World Universities Debating Championship in Spanish
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (January 2014)|
The World Universities Debating Championship in Spanish or Campeonato Mundial Universitario de Debate en Español (CMUDE) is the world's largest and most important debating tournament in Spanish.
It is a parliamentary debating event, held using the British Parliamentary Debate format. The tournament the winners of the open competition are acknowledged as the "World Champions" of debating in Spanish.
The last tournament was held at Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Campus Estado de México) in Estado de México and Mexico City and the next edition will be hosted by Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia.
The Championship is held in the Northern Hemisphere summer.
The competition involves nine preliminary rounds, which become power-paired as the tournament progresses, matching the strongest-performing teams against each other. Two teams form the government (proposition in the UK and North America) and two the opposition in each debate room. The process of scoring and pairing these teams is known as tabbing. The scoring of teams is done by judges, most of whom are students or former students from the competing institutions, who return ballots with their scores to the adjudication team, led by a Chief Adjudicator who is assisted by one or more deputies.
The nine preliminary rounds are followed by a break at which the teams proceeding to elimination rounds are announced. In the current tournament format, 32 teams proceed to the quarter-finals, with the best 2 from each debate qualifying for the semi-finals, and the best 2 of each semi-final subsequently proceed to the Grand Final.
In addition, a public speaking competition is also open to all participants in CMUDE. Since edition held in México in 2014 a Nation's World Cup and a Spanish As a Second Language tournament were introduced.
There are some differences with the english-speaking version of the tournament. One of them is that there is no limit on the amount of teams that a university may register to the tournament as long as they fulfill the "n-1" rule, where "n" represents the amount of teams they bring to the tournament and "n-1" is the amount of judges they need to provide.
Since the edition in México 2014 a Nation's World Cup has been held. While in Worlds this competition is not taken on a serious manner, the debating formats change year after year and anyone can represent any country or even fictional countries, in the Spanish-speaking version just one team per nation is allowed and the debaters must represent a nation from which they are a national, with the team being formally registered by the representatives of each nation at the tournament.
Another difference is that composite teams can only exist when it is impossible that those debaters could represent their country due to lack of representation.
The "language status" tournament also has a key difference with Worlds. While Worlds' "ESL" and "EFL" tournaments are only for the teams that were not able to break into the main tournament, the "Español como Segunda Lengua" (Spanish As Second Language) competition features a break of all teams eligible due to their language condition regardless of their performance on the main break, thus crowning the outright "Spanish As a Second Language" world champions and not the best of the teams that didn't break.
Finally, since the 2014 edition, a new focus was given to social service, where a full day was dedicated to teach debate to local students, becoming the first debate tournament in the world that includes events of direct social impact as part of its agenda.
Past Champions and Hosts
World Universities Championship
|Year||Hosts||Best Speaker||Runner-Up||Third place|
|2014 ||Mexico Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de México Atizapán de Zaragoza|| Spain Universidad de Extremadura
Gonzalo Alonso Pinto
| Spain Universidad de Extremadura
Carlos Seseńa Vaquero
|Chile Universidad Andrés Bello Fernando Vera|
|2013||Spain Universidad Complutense Madrid||Venezuela Universidad Central de Venezuela María Gabriela Vicent Allende|| Spain Universidad de Extremadura
Carlos Seseńa Vaquero
|Chile Universidad Andrés Bello Ricardo Gómez|
|2012||Chile Universidad Andrés Bello Santiago|| Chile Universidad de Chile Santiago
Daniel Iribarren Abarca
| Venezuela Universidad Central de Venezuela
| Chile Universidad de Chile Santiago
|2011||Venezuela Universidad Central de Venezuela Caracas|| Spain Universidad Complutense de Madrid
| Chile Universidad Andrés Bello
David Alatorre López
Performance by country
|Country||Wins||Finalists||Semifinalists||Quarter Finalists||Best Ever Ranked Team||Best Ever Ranked Speaker|
|2014 ||Mexico Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de México Atizapán de Zaragoza||Peru||Chile|| Colombia
Spanish As A Second Language
|2014 ||Mexico Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de México Atizapán de Zaragoza||United States Willamette University||United States Colgate University (x3)|
Chile 2012 controversies
The first criticism of Chile 2012 targeted the motions. Many debaters alleged that some motions were ridicule and hard to debate without tautological definitions, such as "the devil knows better for devil than for old".
During the tournament many observers and teams suspected that the local teams from Universidad Andrés Bello already knew the motions since their arguments had specific information and facts for special cases deemed impossible to know under a 15 minute preparation without the chance to use devices. As well, in the final round many people said the motion wasn't good as a thesis for the great final, nevertheless, all teams from the hosting university, separately, gave the same approach on how they would have addressed the motion and define the concepts of the thesis given after the debate.
As well, there were some discrepancies between the rulings and the actions of certain judges, especially regarding the participation of swing teams in the absence of any team, where the judges applied different criteria in different cases, which represented an injustice to certain universities, considered those cases by the organizers as "the margin of error". In addition to these reviews, there was controversy over cases not covered in the rules, justified as positivised in the operating rules and procedures by the organizers, which later turned out not to be specified in the regulations manual. Moreover, the competition did not follow a "Power matching" format but rather randomized pairings.
The editions held in Spain and Mexico have been exempt from such controversies.
- World Universities Debating Championship
- European Universities Debating Championship
- North American Debating Championship
- Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships
- World Debate Website – General World Universities Debating Championship information page
- World Debating Website – General World Universities Debating Championship information page
- CMUDE 2011 Stats - 2011 CMUDE statistics page
- 2011 CMUDE website - 2011 CMUDE website