Monday, October 22, 2012

ABP 2012 Changes Mind, Allows Limited Public Access

After receiving messages from members of the Indonesian debating community concerning the original policy of barring non-paying spectators, including the media, from the 2012 Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championship, organisers have decided to open limited access to the public. Click here to read the response from the Binus International committee. The main issue is still about capacity as Binus International's posh JWC campus is small and even during normal days security is tight.

Floor plan of Binus International's JWC campus - Venue for ABP 2012
Organisers have come up with this scheme. On October 24 and 25, the days of the preliminary debates, 100 members of the public are allowed to enter for free only after registering themselves between 8 to 9 am. On October 27, the day for the elimination rounds, the number of allowed visitors will be reduced to 60 and each of them must pay a Rp 50,000 entrance fee. These people also must register between 8 to 9 am. On October 28, only 60 paying visitors can watch the ESL final that is slated for 1.30 pm. They must register from noon. The grand final, which will take place in a different venue, remains closed for public.

Another aspect of the scheme is spectators are limited to 5 in each room for the preliminaries. This will force distribution of visitors to mostly all the debates. With around 80 participating teams in a competition using a four-side format, there will only be around 20 chambers. Visitors must quickly find the favourite rooms or be satisfied with a chamber that may not meet their expectations.

The scheme might sound new for Indonesian spectators who are accustomed to full public access on campus but it is a positive change from the idea of blocking the public from seeing the first major international debate tournament in Jakarta. At least with this plan, coaches, supporters, friends and family can motivate their teams and ABP 2012 can be part of the growth of Indonesian competitive debating.  


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