Pranav Reddy Wins the 2015 Tournament of Champions


Lexington, KY — Congratulations to Harker’s Pranav Reddy for winning the 2015 Tournament of Champions! In finals, Pranav defeated University’s David Branse on a 2-1 decision (Kaczmarek, Legried, Palmer*). Congratulations to both debaters! Pranav is coached by Greg Achten, Ryan Fink, Jerry Chen, and Jordan Lamothe. David is coached by Zach Prax, Grant Reiter, and Tom Evnen.


Stay tuned for live coverage of the 2015 Tournament of Champions, held at the University of Kentucky! There will be 7 preliminary rounds, with 4 rounds on Saturday, and 3 on Sunday. After preliminary rounds, the tournament will break to a runoff before a full octafinals bracket.


Pairings and results can be found on Tabroom:


The bracket can be found here:


Speaker Awards

1 Christian Quiroz (Newark Science CQ) Newark Science
2 Pranav Reddy (Harker PR) Harker
3 Varun Bhave (Torrey Pines HS Speech and Debate VB) Torrey Pines HS Speech and Debate
4 Jackson Lallas (Brentwood JL) Brentwood
5 Akhil Jalan (Peninsula AJ) Peninsula
6 Varad Agarwala (Greenhill VA) Greenhill
7 Rahul Gosain (Scarsdale RG) Scarsdale
8 Adam Tomasi (Sacred Heart AT) Sacred Heart
9 David Branse (University DB) University School (FL)
10 Arjun Tambe (Peninsula AT) Peninsula



Newark Science AF def Byram Hills AJ

Cypress Bay JS def Katy Taylor NY

Scarsdale MB def Oakwood JW

Clements RG def WDM Valley GS

Greenhill GB def Evanston CT



Peninsula AJ def Greenhill BE (Bennett Eckert) 2-1

Greenhill VA def Peninsula AT (Arjun Tambe) 2-1

Sacred Heart AT def Scarsdale MB (Michael Bogaty) 2-1

Harker PR def Clements RG (Rebecca Gelfer) 2-1

Brentwood JL def Cypress Bay JS (Jake Steirn) 3-0

Greenhill GB def Torrey Pines VB (Varun Bhave) 3-0

University DB def Scarsdale RG (Rahul Gosain) 3-0

Newark Science CQ over Newark Science AF (Adegoke Fakorede)



Harker PR def Peninsula AJ (Akhil Jalan) 2-1 (Duby, Legried*, Nails)

Greenhill GB def Brentwood JL (Jackson Lallas) 2-1 (Achten*, Fink, Wheeler)

Newark Science CQ def Greenhill VA (Varad Agarwala) 3-2 (Hampton, Koshak*, Manuel, Sanchez*, Vincent)

University DB def Sacred Heart AT (Adam Tomasi) 3-0 (Koh, Shatzkin, Thompson)



Harker PR def Newark Science CQ (Christian Quiroz) 2-1 (Theis, Nails, Zhou*)

University DB def Greenhill GB (Graham Baker) 3-0 (Legried, Fink, Prasad)



Harker PR def University DB (David Branse) 2-1 (Kaczmarek, Legried, Palmer*)



Harker PR (Pranav Reddy)




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  • rektinthe2AR

    Why have no rounds been uploaded besides finals?

    • Salim Damerdji

      If you look at Premier Debate Today’s videos page, we have four rounds published from TOC

  • Spencer Paul

    does anyone know where I can watch this round

    • Nimian

      Salim said that he would post it tonight Spaul

      • Spencer Paul

        Thanks vish

  • anonanon

    I’d like to take a moment to highlight a major impropriety that occurred at this year’s TOC: The shameless hacking for PDI hires by the infamous John Scoggin and Bob Overing (PDI Directors). Despite a clear TOC conflict rule for directors of debate institutes to conflict their hires, John and Bob didn’t conflict their hires and judged them over and over again. Rule 8 of the conflict policy says: A judge should conflict her or himself against any school debater and or school:(8) you have offered a job as an institute director or for future coaching

    Rumor has it they claimed a semantic issue with the rule that allowed them to judge their hires, despite the major camp directors (Tom Evnen and Chris Theis) who had some sense of decency doing the right thing by conflicting their hires. Numerous kids got fucked over by Bob and Scoggin hacking for their hires over and over again. Despite people telling them they needed to conflict their hires, they still refused to do so and completely ignored the consensus that they should.

    In all 3 rounds he judged, Scoggin picked up a PDI hire, with tremendous differentials in speaker points (.93 points) per round.

    Bob also picked up PDI hires several times throughout the tournament, giving out 2 of his 3 highest speaks to PDI hires.

