march 11-12, 2023
Donate ($50 for teams that are able)
Our tournament was made available to debaters across the globe between the ages of 10-15. We offered both novice and open leagues. Each team had one month to study our motion lists.
In total, over 100 debaters from across the globe joined us for the big day! Debaters from the following countries were in the running for our World Championship Titles:
- The United States
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
Although each team only competed for a total of three rounds, the entire preliminary tournament spanned a grand total of 17.5 hours! While the president (me, Rachel Zubrin) stayed up through the whole tournament, each team was able to debate at a comfortable time after 8am and before 9:30 pm. Fundamental questions were posed and answered, including:
- Is free market capitalism superior to socialism?
- Does national pride do more harm than good?
- Is the development and use of Artificial Intelligence a threat to humanity?
- Do all people deserve to be loved?
Only two teams from the novice league and two teams from the open league were selected to compete in the final round the following day. Many teams were vying for the title, with teams from the United States, Hong Kong, Rwanda, India and Singapore blazing into round 6 with solid and intimidating winning streaks.
Ultimately, two teams from Singapore rose above the others in the novice league to take their shot at the championship- Roga Red and ZH Intrepid. Both Roga and ZH Interpred faced off as top contenders the last time they competed head to head in the past, though Roga ultimately took the crown in 2022. But…could they keep it?
Meanwhile, in the open league, two familiar rivals faced off once more- Writopia (United States) and Lead School International (Rwanda). When Writopia Lab held their tournament in November 2021, teams from Aspire Debate Rwanda had swept the house, leaving not a mere medal in sight for Writopia nor any other team. Writopia came in with a vengeance, however, having spent a year and half viciously building their debating skills and sweeping tournaments of their own. But….would it be enough to change history?
The final brought a brand new challenge to our top contenders; They were forced to debate a surprise philosophical motion, with only 10 minutes of prep time! The novices were stunned to learn their topic, “This house believes it is better to be respected than to be liked”. The open leaguers were equally caught off guard with their motion, “This house believes justice is better than mercy.”
In the novice league, the teams faced off with fierce accuracy, delving deep into the fundamental questions of what brings true happiness and fulfillment. Both teams brought creativity, originality and empathy to their cases. Ultimately, ZH Intrepid proved it is better to be liked than respected by illustrating the long term psychological and sociological need for group support and inclusion. We at Debate to Educate certainly both like and respect them even more for it!
The Open league final was equally intense. It was clear that each team was intimidated at the prospect of debating a motion with only 10 minutes to prepare. Still, Lead International came in strong right out of the gate. As the first speaker announced, “This is an idea I have debated many times before,” the Writopian’s faces sank with terror. Lead International began reflecting on the greater aspirations of humanity and mercy at a level that any college professor would envy. Writopia, however, refused to be bested again. Carefully, they jotted down their opponents’ arguments line by line, looking for the tiniest cracks to bring to light. Never missing a beat nor dropping a contention, Writopia fought back. Meanwhile, they asked the audience one of the core fundamental questions of life- what is humanity without justice? Justice, and Writopia, prevailed in the end. For the first time ever, Writopia took the World Championship title!
The only question is….will Lead International show them mercy next time around? Or will they take the title away from them once more?
Join us next time to find out!