This section covers all of the various materials - for display, distribution and award - that you will need to produce for the World Championships. Try to produce these as far in advance as possible, because during the tournament you'll have more important things to do than spend all evening at the photocopier.

See also: Welcome pack.

Display materials/stationery[edit | edit source]

As noted under Accommodation, you'll need to buy a large noticeboard and display it prominently in the hotel/hostel.

You should also obtain the following stationery as a bare minimum (try asking a local office supplies store for complimentary goods):

  • several reams of blank paper
  • pads of lined paper
  • several dozen ballpoint pens and permanent markers
  • plenty of Post-It notes
  • stapler and staples
  • hole punch
  • paper clips, treasury tags, scissors, sellotape, reusable tack
  • drawing pins for the noticeboard

Written materials to be produced prior to Championships[edit | edit source]

All of these are essential:

Souvenir brochure[edit | edit source]

Also known as a Tournament Handbook, this is the single most important document for most participants – and the main souvenir of the competition once everything is over. For this reason, it is essential that it be ready when registration begins. You must begin collecting information for it well in advance, so that you leave yourself at least a week for printing and binding – confirm the timetable with your printer. Depending on your budget, you will need to decide format, number of pages, colour or black and white, etc. You will also need a designer to stand by.

The most important element in the brochure is the description of each team, together with names and preferably a photograph. For this, of course, you need the cooperation of each country and you may have to bombard them with reminders so as to get the material in time. Don’t forget: you can send all text/pictures directly to the printer or designer by e-mail; and they might also be happy for individual teams to do so, thus saving you one extra bit of hassle.

The brochure should include:

  • Description of each team (see above)
  • Letters of welcome from VIPs – your patron if you have one, the prime minister, president, mayor, etc.
  • Names/photos/biographies of key staff members for the tournament
  • Full details of your sponsors, financial backers and contributors
  • Names of participating schools/colleges

Other options are:

  • Background on the host country/city, and tourist information on sights and attractions
  • History of the competition or other details, including anecdotes from past years (see Singapore’s handbook in 2002)
  • Short vocabulary of your country's main language(s) (as in Jerusalem 1998)
  • List of restaurants, museums and other attractions (including local bars and pubs; after all, half of the participants in the competition are adults!)

You may be able to sell advertising space – or at least give free pages to your sponsors. (In 2006, Wales covered the full cost of producing a 48-page colour brochure - even making a small profit - through advertising and the donation of design work.)

But, however you do it, please try and guarantee that you have the Handbook ready before the competition begins! The brochure should be provided on arrival.

Judges’ marking sheets[edit | edit source]

It’s a good idea to adapt yours from last year’s design, if you can get hold of an editable electronic version from the convenor. Remember to ask the Chief Adjudicator to approve it before you send it to print. Marking sheets must be triplicate carbon copies. You’ll need 3 per debate in the preliminaries, 5 per debate in the octos, quarters and semis, 7 for the Grand Final, 1 per judge for the judges’ workshop, and at least 50 spares.

Official guidelines[edit | edit source]

The following are all downloadable from

  • Rules of the World Championships (include one in every participant’s welcome pack)
  • Defining Motions and Constructing Cases (one for each coach and judge)
  • Notes for Adjudicators (one for each judge and coach)

Tournament schedule[edit | edit source]

Include one in every participant’s welcome pack. It’s recommended not to copy this until a couple of days before the event begins, in case of last-minute changes.

Name badges[edit | edit source]

See under On arrival.

Certificates[edit | edit source]

There’s no set format, but debaters will expect to be presented with some sort of certificate at the end of the tournament.

World Schools Debating Council papers[edit | edit source]

Although the Council meeting won’t take place until the last day of the Championships, you will have little spare time for copying meeting papers once the event is under way. The Council’s Secretary will have a clear idea of most of the required papers some time before the tournament begins, so you should be able to get hold of the appropriate documents well in advance.

During the Championships[edit | edit source]

While not all essential, other useful things to hand out or publish during the tournament include:

  • A group photo - the one essential in this list, which should ideally be given out free of charge (one per competing country is fine, or more if you can afford it).
  • A final list of participants, sorted by country and role (as there are usually numerous changes even after the brochure has been printed).
  • A rooms list, given to adults once rooms are allocated.
  • A daily list of the previous day's debate results. This allows people to check for errors and inform the Chief Adjudicator promptly!
  • A list of contact details of all participants. It’s true that people can swap e-mail addresses easily or find each other using the alumni database at However, some have found a contact booklet (including addresses, phone numbers and e-mails) supplied in Stuttgart in 2004 a valuable resource ever since! The data for this can be compiled and checked upon registration, and the printing and binding can be done in a couple of days. Check that people are happy to waive any privacy requirements before printing their details in such a booklet.

Flags[edit | edit source]

It’s acceptable to ask each team to bring its own national flag, but be aware that (a) not all teams will do so, and (b) the flags are likely to be all kinds of different sizes. If you have an event for which you need flags and where image is important, get a member of your team to try to source the flags at home. Proper woven flags can be very expensive, so you could ask a company to donate them or give a discount, or you could borrow them from (say) an international school.

Prizes[edit | edit source]

There is a World Championships trophy for the winning team: make sure you contact last year’s winners and remind them to bring it along. In addition, you’ll need a minimum of five extra prizes for the runners-up, semi-finalists, and best ESL/EFL teams. However, it’s nice to be able to give a prize to every participating team: some sort of trophy, plate or other memento that is characteristic of the host country. You might also consider awarding prizes to the top 10 individual speakers.

Debate equipment[edit | edit source]

Although school hosts should provide the necessary equipment, you shouldn't rely on all of them doing so. In addition, you might have debates at self-organised venues where no equipment is unavailble. You will therefore need a supply of:

  • Stopwatches
  • Bells (depending on the time-signalling method to be used; according to the rules, it is the convenor’s prerogative to decide on this)
  • Number cards if you use them, to show minutes elapsed (as in Jerusalem 1998)
  • Simple pocket calculators for judges (not all of them remember to bring one).

With luck you might be able to find a supplier who would give you such equipment (or loan it for the duration of the competition) so you don’t have to purchase it. If not, you might be able to obtain a discount for a bulk purchase or buy cheap calculators from a local supermarket. If you provide things on a daily basis, it will be the responsibility of each school liaison officer to collect the equipment and bring it back to the hotel/hostel at the end of the day, together with the score sheets.

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