Sunday, August 25, 2013

NUDC 2013: Can Bina Nusantara Score a Hat-Trick?

Politeknik Negeri Sriwijaya - Venue of NUDC 2013
Universitas Bina Nusantara, a.k.a. Binus University, which has held the national BP debating title for the last two years, is eying to score a hat-trick at the 2013 National University Debating Championship that starts today.

Binus has an unique arrangement in sending teams to the state-sponsored nationals. Although there are 2 active debating clubs in the Binus University system, the education ministry only allows 1 Binus team each year. The solution is Bina Nusantara English Club (BNEC), which carries the name "Binus" in the debating world, and Binus International Pool of English Debaters (BIPEDS), known as "Binus International" in circuits, have to take turns. BIPEDS won in 2011 while BNEC matched the feat in 2012. The baton has returned to BIPEDS this year. Consisting of members of the squad that won the Indonesian Varsities English Debate last January, the 2013 team look strong.

Without doubt, 95 other teams from all over Indonesia wish to end the Binus reign. What are the odds? Factually, there are only 4 other participating teams that can boast national trophies - only less than 5% of the lot. Due to the single-team cap and the emphasis on geographical spread rather than depth, NUDC is a top-heavy tournament. This year it is compounded by the absence of last year's finalist Universitas Parahyangan, due to academic scheduling conflict, and regeneration issues at several strong clubs that have led to the sending of weaker debaters than before.

Here are the 5 favorites, including the BIPEDS team, with their past achievements.

Universitas Bina Nusantara (Jaran Walia & Invi Atmanegara) - (1) Champion of ALSA Unpad EC 2011, Bawor Cup 2013 | (2) Champion of JFF 2012 | (1+2) Champions of UADC EFL 2012, IVED 2013
Universitas Indonesia (Roderick Sibarani & Egalita Irfan) - (1) Champion of ALSA UI E-Comp 2011, JOVED 2012, Atma Jaya IV 2013 | (2) Champion of Bawor Cup 2012
Institut Teknologi Bandung (Vicario Reinaldo & Fauzan Reza Maulana) - (1) Champion of UADC EFL 2013 | (2) Champion of ALSA UI E-Comp 2013 | (1+2) Champions of AEO 2013
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Amir Abdul Aziz & Nabila Aghniarizqa) - (1) Champion of SODC 2013, AUI 2013 | (1+2) Champions of AUI 2012, ALSA Unpad EC 2013
Universitas Bakrie (Aryo Febrian & Alifia Firliani) - (1) Champion of UADC EFL 2011, IVED 2012 | (1+2) Champions of NDC-NES 2012

This situation also offers opportunity for the rise of dark horses and giant killers as long as debaters can match the quality of the above. There are several universities that are sending three-time veterans of the nationals and some emerging schools  that broke into knockouts of recent tournaments can pull off surprises. Nonetheless, short of a spirited challenge against the favorites, the title would go to one of the 5 teams. 

The first, second and third winners of NUDC 2013 are eligible for funding to go to the 2014 World Universities Debating Championship in India, along with the best team on the preliminary tab. The best novice team will no longer get a WUDC ticket. Without that carrot, there is hope that the regrettable preference to debate in the weaker novice category rather than meet strong teams in the main competition that occurred in past nationals would stop.

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