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27 January 2011

De La Salle WUDC 2012: Feedback on DCA Applicants from Africa

Dear World Debating Community,

We are writing to open the feedback process for DCA applications for the Middle East and Africa debating region. Particularly because of the high quality of applicants, it is more important than ever that we receive as much feedback as possible on candidates. Feedback will form a very significant part of decisions about DCA appointments.

We encourage all members of the international debating community to give feedback on any candidates they have any familiarity with. This includes those who are themselves candidates. Unfortunately, anonymous feedback cannot be taken into account; this is simply to ensure we know each piece of feedback is from a separate unique individual. All feedback is, however, entirely confidential, and will be seen only by the Chief Adjudicators.

We are seeking feedback on all aspects of candidates’ ability to do the DCA job. As well as feedback about ‘how good’ candidates are, feedback on candidate’s particular strengths and weaknesses are valued, as they help build a good all-round team. All feedback should be sent to both and, and should include the word ‘Feedback’ in the subject-line. All feedback must be received by 1200 GMT on the 4th of February.

The candidates are:

Kimera Chetty
Joe Roussos

Finally, if you believe you have applied to be a DCA but do not see yourself on the list above, please do get in touch.

Once again, please do send in your feedback; it will make a real difference to this process.

Many thanks,

Sam Block and Lucinda David
Chief Adjudicators
De La Salle WUDC 2012


  1. Anonymous11:07 pm

    Does the tokenism never end?

  2. Anonymous11:27 pm

    How is it tokenism to have representation from every region?

  3. Anonymous1:40 am

    Because the candidates from some regions are nowhere near as good? Because the regions are arbitrary anyway, and the DCA's chosen will never placate everyone anyhow? From both a principled and pragmatic point of view it's just tokenism.

  4. Anonymous6:56 am

    Never heard of either of them. Are they actual debaters? Have they even been to Worlds? Can we see their CVs?

    The debaters in Middle East and Africa will not benefit from being represented by someone who cannot do the job. It will only damage the reputation of the region.

  5. Anonymous8:14 am

    Silly fellow... don't you know qualifications as a debater are outdated and meaningless? As long as they've adjudicated alot in that region, and are regarded by some people as "pretty good adjudicators" then they're on equal footing with WUDC champions. Don't question it or argue, that's racist.

  6. Anonymous8:21 am

    Stop making stupid comments. There is a serious issue here your over the top comments about tokenism and racism are not helping.

    Who are these applicants and what makes them think they can be DCAs? If this question has to be asked then I fear they are NOT qualified to do the job.

  7. Anonymous8:26 am

    I wish comments about racism and tokenism were out of place here, they certainly seem ludicrous to me, but from past discussions on this issue I can sadly assure you that's not the case.

    But yeh, much like some other DCA's, they're not qualified, and no, complaining won't change anything, these people will get a subsidy and adjudications core powers that rightly should have gone to someone competent (or not at all).

  8. I'll ask the CAs for some more details on the two applicants and post them here when I get them.

    But really guys there bave been a lot of angry anonymous posts in the past few weeks.

  9. Anonymous11:13 pm

    333, 325, 333. Those are the 3 known speaker results for one of the current DCA's at Worlds. These people don't care about qualifications that matter.

  10. Anonymous12:36 am

    Hi all - it is Sam Block here (one of the co-CAs of DLSU Worlds 2012). I'd like to start by thanking Colm for letting us know this discussion has been going on, and giving me the chance to add my thoughts. I'm also glad that there is vigorous discussion going on: I think that it is entirely appropriate that due scrutiny happens.

    There seem to be a couple of different questions at play here: a) should DLSU Worlds be using the allocated metrics to decide on its DCAs, and b) more broadly, is representation on a DCA panel worthwhile. I'd like to address each of these. I'm very aware, of course, that anything I say can only be my opinion; it is a considered (indeed angsted-over) opinion, and I think I'm right, but I recognise there are subjective value judgements inherent in all of this.

