This May 4-13, forensics students at BHHS will have the opportunity to cultivate their public speaking skills as well as continue to grow within their individual categories through the Year End Tournament for Individual Events (YETIE). Organized by the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association (MIFA), this competition aims to allow students to showcase their hard work while adapting to the limitations that the world is currently facing. Through involving themselves within the forensics team, students are able to publicly speak and act, as well as compete within a variety of unique categories.
MIFA has found a way to provide students with an opportunity to perform their pieces one last time for the season to replace the tournament that was cancelled. The tournament will operate completely online, and contestants will submit video recordings of their performances through a private YouTube playlist. Then, judges will provide feedback and scores through a virtual balloting program.
The forensics team Head Coach, Danielle Tier, explained how the judging process will work for this unique competition.
“The judges will be watching the videos in a way that most closely emulates the traditional judging experience. The same scoring method will be used. The differences are that the scores will be entered on the tabroom.com platform rather than on a piece of paper and that the judge will provide a ‘reason for decision’ that will be common for all of the competitors in the round,” said Tier.
Sophomore Zach Frank is a member of the forensics team and has chosen to participate in the online competition. He explained his thoughts on this alternative competition.
“I think that the YETIE is a great way to finish the season, since it was cut short, which was disappointing for many. I feel as though this tournament provides a lot of closure for everyone, especially for the seniors who are graduating this year,” said Frank.
Despite this unprecedented time, coaches are doing everything they possibly can to ensure success is obtained at this upcoming competition. Students and coaches have been meeting for coaching sessions through platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Google Hangouts in order to further the efforts of all from throughout the past season.
Coach Elise Herner described her experience with how online coaching sessions have been going so far.
“This week, every time I laid my eyes on a student via Zoom or FaceTime, I had to fight back the tears. It was tremendously emotional for me to see their wonderful faces and to suddenly realize how much I miss them and our team. Not only that, but I am seeing high school students managing to push themselves during this difficult time to do something that isn’t ideal but still has purpose! Nothing beats meeting in-person but we are taking advantage of what we can do to create an excellent final performance,” said Herner.
Ultimately, this event is an opportunity for the team to expand upon their forensicating skills, as well as find a sense of closure during such an unparalleled time.