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20 December 2009

Koc WUDC Debating Guide: General Issues

How should I offer a point of information?
Stand up and say something nondescript like “On that point”, or “Point of information”. Do not advertise your point before you’ve been accepted. For example: “On the effectiveness of bringing democracy to Iraq” is not good. This is cheating and will be punished. This is not to say there will be an automatic deduction of a point every time you do it, or anything so formulaic, but it will be taken into account, along with everything else, in adjudication. If your point is accepted, you ask a question or comment which should probably last no longer then 15 seconds.

Are points of order and points of personal privilege allowed?

What are points of order and points of personal privilege?
You don’t care. You’re not going to use them.

Can I make a point of information to my partner, or on the other team on my side of the House?

Can I speak for more than7 minutes?
Going over a bit (i.e. fifteen seconds) is fine. You could speak for longer, but it would be rather pointless; your judges will put down their pens and stop writing. It could even be damaging, if the consequence of your speaking over meant that you were unable to present all of your case.

Can I speak for less than7 minutes?
You can – but it suggests you haven’t got much to say, which is generally a bad sign

What if I do not understand the motion?
You are permitted (even encouraged) to ask one of the adjudication team if you want explanation of the meaning of words. If your problem is simply that you do not know what a debate is about, we cannot help you, although it is worth remembering that even if you do not possess any of the relevant facts, it is usually possible to construct a passable case from principles alone.

In World Schools’ Debating, the rules state that words such as ‘never’ or ‘always’ mean ‘in the vast majority of cases’ – is it like that at WUDC?
No. Words have meanings. You are allowed a dictionary to find them out. These meanings are not going to be messed around with by your adjudication team. There is no secret code.
‘Never’ means in not a single instance.
‘Always’ means in every single instance.
The English language is a tool of marvellous complexity and finesse, and your adjudication team is sufficiently good at using it that the words in the motion will mean exactly the debate we intend you to run. If we want a debate about the vast majority of cases, we’ll set a motion which asks for one.

Do you get an automatic fourth for squirreling/counterpropping/challenging the definition/ barracking/ knifing/etc?
No. There is no such thing as an automatic fourth. For any given stupid thing you could do, there could be another team somewhere doing something worse.
Attempting to specify the worst thing you could possibly do would be to tempt fate. The only two ways to guarantee receiving no points are: [a] not turning up, thereby forfeiting the round, or [b] being the subject of a successful equity complaint of sufficient severity that your points from that round are docked after the end of that round.

What is an equity violation?
There will be a Code of Conduct and ultimately equity will be in the hands of the Equity Officers (Simone Van Elk, Ewan McDonald and Cansu Korsay). Having said that, you won’t commit an equity violation if you don’t act like an idiot.

This guide is from the briefing published by the adjudication team of Koc Worlds 2010. The adjudication team is Can Okar (CA) Josh Bone (DCA), Julia Bowes (DCA), Suthen Tate Thomas (DCA), Will Jones (DCA), Handan Orel (ACA), Ozan Mert Ondes (ACA). This document is based on one drafted by Anat Gelber, Daniel Schut and Will Jones in 2007 for the Amsterdam Open.

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