SCHOFIELDAca,!E+BARRACKS, Hawaii - Recently, the Christian Communicators of America-Hawaii Chapter, Olelo Noeau, Speech and Debate Tournament took place at the Main Post Chapel, here.

Twenty-five homeschooled students, ranging from ages 13-17, came from various parts of the island to participate.

The topic was "Resolved: the U.S. Federal Government should substantially reform its income tax policy, while maintaining total tax revenue at fiscal year 2008 levels" - basically, reforming income tax.

Students researched the resolution, made cases, learned about tax laws, created negative rebuttals and linked certain credible pieces of evidence with specific arguments.

They wrote and rehearsed their speeches, practiced hand movements, worked on their pitch and volume and ultimately learned how to be better speakers for Christ. The inspiration for the group is 1 Peter 3:15, "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope."

All students competed in various speech categories, such as informative, impromptu, impromptu apologetics, extemporaneous, dramatic duo or poetry.

The high-spirited students participated in seven debate rounds and four individual events during the two-day event.

Each debate round consisted of two teams of two people. During the debate, one person from each team questioned another from the other team about their case or their arguments during four cross-examinations.

The finals and semifinals were judged by six professionals, including a lawyer, professor and Olympic judge. Each judge spent a few moments critiquing students when the debate ended.

The winners of the final debate round were Halley and Richard Hobson.

Ten students were awarded $1,320 scholarships, generously donated by Hawaii Pacific University.

More than 100 judges from the community, chapel staff and parents volunteered for the event.