History

FoundingPast Hosts and National Champions

Founding

In the spring of 2005 John Meany, of Claremont McKenna, hosted the first United States Universities Debating Championship (USUDC). The tournament was open to any university or college, and featured three days of competition in the British Parliamentary format. There was a break to semifinals, and then a final round to determine the National Champions. There were no CAs or DCAs at the first championship. The tournament hosted schools from as far away as New York and Canada. The final round motion concerned whether or not companies should be permitted to donate money to election campaigns, and the University of Alaska took home the crown.

In 2006 Meany began using a CA team, similar to the WUDC, bringing in 2006 World Champions JoAnn Nairn and Michael Kotrly, as well as the eventual CA of WUDC Vancouver, Kevin Massie. In this second year, longtime APDA and WUDC powerhouses Harvard and Yale entered the competition for the first time, and Harvard ultimately won the tournament to become National Champions for 2006.  The following fall Yale hosted its first BP tournament, drawing high-caliber teams and judges from across the country and around the world. BP debating was now emerging on both coasts, and new schools were beginning to gravitate to the format – a byproduct of the US Championship.

The tournament was held at Claremont for a final time in 2007, and the University of La Verne was crowned National Champions. Meany’s hope of having the competition move from university to university was realized the following year, as Portland State agreed to host the USUDC in 2008. At the 2008 tournament a formal bid process was used for the first time, with Vermont eventually declared the hosts for 2009. The tournament continued to change location each year thereafter. Denver hosted in 2010, and then the tournament went back to the University of Vermont in 2011. The 2012 to 2015 hosts were, in order, Willamette, La Verne, Purdue, and the University of Alaska Anchorage. The 2016 edition was the first hosted by a historically Black college – Atlanta’s Morehouse. The University of Denver hosted the tournament in 2017, and the 2018 round will be at Stanford.

The United States Universities Debate Association (USUDA) was created in October of 2013. The USUDA is responsible for promoting and continuing the US Universities Debating Championship. Steve Llano of St. John’s University, David Register of Bard College, and Sam Ward-Packard of Yale drafted the constitution, and the colleges and universities that attended the 2013 USUDC voted to ratify it the following fall. Membership is open to any university or college in the United States, with no dues required.


Past Hosts and National Champions

Harvard wins 2017

National Champions 2017, Archie Hall and Alex Wu

2017 – University of Denver & Regis University
National Champions: Archie Hall & Alex Wu (Harvard)

Finalists: David Slater & Elana Leone (Stanford), Harry Elliot & Bobbi Leet (Stanford), Daniel Stoyell & Rebecca Blair (Cornell)

Top Speaker: Zoë Seaman-Grant (Bates)

208 Teams
2017 Tab2017 Outrounds – 2017 Outround MotionsFinals Video (top half)Finals Video (bottom half)

 

Tufts wins

2016 National Champions from Tufts, Drew Latimer and Jeremy Chen.

2016 – Morehouse College
National Champions: Drew Latimer & Jeremy Chen (Tufts)

Finalists: Dhruva Bhat & Danny DeBois (Harvard), Evan Lynyak & Henry Zhang (Yale), Harry Elliott & Taahir Munshi (Stanford)

Top Speaker: Harry Elliott (Stanford)

180 Teams
2016 Tab – 2016 Outrounds

2015 National Champions, Tony Nguyen and Edwin Zhang of Yale, receive the national championship trophy.

National Champions 2015, Tony Nguyen and Edwin Zhang.

2015 – University of Alaska Anchorage
National Champions: Tony Nguyen & Edwin Zhang (Yale)

Finalists: Tiffany Keung & Alex Mechanick (Brown University), Fanele Mashwama & Bo Seo (Harvard University), Rodjé Malcolm & Emanuel Waddell (Morehouse College)

Top Speaker: Matt Summers (Bates College)

172 Teams
2015 Tab – 2015 Outrounds – Finals Video

2014 US National Champions Jac Stewart and Taylor Blackburn, with the traveling trophy.

2014 US National Champions Jac Stewart and Taylor Blackburn.

2014 – Purdue University
National Champions: Taylor Blackburn & Jac Stewart (Bates College)

Finalists: Kirat Singh & Srinath Reddy (Cornell University), Colin Etnire & Krikor Kouyoumdjian (Loyola Marymount University), Michael Barton & Sam Ward-Packard (Yale University)

Top Speaker: Tie – Michael Barton (Yale University) and Sam Ward-Packard (Yale University)

181 teams
2014 Tab – 2014 Outrounds – Finals Video

2013 National Champions Ben Kornfeld and Sam Ward-Packard with their prize surfboards.

2013 Champions from Yale, Ben Kornfeld and Sam Ward-Packard with their prize surfboards.

2013 – University of La Verne
National Champions: Ben Kornfeld & Sam Ward-Packard (Yale)

