By Floris Holstege
As someone who has just one tournament left as a high school student the period after my final exams allows for some reflection on the schools circuit. Those reflections led to me writing this article in which I will argue that the national high school championships should be held in the British Parliamentary (BP) format for a very specific reason: that it will increase the number of high school students who continue debating at a university level. Although I hold the opinion that BP is superior to the current format in many different ways I will focus solely on this specific merit. As someone who has had incredible amounts of fun debating in both the high school circuit and the university circuit I am genuinely interested in how we can extend this joy to more people. I do not expect the format to change, but I personally believe that the discussion about which format should be used and how we can increase the number of students continuing their debating career at university is a fruitful one. The current format is similar to the format used at the World Schools Debating Championships. For a more elaborate explanation of the format, see the following link: http://www.schooldebatteren.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Handleiding-Debatteren-voor-bovenbouw-havo-vwo-2014-2015.pdf.
There is a difference between the format used at a high school level (WSDC) and at a university level(BP). Given that most societies main goal (and in a majority of cases only) is performing well at nationals the majority of them solely train in the format used at nationals. Apart from a small group of schools that are extremely involved with debating, most of them have little to no exposure to British Parliamentary debating. This means that there is a group of people who obviously like to debate but have had no exposure to BP when they enter university. Obviously there are different reasons to quit debating at university level. My contention is simply that this group being completely new to the format is for some individuals the reason to quit or not be as active as before. We are not talking about a small group here (and even if we were, encouraging a small group to continue debating is already a great thing): the number of students participating at the national high school championships and the effort societies put into this activity is massively increasing each and every year. The ones from the schools circuit that continue to debate at a university level are now almost solely the ones who have had exposure to BP debating or to WSDC coaching (I recognize that this is also the most fanatic group and thus the one already most likely to continue. I think their continuation of debating largely has to do with their familiarity in BP, given that lots of students who are really fanatic at schools level don’t continue at university). This is a very small group compared to the massive group of students who participate at nationals. Giving this massive group exposure to BP debating will increase the number of students that continue debating for a couple of reasons:
1. Having to start off in an entirely new format can make the bar to continue debating much higher. These students are used to an entirely different format. That means that they will have to get rid of old habits and learn new ones when starting debating at their university. They obviously enjoyed debating in the past but now they have to start all over again. Compare this to when they can easily continue the format they already know and are skilled in to a certain extent at university. Since this is a format they are familiar with it also gives them a form of security: they know this format and they know they will enjoy it. Compare this to the insecurity of a new format that they don’t know and will have to put time and effort in without knowing if they will like it. A lot of students are unwilling to take that risk. Obviously some are willing to take this risk, but not everyone.
2. There is now a small group of students who regularly attend BP competitions on the university circuit. The amount of people attending these competitions is likely to increase when we change the format of nationals to BP since
A) They can now use these tournaments specifically to train for the main goal of their society. This gives them an extra reason to attend these tournaments
B) It is very scary to decide to go to a tournament of which you have no experience in the format and your school doesn’t offer any training in. When schools start training in BP for nationals their students are more likely to come to these competitions since it is less scary to go to a tournament of which you already know the format.
Personally I believe that a student having positive experiences at these types of tournaments makes it very likely that they will continue debating for a number of reasons. First of all since when they have fun at these tournaments they want to attend more of them since the first one they attended was fun. In order to do maximize the experience of these tournaments joining a debating society seems far more reasonable. Compare this to when they have no positive experiences at these tournaments since they don’t attend them and thus don’t see a direct reason to join a debating society.
Second of all when they make friends or meet nice people at those tournaments they build up a network. When you know that you like the people from our debating community you are far more likely to join a debating society. One of the key reasons why I will continue debating at a university level is because I really enjoyed hanging around with people from different debating societies including the one I will be attending next year. Compare this to when people know nobody when they start at their respective debating society.
As outlined before the group of people willing to continue debating at university level almost solely exists of people who have had exposure to BP debating before. This is obviously not true for all. But it is a shame that this is the only group willing to continue their debating career at a university level. If this group that didn’t have exposure before would be included our entire community can massively benefit. It is for that reason that we should consider changing the format of the national high school debating championships. It is reasonable to aim for more people getting more joy out of debating by continuing this activity after high school.
