PCHS Ethics Bowl Team Takes Home a Win


Maya Lopansri and Grace Plavocos

The Park City High School Ethics team brought home a win at the Utah State Ethics Bowl competition. Despite COVID affecting this year’s competition, PCHS’s bright young minds continue to impress.


The Ethics Bowl is a competition in which two teams have a conversation about a given case. The topics can be anything from social, political, or ethics topics. ‘Bowlers’ answers given questions about the said case using moral theories. In the end, a panel of 3 judges score each team, and whatever team with the most points wins. 


O’Reilly explained the structure of a standard competition; “Competitions contain three rounds; in each round, there’s an A team and a B team. The A team presents their case in a six-minute speech, the B team responds/provides commentary to their case in a three-minute speech, and then the A team has four minutes to respond to Team B’s commentary. After this, the judging panel has ten minutes to ask questions to team A. Then the roles switch (team B present, team A commentary, etc.), the judges total points, and the winner is declared.”.

There are two ethics teams at PCHS. The first being Max O’Reilly, Tom Perret, and Emma Stockwell. The other team is made up of Carly McAleer, Noam Levinsky, Lance Rothchild, and Amelia Livingston.


Due to COVID-19, competitions are now held virtually through Zoom. Senior Max Oreilly has been on the ethics team for the past 2 years and said that the preparation for the competition has stayed the same, despite the ever-changing circumstances.


“We prepare by talking about the cases and taking notes, once we’ve figured out what our strategy is, we write scripts for all of the cases. We have to decide which moral theories we’d like to use, how we answer the questions, and how we’ll respond to the opposing team’s arguments,” said O’Reilly. 


This is the first time that O’Reilly’s team won this year, although other Park City teams have done very well in years prior. Last year, the team composed of John Lanigan, Mary Hurner, Pierce Dirkis, Zach Primo, Caroline Powell won. 


O’Reilly and his other teammate are all seniors, so when asked about their future ethics, he responded, “Maybe – it’s a fun event, and I think we’ll all see if our colleges offer the event or not. I think most universities do offer ethics bowl teams, but to be entirely honest, I haven’t done much research into it.”