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6 October 2007

Tips: Oral Adjudications

Oral adjudications occur when the adjudicators call the debaters back into the room to give them the decision and explain the reasons for the decision. Many teams also view this as a valuable lesson on how to improve so judges should put a little thought into their oral adjudications so the teams come away feeling that they understand (if not agree with) the decision and feel they have learned how to correct their mistakes.

The chair of panel should give the decision (unless dissenting). Other judges should stay quite until after the oral adjudication is complete.

Oral Adjudications should be done in the following order:

  • Announce team rankings
  • Give the reasons behind decision
  • Give some constructive criticism (to all teams)
  • Don’t exceed 10 minutes (particularly at lunch time).

If the adjudication is closed (i.e. no oral results) judges should be guarded in the feedback they do give as it is very difficult to give constructive feedback and not to reveal the result.

If you queries and require further clarification approach the judges but be polite and non-confrontational. Remember that often a debater will think they gave an excellent speech but the judges may disagree. Once the judge has explained the reasons for the decisions there is little to be gained in attacking them. Is it at all possible that your self-belief is bigger than your ability?

If the team believes that it was a terrible adjudication then they should fill out adjudicator evaluation form. The adjudication team read all feedback and all complaints will be followed up.

For a more detailed guide to oral adjudications click here

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