World Debating News
14 March 2008
13 March 2008
To the International Debating Community:
I am pleased to announce that Monash University will be re-bidding to host Australs in 2009. Building on our experience from last year we hope to present an outstanding tournament. Stay tuned for more details and the launch of our website in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or suggestions please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Victor Finkel - Convener
Kiran Iyer - Deputy Convener
Sashi Balaraman - Treasurer
During the bid presentation, IIU mentioned that they were giving a subsidy/discount to "highly qualified and experienced" adjudicators so as to encourage these individuals to come to IIU AUDC and improve the adjudication quality of the tournament.
From: EUDC Mailing list
Who wants to register to EUDC 2008... here's your chance!
On Thursday, 13 March at 13:00 GMT we will be deleting 4 teams and 1 adjudicator from the list of registrants, which means that exactly at this hour these places will be made available for everybody to register. We are still in Phase 1 of registration, so the institutional cap of 2 teams and the n-1 rule for adjudicators still apply!
We're still holding places for 4 countries which means that the maximum number of teams that can register on Thursday is 116 (the system will automatically lock after that). Hopefully we will have some information about these countries before Phase 1 ends, but we will send a notice about it!
If you want to register a second team for your institution and the required n-1 judge, you have that chance as well, since there's 1 adjudicator slot free. But you have to be quick! If you cannot register a second team because you're missing or you can't register an n-1 adjudicator (because the adjudicator cap has been reached), we are extremely sorry, but there is nothing we can do. We simply did not expect such a rush of adjudicators wanting to come to EUDC 2008. We hope you understand.
So be ready at 13:00 GMT on 13 March to get one of the 4 team and 1 adjudicator places to your institution!
Best of luck!
EUDC 2008 Tallinn team
12 March 2008
For anyone who has seen the movie "The Great Debaters" the New York Times is reporting that one of the real life characters protrayed in the film has passed away.
Henrietta Bell Wells was the only female and freshman member of the Wiley college team who defeated then national champions University of Southern California (not Harvard as in the film) in a debate in 1935.
The New York Times article:
Henrietta Bell Wells, the only woman, the only freshman and the last surviving member of the 1930 Wiley College debate team that participated in the first interracial collegiate debate in the United States, died on Feb. 27 in Baytown, Tex. She was 96.
Her friend Edward Cox confirmed the death.
The story of the team, called the Great Debaters in last year’s movie of the same name, began in 1924 at Wiley College, a small liberal arts college in Marshall, Tex., founded a half century earlier by the Methodist Episcopal Church to educate “newly freed men.”
Melvin B. Tolson arrived at the all-black school that autumn to teach English and other subjects. He also started a debate team.
Mr. Tolson, who would win wide distinction as a poet, saw argumentation as a way to cultivate mental alertness. Wiley was soon debating and defeating black colleges two and three times its size.
In 1930, Mr. Tolson decided to break new ground. He managed to schedule a debate with the University of Michigan Law School, an all-white school. Wiley won. Other debates with white schools followed, culminating with Wiley’s 1935 victory over the national champion, the University of Southern California.
Mr. Tolson’s stunningly successful debate team was portrayed in “The Great Debaters,” directed by Denzel Washington. Describing the cinematic young debaters in The Chicago Sun-Times, the critic Roger Ebert wrote, “They are black, proud, single-minded, focused, and they express all this most dramatically in their debating.”
In the fall of 1930, Henrietta Bell, who would later marry Wallace Wells, was a freshman in an English class taught by Mr. Tolson. The professor urged her to try out for the debate team, because she seemed to be able to think on her feet. She was the first woman on the team.
In an interview with The Houston Chronicle in 2007, she said the boys “didn’t seem to mind me.”
But the work was far from easy. Miss Bell attended classes during the day, had three campus jobs and practiced debating at night. The intensity of debating was reflected in Mr. Tolson’s characterization of it as “a blood sport.”
But the hard work paid off. In the interview with The Chronicle, Mrs. Wells declared, “We weren’t intimidated.”
Henrietta Pauline Bell was born on the banks of Buffalo Bayou in Houston on Jan. 11, 1912, and raised by a hard-pressed single mother from the West Indies. When riots broke out in 1917 over police treatment of black soldiers at a World War I training camp, the family’s house was searched. Mrs. Wells recalled being unable to try on clothes in segregated stores.
