That's So SA

Speech & Debate

You'll Have a Say

Speech & Debate develops confidence, poise, critical thinking, and self-expression. Speech students perform polished orations and dramatic interpretations, individually or in pairs, at competitions in the Bay Area. The Policy Debate team engages in intensive research and evidence-based argumentation on a nationally selected resolution and competes in the Golden Gate Speech Association. In the last four years, both speech and debate students have qualified for state championship competitions.

Speech & Debate News

List of 3 news stories.

  • Speech and Debate Teams Strong in Competition

    On November 10, SA Debate had a great showing at the Notre Dame Invitational. The event, typically held in Los Angeles, CA, is a competitive tournament that had national-level competitors from 14 different states in attendance. The team of Jack Jacobs '22 and Mateo Mijares '22 had an impressive showing, winning five out of their six preliminary debates and defeating one of the top ten teams in the country in the process. They then competed in the octofinal elimination round and their second bid round of the year for the Tournament of Champions. They ended their run in elimination rounds on a close 2-1 decision from the judges. Additionally, Mateo was ranked 8th speaker out of 114 national-level varsity competitors. Congratulations Jack and Mateo! 

    Last weekend, the Speech team attended the Cypress Bay Invitational, a tournament with 20 states in attendance typically held in Weston, FL. In Impromptu Speaking, Aubrey Elder '23 was the champion of the event, and emerged from preliminary rounds as the top seed. He maintained his lead in the final elimination round and won 1st place at the tournament, outspeaking competitors from Tennessee, Colorado, Florida, and from as far away as Taiwan. Congratulations, Aubrey!
    Over that same weekend, the Debate team returned to campus to compete at the second Golden Gate Speech Association scrimmage of the year. In Varsity Policy debate, Jack Jacobs '22 and Andrew Ling '22 earned a winning record, and in JV policy debate, Sean Sun '21 and Justin Koida '22 also earned a winning record. Congratulations to our team! 
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  • Jack Jacobs '22 and Mateo Mijares '22 Debate at Meadows Invitational

    Last weekend, Jack Jacobs '22 and Mateo Mijares '22 competed at the Meadows Invitational, a competitive tournament typically held in Las Vegas, NV. Jack and Mateo earned a 4-2 winning record in varsity policy debate, and ultimately went on to compete in the octofinal elimination round, and their first bid round for the Tournament of Champions. They ended their run as one of the top 15 teams at this highly competitive national circuit tournament. Congratulations to Jack and Mateo! 
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  • Debate Has Strong Showing at GGSA League Tournament

    Last weekend, the debate team competed in the first Golden Gate Speech Association league tournament of the year, where we debated schools from across the Bay Area on the topic of criminal justice reform. In Varsity Debate, the teams of Maddy Jannes '22/Tabatha Stewart '22 and Jack Jacobs '22/Andrew Ling '22 both received winning records, and finished as third and fifth seed in the tournament! In the novice division, Zobek Popin '24/Max Meyer '24, Zadie DeFord '24/Julian Mahrer '24, Louise Estella '24/Isaac Sanders '24, and Shellbee Amaya '24/Flip Kimball '24 all participated in an educational first scrimmage and won several debates. Next up, the speech team heads to their first league competition.
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Event Descriptions

Policy Debate
Policy is a fast-paced debate event that tests a student’s research, analysis, and strategic thinking skills. Debaters must understand and defend both sides of a resolution in teams of two, and use high-quality evidence to back up their claims.

Congressional Debate
Congress models the U.S. legislative process, and involves writing, researching, and arguing for or against bills in a group setting. Students are judged based on their poise, research skills, and ability to deliver spontaneous and persuasive speeches.

Duo Interpretation
This highly theatrical speech event involves two students performing scenes from a film, book, play, or other published work. Students must display emotion, range, and precision in their delivery, as well as show chemistry and coordination with their partner.

Dramatic Interpretation
If you have a flair for the dramatic, then DI is the event for you. Competitors use a play, story, or other published work and perform a selection that demonstrates their ability to convey emotion and display character development with the use of a dramatic text.

Humorous Interpretation
This interpretation event tests a student’s ability to interpret texts and deliver a humorous speech with comedic timing. Competitors must choose an excerpt from a published work and perform a speech that showcases their delivery skills and ability to portray multiple characters.

Oratorical Interpretation
This classic speech event involves competitors performing a published speech that has already been delivered in a public forum. This event tests the student’s poise and delivery, as well as their ability to interpret the intent of the original speech and provide context to its contemporary meaning.

Thematic Interpretation
Using selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a performance around a central theme. Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times.

Original Oratory
Students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Limited in their ability to quote words directly, competitors craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Topics range widely, and can be informative or persuasive in nature. The speech is delivered from memory.
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Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770

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