doorBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

How has the debating landscape changed over the past five years in The Netherlands?

Written by Jos Buijvoets

This will be an article examining the increase of tournament possibilities offered within The Netherlands. I will introduce a discussion about a decrease in tournament attendance, make a comparison between 2013 (when I started) and 2018 and highlight the difference between the two.

There has been discussion recently about the state of the Dutch university debating scene which has centered around two claims: 1. Fewer people attend tournaments and 2. Associations have seen a decline in membership. Various reasons have been given to explain why these have occurred including: too much focus on very analytical high level debating, the new system of (not) financing university students by the Dutch government. I disagree with the claims. There might be a decline in membership or attendance specific to some associations and tournaments to which the stated reasons might have contributed, I am unsure however if overall less people attend tournaments and join debate associations as I have not seen numbers that back this up. Regardless of the truth on overall decline, I do think it’s valuable to invest in improving the numbers, which is why a promotional manual is forthcoming. A discussion about the why has value as well, but I feel that this should be grounded in numbers rather than feelings. What are membership totals over the years, new members per association for this year and numbers about tournament attendance over the years? In the remainder of this article I would like to make a small contribution to this discussion by highlighting something which I feel has been underrated as a factor, which is that the amount of tournaments has increased massively over the past few years.

This article will be pretty straightforward. It will identify the tournaments that took place structurally in 2013 organized by university (debate) associations and will do the same for 2018. It will then compare the two landscapes. A tournament that happens to not have been organized once will still be included. A number of associations organize high school tournaments, these will not be included. A number of associations organize tournaments focused on their own members, these will not be included. Small tournaments will be defined as those with less than 32 speakers usually attending. Contact me if you feel a tournament has been overlooked or misrepresented!

2013 tournaments

Tournament Format Language Days Small?
Bonapartiaans Debattoernooi AP Dutch 1 no
Cicero AP Dutch 1 no
DAPDI BP English 2 no
Debattoernooi Utrecht BP Dutch 1 no
Erasmus Rotterdam BP Dutch 2(?) no
Kalliope Debattoernooi BP Dutch 2 no
Leiden Open BP English 2 no
Mace BP English 1 yes
NK AP Dutch 1 no
Roosevelt Open BP English 2 no
Trivium BP Dutch 1 no
UCU Open BP English 2 no
NK Beleidsdebatteren BD Dutch 1 no
Leiden Novice BP English 1 no
NK Eloquentia WB Dutch 1 yes

2013 summary

Fifteen tournaments took place annually totaling twenty-one days. Six tournaments were English-language and nine were Dutch-language. Ten tournaments were BP. Two tournaments were relatively small.

 

2018

Tournament Format Language Days Small?
Bonapartiaans Debattoernooi AP Dutch 1 no
Cicero AP Dutch 1 no
DAPDI BP English 2 no
Debattoernooi Utrecht BP Dutch 1 no
Erasmus Rotterdam Open BP English 2 no
Kalliope Debattoernooi BP Dutch 2 no
Leiden Open BP English 2 no
Mace BP English 1 yes
NK BP Dutch 2 no
Roosevelt Open BP English 2 no
Trivium WSDC Dutch 1 no
UCU Open BP English 2 no
NK Beleidsdebatteren BD Dutch 1 no
Maastricht Novice BP English 1 no
Cicero Winter BP Dutch 1 yes
Utrecht special (fe fantasy) BP Dutch 1 yes
BDT prep AP Dutch 1 yes
Maastricht Open BP English 2 no
Tilburg Women’s Open BP English 2 no
Delft Open BP English 2 no
Amsterdam Open BP English 2 no
Leiden Novice BP English 1 no
NK Eloquentia WB Dutch 1 yes
Leiden combi BP Dutch 1 yes

2018 summary

Twenty-four tournaments take place annually totaling thirty-five days. Twelve tournaments are English-language and twelve are Dutch-language. Nineteen tournaments are BP. Six tournaments are relatively small.

