Debaters from Irvine Valley College had their own March Madness by picking up the national championship trophy at Northern Arizona University during the tournament awards ceremony on March 23, 2014. The trophy was given to the top community college team following a year-long sweepstakes race that started in September. Schools counted their top four teams at four tournaments during the season. IVC's team also placed fourth among all two- and four-year schools in the national year-long contest. Other nationally ranked Southern California community colleges were: El Camino (11th), Moorpark (32nd), OCC (42nd), Mt SAC (44th), and Saddleback (69th).
This was the third year in a row that IVC won the national championship trophy. It was the team’s tenth national title since 2000.
“Twenty different students contributed to our three-peat,” said Debate Coach Gary Rybold, who is retiring from coaching at the end of this season. “Our team had both quality and quantity at every tournament. A strong core of returning debaters mentored our novices to success. And our coaching staff put in the time needed for extra practice sessions, so we were definitely well prepared for each tournament.
“In parliamentary debate, the topic changes every round. This means that competitors could debate about the US/Russia relations in the morning, tax reform in the afternoon, and the harms of social media in the evening. Students really need a breadth of knowledge if they are going to keep up with other teams,” said Dr. Rybold. “Our students develop their research skills throughout the season and become experts in sharing their work in cloud storage like Dropbox.”
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