Judge Requirements

All rules are per the MFA By-laws, which are subject to change by majority vote of member schools. The information below is based on the 2017 invitation.

Schools are required to bring a certain number of trained judges calculated per number of entries. In the event a school cannot meet their judge quota, the school must drop entries until they meet the judge to competitor ratio.

  • Public Forum Debate: One judge per two entries (a team counts as one entry) or any fraction thereof (e.g. three teams require two judges). Every third, fifth and seventh judge must be unaffiliated. Judge burden may not be combined with Lincoln-Douglas.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate: One judge per two entries (a team counts as one entry) or any fraction thereof (rounding up). Every third, fifth and seventh judge must be unaffiliated. Judge burden may not be combined with Public Forum.
  • Congressional Debate: One judge per five entries or fraction thereof. Every other judge must be unaffiliated.
  • Speech: One judge per five entries (Duo team counts as one entry) or any fraction thereof (e.g. 11 entries require three judges). Every third, fifth and seventh judge must be unaffiliated.

Specify judge qualifications

Judges should be registered into Tabroom.com. In the notes field, indicate any strengths or conflicts. Example of notes:

  • Parent of a competitor (considered affiliated with the school, also, please provide the student’s name in the TabRoom notes).
  • Teacher in team’s school (considered affiliated with that school).
  • Individual affiliated with a specific competitor (considered affiliated with that competitor only).
  • Aptitude or nationals experience in a specific event (e.g. “NFL qualifier DI”; “alumnus LDer”; “professional actor”)
  • Cross training (e.g. “experienced in speech and PF”)

Judging expectations

Judges should expect to remain for the duration of the tournament. Any judge who departs early will incur the hiring school a penalty fee.

  • The fee for a judge departing early without notification prior to the Wednesday before the event is $60.
  • If a judge can only attend half the day and Tab is notified by the Wednesday before the event, the judge will count as a half judge and incur a $30 fee. There is no fee if this half judge is registered beyond the school’s judge burden.
  • Two half judges equal a whole judge.
  • First year speech judges are considered half judges due to judging constraints.

Hiring judges

As a last resort to meet quotas, schools may request to hire judges from the MFA (first come first served, while supply lasts). Make your requests through Tabroom.com. Hires confirmed by the tournament hosts as of Wednesday January 25 at 8 p.m. will be billed to the hiring school.