 

Comparison

If we compare 2013 and 2018 we see an increase in tournaments totaling fourteen days (a 56% increase), only four of which represent small tournaments. The landscape also seems to have an increase in tournaments that are focused on a specific type of accessibility. In 2013 there was one novice tournament and one that was rhetorically-focused. In 2018 there’s an additional novice tournament, a prep tournament, two tournaments which are bring-a-friend, a women’s tournament as well as a WSDC-formatted tournament. Admittedly, some of these seem to be under pressure (BDT prep, Leiden combi). Given the increase in tournaments and the diversity of them, I don’t think you can easily state the debating landscape has become less accessible or that a decrease in attendance at some of them means there’s automatically a strong case overall tournament attendance is decreasing.

As a final note I just want to mention three factors which were not mentioned but can also contribute (slightly) to a decrease in tournament attendance despite not necessarily being bad in terms of adding value to the accessibility or level of competitive debating. These factors are:

  • The amount of high school tournaments has increased dramatically since 2013 which also puts a strain on university debaters as organizers, coaches and judges.
  • A number of associations have internal competitions now whereas they did not structurally have them over the past few years including Cicero and Trivium.
  • The current board of the Debatbond has brought you the Dutch Debating League which features an internal competition between eight associations with a ‘worth’ of probably several small tournaments.

 

doorBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Toernooiverslag: Debattoernooi Utrecht 2018

Geschreven door: Jelte Schievels en Elvire Landstra

Op zaterdag 17 maart was het weer tijd voor het leukste debattoernooi van Nederland: het Debattoernooi Utrecht 2018. Al vroeg in de ochtend kwam de organisatie bij elkaar om hard aan de slag te gaan zodat alle hongerige debaters niks ontbrak. DTU staat al jaren bekend als het toernooi met de lekkerste broodjes en die eer moest natuurlijk hoog gehouden worden.

De registratie begon om 8:30 op de vertrouwde UCU-campus. Tom Pouw was natuurlijk aangekomen om 8:15 omdat hij er zoveel zin in had. Vele debaters volgden. Met Jelte en Jobke in het tabteam begon het toernooi gewoon twee minuten te vroeg, nadat convenor Elvire haar speech had gegeven. In de eerste ronde werd gedebatteerd over het enorm spannende onderwerp belastingvoordelen voor huizenbezitters. Debaters lieten weer eens zien dat een plattegrond begrijpen ook voor de slimme en gemotiveerde studenten moeilijk is, door in het verkeerde gebouw te eindigen.

Na de eerste ronde stonden de eerste broodjes en koekjes alweer klaar. Met een efficiënt runnersysteem liep alles op rolletjes. Intussen werd er gezellig gekakeld en bijgepraat. Maar het toernooi moest ook snel weer door, deze keer om te debatteren over het zeer actuele conflict in Jemen. Na de ronde was wat gemor te horen over hoeveel kennis er wel niet benodigd was om deze stelling te kunnen debatteren, maar één debater genaamd Daan Welling leek hier totaal geen problemen mee te hebben! Gelukkig kwam het hoogtepunt van DTU 2018 gelijk na deze zware ronde: de lunch! Het team van vrijwilligers had onder opzwepende muziek de kunst van het broodjes doorsnijden geperfectioneerd. Als een volwaardig op elkaar ingespeeld team hebben ze tafels gevuld met broodjes. Maar; genoeg over de broodjes. Tijd voor het derde debat!

Wie Zondag met Lubach had gevolgd in de laatste weken had een klein voordeel, aangezien we het gingen hebben over de CO2-belasting in de EU. De spanningen liepen hoog op, aangezien de break steeds dichterbij kwam. Voor de laatste ronde konden debaters nog even genieten van de zelfgebakken taart om zich daarna vol te storten in een debat over lokale Rotterdamse politiek.

En dan, het moment was daar: de break! Soeverein gebroken door alle debatten te winnen stonden David en Gigi na vier rondes op de eerste plek. Ook onze eigen Friso werd door Tom de break in meegesleept – tot groot genoegen van hemzelf. In een zenuwslopende halve finale over de IMF en de ECB bewees het CA-team nog maar eens het kaft van het koren te willen scheiden. Als je niet gecasefiled hebt in de afgelopen tijd, werd je daar keihard voor afgestraft. De novicefinale was goed gevuld met scholieren van DSDC en een team uit Rotterdam. Zij konden het gelukkig gewoon hebben over de LGBTQIA+ community.

