Speech Tournaments are Back to Normal for the First Time


The speech and debate team after MSHAA districts last year

For the past two and a half years, competitive theatre tournaments have been altered to fit COVID-19 procedures. Finally, the tournaments are coming back full scale.

“They’re very different in the fact that they’re going to be 2 days. We’re going to be doing our prelims rounds on Fridays and then if we break to semis and finals we’ll be going on Saturdays,” said Morelli.

Seniors Hunter Gill and Lianna Morelli have been on the speech team for four years, and their career is finally coming back full circle.

“For us fourth years, we’re going back to our novice freshman year of normal tournaments, which is amazing,” said varsity speech member Hunter Gill.

These team members seem to prefer it to last year.

“Last year, they were just one day. Which was kinda stupid. I didn’t like it,” expressed Morelli

Gill agrees, saying;

“I prefer the tournaments at the beginning of the freshman year, 100%.”

However, according to these team members, both last year and what’s to come is better than what tournaments were altered to in 2020.

“The tournaments in 2020 sucked. Some of them were on zoom calls, which was just so weird and I felt like you didn’t get the same energy as performing in a real room. And some of them you just sent in a video which is not the same at all, and you don’t get to see other people’s performances, and it was just like, it was not the same energy. It didn’t even feel like you were doing competitive theater.” said Morelli

However, Gill had never experienced a zoom call tournament.

“I actually never did a live zoom call video because I strictly avoided them because I was like, that’s just awful if I’m not in person for them to see me. So I sent in videos,” Gill said. 

Overall, Morelli and Gill are excited for their year to go back to normal.

“Going back to these full tournaments is a Godsend and I cannot wait to go to tournaments this year,” said Gill.