UK Speech and Debate Places 9th at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals

Photo of UK Speech and Debate Team
UK Speech and Debate placed 9th in combined sweepstakes, the highest in UK’s history.

LEXINGTON, KY. (April 11, 2017) — For the third year in a row, the University of Kentucky Speech and Debate Team has placed in the top 10 at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament. Ten students representing UK traveled to Boise State University to participate in the 50th biennial National Tournament and Convention. Seventy-two programs from 30 states entered over 2,000 public speaking events and debate teams at this competition.

UK Speech and Debate placed ninth in combined sweepstakes which totals points earned from both public speaking and debate events. This placing is the highest in UK’s history. The team also placed fifth in the public speaking sweepstakes competition, more than doubling the team’s performance in this category from this tournament two years ago. UK took home 12th in the debate sweepstakes competition.

In addition to these impressive team performances, sophomore Veronica Scott was crowned national champion of communication analysis. Scott is the first national champion in the team’s history. Her speech examines how the rhetoric of gun violence influences instances of domestic assault. Additionally, freshman Laura McAllister placed second in after dinner speaking and senior Sam Northrup advanced to quarterfinals in public debate.

“The team did so incredibly well at this competition,” said Director of Speech and Debate Timothy Bill. “Each competitor poured their heart and soul into every performance over the past four days. They have worked for months on these events and I could not be prouder.”

The Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention uses a unique scoring system for its events. Competitors in the top 10 percent of an event receive superior ratings, those in the next 20 percent receive excellent ratings, and the following 30 percent receive good ratings. Additionally, showcases are held instead of elimination rounds for the public speaking events.

The full list of awards earned by UK competitors is available here.

The UK Speech and Debate Team is committed to training the next generation of civic leaders who are passionate about effecting change in their communities. To foster these skills, the team takes part in competitions throughout the southeast region of the United States.

UK Speech and Debate is a student organization in the School of Information Science in the College of Communication and Information. The team regularly competes in 12 public speaking events and three forms of debate. To find out more, please visit the team’s website


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