Na een oer-Hollandse maaltijd werd bekend gemaakt dat Roel en Marike, Danique en Carli, Daan en Nastia, en David en Gigi mochten gaan debatteren over zwarte theologie in de finale. Terwijl het publiek lekker genoot van een biertje, en Roel van zn Skittles, streden de beste teams van DTU om de felbegeerde beker (al bekend van meerdere memes).

Uiteindelijk trokken de studenten van Rotterdam aan het langste eind in de novicefinale en Danique (UDS’er!) en Carli in de finale. Al met al een geslaagde, gezellige dag vol debatplezier en lekker eten. Iedereen kon met een voldaan gevoel naar huis en de vrijwilligers naar ’t Pandje! Tot volgend jaar.

doorBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Recap of DDL #3: Rotterdam

Written by Huyen

 

After a month of relaxing holiday and getting started again with debating for 2018, last week Monday in the port city of Rotterdam, Dutch Debating League 3rd edition is back in full motion, this time under the CA-ship of the talented rising stars of EDS & Leiden – Fenna ten Haaf and David Metz! Participating on behalf of the societies this time are:

Leiden Debating Union:                            Floris Holstege & Roel Becker

Utrecht Debating Society:                        Jelte Schievels & Alex Klein

ASDV Bonaparte:                                       Marike Breed & Zeno Glastra van Loon

Erasmus Debating Society:                       Jeroen Heun & Lucien de Bruin

NSDV Trivium:                                            Daan Welling & Daan Spackler

TU Delft Debating Club:                            Sacheendra Talluri & Cian Jansen

TDV Cicero:                                                  Roel Schoenmakers & Lotte Janssen

GDS unfortunately could not send any team this time.

Once again, almost all societies are represented by different debaters compared to last time, yet massively gender imbalanced (missing the mighty Groningen team is in fact a huge contributory factor – sad reacts only to our northernmost society, you were dearly missed). This time, many societies up the gear by bringing in many new “dinosaurs”, so we expect nothing less than a heatedly gezellig night ahead – and indeed it was!

Starting first with our host society EDS, the “dinosaur” duo: Jeroen Heun & Lucien de Bruin! Jeroen Heun, an EDS debate giant, has won 12 prestigious competitions and was voted as the best ESL speaker in EUDC 2010, is currently a trainer and coach in the field of effective and convincing communication. As a trainer, he helped many municipalities improve the council debate and as a coach he helped many professionals in the preparation of important presentations. Lucien de Bruin, another name in the EDS hall of fame, is also no stranger name the Dutch debating community, who has won multiple prestigious competitions during his active debate time, and most recently, was a trainer in the DAPDI 2017. Their well-reasoned and hilarious cases did not show any rust in their lack of debate practices together, putting EDS only one team point behind Trivium and even one speaker point ahead of the UDS – well on spot for the next race!

Moving on to the neighboring little town of Delft, we have the new faces: Sacheenra Talluri & Cian Jansen! Sacheen is currently the treasurer of TUDDC, while Cian has just started debating a little while ago – and already showed lots of commitment and talent in this gruesome debate game – so much so that he is the co-convenor of our upcoming 2nd Delft Open in late May 2018! Fons stepped down to cheer the team this time, though unfortunately, facing the incredibly tough giants from other societies, they did not manage to boost TUDDC standing in the league. But they very much appreciated the learning experience from facing more experienced speakers and the valuable feedback from the judges!

UDS in this 3rd edition also brought back one of its very own giant – Alex Klein, fighting side by side with Jelte Schievels, 720 chief-editor and DDL tabmaster! They proved to be a very successful duo, breaking the ‘always-finishing-second-curse’ of UDS, by winning a debate and climbing up to the second spot in the league.

