This last weekend over a hundred people from over twenty states met to participate in a debate tournament…. ONLINE. I know what you are thinking… Why? What for? What’s the point? The point was to be a pioneer! The point was to grow and participate in building communication skills in new ways. What Lasting Impact! created was something unique and different. Read on to hear all about this new type of speech and debate tournament…
First of all, I always said, if Lasting Impact! was going to create an online tournament… it needed to feel like a tournament. And that’s exactly what we did! One of the biggest elements that students and adults yearn for, especially during these times, is the sense of community. This was not just a couple of friends gathering together meeting online to debate. This was a virtual tournament, which included a hangout room, devotions, announcements, postings, tournament attire, video rounds, out rounds, participants watching, judges from across the country, virtual ballots, guests coming to cheer on their friends, an award ceremony, a lot of laughs, a ton of fun, and most important growth. All- To God Be The Glory!
We called it, The Online Lasting Impact! Pioneer Debate Tournament. It was designed differently than anything that is out there right now. Students, parents, and judges learned new skills navigating a new system. It is literally a tournament SITE and everything is run virtually. There is an interface where judges can pick up their ballot… their virtual ballot, that is! A ballot that allows you to fill it out online. Judges were able to fill out 9000 characters and make decision with a click.
You may be wondering, “where was this posted? Why didn’t I hear about it?” Honestly, we were purposefully starting small. However, this is just the beginning- you will get your chance!! And it’s not going to stop at debate- we can’t wait to introduce speech to this virtual platform.
Don’t just take our word on how awesome the tournament went…
From the competitors…
“I didn’t realize how much I missed debating.”
“I am so glad I did this. It felt like a real tournament. The atmosphere of excitement and fellowship carried over through the virtual setting. And the technology was very easy to use.”
“It was such a smooth, painless process. I would definitely recommend.”
From the parents…
“Thank you so much for providing the kids with this experience. It really means a lot.”
“What Lasting Impact! created was gold. Thank you for putting the time and energy and resources into these kids.”
“Your thoughtfulness in figuring this out is tremendous.”
From the judges…
“The format worked remarkably well. You all did a great job putting this together.”
“It was really cool to see the software facilitate things! I honestly didn’t feel the medium was really much of a disadvantage.”
“The ballots were slick, I will never want to go back!”
“This is the most seamless technological thing I have seen during Covid 19. It’s brilliant. Great option for tournaments. And works a lot better into this judge’s schedule.”
I know most students feel tired and done with their season. But ready or not, being able to communicate online is a skill that is here to stay! Lasting Impact! does not have any intention of replacing in person tournaments. But there is opportunity here to keep growing! Practice debating with your potential partner for next year, learn the skills of competing online, be willing to stretch and adapt, and be a pioneer!!
We are looking to schedule our next online event. What do you want to see?? Parli? Speech? Moot? A Senior Showcase? A one day Apologetics Tournament? The sky is the limit! Be sure to post in the comment box…. we want to hear from you!
Oh – also, CONGRATULATIONS to our Tournament Champs –
TP – Beatty/Zomer
LD – Daniel Kroeker