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Tufts Mock Trial places sixth in annual Mumbo Jumbo tournament

Published: Monday, November 19, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012 08:11

mumbojumbo

Courtesy Nick Teleky

Tufts Mock Trial last weekend hosted the fifth annual Mumbo Jumbo competition on campus, placing sixth overall.

Tufts Mock Trial (TMT) hosted 22 teams from 19 schools at the fifth annual Mumbo Jumbo tournament held Nov. 10 and 11 in Anderson Hall and Bromfield−Pearson.

The Tufts team came in sixth after placing first for the past two years.

This year’s competition featured many nationally ranked teams from various regions of the country, according to TMT Co−President Lindsey Wright, a senior.

“The caliber of the competition definitely increased a lot. We had a lot of teams ranked in the top 10 in the country,” TMT External Affairs and Public Relations Officer Nick Teleky, a sophomore, said.

Wright noted that although many college teams requested entry to the tournament, only those with the most successful records were selected to attend.

“I am actually proud of how our team did and I’m impressed by the fact that they didn’t get first because it shows that the tournament is getting more and more competitive in terms of our reputation as a circuit and ability to attract teams,” she said. “I think it shows that Mumbo Jumbo is seen as a very competitive tournament.”

Mumbo Jumbo has become one of the most competitive pre−season mock trial tournaments in the country, according to Wright.

“The first year of our tournament we only had schools from the local area. As we built up, we’ve had to be more exclusive,” she said. “Every team that comes to our tournament is an invite.”

“We’ve become a team that people know and recognize, and with tournaments like this, being more successful helps us network with other teams,” she added.

TMT only had one team comprised of eight members compete in the tournament, Wright said. However, the other members of TMT helped run the tournament and played roles on a bye−buster team.

“We had a bye−buster team because we had an odd number of teams, which meant we needed to fill one round,” Wright said. “So we asked any people coming to observe or coming with their teams to compete in a role they’ve never done before. All different schools come together to make a hodge−podge team.”

Other TMT members not competing on the Tufts team had a chance to fill in for members of the Northwestern University and Wellesley College teams who fell sick, according to Wright.

Eastern Michigan University came out on top with a winning record of 7−1. Second through fourth places, as well as fifth through ninth places, finished with tied records, 6−2 and 5−3, respectively.

“To figure out [how to break the tie] we go to something called strength of schedule, which is the total number of wins of all your opponents,” Wright said. “We see how hard the teams were that you faced and that determines who comes in second.”

Seven Outstanding Attorney Awards and seven Outstanding Witness Awards were given out at the tournament.

Junior Jennifer Kurzrok, who ranked seventh of the Outstanding Witnesses, was the only Tufts team member to receive an individual award.

TMT looks forward to their upcoming season, which officially starts in the spring semester, Teleky said. With 10 new members and many experienced returning members, the team has its eyes set on placing at the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament, he added.

“My favorite part was getting to watch our new members really do a good job since they’ve come a long way over the last few months in learning what mock trial is and how it works,” he said.

The team aims to send the maximum of two teams to the regional tournament after the Opening Round Championship Series, where four Tufts teams will compete, according to Wright. She said they also hope to send two teams to Nationals and at least place in the top five.

“I think this year’s trial is the most competitive we’ve ever had. Every year Tufts gets a little bit better,” she said.

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