    A) for me is quite simple. We made a bid for Worlds which gave a lot of detail on how we'd select DCAs; it was something that received active discussion, and, I think, something which many counted particularly in our favour. Given that we bid for wolrds and pledged to deliver what we promised, I think it is obvious that it is appropriate for us to do so. A critique of the criteria is currently an interesting point of discussion, but the debate about whether such criteria should be applied is necessarily constrained in its actionability by the conditional mandate any bid receives from Council.

    I think, however, that the debate on representation and DCAs is important, so am keen to address B) too, even though I think it is a slightly different question.

    I think that a DCA team needs to be able to do a huge number of different things. There are obvious things, like setting motions, ranking judges and so forth. There are also other things - like having organisational acumen, knowledge of judges from all round the world and the ability to make sure that all participants have an enjoyable, fair and excellent tournament.

  11. Anonymous12:36 am

    This means there are a good number of reasons why it is important to have people on your panel who are from around the world: to rank judges effectively, you need knowledge about them (tests and feedback give you some information, of course, but are not a complete picture); to ensure the tournament is fair, you need insight to the different debating cultures you are dealing with (a motion that is common knowledge in one region might not be in another because, for example, that region's/langauge's media don't cover the same things); and to ensure everyone has an enjoyable tournament, it is helpful to ensure people feel represented too.

    There are also a huge number of other skills you need, including those which don't specifically relate to regional variation; this is why alongside debating CVs we extensively considered detailed application forms (we all know that many good debaters are terrible judges; equally, many good judges might be terrible motion-setters, or awful consiliatory communicators), and feedback.

    This is why I think there's a compelling case to have people from different regions on the DCA team. I'm well aware that many of the people posting above won't agree with me about much of this. I hope I can convince at least most of you, however, that this desire for representation isn't 'tokenism' or a similar overly-PC arbitrary prioritisation. Rather, it is because we think that the optimal DCA team to run worlds well will include knowledge on judges from all regions and awareness of the various different debating/language cultures participants come from. It certainly isn't the case, I can promise you, that we don't care about debate-tab qualifications; we do, however, care about other things too.

    I'm always happy to discuss things; if there's anything in particular anyone wants to have a more detailed chat about, feel free to contact, or even call me (I don't want to post my number on the internet, but will happily email it to you if you would like). I also want to reiterate that I do understand the arguments some here make, even if the tone is occasionally unfortunate. I emphasise again, though, that those suggesting we're doing this just for 'tokenism' are not right: our motives are a genuine, considered belief that this is the way to provide the best quality tournament we can.

    Many thanks for reading, all,


  12. Anonymous4:34 pm

    Both judged the EFL final this year

  13. Anonymous9:29 pm

    OOOooooo, what a meaningful achievement!

    Look, what determines the judge break? A combination of politics, logistics, rep and then talent. There are bad judges who break, there are good judges who don't. This is true of any IV, especially with the limited time to determine these things. It's not like the debating break, where you only get as far as you deserve to, it's an incredibly subjective thing. I won't name names (since it'll be deleted), but there are many famously bad judges who have broken as adjudicators, and judges important finals debates, at all manner of IV's. The same is not true of debaters. You don't achieve the resume of a Tim Mooney or Amit Golder or Sam Block without being an awesome debater, without possessing an awesome knowledge and understanding of debating principles. That sort of qualification is beyond reproach, and since only a handful of people have DCA powers, those are the sorts of qualifications they should have. These people need to be thought of as more than "pretty good actually", they should be the best. After all, they're costing participants money, and they're making the key decisions about quality.

    I don't think it's right that someone should be the quality check on a debater who is much, much better than them. And if a person's debating talent is apparently so much higher than their results indicate, serious questions should be asked about why that is. Why do the results show someone who ranked 333, 325 and 333 as a speaker over a 9 year period at Worlds, showing no apparent improvement? Why do all the other IV results for this person show nothing to contradict this assessment?


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