To the global debating community,
It gives me pleasure to launch officially the website of the Vehbi Koc World Universities Championships 2010 at http://www.kocworlds2010.com/. We have gone through a period of testing which has shown up some issues, such as site registration, which we have now solved. Before I highlight some of the most important aspects of ongoing work, I want to take this opportunity to ask every member of our debating community to go to the website and ensure that you can access the page. Different countries around the world have different access issues and we need to solve this before registration kicks off in June. If you do have problems, can you send a mail to our Registration Officer, Hasan, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now to some important announcements.
You will notice that the timings of the different phases of registration remain in line with previous rounds of the Championships. One major change, and something we flagged at Council, is the introduction of a compulsory pre-payment at Phase 2 of registration. This is a direct response to challenges faced by Cork last year where demand for places at Phase 1 massively exceeded supply, only for over 100 teams to drop out when payment was demanded. This meant that many teams were only able to purchase flights one month in advance of the tournament, massively increasing their costs. We have decided to follow the model set by Monash for Australs and will expect institutions that register to make a financial promise to us. If they do not, we can pass on their places to others in good time for them to buy flights. We realise after some discussion with debating clubs that some institutions can only pay for tournaments in single installments and so will offer such clubs the opportunity to pay their entire balance in Phase 2 of registration if they so wish.
One further note is that the exact time of Phase 1 of registration on 22nd June 2009 may go back by one hour due to concerns raised from the East Coast of North America that they will need to stay up until 3am in the morning. This will mean that IONA registrations need to be made at 7am but unless we receive significantly negative feedback, we think this is a fair compromise. Worlds is so global that finding a time that is suitable for everyone is nigh on impossible - compromise is all we have! We will let you know in good time if such a change occurs.
Although Antalya is served by many direct flights from Europe, it is likely that most of you will need to purchase flights that route through Istanbul or Ankara. We would advise that you compare flight prices for Istanbul or Ankara returns with Antalya transfers bought separately with transit flights for both price and suitability. We have a comprehensive list of companies that fly or drive to Antalya on our website so that you can make your plans well in advance.
Budget and Accommodation
Those of you in Council will remember that we had some budgetary problems at the time of our ratification. We are pleased to announce that we have renegotiated with many of our suppliers and that our budget is now in far better shape. We will be staying in the hotel outlined in our original bid delivered at Council in Thailand, 2008. However, as indicated in Council in Ireland, 2009 we will need to charge registration at 390€ per person to cement our budgetary position.
We have set aside funds, as promised in both 2008 and 2009, to offer registration waivers and some flights for independent adjudicators. Our Deputy Chief Adjudicators will be in charge of this process for each of their regions and will be allocated a budget to organise judges from their region. If you are an independent judge, we would ask that you get in touch with your regional DCA. We should note that decisions regarding funding will reside with the DCAs and will be based on assessment of your CVs and suitability to Chair at the tournament. Our aim is to have 120 outstanding chairs through both the n-1 and independent pools so that we have flexibility in judge allocation and regional representation.
For now, that is everything that we would like to announce. We look forward to welcoming you in Turkey this December. We also look forward to an exciting few months of registration.
Fatih Mehmet Inal and Suleyman Onay
Co-Convenors of the Vehbi Koc Worlds Universities Debating Championships 2010