What do you get when over 400 debate teams and 300 judges from around the world converge on one city for a massive debate tournament? The answer is, the Worlds University Debating Championships (WUDC). It is the largest, most competitive collegiate debating tournament in the world.
On December 26th, King’s juniors Josh Craddock and Noah Heinz and Coach of The King’s Debate Society Burk Ohbayashi departed New York City for the Technical University of Berlin, the host University of WUDC 2013.
Craddock and Heinz, both members of The King’s Debate Society, debated topics ranging from arming Japan with nuclear weapons and forgiving Greek debt to creating public housing for the poor in wealthy areas.
The competition was tough. “The level of competition dwarfed any other tournament we've been to,” Heinz said, “No matter what the motion was about, there was a chance that you would have a debater that was pursuing a master's degree in that field or topic, or for policy rounds, who lived in the areas discussed.”
After nine rounds of debating over three days, Craddock and Heinz ended with 16 points, just one point shy of breaking to the final rounds. “Our team didn't break,” Ohbayashi said, “but we had a great time learning more about debate, meeting debaters from around the world, and exploring the city.”
"We developed friendships with debaters from across the world and shared in meaningful conversations about our convictions and first principles," Craddock said. "Competing at Worlds allows The King's Debate Society to advocate truth in a truly global marketplace of ideas and I'm very grateful for that opportunity."
The tournament wasn’t all business. Debaters spent off hours exploring and visiting friends in Berlin. Ohbayashi, Craddock, and Heinz were able to visit the home of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famed German theologian (and House namesake) and visit the Reichstag.
The King’s Debate Society is now preparing for its second annual debate tournament hosted at The King’s College. The tournament will bring in debaters from around the country and draw from the international community as well.
The mission of The King’s Debate Society is to train students to effectively advocate truth in the marketplace of ideas.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.