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Talkin’ Broncos Finish in Top Three at National Parliamentary Tournament

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 10:37 am / March 24, 2017

Portrait of the 2016-17 debate team

2016-17 Talkin’ Broncos, photo by Allison Corona

Members of the Boise State speech and debate team had an unprecedented finish at the 17th annual National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) at Colorado State University, Pueblo, which took place March 19-21. The NPTE is a prestigious, invitation-only tournament for the top 64 teams in the country. The tournament featured 21 schools, including University of Oregon, Lewis and Clark University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Oklahoma and Washburn University.

The team of Ryan Orlando (senior, Meridian) and Jamie Maas (junior, Meridian) received first round bids to the NPTE for the second consecutive year. The team of Mackenzie Moss (junior, Boise) and Hailie Johnson-Waskow (junior, Nampa), received second round bids, making this year the first time all Boise State parliamentary debate teams have qualified for the NPTE. Following six preliminary rounds, both teams finished with winning records, which allowed both teams to advance into elimination rounds.

“It was quite an accomplishment for both teams to qualify for the NPTE,” said Amy Arellano, assistant director of forensics. “It was even more impressive to have both teams represented in elimination rounds.”

Orlando and Maas entered elimination rounds as the top team from Idaho.

Within parliamentary debate, resolutions address current event issues and global crisis, requiring debaters to have a vast array of knowledge. In elimination rounds, Moss and Johnson-Waskow finished the tournament placing 28th, after having a split decision in their double octofinal round on the resolution, “The United Nations should substantially increase its funding of water filtration and production to developing nation-states.” Orlando and Maas entered elimination rounds as 8th seed and advanced through six elimination rounds before losing in semifinals to Washburn University, the NPTE tournament champions. Orlando and Maas finished the tournament placing third overall.

Both Orlando and Maas placed within the top 20 speakers at the tournament with Orlando taking 17th and Maas taking 13th.

“It is worth noting that Ryan and Jamie were the top debaters from both Idaho and the Pacific Northwest Forensics Conference,” Arellano said.

Orlando and Maas ended the tournament defending the following resolution, “The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding for the development and implementation of stratospheric aerosol injection.”

The Talkin’ Broncos continue their 2016-17 season with their national championship tournament, Pi Kappa Delta, hosted by Boise State University March 22-25.

The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2015-2016 Pi Kappa Delta National Champions in Speech and Debate and are supported in part through the generosity of the Jeker Family Trust. For more information about the Talkin’ Broncos, contact Manda Hicks, director of forensics at Boise State at