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25 December 2010

DLSU Worlds 2012: Announcement of DCA's

Dear International Debating Community,

We write to announce the selected DCA panel for WUDC 2012. We have already written to all the applicants, selected and otherwise, to thank them for their participation in such a strong process. We would like to take this opportunity to thank also, however, everyone who contributed feedback to this process. A huge amount of feedback was received, but it was its subtlety and nuance (rather than merely its scale) that stood out. Rather than just giving us information, the quality of feedback made us feel more like we were participants in a far more communal process of analysis; as an alternative to having such a weighty and complex decision on our shoulders alone, this model was more than welcome. In many instances this feedback made the decisions we had to make tougher, but we are certain that it also made them better, and helped ensure the legitimacy of the selection process. Feedback was, and at all times will be, kept strictly confidential.

Equally, we were highly impressed with the quality of applications candidates put in. In selecting someone whose immensely-complex job extends far beyond judging individual debates, these application forms were absolutely vital, and were absolutely central to our decisions. More than that, insights from the applications of many candidates, successful and otherwise, have changed the way we think about debating, and about tournament organisation, for the better.

While our decision was difficult, it was also a huge privilege. We are immensely proud to announce that the following are selected as DCAs for WUDC 2012:

Cormac Early
Tim Mooney
Masako Suzuki
Art Ward

We hope you will agree that among this team are excellent motion-setters, fine debate theorists, strong communicators, possessors of important insights into the debate experiences of those from a variety of backgrounds, rigorous organisers and a huge amount of knowledge about various debating communities. As well as being talented individuals, we hope this will be an excellent team, all of whom bring something unique and important; it will be a privilege to work with them.

Naturally, there were many other strong candidates. The strength of this field, in fact, is one key driver in our determination to ensure that the expertise WUDC 2012 draws on is not limited to those selected as DCAs. We hope, for instance, to collaborate extensively regarding training materials we are committed to creating, and to attract a group of senior adjudicators beyond the Adjudication Team itself to advise on this. In short, we want this to be a ‘WUDC of all the talents’. The quality of DCA applicants this year has reaffirmed the importance of this. More details thereof will follow early in 2011.

Congratulations to those selected, and commiserations to those not. Many thanks to all for making this process so fruitful, and we look forward to seeing many of you in Botswana.

Many thanks,

Sam Block & Lucinda David
Chief Adjudicators


  1. Anonymous12:06 am

    As usual, there is at least one joke candidate. Masako... lol.

  2. Anonymous4:19 am

    How is Masako possibly qualified to be a Worlds DCA?

  3. Anonymous4:39 am

    Must be because she got to the "Masters" final with Sonnereich once... a serious credential if there ever was one. The PC concessions at major tournaments these days have become a complete joke.

  4. Anonymous4:49 am

    Look, while I sympathize to a certain degree with the broader political sentiment being expressed above, it takes a good deal of chutzpah to launch personal attacks against people while yourself hiding behind the veil of anonymity. At least have the courage of your convictions to put your name behind criticism like this.

  5. Anonymous5:53 am

    Why should anyone have to? If they had sent feedback to the bid about the DCA's, that would have been anonymous. And people criticising aren't public figures, however by applying to be a DCA you make yourself one. Do people need to identify themselves before posting their views below a BBC news article too? Come on now. Nobody has attacked her personality or anything, just her qualifications, which are a joke. Thank goodness we'll have someone to vet through the pool of Japanese adjudicators.

  6. Anonymous8:28 am

    The most depressing thing is that by dint of her DCAing, she'll get to judge the knock-out rounds of the tournament.

  7. Can Okar8:57 am

    I will post with my name proudly displayed.

    Masako does not have the same titles as the other candidates but has judged deep into Worlds in the past, has excellent theoretical knowledge of rhetoric (which helps with motion setting) and represents an important constituency at Worlds. The role of a DCA is not to be the best judge at the tournament. It is to be part of a team that organises the adjudication pool, sets motions and represents regional interests.

    Insofar as Worlds is now a completely global affair, Masako is well-qualified to excel at each of these roles. The adjudication team of which I was a part might have benefitted from someone like Masako, for example when setting This house would prosecute communities for complicity in honour killings.

    In short, calm down. The team is an excellent one. Well done Sam and Lucinda.

  8. I have activated comment moderation because if people can't play nicely with the Anonymous toy it will be taken away.

  9. Anonymous10:56 am

    It's always refreshing to be reminded of the real attitude people have to free speech. Masako is a public figure. Nobody has made any personal attack on her. They have pointed out she has no credentials, and as a public figure I think that's a perfectly fair observation for people to make.

