Winter Holidays Open is a World Schools tournament for secondary level students. If you need help understanding the format, please check out this online manual or search the web for many open access World Schools format debate manuals. Another good resource is YouTube where you can find countless recordings of WS debates. If you still have questions regarding World Schools, feel free to contact us!

WHO consists of 6 preliminary rounds. Round 1 is seeded randomly; subsequent rounds are power paired. Preliminary rounds will feature two  impromptu and four prepared rounds (two prepared motions, each team debates both sides of both motions). The tournament is unique in that there’s a motions vote every year where the debaters have an opportunity to have a say in what topics they’ll prepare for. Please follow our web and Facebook pages as we put suggested prepared motions to vote on in October.

After a trial in 2017, we’re happy to announcethere’s a Novice Break for teams with under 2 years of debating experience who will have an opportunity to advance to Novice Semifinals and Final. Applying for novice team status is possible if all team members have under 2 years of debating experience and are not native English speakers. Teams eligible for novice status are not obligated to apply as novice teams.

The best 16 non-novice and 4 novice teams coming out of the preliminary rounds will advance to separate elimination rounds (Octos, Quarters, Semis and Grand Final for non-novice teams, Semis and Final for novice teams). The motion for the Novice Final is one of the prepared motions. A third prepared motion is announced in advance for the Open Final.