Volunteer judges are vital to the success of speech and debate tournaments. Each WACL member school is required to supply judges proportional to the number of students entered at each tournament. Every parent with a student competitor should consider volunteering with their team’s coach. Community members, teachers and former competitors are also invited to judge. Here is our current tournament schedule.

Prior to the tournament:

  • Be sure you know which event you will be judging. Most WACFL tournaments combine several events on the same Saturday. Speech judges will judge several different events during the tournament, but debate judges will (typically) judge only one style of debate.
  • If you are a first-time judge, familiarize yourself with the event(s). Reading the WACFL events page on this website is a good place to start.
  • On the Friday before each tournament, WACFL will send all registered judges an email. Be sure to read that message, as it will contain important details on the tournament.

On tournament day

  • Be sure to bring a laptop or tablet computer, plus a charging cable. You will need this to enter your decision and write comments in Tabroom.com. Tabroom.com is not optimized to work with cell phones for writing ballots.
  • Please arrive at the tournament between 8 and 8:15 am. When you arrive, check in with your school's coach, then head to the Judges Lounge. There will be coffee and continental breakfast waiting for you there!
  • At 8:30 am in the Judges Lounge, there will be a pre-tournament briefing where you can ask questions. The first competition rounds will start at 9 am.
  • As a judge, your role is to keep time, listen closely, take notes, set aside bias, and write constructive feedback to students. Judges of Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate will choose one team as the winner. Judges of Speech events and Student Congress will be ranking competitors.

For more details on judging, this helpful website provides additional information. One caveat: this site describes NSDA events, which in a few cases, are slightly different from WACFL events. We will answer all your questions at the judges briefing at 8:30 am on tournament day!