Tilbury House Online Open 2020

From 30th to 31st May 2020 we hosted our annual tournament with twice as many participants as usual. Many of them coming from different countries.
In times of Corona this kind of news might raise some eyebrows but we managed to organize a tournament with 82 teams all perfectly aligning to the security measures against Corona – thanks to modern technology.
Since our weekly sessions with Helsinki Debating society are now held digitally, we thought of an opportunity to not miss out on a chance to organize a tournament this year.
Via digital conference call not only allows participants and organizer to enjoy a debating experience in the comfort of their own homes but also to invite debaters who’d usually have a harder time coming to Cologne due to geographical distance, like India or Kazakhstan.
Further we could also bring a great teams of CAs together who brought us great motions for the debates.
Our amazing CAs were…

Enting Lee
Enting has been a DCA at WUDC 2019 and is now going to be CA for Belgrade WUDC 2022.
She has judged an incredible 3 consecutive WUDC finals, 2 consecutive UADCs finals and the final of NAUDC, Pan-Ams and the Yale IV, as well as the finals of Cambridge IV and Oxford IV.
As a speaker she is an NAUDC finalist and top speaker, HWS RR finalist and 4th speaker, and Hart House IV finalist and top speaker.

Sharmilla Parmanand
Sharmila was part of the Athens EUDC 2019 CA team, as well as the CA team of Berlin WUDC 2013, twice a DCA of Australs and judged the grandfinals of it three times, as well as the Open Grand Finals of WUDC twice.
Her speaking achievements are equally as impressive: She has won Asians three times and was a Grand Finalist of Australs.

Tin Puljić
Tin is the currently reigning EUDC ESL champion and Open Finalist at both WUDC and EUDC, as well as being Oxford IV ESL champion twice and breaking open at Cambridge and LSE Open.
Additionally has won 10 other tournament and made it to 26 finals.
He is current best ESL speaker of both WUDC and EUDC, as well as being a top 10 Open speaker at both EUDC and WUDC.
His judge record is also very impressive, as he is going to be DCA at Astana EUDC and has CAed 8 tournaments. He chaired outrounds at many other tournaments, including Sofia Open 2018.

Joona Shounen
Joona is an EUDC open grand finalist and WUDC octofinalist, and has been a top 10 ESL speaker at both.
He has made the finals of Oxford IV (ESL) and won the Cambridge IV ESL final. Furthermore he made the finals of many more tournaments including PEP IV and Lund IV.
His nearly equally impressive judge record includes over 30 judge breaks and dozens of CAships, as well as chairing out-ounds at tournaments like Budapest Open and Munich Open.

Mubarat Wassey
Mubarrat is a Cambridge IV Open Champion and Best Speaker(Open and ESL), 3 time Asian Champion & Best Speaker, and part of the only Asian(and ESL) team to have won Australs.
He has already been part of CA teams for UADC, ABP and Australs, and if Korea WUDC does happen, he will be a DCA there too.

Of course, debating digitally is possible but not quiet the same. Due to juggling between different communication platforms to create the space needed for individual debates and debate preparation, the tournament had 4 rounds before the Quarter final.

1. “This House Would break up large pharmaceutical firms.”
2. “ This House Believes That feminists should not use rhetoric about women being more empathetic or more caring than men as part of their advocacy (e.g. “Women are good leaders because they are more gentle and nurturing”.)”
3. “This House Believes That attack on non-combatants involved in war activities are a legitimate strategy in war.”
4. “This House regrets the rise of philanthrocapitalism.”

With so many participants it was possible to hold Quarter-, Semi- and Pro-Am-Finals before the Grand final.
The motion for the quarter final read: “This House Regrets societal belief that one should strongly identify with the culture of one’s ancestry (e.g. if you’re ethically Chinese, identify strongly with Chinese culture).”
Following the Quarter Final was of course the Semi-final. This semi final’s motion read: “This House Regrets the US-Taliban peace deal.”

Amongst a large number of participants, we were also glad to have a lot of novices participating with their partners. Therefore we could also let an exciting Pro-Am-Final happen.
The teams making it to the Pro-Am final were: Tayseer Alwneh and Zaina Hurani, Aryan Khanna and Shivani Verma, Jaime Dalgety and Matilda Handley, and Cerys Wlash and Jason Woods – all debating the motion:
“This House Believes That teachers and parents belonging to oppressed minority groups should teach their group to contribute to the welfare of the group even at personal cost.”
We would like to congratulate the winners of this debate: Jason Woods and Cerys Walsh. Well done for winning this debate!

And finally the Final!
From the large number of so many participants for teams made far to the Grand Final. The final debate took place between the teams of Marta Vasić and Nick Zervoudis, Katharina Jansen, Laudia Macijewska, Nikola Michaylov and Radko Nedyalkov, and Jubayer Ibn Hamid and Wasif Khan
For this Final the motion read: “This House Prefers a world without a belief in free will.”
After a philosophical yet intriguing debate the winning team were Nick Zervoudis and Marta Vasić. We congratulate you for your victory!

Last but not least we also we also want to honour the best speakers of this tournament:
1. Maurice Courtiel
2. Ron Lezrowice
3. Jubayer Ibn Hamid
4. Brandon Lehman
5. Gwen Stearns
6. Pzemek Stolarski
7. Katharina Jansen
8. Emily Frizell
9. Klaudia Maciejewska
10. Marike Breed

Congratulations to your great achievements!

Probably this format of debating was new to all having participated, including us as organizers, but even with technical difficulties and diverging time zones the possibilities to still bring people together and enjoying debating experiences was a wonderful one.
We’d like to thank everyone who’d patience during all technical difficulties, your support but also having lively participants. Further we need to give a big shout out to a supportive CA team. We couldn’t have mastered but also not enjoyed this challenging but satisfying new format without you.
Over all we had a weekend never failing to busy but also excited to bring this many people together despite the hardships of Corona. Thank you for having participated!

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