First, Thanks for Judging!!!

Every school is responsible for providing a certain number of judges, based on the number of entries the school is bringing to the tournament.  We can’t run a tournament, and the students are unable to compete without you!

This guide is designed to help you become an effective judge at Baltimore Catholic Forensic League tournaments. We hope that it will answer many of your questions about:

  1. The operation of our contests
  2. The effective evaluation of competitors in contest rounds
  3. The rules and practices in each event

Our students are serious about their work. They put a great deal of time, energy, and care into the preparation of their events. We want, of course, for them to have positive and successful experiences in forensics.

To this end, we hope that each of you will take the time to read this guide thoroughly before arriving at your first tournament as a judge or observer. It does not take special talent or expertise to become an effective judge. It does, however, take time, energy and care. It takes a positive and supportive outlook. It takes a willingness to “fine tune” your critical listening skills and apply them to the contest setting.

We hope that this information will help to make your judging experience a positive one – for you and for the students you hear as well. We know that you will enjoy hearing them. These talented and motivated students truly are the future leaders of our society, and we can help prepare them assume these leadership roles by helping them improve their communication skills. We are grateful to you for your time and hope to see a good deal of you in the contests to come.

Overview of Tournament Day

Specific Judging Responsibilities During the Round


  • Start your day in the judges’ lounge.  The host school usually provides pastries and coffee for breakfast.
  • Be sure to go by the judges’ lounge for lunch between the first and second rounds.  Lunch is usually served around 11:30.
  • Come prepared for a long day.  The tournament runs from early morning (registration begins at 8am) to late afternoon/early evening (the last round usually ends around 4:30 or 5pm).
  • Bring a book to read or something to work on…you may have down time, when you are not judging for a given round.
  • Unless otherwise authorized by Tabroom staff, judges are expected to be available for all three competition rounds.

Message from the League Director

We are almost at the end of the 2023-2024 tournament season! Good luck to everyone for a strong finish of an amazing year of competition!