Dutch Debating Championships

The Dutch Debating Championships (referred to colloquially as the NK, from the Dutch Nederlands Kampioenschap) is the most important debating tournament in the Netherlands. It is organised yearly in the spring semester and is open to all teams from the Netherlands. The organisation circulates among the debating societies that are affiliated with the Debatbond. This is the only NK recognised by the Nederlandse Debatbond. The Dutch Debating Championships is the only tournament that upholds an individual judging responsibility, called the Grandpa Clause.

You can find information about the next edition of the Dutch Debating Championships here: http://nkdebatteren.debatbond.nl/.


The Dutch Debating Championships in its current form, where the organisation is done by the larger Dutch debating societies, was founded in 1997 when the Erasmus Debating Society in Rotterdam organised the tournament. From 2000 onward, the organisation is circulated among the larger Dutch debating societies, meaning that also societies like the Utrecht Debating Society (from 2001 onward) and ASDV Bonaparte (from 2003 onward) organised the NK. The national meeting of debating societies decided each year which society could organise the tournament.

Even though the tournament carried more prestige on paper than other national tournaments and that it usually attracted a few more participants, the NK was mostly a label that rotated over the large Dutch debating tournaments. Because it was common for members of organising societies to not participate in the tournament (but rather judging), this had the disadvantage that at each edition, members of a large Dutch debating society were excluded from participating in the NK. To solve this problem, it was decided in 2005 to change the design of the NK, where judging became a shared responsibility of all debating societies: every society sends a substantial amount of (good) adjudicators to the tournament and therefore allowing for teams from the organising society to participate. In 2007, the Tilburg Debating Society Cicero organised the first NK in this new design.

In 2010, the NK was won by non-university students for the first time. Thom Wetzer and Elisabeth van Lieshout were at the time of the tournament both sixth-year VWO high school students.

List of champions

YearLocationNumber of teamsChampionsBest speakerTab
2023Amsterdam20Amber van Lochem & Mike Weltevrede Fabian BeitsmaTab
2022Utrecht20 Michiel van der Zee & Irene Graafsma Jan-Pjotr Komen
2021Utrecht (online)24Floris Holstege & Roel BeckerRoel BeckerTab
2019Amsterdam36Emma Lucas & Adrienne HuismanDevin van den BergTab
2018Tilburg36Devin van den Berg & Mare van den PutteDevin van den BergTab
2017Rotterdam40Devin van den Berg & Gigi GilDaan WellingTab
2016Leiden48Tomas Beerthuis & Danique van KoppenhagenDanique van Koppenhagen, Tomas Beerthuis, Daan Welling & Roel BeckerTab
2015Nijmegen56Menno Schellekens & Devin van den BergLucïen de BruinTab
2014Utrecht46Andrea Bos & Alex KleinKarin MerckensTab
2013Amsterdam50Lucïen de Bruin & Daniel SchutLucïen de BruinTab
2012Groningen68Danique van Koppenhagen & Tomas BeerthuisTomas BeerthuisTab
2011Rotterdam56Lars Duursma & Daniël SpringerReinier de Adelhart TooropTab
2010Leiden60Thom Wetzer & Elisabeth van LieshoutJulien SplietTab
2009Nijmegen38Rutger Vos & Salar al-KhafajiJulius LindenberghTab
2008Utrecht56Ali Al-Jaberi & Julien SplietDaniël Schut
2007Tilburg56Marc Roels & Eric StamSharon KroesTab
2006Amsterdam46Lars Duursma & Sharon KroesLars DuursmaTab
2005Rotterdam38Klaas van Schelven & Jan HartmanMarc RoelsTab
2004Utrecht42Marc Roels & Lars DuursmaGuido Camps
2003Amsterdam42Marc Roels & Lars DuursmaMarc Roels & Lars DuursmaTab
2002Rotterdam16Jan Rosing & Klaas van SchelvenEdward van Geuns
2001Utrecht30Alexander Eerdmans & Edward van GeunsMarc Roels
2000Breukelen?Alexander Eerdmans & Jeannette Baljeu(niet uitgereikt)
1999Rotterdam20Alexander Eerdmans & Jeannette BaljeuAlexander Eerdmans
1997Rotterdam32Antoinette Laan & Jock GeselschapAntoinette Laan