In recent years, EUDC has undergone a massive expansion. The inclusion of more teams is undoubtedly a valuable evelopment, one we intend to continue with extensive debate and judging outreach initiatives. However, we recognize that in order to maintain both inclusion and the professional integrity of the competition, we need to keep building a strong judging pool across Europe.
We are committed to ensuring that Athens EUDC 2019 is a fair and educational experience for all participants. We recognize that this requires a serious investment in judge training and development well before the actual tournament. Further, apart from making EUDC a better competition on its own, the judge training programme we envision will have a significant impact in strengthening debating circuits. From our experience with various debating circuits, a lack of qualified judges is a substantial barrier debaters face. It often leads to debaters experiencing frustration and disengaging from the activity, or opting to travel overseas for tournaments, which shuts out those who can’t afford frequent travel.
With this in mind, we will provide accessible judge training opportunities that address gaps in our current resources and complement the existing training programmes run by various organisations in our debating community.
- We will create a free video directory of fully judged rounds, including actual judge panel discussions and oral feedback for debates. To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no records of judge discussions after debates, and very few of judge feedback. We believe that exposure to a representative sample of strong judges providing feedback to teams will help less experienced judges bridge the gap between adjudication theory and practice.
- We will produce training videos on adjudication featuring top judges, covering a range of topics. These will include the basics of BP judging, conducting panel discussions and resolving disagreements, structuring and delivering feedback, avoiding common judging mistakes, edge cases in adjudication, and other finer points of judging.
- We will host adjudication-focused live chats and panel discussions on online platforms.
- We will publish our philosophy on motion-setting, including how we test individual motions and the overall quality of a set of motions.
- We will appoint an adjudication training officer to work closely with us in the time leading up to Athens Euros and oversee most of these projects.
- Ultimately, we believe that even simple tasks, such as creating more standardization in adjudication, and providing targeted, streamlined, and accessible judge training resources developed by highly qualified judges, can go a long way in further improving the judging culture in European debating far beyond Athens EUDC.