Judging

THE JUDGE GUIDE

Each debate will be judged by 3 people. The person that sits in the center is the “chair judge,” the most experienced judge of the three. 

  • If there are only two judges, the chair judge’s vote counts twice. 

  • If there is only one judge, that person counts as three votes. 

There are two types of decisions: unanimous and split. A unanimous decision means the panel of judges all voted for the same team, so that team receives three ballots. A split decision means that one team got two votes, and the other team got one vote (so one judge voted against what the other two judges voted for). 

  • When you have two judges, a split means that the two judges voted for different teams. 

  • When you have one judge, the call can only be unanimous. 

Criteria for Debate Evaluation

Style

Style covers the tone and persona of a given speech. Terminology, comedy, emotions, speed, volume, and movement will play a role in how a speaker delivers their argument, and the message the speaker wishes to convey. Please note that we are not grading accents nor mispronunciations, but rather how well a student’s style is at the given moment, and how this impacts the message they are searching to convey. 

Content

Content covers the arguments that are used, divorced from the speaking style. It is as if you are seeing the arguments written down rather than spoken. You must assess the weight of the arguments without being influenced by the magnificence of the orator that presented them. Each argument’s significance must be weighted simply on it’s empirical importance throughout the debate. Content will also include an assessment of the weight of rebuttal or clash. It includes the quality and basis of the information presented, be it physical or abstract.

Strategy

Strategy is based on the timing and structure of the speech as well as the importance that content is given to.  A good speech has a clear beginning, middle and end with signposts to help us see where the speaker is going. The sequence of arguments is logical and flows naturally from point to point, and allotted time is dedicated to specific points throughout the speech. Also, the team must prove coherent and subsequent in their line of analysis, content and narrative, directly related to the motion at hand.

The Marking Standards

Substantive Speeches

Standard

Overall/80

Style/32

Content/32

Strategy/16

Exceptional

80

32

32

16

Excellent

76-79

31

31

15-16

Extremely good

74-75

30

30

15

Very good

71-73

29

29

14-15

Good

70

28

28

14

Satisfactory

67-69

27

27

13-14

Competent

65-66

26

26

13

Pass

61-64

25

25

12-13

Improvement Needed

60

24

24

12

 

Reply Speeches

Standard

Overall/40

Style/16

Content/16

Strategy/8

Exceptional

40

16

16

8

Very Good to Excellent

36-39

15

15

7.5

Good 

35

14

14

7

Pass to Satisfactory

31-34

13

13

6.5

Improvement Needed

30

12

12

6

 

Please refer to the rubric in the resources section in order to understand the quality of the debate we are expecting. Only award half-points on extreme cases

Resources

Debate Rubric

WSDC Notes for Judges

WSDC 2017 Finals

Adjudicator certification (NFHS)

TIMEKEPT APP

We recommend the Timekept App which keeps track of the time for each speech without locking your phone.