She did not debate in high school but was valedictorian of her class. She earned a modest scholarship from the Y.M.C.A. to go to Wiley, Episcopal Life reported.
In the spring of 1930, Miss Bell, her teammates and her chaperone arrived at the Seventh Street Theater in Chicago. It was the largest black-owned theater in town, because no large white-owned facility would admit a racially mixed audience, according to an article in The Marshall News-Messenger. Mrs. Wells remembered a standing-room-only crowd.
She wore a dark suit and had her hair cut in a boyish bob. In an interview with Jeffrey Porro, one of the screenwriters of “The Great Debaters,” she felt very small on that very big stage. “I had to use my common sense,” she said.
She remembered Mr. Tolson urging her to punch up her delivery. “You’ve got to put something in there to wake the people up,” he had said.
Mrs. Wells told The Chronicle, “It was a nondecision debate, but we felt at the time that it was a giant step toward desegregation.”
She debated for only one year, because of the need to work for money. She kept up with drama, which Mr. Tolson also coached. After graduating from college, she returned to Houston, where she met Mr. Wells and married. He was a church organist and later an Episcopal minister. She worked as a teacher and social worker.
Mrs. Wells advised Mr. Washington on the movie, using her scrapbooks as visual aids. She urged him to play Mr. Tolson, something he at first was not inclined to do. He called her “another grandma.”
Mr. Wells died in 1987. Mrs. Wells left no immediate survivors.
Her advice to today’s students was straightforward: “Learn to speak well and learn to express yourself effectively.”
She learned this lesson directly from Mr. Tolson, whom she called her crabbiest and best teacher. He was known for issuing intellectual challenges immediately upon entering the classroom.
A typical salutation: “Bell! What is a verb?”
- New show
- High-school reality show
- You and your high-school debate team or marching band can have MTV document your year.
- For more info: Contact Claresa Mandola, casting director, at (212) 654-4871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In summary the main issues seem to be that
- the cap has already been reached even if the system says it hasn't as they have to hold slots for 5 countries who have not yet registered any teams.
- Bar Ilan University have been allowed register more than the cap beacuse they discovered a flaw in the rego system.
- There are a number of other FAQs
The Bangladesh AUDC 2009 BID organizing committee would like to declare the BIDING University from Bangladesh for hosting AUDC 2009 as East West University http://www.ewubd.edu/. East West University-EWU is one of the Top Ranked Private University in Bangladesh, which established in 1996. Last two years university ranking published by http://www.webometrics.info/ showed EWU as the Top Ranked University in 2007 and Second Ranked in 2008 at the National Private University ranking in Bangladesh.
Debating Club of East West University-EWUDC successfully hosted Three Largest National Debating Championship in Bangladesh (2003,2004 and 2007) in last five years. EWU Debate Team is the Champion of four Nationals in last six years. EWU has a strong debating culture in international debating arena as a participant. EWU participated AUDC 2005 and in 2007; WUDC in 2004,2005, 2007 and in 2008.
East West University annually organize different debating seminars and workshops that invites International and National debating personalities for debating activities. EWU already hosted the National Schools Debating Training Camp in 2007 for World Schools Debating Championships where top debaters of Bangladesh have been trained to represent their country.
11 March 2008
This weekend the University of Nottingham is hosting a "Style IV". The IV is judged solely on the style of the participants instead of the usual 50% manner 50% matter (or 80% matter as it sometimes seems to have become).
As style is a difficult thing to judge the Chief adjudicator of the IV, Rhydian Morgan has posted an article on "What is Style" on the Nottingham Debating Union website. I have asked Rhydian for permission to reproduce the article in full here but as with the CUSID guide I'll post a link to it in the meantime.
The US team itself consists of two students at American universities, selected from a national field of applicants by the Committee for International Discussion and Debate, a part of the National Communication Association (NCA) of the United States.
The tour aims to showcase international debating at its best, as well as providing the team with experience of a wide range of activities at schools, universities and ESU local branches. During their two to three week visit the tourists take part in public debates and university competitions, help in delivering workshops, adjudicate school and university competitions and also take part in social activities to experience British life and culture.
