View Full Version : Toughest Event to Win At Nationals
07-02-2004, 10:34 PM
Of all of the main events offered at nationals (NFL's) which is the hardest to win in? Even though winning any event is very hard some events just generally have tougher competition. What do you think?
07-02-2004, 10:41 PM
iM saying duo for this reason.
You have to compete against humor, drama, suspence, serio. comedy, and everything in between. The scale from what is "better" than another piece is so broad. That's why i made my decision.
this is interp wise. iM aware that you have to be ****ing AMAZING in extemp to even break, so there is another event that's very difficult. I know DI, HI, and DUO first (or second) hand...oratory, i kinda know. and iVE never seen an extemp national round, but both my coach last year and my mom this year judged nat. extemp prelims and said everyone was just incredable.
07-03-2004, 05:33 PM
Personally, Extempt would be the most difficult category for me to win, but that's just b/c I would stumble over my words and get all nervous b/c I wouldn't know exactly what I was saying and how I was going to say it.
However, generally speaking, I agree with you "Jesus" that duo is extremely complicated b/c of the wide range of types of pieces. However, I can't help but think that oratory is more difficult because you have to perfect both the writing and delivery. And there's no telling what kind of speech somebodies going to show up competing with. You can read lots of plays and find out what ppl are doing in duo, but for oratory, the competition is a lottery.
Also, just as some judges rank based on substance of material in interp categories, judges have to rank based both on the writing, fluidy, word choice, etc etc etc and the delivery with which it's presented. So it's also a matter of whether you get a judged partial to the writing aspect, delivery, or overall impact.
Whoa! This is why I didn't do Oratory!!!!! What an awesome category!!!!!
07-13-2004, 12:38 AM
i think extemp is the hardest event to WIN @ nationals, you are competing with the BEST of the BEST and you have to learn a wide range of stuff and keep updated even on the day of the round, then there is the luck of the draw, which questions are you more expert at... if your competitor draws a question he is fond of and you draw a question you blow at, then it sux for you. people like josh bone are known for the best in the nation, david tannenwald, yet they never have won a championship (although consistent in making final rounds). Your analysis may be interpreted diff. every other speech, you may stumble on some words, you may have right/leftist judges who disagree on your topic, etc.
12-05-2004, 09:29 PM
I think it would be really hard to win all of them.
Especially at the same time.
12-06-2004, 07:03 AM
I think that extemp is the hardest event to win, followed by the debate events, and then speech.
12-06-2004, 12:50 PM
Extemp I would think....
06-02-2008, 09:41 PM
I must admit, having competed in all those events, (though not at nats), I disagree with all of you.
LD is the hardest event competitively.
1. Lets face it, the really smart people do CX and LD. This is because this event is so hard, in the since that it requires the ultimate understanding of it. What I mean is that, from my objective point of view, is that a person can have done a year of debate intensively, and still have a bunch more to learn. As for interp, and to a lesser extent extemp, you can succeed relatively well with little to no experience. Example: I got second at a semi-major tournament my first time doin HI. There's no way that could have happened in LD.
2. At national level, the margin of error is the largest in debate. What I mean by this is that in interp, extemp, and oratory, the people who are the best will be seen as the best. Tom Finley, Nick Kannelis, etc. Got to finals multiple times. This is because the judges see them as the best, given their talent, etc. For debate, and trust me on this, this DOES NOT happen. For LD at least, there is a reason than no person has made it to LD finals twice. This is because the people who are the best do not do the best. Since there is only two people per round, and I believe a debater can afford only up to two loses in prelims at nats, one stupid judge can ruin it all for a good debater. Its been seen time and time again.
So to sum it up, the best are much less likely to succeed in debate than other events, and the quality of competition is goin to be the highest in debate at nationals.
p.s. I realize that debate wasn't offered as a choice, but thats because this forum is centered around interp anyway. Wow, that sounded bitter!
06-02-2008, 09:51 PM
but for oratory, the competition is a lottery.
Yeah I'm gonna have to agree that it's ORATORY. It mights just be me, but I think its easier to predict the results of a DUO final round, than an OO one. There are so many diff. topics that one topic could be more appealing than the other. Plus many great deliverers do worse on stage than the less good ones.
06-03-2008, 06:29 PM
I voted extemp for several reasons, mainly being that the round is different EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
My opinion isn't expert on interpretation events, at nationals no less, but to be honest I put the standard up in this way:
To make it to nationals, you have to be an extremely polished performer, let alone to WIN nationals.
