Dear Tournament Judges (yes – we mean YOU!):
Our largest fundraiser of the year is the Big Cat Classic held in September. In order to make it as successful as possible, we need YOU! The GREATEST need we will have is for adults who can function as judges for various speaking and debate rounds.
You don’t even need to say it – we know, we know, the BIGGEST concerns for first-time judges always seem to be: “I don’t know what I’m doing!” and/or “I’m afraid I will make the wrong decision!”
Don’t feel intimidated. And, don’t worry – this couldn’t be easier!
The thing to keep in mind is that these students are to cater to YOU and what YOU want from THEM. Just like in the real world, our boss may want us to do “x” and if we end up doing “y” instead, we will not “win” or advance – the same principle applies here. These students must master the skill of presenting to the person in front of them therefore they may ask you, “What are your paradigms?” or “Do you have any preferences?” All you have to tell them is that you are looking for good delivery, persuasive arguments, good entertainment value, critical arguments, great organization, a moderate speaking style, make sure that they answer the questions fully or whatever it is that you want from them in that round that you are judging. You can use your ballot (for speaking or acting events) to give you some direction. For debate rounds, it may be more challenging but the core principle is the same – they need to meet YOU were you are.
Review the Judges Handbook. We will have plenty copies at our tournament, but you could get a head start now! This packet will tell you everything you need to know to be a GREAT judge. Also on this page, you will find the first in a series of helpful “how to” videos. Each of these five videos are each less than 3 minutes and do a good job giving you the basics. (Click here for the other four videos.) Finally, we will offer a judging seminar before our tournament date. If you have any additional questions, you can contact Coach Martin or a “Been-There-Done-That” parent that can share more specifics on each judging category.