Hobart and William Smith Colleges - HWS Hosts Round Robin
The HWS Update
Round one of the Round Robin Debate Tournament.

HWS Hosts Round Robin

This spring, the HWS Debate team hosted the HWS Round Robin, a major tournament on the international circuit.

The HWS Debate Team successfully hosted its second ever online Round Robin during the first weekend of April. The Round Robin is the Debate team’s annual and internationally renowned tournament. Though the Round Robin is usually hosted on HWS’ campus, this year, it was run entirely on Zoom – with participants competing digitally from around the world.

Debaters and judges participating in past Round Robins regularly hail from international debate powerhouse programs like Cambridge, Oxford, Melbourne, Stanford, Sydney, University College Dublin and Yale. The HWS Round Robin is the most highly competitive debate tournament in the world, second in prestige only to the World Championships.

Competing teams this year included participants from Ateneo de Manila University, Bard College, Bates University, Harvard University, University of Toronto, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, London School of Economics, Macquarie University, McGill University, National University of Singapore, Princeton University, Tel Aviv University, the University of the Witwatersrand and Zagreb University.

The HWS Round Robin follows the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) format. In this format, two teams argue in favor of a given motion and two argue against the motion. Motions are topics that are debated upon; some of the motions debated revolved around topics such as expropriating white-owned businesses in Southern Africa, raising children communally, and evaluating historical figures whose values did not always match our own. Under the round robin system, all debate teams face off against all other teams exactly once.

Hobart and William Smith have found great success in recent tournaments, but because of the rules of the Round Robin, HWS Debaters are not allowed to compete. After five preliminary rounds, the Grand Finals were won by Zagreb’s Tin Puljić and Lovro Šprem. Runner ups were London School of Economic’s Abhinav Bathula and Trenton Sewell.

Follow the HWS Debate Team on Facebook to learn more about this and future year’s Round Robins.

The photo above features Round Robin participants Tin Puljić and Lovro Šprem from Zagreb University in 2019.