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Episode 4: Online Tournaments and UW Debate with Matthew Liu

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

I had the chance to talk with Matthew Liu on the One Clap Pod this week. Matt is the Director of the University of Wyoming Debate Team and the Co-Director of the Online Wyoming State Speech and Debate Tournament now scheduled to run this April. Matt shared his debate journey, talked about the superiority of Hufflepuffs, described the way that online tournaments can be successful, discussed technology that could be useful to online competitors, explained some of the advantages, opportunities, and fancy dining possibilities involved with college debate, and told me specifically about his debate program at UW.


Since the last pod, the Wyoming High School Activities Association and the Wyoming High School Forensics Association has announced intent to run an online State Wyoming Speech and Debate Tournament on April 22-25. This is a pretty big leap for all of us in the community, and many coaches and competitors might be feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure about how this event is going to happen and what it will be like. Matt has brought his time and expertise to the table with the WHSFA officers and other coaches from around the state of Wyoming to help think about the structure and operations of the online tournament. In the podcast, Matt had some really great tips for online competitors and suggested some simple tech that can help the online competition experience. The UW team has been offering opportunities to practice online debate for the last three weeks and will be doing one more week of these debates - so, we talked about the inception of that project and how well it has gone for Wyoming debaters. He also gave a general overview of what an online tournament looks and feels like and talked about ways that coaches could help students prepare for an online tournament. Matt shared out information about UW's Debate team and the superior eats that college debaters enjoy (along with many other perks!). From the University of Wyoming Website: Matt Liu has a Master's degree in Communication from Wake Forest University. He teaches courses in persuasive argumentation in the Department of Communication and Journalism and in the Honors College. He has been involved in competitive debate for nearly two decades, joining the University of Wyoming's staff after coaching multiple national championships at the University of Minnesota and Wake Forest University.

Check out all of the great resources from Matt and his team at their website: Be sure to look at the Online Debate Guide or Webinar if you have more questions about online competition.

Feel free to reach out to Matt via email if you'd like more information about the University of Wyoming Debate Team at

Thank you to Matt for all of his hard work with the Wyoming State Tournament and for coming on the One Clap Pod!



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