GGSA Individual Events 2

2019 — Pinole Valley High School, CA/US

Judge Instructions

Golden Gate Speech Association

Dear SPEECH Judges,

Thank you very much for your help in our all-volunteer organization to conduct this tournament. Without your help and support, this tournament would be impossible!  While we will review the instructions and answer questions about judging before the first round, here is some information to help familiarize you with the speaking events you are about to judge. 


*Listen to the speeches in the order listed on your ballot. If a speaker is missing, select the “no show" option on the ballot.

*Do not interrupt a student’s presentation. Make your final decision about the ranks to assign the students after all the speeches have been given. Fill in the ballot completely, with comments to each speaker. There is a field on the ballot to provide comments to all the students, then you can write comments that are visible to only the student and the coach. Then immediately submit your ballot on Do not provide the students with verbal comments or critiques. Please offer the speakers written comments on the ballot.

*If a problem involving the application of any tournament rules arises while you are hearing speeches, hear out all the speeches if possible, and ask a tournament official about the problem when you return to the judges’ room. In that case, you can submit your ballot after consulting with the tournament official.



The host school has generously donated its entire campus to our endeavors.  It is our goal that the teachers and school administrators return on Monday with no evidence of our having been here.  So please…

*Do not allow any food or drinks in the classrooms. Ask the students to dispose of food outside the classroom so the ants do not visit over the weekend.

*Do not allow the students to move furniture! If it is absolutely necessary to move furniture in the room so students can speak, then ask students to put the room back the way they found it. Also, please watch to make sure nothing is taken from the room. 

*Do not allow students to erase teacher material on the whiteboard. If students are using the whiteboard, make sure they use the correct pens and erase their material.



While the tournament officials in the judging house will make every effort to panel you into a round of speakers that you don’t know, accidents do happen.  It is very difficult to judge students whom you know, and it is almost always disconcerting for the students. 

Please head back to the judges' room to exchange ballots if…

*you know a student in a group you are about to judge.

*you have already judged that speaking event at this tournament



*After hearing all the students, rank them according to your judgment of the relative quality of their presentations. The student you thought was the best of the group gets a “1”, the second best a “2”, etc. Indicate your ranking by circling the appropriate number on the critique sheet and by writing the ranking under the student’s code number on the ballot. Ties may be given for 5th place only.

*Each group of students will have three judges in finals.  Each judge must evaluate the students independently; do not confer. 

*In making your evaluations, consider both the content and the delivery of the speech. Students may support issues or viewpoints that are contrary to your thinking. Please judge on the quality of the speech, not on whether you agree with a student. 

*Use the guidelines for judging listed on the ballot in evaluating the speakers.



*Your written comments on the ballot are extremely important in helping the students to understand how their presentations affected the listener, why they received the rankings given, and how to do better. The evaluation guidelines on the ballot suggest areas for comment, but you should not feel restricted to these areas. Please write both positive and constructively critical comments. Put all comments on the ballot; do not give oral critiques. 

*If a student doesn’t place among the top speakers in the room, it’s very useful for them to understand why. Use your brief written comments as a means of helping him or her improve in the future. Be tactfully truthful! Thank you for your care in making comments for the competitors.



*All speech events have a maximum time limit. No event has a minimum time required. 

*Each judge should record the speaker’s time on his/her ballot.

*All Speeches have a 30 second grace period, except for impromptu and extemp where there is a 15 second grace period. There will be a place on the ballot to mark the time violation. The tab room will assign the appropriate penalty for the time violation.

*Do not stop a speech if it goes over the time limit; let the student finish. Judges should use discretion if the speaker is forced to exceed the time limit due to audience reaction.

*Students in Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu MUST have their speeches timed and must receive time signals from the judge. Give those students a signal for each minute that they have spoken. Competitors in other events do not need time signals.



Impromptu:  5 minutes (not counting 2 minutes prep time). Grace period is 15 seconds.

Extemporaneous:  7 minutes (not counting 30 minute prep time). Grace period is 15 seconds.

