En masse, debaters travel to Europe
Victoria’s most successful ‘sports’ team, DebSoc, have fallen in international rankings following what team member Richard D’Ath describes as “a disappointing tournament”. The sole Victoria team broke 16th before losing their octofinal to eventual winners, Melbourne’s Monash B at the World University Debating Championships, held in Berlin over summer. This compares unfavourably to Victoria’s performance in 2012, when both teams reached the octofinals and one team, the quarterfinals. Standout performances came from Auckland and Otago, with both universities’ A teams making the final round of the competition. D’Ath and teammate Seb Templeton finished 12th and tenth respectively on individual speaker points in the tournament, which included 774 speakers from 387 teams. In 2012, Victoria’s best speaker came third, while in 2011 Victoria’s highest ranked-speaker came 41st. “There’s a certain degree of luck involved in debating… [but] the course is still solidly upwards”, said D’Ath. It’s hoped that luck returns in time for WUDC 2014, to be held in Chennai, India.
Salient is unsure whether DebSoc will continue their usual tradition of graduate team members enrolling in one paper to remain eligible for competition.