In 2008, the WSDC Executive Committee's working group on hosting concluded that it would be useful to create a list of minimum requirements for hosting the tournament.
This should be used both by potential convenors to assess their ability to host and by actual convenors as a checklist.
What follows is a provisional list, as proposed by that working group. It includes common sense requirements, points which satisfy WSDC rules, and issues and concerns raised at recent meetings of the World Schools Debating Council.
At this stage, the requirements are not intended to be absolute. It is suggested that hosts may deviate from them if they can provide a suitable justification and alternative arrangements. However, convenors may view the requirements as a reasonable starting point. As such, if a potential host county does not believe that it can meet the requirements, they should reconsider submitting a bid until they are in a more viable position. Similarly, Council members may wish to use the fulfilment of these requirements as a method of assessment when selecting and approving a bid to host.
Requirements can and should be updated as the needs of the competition and its participants change, and to accommodate inevitable differences between hosting countries.
Members of the WSDC community, in particular former convenors, are invited to contribute to this list as follows:
- Please register as a user of this wiki before you make any comments or contributions. Anonymous comments are not helpful on a collaborative project like this!
- IMPORTANT: If you would like to suggest a substantial alteration to the requirements, or an additional requirement which might be controversial, please discuss it at the talk page first.
- If you have something to add which you are fairly sure is non-controversial, please add it to the page straight away. (If you're not sure how to do this, see here.)
Here is the suggested list of minimum requirements for hosts:
- Have the backing of an organisation with a legal identity (it cannot be a personal/solo effort)
- Provide national representatives for the Motions and Complaints Committees
- Have a Treasurer and an Organising Committee with at least three other members (in addition to the Convenor)
- Have access to a pool of volunteers of at least 10
- Provide accommodation for every day of the tournament (minimum 10 nights) within the registration fee
- Use accommodation that is within walking distance of local amenities (including shops, restaurants, cafés) or within walking distance of easy-to-use public transport
- Provide breakfast in room which can accommodate all participants or provide suitable facilities for all teams to prepare their own breakfasts.
- Ensure that there is a central location available for making morning announcements with an accessible notice board and a PA system were possible. (this can be in the main breakfast room)
- Arrange some kind of office facility at or near the accommodation, with computer equipment and space for meeting with your organising team
- Make provisions for the convenor or a senior member of the organising committee to stay at the hotel/hostel for the duration of the competition.
- Set up a registration desk on arrivals day and, as a minimum, give arrivals a name badge and copy of the tournament schedule
- Ensure rooms are serviced (with fresh towels/sheets at intervals)
- Make internet and laundry facilities available (even if participants pay for them)
- Provide a safe social space for the debaters to commune in during their free time, in particular after the preliminary rounds
- Include all breakfasts, and at least 50% of evening meals and lunches, in the registration fee
- Inform national delegations in advance if meals will not be provided so that funds can be brought to compensate
- Provide information on cheap, convenient options for times when meals are not provided
- Cater for special dietary requirements – including vegetarian/vegan, halal and kosher – as far as practicable
- Where special dietary requirements cannot be accommodated, advise the affected delegations / participants as soon as possible
- Include in the registration fee all transportation to/from debates and other organised activities, plus transfers to/from the nearest major airport if walking or using public transport is not viable
- Have sufficient volunteers to ensure that everyone gets on the right bus at the right time (or to direct people effectively when using public transport)
- Hold at least 6 of the 8 preliminary round debates in front of audiences of local school/college students
- Arrange for some sort of welcoming ceremony at schools/colleges, even if this is just a short speech from a senior teacher
- Arrange a chairperson and timekeeper for each debate, and enough volunteers to ensure that people get to and from preparation/debate rooms in a timely manner
- Provide instructions for the Chairperson and a stopwatch and bell for the timekeeper
- Ensure that rooms are set up ready for debates before participants arrive
- Provide water for debaters, either at venues or prior to leaving the accommodation
- For impromptu debates, ensure that there are suitable, separate preparation venues available for all teams
- Ensure that there are suitable venues selected for the knock-out rounds of the completion (particularly from Quarter-Finals onwards) befitting of their status and which can accommodate large audiences
- Ensure that no team is asked to debate more than twice in one day, and that debates are not arranged during the Jewish Sabbath
- Schedule at least one full leisure day during the tournament, whether this includes tours or simply free time
- Arrange a minimum of three organised evening activities during the tournament (including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and a Break Night celebration)
- Inform participants in advance if any organised events require formal or national dress
- Arrange to hold a judges’ training session on the day after arrivals; the Chief Adjudicator will advise on its length and room requirements
- Arrange at least one meeting with all coaches and/or team managers at the beginning of the competition to highlight any procedural changes or special requirements
- Arrange to host the World Schools Debating Council meeting, usually on the final or penultimate day of the tournament
- Allow each country to register at least 7 participants: 5 debaters, a coach and a judge
- Set registration fees at a level not significantly higher than for previous Championships, or inform the WSDC community well in advance if this is not possible
- Ensure that registration and payment deadlines are not set more than 3 months prior to the start of the tournament
- Confirm each individual participant’s contact details and date of birth, as well as dietary and other special requirements at least one month prior to the start of the tournament
- Ensure that each participant sends a completed WSDC Code of Conduct to you prior to their arrival at the tournament
- Provide newsletters/updates to the WSDC Netpals mailing list at least every two months, and at least monthly during the last 4 months
- Inform the WSDC community immediately if there are any changes to arrangements which could affect countries’ ability to attend or compete, or which have a significant financial implication for participants
- Set up a website or blog, however basic, to ensure that news and registration information is readily available to all
- Distribute motions for prepared debates 2 months prior to the start of the tournament (as required by the Rules)
- Release the draw one week before the start of the tournament. If this is not possible try to avoid releasing the draw at a time when the majority of teams are in the process of travelling to the competition.
- Produce, as early as possible, a full income/expenditure budget and have this available on request of sponsors or the World Schools Debating Council
- Include a contingency fund of at least 5% of the overall tournament budget
- Produce sufficient marking sheets for judges, in triplicate carbon copies
- Provide spare copies of the WSDC rules, notes for adjudicators and definition guidelines as required, even if you have asked participants to bring their own copies
- Photocopy all of the relevant papers for the World Council meeting – the Executive Committee’s Secretary will provide these
- Provide awards for the winning team, Best Individual Speaker, Best EFL/ESL Speaker, highest ranking EFL/ESL team and highest ranking new team
- Provide a certificate or some sort of trophy for each participating team