Judging Requirements

Teams should bring one qualified judge for every three LDers, PF or Parliamentary teams, every two Policy teams, and every five Speech entries, rounded up in the case of fractional obligations. Teams with Congress entries must bring one Congress judge. The VLD and JVLD pools are separate; you may not cover VLD entries with JV-only judges. Congress judges may be swapped into another judging pool. Please indicate when registering which other pool a Congress judge would like to judge if we cannot use him/her in Congress. Likewise, qualified Speech judges may also be asked to judge Congress. Judges in all divisions are obligated to stay and judge one round past any round in which their students are actively competing, excluding any runoffs. That is, all judges are obligated for the first full break round following a runoff, and then one round past their students’ participation after that. We will assume judges are staying past their obligation unless we hear otherwise. Please let us know if you are leaving.


Please keep in mind that a qualified judge understands the activity, speaks English, and is either experienced sitting in the back of the room with a ballot or flow pad or has been carefully trained by the team he or she is accompanying. A qualified judge knows how to assign ranks or wins/losses, speaker points, and knows how to fill out a ballot. Please do not try to sneak in an untrained ringer. When you provide an incompetent judge, we usually find out about it only after a number of competitors have been unfairly adjudicated.


We are also committed to hiring a quality pool of judging in all divisions. Given the relatively small number of judges in the immediate New Haven area, however, bringing this pool to Yale is both complex and expensive. To aid us in that effort, the registration system will ask you to explicitly request judge hires. Please request early; we will not harm the quality of our tournament by oversubscribing hired judging. Judges dropped after registration is frozen on September 14th, even if students are dropped to compensate, will incur a substantial fee. Similarly, if you add a judge after September 14th, you still have to pay for the hired judges you signed up for, unless someone else should need a last-minute hire, since we will be paying that judge either way.


We charge for hired judges by the student, not by the whole judge. For example, if you have seven IE students entered, and only one judge covering five of those students, you owe two hired judging fees. This system is fairer because it does not require you to hire a whole judge just to cover a fractional obligation. Speech or Congress hired judges cost $50 per entry they cover. If you have 12 entries and two judges, your hired judge costs $100. Congress judging carries a maximum charge of five entries. You do not need to hire for entries beyond your first 5. LD and PF hires cost $90 per covered entry. We also pay these judges more for judging Friday night. Policy debate hires cost $125 per covered entry. Parliamentary debate judges cost $90.


Partial fees will also apply for your judges who are only available for part of the tournament, since we cover these slots with judging. If you can bring extra judges, we will credit your registration fees. We will accept extra judges until at our discretion. If you plan to bring extra judges, please email us no later than Tuesday, September 15.


We will also be asking for judge cell phone numbers at registration on the tournament website. Please collect as many as you can from your judges. Keep in mind that the more judge cell numbers you register, the fewer times we’ll be calling you to find your judges. Schools whose judges fail to appear for an assigned round will be fined $25 for a prelim or $50 for an elim round. Judges fined may compensate by judging rounds beyond their assignment. We do not want your money; we want judges to show up. However, schools with unpaid fines will not be given ballots or awards, and will be prevented from registering at other tournaments we run until those fines are paid. Our tab staff runs many, many tournaments. Don’t break the rules, or else you will be prevented from competing at any of those.
LD Mutually Preferred Judging

Yale will again be using Mutually-Preferred Judging in LD Debate.  Each debater in the Varsity division, provided their judging obligation is covered, will be able to rank all judges from 1-6 (6 being a strike). Conflicts will be handled separately, and instructions will be provided for defining conflicts both for teams and for judges; keep in mind that a conflict is a judge who likes you too much, not another chance for you to get more strikes. Students found to be misusing conflicts face repercussions up to and including disqualification from the tournament. Tab will post its process (1-1s top priority, then 2-2s, etc.) in August.


MPJ ratings will be available on www.tabroom.com on Tuesday before the tournament. They will close Friday morning at 10 AM.  If you are not getting a ranking option when you go into your online registration, your judging obligation was not covered.


Please note that the judges you bring need to be the judges you registered online by the deadline. You may not substitute another judge in a rated pool. Substituting another judge in a rated pool isn’t good enough; people have rated your old judge, not your new judge. Schools that change their judges after online MPJ ratings have begun will lose all their MPJ ratings. Do not bother to bring judges unregistered by the deadline; they are useless to the tournament. If you have a judge who has some kind of emergency and cannot come to the tournament, you will have to pay the dropped judge fee to keep your ratings because we will not be change around the judge pool at the last minute.


EXTREMELY IMPORTANT REGARDING RANKING: There is a tendency among traditional programs to think that MJP somehow favors circuit styles, and therefore they disparage and ignore it. As a result, tournaments that would otherwise have judging amenable to all end up having judging more amenable to circuit types precisely because the traditional folk abjure it. The more people who rank, the fairer the tournament will be to all styles of LD debate. To make MJP as simple as possible, we ask all judges to be ranked on tabroom registration as Traditional, Circuit, or Trained Newcomer. What more do you need to know? You don’t have to comb through endless paradigms if what you want is someone who will judge as if it’s 2005. Traditional says it all.



If they so choose, LD judges can post paradigms at http://judgephilosophies.wikispaces.com/ in addition to their designation as Circuit, Traditional, or Trained Newcomer. In any case, judges should be willing to indicate to competitors before a round a general sense of their vision of debate (if any) or a sense of their experience, to aid competitors in choosing how best to make their arguments.