ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

High school students cross the verbal swords online

In these times of corona it is difficult to practice our hobby: debating0. Student societies and the Dutch Schools Debating College sometimes hold online evenings and training sessions, but almost all tournaments have been cancelled. That is why the Nederlandse Debatbond organized an online debate tournament on May 10, especially for high school students.

16 teams competed in three preliminary rounds to secure a spot in the final. Eventually, the teams TEAm (Max Zaslove and Nonna van den Bos, Stedelijk Gymnasium Nijmegen) and Willi: Wortel (Laura van Helmond and Joep van Heugten, Willibrord Gymnasium Deurne) reached the finals, where they debated the motion:

Corona measures should be determined by experts rather than democratically elected politicians.

While the judges were discussing, a quiz was played (see the questions at the bottom of the page), which was won by Joshua Kamer: he could call himself the hero of the day! After a very exciting final debate, the judges announced that the opponents (Laura and Joep) would take the win. As a result, 50% of the donations went to the Red Cross through a majority vote from all participants and the other 50 euros went to Stichting Vluchteling, chosen by the champions.

Carli (student Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics at the UvA):

You were a member of the chief adjudication team, which means, among other things, that you came up with the motions. What was your favourite motion of the tournament?
“States must no longer protect the property of the 10,000 richest people on Earth from nonviolent theft or theft”. I like it best because it is radical, but also because it is very important that debaters can characterize their arguments well. As a result, the analysis of the arguments should be quite nuanced. In addition, major philosophical questions about property, state failure and self-defence must be answered.

Max (4th year, Stedelijk Gymnasium Nijmegen):

How did you experience the online tournament? What did you like the most about it?
I thought it was a very nice tournament. In general, I liked the debates themselves, and especially the last debate. I liked the motion (“The Dutch government must provide a universal basic income in times of crisis instead of the current policy”) because it was an economics motion.

What was your strongest argument in favour of the final motion?
My favourite argument in the final debate was the argument in which we tried to explain why politicians are inherently bad at making decisions during the corona crisis and why experts are inherently better. Our main reasoning about how this argument works was that politicians have inherently bad incentives like listening to the people, which can have bad outcomes. They have these incentives because they are chosen by the people and want to continue to get votes.

Laura (6th year, Willibrord Gymnasium Deurne):

Congratulations with the win! What went through you when you heard the news?
Just joy! This may have been the last student tournament for me so I was happy to finish it in such a way.

What was your strongest argument against the final motion?
The idea that it is about making weigh-offs in the corona crisis and balancing policy, so how well can politicians plan against corona and how well can scientists do that? We said that it is important to have politicians rather than experts because they are better at weighing things up. We also said that politicians have more respect for this from the population, so that the measures are better followed.

The Quiz

How many questions do you have correct? Let us know in the comments!

1. We find the debate society NSDV Trivium in Nijmegen. Which word is NOT part of the Latin name of Nijmegen?
A. Civitas
B. Noviomagus
C. Ulpia
D. Batavorum

2. The debate society in Amsterdam is called ASDV Bonaparte. Where did Napoleon Bonaparte die?
A. St. Helena
B. Waterloo
C. Paris
D. Tuscany

3. Rotterdam is the home front for the Erasmus Debating Society. What is Rotterdam’s nickname?
A. The Erasmus City
B. The Euro City
C. The Port City
D. The Maas City

4. Associations do more than just debate. For example, this year there was a board game night and there will soon be an online pubquiz. Which game is sold the most?
A. Catan
B. Risk
C. Monopoly
D. Stratego

5. The Dutch Schools Debating College trains high school students to become master debaters. What is the 1963 Secondary Education Act also called?
A. The Neanderthal Law
B. The Sabertooth Law
C. The Ice Age Law
D. The Mammoth Law

6. It is tradition to watch Eurovision during the tournament of the Groninger Debating Society Kalliope. Who will represent the Netherlands next edition?


7. In Eindhoven, we find ESDA Chronos, named after a Greek mythological figure. What did Chronos do to his children?
A. He let them walk on their hands
B. He left them in a maze
C. He ate them
D. He forced them to debate each other every night

8. A former member of the Leiden Debating Union was former minister Ard van der Steur. Which ministry did he run?
A. Justice and Security (Justitie en Veiligheid)
B. Social Affairs and Employment (Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid)
C. Education, Culture and Science (Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap)
D. Public Health, Welfare and Sport (Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport)

9. Delft’s student debate club is the TU Delft Debating Club. What are Delft students also colloquially called?
A. Studying Moon Watchers (Bestudeerende Manenkijkers)
B. Elevated Bicycle Mechanics (Omhooggevallen Fietsenmakers)
C. Chemical Window Cleaners (Chemische Glazenwassers)
D. Hippodinds (Hippodinden)

10. The World Championships debating were held in South Africa last year, and the Netherlands, of course, sent teams. Which animal is not a member of the Big 5?
A. Hippopotamus
B. Buffalo
C. Leopard
D. Elephant

11. In the Dom city we find the Utrecht Debating Society. Which of the following people was NOT born in Utrecht?


12. The Dutch word for motion is “stelling”. What is the stelling van Amsterdam?
A. A saying by Johan Cruyff
B. Een defensive water line
C. A castle in Amsterdam de Pijp
D. A mathematical formula to calculate the angles of a circle

13. The Tilburg Debating Society Cicero is named after the orator Cicero. The word cicerone is derived from his name. What does that mean?
A. Silver tongue
B. Zeal
C. Murderer
D. Travel guide

1-A, 2-A, 3-D, 4-D, 5-D, 6-B, 7-C, 8-A, 9-B, 10-A, 11-C, 12-C, 13-D

ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

The Debatbond presents: an online pubquiz!

