Berkeley universities

UK debate sophomores get automatic offer for 2022 National Debate Tournament

LEXINGTON, Kentucky (March 4, 2022) — The Kentucky Intercollegiate Debate team of sophomores David Griffith and Jordan Di has received a “first-round offer” or automatic invite to the 2022 National Debate Tournament (NDT). Only the top 16 teams in the nation, ranked by the National Debate Committee, receive this designation.

“Very few programs make the top 16 year after year,” debate director David Arnett said. “Kentucky has a long tradition of success in competitive debating, and current students and coaches are doing a great job adding to that legacy.”

The Kentucky Intercollegiate Debating Team, housed at the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information, will join a list of historically strong programs, including debating powerhouses such as Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Emory University, Wake Forest University, University of Southern California, and University of California, Berkeley at the next NDT.

2022 marks the eighth year in a row that UK Debate has received at least one first-round offer, after 10 years without any such offers. Griffith and Di also received a first-round offer last year in their debut season.

“It feels good to get our second first round in two years,” Griffith said. “The NDT is definitely the hardest part of any debate year. Everyone is working their best now, and every team you have to worry about will be there in full force, so the pressure is on.

This automatic offer comes after Griffith and Di took second place at the Georgetown University Open in January, where they faced many teams they will face at END 2022.

“I can’t wait to have my first CND in person,” Griffith said. “It’s something everyone missed last year, so it will be exciting to be back in the competitive environment that is unique to in-person debating tournaments.”

The 76th National Debating Tournament hosted by James Madison University will take place on a hybrid model from April 1-4, 2022.