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24 December 2010

Four attempt rule at Worlds.

Here is a communication from the Zagreb debating community regarding Petar Bezjak who is organising the Zagreb bid for Worlds 2013.  There are some serious questions about the viability of the bid and the actual involvement of Zagreb in the bid. Now it appears that Petar has been a competitor at 5 Worlds and is looking to make this his sixth.  It may be that there are two Petar Bezjaks and all this will surely be discussed at council but the people from Zagreb seem fairly certain this is the same Petar.

However it is worrying if competitors are ignoring the 4 attempt limit.  This has been in place for many years.  In the past I maintained a database of names to make sure that this rule was followed.  Every year there would be one or two people who would try to compete in a 5th Worlds either because they did not know the rule or because they hoped we did not know who they were.  I handed responsibility for this over to council at the meeting in Dublin.  I would call call on council to appoint someone to return to maintaining this database.  I can give them the one I maintained up to Dublin and will help to get it up to date.

To the entire debating community,

It has come to our attention that Petar Bezjak the convenor - hopeful of Zagreb 2013. bid debated for the 5th time when he broke in the EFL semi-finals at Koc WUDC 2010. as a team member of the University of Split thus breaking the art. 22.1 of the WUDC Constitution.

Therefore, he took the place rightfully belonging to the next eligible team.

Peter is registered as a debater for the University of Split, again this year for Botswana WUDC 2011.. This will be his 6th time debating.

We have warned him of this fact repeatedly and begged him to withdraw. He ignored our pleas. Unfortunately we are left without choice in this matter.

His entire manner shows disrespect of the rules and regulations of the world debating community.

By doing this, there is also a new possibility of his taking the spot of another team in the break.

We cannot allow this.

Given that the full tab from Sydney Worlds is now available, which up until now wasn’t the case, there is written proof of Petar Bezjak debating for the 5th time when he broke in the EFL semi finals in KoƧ, thus breaking art.22.1 of the WUDC Constitution

Article 22
1. Competitors who satisfy the requirements of this Article may compete in ateam eligible to make the finals series a maximum of four Championships.

This provision shall take effect from 6th January 1990. )

The tabs which prove this are as following:

Sydney 00

Toronto 02

Stellenbosch 03

Thailand 08

Koc 10

We wish everyone a all the best for the holidays

Laura Horvat, Lea Tafra, Branka Marusic


  1. Anonymous6:46 am

    Peter has posted a reply claiming that you are only barred from breaking four times? Is this true?

  2. Anonymous8:54 am

    No, and this Petar guy is really making himself look foolish. His bid is all but dead at this stage, and his poor DCA's must be just shaking their heads at his replies (assuming they're even involved anymore).

  3. Council at Botswana will rule on this and I of course bow to any correction from Sam, Ian, Neill or other more recent Council members if the rules changed. However I will offer my opinion as a former Chair of Council and an Emeritus member of council. I was also the person who set up and maintained the 4 year database for many years and as such I advised council on any violations of the rule.

    Petar is incorrect in saying participation at Worlds is only limited to 4 breaks. It is limited to 4 years competing as a team eligible to break in the main competition. As you cannot compete as a team not eligible to break this means you cannot compete in the main competition more than 4 times. It was a mistake to allow Petar for a 5th time and without question he is not eligible to compete at Botswana. He is welcome to attend Worlds as a judge and to enter the Masters, Public Speaking and Comedy competitions as these are open to all.

    There has never been any misunderstanding about this at any council meeting I attended. The 4 year rule has been a feature of every pre council meeting in recent years and Petar has attended enough council meetings to be aware of this.


  4. Andy Hume10:13 am

    You're obviously correct, Colm. Nor does it matter that Petar says he has debated for two different institutions - you don't get to reset the counter when you start a new degree.

    All of this is still fundamentally irrelevant to the main issue of Zagreb's bid and its lack of institutional or university support (or not), and while it certainly doesn't (to put it mildly) look good, it would be good to see some definitive proof one way or the other.

    That, I suppose, will be for Worlds Council. As long as no-one appoints me CA without telling me this time, that's fine by me.

  5. Anonymous5:52 pm

    You were appointed as CA without being informed? This is a piece of debating lore I had missed.

  6. Andy Hume6:04 pm

    It's a long story... fortunately (for everyone!) the revised bid was rejected anyway.

  7. Anonymous12:12 am

    Did we ever find out what Iva was accused of? I think after all these years it'd be nice to hear it publicly...

  8. Anonymous3:52 pm


    As far as I know, for several rounds in a row Iva was chairing rooms with mostly debaters from China and Japan. She was disappointed with the level of debate in those rooms. When seeing the tab for another round, she noticed that again she was judging a predominantly Asian room and approached a DCA in which she expressed her frustration about "only judging bin rounds". This was deemed by the adjudication team as incompatible with the spirit of the competition and disrespectful to Asian debaters.

    The CA and DCA's didn't keep this incident to themselves, however, but talked about it with country reps who seemed quite eager on destroying the Zagreb bid. (Which, don't get me wrong, probably was the right thing to do at the time. But for different reasons.)

  9. Anonymous4:14 pm

    RUMOR has it she was put in an "Asian" room in the closed rounds at Worlds which she than refused to adjudicate based on the fact that wasn't the type of room (non-main break) she thought she "deserved" being an ex-Euros CA and a candidate for Worlds CA...


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