Thursday, January 4, 2001
Steamboat Springs In one event at today's Steamboat Invitational Speech Tournament, students will be asked questions such as: Will the economy boom or bust under President-elect George W. Bush's administration?
They will then have 30 minutes to prepare a seven-minute speech answering the question. For research material they'll have random newspaper clippings they brought with them. For reference, they'll have one note card to glance at.
Not to the 14 members of Steamboat Springs High School's speech team, the host of the annual tournament.
Other events at the tournament include giving a 10-minute memorized speech, a 10-minute oral interpretation of a piece of literature, and one-on-one and team debates.
The debates will be on whether nuclear weapons are amoral and if privacy rights need more protection.
The Steamboat tournament draws speech teams from Denver, Grand Junction and Vail, just to name a few.
In addition to competing, the Steamboat Springs students run the tournament.
"They are the people that will be on the front lines," speech coach Marty Lamansky said.
Half of the day, local students participate in the speaking events and the other half is spent doing tournament management, including tabulation, taking care of visitors, assigning judges and running draw events.
In addition to Steamboat Springs students, members of the community help with the tournament.
"Tons of people from the community come help judge," Lamansky said. "We manage each year to do it pretty well."
This tournament marks the mid-season point for the Steamboat Spring speech team, and so far, so good.
"They've been doing really well," Lamansky said, adding that many students have made it through the elimination rounds in earlier events.
Tournaments during the season allow teams and individuals to earn points in an attempt to qualify for state, held in March.
Students who excel at state can go on to nationals at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Steamboat has had students qualify for nationals eight times in 10 years and Lamansky is optimistic about this year's hopefuls.
"We have some really outstanding chances to qualify this year," he said.