My name is Aaron Fishbone and I'm working for IDEA at this tournament, and just wanted to give a shout out to the IDEA network and fill y'all in on what's going on up here in cowboy country.
Well, first there's the Greeley Stampede, the world's largest 4th of July Rodeo, which was a ton of fun! Music, demolition derby, and all manner of ropin' and ridin' events. There's a lot of hip-hop and country music and dancin'. And there's this Bed & Breakfast called the Sodbuster Inn which is Western in ambiance but like an amazing French pattiserie in their breakfast offerings. Funny combination, huh? Welcome to Greeley.
Oh, and like I said, it's also the site of the NJFL Middle School National Championship, at Greeley Central High School. There are 171 students from 18 schools competing in 10 different forensics events: Public Forum Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Dup Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry, Prose, and Original Oratory.
Top to Bottom: 1) The chaos of the common area, 2) A Poetry competitor dazzles his audience, 3) Students enjoy BBQ on a beautiful sunny day.
The 18 schools come from all over the USA: The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, Colorado, Texas, Massachussetts, New York City, and California.
Debate events started friday, and we were able to complete all 5 prelimenary rounds that day. Saturday we had debate elims and speech prelims. The weather has been gorgeous (well, it's about 100 degrees Farenheit today) and during Saturday's lunch the hosts organized a huge barbeque and a country band to play in the school's outdoor courtyard. Participant's didn't seem to care too much about scuffing up their suits and dresses as they played ultimate frisbee, foootball, and generally rolled around in the prarie grasses.
A local country/folk band entertains the competitors at the Saturday BBQ.
Finally, after a grueling Saturday which lasted from 8 am until 11 pm (for us in the tab room at least), we were able to get some rest.
In a few minutes I'll have the elimination round results and post them.