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Episode 11: Wyoming State Speech and Debate Tournament Co-Directors Reflect on the Online Event

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

While the Wyoming State Online Speech and Debate Tournament was an event that required the help and support of many coaches, competitors, community leaders, and judges, three people were especially foundational to the planning and technical execution of the tournament and registration: Matt Liu, University of Wyoming Director of Debate; Nick Ryan, Liberty Assistant Director of Debate; and Londe Gagnon, Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Coach and WHSFA President. These three co-directors of the tournament came on the One Clap Podcast to share some terrific insight into what it took to make the Wyoming State Speech and Debate Tournament happen, what we learned from the event, and how students and coaches can prepare for the National Speech and Debate Tournament that will be held online this summer.


Friends of the podcast, Matt Liu and Londe Gagnon, were joined by Nick Ryan who started things off by sharing his journey from a mouthy teenager who liked to argue with his mom to a college debater and now a college coach. We also learned that Matt and Nick even had a stint as debate partners that was recalled in fightingly vivid detail by Matt.

After providing a little context and light explanation of the process of planning and executing an online tournament, the panel of co-directors explored some of the things that went very well during the tournament, some challenges that were faced, and some takeaways from this unique competition. We also discussed ways that coaches and competitors can use some of the things that were learned from the online competition to help prepare for the National Tournament that will be held online this summer.

An online tournament, we will all agree, is no substitute for a physical tournament. There were, however, many things to be learned from the process, and the tournament was a largely positive experience. Big time thank you's are in order for Matt, Nick, and Londe for their key roles in the online tournament and for sharing their ideas on the podcast!

Make sure to stay tuned in to the Wyoming Debate Roundup Blog for updates about debate practice for Nationals and all things Wyoming debate:



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