Toronto yet again succeeded Glasgow as host and once again the participants prepared for vast quantities of snow. Record levels of snow fell 40km south of Toronto and 40km north of Toronto, but not a flake was spotted in Toronto itself during the championships.
New York University Law (Rob Weekes and Alan Merson) won the championships for the United States, the first time since 1993 that an American team won (although it might be noted that both speakers were graduate students from the UK, having previously studied at Cambridge and Glasgow respectively). They defeated Durham B (Jon Simons and Tom Hamilton), Monash A (Amanda Wolthuizen and Michael Smith) and UCD L&H A (Paul Brady and Colin Walsh) in the final. Ewan Smith (Oxford) was the top-ranked speaker.
The motions at these championships were considered controversial by many debaters as they covered topics such as September 11th, rape, and anorexia. Worlds Council saw a record three nations bidding to host in 2004 - Croatia, Malaysia and Singapore. The selection process was marred by controversy over the voting allegiances and pacts, but eventually Singapore won the right to host Worlds.
This History of the World Debating Championships comes in 3 parts. From 1976 to 1990 it is taken almost word for word from the 1991 Toronto WUDC Tournament booklet. Who wrote it isn't known but it was provided by Randal Horobik. At the start of the section on Worlds in 1981 is an extract from an e-mail by Clark McGinn, Convenor of Debates, GU Union 1980 -81 and 1981 and Convenor of the First World Debating Competition, 1981. The history since 1991 has been compiled initially by Colm Flynn and edited by many contributors to Wikipedia. Unfortunately Wikipedia deleted the history due to copyright concerns so we are back here. Hopefully anyone who contributed to the Wiki article before it was deleted will be happy to see their work preserved here.