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SMU Debater Ryan Booth Ranked #1 in the Nation by IPDA

Dedman College News
Originally Posted: Nov. 18, 2021

Ryan Booth is ranked as the number one varsity competitor in the nation by the International Public Debate Association in their fall rankings released on November 16, 2021. Booth’s record and ranking is based upon more than 30 debate rounds at four tournaments this fall. Booth finished one point ahead of Mississippi State University competitor Mia Robertson. Booth finished ahead of competitors from Abilene Christian University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Oklahoma Baptist University and Belmont University. The report ranks more than 180 collegiate debaters in the varsity division among more than 60 colleges and universities competing this fall in the IPDA league. Varsity is generally considered the most difficult division of debate among the four offered: novice, junior varsity, varsity, and professional.

Hailey Haven

International Public Debate is one of the largest collegiate debate leagues in the United States and focuses upon developing publicly relevant speaking skills in the context of quick critical thinking and preparation. Over 300 college and university students from across the nation competed in nine different tournaments hosted virtually and in person across the nation

Hailey Haven and Eric Ryan were both ranked in the top five competitors. Haven was the number three novice competitor among almost 200 novice debaters nationally.Eric Ryan was ranked number two as a speaker based upon his high speaker points. SMU’s novice squad is ranked number five nationally.

Eric Ryan

Kaleb Simes was ranked the number eight speaker in the nation in junior varsity among more than 120 collegiate competitors. He was also ranked eleventh in win/loss based on his competitive results. His speaker ranking is based upon speaker points rather than win/loss.

The SMU debate squad is ranked number six in the nation behind Mississippi State, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Abilene Christian University, Union University, and Oklahoma Baptist University. The SMU debate squad compiled a more than 66% win/loss record at the preliminary rounds in over 120 debate rounds. Debaters debated more than 100 different topics with only 30 minutes to research and prepare their oral arguments. Topics included: educational policy, race relations, cryptocurrency, utilitarianism versus deontology, legalization of sports gambling, funeral service regulation and many more. SMU’s honors program students debated and judged at these tournaments and contributed to the overall rankings of SMU.

Kaleb Simes

SMU is traveling to East Texas Baptist University for a competition this weekend (November 19 & 20). Details about these national debate rankings can be viewed at:

Student details:

Ryan Booth, Alamo, California, Senior, Political Science and Finance

Hailey Hazen, Colleyviille, Texas, Sophomore, History

Eric Ryan, Plano, Texas, Freshman, Finance, Journalism, Science

Kaleb Simes, Dallas, Texas, Political Science Major

For more information, please contact director of debate and professor of Rhetoric Dr. Ben Voth