A flurry of young debaters gathered on the morning of October 28, assembling into teams named after beloved Halloween candies: Twix, Three Musketeers, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, and Starbursts. Like all Orange County Debate League events, the annual Fall Scramble cultivates critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork skills. However, the Scramble is unlike other OCDL tournaments. Instead of competing in teams from their own schools, 237 debaters of various levels of experience were randomly mixed into new teams with teammates from other schools.
Tournament administrators began the day by announcing the newly created teams. Once debaters found their new teammates, the Buena Park Junior High School auditorium filled with chattering voices. Students got to know their new teammates as they organized their cases, practiced speeches, and discussed strategy.
After the final round, tournament administrators calculated the highest individual speaker and team scores. From The Pegasus School, Jared A. and Max P. tied for the highest overall speaker award. On team M&Ms, Marcus M. (New England Academy), Clara K. (Gordon H Beatty Elementary), and Jackson E. (The Pegasus School) took the first place team award with an undefeated record. Along with the benefits they gained from multiple rounds of debate, students collaborated and fostered relationships with other debaters throughout Southern California. At the upcoming December 2nd Holiday Tournament, students will likely encounter their scramble teammates once again - this time, on the other side of the podium.