Once registration closes, you will find the link below for judging requirements listed by club and families. This gives everyone an idea of the combined commitment it takes to keep our national tournament fully staffed with the necessary judges. We come up with our numbers based on support from community judges - the actual amount of judge spots needed is very close to 2000! Thank you in advance for doing your part, as well as helping those who traveled cover their commitments.

The pre-tournament estimates for judging are based on the following mathematical requirements at the time of registration. The number of judges needed to covered each event entry is as follows:

  • Each IE (speech) event = a judge for 2 preliminary rounds

  • Each Lincoln Douglas debate entry = a judge for 4 preliminary rounds

  • Each Team Policy debate entry = a judge for 2 preliminary rounds

  • Each Parliamentary debate entry = a judge for 2 preliminary rounds

All families registering for NITOC will provide a judge for a minimum of 8 preliminary rounds of speech and debate competition.
These numbers are not additive, meaning parents are not expected to judge 8 preliminary rounds plus the numbers noted above. If the numbers noted above equal less than 8 preliminary rounds, then the parent(s) must judge 8 preliminary rounds.

Each family registering for NITOC must also judge to following Outrounds:

  • One Outround of IE (speech)

  • One Outround of Lincoln Douglas, Team Policy, or Parliamentary Debate

  • One round of Breakout Impromptu (either preliminary rounds or an Outround)

The key to getting to see your students compete and make your judging commitment is to judge during debates if your student is in Individual Events, and to judge IEs if your student is in debate. What do you do if your happy children are in both? Mix it up! You can also judge the opposite style of debate of your son or daughter. Plan on judging back-to-back rounds. As this is the final tournament of the year, NITOC ballots don't require the detailed analysis of each debate case or thorough critique of each individual speech. What the students do want to know, and what you should include on your ballot, is why the student(s) won or lost the debate and why the student was given a particular placement in each speech round.

If you have multiple students entered in multiple events you will be busy judging. Have your friends and fellow club mates judge a round for you so that you can see your students compete.

We recommend arriving at the ballot push table one hour prior to a round so all the ballots aren't "gone" when you get to the tables. The famous "NITOC Dots" will be in use to indicate how clubs are doing, so grab a ballot, get a sticker, and enjoy giving notes to our feedback hungry competitors!