Urban Debate National Championship

2023 — Dallas, TX/US


Providing Judges

Judges must be active in an urban debate league judging or serving as tabulation staff for more than one tournament during the current academic year.

  • Each team entered in the event requires a judge available for all preliminary rounds.

  • Each entry will obligate their judge for 3 preliminary rounds.

  • All coaches present must be in the judging pool.

  • All judges will be committed for one round after your team is eliminated.

  • For teams that do not clear to elimination debates, judges are obligated through the first elimination debate on Saturday night.

  • Donated rounds by league staff are appreciated and should be noted on the League Registration form.

  • Rounds are not available for hire.

  • Judges will not adjudicate teams from leagues with which they are affiliated; please alert Luke Hill of all entries outside of your league that a judge should be precluded from hearing.

  • All judges must complete a background check:

    • School district employees can provide proof of employment or background checks

    • NAUDL has partnered with Sterling Volunteers to offer an online background check service at a reduced price

    • NAUDL reserves the right to remove any attendee from the tournament or judging pool who are a risk to competitors or violate the Youth Protection Policy.

Coaching Responsibilities

All coaches attending the tournament will be entered in the judging pool unless exempted by the Tournament Director. Exemption requests must be approved prior to February 27th.

If a coach is exempted from the pool that does NOT eliminate the need for that team to bring a qualified judge to the tournament. Any coach receiving an exemption from the judging pool must specify an additional adult who meets all of the judging and background check requirements who will be fulfilling their team’s judge obligation prior to strikes opening.

If a coach is assigned to judge a round and does not appear to judge that round, their team(s) will forfeit that round.

Judge Philosophy

  • Judges must have a judge philosophy posted to Tabroom.com by Friday March 24th.

  • A judge philosophy may include a judge’s thoughts on debate style, presentation speed, familiarity with the topic and debate argument preference.

  • Students should adapt to the available judging pool.

  • A team represented by a judge without a publicly available judge philosophy will forfeit each round until a philosophy is made public. A sample judge philosophy can be found here.

Completing the Ballot

  • Each judge is required to declare one, and only one, winner and one, and only one, loser in each debate assigned by the tabroom.

  • Compliance with this rule requires each judge to complete an official judge ballot provided by the tabroom.

  • Completion of the ballot requires the judge to clearly designate “affirmative” or “negative” to signify a winning team.

  • Judges will also be required to confirm their choice by indicating the designated winner’s school affiliation. The side “affirmative” or “negative” and school affiliation must match the assignments made by the tab room.

Speaker Points

Judges are required to assign speaker points and speaker ranks to each participant in the debate. Speaker points are accepted in increments of 0.1 from a minimum of “0” to a maximum of “30”. Tied speaker points will not be accepted. Speaker ranks are accepted in whole numbers only from “1” to “4”.

Judges must submit a ballot that meets these requirements no longer than two hours after the scheduled starting time for each round.

Revealing Decisions

  • Judges may reveal decisions after a ballot has been submitted to the tab room.

  • Judges are expected to give substantive oral critiques of about 5-10 minutes in length.

  • Judges are expected to fill out written ballots that will be shared with the students after the tournament.

  • Decisions of all elimination round debates will be announced by the chair of each panel when all ballots have been collected.