From October through December 2009, ARDOR hosted the YouSpeak Project, the first online debate tournament in Romania. During these three months, the project held 127 online debates, where forty percent were won by the affirmative and sixty percent by the negative.
Three rounds of debate were held during this period. The first round of debates included 204 teams discussing the motion, "Some websites should be banned in order to protect minors." The second round had 138 teams debating on the topic, "Compulsory voting should be introduced in Romania." Then, 112 teams participated in the third round on the motion, "Blood donation operations should be transferred from the state to the non-governmental sector"; after which, 89 teams remained. To view these debates, click here.
The first fifteen teams of this online debate tournament also participated in the YouSpeak Winter Camp, which was held on December 18th-23rd to improve students' public speaking skills. Videos of these speeches will soon be posted on www.youspeak.ro.
Because of such successful participation numbers, ARDOR intends to organize more online debate tournaments in the future as annual events. The Romanian Association for Debate, Oratory and Rhetoric is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization founded in 1998, from which debate clubs in over 50 high schools and seven universities have been established.