MSDL Online Novice Tournament

2020 — Online, MA/US

Debate judge page


Debate Judge lounge - (here - passcode MSDL2020)

Judge briefing - In the debate judge lounge

Award ceremony - here (check back - link not yet created)



Be sure you have the CHROME browser installed on your laptop or desktop computer.

Be sure you have an account on  You can't participate in this tournament without one.  Directions are here.  Please include a cell phone number when you sign up.

See the first minute of this 3-minute video: here 

Test your ability to connect to NSDA Campus (the video platform for the tournament).  Click here.  Then click on the TEST COMPETITION ROOM button.

There is more information on NSDA CAMPUS (the video platform), ELECTRONIC BALLOTS, and JUDGING further down this page.



Before the tournament: Check in with your team to make sure everyone is ready to go.

8:30 AM: Go to the judge briefing - Will be in the debate judge lounge - see IMPORTANT LINKS (above).

9:00 AM: First round will be out at around this time

When waiting for a round: When you log into Tabroom, look at the navigation on the right side of the web page.  Under the JUDGING heading, there will be a yellow button for "Current ballots & panels".  Click on that button.  At the top of the screen you will see some utility rooms.

Your team's squad room.  You, the other judges from your school, and your school's competitors can talk to each other in this video conference room.

The judge lounge.  All judges for this tournament can gather in this room.   

You can also see your round assignment.  If you see your Round 1 assignment, click on the camera icon.

ALSO watch for an email that will have your pairing and a link to your competition room.

If you do not get assigned a round: Go to the JUDGE LOUNGE (see link at top of page).  That way, we can quickly find you if we need you to judge a round you were not initially assigned to.  Once we know we have all the judges we need for a particular round, we will let you know approximately when the next round will be posted and we'll let you go for the time being.



CLICK START immediately - Get into Tabroom (log in if necessary).  Click on your name in the upper right corner.  Towards the top of the screen, at the left, you should see a START button.  Click the START button.

GO TO YOUR ROOM - Click on the camera icon to go to your competition virtual room.

TECH CHECK - Please have all round participants - you and the debaters - test their microphones and cameras as soon as you can.

SET UP EVIDENCE EXCHANGE - Probably not necessary at the Novice tournament.  Normally, we would ask someone (usually the judge) to create a blank Google doc and set the permissions so that anyone with the link can modify it.  Then put the link into the CHAT so that everyone in the round can access it.



Say who you are, your school, and what division you are judging.


Text (617) 564-0281

As described in the 3-minute video (link, above), there will also be a messaging function to the right of your virtual room screen.  Basically, all it does is start up an email that we will receive.


NSDA Campus - prerequisites.  You must: 

Have a Tabroom account that you have logged into.  See here for setting up an account.

Be using the Chrome browser

Be on a laptop or desktop computer.  You cannot view rounds using a tablet.



This 16-minute video (here) shows you how to use Tabroom to find your online debate room and enter your ballot.  The NY CFL prepared the video, so there are a few things that are different from the MSDL. Notably, we *do* allow low-point wins, whereas the NY CFL does not.

This 3-minute video (here) provides a quick overview for NSDA Campus



How to use TABROOM to enter electronic ballots - here

How to judge PF - A quick overview, plus some resources - here

Jim Menick's how-to-judge document - here.  Note - This document describes "brick and mortar" tournaments, but the key points carry over to the virtual world.

Jim Menick's overview for Public Forum Debate - here.  Note - This document also describes "brick and mortar" tournaments.

A nice video on how to navigate - how to find information about the tournament you are judging, etc. - here.


JUDGE BRIEFING for Public Forum Debate -  at 8:30 AM on Saturday.

LINK - See top of this web page.

Passcode: All judges will receive an email with the passcode.