Sajid Asbat Khandaker and Sourodip Paul of BRAC A have won the open final of the Belgrade World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) 2022, the "world cup of debating."
BRAC A was the first team from Bangladesh to make it to the finals and become champions of the world's biggest debating tournament, held annually in English with teams representing universities from across the globe.
The WUDC is governed by the World Universities Debating Council, which sets the parameters of the tournament with the rules of debate, eligibility to participate, and the selection of the annual host. Serbian capital Belgrade hosted the tournament this year. The event was held online due to Covid-19.
Sajid and Sourodip ranked fifth in the open category during the preliminary rounds of the tournament, breaking previous records of any Bangladeshi team.
In the final, streamed live on the Belgrade WUDC Live Streams Facebook page, the Brac University students faced Princeton University, the National University of Singapore, and Ateneo de Manila University.
The WUDC uses the British Parliamentary debate format where 15 minutes prior to each round, a "motion" is announced. Motions are drawn from a wide range of topic areas, including domestic and foreign policy, philosophy, political theory, and so on. Debaters have no idea what the motion will be until it is announced.
Four teams compete in each round, two on each side. Each team in the round has to rebut any arguments made by the two teams on the other side of the motion and do a better job of defending the motion than the other team on its own side.
Each of the four teams comprises two members, each of whom gives one speech with an upper time limit of seven minutes. After all eight speakers have made their case, the adjudicators collectively rank the teams from 1 (best) to 4 (worst).
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