So the first criteria you have to judge, naturally, is what it takes to become the most polished in terms of your "piece" and your event.
In interpretation events such as HI, DI, DUO and the like, you perform the same exact thing repetitively each and every round. It doesn't change at all (or atleast it shouldn't, drastically) throughout the duration of nationals. What this means is you have to polish it, and granted I know it's also necessary that you maintain how fresh your performance is, but once you reach your pinnacle you can't be caught off guard by anything. Except maybe finals butterflies, but those occur in every event (especially those in which anything can happen).
So this is where I think extemporaneous stands out. First of all, consider this:
1) In the interp events, what you qualify with is what you're rolling with to nationals. As I explained before, the polishing process-- can all be done before districts as you try to even qualify, and then before you actually take it to the national stage.
-In extemp however, the sheer breadth and body that you have to cover is exponentially greater. You have to master the art of speaking, which takes the same amount of practice as any event, and then literally ABSORB large bodies of knowledge for use in analysis and citation. Take into consideration the caliber to just maintain a finals-worthy extemp tub. This can take a whole team's effort (and it usually does) all for one person's competition.
2) In the same events, what you walk in with to the university or location you'll be competing at, is what you've got. If you're not the best at the beginning of nats, you simply won't win. Someone who's (and forgive me for using this word) "forensically" better than you will just WIN. What I mean by that, is someone who literally any type of judge will pick over you in a round. No matter what, they are better performers, competitors, the like-- simply just better than you.
-In extemporaneous, consider the "polish" factor with this, if you have one hole in your competition knowledge it can mean life or death. Sure, many people know and will claim that the best extempers can talk on any question, yet those same extempers will probably tell you they know EVERYTHING. This exaggeration stands to show one thing; that every round is a whole new ballgame. It's easy enough to "prepare" for every category, but to be able to logically, "correctly," and eloquently predict, retell, analyze and more- on over one hundred topics is more than anyone knows how to prepare for. You can be caught by anything, and it can mean life or death. That means you and your competitors. Everyone is different in interpretation events as well, but the range of your worst performance scenario and your best is much wider in extemp.
Those are my two most pertinent reasons, but to continue off what others have said--
Eagle#5, I wholeheartedly agree with you on Oratory as being one of the hardest, if not second hardest after extemp. With personal knowledge as a competitor, and with many nationals-worthy orators experiencing similar problems, finding a unique, original, eloquent, and UNIVERSALLY applicable topic is a challenge. You have to be able to link with every single judge, all while making it sound like you're a demigod who touches the hearts of the audience with your personal story.
Chewie, I've heard you could win all of them in the first 2 days of Nats,
rkrboi, I have several problems with your analyses. First of all, saying the really smart people do CX and LD is saying like the really good actors on do HI. It's a fallacy to say that ANY event does require the ultimate understanding. You have to take into consideration we're talking about winning nationals, and anyone who can make nationals certainly understands their event. Secondly, many, many people have done what you did in HI in debate events. I did that in extemporaneous, and dark horses all over the nation have broken the stigma you created by winning tournaments and breaking to finals in their first competitions.
Secondly, while it's true that debate is probably more subjectively judged than any other competition, you have to take into consideration that hi-low scores are always dropped. that means that the judge who thought they were amazing doesn't get counted, and the judge who thought they were horrible doesn't get counted. It's illogical to say there's one "perfect" way to judge any event, and as well- you rarely if ever see the "best" ld'ers not breaking past prelims in a large body of tournaments of any size. Taking into consideration "the best," last years national champion in LD, Tivani Vohra, also won the Texas State Tournament. Our best was the best in the nation, dark horses and experts can be found in any event.
that's my opinion.
06-03-2008, 06:29 PM
I didn't realize that was such a large post o.o
06-03-2008, 07:50 PM
actually, by some strange circular logic, tell me what everyone thinks about this...
In LD, only TWO people make the final round. And your chances of making it every time are a straight 50%, unless you consider popular logic that every time something happens (including winning) the next time it'll be less likely. However that doesn't really work in speech. The point of this paragraph, only Two people get a chance to be national champion.
But on the other end of the spectrum, your chances are 50%... hmmm.... what side is stronger in this debate?
