UHSAA 5A State Speech and Debate

2024 — Salem, UT/US

Judge Instructions



We are so pleased and grateful for your valuable time to be spent with us and this amazing opportunity for our students. You will be amazed at how much these students know and can do.....

Whether you are a first time judge or an experienced one, you are all valuable and are completely qualified! To get to know how to judge if you need though, this is a great website with information on all of the events, good practices and there's even training that you can receive a certificate for!


How to judge online: we will try to judge debates online. You must bring an electronic device to judge on.

How to judge Debate online on Tabroom:https://screenpal.com/watch/cZnD3cVdsfr

How to Judge Speech Online on Tabroom: https://screenpal.com/watch/cZnDrbVd7Sb

How to Judge Congress Online on Tabroom: https://screenpal.com/watch/cZnDYPVd78W

How to use rubrics

How to judge online overall:


Comments...it is very discouraging to students if they don't get feedback on how they did. Please, as you are judging, put in comments on things they did well, and what they could work on. If you are in Debate judging, you will be required to give a reason for decision as well...who won the round and why. This also helps us as coaches to help our students get better at their events and the skills they are learning.

LEAVE YOUR OWN OPINIONS AT THE DOOR! WE are all human and have our own beliefs and opinions on a variety of issues and topics. However, these students, especially in debate, are dealing with learning and understanding different points of view, creating argumetns and supporting them...we can only judge how well they argue, support and defend those positions, not the positions themselves. In speech, they are given topics, or write their own speeches, but the same thing applies...judge the organization, argumentation, supporting evidence, delivery of information, but not whether we agree or disagree with the topic. Use the rubrics provided.

Paradigms....If you are new and don't know what this is when a student asks...it is what you feel is important to winning a debate/argument. IE: I feel that clear arguments with supporting evidence and connections are important to good debates and cases.

When they ask that informs them as to how to adapt to you to win the debate...

DO NOT DISCLOSE! This means that you should not tell the students how they placed or if they won the round or not.

DO NOT GIVE VERBAL CRITIQUES! We do not have time..you can make your decisions in tabroom and go back to put in your comments and feed back later if you don't get it done in round, but we definitely do not have the time to have you give them any feedback after the round to keep the tournament running on time.

ASK QUESTIONS! We are very happy to help you with filling out ballots, understanding events, etc...we can't help you make a decision on how students should be placed in round, but we can give advice about situations and how to make tough decisions, etc.

Patience! We try our best to keep things on time and moving, but there are times when things happen and we can't help it if there are delays...and you are a part of that...Help us by getting to your rounds in a timely manner, starting your round online so we know it is going, putting in your decisions with quick comments and reasons for decision and going back in later to put more comments in for the students to have.

Internet usage...Students may use the internet in debate/congress rounds in order to access files, look up evidence and information, communicate with their partner, the other team and judge if they want to be included. THEY CANNOT contact outside individuals like family, friends, team mates, coach, etc. If they do look up new information online, that must be shown to the other team and judge upon request to check for validity/accuracy. IF there is a violation of the rules, the judge can determine if the rules were broken and give a loss to the team who broke the rules and then report it to the tabroom. If they don't feel that they can determine that, then they should bring it to the tournament director to evaluate and make the decision.

If a team, or individual, is more than 15 minutes late to the round from the time that it is sent out (blasted, posted...maybe different than scheduled time) they are a forfeit. In debate: speaker points— 20 is failing to students and 30 is amazing and an A. USE THE RUBRIC!

For every event, in the end, use the rubric and your best judgment and explain why based on the skills in the rubric. Even if they were all amazing, let them know a couple things they did well and something they could work on. Please do not use gender specific pronouns in your comments or references. Please use general you, they, your, or refer to them by speech or side of argument...or by codes, this will avoid any issues with possible mistakes... also, here is a link to our judges code of conduct which reflects our coaches and student’s code of ethics.


if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know when you arrive as well.