    Melanie’s tournament record is the most telling and obvious evidence for the hacking that Bob and Scoggin did. Melanie went 4-3, with 2 of those wins coming from hacks by Scoggin and Bob. She failed to top 28.6 speaker points a single round except for the 2 rounds judged by Bob and Scoggin where she received a 29.4 and a 29.3, which are substantially higher than she earned the rest of the tournament. The quality of opponents in her wins with her hacks in the back vs the wins with fair judges is also extremely telling. The two “wins” from Bob/Scogg were over Arjun Tambe and Neel Yerneni, two debaters who broke at the tournament, which is extremely difficult to do. She debated 3 other debaters who broke, losing all 3 of those rounds, as her only 2 other wins came against opponents who didn’t clear.

    It’s really messed up that these two individuals came into the tournament with a clear MO of promoting their joke of a camp “Premier” debate, through unfair judging that screwed over a number of kids. TOC should seriously reconsider letting these two guys ever judge again, and the community at large should consider wider sanctions.

    • Kim Hsun

      If you’re going to call out the directors, that’s fine. But you shouldn’t have named any competitors or asserted that they didn’t deserve to win the rounds that they did. If you didn’t personally watch the rounds, there wasn’t a need to basically assume that Melanie should have lost rounds against “quality” people or that she can only pick up ballots against “unquality” people. She’s at the TOC for a reason, and every round is different. There was sufficient evidence about the “hacking” without having to bring a debater into question, and it was extremely rude to bring in someone who has nothing to do with the controversy.

      • sjadler

        What’s up everyone (commenting here because the original has been reported a bunch, so it’ll longer no longer let people post replies to it,

        A few thoughts to add:

        I agree with everyone else that naming a HS student here is clearly inappropriate, and you don’t really know enough to say anything conclusively about what went down. Similarly, I should note that I didn’t see any of these rounds in question, and I know almost nothing about them beyond the random grumblings of some of their participants. For all I know, each of Bob and Scoggin’s decisions in these rounds were wholly legitimate, and certainly the individual debaters should not be treated as if they have done something wrong.

        With that said —

        I would really appreciate a comment here from Bob or Scoggin about why they did not conflict PDI’s FYO hires after the Dan-Tomasi incident R1, and more importantly, why they reacted the way they did when tab told them that they needed to conflict PDI’s FYOs moving forward (this happened post-R4A).

        It is my understanding from talking with tab, being the person to alert them to the problem, being involved in the follow-up, etc., that their defense was that they had not hired any FYOs to be directors of their institute, and therefore the rule did not apply (granted, this rule was horribly worded). Fair enough, though the TOC Advisory Committee unanimously voted that that interpretation was clearly incorrect, and that the rule meant any staff member you hire while you are a director of the institute, rather than being about staff members you hire to be a director (which makes no sense, because who has a FYO camp director?).

        Anyway, when told by tab that they would need to conflict themselves from PDI’s FYOs going forward, Bob and Scoggin were furious. This was even though they were not being sanctioned in any way, nor were their decisions being overturned, nor were their identities even really being discussed publicly. Just a simple request to mark these students as conflicts going forward. Yet they were outraged. Why? (That is a genuine question, not an accusation. Again, for all I know, each of them did nothing wrong. To Bob’s credit, he even dropped one of these debaters in 1 of the 6 relevant rounds.)

        During R4, I sent Bob and Scoggin a courtesy message to ask them why there were continuing to judge staff members they had hired for their camp, despite the rule against it (which has also been in place for several years, albeit murkily enforced). I received no reply. I will also alert them to this post in case they wish to comment. Maybe we’ll finally resolve this issue. Or maybe we’ll decide that the only point of having a conflict policy with fairly-clear rules is if there is actual enforcement of said rules. Either way, looking forward to hearing from them.

        • rektinthe2AR

          Could someone tell me what the Dan-Tomasi incident was all about? Also on another note, does anybody know if any videos of rounds have been posted?

        • DanAlessandro

          Hey, so there wasn’t so much of an incident in the round. What happened was I debated against Adam, and afterwards I realized that he should have been conflicted from Bob who judged, so I told my coach Chris Palmer. Chris brought it up with tab and they said that they only could have done anything had we brought it up with tab before the round. I meant no slight to Adam.

        • rektinthe2AR

          Hey Dan thanks for the info. If it’s not too much trouble, could you post a link to the recording of the finals right here?

        • Salim Damerdji

          Achal told me he doesn’t want debate videos to pop up when people google his name, so he’s sending it to me over dropbox right now. I’ll upload it and post it on PDT once that’s done.

          And courtesy of Drew Burd, we have a Quarters round (Pranav v Akhil) recorded as well as a run-off round between Wareham and Bogaty. Those are already posted on our facebook page, but I’ll post them on our website, so they’re easier to access in the future.

        • rektinthe2AR

          Hi Salim, thanks! Any idea when the video will be up on PDT?

