Parental and graduate judges are needed for all tournaments; generally, experienced coaches do not judge at local tournaments, due to other administrative requirements. (Newer coaches will likely judge early on, so they can get a feel for the events and rules.) It is important to involve parents of current team members, though! There needs to be a coordinated support system for the program to succeed; because of the judging requirements, if a team does not have enough judges, students have to be dropped from tournament competition. There will be judge training seminars at the first three PBCFL tournaments (September, October, and November). In addition, many coaches host judge workshops, which you and your new parents/judge candidates are encouraged to attend. We will train these individuals to judge, and they will be impressed with the experience.

All schools are expected to recruit judges for tournaments. Judges can be parents, siblings, adult friends of the family, former high school or current college debaters, etc. Schools are required to provide a certain number of judges per tournament in all events in order to be eligible to compete.

In addition, in partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations, the National Speech and Debate Association has put together an online course designed to help identify the different types of speech and debate events, review basic judging guidelines, and includes example student performances so individuals can practice judging while receiving tips on what to note during an actual round. Here is the link: https://www.speechanddebate.org/judge-training/

In addition, the National Federation of High School has a solid set of judging resources that can be found here: https://nfhslearn.com/courses/adjudicating-speech-and-debate

REQUIRED: 2020 Judge Training Video

REQUIRED: PBCFL Judge Training Verification


PBCFL Judging 101 (PowerPoint, rev. October 2021

Florida Judge Manual – All Events 2022-23 (rev. 9/22)

Judge Cheat Sheet

Debate Event Speaking Points

How to Judge a Speech

Rostrum Article – A Students Perspective of Judging