Adjudication Concepts


Published on

For: Continuing members of MAD with university debating experience. Adjudication experience not necessary.

What: The session will start by covering the fundamentals of adjudication and then move onto discussing some of the more challenging concepts in adjudication, including how to assess manner, judging debates holistically and how to give constructive feedback. This session aims to prepare members for success as adjudicators at internal and intervarsity competitions throughout the year, and is a great kick off for adjudicating Freshers.

Presenter: Amit Golder, Best Speaker and Winner at the 2009 Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships.

Published in: Education, Technology
1 Comment
  • Hello my dear
    I am Modester by name good day. i just went to your profile this time true this site ( and i got your detail and your explanation in fact the way you explain your self shows me that you are innocent and maturity and also understand person i decided to have a contact with you so that we can explain to our self each other because God great everyone to make a friend with each other and from that we know that we are from thism planet God great for us ok my dear please try and reach me through my email address ( so that i can send you my picture true your reply we can know each other ok have a nice day and God bless you yours Modester
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Adjudication Concepts

  1. 1. How to Adjudicate Amit Golder
  2. 2. Your Job: <ul><li>Decide who won the debate + why </li></ul><ul><li>Convey this to the teams clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Provide constructive feedback to teams/speakers </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who are you? <ul><li>You are the average reasonable debater </li></ul><ul><li>You do not have specialist knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>You do have a good sense of logic </li></ul><ul><li>You may not enter the debate </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who wins? <ul><li>T h e most persuasive team? </li></ul><ul><li>The highest scoring team? </li></ul><ul><li>The team that wins on ‘matter’ ie the issues in the debate? </li></ul><ul><li>Answer: All of the above, to different extents </li></ul>
  6. 6. Matter <ul><li>Logic (why?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does one thing follow from another? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can this be reasonably inferred? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relevance (why should I care?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do the premises support the conclusions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the conclusion support that side of the topic? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Manner <ul><li>Vocal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volume, pace, tone, clarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word choice (precision) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humour? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-Vocal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gesture, eye contact, stance/body </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language/understanding? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Method <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Priority/timing </li></ul><ul><li>Responsiveness </li></ul>
  9. 9. Scoring Each speech is out of 100 (40+40+20) Average is 75 (30+30+15)  average is contextual, not constant Margins: - 1-3 points = close decision - 4-7 points = clear decision - 8 points and above = very clear decision Priority should be: decision > margin > individual scores
  10. 10. How to Adj: <ul><li>The ‘third speech for the whole debate’ style: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick 2-4 themes that encapsulate the debate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse all the matter in the debate through those themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balance the contributions of each team, across the 6 speakers of the debate, decide which team won </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When critically evaluating the matter, refer to manner and method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ie. Good method/manner can increase the persuasive effect of arguments/rebuttal </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How to Adj: <ul><li>Using the criteria as your guide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who wins on matter, manner and method? How much do they win by? Who wins the debate? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other methods (Ravi? Meredith?) </li></ul><ul><li>Note-taking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis – as you go or at the end? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dangers – don’t finish arguments or keep incomplete notes </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. How to Adj: <ul><li>Scoring: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As you go: most people note an indication of the range of speech they saw, ie 76/7. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be willing to change/re-evaluate preliminary scores. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your ‘instincts’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find ways to justify a debate without resorting to instinct! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not mean instincts about a decision are incorrect, just means they are not sufficient to justify a result. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. How to Oral: <ul><li>In our opinion, your oral decision should proceed like so: </li></ul><ul><li>The decision – who won? </li></ul><ul><li>The reasons for that, as clearly presented as possible! </li></ul><ul><li>Your feedback to the teams – about the whole debate (whole-of-debate matter, common issues) and each team (cases/tactics) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual feedback, privately, after the debate, in a sexy way. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Feedback: <ul><li>Constructive feedback is feedback that can be used again! ‘You are dumb’ is not as constructive as you think! </li></ul><ul><li>The compliment sandwich is useful with younger debaters – acknowledging strengths doesn’t make you a bad adjudicator! </li></ul><ul><li>Give examples from the debate, people like to see that you are paying attention, but try to make the feedback more generally useful than just that topic! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Potential Issues: <ul><li>Definitions: </li></ul><ul><li>Only invalid if undebatable, but if not that reasonable, keep this in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Reward the negative team that tries. </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd Speakers + New Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the rules, but be reasonable. </li></ul><ul><li>Penalise, but almost never totally ignore. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Potential Issues: <ul><li>Burdens: </li></ul><ul><li>Teams can say they have whatever burden they want, and can claim burdens of other teams – only YOU may decide whether something must be proved/shown to win the debate. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not enter the debate and presume one side is harder to win than the other. Presume the topic is balanced and give decision accordingly – too dangerous otherwise! </li></ul><ul><li>Whilst in reality, not always the case, fairness means not trying to correct the difficulty of the topic. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Potential Issues: <ul><li>Negative Cases: </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t run a ‘pure negation’ – but this is actually quite rare! Mostly there’s an implicit defence of the status quo. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure they are negating the topic not just the Aff! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Potential Issues: <ul><li>False Facts: </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, you are average reasonable person, can only dismiss false facts if they are obvious, or another team calls them on it. </li></ul><ul><li>Be wary of entering the debate – but you can use your normal logic skillz if the logic of an argument is missing/crappy. </li></ul>