Four experienced debaters from the Loomis Chaffee Debate Society were among the top teams to compete in a first-ever online debate tournament that drew competitive teams from across the United States and Canada last weekend.
The tournament, organized by Westfield Academy, was unconstrained by geography and attracted a strong field of teams from respected high school programs. Sixty-five top-level collegiate parliamentary debaters served as judges, and the judging was exceptionally competent, according to Curt Robison, faculty advisor to the Loomis Debate Society.
As would normally take place in an in-person parliamentary debate, the topics were announced 15 minutes before the rounds, and each team’s pro or con position was determined randomly with a coin flip. Pelican pairings emerged as some of the top teams in the event. In the five preliminary rounds, the team of junior Aidan Gillies and senior Eleanor Peters was undefeated, and the team of juniors Clara Chen and Lilly Saunders had a record of 3-2. The combined 8-2 record was among the best in the tournament, according to Curt.