Not your grandmother’s Debate Finals. At most debate tournaments, the top two teams face off in a high-stakes final round—while most everyone else goes home. Not so at the World Scholar’s Cup. Instead, we select the top speakers from each delegation and form new mixed teams. These already strong speakers face a brand new challenge: working with brand new teammates. They lead the whole community in debating and discussing a (hopefully) thought-provoking new motion. Afterwards, while a panel of nominated peers determines the winner, members of the audience, students and adults alike, can volunteer to join the conversation, sharing their thoughts with a community that is open to every voice.
The talent (and untalent!) show at every regional round is optional—just a chance for you to share something with our community, even if you’re not an experienced performer. Whether it’s a boy in Dubai solving a Rubik's Cube with his feet, or the team from Brisbane teaching us TimTams 101, every single performance is unique. (Unless you’re singing Havana, but then at least the audience sings along.)
New teammates: fourteen. Photos: fourteen thousand. On the first night of every Global Round, you’ll be teamed up with 14 fellow scholars from up to 14 other countries to undertake a series of quirky challenges. You may have to dance Orange Justice under an orange tree, or persuade your coach to jump into a recycling bin. You’ll do all this while exploring a new city together. It’s a great chance to make new friends from around the world, one wonderfully awkward photograph at a time.
At every Global Round (and at the Tournament of Champions at Yale) we celebrate our diversity of origins with a cultural fair in which schools can set up booths representing their countries. There will be food: Turkish delight, spicy Indonesian noodles, reindeer jerky from Norway. There will be performances and demonstrations: drumming Maldivians, Hong Kong scholars writing your name in Chinese calligraphy, Myanmar delegates coating your cheeks in tree bark. Everywhere you turn, you'll learn something new, and take home something that reminds you our world is full of friendship, difference, and delight.