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19 August 2009

Koc Worlds Team Cap Extension

To the global debating community,

Ever since the vast over-subcription to compete at this year's World Universities Debating Championships, we at KoƧ have been trying to come up with solutions to ensure that more teams could compete at Worlds without jeopardising the quality of the adjudication that every team competing is entitled to expect. We believe we have finally identified a way in which everyone that wants to compete can compete.

Our initiail limitation was to do with adjudication as we do not believe we can extend the team cap without being certain that we could find sufficient judges from around the globe. Our work with independent and n+1 judges has gone very well and we now believe we can find well over 100 chairs through the n-1 and additional adjudication pools. We will announce to independents and institutions asking for more than n-1 in the coming two days as we finalise our budgets for each region.

Our second limitation was the contract we had agreed with our hotel (where most other costs are also accrued, including food and drink). Our contract states that we can bring 1,100 people (including OrgComm) to the Championships. This breaks down as 720 debaters, 310 adjudicators and 70 OrgComm. Any additional person above the 1,100 will cost us 55 EUR per night according to the provisions of our contract, which means we would pay 440 EUR for any additional person who comes. We will also need to find around 3.2 addiitonal judges for every four teams, with the associated additional cost as well as take on some limited extra variable costs that we have not budgeted.

After the prepayment phase, we saw that over 60 institutions are still on the waitlist and so we have decided to come up with an offer. We have also discussed its suitability with a number of teams on the waitlist as well as the Chair of Worlds Council and all have agreed that it is a viable solution to what is a problem that faces large swathes of our friends in debating.

In short, we have extended our team cap to 400 teams, which means we can accept a further 40 teams to debate at this year's tournament. Given the financial realities explained above, we will need to increase the registration fee to 490 EUR per person for each institution we invite. We will initially only accept one team per institution still on the waiting list and if you want to send a judge, you will need to contact the registration team, who will pass that information onto the relevant DCA - all adjudication spots at this stage will need to go through the adjudication team to ensure that the pool remains as strong as possible.

If you receive an invitation to join us as one of the extra 40 teams, we would ask that you respond to the mail saying either yes or no over the coming week. If you say no, your place will be offered to the next team on the waiting list outside of the current next 40. If you say yes, you will be required to pay the balance of 980 EUR for your team in phase 3 of registration which runs from August 31st 2009 to September 25th 2009. If we cannot find 40 teams from the current waitlist of 60 institutions because teams decline, we will offer additional places to institutions from the waitlist (both those who are already in and those who will be in through this policy) who were previously limited to one team.

We want to stress that this should not be viewed as a precedent for the utility or otherwise of differential levels of registration at Worlds. We view this move as a sensible way to offer people the opportunity to debate which at the moment they cannot. Whilst we realise that they will be paying more for what is essentially the same tournament, it is the only way that we can be flexible and still offer the opportunity to debate at Worlds to as many people as possible.

As always, if you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact Hasan Sadik Arik,, our tireless Registration Officer. If you have queries regarding adjudication, do contact Can Okar, , who will get back to you as quickly as he can.

Before signing off, we want to remind you of something unrelated but very important. We have received a number of queries from competitors which have made it clear that they think the Championships are going to be held in Istanbul. We want to reiterate, this is not the case! Worlds will be held close to Antalya this year and all relevant details about transport and the local area can be found at our trasportation page, .

We look forward, as ever, to seeing you all soon. We are hopeful that you agree with us that this is a good solution to a subobtimal situation.

Warm regards,

Fatih Mehmet inal


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