Harvard Tournament Judging

This page includes information customarily shared with judges in folders at the tournament. We provide it ahead of time so judges can be as prepared as possible for the tournament. This page will be updated as the 2022 tournament approaches; any updates will be noted here, at the top of the page.

2022 Updates:

  • Latebreaking updates to be posted here for judges

Judge Expectations:

  • All judges must give undivided attention to this tournament and will be removed if found to be concurrently judging other live tournaments.

  • All judges are in a shared pool for middle and high school chambers. There is no other way to logistically handle scheduling the tournament, given numbers and distribution of entries, so please make sure all judges understand this, and that we will not be able to accommodate special requests.

  • All judges will be expected to type comments in electronic ballots while students are speaking. Judges may NOT write comments by hand and transcribe them later. If there are connectivity issues, judges may type comments in a word processing document and copy/paste to Tabroom, but the entire tournament will be severely delayed if we wait for transcription of handwritten notes.

  • We ask all judges to attend the meeting/orientation on Classrooms.Cloud (using their Tabroom.com login), Friday, Feb. 18 at 8pm EST (we will email details to judges).

Information for All Judges (Scorers + Parliamentarians)

Judges Each Round:

  • At least 2 scorers, who each award 1-6 points (where 1=poor; 6=excellent) for each speech and hour of presiding as well as rank-order their choices of top eight (8) performing delegates -- including the student presiding officer if they're worthy -- (where 1=top choice, 2=next choice... 8=eighth choice).

  • 1 parliamentarian, who provides more holistic feedback without awarding points, and rank-orders all delegates in the room, in order of preference. The parliamentarian remains in the same chamber for preliminary rounds, typing/pasting feedback in Tabroom.com during Round 3.

Documents →

  • Judging: Tabroom.com (blue)

  • Judging Guide (purple)

  • Rules (white w/Harvard logo)
    You may wish to consult the rules to understand the unique final appeal speech and how debate on legislation concludes.

Referring to legislation during the debate can give context to claims students make:

  • High School (HS) Legislation

  • Middle School (MS) Legislation

Online Considerations

Please click "Start" next to your round in Tabroom once assigned to acknowledge you've received the assignment.

Please keep camera on while judging, so you can give signals to students and they know you're listening (permission to not have camera on must be cleared with the Congress Tournament Coordinator). Alternatively, you must type "ready" in the chat each time before a student speaks, so they know you're paying attention. This also helps us track when a judge gets disconnected, because the chamber may continue with its business without know.

Cultural Competence & Implicit Bias

Harvard Judging Congressional Debate

Understanding How Parliamentary Procedure & Presiding Works in Congressional Debate

Additional Information/Resources for Parliamentarians