Second place on the VI Cánovas School Debating Tournament

Fecha: 19/04/2023

The debating tournament took place in Cánovas (Málaga) and there were more than 100 students in 18 teams participating from various schools that came from all over Spain. Orvalle presented two teams: Orvalle 1 formed by Almudena Andreu, Cristina González, Isabel Maccio and Bárbara Mendoza and Orvalle 2 formed by Rebecca Bermejo, Fátima Cortina, Fátima Cruz, Teresa Marcos, Patricia Martin.

Fotografías del equipo Orvalle 2.

The question

The question posed in the debate was : "Should Spain lift the ban on fracking". (*fracking is a technique for recovering gas and oil from shale rock.  It is banned in Spain because of its environmental issues but is used in other countries such as USA, canada, china, ...)

The preparation

We started preparing for the debate two weeks before. The first week we started investigating the topic and brainstorming some arguments. Afterwards we developed and wrote down the arguments as well as the introductions. Later on we had to search for evidence to support our arguments and possible refutations. 
We found some difficulties during the investigation on the subject because it is very technical. Another complication was combining the debate with our school work and exams as we found ourselves overwhelmed by the lack of  time and a list of things to do and study. That required a lot of effort on our behalf.

Fotografías del equipo Orvalle 1.

The debate

The debate had 5 mandatory rounds which were organized following the switzerland method (the first round is random but the following rounds you always debate with a team with a similar level). Afterwards, the teams were arranged by number of victories and then by points, in order to make the cut to move on to quarterfinals. Once you passed on to quarterfinals, you had to win each debate in order to continue debating until the end.

Both teams passed the first phase

Orvalle 1 debated three times for and twice against (winning three of them). They debated against: Sunny View, el Buen Pastor, las Maristas Málaga, la Presentación Málaga and SEK Málaga.

Orvalle 2 debated three times for and twice against (winning three of them). They debated against the swing team, the British school of Córdoba, el Buen pastor, Brains and St Mary's school 1.
Both teams passed the first phase and had to debate in quarterfinals against Maristas Malaga (Orvalle 1) and St Mary's school 2 (Orvalle 2).  In this round, Orvalle 2 was eliminated, but Orvalle 1 went on  and had to debate against SEK Málaga in semifinals and with St Mary's school 2 in the final where they were eliminated coming in second place.

Fotografías del equipo Orvalle 1, subcampeón del Torneo.

The challenges

All the debates were stressful but part of the competition is learning to control it in order to do a good intervention. The judges gave excellent feedback so each debate was better and we noticed a great difference between the first and the last one.

An outstanding second place

Second place on the VI Cánovas School Debating Tournament
El equipo subcampeón del Torneo.

Being second was outstanding for us as the previous year we had been eliminated in the round of 16 so this year the competition had become a way of overcoming obstacles and difficulties. The preparation had been difficult as all the members of our team got sick the week before but we took it upon ourselves to make it happen and it was definitely worth the effort. We had the feeling that we could really do whatever we wanted to with endeavor and the personal satisfaction was incredible. 

The final was very stressful at first because there were a lot of people watching but above all because the table we had was very small, we couldn't move and we couldn't write at ease either. In addition, it was very hot and we had already debated four times that day so we were exhausted but really excited to have gotten so far in the competition. 

Cánovas' tournament winners also go to the National Tournament of school debates. The prize was a trophy, a diploma and participating in the national tournament which takes place in Madrid's Senate. (the final will take place next 24th April).

Writting by Almudena Andreu, from 1º de Bachillerato.

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