Tag Archives: wsdc

WHO 2017 Zagreb motions

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The Winter Hollyday Open is a tournament organised by the Croatian HDD (Hrvatsko Debatno Društvo) and has since grown to be one of the most important European (and probably wider) tournament in the WSDC debate format. It is organised in December.
Here are the debate motions from the 2017 edition of the WHO:

This house believes that every region should have the right to independent statehood if a majority of its members support this
This house believes that large tech companies should refuse to release data on their customers to governments even if it’s against the law
This house believes in regional trading blocs rather than global free trade
This house would prohibit all research that tries to establish a relationship between race/ethnicity and intelligence
This house supports a greater military presence in East Asia
This house would grant native peoples copyright over depictions of their culture
This house believes that the majority ownership of sports clubs should go to local communities
This house would ban global financial speculation on land and property

WSDC 2017 Indonesia

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The tournament started on the 1st of August and is going on right now. As for now we only have the prepared motions, and the pairing of the teams. The pairing you can see on the picture, and here are the prepared motions. As the tournament goes on, we will add all the impromptu motions, so that you can discuss them in the comments!

Here are the motions (Prepared motions are marked as bold:
Preliminary Round 1: This house would ban for-profit universities and colleges
Preliminary Round 2: Impromptu, waiting on the motion
Preliminary Round 3: This house would deny tax-exempt status to religious institutions that refuse to appoint female leaders
Preliminary Round 4: Impromptu, waiting on the motion
Preliminary Round 5: This house would make labor union membership compulsory in large industries
Preliminary Round 6: Impromptu, waiting on the motion
Preliminary Round 7: This house believes that the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe does more harm than good
Preliminary Round 8: Impromptu

So, how do you like the motions. What is your favourite?

Thailand WSDC 2014 motions

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Share what you think about the motions or about the tournament on the forum.

Round 0: THW Ban Children From Becoming Professional Models
Round 1: This house believes that post-revolution states should delegate trials of former rulers and high-ranking officials to the International Criminal Court.
Round 3: This house would allow prisoners to volunteer for drug trials in exchange for lighter sentences.
Round 4 (impromptu): This house would require companies to pay their interns.
Round 5: This house believes that slum tourism does more harm than good.
Round 6 (impromptu): THW not allow unvaccinated children to attend public schools.
Round 7: This house would lift tax exemptions from religious institutions that refuse to recognize marriage equality.
Octo finals: This House Would not Prosecute Defamation
Grand Finals: THBT Asean political union is an impossible dream.

I was not able to find all the motions. If you have any that I’m missing, please contact me, or just write it in the comments.

These motions were prepared by the 2013/14 WSDC Motions Committee and verified by two external, independent checkers.

The Motions Committee is just finalising the wording of the Grand Final motion and it will be released very soon.

I’d like to thank all the members of this year’s committee for their time and hard work preparing these motions.

Best wishes


Chair, Tournament Executive Committee

World Schools Debate Academy June-July 2014 Motions

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You can still apply for the WSDC, check out this link 

Round One: This house believes that the West should actively include Iran in the resolution of the Syrian conflict.
Round Two: This house regrets that Brazil is the host of the football World Cup 2014.
Round Three: This house believes that governments should actively discourage consumerist lifestyles.
Final Round: This house believes that governments should prioritize policies that reduce social inequality over economic growth.

PRACTICE DEBATE MOTIONS – will come from this list
This house would give more votes to citizens according to their performance on a current affairs test.
This house regrets that Western Media demonized Islamist Terrorists rather than portraying them as criminals with legitimate grievances.
This house would ban video games in which the player engages in brutal and immoral violence in a realistic setting.
This house believes that online matchmaking is a better system than traditional dating.
This house would allow internet users to sell their own personal information for profit
This house believes that USA should drop all charges against Edward Snowden
This house believes that in instances where peaceful protests are met with a disproportionately violent state response, protesters should respond violently.
This house believes that a world without organized religion would be a better world.
This house regrets the rise of anti-hero in media.
This house believes that secular governments should actively censor those sections of religious texts that either constitute hate speech or propagate negative attitudes to other religious/ethnic groups.
This house would criminalize the public denial of evolution.
This house would abolish educational track systems in schools.
This house believes that life-extending medical procedures should be denied to the terminally ill.
This house would Prohibit Religious Organisations from Speaking out against Homosexuality.
This house believes that states should take active measures to limit the spread of American pop culture.
This house believes that that developing countries should support commercial surrogacy.
This house will make parents legally responsible for their children’s crimes.
This house believes that crime against animals that are members of an endagered species should be sentenced as if the animal were human.
This house believes that digital communication is more important to humanity than face-to-face contact.
This house would make wearing fur illegal.
This house believes that foster children should be placed into families with similar backgrounds (race, religion, etc)
This house believes that politicians should not have public profiles on twitter and other social networking sites.
This house would eliminate any legal or ethical limitations from the field of genetic research on improving the human body.
This house would give primates (e.g. monkeys) and cetaceans (e.g. dolphins) the same rights to life, freedom from physical harm, and freedom of movement as humans
This house would allow legislation through voter initiated referenda.
This house believes that developing countries should nationalise companies that extract their national resources
This house believes that Iran should not have been excluded from current Geneva negotiations about peace in Syria.
This House would include Iran in negotiations for peace in Siria.
This house regrets that Brazil is the host of the football World Cup 2014
This house supports media censorship during times of political crisis
This house believes that developing countries should nationalise companies that extract their national resources