The team will be selected at the parliamentary office of Andrew Mitchell MP, a former US tourist and now shadow Secretary of State for International Development, between 16.00 and 18.00 on Wednesday 2 April. Joining Andrew on the panel of selectors will be Clark McGinn, a former US tourist, winner of the ESU John Smith Memorial (then Observer) Mace in 1981, and founder of the World Universities Debating Championships. Both are members of the ESU’s Committee of the Centre for Speech and Debate.
Candidates should be current students at, or recent graduates from, higher education institutions in the UK. The successful applicants will be selected on the basis of outstanding ambassadorial skills, public speaking and debating skills, and suitability of character for a long,often gruelling, close-quarters two-person tour.
Candidates should send a suitably-tailored résumé and cover letter (by email or post – either is acceptable) to:
Head of the Centre for Speech and Debate
The English-Speaking Union
37 Charles Street
London W1J 5ED
no later than the morning of Monday 17 March.
To be considered for the tour you must be able to attend interview between 16.00 and 18.00 on Wednesday 2 April. No other interview slots can be arranged. The successful candidates should expect to be away from late September until early December, though there is some opportunity for influencing the start and finish dates once selected.
Deputy Director of Education &
Head of the Centre for Speech and Debate
The English-Speaking Union
37 Charles Street
London W1J 5ED
T: 020 7529 1550
F: 020 7495 6108
In the final they defeated
1st Gov Diarmuid Early & Doug Cochrane
2nd Gov Art Ward & Kenny Fleming
2nd Opp Brendan Bruen & Derek Doyle
Stephen Nolan was the top ranked speaker.
R1: TTHW introduce a minimum price restriction for the sale of all alcoholic beverages
R2: TTHW legalise incest between consenting siblings of the age of majority
R3: TTH loves the smell of napalm in the morning (Open Motion)
R4: TTHW force pharmaceurtical companies to give full disclosure of clincial trials
R5: TTHB the government should never fund IVF treatment
Semi-Final: TTHW refuse to recognise an independent Kosovo
Final: TTHW restrict access to pro-anorexia websites
The competition involves over 500 schools from the UK, Ireland and North America with 84 teams taking part in the finals at Oxford last weekend.
Julia Lawlor was also the overall best speaker at the competition.
For more info please visit the Irish Independent
10 March 2008
As discussed last week I came across a style guide for the CUSID (Canada) national championships. Morag Townsend, Jason Rogers and Spencer Keys are co-authors of the guide and have given me permission to reproduce the guide on this site for future reference.
2008 CUSID National Championship Style Guide
This style guide outlines the adjudication criteria for this year’s National Championships. It should serve to highlight the expectations held by the adjudication team of both debaters and judges and aims to reflect current practices in Canadian Parliamentary debate.
This year’s Canadian Nationals will follow standard Canadian Parliamentary style with the following speaking times:
Prime Minister’s Constructive – 6 or 7 minutes* Member Opposite (Leader of the Opposition**) – 7 minutes Minister for the Crown – 7 minutes Leader of the Opposition (Member Opposite/Leader of the Opposition**) – 10 minutes (7 minutes/3 minutes**) Prime Minister’s Rebuttal – 3 or 4 minutes*
*The government team has the option of using PMRE, or Prime Minister’s Rebuttal Enhancement, but must inform the speaker or panel chair before the round begins.
**The opposition team has the option of using Split Opposition, but must inform the speaker or panel chair before the round begins.
Points of Information
Debaters should offer points of information to the opposing teams during the round. Upon standing, debaters are allowed to make a brief interjection such as “Sir/Madam,” “On that point,” or, “Point of Information.” Heckling or speaking before the floor is yielded to them is not allowed. Points of information should be short in duration and should serve to further the debate or attack the speaker’s current line of argumentation.
Speakers are restricted from standing on points of information during the first and last minutes of all constructive speeches, as well as the entireties of all rebuttal speeches. In the case of PMRE, only the first and last 30 seconds of the Prime Minister’s Constructive speech is protected.
Adjudicators are allowed to consider the quantity and quality of points of information while deliberating on the round. It would be reasonable for an adjudicator to expect a speaker to give two points of information and accept two during the round, although this general rule of thumb is subject to change on a case by case basis.
