If the NPTE is the World Series, or NPDA Nationals is Mach Madness, then the WSU-Vancouver tournament is a pick-up game in a back alley. A few talented players show up, but they’re just messing around with the random kids playing before dinner time. There are no refs, hardly any rules, and anyone who complains about something being unfair is just a whiner.

It’s really interesting to me how much small, local tournaments feel like high school tournaments. Everyone gathers around big cafeteria tables in a central area, stuff spread out all over the place. IE’s are popular. Most people seem at least as interested in socializing as competing. It’s friendly and more or less low key…just like high school.

BD and I posted a career low (for both of us) 1-4 prelim record. How? I was sick and tired and my voice was totally gone by round five, for one thing. But the real reason is that neither of us cared much. In round one I was so bored and sleepy I seriously considered just conceding. We edged out round two despite some lousy debating on my part, but then dropped three and four. I don’t think we legitimately lost each of those, but I couldn’t really blame the judges. We didn’t want the ballots very much.

The tournament did generate a couple good stories. Under the resolution “An armed society is a polite society” a few of our teams argued that we should sent prosthetic limbs to Cambodia. Handshakes, after all, are an important part of polite social interaction.

In the last prelim the resolution asked teams to support making English the official language. The question, “the official language of what?” was left unanswered, so our young’uns argued from the perspective of a Renaissance Fair. BD an I were opp on that topic, and were already eliminated from the tournament, so we decided to have some fun. I prepped seven disadvantages, dealing with everything from ballots to traffic signs. The government case was about Indonesian schools so nothing linked, but I tweaked them a bit and still managed to run five disads with a couple procedurals.

Of course, we still lost. The judge hated us and our strategy, but at least we went out with a bang.

And oh yeah! Willamette dominated in speaker points. Crizzle and E were first and second, respectively, I was seventh, and the young’uns placed in the top ten as well.