doorMascha Bloemer

How not to judge: Part 1

By Srdjan Miletic

Over the past six months I’ve heard regular complaints about the quality of judging on the Dutch circuit. This isn’t to say that the quality of judging is bad, just that it could be better.This article contains a few choice issues people have come to me with and how they should be resolved.

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doorMascha Bloemer

The Rotterdam Open 2015: impressions and motion analysis

Srdjan Miletic provides us with a report and motion analysis of the Rotterdam Open 2015. This is different from other tournament impressions, but we hope it will help debaters at future tournaments.
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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

doorEUDC-, WUDC- and WSDC-reporter

WUDC Malaysia 2015: Full results!

WUDCMalaysiaWUDC 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


Public Speaking

Winner Final: Hassan Shaheen

2nd place: Obiyo Daniel

3rd place: Natalie Wang


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WUDC Malaysia 2015: The Finals!

WUDCMalaysiaToday 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)

doorEUDC-, WUDC- and WSDC-reporter

WUDC Malaysia 2015: The outrounds

WUDCMalaysiaYesterday was a day off, but today the outrounds have officially been started at Kuala Lumpur. We will provide you with all motions and other information about the outrounds.



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.


Open Octofinal

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.


Open Quarterfinals

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


Open Semifinals

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.



ESL Quarterfinals

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.


ESL Semifinals

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



EFL Semifinals

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

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WUDC Malaysia 2015: BREAKS!

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!


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WUDC Malaysia 2015: Preliminaries day 3

WUDCMalaysiaToday is the last day of the preliminary rounds of Malaysia WUDC 2015. These rounds are all closed rounds, meaning that no results are being released before the break announcements.


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.