LDU this time brought to us, none other their very own Leiden A team of EUDC 2017 – Floris Holstege & Roel Becker. You shall need no further introduction about who these duo are – the best & 5th best ESL speaker of EUDC 2017, and in short, the pride ( and to some extent, thorn) in the eyes of the Dutch Debating Community! They did not disappoint us with compacted speeches, convincing cases with here-and-there distorted historical facts – aptly pointed out by Lucien from EDS in the Dutch demilitarization debate, and maintaining the Lion’s Den top-of-the tab-position as usual.

The one and only LDU-nemesis Bonaparte is represented, once again, Marike Breed and Zeno Glastra van Loon. Sadly, this night LDU had an upper hand against Bona (yet again), and Bona took a tiny dive to the 4th place on the League. Could this have to do with the missing entourage of supporters and the Bona song this time? Let us hope that the meme-and-confession archrival between Bona and LDU fire up the Bona debaters next time!

NSDV Trivium is proudly represented by the DoubleD – Daan Duo: the more than well-known Daan Welling and 720 very own enthusiastic reporter “vegan self-aware privilege boy”(as he noted himself from Ike) – Daan Spackler. This time, Trivium is well on their path to beating “the Lion’s den” this time – as Daan puts it in his last article, the Daan Duo has improved their standing to the 3rd place on the League! Way to go and close the gap Trivium!

And our very last team of the night, TDV Cicero, is represented by Roel Schoenmakers and Lotte Janssen. After his tropical exchange retreat in Hong Kong, where he also got to the semi-final of the Hong Kong Open 2017, Roel is back, better trained and rested than ever, to join forces with Lotte, the Oxford Women’s finalist, at this 3rd edition!  After putting up a great fight this time, unfortunately they have not managed to push Cicero very much up the tab, ending at 3rd place from the bottom up for now. But no spirit dulled ever at Cicero, that determinism will definitely get them up in the upcoming battles!

Finally, here are the motions and team allocations for Round 5 and Round 6 of DDL # 3:

R5: THR the demilitarization of the Netherlands after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

OG: Delft, OO: UDS, CG: Trivium, CO: Cicero
OG: LDU, OO, Swing, CG: EDS, CO: Bonaparte

R6: THBT governments should dedicate significant amounts of resources to reducing the risk of total human extinction (even if this goes against the wish of the electorate).

OG: Cicero, OO: Trivium, CG: LDU, CO: Bonaparte
OG: Swing, OO: Delft, CG: UDS, CO: EDS

After two rounds of combat in this 3rd edition, here are the most up-to-date cumulative team points for all societies:

Society Cumulative team points
LDU 21
UDS 19
Trivium 18
EDS 17
Bonaparte 16
TDV Cicero 12
TUDCC 8
GDS 6

 

Till the next edition, in the beautiful city of Utrecht on Wednesday 21st of February – be there or be square!

 

doorBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Toernooiverslag: Debattoernooi Utrecht 2018

Jelte Schievels en Elvire Landstra

Op zaterdag 17 maart was het weer tijd voor het leukste debattoernooi van Nederland: het Debattoernooi Utrecht 2018. Al vroeg in de ochtend kwam de organisatie bij elkaar om hard aan de slag te gaan zodat alle hongerige debaters niks ontbrak. DTU staat al jaren bekend als het toernooi met de lekkerste broodjes en die eer moest natuurlijk hoog gehouden worden.

De registratie begon om 8:30 op de vertrouwde UCU-campus. Tom Pouw was natuurlijk aangekomen om 8:15 omdat hij er zoveel zin in had. Vele debaters volgden. Met Jelte en Jobke in het tabteam begon het toernooi gewoon twee minuten te vroeg, nadat convenor Elvire haar speech had gegeven. In de eerste ronde werd gedebatteerd over het enorm spannende onderwerp belastingvoordelen voor huizenbezitters. Debaters lieten weer eens zien dat een plattegrond begrijpen ook voor de slimme en gemotiveerde studenten moeilijk is, door in het verkeerde gebouw te eindigen.