The main concern with this change of format I have encountered is that lots of people believe that schools will no longer continue to participate for three reasons:
1. “BP is too difficult for most schools”. I have a couple of responses to this:
1. The role of the third speaker in the current format is also extremely confusing for most schools. There are a lot of different ways to fill in this role, which could potentially make it very difficult. Arguably, a whip speech in BP has a much clearer role than the third speech in the current format. If schools can already fill in the current role then why should they have problems with BP?
2. I am just going to contest that BP debating is way more difficult. Especially when the debate doesn’t have a really high level (which, let us be realistic, is the case with most debates at the national championship), the opening half is approximately the same as in the current format and the extension can be explained as “bringing new arguments”. The only extra difficulty I really see is that BP is more tactical. This extra difficulty only really comes into place at high-level debates, and students who are in those already have the experience to grasp this.
3. If BP really is too difficult, why then do we see lots of students participating in school debating where BP is already the norm, mainly the entire United Kingdom? Dutch students are not less competent than them and thus can handle the difficulty of the format (It might be the case that even more students would have participated in the UK if the format would not have been BP. This is merely an example of where BP can function succesfully as a dominant format for the school circuit).
2.”Changing the format again requires a lot of extra effort for schools which they are unwilling to put into it” – again a couple of responses:
1. The format has changed many times before and time and time again schools where willing to put extra effort into this activity. Speaker times and roles have changed many times but the number of schools participating has only been growing.
2. Schools will recognize that the extra effort of learning their students to debate in BP is all worth it when considering that their students can enhance the reputation of their school by participating and possibly winning the national championships. Even if schools are unwilling to put in effort, students themselves have shown to be extremely motivated to do well at the national championships and thus will be participating again, regardless of the format.
3. Almost every school receives formal training from Cogency once they sign up for participation. I have faith in their trainers to communicate this format to schools in a way that will make sure that they won’t have to put in lots and lots of effort into understanding and practicing it since professionals who are experienced in the format help them.
3. “Schools want to let as many students as possible participate and thus will prefer other tournaments over the national championships”
1.In a BP format you could allow schools to send up to two teams which would make sure just as many students as in the current format can participate.
Schools are already keen on sending multiple teams to BP tournaments such as Oxford schools and Leiden schools
2. As much as schools and students dislike not having one single coherent team of four people, the pride they get out of participating and doing well at the national championships outweighs this. That means they will still be participating.
Lastly, I don’t see a problem with letting prepared motions exist in the new BP format. Some might think that using prepared motions in BP disadvantages the second half. From my experiences at the Intergymnasiaal tournament this went fine and was not disadvantageous for the closing half. At its last edition the prepared final was even won from closing opposition. I would have run a fairness test on its tabs if they were available online. If anyone has experiences or thoughts about BP being unbalanced with prepared motions than I would be interested in hearing those. Motion difficulty would also remain the same with BP as the new format.
If there are other concerns with BP as a format for the national high school championships then I would really like to hear those. Let us however try to keep this discussion focused on which format allows for the best transition between the school circuit and the university circuit, and not turn it into a unspecific discussion. It might also be the case that BP puts lots of students off from participating at university. I haven’t identified why, but if that is the case please comment bellow. There are people in our community with far knowledge on this topic than I and I look forward to hearing from them.
After a very successful day yesterday we finally were able to get some rest. The president of Slovenia visited for the opening this great tournament, and although his entire speech had to be translated, it was really impressive. All the teams won their first two debates, except team Netherlands blue who were unfortunate to face the USA in the first round, in what has been told was a very high standard and close debate. They redeemed themselves immediately in the next round, and look forward to take this team on again later. This team is power ranked, which makes it all the more enjoyable.