All other events: 10 minutes. Grace period is 30 seconds. 


Confusion or conflict about specific rules may arise while you are judging. Almost always, the best course of action is for you to hear the speeches, make your evaluation of the speaker as if there were no question about the rules, and then consult with tournament officials about the rules in question after the round is over. If the speeches have been heard and evaluated completely, we can do a much better job of determining the best course of action. If you believe a violation of the rules has occurred, please indicate the violation on your ballot and bring the ballot to a tournament official who will assist you is assessing penalties, if needed.



(In VARSITY division, no notes may be used in delivering the speech. Students may make notes during the preparation time.)


Each student has two minutes to prepare a short speech on an assigned topic. Topic areas include quotations, abstract words, concrete nouns, and current events. The judge gives each contestant three pre-assigned topics when it is that student’s turn to speak. The contestant selects one of the three topics and prepares the speech in the room where the speech is delivered. Contestants are to stay in the room until all of the speeches have been heard. 


Each student has thirty minutes to prepare a speech on an assigned topic. The preparation is done prior to arriving in the contest room. Topics are drawn from current events, and two types of extemporaneous speaking are conducted – International Extemp (international affairs) and National Extemp (domestic affairs). Students will arrive in the room one at a time; do not be alarmed if no one is in the room when you arrive to judge. 


(Speeches are prepared prior to the tournament. Notes or scripts may not be used in VARSITY division.)


The student gives a speech to inform the listeners about a subject of interest. Students are encouraged, but not required, to use visual and/or audio aids. 


The student gives a persuasive or inspirational speech to generate interest or concern about a subject. Specific Rules: Props and/or visual aids may not be used.


The student gives a speech that advocates a specific public policy or proposes legislation (local, statewide or federal). Specific Rules: Props and/or visual aids may not be used. The student must specify the policy proposed and the agency that should adopt the policy. 


The presentation may constitute prose and/or poetry, or resemble a dramatic or humorous interpretation as long as it is the original work of the contestant. Any appropriate subject(s) may be used. Specific Rules: Props and/or visual aids may not be used.



(Notes or scripts may not be used in VARSITY division except, in Program Oral Interp where they are required.)


The student gives an interpretative performance of all or part of a dramatic or humorous piece of published writing. Specific Rules: Selections must be chosen from a published writing. Neither costumes, nor props are permitted. Singing and dancing are permitted.


Two students give an interpretative performance of all or part of a humorous or dramatic piece of published writing. Specific Rules: Duo partners must avoid direct eye and physical contact with each other during performance.


The student gives an interpretative performance of a published speech. All rules are the same as for Dramatic Interpretation. Specific Rules: The contestant must state the title and author as well as where and when the speech was originally delivered.


The student gives an interpretative performance based on an argument or theme that the student has chosen. Using pieces from at least 2 of the three genres of poetry, drama, and prose, the student pulls together 3 or more pieces to present their program. Most rules are the same as for Dramatic Interpretation. Specific Rules: Manuscripts are required; contestants must hold scripts throughout their performances, and may use their binder as a prop. The student must include the authors and titles of all the pieces that they have combined in their program.



Judge’s Name _______________________________


Conflicted event ____________________________________

Speaking Events Judged Today:

Rd I ______________________ Rd III ______________________


Rd II ______________________ Finals ______________________




In addition to thanking you for judging today, we would like to remind you of two important facts:

1. Our students would not be able to compete if it weren’t for your generous donation of time.

2.  Your out-of-pocket expenses for helping today are tax-deductible.


mileage (round trip) ______@ .14 = _________ [charitiable donation rate] 

bridge toll = _________

meals (en route) = ___________ [treat yourself to a tasty dinner on the way home!]

misc. =  _________

total deduction _______________

Date of Tournament_____________ Place_______________________________

this form was prepared by:
Don Williamson, CPA 
Zainer, Rinehart & Clarke, Santa Rosa, CA ?
(707) 525-1163