As I was surfing the Facebook Event page of the Malaysian Universities Debate League which my company has just conceptualized earlier this year, a passing comment by a not-s0-stranger left what I assume, a surprised tone: “Team Malaysia?” I instantly noticed two things about him — he supports Aberystwyth Town Football Club and he’d rather have me flip the coin to decide the sides at a debate breaking (elimination) round.
Flipping the coin is not as flimsy and pathetic as it seems. Doing the coin flip gives one a slightly unnerving sense of God-like control. Though the coin, was at most times never mine, as I thrust my hand and flicked my thumb into the air I felt the seductive thrill of power. Should I take that coin in my palm or let it fall to the back of my hand, or have another swirl that would leave the coin out of my reach and leave it landing on the floor?
These tiny decisions has enormous consequences, like moving pieces in a game of cosmic chess. The one little flick of the thumb could leave any debater spending the remaining nights of the tournament in a hotel, staring at a ceiling that I’ve condemned him to stare at. This was the butterfly effect in action. If, in future tournaments, a debater gets punched in the mouth, is his blood on my hands?
Any seasoned debater would tell you, luck has a lot to do with how well you do in a tournament. Especially once you have broken into the breaking rounds. And if possible, being a responsible and thoughtful debate organizer I would naturally try to divorce myself from all the twisted luck-factors that unnervingly influences a debate outcome. This dire need to remove myself from wielding God-like powers in debate tournaments – that has obviously accelerated my aging process, has to happen now. Rather than becoming a selfish monkey which would pass the responsibility to another fellow monkey, I decided, lets have a crack with a league format instead.
Ideally, we would all want to involve universities around the country with lower divisions and all the TV broadcastings, but that would cost a lot of money. And as this is a time where money is scarce and allergic, we decided to have the inaugural league somewhat smaller and manageable.
The plan is kick-off the league in July and the first briefing will be held at the Novice Debating Championship in UTMARA this weekend (19 – 21 February 2010). To find out more about this proposed league, make sure you are at the championship or call Elin at +6 012 209 7542.