By Floris Holstege
The first day of our trip to Slovenia consist of travelling and case building along our journey. After a long journey, your reporter finally has some time to look up from his case file and write down this report. Where are we actually going to? The International World Schools debate tournament in Slovenia, Ljutomer to be more precise. There will be 52 teams from teams all over the world, such as team USA or Denmark, and they will come together to debate in the World Schools format with speeches of 8 minutes. As a final chapter to the pre-selection and a part of the preparation for the World Schools Debating Championships this summer in Singapore, the Netherlands will be represented at this tournament with three teams. In no particular order, those teams are:
Team Netherlands A: Max Kosian, Urmi Pahladsingh, and Simon Martina-Perez
Team Netherlands Alfa: Victor Schippers, Jeroen Wijnen, and Floris Holstege
Team Netherlands 1: David Metz, Jeanice Koorndijk, and Sam Melief
Our flight to Belgrade was without any inconvenience, but our flight from from Belgrade to Zagreb, followed by a long bus trip, had some bumps on the road. In particular when our plane to Zagreb turned out to be 1) the smallest aircraft any of us had ever seen 2) unable to have more than one passenger walking up the stairs to the cabin. Thinking we were stranded in an episode of air crash investigation, our team stood up to the challenge without hesitation and full of bravery. This blog will keep you further updated with all the results of all the teams and the many adventures they will experience.
Door Floris Holstege
Met een strak schema voor de boeg begon op Valentijnsdag het Bonapartiaans debattoernooi (BDT) 2015. De liefde die door deze dag verspreid zou moeten worden was echter nauwelijks te vinden in de vele lokalen van het Cartesius Lyceum, waar in plaats van lieve vooral harde woorden vielen. Zoals elk jaar was ook dit keer de debatvorm AP met 5-5-3 minuut sprekerstijden. Er werd gedebatteerd over de volgende stellingen:
DK verbiedt politieke opiniepeilingen in verkiezingstijd
Informatie: In april 2014 maakte RTL een programma waarbij gepeste kinderen een verborgen camera mee naar school kregen om het pesten vanuit hun oogpunt te filmen. Wegens bezwaren van ouders en scholen zijn de beelden van sommige scholen echter niet uitgezonden.
Stelling: DK vindt dit soort beelden nooit uitgezonden mogen worden.
Stelling: DK richt tribunalen in post-conflictgebieden op waarheid en verzoening in plaats van het vervolgen van daders
Informatie: De marine is het onderdeel van de strijdkrachten dat zich bezighoudt met de oorlogsvoering op zee (Engels: navy). De marine bestaat uit verschillende onderdelen waar zowel mannen als vrouwen werken. Één van deze onderdelen is het korps mariniers, deze worden beschouwd als het elitekorps van de Nederlandse strijdkrachten en zijn gespecialiseerd in amfibische operaties (Engels: marines). Mariniers zijn dus meestal te vinden op het land en hebben daarom ook een groen uniform. Vrouwen mogen niet werken bij het korps mariniers.
Stelling: DK laat vrouwen toe bij het korps mariniers
Scenario: Er wordt er bij deze stelling vanuit gegaan dat de politie op dit moment gebruik maakt van een vorm van racial profiling los van of dit is toegestaan of
Stelling: DK staat het de politie toe om gebruik te maken van racial profiling
Informatie: De Egyptische generaal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi heeft in 2013 de gekozen president Morsi afgezet, het parlement ontbonden, de moslimbroederschap verboden en prominente leden vervolgd. Sindsdien is het leger aan de macht met Al-Sisi als president.
Stelling: DK gelooft dat de dictatuur van Al-Sisi beter is voor Egypte dan vrije verkiezingen
Scenario: Je bent een wetenschapper die een technologie heeft ontwikkeld waarmee het leven van mensen niet beperkt wordt door lichamelijk verval.
Stelling: DK vernietigt deze technologie.
DK gelooft dat ziekenhuizen in landen waar vrouwenbesnijdenis gebruikelijk is, geen vrouwenbesnijdenissen zouden moeten uitvoeren.
DK kamer zijnde de openlijk homoseksuele troonopvolger van een Europese monarchie, besluit af te zien van troonopvolging.
