Monday, August 5, 2013

UI-ITB Duo Win IDO 2013, Slay NUS Teams Along the Way

Indonesia Debate Open 2013 Champs - iBob
(Rifan Ibnu Rahman & Boby Andika Ruitang)
The only hybrid team in the final, #9 iBob (Boby Andika Ruitang/UI & Rifan Ibnu Rahman/ITB), championed the 2013 Indonesia Debate Open after outshining #1 National University of Singapore 2 (Bryan Chan & Kenneth Kang), #2 Universiti Teknologi Mara (Mifzal Mohammed & Rafiq Saladdin) from Malaysia, and an Universitas Indonesia team under the codename #7 Just for Fun (Aulia Anggita & Elghafiky Bimardhika) yesterday. The champs also eliminated another team from Asian powerhouse NUS in the semifinals.

For Rifan, who graduated from Institut Teknologi Bandung last year, it was the second victory in as many weeks following the win at Jakarta Mini with another UI debater. He has now won 5 tournaments with an UI partner - each time different. For Boby, who has led dozens of adjudication cores and spoken in numerous tournament out-rounds, this was his first ever trophy as a varsity debater. In the final, the pair knocked down the motion "This House Would Abolish Prisons".

ITB debaters were the happiest last night. On top of Rifan's win, freshmen duo ITB 5 (Midia Arifandi & Dara Indira) won the novice final after beating 2 Universitas Pelita Harapan teams and a pair from Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Organized by Broadway Entertainment, an event organizer known for making music parties, and held at Universitas Trisakti, which has no active debating club, IDO had organizational woes. Less than 40 teams showed up although the cap was set at 100 and organizers had bragged the quota could expand. It was the first Indonesian competition that dared to run a few days before Eid al Fitr, known as the exodus period when most in the world's most populous Muslim country are busy travelling to their hometowns or visiting relatives. A day before the debates, organizers announced discounted registration fees to fill the gaps.

Poor time management also hit IDO. Chronic delays forced debates clashed with Friday prayers and iftar, forcing Muslim debaters to either skip the ritual, leave the chamber before a debate ended, break their fast when a speech was underway or postpone it altogether until their matches finished when organizers failed to provide food on time. On the first day, the committee failed to provide lunch for some of those who were not fasting due to miscalculation. Future Indonesian debate organizers should take some lessons. Basic preparations that consider local situations should be a priority.

On a positive note, IDO attracted strong Asian institutions like NUS and UT Mara and made it possible for Indonesian debaters to get feedback from top-notch judges like Chris Bisset, the Best Speaker of the last World Universities Debating Championships.


  1. This is a very inaccurate representation of the tournament. The tournament was not only the most competitive BP tournament ever held in Indonesia (Second only to BIPED's ABP), the tournament saw socials organized at a standard that is only seen at regional tournaments such as UADC, ABP, Australs, etc.

    Not only did the A-Core provide adequate time for the accommodation of the muslim debaters to break fast, the meals offered at this tournament was much better than most if not all the IVs ever held in Indonesia. Participants had a good variety of fast food, Indonesian nasi padang and a nice catered dinner at the end.

    It is blatantly wrong to claim that this tournament was bad. The only possible problem was traffic to the university which I believe everyone would concur that it was inevitable.

    While it was only a 40-team tournament, the break was exceptionally tough. I alone would not be able to further praise the tournament. I challenge Indodebate to allow others to comment on this because IDO 2013 was the iconic event for Indonesians and such slamming would only wrongly undermine the quality of this tournament in later years. If Indonesia wants to compete with powerfully recognized tournaments like Malaysia Debate Open, Singapore Debate Open and Philippine Debate Open, we should stop criticizing our own IDO because we have certainly made a mark with our very first IDO.

    **Do comment

  2. Thank you for commenting. The blog is open to positive commentary related to IDO but also welcomes criticism against it. The complaints cited in the article came from participating debaters and adjudicators. A member of the A-core confirmed there were no mistakes in the story. The incidents were real and could have been avoided if there was more preparation and concern to local situations. A call to stop criticizing IDO, like what the anonymous writer proposed, however, is regrettable. Criticism is important for tournaments so that they can be enjoyable for all participants. No tournament should be immune from feedback no matter how harsh it could be.