The World Online Debating Cup is an exciting new tournament for debaters from all competitive online sites. This is a chance for some of cyberspace's top debaters to show their skill and prove themselves the ultimate champion in the broadest debate tournament ever created. Individuals and sites are competing for what will be among the most hotly contested and hard won titles in the history of online debating, but the real spirit of the tournament is in co-operation, new friendships, and learning new things.
If you missed out on this year's WODC, don't worry - it's an annual tournament, so there'll be another free opportunity next year.
Good voting is extremely important to the WODC
. We thank all voters who take the time to carefully consider the debates in this competition. Please take a moment to nominate the most helpful votes for one of the tournament's top awards below.
Voter of the Tournament
Seen an amazing vote on one of our tournament debates? Nominate it now for the vote of the tournament. Votes will be judged on how thorough they were in assessing the debate, in how helpful they were to the debaters moving forward, and in how justified their points were overall given their reasoning. A strong vote should be convincing, constructive and relevant at all times.
This graph shows how well users have been able to correctly guess who will win each debate, round by round:
Home sides (ie those affirming the topic) are listed first. More information will appear here as debaters pick their topics etc.
vs bsh1 (DDO)
Homophobia is justified
bsh1 wins by 28 points to 7 points
vs Ajabi (DDO)
Draw by mutual agreement
vs nzlockie (edeb8)
DDO is a better site than Edeb8
nzlockie wins by 14 points to 7 points
vs Rebekah (Edeb8)
cooldudebro wins by default
Ba'al Hamon (Edeb8)
Home sides (ie those affirming the topic) are listed first. More information will appear here as debaters pick their topics etc.
vs 9spaceking (DDO)
The Santa Claus Myth is Beneficial On Balance
bsh1 wins by 9 points to 7 points
vs Krit (Edeb8)
Ajabi wins by default
vs ArcTImes (edeb8)
China should NOT grant independence to the Xinjiang province
nzlockie wins by concession
vs cooldudebro (Edeb8)
Draw by agreement
Ba'al Hamon (Edeb8)
Based on 8 unique votes
Round Two Begins! 3rd of August
Round two has just begun and the debates of round one have concluded, though the final votes for round one will not be counted for another week. CJKAllstar, picked to win by 75% of pundits in the odds, conceded in his first-round debate to nzlockie. Ba'al Hamon also conceded to Ajabi after taking issue with the resolution he found himself having to defend. 9spaceking defeated jh1234l, and bsh1 won his debate by default after his opponent dropped out of the tournament. Fanath, who was originally facing bsh1, will be replaced by cooldudebro. Fanath was competing for debate.org, but cooldudebro is competing for edeb8. This will make the competition between the two sites more narrow, as the gap in the number of debaters from each site narrows.
Voting continues in ArcTImes vs Rebekah's debate over abortion, and Krit vs LogicalLunatic's debate on Christianity. Currently, ArcTImes holds a slim lead over Rebekah, and Krit is winning against LogicalLunatic. Though the final results will not be known for some time, if these results hold, then edeb8 will finish round one with two wins, and debate.org will finish with four. Additionally, the odds will have been accurate in calling the results of the debates two-thirds of the time.
Round two sees a number of interesting match-ups take place, with five of the six debates being between users of the same site. DDO's challenges will be jh1234l vs ArcTImes, CJKAllstar vs Ajabi and LogicalLunatic vs 9spaceking. Edeb8 will see Rebekah vs Ba'al Hamon and Krit vs nzlockie. Newcomer cooldudebro takes on bsh1 on ddo - a tough challenge, given that bsh1 is predicted to win the tournament outright by 79% of people.
Finally, voting for voter of the tournament is now OPEN! See the tab on this page for more details!
Odds voting closes 27th of July
The odds are now decided and all but two debates have started. With topics ranging from abortion and religion to the speed limit, it's clear that the tournament will provide a wide range of quality debates catering to many different interests. With hours remaining on the voting for the evolution debate, 9spaceking has a very narrow lead over his opponent and looks to win the first debate of the tournament. The debate was hard-fought, with burden of proof becoming a key issue in the debate for many voters.
For voters, the tournament has a number of programs to encourage high-quality voting. If there is a vote that's really great, please nominate it for the vote of the round. These votes will be highlighted on the tournament page, and those who vote on several debates will be noted as well. In the end, a "voter of the tournament" will be selected from among these. If you are a participant in the tournament, you may NOT vote on either your own debates, or on debates that take place on your HOME site. You may vote on debates on the other site if you wish that do not involve you. This is to discourage strategic voting.