Ironisch genoeg werd het laatste debat gevoerd in de Westerkerk, verder een schitterende locatie voor de finale. In deze finale zegevierden Senna Maatoug en Devin van den Berg over Alex Klein en Thomas Beerthuis. Lucien de Bruin werd beste spreker van het toernooi, en Jeanice Koorndijk werd beste novice spreker van het toernooi. Beide sprekers waren afkomstig van het team WDS B. De Novice finale werd gewonnen door Marijn Bellemakers en Niels Buijssen van het team Willibrord B. De complete uitslag is te vinden op de volgende link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16fn-CgzkyKNVI7d07QLPa1B0tv45tZ8bJ85l_Y3pohs/edit#gid=330664332,
Naast al deze winnaars was er tevens een prijs voor de debater met het beste carnavals kostuum. De strijd ging tussen een Jedi, een piraat, en een giraffe. Uiteindelijk won Martijn Brouwer de Koning deze eervolle prijs als Jedi. Al met al was het BDT een uitstekende vervanger van valentijnsdag, dankzij de uitstekende stellingen in combinatie met de goede organisatie.
WUDC Malaysia 2015 has come to an end and all results have been released. We will provide you with all results and a link to the full Tab.
Results of the Finals
Winner Open Grand Final: Sydney A
Winner ESL Grand Final: CUHK A
Winner EFL Grand Final: Adam Mickiewicz A
Finals Best Speakers
Open: Edward Miller (Sydney A)
ESL: Samuel Chan Kai Yui (CUHK A)
EFL: Dawid Bartkowiak (Adam Mickiewicz A)
Top ten Open teams
1. Cambridge A (25 points, 1522 speaker points)
2. Hart House A (22/1498)
3. Harvard A (21/1501)
4. BPP A (21/1493)
5. Cambridge B (21/1490)
6. Sydney D (21/1461)
7. Melbourne A (20/1485)
8. Oxford B (20/1473)
9. Durham A (20/1471)
10. IIUM A (20/1471)*
* This team is participating as an ESL team, but due to their high ranking on the tab they break in the Open category.
Top ten ESL teams
1. IIUM A (20/1471)
2. APU A (19/1405)
3. IBADU A (18/1410)
4. Belgrade A (17/1456)
5. Gadjah Mada A* (17/1385)
6. CUHK A (16/1407)
7. BFSU A* (16/1394)
8. Indonesia A (16/1391)
9. Dhaka A (16/1388)
10. Xavier A (16/1387)
* These teams are participating as EFL teams, but due to their high ranking on the tab they break ESL.
Top ten EFL teams
1. Gadjah Mada A (17/1385)
2. BFSU A (16/1394)
3. Keio A (16/1374)
4. ISA A (15/1375)
5. Bauman A (15/1354)
6. Indonesia C (14/1351)
7. MIPT A (14/1350)
8. Potsdam A (14/1348)
9. Adam Mickiewicz A (14/1348)
10. Binus International A (13/1346)
Top ten best Open speakers
1. Ashish Kumar (Cambridge A) – 764 points, 84.9 average
2. Michael Dunn/Goekjian (Cambridge A) – 758 points, 84.2 average
3. Veenu Goswami (Hart House A) – 753 points, 83.7 average
4. Bo Seo (Harvard A) – 752 points, 83.6 average
5. Thomas Simpson (Cambridge B) – 749 points, 83.2 average
Fanelesibonge Mashwama (Harvard A)
Michael O’Dwyer (BPP A)
8. Tyrone Connell (Melbourne A) – 748 points, 83.1 average
9. Joe McGrade (Hart House A) – 745 points, 82.8 average
10. Joshua Baxter (Auckland A) – 744 points, 82.7 average
Top ten best ESL speakers
1. Syed Saddiq (IIUM A) – 739 points, 82.1 average
2. Mubarrat Wassey (IIUM A) – 732 points, 81.3 average
3. Helena Ivanov (Belgrade A) – 731 points, 81.2 average
4. Stefan Sirid (Belgrade A) – 725 points, 80.6 average
5. Joonpyo Sohn (Brown A) – 717 points, 79.7 average
Ameera Natasha Moore (IIUM B)
7. Viktor Prlja (Belgrade B) – 711 points, 79 average
8. Wasifa Noshin (IBADU A) – 710 points, 78.9 average
9. Junhyub Lee (Seoul NUDA B) – 709 points, 78.8 average
10. Johan B (Stockholm A) – 708 points, 78.7 average
Top ten best EFL speakers
1. Ivy Yu (BFSU A) – 698 points, 77.6 average
2. Angela Xie (BFSU A) – 696 points, 77.3 average
3. Wida Wahyuni (Gadjah Mada A) – 693 points, 77 average
4. Mitsushi Ono (Keio A) – 692 points, 76,9 average
5. Indriani Pratiwi (Gadjah Mada A) – 692 poinnts, 76,9 average
6. Roderick Jonathan Martua (Indonesia A) – 691 points, 76,8 average
7. Sophie Vengerova (ISA A) – 689 points, 76.7 average
8. Sangwoo Park (Seoul NUDA A) – 688 points, 76.4 average
9. Muhammad Lutfi (Bandung A) – 687 points, 76.3 average
10. Ivan Velentey (ISA A) – 686 points, 76.2 average
Winners Final: Better Together
Best Speaker: Adam Hawksbee
Best Team: Nagorno-Karabakh
Winner Final: Hassan Shaheen
2nd place: Obiyo Daniel
3rd place: Natalie Wang
Today it is the last day for debates during WUDC Malaysia 2015. After the Open Semi Final (results and information in the previous post) all Grand Finals will bring WUDC Malaysia 2015 to an end.
