Anticipating West Point
The Debaters Magazine March, 1947

The first attempt at a National Debate Tournament is to be staged by the West Point Military Academy of New York May 2, 3, and 4, 1947, when 32 teams from all over the country gather there to contest for the championship in Debate in the United States.

For a year the Debating Society at West Point has had this idea in mind and has been working steadily toward its goal. At last the plans are completed, the necessary organization effected, and West Point is mailing out a notification bulletin to the five hundred colleges and over throughout the nation apprizing them of the fact that the big days are approaching.

The bulletin carries an account of the development of the plan, the rules of procedure, and the personnel involved, together with the method of selection of the teams, and a regional map of the country.

The Chairman of the National Tournament Committee is Cadet William, Company L-2. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York. The Secretary of the Debating Society is Cadet George Dell, Company M-I.

The Information carried by the bulletin is as follows:

The Development of the National Tournament

Early last year, during an invitational tournament held at West Point, the inevitable question of a national debate tournament was discussed. At the time, it was pointed out that although a few national speech fraternities held comprehensive elimination which could sponsor a national intercollegiate debate tournaments, there was no all-inclusive elimination which could sponsor a national intercollegiate debate tournament. The president of The West Point organization then suggested that there might be a possibility of sponsoring such a tournament at West Point. With a vast source of manpower for administrative detail, it was felt that the job could be handled efficiently.

The next step was to contact students and coaches in every part of the nation to determine whether the average school would be willing to participate in such a program. The survey was completed with gratifying results. Suggestions poured in from every part of the country and the best were incorporated in the present plans. A suggestion from Dr. Alan Nichols of the University of Southern California became the basis of our organization, which nominates district representatives.

Selection of Teams

On the basis of a survey made early this year, outstanding speech coaches have been chosen in each of the seven districts to represent the National Tournament Committee in selecting qualified teams. It is felt that the coaches in the regions themselves will be in a much better position to choose the representatives than any group located in one part of the country. The method of choice is extremely flexible, depending upon the facilities at the disposal of the various district committees. In most cases, sufficient tournament facilities are already available to provide the committeemen with enough information to determine the strongest teams. It has been requested that all selections be made and submitted to Tournament Headquarters by March 14, 1947. The names of two alternate teams in addition to the district quota will also be included in the selections.

The Regional Committees have been organized as follows:

Region No. 1 - Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah.
Alan Nichols, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
E.R. Nichols, University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
W. Arthur Cable, University of Arizona.

Region No. 2 - Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming.
W.M. Veatch, State College of Washington. Pullman, Washington.
Herbert Rahe, Willamette University. Salem, Oregon.
John Leary, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington.

Region No. 3 - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas.
Prof. R.S. Weatherell, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.
Glenn R. Capp, Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
H. H. Anderson, Oklahoma A. & M., Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Region No. 4 - Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Dakota.
Thorel B. Fest, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Forrest Rose, S. E. Missouri Teacher's College, Cape Girardeau.

Region No. 5 - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin.
J. Garber Drushal, College of Wooster, Ohio.
Glenn Mills, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
Leonard Sommer, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

Region No. 6 - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia.
Wayne C. Eubank, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Dr. Albert Keise,Lenoi-Rhyne College, Hickory, North Carolina.
J. T. Daniel, University of Alabama, University, Alabama.

Region No. 7 - Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont.
J. F. O'Brien, Penn State College, State College, Pennsylvania.
Brooks Quimby, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.
John Chester Adams, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Teams will consist of two debaters and will be limited to undergraduate students. Each team will come prepared to debate both sides of the National Question, RESOLVED: That labor should be given a direct share in the management of industry. In order to provide adequate judging personnel, one qualified judge will accompany each team.

There will be a total of nine rounds of debate over a period of three days. The first five rounds will be judged on both a "win or lose" basis and on a point basis. After five rounds of debate (with all teams participating), the sixteen strongest teams will begin an elimination tournament. At least three judges will be assigned for each elimination round.


There will be no entrance fee for the National Tournament.

Lodging will be provided free of charge for the nights of Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, for all participants (male and female) and coaches.

Meals will be provided free of charge from the noon meal of Friday, May 2, to the noon meal of Sunday, May 4.All entertainment facilities are free of charge, with the exception of the Post Theatre. (Admission: 15c.)

The cost of the National Tournament will be borne by the West Point Debating Society with no expense to the Army or any Federal Agency.

Reprinted from: Allan D. Louden and William Southworth, eds. The 50th National Debate Tournament.Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest University, 1996

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