Schrijvers archief Mascha Bloemer

doorMascha Bloemer

Winst voor het USG op het NK Scholieren 2014/2015

Op zaterdag 17 januari vond in Leiden de finale plaats van het NK Debatteren voor Scholieren, georganiseerd door het Nederlands Debat Instituut. De 30 beste scholen uit het land streden om de felbegeerde trofee en de eer om zichzelf een jaar lang Nederlands Kampioen Scholierendebatteren te mogen noemen.

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doorMascha Bloemer

How to judge: Unpacking persuasiveness

By Srdjan Miletic

Bad Coaching
By far the biggest part of judging a BP debate is evaluating the persuasiveness of the arguments teams bring. Yet, I found that when I used to teach judging I focused far more on teaching the rules of BP and practical tips such as how to take notes. Meer lezen

doorMascha Bloemer

What’s wrong with how we judge rebuttal?

By Srdjan Miletic

Overall the 2015 WUDC debating manual is amazing. It’s comprehensible, comprehensive and a commendable achievement. That being said I disagree with it’s stance on rebuttal. Specifically:

“2.3 Rebuttal, Engagement, and Comparisons
If speakers make arguments and supporting reasons that are not wildly implausible or
contradictory, they are at least somewhat persuasive and should be credited by judges
unless they are successfully rebutted
WUDC speaking and Judging Manual, 2015, pg 17, section 2.3: Rebuttal

As I’ve argued before, that idea that we should judge a debate based on what arguments are left standing at the end, essentially meaning we should ignore arguments which have been successfully rebutted, seems to me to be unfair and a poor way to judge. This is because it ignores the contribution teams bring to a debate, leading to incredibly unintuitive results and hence to unfair situations where worse teams who bring less to the debate can win over better teams. For example, say 1st gov brings two very persuasive arguments, which a brilliant 1st opp convincingly takes down, while 2nd gov brings only one somewhat weak argument. If a judge were to ignore arguments which were successfully rebutted, as the manual advises, they would need to place second Gov, which brought weaker arguments and contributed less to the debate, above first gov. This is unintuitive, as a team which has bought less persuasive material is awarded a higher position, and unfair as a the respective positions of teams on the same bench can be determined not by their own actions and interactions but by who opposing teams choose to rebut.

A better way of judging rebuttal is to use the movement model and reward teams which successfully rebut an argument with the same amount of credit they would have received had they made that argument. Hence rebutting a very persuasive argument is rewarded a great deal and rebutting a weak argument is rewarded less. This approach is simple and usable but, by virtue of not ignoring teams contributions to the debate when those contribution are rebutted, it does not lead to unintuitive and unfair results.

Srdjan Miletic
Coach, Rhetorica Debating Society Maastricht

doorMascha Bloemer

Debatteren er scholieren in het noorden?

Door Joost Kooiman

‘Er woont echt niemand ten noorden van Almere,’ ‘ik versta niks van die Groningers.’ De vooroordelen over het noorden vliegen door de lucht wanneer de niet-Groningers uit het CA-team in de hoofdstad van het noorden zijn aangekomen. Maar tot hun verbazing en vreugde wordt ook in dit deel van het land volop gedebatteerd door scholieren. Tegen de veertig van hen kwamen op zaterdag 15 november bij elkaar op het Willem Lodewijk Gymnasium in Groningen om te strijden op de tweede editie van het Noord-Nederlands Scholieren Kampioenschap (NNSK) debatteren.
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How to judge well

By Srdjan Miletic*

Knowing how to judge is important. It’s important if you judge as you need to give fair calls and concise, useful feedback. It’s also useful when speaking because you only win by convincing the judges and knowing how they think helps. The issue with judging at the moment is that, while we have a general consensus on how debates should be judged, there remain a significant number of often unnoticed yet important differences. Differences which, if left unreconciled, will lead to inconsistent judging and unfair calls. In this article my aim is to tackle a few of the most common issues I have seen on the circuit and to propose solutions to them. Since most of the solutions come together nicely in my own judging model I’ll present that model first and then go about explaining how it resolves said issues. Note that the solutions I propose are based on a conception of what debating should be that is very much personal to me. That conception is that debating should be as rational, interesting, fair and strategically rich as possible, I realize that many of the people reading this may well have a different conception or disagree with my views on more practical grounds. Weather you agree with me or not, if you are organizing or hosting an debating tournament I urge you to take a stance on these issues and make that stance clear to both debaters and jugs attending your tournament. Only then can fairness be ensured.

