JUDGING 101

Judge with a Book

WHY WE NEED YOU

Judges are some of the most vital contributors to the speech and debate community. Without judges, tournaments would not be possible. If you are new to speech and debate and have an interest in judging, this page will walk you through what you need to know in order to be successful.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO JUDGE?

A judge is somebody who has volunteered to evaluate rounds of competition. 

While there are definitely similarities between judging different speech and debate events, there are also many differences.

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Woman with Computer

MAKING AN ACCOUNT ON TABROOM

At Speech and Debate tournaments the National Association has created a site to make sure your judging experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Through this site you can check which rounds you are assigned to, scoring, and other info you may need to look into.

You should set up the account using the link I provided a few days before the tournament to account for any problems and remember to bring either a laptop or iPad for easy access during every round.

Speech Round

DEBATE

In parliamentary debate, each round will have two teams with two individuals in each team. There are two sides to every debate, one side supports the resolution being debated, the other side negates the resolution.

During the round ballot is where judges will record their thoughts on each performance, suggestions for improvement, and general feedback for the performer. 

Post-Debate Round

In speech, each round will have 6-7 individuals. There are multiple types of speech; however in each round there will only be one type judged.

SPEECH

Pre-Speech Round

Prior to the start of the round, the judge will pick up a ballot from the tournament organizer. The ballot is where judges will record their thoughts on each performance, suggestions for improvement, and general feedback for the performer. 

Speech Round

The speeches should be around 8-10 minutes and the order should be given to you by the organizer. During the round ballot is where judges will record their thoughts on each performance, suggestions for improvement, and general feedback for the performer. 

At the end of the round you may leave; however, do not tell any of the contestants their scores. The ballots will be returned to them after the tournament.

Pre-Debate Round

Prior to the start of the round, the judge will pick up a ballot from the tournament organizer. The ballot is where judges will record their thoughts on each performance, suggestions for improvement, and general feedback for the performer. 

 Debate Round

At the end of the tournament, each school will receive all the ballots written about their competitors so contestants can use your feedback to improve.

Hover over the image to see the timeline.

3 cups

Blueberries

3 cups

Flour

Prep Time

Pick up your ballot from the judges prep room.

1½ cups

Butter

Get to Debate Room

Once you get to the debate room you can get started with the round. Keep in mind the competitors should not enter the room until you have reached otherwise they will be disqualified.

Start Debate Round

Start the clock! Make sure to take notes on your ballots.

End Debate Round

After the end of the debate you are not allowed to share who won. You can give the competitors tips, but you are not allowed to give them the scores.

Go to Next Round

MostYou will .

Start Debate Round

Start the clock! Make sure to take notes on your ballots.

Start Debate Round

Start the clock! Make sure to take notes on your ballots.