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For the beginning of the year most tournaments will be virtual so judging will be done online. We hope to have in-person tournaments resume second semester.

We want parents to join the community and become a judge for our Speech and Debate team! Judging is fun. You get to travel and meet and judge other students from around North Carolina at speech and debate tournaments. No, you don’t get to judge your own child. But you do get to spend the day with him/her and see what an amazing activity in which your student has chosen to be involved.

You can choose to judge either speech or debate, or both.

The idea of judging students can seem intimidating. But once you get trained and attend your first tournament, judging moves from frightening to mirthful.  We encourage you to participate.

Sign Up to judge a tournament


Speech includes the following public speaking events:


  1. Dramatic Interpretation–Student performs a memorized, serious excerpt from a published play, novel, short story etc..
  2. Humorous Interpretation–Student perform a memorized, humorous excerpt from a published play, novel, short story etc..
  3. Duo Interpretation–Two students perform a memorized, serious excerpt from a published play, novel, short story etc..
  4. Programed Oral Interpretation–Student performs a program of literature of thematically linked selections. Selections are chosen from tow or three genres (prose, poetry or drama).
  5. Novice Reading–Student performs a either prose or poetry of a single selection or thematic presentation or a combination of both.
  6. Children’s Literature–Student presents a selection from children’s or adolescent literature.

Public Address

  1. Original Oratory–Student presents a written, inspirational (often persuasive) speech.
  2. Informative Speaking--Student writes a speech to describe, display or illustrate a particular subject.
  3. Expository Speaking–Five minute speech written by student.

Limited Preparation Events

  1. Extemporaneous Speaking–Student perform an impromptu current affairs speech after 30 minutes of preparation on the assigned questions.
  2. Impromptu Speaking–Students draw from three topics and choose one topic within two minutes and prepare a 3-5 minute speech on the chosen topic.


Debate includes the following speaking events:

  1. Congressional Debate–Student simulates US Congress.
  2. Public Forum Debate–Two Students debate on a current event topic.
  3. Lincoln-Douglas Debate–Student debates a current event topic based on a philosophical value (morality, justice etc.).

Getting Started

Judge Training and Background Checks

Before you can actually attend a tournament and judge, you have to be trained and pass a background check. Follow these  steps to get started:

  1.  Get trained. We will offer judge training at the beginning of the school year. You choose to get trained in Speech or Debate.  Go to the Judge Training page for the online training.
  2. Complete an Asheville City School Background Check. Each parent that travels to the tournaments must complete a background check. Please click Secure Volunteer and select Chaperone when you are filling out the form. You will receive a confirmation email once you have successfully passed the background check. Please email that confirmation to Neil Clement at neil.clement@ascgmail.net. You will receive a Secure Volunteer VERIFIED card from Asheville City Schools in the regular mail after you pass the background check.
  3. Create a Judging Account on Tabroom, www.tabroom.com.

    Sign Up to judge a tournament

Speech and Debate Timers

Judges are expected to time in all events. For speech a stopwatch or timer app on your phone is sufficient. For debate, please visit the app store on your smart phone and search High School debate to find the available timing apps specific to Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum. Choose the one that works best for you.