WUDC 2011: Botswana Worlds in figures

Datum: Jan 13th, 2011
Category: Turniere

The World Universities Debate Championships (WUDC or Worlds)have been held for the 31st time in a row. The first Worlds were staged in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1981. Back then, 43 teams from seven countriescompeted for the title, the registration fee was ten British Pound. The first WUDC winners back in 1981 were Steve Coughlan and Andrew Taylor from University of Toronto, Canada. Many English schools did not take part – they found Glasgow was too far away as is reported. Nota bene: The distance between London and Glasgow is 405 miles, or 650 kilometers. By the way, it was not before 1996 that the British Parliamentary Style (BPS) became the standardized format for Worlds. Before, it was up to the convenors to decide upon the format. The US-American and Canadian teams preferred the North American Style of Debating where two teams of two compete in each debate which resulted in up to 14 prelims.

In 1997 Africa hosted the Worlds for the first time in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where they tournament returned to for a second time in 2003. So now with Botswana it is the third time that Worlds are staged on the African continent. WUDC are the first world championships of any kind to be held in that southern African country. Gaborone had been bidding for hosting the Worlds two times without success before the Council accepted their bid in 2009.

Botswana was stage to Worlds 2011 for nine days. Nine prelims and nine final rounds in three categories were held at the University of Gaborone. That made up to 700 debates where about 300 teams spoke. That is a total of 600 speakers and 150 judges. They debated 18 motions. Thechampions from Australia, Fiona Prowse and Victor Finkel, made it through 14 rounds of debating until they won the title. 32 teams from seven countries broke into octo-finals of the main break. In the grand final, four teams from two countries competed for the title. In the process of the tournament, the various teams were grouped through “power-pairing” thus matching the strongest performing teams against each other. Of the 66 VDCH societies 18 speakers in nine teams participated in the Worlds 2011. The live streamed and recorded WUDC debates have been watched almost 6.000 times on the homepage of iDebate in just two days.

At this year’s WUDC Council delegates from all participating nations took part. The delegate for Germany was Marcus Ewald, for Austria it was Leonhard Weese who voted. The Berlin bid got 87 votes, while the Zagreb bid only got nine. The delegates at the WUDC have one up to four votes according to article 7 of the WUDC Constitution depending on participating institutions and consistency in attending Worlds.

In the past, the Council worked similar to the United Nations Security Council with seven nations holding permanent seats and a “charter member” status. Those seven were the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. A two-thirds majority of these countries was required for changes to the championship’s constitution. Facing a growing number of participating nations the distinction had to be eliminated which happened in 1998 in Athens. Now, nations of the category A play a similar role – their two-third majority is necessary to make amendments of the WUDC constitution. Recently, a reform of the break could not gain that majority and was thus rejected. Nations become category A when the consistently send a certain number of teams to Worlds according to the WUDC constitution.

Since 1990, the so called “grandfather rule“ (Art. 22.1 of the WUDC constitution) is enacted which says that speakers may not take part in Worlds more than four times. There has been a conflict about that just recently, when Petar Bezjak, chief convenor of the Zagreb 2013 bid, wanted to participate for a sixth time at Worlds in Botswana. He and is org team had been granted hosting Worlds 2005 in Zagreb. But that was withdrawn from them in 2004 when they could not prove they had a serious number of local supporters.

The biggest Worlds so far was in 2008 at Assumption University in Thailand where almost 800 speakers debated. Per prelim there were about 100 debates to be held at the same time. On the whole, about 12.000 debaters competed for the WUDC title since inception of the championships in 1981.

apf / glx

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4 Kommentare zu “WUDC 2011: Botswana Worlds in figures”

  1. Manuel says:

    Das waren die größten Delegationen nach Ländern:

    Nr. / Land / Teilnehmer

    1 United States 176
    2 Australia 85
    3 United Kingdom 75
    4 Canada 57
    5 Ireland 35
    5 Malaysia 35
    7 China 29
    7 Indonesia 29
    7 Japan 29
    10 Singapore 24
    11 Qatar 23
    12 Hong Kong 20
    13 Philippines 19
    13 South Africa 19
    15 India 18
    16 Germany 17
    17 Israel 16
    18 Botswana 14
    19 Macao 13
    20 France 10
    20 Jamaica 10

  2. Mathias says:

    @Manuel: danke für die Zahlen, China, Macao und Hong Kong laufen getrennt? Viele der Teilnehmer aus Hong Kong oder Macao waren nämlich Chinese, die zum Studium dahin gegangen sind. Dann ist vllt. die tatsächliche Chine-Delegation noch größer.

  3. Manuel says:

    Quelle ist die TN-Übersicht auf botswanaworlds.com. Die unterscheidet vermutlich nach Council-Repräsentanz. VDCH-Land ist auch gespalten.

  4. Manuel says:

    Ah, doch nicht. UK ist hier eins, im Council aber drei.

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