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Judge Not ... Except in this Case

Posted by Colby Kinser on

Most of you know well that one of my few hobbies is judging high school speech and debate tournaments. The judge observes a group of presentations or a debate, evaluates the performances, assigns the rankings, and adds a few helpful comments. There are several rounds of this for each event:

  • Humorous Interpretation
  • Dramatic Interpretation
  • Duo Acting
  • Original Oratory
  • Informative Speech
  • Domestic Extemporaneous Speech
  • International Extemporaneous Speech
  • Student Congress
  • Public Forum
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate (my fav!)
  • Policy Debate
  • and a few others, depending on the tournament

This year, of course, it's all been virtual. The individual events (everything but debate) are prerecorded, so the judge can schedule it conveniently for that day. The debates are live on Friday evenings and Saturdays. The virtual tools actually work pretty well, and there's plenty of training available.

My alma mater (and Bruce Adam's!), Fort Osage High School in Independence, MO, is hosting their tournament Jan 4-9 (IE's on 4-7, debate on 8-9). This tournament is a "varsity" tourney, as opposed to a "novice" tourney, so the presentations tend to be of a higher quality. They would love to have more judges sign up, especially for debate. If you're curious or interested, I'm eager to tell you more about it - just ask!

Or if you already know you'd like to give it a try, you can sign up at https://www.speechwire.com/c-fortosage-judges.php. You can pick the days and times you're available. Then they will send you more information about how to use the tools.

I think it's a ton of fun, and it's a good way to invest in young people who want to develop their thinking and presentation skills.

Tags: judge, high, school, speech, debate