UK Debate Sophomores Receive Automatic Bid to 2022 National Debate Tournament

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2022) — The Kentucky Intercollegiate Debate team of sophomores David Griffith and Jordan Di has received a “first-round bid” or automatic invitation to the 2022 National Debate Tournament (NDT). Only the top 16 teams in the nation, as ranked by the National Debate Committee, receive this designation.

“Very few programs are ranked in the top 16 year in and year out,” said Director of Debate David Arnett. “Kentucky has a long tradition of success in competitive debate, and the current students and coaches are doing a great job adding to that legacy.”

The Kentucky Intercollegiate Debate team, housed in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, will join a list of historically strong programs including debate powerhouses such as Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Emory University, Wake Forest University, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley at the upcoming NDT.

2022 marks the eighth consecutive year that UK Debate has received at least one first-round bid, following 10 years without any such bids. Griffith and Di also received a first-round bid last year in their freshman season.

“It feels good to get our second first-round in two years,” Griffith said. “The NDT is definitely the most challenging part of any year of debate. Everyone is working their hardest now, and every team that you need to worry about will be there in full force, so the pressure is on.”

This automatic bid comes after Griffith and Di took second place at the Georgetown University Open in January, where they competed against many of the teams they will face in the 2022 NDT.

“I’m looking forward to having my first in-person NDT,” Griffith said. “It is something that everyone missed out on last year, so it will be exciting to be back in the competitive environment that is unique to in-person debate tournaments.”

The 76th National Debate Tournament hosted by James Madison University will take place using a hybrid model April 1-4, 2022.