by Michael Barton
Michael Barton competed for Regis High School in New York City. He was the 2010 Harvard Champion, as well as the 4th place finisher at the NCFL Grand Tournament and 13th in foreign extemp at the NFL Tournament. He currently attends Yale University, where he is studying political science. He also competes regularly in parliamentary debate for the Yale Debate Association.
Each year in February, hundreds of high school speakers and debaters flock to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend the massive Harvard Invitational. Although the tournament has attracted criticism in recent years for various inefficiencies and shortcomings, it undoubtedly constitutes one of, if not the, premier invitational tournaments on the circuit (Nationals and MBA aside). The tournament always attracts top tier talent, with three of the last four champions eventually going on to win NFLs (unfortunately I ended that streak). By and large, all criticisms considered, let me preface this by saying that I personally always enjoyed my time at the tournament immensely. I never had any complaints about the manner in which it was run, finding the prep room to be comfortable each year and the organizers approachable and helpful. That said, here are some things to keep in mind as you head into this year’s tournament:
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