EFL Grand Final
Judges: Jonathan Leader Maynard (chair), Nick Cross, Adam Hawksbee, Daniel Kirkby, Gavin Illsley, Yi-An Shih, Monica Ferris, Engin Arikan, Solange Handley.
Motion: THBT progressive politicians in conservative societies should pander to bigots, racists, hardline conservatives and others with regressive views in attempting to win elections.
OG – MIPT A (Sergei Bazylik and Daria Zelenina)
OO – Adam Mickiewicz A (Stanislaw Stefaniak and Dawid Wojciech Bartkowiak)
CG – SNUDA A (Sangwoo Park and Kyungmi Lee)
CO – Binus International A (Melissa Irene and Wilson Salim)
ESL Grand Final
Judges: Madeline Schultz (chair), Daniel Swain, Manos Moschopoulos, Fred Cowell, Sarah Balahkrishnan, Lucian Tan, Seb Templeton, Tomas Beerthuis, Harish Natarajan.
Motion: THBT liberal democracies that overthrow the governments of other states should impose power sharing, even when this severly overrides or delays democratic repression.
OG – CUHK A (Samuel Chan Kai Yui and Benson Lam Chak-Hin)
OO – Stockholm A (Gustav Lundgren and Johan Bage)
CG – Universitas Indonesia A (Roderick Jonathan Martua and Boby Andika Ruitang)
CO – University of Dhaka A (Rishad Sharif and Raiha Nawal)
Open Grand Final
Judges: Shafiq Bazari (chair), Dominic Guinane, Arina Najwa, Danique van Koppenhagen, Timothy Gerard Andrew, Karin Merckens, Brett Frazer, Simon Tunnicliffe, Amelia McLeod.
Motion: THBT humanitarian organisations should, and should be allowed to, give funding, resources or services to illegal armed groups when this is made a condition for access to vulnerable civilians.
OG – Oxford A (Patrick Bateman and Natasha Rachman)
OO – BPP A (Steven Rajavinothan and Michael O’Dwyer)
CG – Sydney A (Edward Miller and Nick Chung)
CO – Harvard A (Bo Seo and Fanelesibonge Mashwama)
Open Partial Double Octo Final
Judges: From the Dutch people being present, Tomas Beerthuis (chair), Anne Valkering (chair), Andrea Bos and Bionda Merckens will be judging this round.
Motion: THW allow corporations to use hackers to retaliate against cyberattacks where the state seems unwilling or unable to do so.
Breaking to the Open Octofinal are: Melbourne C, McGill A, Oxford C, Queens A, Belgrade A, Bates A, TCD Phil A, Brown A, Auckland B., Stanford A, TCD-Hist B, Monash A, Glasgow A, Sydney C, Oxford A, Cape Town A.
Judges: Senna Maatoug (chair), Karin Merckens, Arielle Dundas.
Motion: THBT disadvantaged groups should emphasize their conformity with, rather than distinctiveness from, dominant culture; as a strategy for improving their social position.
