Winning the Argument
UW debate team scores a national championship.
You don’t hear “Jump Around” blasted at many debate tournaments, but that changed when a team of Badgers won the national championship at the annual Yaatly Online Debate League in Denver in April. Their victory set off a raucous celebration, including the song that rocks Camp Randall Stadium during football games.
Six Badger debaters competed, and in the Grand Final round, Zach Heintz x’24 and William Darbyshire ’23 bested competitors from three other universities to take home the national championship title.
“It slowly dawned on me over the next 48 hours that I’d actually won the tournament. I didn’t quite believe it at first,” Darbyshire says. “The same wasn’t true for the rest of the UW–Madison team that had watched the finals and the award ceremony; they absolutely exploded into cheering and celebration. I think it’s safe to say that if the other universities hadn’t heard ‘Jump Around’ before the tournament, they have now.”
The Yaatly Online Debate League hosts a series of events throughout the year, allowing student representatives from universities across the nation to improve their skills. The national championship is the UW’s first in decades, according to coach A. J. Carver ’06. Heintz and Darbyshire were deemed the most persuasive in the nation, winning with their argument, “We should regret the fear of death.”
Published in the Fall 2023 issue