Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Tournament of Debate Champions
The HWS Update
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Tournament of Debate Champions

The Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Round Robin welcomes the 16 best debate teams in the world to campus for one of the most prestigious international tournaments this weekend. Through Saturday, April 6, the annual Round Robin will feature student teams, representing universities from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Croatia, England, Ireland, Israel and across the United States. This is the competition’s 13th year.

Participating teams include Cambridge University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Independent University of Bangladesh, London School of Economics, Melbourne University, Oxford University, Stanford University, Tel Aviv University, University College Dublin, Wilfred Laurier University, Yale University and Zagreb University.

While the Colleges regularly earn victories against top teams in other tournaments, the rules prohibit the HWS team from competing while hosting the Round Robin. Most recently, the HWS Debate team earned both team and individual awards at Novice Nationals and at the Cornell Intervarsity tournament in February.

“Since starting the HWS Round Robin in 2007, it has become an increasingly important event, and is considered by many to be the most highly competitive tournament in the world,” says Associate Professor of Philosophy and Head Coach Eric Barnes. “HWS students started this event and it is their hard work and immense success over the past 13 years that has made us the envy of universities around the world.”

“We have gathered the best debaters from around the world with all their international perspectives to debate here,” says Mikaela Zallen ’20, a member of the HWS debate team. “This affords students and faculty the chance to observe some of the best debaters in the world and learn from them.”

This year’s Round Robin will feature a keynote address by Barnes and Associate Professor of Education Paul Kehle. The talk, titled “Modeling Debate Tournaments: In Search of Fairness,” will take place at 4 p.m. in Froelich Hall in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. The final round of the tournament will take place in Froelich Hall at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday. All are welcome to attend.

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