Competition Judges

We have a 3 articles here.  A good read for Judges would be the Do’s and Don’ts of Contest Judges.

Judges and Tie Breaking helps you to know what you will be doing

Chief Judge section for the Chief Judge and a little bit more info into what goes on in a competition.

The Judges rank the 3 best Contestants.

  • On the voting slip at the bottom of the judging form, print clearly the full names of the three best Contestants in order of preference (1st then 2nd then 3rd) without any tied positions.

  • As soon as the voting slip has been completed, tear it off and hold it up so that a Counter can see that it is ready to be collected.

The Tiebreaking Judge ranks all the Contestants.

  • On the voting slip at the bottom of the Tie-breaking judging form, print clearly the full names of all the Contestants in order of preference (starting with the best of all) without any tied positions.

  • As soon as the voting slip has been completed, tear it off and give it to the Chief Judge. It is a good idea to ensure proximity to the Chief Judge so that this can be done discretely. (Note: the official TI Tiebreaker judging form states incorrectly that you should give the slip to a Counter.)

Guidelines for all Judges

  • Ignore the actual timings of the speech. For example, even if you believe that the best speech exceeded the time limit you should still place it first.

  • Rate the Contestants objectively, purely on their performance on this occasion.

  • After adding up your scores, do a ‘reality check’ on the total scores before filling in the voting slip to ensure that you have really identified the best three Contestants.

  • Sign the voting slip and print your full name clearly in the space provided.
  • Any Judge or Contestant may lodge a protest with the Chief Judge or Contest Chair concerning eligibility or originality before the results are announced . In this event the Chief Judge may call a meeting of Judges to consider the protest.

  • Never discuss your vote, or any judging consultations in the event of a protest, and dispose of the remaining part of the judging form in a way that no-one associated with the Contest could see it.


· Recruit the Judges.
At Area level – at least 5 Judges or equal representation from the Clubs composing the Area.
At Division level – at least 7 Judges or equal representation from the Areas composing the Division.
At Area level and above – Judges should be members since the previous July 1 and have completed at least 6 CC speeches.
At Division level and above – no Judge should be a member of the Club represented by a Contestant.

· Appoint a Tiebreaking Judge. (You may appoint yourself!)

· Know who are the 2 Timers.

· Know who are the Counters.

· Have a copy of the rules (see the bottom of this page). 


Brief them, either with the Judges and Counters or separately: 

· Give them their forms, one each for each Contest.

· Timing will begin with the first definite verbal or non-verbal communication with the audience. 

· Ensure that the lights operator knows when the green, yellow and red lights should go on and that the red light should stay on for the remainder of the speech. 

· Ask a Timer to signal to the Contest Chair at the end of 1 minute’s silence after each speech. 


· You can give them their forms either at the beginning or when you leave the room with them to do the counting. 

· Brief them before the Contest, ensuring they know what to do and how many Judges forms are to be collected. 

Judges and Tiebreaking Judge 

· Their identities should not be publicised. 

· Brief them before the Contest and give them their Judge forms. To download the forms, see the bottom of this page.

· Do not disclose the identity of the Tiebreaking Judge who should be briefed separately and given the Tiebreaking Judge forms. 

During the Contest 

· Listen and look out for any potential breach of the rules, preventing any breach if practicable. 

· Take notes on any parts of speeches which may be the subject of protests about originality. 

When all the Contestants have performed in each Contest 

· Ensure the Counters collect all the Judges slips. 

· Collect the Tiebreaking Judge’s slip. 

· Collect the Timers forms.

Leave the room with the Counters for somewhere quiet, then: 

1 – Supervise the count of all Contestants points on the Judges slips and double-check the results.

2 – Look at the Timers forms and disqualify any Contestants outside the permitted time parameters.

3 – Break any ties according to who is placed higher on the Tiebreaking Judge’s slip. For example, if 2 Contestants have tied for 1st place and the Tiebreaking Judge’s slip has them placed 2nd and 3rd, the Contestant placed 2nd on the Tiebreaking Judge’s slip is adjudged the winner.

4 – Draw up a list of all final placings, from 1st place down, and have all Counters confirm their agreement to it. This list should exclude all disqualified Contestants.

5 – Fill in the names on the Top 3 Certificates. If 4 or fewer Contestants, only the Top 2 Certificates are presented.

Return to the contest room and give the Top 3 Certificates to the Contest Chair (or whoever will present the awards) and inform that person of any time disqualifications without naming the Contestants involved. 


· Any protest must be lodged with you or the Contest Chair by a Contestant or Judge before the results are announced 

· Protests are restricted to eligibility and orginiality.

· To consider the protest call a meeting of all the Judges (but not the Tiebreaking Judge – unless it is you!) .

· In the meeting any Contestant who has a protest made against them must be given the opportunity to put their case to the Judges. 

· Disqualification requires a majority vote of the Judges. 

· If in doubt refer to the rules. 


· Announcement of the contest winners is final. Listen carefully as the winners are announced and interrupt to correct any error.

· After the results have been announced destoy all forms and slips but ensure you keep a list of the final placings.

· Provide a list of all placings to the next round contest organiser using the Notification of Contest Winners form. 

Do turn up in time for briefing
Do familiarise yourself with the judging form
Do write contestants names from right to left in order of speaking
Do fold over ballot from RH side after scoring each contestant
Do judge performance against criteria in each category on ballot
Do allocate marks from the bottom up
Do total the marks after each speaker ends you wont have time later
Do avoid bias either positive or negative
Do decide 1st, 2nd, and 3rd on ballot
Do sign the ballot and tear off bottom piece and hand to counter

Dont stop listening to speaker
Dont let other people affect your judgement
Dont evaluate judge
Dont have ties on your ballot
Dont vote for the youngest/oldest/ prettiest/most attractive etc
Dont vote for your club member because he/she has never won anything
Dont vote down a speaker because you dont agree with his/her point of view
Dont be taken in by acting
Dont exclude a contestant because he/she is always winning
Dont let length of speech affect your judgement

Special Thanks to Easy Speak for the resources

Do’s and Don’ts – Ted Corcoran

Thanks to Easy Speak for the judges document