Up to and including 1998, the Convenor was generally the Chief Adjudicator (CA) as well. Some earlier tournaments (e.g. London 1992 and Cardiff 1995) did have separate CAs, but their role was largely in organising local judges, and the Convenor still played a full part in most of the areas that fall to the CA today.
The rapid growth of the tournament from 1997 (17 countries) to 1998 (25 countries) and 1999 (31 countries) threw some issues into the spotlight – namely that there was far more work for a Convenor to do, with managing accommodation, travel, schools and events for so many participants, and also far more work to be done on the debate side – selecting adjudication panels, tabulating results, and dealing with complaints and queries.
In 1999, England therefore appointed Dan Neidle and Thomas Dixon as CA and Deputy Chief Adjudicator (DCA), and delegated responsibility for the ‘debating side’ of the tournament to them. In both 1999 and 2000 the Convenor was still actively involved in decisions about motions, judges and so on, but was able to concentrate more fully on event management.
In 2001 the distinction became more marked when Trevor Sather acted as the first ‘international’ CA, while working with two South African DCAs (Estelle Dehon and Ndanga Kamau). The success of the 2001 tournament was largely due to the energy and commitment of the team of South African students who concentrated on event management, leaving the three CAs/DCAs largely unmonitored to conduct the (by comparison) minor tasks of running the debating competition.
This model was developed in 2002, when Andrew Stockley served as an international CA in Singapore, with Vernie Oliveiro as Co-CA. In both 2001 and 2002 the pairing of international and national organisers worked well because inevitably there are two pools of judges to manage – the international ones, with many familiar faces, and a group of local judges who may be unknown to an international CA.
This year, Trevor stood in for Sebastian Percival as he had to pull out of attending the tournament in Peru at a late stage – this time paired off with Daphnie Drassinower as Co-CA. Sebastian had already assembled an e-mail group of advisors which included Daragh Grant and Ian MacMullen. Daphnie and Trevor considered that the work for the CAs had grown to the extent that more hands would be a good thing, and so the CA became the ‘CA’s Team’ of four, dividing responsibilities fairly equally.
2003 threw many issues into relief, not least the CA's Team were pretty much busy with administration, discussion and decision-making for every second of the tournament. As more and more practices became common, and more and more communication and quality assurance became expected by the WSDC community, there was simply a lot more to do than ever before. These issues were considered by the (new) Executive Adjudication Group, which recommended the formation of a Chief Adjudication Panel (CAP), which would combine international experience and local understanding, and provide the personnel to cover all of the tasks.
2004 and beyondEdit
Although the CAP was only formally recognised by the Council at the end of the 2004 tournament, the first ad hoc CAP was chaired by Asher Weill (2004 CA) and included James Probert, Claire Ryan, Cameron Wyllie, Sue Wenzlaff and Trevor Sather. Since then, a CAP has been formed prior to every Championship.
2004 was the first year to benefit from vigorous discussion and recommendations from the first two terms of the Executive Adjudication Group, and thanks also go to all those who participated.