I visited Korea for the first time in late March of 2012. I traveled there to work with the National Forensic League of Korea on developing academic debate in Korea and to work on forging a partnership between the US NFL and NFL Korea.
During my first visit, I was accompanied by my good friend Jae Yang from Agape Prep in NY. Jae is an active debate coach in NY who is developing debate in many schools that currently do not have programs. He is a native Korean speaker.
During our time in Korea, we laid the groundwork for a national tournament in August of 2012 and established the foundations of a partnership between NFL Korea and the US NFL. These two parties reached an agreement in May of that year.
In addition to my new friends at NFL Korea, I had the opportunity to meet many individuals in the Korean government. I first met Ms. Yang. Ms. Yang served as a representative in the Korean National Assembly for 16 years and was a policy advisor to the President at that time.
I also met Hae-Ok Kwon, Secretary General of the Parliamentarian’s Society of the Republic of Korea and Mok Yo Sang, Chair of the Parliamentarian’s Society of the Republic of Korea.
I returned to Korea again in early April to work on the development of the app that will house an electronic copy of the Harvard-Debate NFL curriculum, including video lessons and PowerPoints. At that time, I met with the CEO of NS Devil and continued work on the broader Smart Rootie web applications. That was a short trip (I was in Korea for a day and a half), but it was very productive.
During late April and the month of May, I continued to work with NFL Korea on developing debate in Korea, including tournament procedures for their tournament and topic selection.
In early June, I returned to give presentations to a number of interested students and parents about the benefits of participation in debate. During this time, I gave presentations at BCC Academy (Seoul), a private academy in Seoul and the Seoul Foreign Language School (Incheon).
I returned once again with Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the US NFL, to meet with everyone at NFL Korea and Ms. Yang. At that time, we also met Heung Kil Ko, the Minister for Special Affairs, Republic of Korea.
It was August before I had the opportunity to return to Korea. In August I returned to assist with the national tournament that had been planned.
The national tournament had two segments. The first segment was the regional qualifier segment where students competed to qualify to the national tournament in Seoul. Regional qualifiers were held in Busan, Deagu, Incheon, and Seoul. I directed the tabulation for the first qualifier, but had to return to the US for the high school topic meeting I was co-hosting in Boston, so I left the rest of the qualifiers in the capable hands of NFL Korea and Dr. James. Wilson, who I have tabulated many tournaments with in the U.S.
I did return five days later after the US topic meeting was complete to co-direct tabulation of the NFL Korea cup, featuring the top qualifiers from teach of the regions in middle school and high school Public Forum and Extemp. The championship rounds were held in Memorial Hall at the Korean National Assembly.
It is worth noting here that primary school students competed in Original Oratory by online submission through DH.com. These submissions were judged by Dr. James Wilson and the finalists also appeared in Seoul to deliver their OO pieces.
NFL Korea hosted additional tournament in October and December of 2012 and the Korea Winter Cup in January 0f 2013.
Lakeland District debaters participated in the January tournament.
This August, NFL Korea will host the summer championship.