AMTA 2020 Season Update
May 14, 2020 - AMTA has released the following joint message from President Will Warihay and President-Elect Brandon Harper regarding the 2020 college mock trial season, along with AMTA’s plans for the coming season:
Dear AMTA Community:
We hope that you are all staying safe and working through the end of your Spring 2020 term. We are writing today to give you an update on the current status of AMTA’s 2020 tournament season, the upcoming 2021 tournament season, and a general update regarding changes on the AMTA Board of Directors.
We will start with the bad news. It is with great sadness that we announce that AMTA is cancelling the remaining tournaments for the 2020 season, at least as in-person events. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic along with the varying state and federal government restrictions on in-person events, it has become abundantly clear that we will be unable to reschedule the remaining three ORCS tournaments and the National Championship Tournament as in-person events within the time limitations presented. Our focus in making this decision was first and foremost on participant safety. In addition, we considered the timing of the events in relation to our membership’s matriculation to summer jobs, internships, graduate school, and post-graduation employment.
With that said, AMTA is exploring alternatives, and this is where we will need your feedback:
First, AMTA is considering rescheduling the remaining three ORCS tournaments and the National Championship via a video conference format. In order to evaluate the interest and ability to participate in this model, AMTA is publishing a survey to the remaining ORCS teams, along with the teams that already secured a bid to the National Championship Tournament. After reviewing these responses, AMTA will decide whether to reschedule the remaining 2020 events online.
Second, in the event that the 2020 season cannot be finished online, AMTA is considering an online tournament for graduating students only. In the same survey form, AMTA is also seeking responses from graduating AMTA competitors (i.e. students for whom the 2020 season was their last AMTA season in college) about their interest in a 4 v 4 online mock trial championship for graduating competitors. Obviously, the COVID-19 situation affected all of us, but AMTA recognizes that it most directly affected the graduating students, as for some, it took away the ability to compete in that “one last” mock trial tournament. After reviewing the survey responses, AMTA will consider whether to develop and release further details on the potential tournament, including its date(s) and rules.
A link to the survey is here. Please submit all responses no later than Friday, May 29, 2020.
Either way, AMTA is already hard at work preparing for the 2020-2021 season, and we’re excited to continue to see everyone competing again in Midlands soon. AMTA is also aware that many academic institutions are currently evaluating their approach to Fall courses, and AMTA is continuing to monitor these developments closely. As always, you should expect the case to be released by August 15, 2020, along with some hints leading up to the release this summer.
Finally, on May 15, we are excited to transition AMTA’s leadership to President-Elect Brandon Harper. Mr. Harper is a former competitor in AMTA with Washington University in St. Louis, has coached at multiple institutions, and is currently a lawyer in New York City. The AMTA Board was impressed by his platform last summer, we are excited to see the good work and advancements that he can make in AMTA over the coming years.
Thank you all for your continued support and passion for mock trial and stay tuned for further updates.