In the second semester, the Academic UIL teams will begin competing. In preparation for the upcoming season, UIL competitors are currently searching for new members. The UIL Academic team entails of “competitions where students can use more of the academic things they are learning in school,” according to Debate Coach Alyson Neeley.
To compete, students will take a test or partake in an activity in their field of interest that will then be graded and ranked. For example, the social studies category is assigned a book to read and study beforehand, then on competition day they will take a test and write an essay over it.
There are 16 events in which students can enter UIL competitions for. They are Social Studies, Computer Science, Accounting, Ready Writing, Spelling, Literary Criticism, Math, Calculator Applications, Number Sense, Science, Journalism, Copy Editing, Headline Writing, News, Feature, Editorial, and the Current Events Team. Students can do more than one event if they so choose.
The UIL team doesn’t require tryouts, meaning that anyone can join if they are interested. The only requirement for eligibility are passing all classes by the nine-week mark. Students who fail at the end of the quarter can regain eligibility at the next three-week mark.
The category competitions can progress up to a state level. The higher the level of competition, the more available potential scholarships become. Students can also letter and earn chords for graduation through these UIL competitions.
“We’ll do two practice tournaments in the spring, one in the beginning of February and one at the end of February,” Neeley said. “We’ll have our district meet in March and if you place in the top ten in these events, you will go onto regionals and you can qualify for state.”
Those interested in joining a UIL academic team, should visit the debate website for more information or talk directly to Neeley in room M113.