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doorMascha Bloemer

A report on the Roosevelt Open

By Floris Holstege

Travelling to Middelburg can be a tiring and stressful experience (especially when trains may or may not run on time), but it’s all worth it for the start of the academic debating season in the Netherlands, the Roosevelt Open. Organised in the far south-west corner of the Netherlands, the Roosevelt Open promised to be a high standard tournament. In my opinion it definitely lived up to the expectations. The CA’s were Bionda Merckens, Ben Dory, and Gavin illsley. The Roosevelt Open is held in the British Parliamentary format and consists of five inrounds with seven minutes speeches. After those rounds a Novice Final (for new speakers), a Semi Final and a Final would take place.

After the registration on Friday, the first two rounds were held. The motion for the first round read: this house would prioritize dealing with the consequences of climate change rather than preventing it. The second motion read: this house would set the burden of proof in criminal trials to “balance of probabilities” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”. Both motions resulted in interesting and lively debates, although some novice teams struggled with the definition in the second motion. Those struggles, including the long trip, where all long forgotten after the nice social in the lively city centre of Middelburg.

Fresh as a daisy we started the third round on Saturday after a truly delicious breakfast. The motion for this round read: this house regrets that companies such as Facebook and Apple have offered to pay for elective egg freezing for their employees. After this original and challenging motion the fourth motion read: this house believes that companies like H&M and Primark should hire half as many factory workers in the developing world but pay them twice as much. Some considered this a very opp biased motion, but that didn’t ruin the fun for most teams. After lunch the fifth round read: this house believes that people who go bankrupt should have their finances managed by the state for five years. This debate turned out to be quite messy in some rooms, since the status quo heavily differed between certain countries. Some teams (mainly the one your reporter was part of) didn’t even have a clue what the status quo in their own country was. After that everyone had a break before the novice final and the semi-finals.

The teams that broke to the novice final were:

1. On 10 points: WSDC Squirrel Society Justice League* (David Metz and Floris Holstege)
2. On 10 points: Emma and Jeroen (Emma van der Horst and Jeroen Wijnen)
3. On 7 points: Victor and Jeanice (Jeanice Koorndijk and Victor Schippers)
4. On 6 points: UCU B (Kerrewin van Blanken and Rixt Heerschop)
5. On 5 points: Cicero Novice (Robbert van Dijk en Jos Buijvoets)

Novice Final: this house would only allow those who pass a political awareness exam to vote.

The teams that broke to the semi-finals were:
1. On 13 points: In F1, your problem is not with foxes (Joe Mayes and Kit Mercer)
2. On 12 points: #Glitterbas (Bas Tönissen and Rebecca Irvine)
3. On 12 points: Fifth times the Charm (Alex Klein and Arielle Dundas)
4. On 11 points: Gigi’s charity project (Daan Welling and Gigi Gil)
5. On 11 points: Leiden O’Grishkova (Nastia Grishkova and Conor O’Brien)
6. On 11 points: Erasmus B (Michael Tai and Sophie Vengerov)
7. On 10 points: Danique A (Andrea Bos and Thomas Beerthuis)
8. On 10 points: WSDC Squirrel Society Justice League* (Floris Holstege and David Metz)
Semi Final: this house would impose the death penalty for pretty crime, if we knew that it would be 100% effective in deterring pretty crime and would never be used.