The final odds saw CJKAllstar rise dramatically all the way to 75% support, Rebekah holding relatively steady at 61%, Ajabi also quite steady at 72%, Krit still on 67%, bsh1 with a commanding 96%, and 9spaceking a very consistent 68%. If these hold, edeb8 will finish round 1 with two victories out of the six debates. In the straw poll, bsh1 still leads with 82%.
First Debate 21th of July
The first debate of the tournament finished on the very first day of competition - a hard fought battle between 9spaceking and jh1234l. Despite accusations concerning plagiarism and burden of proof fulfillment, the debate was a strong one overall about the validity of the theory of evolution! Great job to both debaters.
Voting is now open in that debate - more information for tournament voters to follow. So far, 9spaceking is living up to pre-tournament expectations and is leading in the voting.
Several other debates are now starting to get underway and the tournament is just heating up. On the odds, bsh1 retains a 100% lead after Fanath made a post on debate.org claiming he didn't even sign up. Ajabi's lead holds relatively steady at 73%, but the other users have taken some significant slides - Rebekah is down to 60%, nzlockie to just 31% and Krit to 67%. If those most favored to win each debate hold, then edeb8 will walk out of round one with only two wins to debate.org's four.
In the straw poll, bsh1 remains the tournament favorite with 82% support. It will be interesting to see how this changes as the rounds become more challenging.
Initial Odds 20th of July
The tournament is underway, with the first debate (on evolution) already begun! Remember to check back as this and other debates progress.
We've also introduced a system of odds that lets anybody predict who they think will win the debates in the first week of each round. The tournament opened a little more than an hour ago, and already the first flood of odds has com in. The odds for each debater will be tracked from round to round, and every person's predictions will also be privately tracked so you can see how well you do in each round.
100% of people agree at this point that bsh1 and Krit will in their respective debates. Rebekah (86%) and Ajabi (75%) also have commanding leads. This will give edeb8 and ddo two wins each, plus one for the remaining debate on which they are competing on both sides (9spaceking vs jh1234l, which 9spaceking is predicted to win by 63% of people).
Much will therefore depend on the last debate, CJKAllstar vs nzlockie. This has gone back and forth in the polling, with nzlockie currently holding a slim margin (favored to win by 57%). We'll keep you informed as things progress.
Tournament Underway 20th of July
The WODC has officially begun, as 12 competitors from across edeb8 and ddo compete for what promises to be one of the hottest titles ever to be won in online debating. The first of five rounds of intense competition is underway. You'll get updates and analysis on the tournament right here as it progresses, so stay tuned.
Edeb8 goes into the first round with a bit of an advantage, with 3/4 of their debates being held at home. Even with the random pairing, none of the edeb8 competitors have yet had to face each other, although this could change as the tournament progresses due to the power-pairing tab that kicks in after round two. DDO has two debates exclusively dedicated to them in this round.
Two other sites that were invited to sign up have been removed from the tournament after their owners failed to follow through on promises to promote the tournament, leading to a lack of interest among members of those sites. We hope to work closely with them in future years to resolve any issues and make the tournament more friendly to their audiences.
Some interesting statistics: among competitors from debate.org, the average number of debates they have completed is 49, and the average elo score is about 3,000 (they use a non-standard scoring system, however, so calculations about win probability cannot be applied to their elo scores). Only 3 members from DDO, however (bsh1, jh1234l and CJKAllstar) beat this average, due to bsh1's impressive elo score of over 5,000. Edeb8's competitors have an average of only about five debates each, and an average elo of 1522 - but the field is actually comprised of stronger debaters on average, relative to the other members on their own site. Without a doubt, this will be a close competition in the end.
The tab we'll be running is pretty standard for a debate tournament. In round one, all debaters are ranked randomly by a computer. From there, debaters are ranked in the beginning of each round according to number of wins (draws being worth half a win). For those with the same number of wins, debaters are ranked by number of points/votes they have recieved, which is scaled each round depending on the number of points awarded on the site used in total (so that sites with less voting on winners do not penalize debaters - for debate.org, each voting system they use will be scaled seperately). If participants are still tied, they are ranked by who beat whom, and if still tied after all that, by their rank in the previous round. At the end of the tournament (which runs for five rounds), the top two ranked debaters will advance to the grand final.
