The student news site of Lyme-Old Lyme High School

Civics First Debate

March 29, 2017

On Monday, March 20, the Old Lyme debate team traveled to New Britain High School to argue this year’s topic: “Resolved: Term limits shall be imposed on both houses and representatives”. Old Lyme brought five debate partnerships and two judges to the competition, among them many newcomers.

Prior to the debate, you do not know which side your team will be arguing, which means that it is necessary to prepare for both sides. Each debate is set up so that every participant has to give a speech, be cross examined, and cross examine one of their opponents. Debaters come to the competition with research and prepared speeches, but the format of the debate means that you need to be able to think on your feet. Because you depend on the arguments presented by your opponents, your rebuttal and several components of your argument need to be written during the debate. Each side is only allowed to take five minutes of break time total, which can be split up between speeches.

In the first round, every team participates in two debates. If a partnership wins both debates of the first round, they move onto the second round (a single debate). Few make it to the second round, making the later debates much more competitive. One of Old Lyme’s debate partnerships, Hannah Wisner and Hope Femia, was successful in making it to the second round. This year’s topic was difficult so congratulations to everyone who participated!

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