The teams that emerged to the final were: In F1, your problem is not with foxes, #Glitterbas, Leiden O’Grishkova, and Fifth times the Charm. The motion for the final read: this house believes that the EU should abandon its aim to establish “ever closer union”.
The final was held at the wonderful location of the Baptist church of Middelburg. After every spectator was served tea and coffee, the exhilarating final began. Ultimately, after what was considered a very good debate, the team from Opening Government (Kit Mercer and Joe Mayes) emerged as the winners of the Roosevelt Open. The team that won the novice final was UCU B, from the position of Closing Opposition. Kit Mercer from In F1, your problem is not with foxes was announced as the best speaker and David Metz from WSDC Squirrel Society Justice League was crowned as best novice speaker. The full tab can be found here:
Overall, the Roosevelt Open was an exciting and very well organized tournament, which means that in the end every participant can be considered a winner. Thanks to the CA’s and the Orgcomm for their fantastic efforts.

* Floris and David qualify as novices and therefore by rights should compete in the novice final. Due to their high ranking they are qualified to compete in the semi-finals.

doorMascha Bloemer

Applications for Seventwenty are still open!

Seventwenty is still looking for contributors for the next year. Unfortunately four people are going to leave us, which means that we need more people to help us out. Under the following link you can find all the information you need. Please send an email to or contact me (Mascha) via personal message if you have any questions or want to apply.

The original message can be found here.

doorMascha Bloemer

Interviews with exchange students part 1: Estonia

A guest contribution by Robin Dillerop

In the debating scene there are many international students. Actually there are societies that are bilingual and try to attract as many exchange students as possible. To see what it is like to study abroad, we decided to start a series of interviews with exchange students about their experiences here and in their home country.

But why should we write everything ourselves if it is already there? For Counterpropped, the LDU magazine, editor Robin Dillerop already interviewed an exchange student. Lauri Kriisa is a master student from Estonia who has been studying in Leiden this year. He is in Estonia at the moment, but will join us at EUDC Zagreb 2014.

We want to thank both Lauri and Robin for giving us permission to publish this interview to start our series.

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doorMascha Bloemer

Het Eloquentia Toernooi 2014

Vandaag is het zover: Bonaparte organiseer het jaarlijkse Eloquentia Toernooi. Hier leert men niet alleen inhoudelijk, maar ook overtuigend te spreken. Daar wordt vanzelfsprekend meer op gelet dan bij andere toernooien. Gelukkig gaat overtuiging niet ten koste van de inhoud, maar het is goed om te zien dat in het dagelijks leven er ook andere factoren zijn die mensen overtuigen.

Het Eloquentia Toernooi is een Iron Man toernooi, wat betekent dat iedere spreker individueel spreekt tegen een andere spreker. Er wordt door beide kanten geopend met een inleidende speech van drie minuten, waarin de eerste argumenten uiteen worden gezet. Daarna volgt een extensie van twee minuten aan beide kanten. Als laatste wordt er in een minuut een conclusie gegeven. De jury mag mee schrijven, maar zal dit vaak ook niet doen. Presentatie is ten slotte ook belangrijk. Er zijn vijf voorrondes en twee poules. Dat betekent dat voor iedere ronde twee verschillende stellingen worden gegeven.

Voor dit toernooi hoef je gelukkig niet vroeg je bed uit, het begint namelijk om 13.00 uur in Het Gespuis in onze hoofdstad. Naast de vele enthousiaste Bonapartianen zijn er ook debaters en juryleden uit steden als Leiden en Middelburg aanwezig.

De eerste stellingen zijn inmiddels bekend. Een A staat voor poule A, een B voor poule B.