World Schools (WSDC) debate format

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This article will introduce the WSDC debate format to you. In the beginning you will find a summation of all the info that you will need about the format, then there is a lond description with everything you ever wanted to know about the Worlds Schools Debate format.

Basic information about the format:

# of people in the debate: 6
# of people in a team: 3
# of teams in the debate: 2 
Duration of the speeches: ,4 5, 7 or 8 minutes
Questions format: Points of information
Short description: Teams are on the Government and Opposition part of the debate. The important thing in the debate is, that next to the three speaches from every team, we always hear also a fourth, the closing speech from a speaker from every side.
Used in: Differend High school debate schools, and at Worlds Schools Debating Championships.

Here is the transcript of the video. Enjoy:

Todays workshop is about debate and the Worlds Schools Debate Format. We will start with generally speaking about the format and what debate in general is, then we will go to roles of speakers. Debate is formalised speaking, because each speaker in a team, and in a debate has his or her role and duties.
This is something that judges will be carefoul on and this is what they will be looking for. For you to make arguments or to refute
arguments and so on. But this is something that we are going to do later on. Let’s start with what debate in general is.
In every debate you have two sides. This is debate. Pro et contra, so one side, that is proposing something and one side, that is
opposing something. We also call this in Worlds schools format proposition and opposition. You might also hear Government and opposition. Team proposition proposes something and opposition opposes that.
What is that? That is the motion. So the topic of every debate or as we call it, the motion, is what the two teams are arguing about. In many cases and also this week, you will many times hear This house believes that. This is something that this debate format got from British parliamentary debate format, that stems from the British parliament, where they call the proposition and the oposition The house.
So this house means our side believes that, or Government believes that.

Generally speaking each team has three people in a team. So when Bojana, a few minutes ago, told you that you need to find your debate partners, with that she meant, that you need to find two people that you will be debating with. Again, each team has three
What is also important is, that you do not choose the motion that you will debate. And more important, you do not choose the side, the proposition or opposition, you are allocated the side in a debate. So for the debate today in the evening you will be given a motion and it will also say if you team is proposition or opposition. Ok, does anyone have a problem with that? Because many people often say “but how can I debate on something I don’t believe in”. “I don’t believe that we should ban smoking, how should I propose that motion”. Well in debate you are put in a role of proposing something even if you don’t believe that. So you should not take debates and arguments that happen in a debate personally. Because people in a debate are give the side and might not believe in that side. We need six volouneers. 

We believe that we need to visualise debate, especially for those of you that did not yet do any Worlds Schools debate. As said we have two sides. In real debates, that you will have today in the evening, you will have one side, the proposition, sitting left from the judge. Because judge is in front of the debaters. And opposition is right from the judge. Clearly a team seats together. What do you thing, who speaks first? Yes, the first speaker from the proposition.

What does first speaker do? Yes, he can present the team and say “my name is Dexter” and this is my lovely codebater Theodora, and my lovely codebater PJ. You might want to present your team names, but you do not need to do it. What else? Yes, define the motion.The important thing is, that  before you define the motion, you should state the motion. So that everyone knows what the motion is. It is generally good, that you have an introduction, but this is something that you will hear in other lectures. Does everyone know what a definition is? You define the words in the motion that can be misinterpreted. So if I have a motion “We should ban cloning”, what would you define? Yes, define what cloning means and how would you ban it. Would you completely
ban it, or just a part. Ok, here we come to a difference between a definition and something we usually call a model. Definition is just explaining, what cloning means. And you do not need to give a definition of a ban, beucase we all know what a ban is. We will prohibit that. But yes, you do not define wht ban means, but you present a model of what you mean by banning. You present a mechanism of how you are doing it. We say we would ban cloning by banning all scientific research in the area and
all cloning for commercial purposes. We have allready explained that by cloning we mean all animal and human cloning and so on. Of course not all debates need a model. We say that some debates are policy debates, and some are value debates. A policy debate would be “we believe that we should ban models under healthy weight”. But a value debate could be “We believe that it is wrong that corporations use models under the health weight”. Or the policy could be We should ban all ZOOs, and the value would than be This house opposes the ZOOs. The difference is that policy motions demand from you a plan, or a proposal of something. Your motion might be That developed countries should give financial aid to developing countries. Here of course it is expected from you to say We believe that every developed country should give that and that much of money to developing countries. But the value motion is We believe that it is the duty of the developed world to give financial aid to the developing countries. It is really simmilar, but the difference is that you can use all the arguments that you have in the value motion also in a policy motion.

