Right after Christmas, most people are getting some rest from the busy days, enjoying the left-overs and preparing for New Years’ Eve. However, a small group of Dutch Debaters will fly to South-Africa to compete in or judge the 2019 Cape Town World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC). This years’ delegation consists of Lana and Zeno on behalf of Bonaparte, Marike and David on behalf of Leiden en Daan (Welling), Fabienne and Linsey as judges. On top of that, Gigi will compete with Tommy Peto on behalf of Oxford. This article will take a quick look at the tournament and the chances of the teams.
First of all, let’s look into what is new this WUDC. Every year, during the Christmas break at WUDC debaters from all around the world, compete for the title ‘World Debating Champion’. However, this year some things have changed to make the competition fairer because there was a general idea within the Debating Community that there were some biases that needed to be resolved. This means that there from this year onwards is a policy that says that for larger delegations with at least 3 teams, ⅓ of this delegation should identify as female or non-cis males. Secondly, team codes will be implemented to make sure it is no longer easily visible from what societies people are and therefore it is less likely that biases against or in favour of certain societies occur.
During the tournament, there will be 9 inrounds in which everyone competes and then the best teams will advance to the outrounds. Making these outrounds, is something a lot of debaters dream about, so will there be a chance the Dutch teams will make the outrounds? Definitely!
First of all, if we look at Marike and David, we see an experienced team that is feared by many in the Dutch Debating Community, because if you debate against them you will have to do your very best to stand a chance to beat them. Both David and Marike have already become the best speaker at tournaments during this season and they won multiple tournaments. On top of that, in the past two years, they both managed to make the outrounds in the European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC) once. This shows that their track record is very promising and they can definitely do very well during WUDC, maybe there even is an open break in their future.
Lana and Zeno are also a team that has quite some experience, as they have been debating together for quite a long time now. When they just started debating together they made a lot of novice and pro-am finals and managed to take home the price quite regularly. Now the time that they were novices is long gone, but they still manage to make outrounds at tournaments on a quite regular base. For example, they recently were in the final of the Tilbury House Open in Cologne this autumn. We should therefore definitely keep an eye on this team for the break to the outrounds.
Lastly, the half-Dutch team from Oxford, Gigi and Tommy. They are probably the most established team with a Dutch influence. Gigi already made an ESL final of Tallinn EUDC in 2017 and Tommy was already the second best speaker at Dutch WUDC in 2017. They are also doing very well together in a team, winning the Birmingham IV only 2 weeks ago. Their other achievements are so many that listing them is impossible, but this definitely raises the question; will half of the new World Champions be Dutch?
With 3 judges that all have plenty of judge breaks, we are also looking forward to them judging some great debates and maybe even getting a chance of judging some outrounds as well.
All in all, this WUDC has a lot of potential for great success for all the Dutchies attending and we are very much looking forward to the tournament. Updates will be given through the Seventwenty Facebook page and some larger articles will be written on the website as well.
Best of luck of all competitors!