    And really, "important constituency"... yes, she'll have to make the tough call about all the experienced Japanese judges that will be in contention to break... pfft. By that logic every country needs a DCA. Utterly absurd.

  10. Freedom of speech does not apply to anonymous. Thats been my "attitude" for years and I have made no secret of it. You will notice that other blogs use moderation all year round. I only tend to apply it at this time of year when discussions get heated.

  11. Can Okar12:59 pm

    I have no problem with you speaking although I think that observers of this exchange might trust a former CA of Worlds more than an anonymous poster.

    The fact is, you don't appear to understand the role of a DCA. You do not need the best "credentials" to be a DCA. Further, I question your motives in bad-mouthing Masako as you don't appear to have analysed her past achievements. She has been a DCA of All-Asians, judged the Grand Final of Australs and broke as a judge at Koc Worlds. Are you saying that your reading of her abilities is stronger than numerous CAs who have promoted her to these panels?

    As for constituencies, this is not about "tough calls about experienced judges". It is about fair motion setting, managing the entire adjudication pool and working with the rest of the A-team for the good of the whole Championships. Having representation for the first time ever of North East Asia and the EFL community might help to break down barriers which threaten to dismantle Worlds each and every year.

  12. Branka Marusic3:04 pm

    Dear anonymous,
    setting aside that qualifications of Masako or any other candidate for the Worlds DCA 2012 were not made public to the general audience, I believe that your attacks are personal and disrespective to one individual person on the basis of her nationality.

    I do concur with Can on this issue in particular, because I see that you are failing to recognize that the Worlds is becoming each year a bigger event and that we see a bigger influx of teams that arrive from non-native speaking countries. In that respect there should be recognition of ESL and EFL achievements either debate wise or adjudication(just because our ability to speak English is impaired , our abilities to understand debate are not).

    The attitude you are demonstrating shows the lack of your understanding what the Worlds has become, and most importantly it demonstrates the underlying presumption of non-native speakers and judges deemed "not being good enough".

    This kind of attitude which was openly expressed last year in Koc Worlds at the Masters final, did not yield positive results. Neither does yours, dear anonymous.

    I apologize in advance for my poor English

    Branka Marusic
    registrar EUDC Council

  13. I couldn't agree more with Can on this. Masako has judged plenty of worlds knock-out rounds already, this alone makes her qualified enough to apply to be DCA. Also, it seems inappropriate quiestioninh her appointment only AFTER the selection proccess has vlosed, when there was plenty of opportunity to do so after the application process - and do it anonymously, just as some people are doing now. Now, you're not only showing disrespect towards one person's accomplishments, and the effort put into building them, but also towards those involved in the DCA selection process - the Co-CAs. Please, enlighten me, what authority do you have to so do?

    Congrats to all DCAs,

    Laura Horvat

  14. Anonymous6:33 pm

    1) Masako is well qualified. She was All-Asians DCA in 2005, and i'm sure she'd have an enviable CV
    2) My concern is primarily one of representation - the last I think Masako saw the Asian judge pool was in the Chula AP, and nothign after. Its critical for the Asian DCA to know the pool in depth.
    3) Already, the core has two IONA DCAs - Sam and Art. Lucinda is also way more familiar with the european judge pool than the present adj pool. The same with Masako. Thus, its important that the DCAs need to know Asian judges, more so given the nature of the adj break at worlds.
    4) The pool from Asia was especially competitive, and one understands the reasoning for picking Masako, who has seen the development of debating for almost a decade, can represent ESL/EFL interests well and provides much needed gender balance to the core. However, the next step is to ensure that the Asian adj pool is not marginalized, by giving the DCAs exposure.

  15. Anonymous10:49 pm

    I don't see anything that I or others have written above that is a personal attack. I don't have any personal stake here. I didn't apply to be DCA, won't be going to worlds with Masako, and I don't know her personally. But she is a public figure, and there's nothing sordid about people pointing out she has no credentials.

    Yes, Masako has adjudicated finals debates before, and she had as little qualification to do so then. And no, she won't be the first DCA with no real debating success to be chosen. That doesn't make Masako a bad person, there are lots of great people who don't have success as debaters. That just makes her and them bad DCA's for mine.

    There's a place for career adjudicators who have never broken at IV's, but it's not DCA'ing worlds (or other serious IV's either). My feeling is DCA's should have credentials that are above dispute, so people who don't know them can have confidence in them. There's a reason the candidates selected from Europe, Australia, etc, are always debaters with serious credentials. If Masako was applying from such a region she'd have had no chance at being selected.