Na de eerste ronde stonden de eerste broodjes en koekjes alweer klaar. Met een efficiënt runnersysteem liep alles op rolletjes. Intussen werd er gezellig gekakeld en bijgepraat. Maar het toernooi moest ook snel weer door, deze keer om te debatteren over het zeer actuele conflict in Jemen. Na de ronde was wat gemor te horen over hoeveel kennis er wel niet benodigd was om deze stelling te kunnen debatteren, maar één debater genaamd Daan Welling leek hier totaal geen problemen mee te hebben! Gelukkig kwam het hoogtepunt van DTU 2018 gelijk na deze zware ronde: de lunch! Het team van vrijwilligers had onder opzwepende muziek de kunst van het broodjes doorsnijden geperfectioneerd. Als een volwaardig op elkaar ingespeeld team hebben ze tafels gevuld met broodjes. Maar; genoeg over de broodjes. Tijd voor het derde debat!

Wie Zondag met Lubach had gevolgd in de laatste weken had een klein voordeel, aangezien we het gingen hebben over de CO2-belasting in de EU. De spanningen liepen hoog op, aangezien de break steeds dichterbij kwam. Voor de laatste ronde konden debaters nog even genieten van de zelfgebakken taart om zich daarna vol te storten in een debat over lokale Rotterdamse politiek.

En dan, het moment was daar: de break! Soeverein gebroken door alle debatten te winnen stonden David en Gigi na vier rondes op de eerste plek. Ook onze eigen Friso werd door Tom de break in meegesleept – tot groot genoegen van hemzelf. In een zenuwslopende halve finale over de IMF en de ECB bewees het CA-team nog maar eens het kaft van het koren te willen scheiden. Als je niet gecasefiled hebt in de afgelopen tijd, werd je daar keihard voor afgestraft. De novicefinale was goed gevuld met scholieren van DSDC en een team uit Rotterdam. Zij konden het gelukkig gewoon hebben over de LGBTQIA+ community.

Na een oer-Hollandse maaltijd werd bekend gemaakt dat Roel en Marike, Danique en Carli, Daan en Nastia, en David en Gigi mochten gaan debatteren over zwarte theologie in de finale. Terwijl het publiek lekker genoot van een biertje, en Roel van zn Skittles, streden de beste teams van DTU om de felbegeerde beker (al bekend van meerdere memes).

Uiteindelijk trokken de studenten van Rotterdam aan het langste eind in de novicefinale en Danique (UDS’er!) en Carli in de finale. Al met al een geslaagde, gezellige dag vol debatplezier en lekker eten. Iedereen kon met een voldaan gevoel naar huis en de vrijwilligers naar ’t Pandje! Tot volgend jaar.

doorBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Recap: DDL Rotterdam

Written by Huyen

 

After a month of relaxing holiday and getting started again with debating for 2018, last week Monday in the port city of Rotterdam, Dutch Debating League 3rd edition is back in full motion, this time under the CA-ship of the talented rising stars of EDS & Leiden – Fenna ten Haaf and David Metz! Participating on behalf of the societies this time are:

Leiden Debating Union:                            Floris Holstege & Roel Becker

Utrecht Debating Society:                        Jelte Schievels & Alex Klein

ASDV Bonaparte:                                       Marike Breed & Zeno Glastra van Loon

Erasmus Debating Society:                       Jeroen Heun & Lucien de Bruin

NSDV Trivium:                                            Daan Welling & Daan Spackler

TU Delft Debating Club:                            Sacheendra Talluri & Cian Jansen

TDV Cicero:                                                  Roel Schoenmakers & Lotte Janssen

GDS unfortunately could not send any team this time.

Once again, almost all societies are represented by different debaters compared to last time, yet massively gender imbalanced (missing the mighty Groningen team is in fact a huge contributory factor – sad reacts only to our northernmost society, you were dearly missed). This time, many societies up the gear by bringing in many new “dinosaurs”, so we expect nothing less than a heatedly gezellig night ahead – and indeed it was!

Starting first with our host society EDS, the “dinosaur” duo: Jeroen Heun & Lucien de Bruin! Jeroen Heun, an EDS debate giant, has won 12 prestigious competitions and was voted as the best ESL speaker in EUDC 2010, is currently a trainer and coach in the field of effective and convincing communication. As a trainer, he helped many municipalities improve the council debate and as a coach he helped many professionals in the preparation of important presentations. Lucien de Bruin, another name in the EDS hall of fame, is also no stranger name the Dutch debating community, who has won multiple prestigious competitions during his active debate time, and most recently, was a trainer in the DAPDI 2017. Their well-reasoned and hilarious cases did not show any rust in their lack of debate practices together, putting EDS only one team point behind Trivium and even one speaker point ahead of the UDS – well on spot for the next race!

