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15 December 2011

Message from DLSU Adjudication Team‏

Dear World Debating Community,

Last year, Worlds Council issued an advisory instruction to future CA teams to ensure that their motions did not replicate any topics debated in one region's major preparation tournaments. We, of course, intend to follow that guidance.
We're writing now to state how we plan to do this, to list the tournaments we're going to consider, and to invite any feedback or suggestions of tournaments we are missing out.
We have used criteria of majority and proximity to Worlds to draw up the following list of tournaments, which we will hereafter refer to as 'Worlds prep tournaments'. This is not intended to demean their importance in their own right; indeed, importance is one characteristic we looked for when including tournaments on this list. Rather, it is simply meant to indicate that they are the tournaments we are considering when implementing Council's guidance on Worlds prep tournaments:
Region Competition
Americas Hart House IV
Americas NorthAms
Americas US Universities
Americas Yale IV
Asia Asian BP
Asia Beijing Debate
Asia Hong Kong Debate Open
Asia Japan BP
Asia Singapore Debate Open
Europe Birmingham IV
Europe Bristol IV
Europe Cambridge IV
Europe Durham IV
Europe English Mace*
Europe KCL IV
Europe Oxford IV
Europe Stuttgart IV
Europe UCU Open
ME & Africa Pan-Africans
Oceania ANU IV
Oceania Australs
Oceania Easters
Oceania Joynt Scroll
Oceania Melbourne Mini
Oceania NZ Easters
Oceania Sydney Mini
Oceania Victoria Wellington IV
* The English Mace is included where other feeder competitions to the International Mace (such as, say, the Irish Mace) are not in part because of its structure (i.e. it is a tabbed tournament in which all teams debate all the motions, making them more of an issue if some are repeated).
We're supplying this list firstly to be transparent, and secondly because we recognise that we don't know, or think of, all the debating competitions that are happening in the world. If you feel there is a tournament of equivalent a) majority, b) proximity to Worlds and c) size as one of the tournaments on this list, please let us know about it at by Thursday the 22nd of December at the very latest, though, naturally, sooner is better.
We pledge, as far as possible:
  • Not to set exactly the same motion as was set at one of these tournaments in exactly one region.
  • To weigh up with other factors such as interest, balance, importance etc etc the following factors when setting motions:
    • Not setting exactly the same motion as was set at multiple of these tournaments in multiple regions.
    • Not setting a motion on a very, very similar policy/value statement as was set at one or more of these tournaments.
Please note we are explicitly not planning to attach substantial weight to avoiding broadly similar topic areas as these motions have explored, as it is our view that this would be simply impossible, without reducing the standard of motions set at Worlds in a disproportionate way. To give you flavour of what we mean in distinguishing between 'a motion on a very, very similar policy/value statement as was set' and 'broadly similar topic areas as these motions have explored', if one of these tournaments had set the motion 'THW fund militias to fight Somali pirates', we would weigh up with other factors considerations against setting 'THW fund groups that fight pirates', but would not substantially weigh against setting debates broadly about Somalia, or debates broadly about piracy.
Many thanks for reading; we hope this clarity will ensure that participants and the adjudication team have similar expectations when coming to Worlds and prevent any misunderstandings. We also hope that we will receive some feedback on the particular list we have chosen to ensure that it best represents the realities of prep tournaments as perceived by participants.
Many thanks
The Adjudication Team

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