Bangladesh Debating Council

Crash Course for Judges
The Council
Code of Conduct
Guide to Debate
Great Speeches
Team Bangladesh
Pre Worlds
News Articles
Photo Gallery

My Words


Imagine yourself as a teacher who knows nothing about debating and your good friend approaches you one morning and tells you that he/she is in a real pickle and needs someone (you) to be a judge for this afternoon's debate tournament. Yikes!! What do you do? If you were a debate coach, and found yourself in desperate need of a judge, what would you want to tell your stand-in at the last minute to make them feel somewhat at ease, and yet have some good guidance? After running some tournaments, and spending most of my tournament prep time recruiting judges, I have thought about this dilemma. Briefing judges can be a daunting task.


                                                              Rashedul Hasan Stalin


Things Judges Should Remember:



1.            Who is the best debater in the room for this debate? No matter how good or poor the debate you judged was, you should have an opinion as to who the best debater was.

2.            The characteristics of good argument. There should be order, substance and conviction in the argument. Data is good, but a barrage of facts is not a good argument.

3.            The characteristics of good rebuttal. Does the debater review the opponent’s arguments and proceed in deconstructing each point? Are there logical scenarios drawn illustrating the weakness or unfeasibility of the opponent’s plan?

4.            The characteristics of good delivery. Does the debater speak clearly (addressing the speaker) while looking at the judges? Is the voice varied in pitch, intensity and manner?

5.            The characteristics of a good examiner. Is the examiner courteous? Are the questions closed and demanding of a limited answer, rather than open and allowing for rambling answers that consume valuable time? Do the questions get any admissions from the witness that negate the witness’ argument? How well does the examiner use the information in his/her final rebuttal that was received during questioning?

6.            The characteristics of a good witness. How well does the witness hold their ground, while giving honest and sincere answers? Does the witness give reasonable justification for their answers?

7.            The characteristics of a good debate. First and last of all THERE MUST BE CLASH!!!

8.            General organization and linkage. The rule of thumb here is to ask yourself two questions:

A)     Can I follow this argument?

B)     When it was over, do I know what their points were?

In addition, do the debaters refer to the rest of the argument, not only the opposition, but to their own partner? Working as a team is important, and so is demonstrating to the judges that they are aware of the whole argument’s proceedings.

9.            Poise. Do the debaters seem even and balanced in their presentations? Can they ignore minor heckles, or better yet, have a snappy retort for the judges to consider?

Enter main content here

Enter supporting content here

All rights reserved by Bangladesh Debating Council
Created and maintained by Rashedul Hasan Stalin