More than 700 high school students from around the country will converge in Lexington this weekend for the annual “Big Lex” debate tournament.
The tournament, officially known as the Lexington Winter Invitational, is one of the biggest debate tournaments in the country each year and will be held at Lexington High School Friday through Monday.
Sara Sanchez, the director of debate at the high school, said students from 20 different states will be competing, and counting chaperones, coaches and judges about 1,000 people will be participating.
“It’s really an awesome event,” Sanchez said.
The tournament is a qualifying debate for the annual Tournament of Champions held in Lexington, Ky., but Sanchez said her debate team will be working full time to coordinate the local event and they won’t be competing this weekend.
Mary Rae, a former coordinator of the tournament, said Lexington businesses are donating beverages and food, and local families will be hosting students in their homes.
Students compete in several different types of debate, and some of the topics this year include whether the United States should reduce its armed forces presence in countries such as Japan, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Other students will debate whether plea bargains undermine the criminal justice system.