    I understand why she has been, I just think in light of those facts it's totally inappropriate. Every country can't have a DCA, so DCA's should be people whose talent demands respect, not someone who you can say "get it pretty right" and "are pretty decent". Besides, no matter who you chose from a region, some people are going to be unhappy with it, which is why they ought to have the talent to back them up. Breaking as an adjudicator is a political thing as it is, so for that to be her only credential is pretty poor stuff. This is just another blow to meritocratic outcomes at debating, a long line in a trend to PC concessions.

  16. Anonymous11:04 pm

    People are still upset about the Masters final? I remember alot of people rallying around Woon after the tournament and defending him from an incredible affront to free speech by the PC block at worlds. I don't think you'll get very far by invoking that as an example...

  17. Anonymous11:16 pm

    Can mentions she judged the Australs Grand Final. Yes, the 2007 final that is widely regarded as a joke because she (and others) got completely the wrong decision.

  18. Anonymous5:04 am

    That's true, the 3 Australian adjudicators got rolled if I remember correctly, on a definitional challenge.

  19. After going through all of your comments, some of you disrespect one person and her nationality.

    1. If you have any differ on DCA candidates you should put your comments before announcement ,Its meaningless and harmful for judging pool after name had been announced . you had the chance.

    2. Another issue there were few reputed DCA candidates. If I say clearly Masako is well known judge and have good adjudication reputation in debating community. Analyzing her experience in worlds and other tourny it was a rational decision to select her as DCA. She attended numerous worlds and promoted as breaking judge. If there is no barrier of rules of worlds regarding DCA selection I don’t see any problem in being adjust so. I have complete trust that she is capable to accomplish this historic responsibility.

    I also agree with Can’s last paragraph of his second post - what are the major responsibility of a DCA. At the end all of us should show due respect to our DCA.

  20. Andy Hume10:56 am

    I don't know Masako and I have no idea if she's a good adjudicator or not, but adjudicating a GF at Australs, breaking as a judge at Worlds and DCA-ing at Asians is not an inconsiderable achievement, especially for an adjudicator from a country without a strong track record of success in international competition.

    Either way, if there's going to be a pissing contest between her and a bunch of anonymous commenters, I know which side I'm on. Hands up how many of you have judged in an Australs Grand Final? No, didn't think so.

    There's a box just about "anonymous" which allows you to enter your name. Try using it, and you'll find that your criticisms carry more weight. As it is, and with all due respect, they're worthless.

  21. Anonymous12:45 pm

    At least Masako is a figure who can be approached by a great debater as well as a novice and still receive a smile and the appropriate responsive concern, but to have the arrogance of Mooney and Early on the panel is quite absurd. These two are simply those elitist people who have little to no regard for any person at Worlds unless he/she is a good debater or in their social class. I already feel bad for the growing lot of ESL/EFL contingency who only have two people who they will feel comfortable in approaching.

    With that said, the class act person on this panel really is Art Ward. At every tournament, whether it be Oxford IV or Worlds, Art has spoken to every person regardless of University status or social status which (unfortunately) what Worlds has become lately thanks in part to people like Mooney and Early.

    However, in the end, after all this constructive criticism, Worlds will continue to be one of the most enigmatic and necessary events ever created for students. It's people who go to Worlds with that humble attitude that make this event worth continuing and my hats go off to those who host it. Best of luck DLS, and I'm sure you will run a great tournament, but you just confirmed my non- participation as a judge due to the arrogance in Mooney and Early.

  22. I agree with Andy, we should consider the society where she comes from, her gumption and patience for debate for more than a decade. If it is the major role 'motion setting, managing the entire adjudication pool and working with the rest of the A-team', she deserves to be a DCA and other judges from Japan and parts from that region inspired by her.

    I request Colm to stop criticism on this issue, moderation is needed.

    Happy New year-

  23. Hi Mizan,
    Actually I have moderated some comments. Anyway I think Masako's supporters are winning tha argument.


  24. Can Okar9:44 pm

    Anonymous, stop embarrassing yourselves.

    Masako is a great selection, not just because she will do a good job but also because the selection allows her to get to know better those judges in Asia between now and Manila and really bring cultures together in a continent that is always divided. That might not have been true of other candidates.

    And Tim Mooney and Cormac Early are top guys. Really friendly, deep thinkers, good partiers. Look, not every DCA is going to be your mate (well, I doubt any DCA of Worlds would be your mate anonymous because I sense you might be a bit of an idiot) but at least trust people like Sam Block not to select people who would damage Worlds.

