1: The general rule
The general position we stated at Worlds Council in Sydney still stands. Much as we love you all, there is a limit on the number of bedspaces our university can provide over the Christmas holidays, and, while doubling up may be an option for some of you, we therefore require to place a 300 team limit on the competition.
In order to ensure we keep within this, we intend to place an initial cap of three teams per institution (calm down you Irish people- the next paragraph is for you). If after everyone who wants to send teams has registered them up to the maximum of three, and there are extra places left, we will allocate these places to universities who want to send extra teams, up to the maximum of 300. The procedures for doing this is outlined below.
2: The Irish problem
Not the long running constitutional and territorial dispute, but the problem in relation to institutions which have more than one legitimate debating society, which is particularly pertinent to the Irish universities who frequently have at least two rival (if not warring) societies.
We have reached the following compromise in relation to this. On evidence that more than one legitimate and established debating society exists within a university (and don’t try to make them up- we will find out), then that institution will have the option of either sending three teams per institution as normal, or two teams per society. Societies will be able to apply for top-up places in the same way as institutions.
The next problem that was brought to our attention was that if we only allocate top-up places at the normal registration time- ie October-ish then that may prove unfair and impractical to far-flung exotic universities and Australians in terms of making travel arrangements and therefore lead to them being under-represented. We are not sure that this is as severe a problem as some of you think- for some odd reason, Scotland in winter is not a high demand holiday destination- however in order to help you out, we have decided to put the following procedure in place.
We will be having a pre-registration for the tournament in May, asking institutions to notify us of their interest in attending and the number of teams they wish to send by 31 May. At his stage there will be three team cap in place, but universities who would want extra places if they were available will be asked to inform us about this. This process will be non-binding on both us and the institutions, but ought to give us a better idea of our likely numbers.
After this process is completed, we will be in a better position to judge how many top-up places will be available, and we may be able to give advance notice to some more distant universities that they will be permitted to send top-up teams. The majority of the top-up places will be allocated as normal in October after registration (which we will be setting for mid rather than late October).
I hope you will all understand that this is the fairest solution we can provide. We accept that universities who are not getting this advance notice may have some concerns about his procedure, but as they will be in a better position to accept top-up places offered in later stages, I am sure you will recognise that this will balance itself out.
More details about the pre-registration procedure will follow shortly- this is just to warn you.
Worlds Convenor, Glasgow 2001