Finalists: Chris Axtman & Megan Towles (Carroll College), Colin Etnire & Dearv O’Crowley (Loyola Marymount University), Emma Pierson & Andrew Suciu (Stanford University)

Top Speaker: Ben Kornfeld (Yale University)

160 teams
2013 Team Tab – 2013 Speaker Tab –  2013 Outrounds – Finals Video

2012 National Champions Will McConnell and Buzz Klinger, of HWS, with their coach, Eric Barnes.

2012 National Champions Will McConnell and Buzz Klinger, of Hobart & William Smith, with their coach, Eric Barnes.

2012 – Willamette University
National Champions: Buzz Klinger & Will McConnell (Hobart & William Smith Colleges)

Tournament Champions (see notes): Christine Simpson & Michael O’Dwyer (University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society [Ireland])

Finalists: Maxwell Dovala & Kate Falkenstein (Yale University), Kamya Chandra & Nipun Mahajan (St. John’s University)

Top Speaker: Sam Ward-Packard (Yale University)

156 teams
2012 Tab – 2012 Outrounds – Finals Video

usu2011harvardwins

2011 Champions, Cormac Early and Jo Box

2011 – University of Vermont
National Champions: Cormac Early & Jo Box (Harvard)

Finalists: Sarah Carpenter & Amie Stanley (University of Alaska Anchorage), Maxwell Dovala & Kate Falkenstein (Yale University), Angela Kintominas & David Maher (University of New South Wales [Australia])

Top Speaker: Cormac Early (Harvard University)

192 teams
2011 Team Tab2011 Speaker TabElim Results – Finals Video

usu champs 10

2010 Champions from Claremont, Charlie Sprague and Jesse Katz-Blumenthal

2010 – Regis University & University of Denver
National Champions: Charlie Sprague & Jesse Katz-Blumenthal (Claremont Colleges)

Finalists: Aaron Baker & Lindsay Bing (Portland State University), Alex Campbell & Anish Mitra (Stanford University), Nate Blevins & Naz El-Khatib (Yale University)

Top Speaker: Colin Haughey (University of Alaska Anchorage)

124 teams
2010 Tab Finals Video

2009 usu champs

2009 Champions from Harvard, Lewis Bollard & Ben Belser

2009 – University of Vermont
National Champions: Lewis Bollard & Ben Belser (Harvard)

Finalists: Mike Aguilera & Kevin Kiley (Loyola Marymount University), Robert Embree & Monica Ferris (Hart House [Canada]), Doug Cochran & Daniel Warrents (Middle Temple [United Kingdom])

Top Speaker: Daniel Warrents (Middle Temple [United Kingdom])

120 teams
2009 Team Tab2009 Speaker TabElim Results Finals Video – Mini Documentary

2008 – Portland State University
National Champions: Alexander Schwab & Kevin Kiley (Loyola Marymount University)

Finalists: Charles Sprague & Kari Wohlschlegel (Claremont Colleges), Rob Ruiz & Thomas Allison (University of LaVerne), Michael Imeson & James Kilcup (Seattle University)

Top Speaker: Kari Wohlschlegel (Claremont Colleges)

60 teams

2007 – Claremont McKenna College
National Champions: Josh Martin & Rob Ruiz (University of La Verne)

Finalists: Matt Contreras & Courtney Crooks (Loyola Marymount University), Dan Adler & Eric Sanelle (Portland State University), Brian Kettles & Julie Lisztwan (Calgary-Alberta Hybrid [Canada])

Top Speaker: Julia Liztwan (University of Alberta [Canada])

2006 – Claremont McKenna College
National Champions: Samuel Myat San & Alexander Schwab (Harvard)

Finalists: Tom Lassen & Chris Kolerok (University of Alaska Anchorage), Adam Chilton & David Denton (Yale University), Chris Jones & Monica Ferris (Athabasca University [Canada])

Top Speaker: David Denton (Yale University)

2005 – Claremont McKenna College
National Champions: Michael Rose & Tom Lassen (University of Alaska Anchorage)

Finalists: Chris Kolerok & Rose Helens-Hart (University of Alaska Anchorage), Martin Pinnes & Daniel Streim (Colgate University), Ashish Sinha & Monica Ferris (University of British Columbia [Canada])

Top Speaker: Josh Martin (University of La Verne)


Notes

  • Prior to 2015, international institutions were allowed to compete in elimination rounds at the USUDC. In 2012, at Willamette, a team from Ireland won the Grand Final. In the event, the judging panel selected as National Champions the best team representing an American institution in the final, while the Irish were declared Tournament Champions.
  • Some individual tournament hosts have elected also to identify a first runner-up along with the National Champion, but the USUDA does not officially distinguish between second place teams and finalist teams.