September 27th, 2019
Mock trial participants compete virtually
SAT. | 02-26-22 | NEWS
On Saturday, Feb. 5, the Rose Mock Trial team competed at the regional competition virtually. Due to the influx of participants this year, coach Liza Knight separated the group into three teams: columbia, blue and green. Out of the three teams competing, the green team qualified to compete at the state competition, which will take place in mid-March at Campbell Law School. The team has been practicing since September and will continue to practice until states.
“We’ve been practicing every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30, so we have about three hours a week together, but we also do a lot of work on our own,” team member Cameron Dally said.
At the beginning of the season, the
Photo contributed by J.H. Rose Mock Trial
team was excited to compete inside a courtroom after having only virtual competitions last year. However, in January, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice board announced that the regional competitions would take place on Zoom.
“They had a meeting about a month ago, and then announced that [the competition] was going virtual because of the increase in COVID cases due to Omicron,” Knight said.
Students are assigned their roles for regionals after completing the process of tryouts with the coaches. Additionally, students are also assigned to teams to match their original skill level. To prepare for regionals, the team practiced by doing scrimmages and running through their cross or direct examinations and witness statements at the Pitt County courthouse.
“[Practicing at the courthouse] makes it more fun and realistic, and we hope to continue practicing [there]”, Knight said.
However, the team had to switch practice locations due to the abrupt switch to a virtual competition. Knight believes that this switch made it harder for the teams to get ready for a virtual competition in time, as they had to learn how to compete through Zoom instead of in person as they had been planning.
“Ever since we got word that the regional competition was going to be held over Zoom, we started practicing here at Rose in order to get used to the way we would compete,” Dally said.
Because the majority of Dally’s team had participated in a virtual competition last year, he believes that it was not a drastic change.
“Overall, the case that we prepared and the effort that we put into the competition were the exact same,” Dally said.
The teams spent over 12 hours at Rose competing virtually and the green team advanced to the finals and to the state competition.
“After a long wait, our team learned that we made the top two [in the region] and we were thrown into the championship round,” Dally said. “It was a pretty fun and exciting experience.”
At regionals, many team members won specific individual awards, such as best witness or best attorney. The Rose Mock Trial team had four competitors win best attorney, and two competitors win best witness.
The Mock Trial team is still awaiting the decision of whether the state competition will be virtual or in person, and will plan their practices according to the decision made by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.