Arlington Heights, IL need judges for homeschool speech and debate tournament


We are in search of community volunteers who could help us in judging a homeschool speech and debate competition, which will be taking place at Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church next week, Thursday-Saturday, January 25-27, all day and evenings.

The students range in age from 12-18 years old, and they come from all across our region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Michigan. We are in need of 500 community judges for this event, and we are hopeful that some of the readers of this forum might be able to donate a few hours or a day to help us. The members of our league, the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, are mostly evangelical Christians, but there are also quite a few Catholics.

No experience is necessary to be a judge. Judges’ orientations are conducted before each round. We only ask that you be at least 18 years old, able to hear well, and able to sit for approximately 90 minutes, which is the duration of one round.

Below is a brief description of the events. For debate you do not need to know anything about the topics. It is the students’ responsibility to make their cases clear to a lay judge. The ballots are self-explanatory, and while feedback on their speaking skills is important to them, your ultimate duty is to decide which team (or individual) was more convincing to you. For speech, you simply rank the speeches you listen to.

Anyone interested should send their contact information (name and phone # or e-mail) and availability to You will be sent more information and can sign up for a specific time slot.

Please feel free to spread the word to anyone you know who enjoys working with young people and who might be interested in this important community service. We are also having a tournament in Naperville March 20-22. If you can help us at that tournament, contact me at

Debate: This year’s topics are:

Team Debate
Resolved: That the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should be significantly reformed or abolished.

Lincoln Douglas Debate
Resolved: Democracy is overvalued by the United States government.

Speech: There are 11 categories of speeches, including persuasive, original works, humorous, interpretive, impromptu, dramatic, etc. Your round will include 6-8 speakers in one category, and you will simply score them on a scale of 1-5 for things like eye contact, clarity, organization, etc., which is all laid out in the ballot, and then rank them as a group, 1-8. During the preliminary rounds, there will be a panel of three judges per room, so you will not be alone.

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