Champions! Again!! UM Debate Ranked #3 Nationally

Champions! Again!! UM Debate Ranked #3 Nationally

Posted by Michael Lester in Debate News

The UM Debate Team collected yet another tournament championship by winning the Sweepstakes of the Chicken and Egg Debate Tournament hosted by the University of North Georgia from Sept. 29-30. Fourteen UM debaters traveled to Gainesville, Georgia to compete in British Parliamentary Debate. UM’s Spanish-language debate team took four of the top five speaker awards, advancing three teams into finals. UM debaters Christian Guevara and Rafael Gonzalez won the Spanish-language division placing UM as a leader in Spanish-language debate in the United States.

“It’s so exciting that UM has a Spanish-language debate team in addition to English-language debate. UM’s Spanish-language debate team is a great way for bilingual speakers such as myself and other Spanish learners to practice the language competitively in a fun, rewarding environment. The University of Miami is one of the pioneers in Spanish-language debate, and I’m delighted that we are receiving national recognition for participating in – and winning – tournaments around the country,” said Eli Hofer, vice president of UM’s Spanish-language debate team

UM’s English-language British Parliamentary team of DJ Washington and Kyle Kingma advanced into semifinals where they won, advancing into the final round. Zach Homeijer was the third place English speaker in the tournament, and Washington was fourth.

“DJ’s ability to draw in the audience while also fulfilling his speaker role was a defining factor in our partnership through the final rounds,” said Kingma.

As a result of the cumulative squad performance, UM won the tournament Sweepstakes Championship.

“Zach is an extremely talented, very smart guy who can get a positive out of anything,” said Artem Sviridov about his debate partner.

Meanwhile, from Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the University of Kentucky, the policy debate team of Julia Lynch and Jiaying Li completed the preliminary debates of the nationally competitive Junior Varsity division with a 4-2 record, entering the quarterfinals as the fourth seed. Lynch was the fourth speaker in the tournament. In quarterfinals, they defeated James Madison University on a 3-0 decision, and in semifinals won a 2-1 decision over the University of Central Florida to advance into the final round where they debated the team from Wake Forest. UM lost the final round to Wake Forest, but their performance in the first two tournaments of the season led UM to a #5 national ranking. Rankings are posted by the Cross Examination Debate Association and the National Debate Tournament at The UM Debate Team is ranked #1 in JV and in Novice standings by the American Debate Association.

The next tournament for the British parliamentary team will be the Rocky Mountain Debate Championship hosted by the University of Denver on Oct. 20-21. The policy team will travel next to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Also on the UM Debate Team’s agenda is a public debate against iDebate Rwanda on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Shalala Student Center 302 Senate Room.

The UM Debate Team is directed by David Steinberg, associate professor of professional practice, and Patrick Waldinger, lecturer. Participation is open to all full-time UM undergraduate students. No prior experience is required. For more information about UM Debate, contact David Steinberg at or visit

04 Oct 2018