The WUDC Berlin 2013 Tournament Guide contains important information for the speakers, adjudicators, observers and all other participants of Berlin Worlds, henceforth referred to as "you".
We, the organizers, are determined to give you the smoothest Worlds experience possible; and we cannot wait for our plans to finally become reality. So it is with excited anticipation that we present you this guide with the things you should be aware of before your journey to the WUDC Berlin 2013.
Alas, we have to start with some rules...
At the WUDC Berlin 2013 it is your responsibility to comply with German law as well as the WUDC Berlin 2013 Code of Conduct (CoC). Both apply to you regardless of whether you are aware of any of it or not.
When breach of law comes to our attention, we will not hesitate to notify the authorities if we don't find an internal solution with no legal or other dangers to the tournament. It is your responsibility to stay legal. If you are in doubt about anything, please contact us. We have a legal team to answer your questions.
Under German law
Of course, this list is not complete.
In addition to strongly advising you to refrain from buying and using illegal drugs in Germany, we would like to point out that drugs that are being sold on the streets and mainly marketed to tourists are often cut with chemicals and therefore pose an even greater health risk than they normally would.
These are the potentially relevant documents we can think of. Check if you are too close to any expiry date:
We advise you to bring copies of everything (just in case) and keep the originals in your hotel safe.
Do not expect temperatures above 3°C/37°F. Precipitation is unpredictable; there could be anything between lots of snow or rain and none at all. Debates are (smart) casual, except for the three finals, which are rather formal. You are welcome to bring black tie (or equivalent). Socials are smart casual, except for one, where you would be way overdressed wearing smart casual.
Germany's currency is the euro, which is not going to change any time soon. You can easily find exchange rates online. We advise you to bring some cash for the trips from and to the airport, for drinks (we make them as affordable as possible) and for excursions on January 1st. Also, please make sure your institution brings the cash to settle its open balance (if there is one). It is paramount that you settle any open balance you may have on December 27th/28th, i.e. before round 1. If you and your institution fail to do so, your teams will not be able to compete until the balance is settled. Note that credit cards are not universally accepted in Germany. There are ATMs at the airports and train stations, also at the hotel.
Voltage is 220-240V, alternating current (AC). You may need a transformer to adapt to this voltage. Plug type is Europlug (CEE 7/16) or Schuko (CEE 7/4).
The ultimate goal of your journey to Berlin is the check-in at the Hotel Berlin, Berlin. Check-in is open on December 27th and 28th all day.
Our welcome committees will be assisting you on December 27th at both airports: Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF). They will do their best to catch your eye. Just have a look around, particularly near the designated airport meeting points. The team will help you with the ticket machine and accompany you to the Hotel Berlin, Berlin. At the check-in we will give you tickets valid from December 28th to January 3rd. Alas we cannot extend this period.
Travelling without our company is not particularly difficult either:
If you are a WUDC Berlin 2013 Scholarship recipient arriving on December 25th, you will be informed about your transfer by email.
For your overview:
The main hotel of Berlin Worlds, the one for most participants, is the Hotel Berlin, Berlin. That's where you can check in on December 27th or 28th all day. Our second hotel is the InterContinental Berlin. See WUDC Berlin 2013 map for overview.
At the check-in we are legally urged to ensure no damage done to the hotel will fall back on us. You have two options: you may either sign a direct-billing declaration or register your credit card at the hotel reception.
For an additional charge we are able to provide single rooms. Please get in touch with Head of Registrations Teresa Widlok if you are interested.
Between December 28th and January 3rd we provide all meals according to the preference you have submitted (no special requirements, halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free). If you have not submitted any preference, we put you down for no special requirements. Please remember that your choice is binding throughout the tournament. Changes are not possible.
The world championship of any s(p)ort seeks to be as public as possible as it is usually the highlight of the year for the respective enthusiasts and a focal point for public-relations work.