De Nederlandse Debatbond hosts quarterly ‘social events’. The social events are open to all members of the Dutch debating community. During these events you get to know members from other debating societies on an occasion other than a debating tournament. And of course we will have loads of fun!

On May 29, at 20:00, the Nederlandse Debatbond will organise an online pubquiz for everyone who loves to rack their brains while enjoying a drink and intriguing conversations with fellow debaters or those interested in debating. You can participate on an individual basis. Are you ready to show that you are the smartest of your debating society or even the Dutch debating community?

Further instructions as to how the event will take place and how you can participate will follow. It will likely be a combination of Kahoot and Zoom.

See you there!

ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

[Leiden Open 2020] Social interactions through slightly too small pub rooms

By: Pjotr Koster (NSDV Trivium)

During the weekend of 29th of February and 1st of March, there was a little tournament called Leiden Open 2020. This debating tournament did not only have a strong CA team but also had a crazy good judge pool, which meant that the feedback was excellent. This was of course complemented by great (international) teams ranging from Leiden to the London School of Economics. Trivium was sadly only represented by myself and the powerhouse that is Mara Burgstede.

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

The first-ever Eindhoven Open!

Written by: Thomas Nighswonger (T.D.V. Cicero)

Editor’s note: From this tournament report on, we will use a new style where we give a shorter summary of the tournament and then dive deeper into one of the motions at the tournament so that this may be used for training purposes, for example. The writer will propose one argument in favour and one against. We welcome everyone to leave their thoughts on the motion in the comments at the bottom of the page!

On the first weekend of February, the days were finally here: the first-ever Eindhoven Open. We knew the CA team was excellent, we knew the Eindhoven debating society, so we were all really excited for the tournament. And looking back at the tournament now, I think we can all agree that it was a big success and definitely deserves another edition next year.

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Interview with Nathania Engelhardt: Creating opportunities around the globe

Written by: Jos Buijvoets

In the Netherlands, she was involved for years with keeping Wageningen Debating alive as well as being a constant presence at tournaments. Nathania “Nany” Engelhardt finished her master in Communication Sciences and returned to Curaçao to build a debating community. From being a student in the cold the Netherlands to being a major force in Spanish debating: this is the story of Nany.

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Thailand WUDC 2020 – Interviews

Written by: Mike Weltevrede

With WUDC having concluded, we look back with the participants. How did they experience the tournament? What were their favourite motions? Did they spend more time in Thailand and surroundings and how did they like it?

Author’s note: They were in a sunny country while we were here in the cold. I bet they had a great time. *grunt*

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Thailand WUDC 2020 – Outrounds

Written by: Mike Weltevrede

The outrounds of WUDC 2020 hosted a variety of motions. Unfortunately, these motions were only published as video titles to the streams (not to the tab) and the corresponding infoslides were not provided. Moreover, not all outrounds were streamed (probably because the speakers in those debates did not consent). Nonetheless, we will provide you with the motions that are known to us and the results of the three finals.

Edit (January 7, 2020): The motions tab has just been published to Tabbycat. The missing motions have been added to this article.

We will soon post some interviews with the Dutch participants at WUDC. For now, leave your comments on these motions and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

PS: Huyen and Angela judged the ESL and EFL semifinals, respectively!

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Thailand WUDC 2020 – Day 1

Written by: Mike Weltevrede

The 40th edition of the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) has started. This time, it takes place on the campus of Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. The Netherlands is represented by one team: Saskia Bergmann and Nikola Michaylov. There are two (former) Dutch debaters judging the competition: Huyen Nguyen (formerly EDS, also serving as language officer) and Angela Portocarrero (formerly UDS). In this article, we will give a short insight into the first three rounds of the competition. In summary, Saskia and Nikola were able to snatch 6 out of 9 points and both Angela and Huyen were honoured to chair all three rounds.

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Thailand WUDC 2020 – Day 2

Written by: Mike Weltevrede

After ending day 1 on 6 out of 9 points, the Dutch team went into day 2 enthusiastically. As you recall, Angela and Huyen chaired the first three rounds and saw some good rooms. Let’s see what the second day brought our friends.

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ByBestuur Nederlandse Debatbond

Leiden Novice: On the utterly sentimental notion of love

Written by: Shakya Wickramanayake (T.D.V. Cicero)

It was cold early morning when we set off from the Tilburg station to Leiden on the 30th of November. Being our second tournament, we were visibly excited for the Leiden Novice tournament, especially after the Maastricht tournament that took place earlier in the month. The following are a few observations I made as a participant of the tournament.

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