Voorronde 1:
A. Vaderschaps- en moederschapsverlof moeten gelijk zijn.
B. De basisbeurs voor studenten moet terugkeren

Voorronde 2:
A. Grote banken moeten gesplitst worden
B. Polderjihadi’s moeten vervolgd worden

Voorronde 3:
A. Liever meer studiefinanciering dan een ov-studentenkaart
B. De staat moet het monopolie op prostitutie krijgen

Voorronde 4:
A. Er moet een Europees leger komen
B. Nederland moet een maximumsalaris krijgen

Voorronde 5:
A. De P van pedofilie moet toegevoegd worden aan de LHBT (lesbienne, homo, biseksueel, transgender) beweging.
B. Vrouwen boven de veertig mogen geen kinderen krijgen.

Na de voorrondes was het tijd voor het avondeten. Door naar de halve finales waren Gigi Gil (Leiden), Josse van Proosdij (Bonaparte), Harriet Bergman en Marloes Boere. De stellingen: het Nederlandse volk moet de bondscoach kunnen kiezen en Een zeer hoge erfbelasting is rechtvaardig.

Uiteindelijk waren het Gigi en Josse die door gingen naar de finale. De stelling luidde: Greenpeace moet verboden worden. Over de uitslag wordt door het publiek gestemd. Zij moeten immers overtuigd worden!

Na stemming bleek dat Josse er met de winst vandoor ging. Gefeliciteerd!

De redactie probeert deze pagina zo up to date mogelijk te houden. Benader ons vooral als je aanvullende informatie hebt!

doorMascha Bloemer

Seventwenty is looking for contributors!

For the upcoming year there will be four vacant positions within the editors team of Seventwenty. Here you can find more information about who we are looking for and the procedure.

What is Seventwenty?
Most of you obviously know this, otherwise you probably wouldn’t apply for a position. But hey, we are not that bad and will explain it to those who are less familiar with Seventwenty and the Dutch Debating Association.

Seventwenty is the bilingual (but mostly English-language) newschannel of the Dutch Debating Association. This institution represents all Dutch (mostly students) debating societies in the Netherlands. We want to keep every debater up to date about what happens in the debating scene. This is why we are currently a bilingual blog, because we want to make Seventwenty as accessible as possible for as many people as possible! Seventwenty updates you by providing tournament reports, interviews, analytical articles and many more.

My English is not that excellent, can I still apply?
Sure! We are all people with a non-native English background, so we aren’t perfectly fluent either. You should be eager to learn from the mistakes you make and if you do so you can be the perfect candidate!

What are the most important criteria an editor should meet?
You do not have to be a member of the Dutch Debating Association! There are no criteria in terms of age or debating status. You can be a university student, high school student, experienced or a novice, every debater is welcome. You do not have to be experienced in writing and/or editing. However, we would appreciate it if you visit debating tournaments at least a few times a year.

Of course we want to learn people how to effectively write an article. Therefore you should be able to deal with feedback about your writing style. This can sometimes be tough, but don’t worry, we won’t scare you too much! We just want you to learn how to become a better writer in general.

Also, we want you to come up with ideas and take some initiative. So think about what you want to write or what your perspective on the debating scene is. We appreciate it if people want to write from an other perspective, such as that of a high school student or a member of a new founded debating association.

Since we have three vacant positions, we want that (if possible of course) at least one of this is filled up by someone who can provide us with some more analytical articles. Everyone is of course free to join us, but we want to have more variety in the articles we produce. But don’t worry. In case we have three very enthusiastic people who are not very experienced in writing analytically, we will let everyone who is applicable join. We do not want to hold enthusiastic people back!

How much do I have to write?
You don’t have to produce an article every week. However, it is much appreciated if you write something once a month. In practice this does not always come true, but we want people who are active and come up with new ideas. Writing a report about a tournament obviously counts, but feel free to come up with some more ideas, such as interviews or analytical articles.

Some aspects are still not very clear to me, who can I contact?
If you do have any questions, please send an email to

How can I apply?
Please send an email to with your motivation and some basic information about yourself. Also, if you do have experience in writing, send some examples of what you wrote to us. The editor in chief will then contact you and interview you if necessary. Afterwards you will hear more about your application.