Tournament Details

Debating Format

The Oxford IV 2017 will be using the British Parliamentary format with 8 debaters, 4 teams and 2 sides in each debate. There will be 5 preliminary rounds, and all debates will have a speech time of 7 minutes. There will be 4 rounds of open adjudication with Round 5 being a closed round (ie. Adjudicators will not give feedback or reveal the result of the debate until after the break is announced). Per WUDC rule 1.3.3, debaters are “permitted to use printed or written material during preparation and during the debate.” The use of electronic equipment is prohibited during preparation and in the debate.


The top 16 teams will break to the Quarter Finals with the top 2 teams of each debate advancing to the Semi Finals and then Grand Final. The top 8 English as a Second Language (ESL) teams (see definition below) will break to ESL Semi Finals with the top 2 teams advancing to the ESL Grand Final. The top 4 novice teams (see definition below) will break to a Novice Grand Final.

Awards will be given to:
– overall Champion team
– ESL Champion team
– Novice Champion team

– Best Speaker
– Best ESL Speaker
– Best Novice Speaker

As the open, ESL and novice out-rounds will occur concurrently, a team will not be able to speak in multiple categories. Thus, a team that is eligible to break in more than one category will be allowed to choose which category they wish to qualify for.

English as a Second Language

Eligibility for the ESL category will be determined in accordance with existing World University Debating Championship guidelines and in the spirit of article 33 of the WUDC Constitution.


A debater is considered a novice if they are:

  • someone who is in their first academic year of competitive university debating in BP format AND
  • someone who has not broken at a university-level competition in BP format, with the exception of novice tournaments.

A team will be considered a ‘novice team’ if both speakers match the novice description above. If only one speaker on a team matches the definition of a novice, that speaker will be ranked on the novice speaker tab, but the team will be unable to reach the novice final.

Ultimate determination of a speaker and a team’s status lies with the convenors and the CA Team.