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Every year in late December/early January the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) takes place. Each year it has over 400 teams, and 1000+ total participants, making it one of the largest debating events in the world.  This  year it is being hosted by the 

It has increasingly become a spectator sport in recent years, with thousands of people tuning in online (and out-rounds broadcast on TV sometimes). Watching WUDC debates is a great way to improve your own debating, by seeing some of the best debaters in the world in action, and to cheer on your favourites. debating society of Greece in Thessaloniki. 

Livestreams of rounds will be online here.

For other updates follow the official facebook page and official twitter account, where schedule, topics, etc will be posted. 

Lively discussion from around the world always takes place on twitter, follow this hashtag searchTends to vary between serious analysis, gossip and 


How it works

Worlds contains 9 rounds of British Parliamentary Debates, spread over three days,this takes quite a toll on participants, adding an element of endurance on top of the intellectual demands of the competition. The main rounds are followed by elimination rounds for the Open category, English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) categories.

The Break (the teams progressing to the out rounds) is traditionally announced at Midnight on new years eve local time. New years day is traditionally a day off to recover and socialise, with the outrounds taking place across the next few days. Other highlights include public speaking and "masters" (old debaters who are judging) competitions, as well as various social and cultural events.

Learn more

Our staff who are there judging will be posting updates and commentary through the week, so check here and on our facebook page.

Because we and our sister league, the National High School Debate league of China, have been growing quite rapidly recently we are looking to recruit several new full time staff. Click here if you are interested. 

Also we are running a summer World Schools and Public Forum Debate institute in the USA, so get in touch if you are a high school student or coach.  

Updates after the main rounds:

The main rounds  are now finished. The full results of the main rounds can be found here:

New years day is traditionally a day for the teams of relax and recover from the competition, and includes organised trips to local tourist destinations and a fun debate between judges. The elimination rounds begin on the 2nd of January and the finals of each category are on the 3rd of January. 

Streams have been moved to a different site due to technical issues. Several individuals and teams are tweeting live comentary via the hashtag WUDC.  

The full list of motions so far:

*Round 1:* THW allow states to use mercenary forces in combat roles in active military operations.

*Round 2:* THW prohibit the private ownership of art deemed to be culturally or historically significant.

*Round 3:* THBT all states should collectively aggregate & evenly distribute all profit from mineral wealth globally on a per capita basis

*Round 4:* THBT governments with racially diverse populations should never record the ethnic or racial background of their residents.

*Round 5:* THB the US should withdraw from East Asia and cede regional hegemony to China.

*Round 6:*
Info slide: A sunset clause provides that a law will expire after a specific date unless further action is taken to extend it.
THB that states should adopt sunset clauses that legally force them to review and either re-authorize or revise their constitutions every generation

*Round 7:* TH supports stronger collective bargaining rights and protections rather than legislated labor market regulations (e.g., wage levels and working conditions)

*Round 8:* THBT the creation of feminist icons and their cults of personality are good for the feminist movement.

*Round 9* infoslide: Culpability is a measure of the degree to which a person can be held morally responsible for an offence.
THBT criminal punishments should be based only on an offender's culpability rather than the damage caused by the criminal act or other outcomes derived from the punishment.

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By Hannah Herman

1. Engagement Matters. Apathy is fatal, in more ways than one. It kills your mind, because you cease to think, question, and explore; it kills compromise, because you refuse to understand others, much less listen to them; it kills others and causes them to suffer, because you fail to act decisively on urgent issues. Debate has shown me how little engagement actually happens when it matters most—politics, social issues, economic policy—and it has both empowered and inspired me to constantly seek engagement.

2. There is a world outside of campus. Academics aren’t everything, and there exist billions of people outside of your school. Don’t waste four years living in a bubble. Meet people, talk to people, befriend people who are different than you. Ask insightful questions to people who aren’t professors. Know the world beyond your classroom windows. Campus is the place you live for four or six years; out there is where you will live until you die.

3. There will always be someone better than you. I can trace my debate career in arcs: for a time, I perform well, collecting shiny tokens of success. Then, one weekend, my success collapses in on itself. Maybe I hit a team so extraordinarily good, they make me feel like a fresh-faced novice again. Maybe I get a motion I know shamefully little about, like labour relations. Maybe I’m burned out and hungover, and my brain rebels. Whatever the cause, I fail miserably. I am profoundly humbled: by my lack of knowledge; by others’ skill; by the fickleness of luck. More than anything, debate has taught me humility. You are most likely to fail in the moments you feel invincible, so check yourself before you wreck yourself.

4. Find something that enthralls you, and then seek excellence. I love the way speaking makes me feel. I love knowing exactly how to answer an opponent’s question. I love the exhaustion that comes after debating five rounds in one day. I love watching new debaters progress and improve. And so I spend three nights a week practicing. I give up my weekends to attend tournaments. I grab coffee with novices when I ought to be studying, and I volunteer my services as a judge for free. Debate consumes my life, because I love it, and loving it drives me to pursue excellence. If you want to be good at something, you need to fall in love with it first.

5. But winning isn’t everything. Competition is good only insofar as it enhances pedagogy. If debate were competitive but not instructive, my success would mean nothing; if the lessons I learn in rounds didn’t carry over to real life, debate wouldn’t be worthwhile. And if my success came at the expense or exclusion of others, trophies would be a badge of shame. Debate is a game, but the end goal isn’t winning; it’s being better, more informed, more engaged, and more connected. The organic conversations I have with debaters outside of rounds matter much more than the contrived interactions we have during rounds; it’s there that my ability and willingness to engage shine through.

6. Your ability to listen matters more than your ability to speak. As a novice debater, you’ll often hear your debate rounds described as “ships passing in the night.” This phrase means that there was no actual collision of arguments; there was no “clash,” as debate vernacular would put it. These sorts of debates are awful and awfully boring, and usually, they happen because someone failed to listen. You can give a great speech and still lose, because you didn’t interact with your opponent’s argument. Perhaps you misunderstood what they were saying; perhaps you understood, but didn’t want to engage with it—the rhetorical equivalent of plugging your ears and singing “la-la-la-la-la.” In the end, you not only look silly but small and cowardly. Your success, both in debate and in life, depends on your ability to listen actively to others.

7. Be charitable towards your opponents. Debate forces you into uncomfortable situations; it asks you to purposefully disagree with others in significant ways. It’s tempting to be unflattering towards the other speakers, or perhaps even disingenuous; you’ll want to sputter furiously at them, to dodge their best arguments, to erect a giant straw man and set it ablaze with fiery rhetoric. But these tactics won’t win you the round, and they certainly won’t win people to your side in real life. You must learn to woo people—judges and opponents; bosses and friends—and the best method is to treat them like the intelligent, rational, well-meaning people they are.

8. It doesn’t matter what school you went to. I attend a small, private liberal arts college. It’s not particularly well-known, and it’s definitely not particularly prestigious. Sometimes, I’ve second-guessed my choice of school; after I graduate, how can I possibly compete against students who can hang degrees from Oxford, Harvard, and LSE on their office walls? But then I realize that I already do compete with them–and, more than occasionally, I win. Debate is, more than anything else, an equalizer. It gives you a platform, a voice, a sense of success. Persuasion is power, and it matters far more than branding.

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The Association for Global Debate (AGD) is a team of passionate debaters, organizers, teachers, judges, and parents who support the growth of debating across different countries and regions. As a support network, AGD strives to connect high school debating events, leagues, and societies to resources and experts, both local and foreign. We provide free resources for tournament and debate team organizers who need academic, organizational, or financial assistance.