Anja explains: When we are talking about national policies, if a new law is being introduced in your country. Of course the government has to provide us with a mechanism in which this proposal is going to be implemented. And this is called a plan. But they can not defend the values that that stands behind. So if we introduce a new law on drinking age, on education, or on the environment, there are always values involved. If we say that all the major poluters should be penalised, then of course we talk abou the value of human life and the value of environment. But we would also talk about the way this is being practicaly implemented. But on the other hand, if we are debating on a value motion The capitalism has gone too far in exploiting the environment, then we will mainly talk about the values that the capitalism represents and the values that the other side, the environmentalists represent. So I think that you should rely on your feeling. 

If you believe that the motion demands from you to make a plan make it. Because if I say, “we should do something”, the first reaction from me is “how we should do it”. But then, if the motion does not say explicitly we should do something, but somehow you feel that it requires a plan, because otherwise it would be an empty motion, than you should make a plan. An example of such a motion would be that …
Maja: The developed countries should do more to protect the environment. So you don’t necesarily need to say what you would do. It might be helpful, for you to say “we believe that these are the steps we can take, so for example reduce our consupmtion, do more in limitin g the pollution, or emmisions from our factories. And we believe this is the role of our corporations. Now you don’t need to state specificaly how many tons of CO2 emmisions will you reduce, but you give the general idea what this debate is about. This is what a model actually does.

Question from the audience: So basically a value motion states why we think something should be done, and a policy motion states how we should do it?

Maja: Yes, exactly. But don’t be tricked. It is how, but also why. Of course every how needs a why. Why should we protect the environment. Who cares, right?

Anja: It is always balancing. There is not a strict limitation that would say that you just talk about values, or just talk what is nice, what is not nice.

Maja: What we usually say is that a good model is a model you don’t talk about in the debate. Because we don’t want to have a debate about “how will you ban smoking in my home” for example. Because that is not a debate about why’s. And we say the debate about Why’s, why smoking is bad, why does the government have the right to tell me that that is unhealthy and hence I shouldn’t smoke. You should make a model, so that it is clear what you are saying, but then tell me why you believe in that.

Ok, so now we have a definition and a model. What comes then? Arguments, of course. And here (in the how and why) we have already started the arguments part. How many arguments should first speaker have? Well, we are not limiting anyone …

Anja: We are limiting you in a way that we believe that a strong argument has to have some time, so if you decide that you are able to pull through two arguments and explain them thurally, then you are perfectly allowed to make two arguments in the first speech. But if you have what is called a strategic strong first argument, and you believe it needs a little more explanation, in order for the debate to develop well, then it is perfectly ok to have only one argument. So it is just a matter of strategically allocating what you believe will set the ground for all the debate and if you feel that you need four minutes to explain your first argument, that is ok, otherwise you can also have two arguments.

Maja: Arguments are a whole new problem in a debate, so we are not going to talk about them, you will have a full lecture on them tomorow.
Anja: What would you need to know about arguments before you have a debate tonight?

Audience: Arguments are mostly a reason and then an explanation. For example if we debate on a motion, we have to say why.

Maja: True, and usually it is smart to have more why’s. Why do you believe we should do that? Because it is immoral to put animals in danger. Because we believe it teaches children the wrong walues, because we believe it is a unrealistic picture of the natural world, because it harms the balance in the nature. Whatever, just more why’s and arguments are Why’s.

Ok, so this is our great first speaker Dexter, so what he does is, just to repeat, he comes up, he makes a great introduction in our topic… (to be continued)


Lecture – WSDC – Introduction to WSDC Format – WSDA 2010 from Alfred Snider on Vimeo.

About the video: Maja Cimernan and Anja Serc of ZIP Slovenia introduce some beginning debaters to the World Schools Debating Championship format. Both are veterans of WSDC competition, Maja was WSDC EFL world champion and European Universities ESL champion 2010.
This event took place at the 2010 World Schools Debate Academy held in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia during early July 2010. The event was attended by 85 people.
For more information and to learn how to attend future programs, please consult the main website at debate.uvm.edu/wsda.html