Sophomore Jadon Buzzard prac­tices for a debate tour­nament. He will be par­tic­i­pating in a tour­nament in Sacra­mento this weekend. Katrina Torsoe | Courtesy

The Hillsdale College Debate Team com­peted on its home turf this past weekend. Hillsdale hosted the Richard M. Weaver Tour­nament, the only debate tour­nament the college hosts.

Seven dif­ferent schools, including John Carroll Uni­versity and Penn State Uni­versity, took part in the tour­nament, which was held in Lane Hall. Debaters had the oppor­tunity to compete in two dif­ferent debate forms: Lincoln Douglas and Inter­na­tional Public Debate Asso­ci­ation.

Sophomore Dan Grif­ferty took first in speaker points in IPDA, while junior Kathleen Hancock took second in speaker points and second in the IPDA tour­nament. Freshman Frank Vitale and sophomore Katrina Torsoe advanced to the quar­ter­finals in the Open Division of Lincoln Douglas. Grif­ferty said he took first place in speaker points but last place in the actual tour­nament.

“There’s two dif­ferent com­pe­ti­tions that go on at a debate tour­nament,” he said. “You can win awards for both of them. Obvi­ously, winning the debate is more pres­ti­gious and more important. There’s which side the judge actually votes for. A lot of that comes down to their judging par­adigm. And then there’s speaking, which is who sounded the best and made their argu­ments more cogently and most pre­cisely.”

IPDA is a form of par­lia­mentary debate. Instead of debating in pairs, debaters compete as indi­viduals. Speech times are also shorter in IPDA than the standard form of par­lia­mentary debate.

“The par­ticular dif­fi­culty with IPDA is how concise you have to be with your words in order to make as many points,” Hancock said. “You also have to be very per­suasive in your lan­guage. You can’t just make as many points as pos­sible, like in Lincoln-Douglas, and expect to win. I use IPDA as a format to improve my speaking ability rather than improve my thinking ability.”

The tour­nament served as both a fundraiser for the debate team and as a chance for other debaters to qualify for the National Forensic Asso­ci­ation tour­nament, which will be held in Los Angeles in April. Sopho­mores Jadon Buzzard and T.J. Wilson, along with coach Matthew Doggett, will travel to Sacra­mento this weekend to do research on Cal­i­fornia debate.

“The West Coast debate, even within LD, tends to be dif­ferent,” junior Hannah Johnson said. “They have dif­ferent argu­ments that they par­tic­u­larly like, and we don’t often get a chance to debate them because they don’t come to the East Coast or Midwest. We’re sending people out, not only for com­pe­tition, but also to do a little bit of research to see what kinds of argu­ments Cal­i­fornia teams are running. That way we’ll be better pre­pared for Nationals in April.”

Hancock said the two are more focused on research in Sacra­mento than their place in the tour­nament.

“It’s not about how they do this weekend,” Hancock said. “Even though they probably will do fairly well because of our track record with tour­na­ments in general, they’re more con­cerned with obtaining infor­mation this weekend.”