        • Salim Damerdji

          Best guess is tomorrow evening

        • rektinthe2AR

          Hey Salim, has the round been posted?

        • Salim Damerdji

          I submitted a comment earlier, but it looks like comments with URL’s have to get moderated before being published. Anyhow, the video’s up on PDT and you can access it through our facebook page too. There should be quite a few more videos coming out soon too; we had some debaters during the year ask us to wait until after TOC to publish.

        • John Scoggin

          I can’t reply to the above comment because it is awaiting moderation, not shocked since it violates nearly every one of this site’s commenting policies, so I will post my reply here.

          First I absolutely did not hack for anyone, and I’ll forgive your strong language
          because I know how disappointing it can be to not do as well at TOC as you had
          hoped. You skipped the step of actually trying to figure out if the incorrect
          decision was made in any of those rounds, and I’m happy to defend any of my
          decisions publicly or privately.

          I have been going to TOCs for 8 years now and camp directors have regularly judged
          people that they have hired; I was unaware that there was an attempted shift
          from that norm this year. And I was not the only one – several other institute
          directors judged camp hires at this year’s tournament. To be clear, I did not
          judge anyone that I had “offered a job as an institute director.” During the
          tournament, I was told that the rule was meant to read “that you as an
          institute director have offered a job.” I then immediately went ahead and
          conflicted anyone that would violate that rule.

          You point out 6 rounds that Bob and I judged as ‘proof’ of your claim. Two of those
          rounds featured the undefeated top seed at the tournament, so those results are
          unsurprising. The fact that our hires won 3 of 4 of the other rounds is an
          entirely unremarkable statistical occurrence. You have provided no empirically
          rigorous or analytically warranted evidence that either Bob or I did anything
          wrong. I believe I know who wrote this post and unfortunately you are too old
          to attend, but if I am mistaken I would love the chance to teach you how to
          construct stronger arguments that you can use both on online forums and in
          debate rounds this summer at PDI.

          As a side note, I don’t mind someone taking pot shots at me, but you should really
          consider editing your post to remove the part about the debater in question.
          All she did was show up to the tournament and debate really well, and you don’t
          have any reason to suggest she did anything wrong. There is a longstanding
          problem in the debate community of creating a hostile environment for women (I
          believe 15 of 16 octas participants this year were male), and you suggesting
          the only reason this particular debater could have won debate rounds is from
          hacking makes the problem worse.

        • sjadler

          Scoggin and Bob — thanks for the reply. I wanted to post a brief note to let other people know of stuff going on in the background.

          Scoggin, Bob, and I have been messaging privately, and it seems there are some facts about timing and reactions that are in dispute. In particular, I got an email from tab during R6 alleging that Bob and Scoggin had yet to alter their conflicts and “might or might not choose to comply”. S/B, however, claim that they corrected the conflicts as soon as Rule 8 was clarified to them, which they say was well in advance of R6 (and therefore the conflicts would have already been in the system in advance of their emailing me). (Scoggin also says that he has a Voice Memo recorded of this exchange.)

          I obviously don’t have a way to vet the timing claims on my own, but luckily Tabroom timestamps all conflicts that are entered into the system and differentiates by user/user-type in terms of who enters them, so Chris Palmer is going to look into this.

          At the moment, though, there seems to be an impasse: Either tab is incorrect in their claim that S/B had yet to comply/were very angry about the ruling and were fighting it, or S/B are incorrect in their claim that they immediately rectified the problem and had no issue with the conflicts once the policy was clarified. The information and timing in the two claims, however, do not match up.

        • Tyler Gamble

          There is empirical proof that Scoggin is a hack. He voted me down in doubles of Greenhill, then offered me a job at his camp. What a hack!

        • rektinthe2AR

          How does that make him a hack?

        • Bob Overing

          Congratulations to everyone who attended the TOC this year and especially to Pranav Reddy and David Branse for an incredible showing. People don’t realize the immense amount of work these students put in on a daily basis to be the best of the best.

          To respond to anonanon:

          I love debate way too much to do what you’ve said. When I was a student, I debated in more rounds than anyone else my year. As a judge, I go to as many tournaments as I can when I’m not myself debating. I’ve judged every type of debate. I regularly volunteer to judge past my commitment. I learned to tab tournaments to be more involved. I helped create the Battle RR last year just because I think RRs are fun and I like watching good debates. I’ve even judged for free at times. I love debate, and I hate to think someone would suggest I have any other thoughts when I’m judging at the premier tournament in the country.

          I’ve also been really open about my judging! I keep a running record of my decisions online on Judge Philosophies, which, to my knowledge, is unique among LD judges. I have an extremely thorough paradigm that leaves me little room for interpretation. I even ran an article on our site last week that reveals how often I vote for the major schools relative to their normal win percentages. Regarding the issue at hand, I actually have a recording of the Sacred Heart AT- Lexington DA debate that I can post online if the two debaters are okay with it (it’s audio unfortunately).