Points of Clarification are allowed at this tournament. These are not meant as attacks on the opposing team, but rather as a means to clarify the details of the round such that the opposing team can debate the case without misunderstanding and generally making the round unbearable for all involved. Debaters who stand on points of clarification are expected to ask clarifying questions and not to use the opportunity to attack the opposing team’s case.
Points of order and points of personal privilege are not allowed.
All motions at this tournament are squirrelable. As such, the government team may run any case they wish, provided it is in line with the following regulations. It should be noted, however, that not following these regulations does not automatically result in a loss, but it does make that possibility much more likely.
Tautologies/Truisms - Cases that are inherently true or are self-proving are not allowed at this tournament.
Tight Cases - Cases that are weighted heavily towards side government, and leave the opposition with no reasonable arguments, are not allowed at this tournament. Should a team run such a case, judges should consider the relative effort made on the part of the opposition to present a case, and judge the round accordingly.
Specific Knowledge - Cases that require in-depth knowledge of a particular field are not allowed at this tournament. A case is fair if the judge could reasonably expect a university-level debater who is exposed to some form of mainstream mass media to be aware of the issue, or if the government team can explain the case well enough during the PMC that an opposition team could come up with a reasonable opposition case.
Opp-Choice - Cases in which the government team asks the opposition to pick the side they wish to defend are not allowed at this tournament.
Time-Place Sets/Historical Cases - Cases where the government sets the debate in a specific time or place, and gives the speaker a role in the debate, are allowed. However, arguments based on the personal motivations of the character assigned to the speaker are frowned upon because they are simply bad arguments. In addition, events occurring subsequent to the time in which the government places the case should not be cited as arguments for or against the motion. Time-place sets should not be confused with historical cases, in which the government argues from the present time about a past event. These cases are also allowed.
Repeated Cases - Cases that have been run in a prior round by the same team at this tournament are unacceptable. Period.
The adjudication team expects that Government teams will run contentious cases, with a burden of proof that is fair to the opposition. Judges are encouraged to look favourably upon teams that run cases with relatively high (but not stupid) burdens of proof, and support these cases with strong argumentation. The adjudication team expects Government teams to bring forth significant constructive matter supporting their case. Typically, this will include 3 to 6 independent points, although judges should be aware that other ways of presenting argumentation exist, and they should therefore place more weight on the quality of argumentation rather than quantity. There is no requirement for constructive matter in the Minister for the Crown’s speech, provided the Government as a whole delivers sufficient constructive argumentation, and that the Minister for the Crown’s speech is still meaningful to the round. Government teams should consider the quality of their cases before running them at the National Championships. Topics chosen should be contentious and timely, and should preferably propose a motion with wide-ranging implications. This does not mean that a case cannot be specific to a certain time, place or population, but it does mean that the implications should also be applicable on a wider scale. Arguments should be distinct from one another, and sufficient explanation should accompany them to make clear how the argument supports the case statement. Government-heavy cases, or cases introducing specific knowledge without an adequate amount of explanation are not encouraged and should be taken into account (along with all other aspects of the debate) when deciding the round.
Opposition teams will be expected to offer independent lines of constructive argumentation, discrete from arguments made in rebuttal of government points. It is not enough to simply oppose the government case. The opposition must argue in favour of something, whether that is the status quo, or an alternative to the government’s plan. The opposition team must be consistent in argumentation and philosophy within each speech and between the two speeches, and should present the case line, as well as enough constructive material early in the round to make the member opposite’s speech meaningful to opposition’s case. Opposition cases in which the bulk of main argumentation is introduced during the leader of the opposition’s speech (LO dumps or knifing) are not encouraged. However, the leader of the opposition may, and is indeed encouraged to, introduce constructive matter in his or her speech; provided it does not change the direction of the opposition case set out in the member opposite’s speech.
There is no specific formula for winning a debate. The adjudication team expects that Judges will take into account the relative burdens of each team and the depth of analysis of arguments on each side, as well as how the structure and style contribute to the effectiveness of argumentation. Depending on the round, the relative importance of each criterion will differ. Judges should decide rounds holistically, based on the context of the particular round. Low point wins are not allowed at this tournament. The adjudication team expects Judges to evaluate the entire debate and not its individual parts, and thus may not separate argumentation from structure or style, as these latter factors contribute to effective presentation of arguments.