Moving on to the neighboring little town of Delft, we have the new faces: Sacheenra Talluri & Cian Jansen! Sacheen is currently the treasurer of TUDDC, while Cian has just started debating a little while ago – and already showed lots of commitment and talent in this gruesome debate game – so much so that he is the co-convenor of our upcoming 2nd Delft Open in late May 2018! Fons stepped down to cheer the team this time, though unfortunately, facing the incredibly tough giants from other societies, they did not manage to boost TUDDC standing in the league. But they very much appreciated the learning experience from facing more experienced speakers and the valuable feedback from the judges!

UDS in this 3rd edition also brought back one of its very own giant – Alex Klein, fighting side by side with Jelte Schievels, 720 chief-editor and DDL tabmaster! They proved to be a very successful duo, breaking the ‘always-finishing-second-curse’ of UDS, by winning a debate and climbing up to the second spot in the league.

LDU this time brought to us, none other their very own Leiden A team of EUDC 2017 – Floris Holstege & Roel Becker. You shall need no further introduction about who these duo are – the best & 5th best ESL speaker of EUDC 2017, and in short, the pride ( and to some extent, thorn) in the eyes of the Dutch Debating Community! They did not disappoint us with compacted speeches, convincing cases with here-and-there distorted historical facts – aptly pointed out by Lucien from EDS in the Dutch demilitarization debate, and maintaining the Lion’s Den top-of-the tab-position as usual.

The one and only LDU-nemesis Bonaparte is represented, once again, Marike Breed and Zeno Glastra van Loon. Sadly, this night LDU had an upper hand against Bona (yet again), and Bona took a tiny dive to the 4th place on the League. Could this have to do with the missing entourage of supporters and the Bona song this time? Let us hope that the meme-and-confession archrival between Bona and LDU fire up the Bona debaters next time!

NSDV Trivium is proudly represented by the DoubleD – Daan Duo: the more than well-known Daan Welling and 720 very own enthusiastic reporter “vegan self-aware privilege boy”(as he noted himself from Ike) – Daan Spackler. This time, Trivium is well on their path to beating “the Lion’s den” this time – as Daan puts it in his last article, the Daan Duo has improved their standing to the 3rd place on the League! Way to go and close the gap Trivium!

And our very last team of the night, TDV Cicero, is represented by Roel Schoenmakers and Lotte Janssen. After his tropical exchange retreat in Hong Kong, where he also got to the semi-final of the Hong Kong Open 2017, Roel is back, better trained and rested than ever, to join forces with Lotte, the Oxford Women’s finalist, at this 3rd edition!  After putting up a great fight this time, unfortunately they have not managed to push Cicero very much up the tab, ending at 3rd place from the bottom up for now. But no spirit dulled ever at Cicero, that determinism will definitely get them up in the upcoming battles!

Finally, here are the motions and team allocations for Round 5 and Round 6 of DDL # 3:

R5: THR the demilitarization of the Netherlands after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

OG: Delft, OO: UDS, CG: Trivium, CO: Cicero
OG: LDU, OO, Swing, CG: EDS, CO: Bonaparte

R6: THBT governments should dedicate significant amounts of resources to reducing the risk of total human extinction (even if this goes against the wish of the electorate).

OG: Cicero, OO: Trivium, CG: LDU, CO: Bonaparte
OG: Swing, OO: Delft, CG: UDS, CO: EDS

After two rounds of combat in this 3rd edition, here are the most up-to-date cumulative team points for all societies:

Society Cumulative team points
LDU 21
UDS 19
Trivium 18
EDS 17
Bonaparte 16
TDV Cicero 12
TUDCC 8
GDS 6

 

Till the next edition, in the beautiful city of Utrecht on Wednesday 21st of February – be there or be square!