Breaking to the Open Quarter Finals are: Oxford A, Durham A, BPP A, TCD Phil A, Harvard A, Belgrade A, Stanford A, Vic Wellington A, Monash A, TCD Hist B, Sydney B, Cambridge A, Sydney A, Hart House A.
Judges: Bionda Merckens
Motion: TH regrets the decline of secular pan-Arab nationalism
Breaking to the Open Semifinals are: Oxford A, Sydney B, Sydney A, Melbourne A, Harvard A, Belgrade A, BPP A, TCD-Phil A
Judges: Senna Maatoug
Motion: THBT all states should create special economic zones in cities, where all economic activities (except the purchase of goods and services) are carried out by women.
Breaking to the Open Grand Final are: Oxford A, BPP A, Sydney A, Harvard A.
Judges: No Dutch judges in here!
Motion: THBT the African-American community should oppose ‘broken windows policies’.
Infoslide: The broken windowws theory describes the concept that substantial amounts of petty crime create comditions that increase major crime. Many jurisdicstions, including, most famously, New York State, have introduces policing policies in response; and respond to areas of high crime with substantial increases of police presence, arrest and prosecution rates for petty crime and harsher punishments.
Breaking to the ESL Semifinals are: Gadjah Mada A, UM B, CUHK A, BRAC A, UM A, STockholm A, Dhaka A, Indonesia A.
Judges: No Dutch judges in this round!
Motion: THW severely limit companies’ ability to replace workers with technology.
Breaking to the ESL Grand Final are: Indonesia A, Dhaka A, Stockholm A, CUHK A
Judges: Andrea Bos
Motion: THW ban its citizens from visiting illiberal states whose economies depend on tourism.
Breaking to the EFL Grand Final are: Adam Mickiewicz A, Binus international A, Seoul NUDA A, MIPT A.
Public Speaking Grand Finals
Speech time: 3-4 minutes
Motion: Everything is better in moderation
Participants: April Broadbent, Charles Frost, Darrel Chingaramde, Hassann bin Shaheen, Howard Cohen, Joe McGrade, Moustafa Elbaadwihi, Natalie Wang, Nathan Kohler, Obiyo Daniel, Samuel Mule
The break has been announced. Here are the full results of WUDC Malaysia 2015. Scroll down for matchups in the first outrounds. Seventwenty wants to congratulate all teams and Public Speakers on breaking and wishes everyone a happy 2015!
Round 7: THW ban the research and production of moral enhancement drugs.
Infoslide: Over the last decade, scientists have identified a range of chemicals that exist naturally in the brain and shape individuals’ moral behaviour. Significants amounts of research is now being carried out to create ‘moral enhancements drugs’, which would alter the levels of such chemicals, such drugs have been shown to increase individuals’ tendencies to display empathy and care for others, to behave in altruistic ways, and to resist pressures to act in ways that violate their personal ethical beliefs.
Round 8: THBT the USA and the EU should seek to promote peace by heavily subsidising Israeli businesses who invest in the Palestinian territories.
Round 9: TH, as a medical professional employed by the US military or security services, would, and would encourage others, to refuse orders to provide medical treatment to individuals undergoing ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.
Infoslide: Enhancement Interrogation Techniques: is a term used by the US government to refer to methods used to extract information from detainees in the war on terror. Examples include, but are not limited to stress positions, hooding, sleep deprivation, deprivation of food and drink and waterboarding.
Since these rounds are closed, the results will be released after the break announcements. Break announcements will take place tonight.
Day 2 has begun for some time now and we will keep you up to date with motions and other information about today. Preliminary rounds 4-6 will take place in Kuala Lumpur. Also, today the Public Speaking contest will take place. Stay tuned!
Round 4: THW prohibit the media from reporting on the mental illnessof those accused of crimes.
Round 5: THBT the international community should cut off internet access in Syria.
Round 6: THBT developing countries should adopt economic development policies that heavily disincentivise urbanisation.
Between round 4 and 5 the Public Speaking contest will take place. Debates will take place in eight different rooms. In room 1, Arielle Dundas will show her public speaking skills. We wish her all the best! Every room has four to five speakers and three judges. The draw can be found here.