Nonetheless we are determined to avoid negative consequences of publicity. Our photographers will know when people appreciate their attention and in what kind of situations people do not wish to have their picture taken. If you find yourself in debate of the preliminary rounds with live streaming, the stream will be interrupted during your speech upon your request. Tabs and maybe intermediate results will be published in a way that they can be easily found by those interested in the competition but not by googling names. Note, however, that we actively encourage friends, journalists and the general public to join us and watch the debates, particularly the finals but also all other rounds. If you know potentially interested people in Berlin, invite them.
Germans value politeness and formality but are nevertheless quite direct when addressing a problem or asking a question. Instead of lengthy small talk they usually cut directly to the chase and say what they want to say. Especially people from Berlin are known for "Berliner Schnauze", speaking their mind, very honest, even a little rude, with a good portion of humour, and a caring heart hiding underneath. Be aware that not everyone, especially among the elderly, speaks English. The majority of Germans does, though, so don't give up after the first fail. When greeting someone or talking to someone it is considered polite to maintain eye contact but refrain from touching if you are not acquainted. The usual greeting is a handshake.
Berlin, especially the inner city, is quite safe. Feel free to use public transportation and cabs and to walk around, even at night. Of course, common sense should be applied: Don't handle lots of money or credit cards in public and keep an eye on cameras and handbags.
Germans actually do obey traffic rules. That means that people rely on you to behave accordingly as well. There are specially marked bikeways and pedestrians should take care not to get in the way of the sometimes very fast bikers. Also, don't jaywalk. Even though you will see people crossing the streets at a red light, there is a fine if you get caught, so don't risk it. Ticket inspectors in public transportation do not wear uniform and are quite ruthless, no way of worming out when being caught. When you buy your own ticket, please remember to validate it by using the stamping machine.
Shops close between 8 and 10 pm and are closed the whole day on Sundays and holidays. There are almost no shops that are open 24/7 so you will need to plan ahead a little. Prices already include VAT and are non-negotiable, so don't try to bargain.
Somehow credit cards never made it big in Germany. Many stores and restaurants will not accept them and those who do only accept them for bigger sums. It is advisable to always carry cash with you which you can get with your credit card (PIN needed) from an ATM.
Pricing: Prices in restaurants and cafes already include VAT. Service is included as well. Still it's customary to give a little tip, around 10% if you liked the service or just round up the sum to the next euro or so. Payment and tip is handed directly to the service person. Don't just leave the money on the table. If you want to tip tell the service person at payment the sum you want to pay including the tip, e.g. "Make it five" instead of 4.49 EUR.
Water: Tap water in Germany is most strictly controlled and absolutely fit for consumption. Many Germans drink only tap water. Nevertheless it is not served in restaurants or cafes and one does not ask for tap water to drink when going out. When ordering water be aware that the usual bottled water in Germany is sparkling, so remember to mention that you want non-sparkling water, "stilles Wasser".
Laws and official rules are non-negotiable. Arguing with the police or any other authority person will usually not do any good. Bribing is illegal. People will take offers of money as a serious offense and in official places it might lead to legal action. Aside from cafes, hotels, restaurants and cab drivers giving tip might be seen as an attempt to bribery and will be frowned upon.
Please don't be late. Being on time is a virtue in Germany. If we from Berlin Worlds say we start at 9 o'clock, we mean 9 o'clock sharp. We strongly recommend you be there 15 minutes early.
Environment and Health
Germans are big on environmental issues and recycling. That's why you have to pay a deposit for most bottles and cans. We also separate our trash – even in the trash cans on the train platforms. Indoor smoking is only permitted in some pubs and never in public buildings, trains, etc. Also outdoors there are often designated areas for smoking, e.g. on platforms.
We will provide a space at the university for your religious and spiritual needs during the tournament. Berlin itself is home to many different religious and spiritual communities and if you are looking for a place of worship in Berlin during your time at the WUDC, we are happy to assist you. Feel free to email Sarah Jaglitz from Intercultural Affairs if you have any questions or requests.
The Berlin Worlds Adjudication Core has put together a three-part WUDC briefing plus Speaker Scale for orientation regarding speaker marks.
2. Adjudication (also recommended for speakers)
3. Format (for Novices)
All speakers and adjudicators are recommended to familiarize themselves with it in order to make the Worlds a qualitatively better place.
The documents can be read and downloaded here.