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LSU Shreveport Debate Team Hosts First National Internet Tournament

January 24, 2012
The LSU Shreveport Department of Communications hosted an experimental national debate tournament using Skype, Microsoft's Internet voice and video chat platform, on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012.

LSU Shreveport debaters participated in the tournament as administrators, competitors, judges and technicians. Six states were represented in the tournament. Instead of teams with multiple individuals competing, the tournament focused on a program vs. program format using the Lincoln-Douglas one-on-one style of debate. Competitors were given a selection of topics and met each other on Skype, where they determined which topic they would debate.

Union University placed first on a 3-0 decision in the final round against University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Other universities that participated included: Sam Houston State University, LSU Baton Rouge, Tulane University of New Orleans and Fairmont State University of West Virginia.

"We weren't sure how this would work," explained Trey Gibson, coach of the award winning LSU Shreveport Debate Team, "but no one else was moving into cyberspace with competitive speaking so we decided to be the first."

"We really appreciate the sacrifice of the LSU Shreveport team that helped make this tournament happen," said Bob Alexander, President of the International Public Debate Association. "Though they were not allowed to go for the win, they helped give this organization and debate a greater win in the long run. Their contribution to this tournament was priceless," Alexander said.

Organizers plan on using surveys to evaluate the competitor and judge experience from this tournament. The data collected will be used to set up a permanent annual tournament that IPDA officials hope will involve international participants.

For more information about the LSU Shreveport Debate Team, please contact Director of Forensics, Trey Gibson.

Contributed by: Alanna Landry

Media Contact: G. Trey Gibson, 318.797.5081 (

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