but will be better protected in the future from such incidents.

– Ashylnn Long – Assistant Views Editor –

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