    I sense this sniping is just derived from the malcontented nature that comes from not being good enough and not having the drive to get better. And I'm glad the last anonymous is not going to go to Manila. You're doing Sam and his team a favour by taking yourself out of the pool. I wished there was something like the Darwin Awards that I could award you for your selfless and beneficial absence.

  25. Anonymous12:18 am

    Firstly, I'm pretty sure some of the people commenting here did send feedback in to the Worlds bid. I personally am amazed at the selection of Masako, I thought even with the PC brigade there was a limit of decency.

    Secondly, the reason there are many other poor candidates applying to be DCA's, and only a handful from the serious regions, is because it was clear (as it has been for some time) that they were going to pick 1 per region. This does not make Masako a good candidate. If I was to take every debater who has been active at a tournament over the last 5 years for Britain/Australia, she wouldn't be in the top 500 candidates. I'm not even sure she'd be in the top 1000. Yet she's a DCA of Worlds, one of a handful of people responsible for policing standards.

    3. Breaking as an adjudicator at an IV is a combination of many factors. Politics, conflicts, representation, and then talent. If you want to play that game, we can (I'm deliberately avoiding naming people here), but to suggest adjudicating to the finals of Australs (or DCA'ing Asians, lol!) makes you qualified for DCA'ing worlds is an incredible proposition. Every year one can look at the Adjudication pool at IV's like Worlds, and see that adjudicators who are damn incredible (some who went on to win Worlds and make the finals) did not progress as far as they could have, because of these factors. I can think of some incredibly mediocre adjudicators who've made it to the Australs GF in fact, and it's not just from minority countries either. I'd suggest people stay well clear of this argument to be honest, it's not going to come up well for you.

    Finally, comments like these highlight why I'm glad people here are offering some criticism of the choice of Masako: "we should consider the society where she comes from, her gumption and patience for debate for more than a decade." This is not the basis on which you should be chosen to be a DCA. These ones also gave me a chuckle "to have the arrogance of Mooney and Early on the panel is quite absurd". It reminds me of the defence made of Nixon's would be Supreme Court judge, Blackum.

  26. Anonymous12:20 am

    Oops, meant to write Carswell there, not Blackum, who was actually selected. My bad.

  27. Anonymous3:07 am

    "At least Masako is a figure who can be approached by a great debater as well as a novice and still receive a smile and the appropriate responsive concern"
    Perhaps she should be the doorman for the tab room then? That way when people have to go to the "arrogant" and "scary" Tim Mooney and Early they will have a warm smile on their way in.

  28. Josh Martin8:50 pm

    Id like to weigh in as someone that applied for one of the DCA positions for De La Salle and was not selected...

    I am not impressed with backpedaling of claims presented by Anonymous, starting by asserting an utter lack of qualifications for Masako and then when presented with a portion of her CV resorts to telling us that she had no qualifications to have been given a place adjudicating in those posts. I suppose that Anonymous themselves was a member of the adjudication core of those tournaments, read the feedback that Masako received, weighed out the "many factors that go into breaking as an adjudicator in an IV" and can tell us that she was undeservant?

    Throughout Anonymous' posts the only examples of what would make an adjudicator "qualified" for DCA'ship are "went on to win World's or make the final" or "australs GF." Apparently years breaking as an adjudicator does not qualify you to be a deputy chief ADJUDICATOR, but success as a debator directly translates.

    If this is indeed the case, perhaps Anonymous would do well to look at the debating resume of Sam Block who made the selection. Unless a better resume can be provided by Anonymous, he himself should not assume qualifications to question the decision.

    As a person who had much more at stake in this process, I humbly and trustingly accept it and would invite Anonymous to do the same.

  29. Anonymous11:14 pm

    I think my particular posts were pretty clear. I don't give much weight to career adjudicators, for some of the reasons given. I wasn't unaware of her "credentials" before I posted, though I can't speak for others here. Nor does Sam make this decision alone, nor do I think the decision making process is valuing the same things critics are valuing. They want regional tokenism and someone who "enough people in region x trust/know"... Japan has never had a DCA at worlds either. People who are criticising her probably wouldn't have chosen any of the Asian applicants (though Ely Zosa has at least done something of note), because a candidate so inferior to other options shouldn't be selected just because they're from a certain bit of geography. Especially when there will be plenty in that area who dislike whoever is chosen anyway. That's just my opinion though.


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