Dinner at Tito’s: Feedback on Split Union Open 2011

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By Vienna’s International Society

May 17, 2011

Split Union Open 2011 took place in Split Croatia on May 13-15 2011. The first half of this article will be structured the way a good debating feedback always should be: first stating the results in terms of some freshly invented criteria, second explaining the reasons for the decision. The final paragraphs include a statement on the DKWien performance and the tournament data overview.


Split Union Open was a Balkans-debater family reunion and hence the debate were not the only thing focused on. It ranks as a little bit touristy, quite comfortable debating tournament that seemed to be organised with huge effort though.Significant incident: The public final that lead to triggered anti-gay uprising in the audience and showed how difficult and controversial debating can be. The author recommends reading Manos Moschopolus’ blog entry for further information and discussion.

Explanatory Statement

  1. 4 rounds only, 5 minute speeches, 16 teams participating – this data already makes clear, that Split Union Open was not an ambitious training tournament for most debaters, even though the level of proficiency in Croatian, Slovenian and Serbian debating grantees at least fairly good debates on average. Thus we did not find the most exciting debates and the most experienced judges there (indeed we were sometimes quite dissatisfied with the feedback). On the other hand Split is a very good place not to spend the entire day speaking in stuffy university rooms. Located on the beautiful dalmatian coast and equipped with an ancient roman city center it is a place maybe also worth visiting without debating. Consequently the quite relaxed schedule was welcomed by any debaters tourist-genes.
  2. For a fastidious debater Balkans tournaments usually involve the risk of reducing life expectancy due to the food and the accommodation provided.  While the nutrition-quality standard of Split can still not compare with the one the author is used to in Vienna, surviving was definitely no issue at Split Union Open. Hostel accommodation (incl. WiFi!) is already a luxury for a debating tournament, and the organisers were eager to provide us with good food 3 times a day. To be mentioned is e. g. the outstanding croissant and Krapfen breakfast at the university on Saturday morning, and dinner at Tito’s house – but more on that in point 4. Hence the rank as comfortable tournament is merited.
  3. If you count Austria to the Balkans and neglect the two German debaters it was a 100% Balkan tournament. Split Union Open was a great event to meet a good part of the entire Balkan-debating community and somehow it felt like the main aim of the tournament was to bring this community together to celebrate themselves. The consequence was a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere so that the lacking internationality was no negative aspect.
  4. The Split Union Open Team had one very significant reason to show off: As frequent readers of this site might remember there has already been a tournament in Split last year not organised by the Split Debating Union, but by someone they do not really seem to like. The tournament then had been disastrous, however, Split Union Open wanted to beat it in every single category. As a consequence the final had to be public again and it did not seem to have been a matter of discussion whether debaters should be carried by bus and car to the most expensive clubs of Split or not. Only one question remains: How did they fund this?
    Austrian tourists generally seem to leave a lot of money in Split and Balkan debaters are usually more upper than lower class but to be carried by bus to dinner in Tito’s house in Split still felt exceptional. The former Yugoslavian dictator had a huge house well hidden on the coast that now serves as an event location.  The Split Union Open had rented the entire house as a the Saturday-evening venue and it was used a really noble setting for handing out certificates and celebrating the birthday of CA Manos Moschopoulos. In fact we felt under-dressed although we usually consider DKWien T-shirts as black-tie equivalent. Therefore we could describe the effort (and probably the funds) pumped into this small by the organisers as impressive.

DKWien Performance

Two Teams started under the DKWien Icon:  Susann Hartlieb & Sara Tamindžić as Vienna Veritas and Leonhard Weese & Stefan Zweiker as Vienna Vending Machine. Vienna Vending machine was only in the second round fully successful in selling their case and partially in marketing its communistic libertarian prop product in round 4. Further debugging was not conducted, so handling errors are blamed for the poor result. Both teams finished the tournaments at 4 points.

Tournament Data

Split Union Open, Split, Croatia

Date: 13.-15. May 2011

Debating: 4 Rounds (5min), Final (7min), BPS, 16 Teams

Adjudication: CA: Manos Moschopoulos; DCAs: Filip Muki Dobranić, Milan Vignjević, Lea Tafra


  1. THBT countries participating in the Eurovision should enter only songs in one of their official languages.
  2. THW ban the broadcast  of political remarks made by religious leaders.
  3. THBT the Intervention in Libya was wrong.
  4. THBT all citizens should be entitled to a basic income without the requirement to work.

Final: THBT gay pride parades should only be held with the consent of the local community.



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