Judges on panels will be expected to confer for no longer than fifteen minutes. During this time, judges should clarify anything they may have misunderstood or misheard, and justify their decisions to the rest of the panel. Consideration of material not addressed during the debate is inappropriate and should be quashed by the panel chair immediately. Consensus is not mandatory, nor even necessarily desirable. Conferral regarding speaker scores may also occur, however each judge fills out his or her own ballot to reflect his or her own feelings regarding the round. In the first four rounds, judges will be asked to give open adjudication. This means that the chair (and only the chair) reveals to the debaters the outcome of the round, as well as the reason for decision. Debaters are expected not to question the decision or argue with the judges. They may complain about a decision by filling out a debater feedback form, or by discussing the matter privately with the Chief Adjudicator or one of the Deputy Chief Adjudicators.
The scoring range for this tournament is 34-42, with an average speech of 38. 34s and 42s must be justified to the adjudication team. Half points are allowed.
34 - This is a bad speech. This speech contained no constructive or refutational material whatsoever, had little or no structure, was offensive or incomprehensible and was not of an appropriate length. In order to award a score of 34, an explanation must be given to, and approval received from the Chief Adjudicator.
35 - This is a slightly better speech. This speech contained little or no constructive or refutational material, and was poorly structured. An appropriate length was reached, or at least nearly reached, and the material was inoffensive.
36 - This is a below-average speech. In this case, generally, either the argumentation was reasonable but the mode of delivery (i.e. style or structure) was ineffective in getting those arguments across, or the argumentation was poor, but the speaker delivered it in an engaging manner.
37 - This is a slightly below-average speech. It is similar to a 38 speech, but is lacking in some degree. For example, the argumentation may lack support, or the organization may make the case or argumentation unclear.
38 - This is an average speech, and makes use of solid (but not especially innovative) arguments, is engaging (but not especially moving) and fulfills the duties of his or her role.
39 - This is an above-average speech. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of an average speech, there will be somewhat greater depth of analysis to argumentation and refutation.
40 - This is a very good speech. This speaker excels in the round, is well-organized, and effectively delivers solid and innovative arguments in support of his or her case.
41 - This is an excellent speech. The speaker excels in the round, with seamless organization, as well as innovative and interesting arguments with explanations and examples.
42 - This is an astoundingly good speech. The speech has made the judge think about the world differently after hearing the speech. Arguments are unquestionably persuasive. This speech must be justified to the Chief Adjudicator in order to be awarded.
*A note about scores – An “average” speech does not mean it should be the average for the tournament, it means that it is an average speech in the context of all speeches. As such, judges should not artificially alter their scores such that each round averages 38. In addition, all scores on the above range are possible, and judges are encouraged to use the entirety of the scoring range, should the speeches they see warrant it.
Round 2 (International Relations)
This is a small reminder to those interested in coming to EUDC 2008 in Tallinn. Please read the information below and then - get ready for registration tomorrow. Registration to EUDC 2008 Tallinn starts on MONDAY, 10 MARCH at 12:00 GMT, that is at noon London time. Phase 1 of registration closes on 16 March at 00:00 (midnight) GMT.
You can register on our webpage at http://www.eudc2008.eu/. To find the registration form, click on the 'Register now' button above the calendar and info for participants or go to the Tournament -> Registration section on the left pane.
Before you start, I'd like to repeat a few important things:
1) In Phase 1 of registration every institution can register up to 2 teams and up to 4 judges. Additional judges (4+) can register as single adjudicators. If your institution does not register 2 teams during Phase 1, the remaining place(s) will not be kept waiting for you! All places that are not used during Phase 1 will be made available for registration to everyone in Phase 2. So if you have 2 teams interested in participating, make sure to register them both during the week of Phase 1!
2) In Phase 2 of registration each institution is allowed to register only one additional team (until there are places available). This limitation applies even if your institution registered only 1 team or none at all during Phase 1.
3) When filling out the registration form, we suggest to read the information notes by the fields, behind question marks. These will surely help you to understand better what needs to be written in each field.
4) If you can't find your institution from the drop-down list, please double check. It could be that you are searching for 'University of XYZ', but we have listed your institution as 'XYZ University'. Or you may be listed after the name of your debating club. So please try every possible option you can think of before giving up. If your institution is not on the list, you can register by writing the name of your institution in the appropriate blank field.
