The King's Debate Society Ranked 25th Worldwide
Independent Rankings Confirm Skill of King's Debaters
NEW YORK, December 8, 2011—The King’s Debate Society was recently ranked 25th out of 500 collegiate debate programs across the world by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA), a non-profit that develops, organizes, and promotes debate throughout the world.
The ranking comes on the heels of a string of successful tournaments, including the 2011 Yale Intervarsity tournament, where Josiah Peterson and Burk Ohbayashi finished 8th out of 123 teams. “It just goes to show that big universities and big money do not have a monopoly on gifted students or persuasive ideas,” said Peterson, President of the debate society.
The King’s Debate Society was founded in 2008 by two students, Matthias Clock and Pam Dodge, with a vision to train students to advocate truth in the marketplace of ideas. Since then, the society has competed at dozens of tournaments, hosted scrimmages, and held workshops. In just three years, The King’s Debate Society moved from being almost completely unknown to being a well-respected program ranked 4th in the American Northeast. This year, debaters have set a new record by breaking to outrounds at every tournament they attended this semester.
The success of the society has come largely from members who are motivated by a passion for the vision. Katie Teubl, Coach of the Debate Society, said, “Students here grasp the importance of understanding fundamental principles on any topic, whether it is international politics or the ethics of human enhancement. They also understand how critical it is to communicate persuasively in today’s world.”
The King’s Debate Society is also unique because of its size relative to other programs. With 25 voting members and 50 participants, The King’s Debate Society is equal or larger in size than programs at larger institutions. Oxford, a university with over 20,000 students, for example, sent 27 teams to tournaments during the 2010-2011 debate season. The King’s Debate Society sent 26. “More than 10% of the student body at The King’s College has participated in debate this year,” Coach Teubl said. “That’s a percentage that very few colleges in the world can match.”
In order to continue matching an expanding membership with more opportunities for training and competition, debate society leadership has increased the number of practices, tournaments, and workshops. The momentum has Peterson excited for the future of the program. “Through hiring a full time coach, competing internationally, and hosting our own tournament,” he said, “we’re moving in the direction of having an organization churning out effective advocates of Truth for the marketplace of ideas.”
At the end of December, Peterson and Ohbayashi will travel with Coach Teubl to the Philippines to compete at WORLDS, the largest and most prestigious international debate tournament in the world. In the Spring, the debate society will host the first ever “Empire Debates” at The King’s College, and compete at the Nationals in Portland, Oregon.
You can find the official rankings here .
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