There is no debate about it – Liberty University has a consistently top-ranked debate team. Members finished first in two national rankings, coming ahead the likes of Harvard, Cornell, Northwestern and Wake Forest. It’s the ninth year in a row atop one ranking, the fourth straight in the other.
From Liberty University: The results are in: Liberty University’s Debate Team finished first place in both the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) and the National Debate Tournament (NDT) overall rankings. In its ninth consecutive year atop the CEDA national rankings, Liberty finished ahead of George Mason University, Wake Forest University, Harvard University, and the University of Kansas. For the season-ending NDT results, Liberty was No. 1 for the fourth straight season, followed by George Mason, Harvard, Kansas, and Wake Forest. “This was a young team that competed like a much more experienced team,” said Liberty Director of Debate Michael Hall. “I’m grateful for the leadership of graduating seniors Jeleesa Omala and Moriah Wierschem and for the perseverance this team demonstrated through a unique set of mid-season challenges.”
Liberty’s consistent level of success in debate is unrivaled. In total, Liberty has finished first overall in the CEDA a dozen times and first in the NDT 15 times. The team has also topped the American Debate Association grand sweepstakes in 19 seasons. To date, Liberty remains the only school to sweep first place in all three of the nation’s policy debate organizations’ final overall rankings in a year, a feat Liberty has accomplished nine times, including last season.
Each year, all three national debate organizations agree on a topic; this year’s topic focused on whether government should be more or less involved in health care. Teams prepare to argue both sides of the issue. In order to rise in the overall rankings, Liberty’s coaches understand that the team must be competitive in all three divisions: novice, junior varsity, and varsity.