An exception to the above will be made for second round, where the results of the first round are not yet known. In this, the match-ups will be randomized again in such a way that no debater faces the same debater they faced in round one.
The tab will generate pairings for debaters in the following way: all debaters will be put into "brackets" based on their number of wins. Brackets are then split in half, with the top half of the bracket facing the bottom half. For example, in a bracket with 10 debaters, the #1 ranked would face the #5, the #2 faces the #6 and so on. If there are an odd number of debaters in a bracket, the lowest ranked debater in the bracket moves down to the top of the next bracket. If there are an odd number of debaters in the tournament overall, the lowest ranked debater in the tournament gets a bye for the round, that counts as a "home" win with 5 points.
A debater may request to sit out up to one of the five rounds (for example, because of an emergency) which will be counted by the system as a home draw. Debaters may be allowed to sit out multiple rounds in extraordinary circumstances by informing the tournament director.
The tab will select one debater to be home, and one to be away. Whichever debater has been "away" least will be set as away. If each has been away an equal number of times, it is decided randomly. If the home/away pairing takes place on a site that does not allow you to debate without a webcam, and the away debater has no webcam, the home/away pairing is switched.
Time will be very important in this tournament. The tournament begins at midnight GMT, June 20. The match-ups for each round will be posted here within an hour of the round beginning, and debaters will be emailed their match-ups shortly afterwards, giving the site, the username of the opponent, and whether they will be home or away. "Home" debaters will affirm topics on their own site, and away will negate on the home side's site, except by prior arrangement. Both parties should negotiate any other conditions for the debate. It is up to the "away" debater to join the site (if necessary) and establish contact with the home debater promptly. Debaters should also agree on a topic they want to argue. If any conditions or topic cannot be agreed within 5 days and the debate has not started, the tournament director will assign a topic (randomly based on topics done at the tournament so far and topics done at recent other debate tournaments) and conditions that must be used by the debaters to begin the debate within 2 days. If this is not done, both sides forfeit. The tournament director may award one side a win if it appears the other side has avoided the debate to fix the outcome of the match.
All debates MUST be concluded within the two weeks from when the round begins. Any tournament round conditions must take this into account. If a debate is not concluded at the end of the two weeks, the tournament director may choose to give both debaters a loss. There are no exceptions to the two-week rule. Immediately at the end of the two weeks, the next round begins.
Three weeks after the round begins, any voting for the winner of every round will be counted. Any votes after this time will not count towards the tournament. When this is done the current standings of every participant in the tournament will be calculated and presented on this page.
The tournament has no special conduct rules other than that you must follow the rules of whatever site you are debating on. Potential participants should review the terms and conditions of each site and be sure to accept those before starting the tournament, or risk forfeiting any rounds that would take place on those sites.
Disqualifications will be given to any user who is banned from any of the participating sites during the tournament for a conduct violation. Debaters may also be disqualified if they are proven to have reached any agreement to fix the results of any debate to change the position of another debate, if they have entered the tournament under multiple identities, if they have voted on their home site (or their own debates) or if they have paid money for votes. The aim of the tournament is to foster online debate of a high standard.
Voting is open to all, but participants in the tournament may NOT vote on debates on their home site or on their own debates. This is to discourage strategic voting. Voters must at least attempt to give a fair and balanced decision on who they think argued the case better, which may not necessarily be the side that they personally agree with. This standard of voting, however, is expected to be moderated by each site's normal procedures individually.
If any issues should arise during the tournament that would affect the tournament's operation, they will be dealt with in the first instance by the tournament director, and if necessary tournament officials or representatives from any site involved in the tournament.
User names and public details from participating sites may be used by the tournament for promotional purposes (ie a message reading "congratulations to X for winning the tournament"). All other details will be used only for the purpose of the tournament and will be destroyed at the end of the tournament. Your email address will not be shared with the edeb8 site or any third parties.
At the conclusion of the 5 rounds, the final tournament placings will be awarded. The sites will be ranked by average member position and the champion site announced.
The grand final will be held among the top two debaters, at whichever site ranked highest. The conditions will be agreed by both sides in the same way as before, but the two-week limit will not be enforced if by the agreement of both debaters. If one or both debaters cannot debate on a video-only site, the video-only site is excluded from eligability to host the final. If sites are tied in their final placement, a random coin toss will be used to determine which site is used to host the final.
There are no physical prizes in this year's WODC, but for pride of winning the inaugral title. If successful, the tournament will likely be repeated in future years, where prizes will be considered as an option.