5) When you have filled in the registration form and clicked the button to submit the information and finally register, you will probably have to wait for a while for something to happen. Please BE PATIENT, let the browser finish at its own pace and don't hit 'stop' , 'refresh' or 'back' right away. It may take anywhere from 15 secs to several minutes for the system to accept your registration, depending on the speed of your internet connection and also on how many teams and judges you register at the same time. The system needs to check if you have filled in all necessary fields etc - that means processing a lot of information before it can give you the green light and lead you to the next page for payment. If it should happen that your computer fails (low battery, power cut etc) while processing, that is after you have submitted the registration information and before your registration is accepted, please contact me before starting to fill in the form again. It could be that we have already received the registration information and then you won't have to register twice.
6) It is crucial to keep to the DEADLINES! If you miss the deadline for payment or any other important date, we will have no mercy and you will be stroken off our list immediately. There will be no exceptions. Therefore we urge you to be active and contact us if something seems to be wrong, e.g. if your registered teams do not appear on the registration list or if your status has not changed to 'Confirmed' after having paid etc.
7) Payments for teams and judges registered in Phase 1 have to be made and received by us by 23 March. We accept payments by bank transfer and by credit card. Cheques are not accepted. Payment of the participation fee should be made in Euros straight away (do not transfer the equivalent amount of your local currency), in order to avoid possible problems with currency converting rates etc. As we have said before, please make sure that we receive the full participation fee 210 EUR - thus the payer must take care of all the bank fees etc.
8) Please also pay attention to the fact that status 'Registered' does not mean that you are on our final list of participants. This only means that you would like to be on the list. You are on the final list of participants only after your status is 'Confirmed'. We suggest you to keep an eye on your status on our web page and inform us immediately if you think something is not right.
If you should have any problems with registration, contact me at email@example.com and we will assist you in every way that we can.
We wish you good luck with registration and hopefully everything will run smoothly during the next week.
With best regards,
EUDC 2008 Tallinn team
We are a little over a month away from this year's U.S. Universities National Championship Tournament, and I wanted to make everyone aware of some important updates, including: partnership with IDEA, confirmed trainers, social information, and additional lodging options. We already have teams register from all corners of the United States, and are very excited at the interest in this year's tournament. We are committed to making it a great experience for competitors and coaches alike!
415 SW Montgomery StreetPortland, OR, 97201Phone: (503) 226-4751
Room with double beds: $80.00 daily (including tax). For two people; rooms with more than two people are charged an additional $10 per night. Free parking for guests; within walking distance of PSU.
1889 SW 4th AvenuePortland, OR 97201Phone: (503) 226-7646
Room with two double beds: $89.99 daily. Each additional guest will be charged $10 per night. Free parking is provided as available; within walking distance of PSU.
2401 SW 4th AvenuePortland, OR 97201Phone: (503) 226-1121
A room with two double beds is $79. More than two guests per room will increase the price, as with the others. Free parking is provided, and it is slightly further than the other hotels, but still very close and within walking distance to the PSU campus.
1401 SW Naito ParkwayPortland, Oregon 97201 USAPhone: 1-503-226-7600
Room with two double beds: $139.99. There is a fee for parking.
If you have any questions about the tournament, or any problems with registration, please contact me. I look forward to seeing everyone in April!
Hong Kong Parliamentary Debating Society (HKPDS) is hosting a BP tournament in July 13 to 16 2008 and is inviting debaters from across the asia-pacific region (and elsewhere around the world if they wish) to come to Hong Kong and participate.
The championship have an excellent core adjudication team, including Logandran Balavijandran (Chief Adjudicator, MMU Worlds), Loke Wing Fatt (Worlds Break Judge and founder of SAID), Fiona Prowse (Grand Finalist, Assumption Worlds), Jacob Cliffton (Semi-Finalist, MMU Worlds) and many others.
More information will be updated onto our website (www.hkpds.org) in the next week or so, including the official invitation letter. Meanwhile the latest information can be seen on our facebook group "Hong Kong BP Open 2008".
Aside from the first ever BP tournament in Hong Kong, HKPDS will also be holding our annual Summer Workshop for high school kids with trainers and guest speakers like British MPs during July 18 to 22 2008.