          Regarding Rule #8, the committee decided in favor of the intention of the rule rather than the explicit wording. I spoke with Lexy Green, who acknowledged that the rule was unclearly worded, which is why there was no retroactive judgment or punishment. John and I complied with the committee’s wishes upon request. In fact, I over-conflicted myself based on their judgment by conflicting myself from every debater to whom we had made offers to even if they hadn’t accepted. In conflicting 25 students, I effectively barred myself from judging elims. I was so distraught at the possibility, that late Sunday night, I was making calls and writing e-mails to committee members, tab staff, and the tournament director in hopes that something could be done so I could judge. Luckily, they removed the excess conflicts (those who we had offered a job to but did not accept).

          Moving forward, we should have a conversation about i) whether we want this rule, and ii) if we do, what the final form should be. Is it just directors we’re worried about? What constitutes a director? Does who does the hiring really matter?

        • anon

          please post the tomasi v. dan round if both debaters are okay with it!

    • Sara Kaplan

      Melanie is one of the hardest working debaters I know and to say that she didn’t deserve those wins is extremely rude. If your going to call out directors, whatever, thats your opinion, but to call out a competitor is not okay. You didn’t watch the rounds to know if they were hacks and if the weren’t, and no matter who the judge is she probably still would have won knowing what happened in the debate. You’re assuming that she only could win against “unquality” people at the TOC but there legit isn’t anyone bad at the TOC so thats flawed. MAYBE she won off of preparation or MAYBE she won because she is a goddamn good debater. Either way assuming she won based off of “hacks” is out of line.

      • anonanon

        I apologize for using a name and have redacted it. The point of the post was clearly not to insult the debater, who is obviously very talented by virtue of reaching the TOC. While it is unfortunate for one person to be singled out, when looking through tournament records I thought that one debater’s results were especially indicative of the general trend and served as a microcosm for the unfairness that Bob/Scoggin propagated.

        • Melanie Shackleford

          Lol maybe try apologizing to me and not my teammate, and also not anonymously. Nice try

        • Sara Kaplan

          also, if you didn’t intend to insult her then why did you single her out it seems like you’re clearly intending to insult her if you have to hide behind anonymity in order to make your point

        • I just got home after a day of driving back from Lexington. The initial post has been deleted. It is inappropriate to insult a specific student in this forum.

          As someone who did watch the round and the coach of Melanie’s opponent, I can attest that the round was close. Melanie was impressive (as usual), and debated every bit as well in that round as many of the debaters I saw during the tournament who did clear. Anyone mad about the other stuff should leave the debaters out of it.

    • Melanie Shackleford

      Well this is rude… Maybe if you didn’t watch the rounds you shouldn’t be making accusations like that?
      It’s also incredibly insulting not only to myself but to numerous other debaters to suggest that their skill is dependent on whether they clear.

      • mcgin029

        Congratulations on your TOC weekend. I’m sorry that you had to put up with someone posting something rude. I’m glad to see that the comment was deleted but that doesn’t make it OK that you had to deal with it to begin with. I don’t know you, but from all accounts I’ve heard you’re an amazing debater and I hope that you enjoyed your TOC weekend.

  • Josh Tupler

    why did greenhill have a 5 judge panel in quarters? why were policy judges moved across pools?

    • GregMalis

      I was not there, but my guess is that all quarters were given 5 judge panels with the right for each debater to strike 0 or 1 judge. If each debater strikes a different person, there is a 3 judge panel. If each debater strikes the same person (or one debater strikes 1 and the other debater strikes 0), then the tab room removes one of the remaining 4 to have a 3 judge panel. However, if both debaters strike 0, then there is a 5 judge panel. All quarters COULD have been 5 judge panels, but only 1 actually was, presumably by mutual agreement between Greenhill and Newark Science.

  • Anon

    does anyone know a way to watch the final round?

  • Anonymous

    Why are results for octas not being posted??

  • anonymous

    Does anybody know what topic they’re using?

    • jk

      It’s always the jan-feb topic, so the living wage one.

  • anonymous

    why are there like no rounds being posted?

    • anonymous

      rounds will be posted after the toc – nobody wants their strat publicly broadcasted lol

  • Nimian

    Drew Burd streamed/recorded Jack’s runoff round, and I assume that he’ll do the same for later rounds (

  • Anon1

    Can you guys start livestreaming rounds please.

  • Fan

    Have any rounds been recorded yet?

  • asdf

    can people film rounds and post them?

    • I have a bunch of rounds recorded. I will post them when I have permission from the debaters and teams involved.