Power-Pairing Proposal Documents

Mark Gabriel, member of the Board of Directors, has sent out an e-mail on 14th JAN 2018, informing the community about the voting issues on the final shape of the power-pairing proposal taking effect in Zagreb 2018. This is its original text:

When the World Schools Debating Championships Tournament Committee met in August last year in Bali, it was decided that ‘power-pairing’ will be implemented for a 1-year trial period for the preliminary rounds of WSDC 2018 in Zagreb.


A set of temporary amendments to the WSDC Rules outlining the procedures for power-pairing was presented in Bali by the outgoing Tournament Committee Executive. However there were a few specific issues regarding certain aspects of the procedures raised during the discussions at the meeting in Bali. The Tournament Committee therefore decided that, while power-pairing will definitely go ahead in Zagreb, an online ballot of the Tournament Committee would be held in order to make some decisions about a few aspects of the procedures, and the incoming WSDC Ltd Board of Directors was tasked to organise the ballot.


Over the past couple of months, the Draw Working Group (which was created by last year’s Executive and was asked to continue its work by the Board) has, based on the discussions in Bali, created a list of issues which need to be put to a vote and has drafted possible amendments to the original proposals presented in Bali. These have been shared with and approved by the WSDC Ltd Board of Directors.


The WSDC Ltd Board of Directors plans to hold an online ballot of the Tournament Committee from 9th – 11th FEB 2018.


There are 6 issues regarding the power-pairing procedures which we plan to put to a vote:


     Issue A:  Should the Rules specify whether the ‘seeded rounds’ (preliminary rounds 1 and 2) must be prepared or impromptu debates?
     Issue B:  If a team needs to be ‘pulled-up’ to a higher bracket, how shall that team be determined?
     Issue C:  Within each bracket, how should the computer tabulation programme aim to pair teams up for each debate round?
     Issue D:  Should teams be allowed to face debate against each other more than once during the preliminary rounds?
     Issue E:  Should every team be given exactly 4 debates in proposition and exactly 4 debates in opposition over the 8 preliminary rounds?
     Issue F:  What should happen in the event that there is an odd number of competing nations?


There are 3 documents attached to this e-mail. They are:


     (i)  The full text of the original power-pairing proposal presented in Bali.

WSDC Power-Pairing Proposal Issues (Edited)

     (ii)  A list the various options related to the 6 issues noted above and information on the potential implications of each option. (For some issues there are 2 options, and for some issues there are 3.)

WSDC Power-Pairing Proposal Original Text (Edited)

     (iii)  Amendments to the text of the original proposal presented in Bali in the event that alternative options are chosen.

WSDC Power-Pairing Proposal Text Amendments (Edited)

The representatives of each WSDC nation are encouraged to read through these documents and start thinking about how they would like their official voting representative to vote in the upcoming online ballot.


Anyone who has any thoughts regarding any of the issues which they would like to share with the rest of the WSDC community can do so through the WSDC Netpals mailing list.


Each nation which has entered a team in at least 2 of the last 3 WSDC championships (Singapore 2015, Stuttgart 2016 and Bali 2017) will be eligible to have 1 official voting delegate cast votes in the ballot. Details of the dates and voting procedures will be released shortly.

In addition to voting on the power-pairing procedures, the online ballot will also include the election for 5 members of the Motions Committee for WSDC 2018. (Candidates who wish to nominate themselves for the Motions Committee need to submit the nomination forms by by Thursday 18th January at 12:00 PM GMT.)


Voting will take place on the weekend of 9th-11th FEB 2018. Every nation’s voting delegate must login at schoolsdebate.com to cast votes. You can register for a new account here.

Further information regarding the online ballot will follow in a few days’ time.


Mark Gabriel
Member, WSDC Ltd Board of Directors