06-03-2008, 08:09 PM
I see what you're saying, but I'm assuming that if you go to nats, you believe that you're good enough to win, so interp, you are more likely to win IF THIS IS TRUE. However, in LD, your are LESS likely to win if this is true.
Does this make sense? I hope so.
06-03-2008, 09:27 PM
Yeah, it makes sense perfecto!
06-04-2008, 03:27 PM
Extemp for sure. The sheer unpredictability is killer. Total crapshoot. Drawing a good topic. Having the right info. Simply being in the right state of mind or information to get a good speech together in 30 minutes. Being able to memorize it properly. Being able to communicate your sentiment properly on a purely factual level. And that's that ever looming fear that any judge could decide their opinions conflict with your facts.
I remember 2 years ago giving a speech on the 2008 election and what is possible for it and getting a great reception. A month or two later I was lucky enough to draw a very similar topic and gave pretty much the same speech. While the first was well received, the second was taken as an insult because I apparently hadn't taken that judges concern for the the "revival of conservatism" into account. I only take comfort in the fact that he was very very wrong.
Point being, so much stuff can go wrong. I've competed in all perf events, and as long as you have the gift you're golden. It's an almost inherent ability to perform and entertain. Innovation takes time and effort, but you can lock up a solid consistent performance in that situation. Extemp is all over the place.
06-04-2008, 06:18 PM
Maybe, but don't forget that 1. everybody has the same chance as another of drawing a bad topic, and 2. There are plenty of prelim rounds to cover the odds. What I mean is that in one round, you could draw a bad subject, but the next round, you're just as likely to draw to draw a good subject as a bad one, probably. So one bad topic shouldn't destroy you, especially since everybody has the same chance as another of drawing a bad topic.
Also, you CAN 'rise above the rest' with extemp if you're willing to. INTENSELY STUDY NEWS. The more you learn, the better you'll be. Its really that simple. Extempers you want to win have this advantage above everyone else who wants to win in other events, because so long as they study news and history more than every other person competing, you are much more likely to win, thus showing that winning nats at extemp shouldn't be to hard if you're willing to work the hardest.
Now granted, analysis and content is not the only factor, but it is the most important factor in extemp.
Just so you know, I Do compete in extemp, so I believe I know a bit about what I;m talking about. :)
06-17-2008, 04:12 PM
sorry to drag this up from the dead, but
first of all, I would never challenge your creedo on any event. keep it friendly here, everyone has their opinions.
In regards to (LD) vs (Extemp) at nationals, I guess I have to pose to you the question, does not the debater who researches the most, practices the most, is willing to analyze the topic cover-to-cover and perfect his content have the equivalent advantage of an extemper who follows the same superlative strategies??
If this is true, which I do believe it is, because obviously the person who, at the end, did the best job to prepare and make them the most competive at nationals--on the straight criteria of practice and preperation-- regardless of event would be dubbed the "best" competitively prepared. So, if this is true-- that the person who challenges themselves to be the best prepared regardless of event has the greatest chance of being the best competitor-- than extemp must be harder. Sheerly because, it is EXTEMPORANEOUS. Meaning there is a LIMITED amount of preperation for it. While in LD, you can prepare to a maximum amount (granted, you can write a thousand cases and still not be finished), the point I'm trying to make is that being the best prepared extemp is harder than being the best prepared in LD.
I'll also admit, that explanation was not the best, but here it is in brief.
Best Prepared in Extemp=Best Prepared in LD=Best prepared to win/ Most competive.
Is this true? That if you are the best prepared in your event, you're the best going in to nats to win?
If so, that being the best prepared means most competive, I assert this:
Best prepared in Extemp>Best prepared in LD.
This is on the grounds that Extemp preperation requres harder preperation that extemp. If you find that last statement the only disagreeable part of my analysis, I'll defend myself. But if not, no burden of proof haha.
06-19-2008, 12:02 AM
Commentary and Storytelling.
Seriously. Tough stuff.
06-21-2008, 04:57 PM
I think DI.
06-23-2008, 11:06 PM
wow it's gotta be OO.
case in point, Emily Kubis, Harvard champion, did not make the first break this year. I was in her round. She was amazing, but the subjectivity of the OO system knocked her out. Many other nationally recognized competitors dropped as well.
Extemp is close, but none of the interp events are even in the same ballpark.
There's a very good reason that *original* events earn you more NFL points than interp events, because it's HARDER. If LD was on there, I would've voted for it.
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