Adjudicator Briefing - European External Action Service

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Transcript Adjudicator Briefing - European External Action Service

Adjudicator Briefing
• In a micro-perspective, they are people who
assesses debate rounds.
• In a broader perspective, they are the
backbone of the tournament. The quality of
adjudicators directly supports the fairness and
competitiveness of the tournament.
• As such, it is very important that the
adjudicators follow the same
standard/guideline as much as possible.
Adjudicator’s Role
• Assess the debate, and come up with the
decision of who wins
• Give speaker score to debaters
• Give explanation as to why one team won and
one team lost
• Provide constructive feedback – some
comments to debaters on how to improve
Adjudication Process
• Individually assess the debate, come up with
the decision, give speaker scores.
• Fill in the ballot sheet, and hand it to the
• (If the room has a trainee) The chair listens to
the trainee(s)’ feedback, and assess them.
• Call the debaters back, and the adjudicator(s)
provide feedback
Assessing Debates
• You will need to be alert and focused
throughout the debate.
• Always take notes. You will most likely need
them for reference when coming up with a
decision and/or explaining the result.
• Assume the role of an Average Reasonable
• Assess speeches in a holistic way, not treating
certain things as being separate criteria.
Assessing Debates (2)
• Average Reasonable Voter (ARV)
– It is an artificial perspective created to prevent judges
from having bias in terms of the knowledge they
– They are intelligent citizens who are generally openminded to issues around them, and can be taught
various things.
– They possess reasonable skepticism.
• They DO NOT take an assertion (a claim) at its face value.
They will ALWAYS be critically looking for additional
justification for claims made.
– They are reasonably informed.
• They read reputable international newspaper, but do not
attempt to memorize all the issues.
Assessing Debates (3)
• Average Reasonable Voter (2)
– What do ARVs know?
• Common, major facts you can find in newspapers. Such as
Bin Laden is dead, a Civil War is happening in Syria, A
“shutdown” of some sort happened in the US.
– You can discredit/ignore claims of “Syria is perfectly peaceful with
rich, thriving culture”.
– What do ARVs NOT know?
• Expert knowledge, jargon of certain field of studies.
– As an ARV, you can ignore jargon or technical talks that are
unexplained by the speaker.
• “Common arguments” of any debating circuit
– You MUST NOT credit/discredit an argument just because you
know the complete version of that argument. Always listen to
the analysis and elaboration made by the speaker.
Assessing Debates (4)
• Holistic Assessment
– The Matter (logical argumentation), Manner
(language style, word choices), and Method
(structure/organization) should be treated as
different mechanisms for the overall persuasion,
not as separate criteria.
• i.e. avoid the “he had a good point but his language was
poor” line of thought.
– In assessing each of the 3Ms, consider how the
good Matter, Manner, and Method helped in
making the speaker/team more persuasive.
Assessing Debates (5)
• How to assess Matter
– What is considered as a good logical argument?
– Substantiation/Analysis
• Good arguments are well-substantiated and analyzed
• In short, “claims” made are explained with logical reasoning
by the debater, not just left there, hoping the judge would
buy into it.
• Logical reasoning are NOT examples and statistics.
– Examples and statistics help in showing the plausibility and
reasonability of arguments.
– The relevance of arguments
• The debater should also show why and how the materials
they brought up are important in the debate.
Assessing Debates (6)
• How to assess Manner
– There is no single right or wrong “style” or speech.
– There is, however, a reasonable threshold:
• Racist, sexist, offensive, insulting personal remark to fellow
debaters in the room should be “bad styles”.
– Other than that, the adjudicator should be open and
accommodating to various styles of speech.
• What you personally think to be a good style is not necessarily a
good style for an ARV.
– Consider Manner as a component of speech that helps in
conveying the arguments with clarity, and makes the
speech more persuasive.
• Never adopt the “their idea is bad, but they have good language,
so they win” line-of-thought.
• If they had a bad idea, then they are not persuasive.
Assessing Debates (7)
• How to assess Method
– Method is about structure, timing, and overall
• Structure: was the speaker’s speech structure clear and
easy to follow? (e.g. the transition from rebuttals to
arguments were clear, the speech did not go all over
the place)
• Timing: did the speaker give enough time to all of
his/her important points?
• Overall presentation: allocation of arguments, team
Assessing Debates (8)
• How to decide who wins
– Weigh the materials both sides have presented
• Who wins on what issue? Look at the arguments they
presented, how arguments were rebutted, defended, etc.
• Weigh the relevance of each issue. How important is certain
issues, and how did the debaters show that to you?
– Some technicalities – did the team analyze their
points well? Did they have good engagement
(rebuttals, POIs – dealing with an opposing material)?
• It does not mean that no engagement means automatic loss.
However, if they fail to engage, they are bound to be less
Assessing Debates (9)
• How to decide who wins (2)
– Certain things to keep in mind:
• Matter Battle – a scenario where Gov. says A is true,
and Opp. says it is not.
– Think what an ARV would say.
– Assess the debate/argument independent of the matter
battle: which side’s point still holds true regardless of the
example, since good arguments do not derive from good
example only.
• There is no “automatic loss” in a debate. Always look at
the logical reasoning both teams are making.
• The score range of this tournament is 69-81
• The substantive speaker’s (PM, LO, DPM, DLO,
GW, OW) score range is only in whole number.
– NO DECIMAL POINTS. 69 to 81 only.
• The Reply speech’s score is substantive
speaker’s speech divided by two.
– If you thought the speech deserves a 75 had it
been a substantive speech, that Reply speech gets
Scoring (2)
Very Good
Good Effort
Is not familiar with this style of debate
Hello, Thank you, Goodbye
Scoring (3)
• Ultimately, the score range is a loose guideline to
calibrate the tournament score. We understand
that in the end, there is slight deviation based on
some subjectivity.
• To make sure that your score is aligned with the
tournament standard, compare it to the speech
given in the tournament’s adjudication test
round. Those speech are the most accurate
representation of each score given to them.
Oral Adjudication
• The process of justifying your decision to the
debaters. No established way to do it.
• Panelists and Chairs give OA to debaters, while
Trainees give OA to the Chair in the room.
• What you should keep in mind is:
– It should be prepared, and not lengthy. Keep it
– You are not arguing with the debaters, but giving your
perception of the debate
• Do take this seriously. The debaters will give you
a score based on your OA, just like how you gave
them scores based on their speech.
Oral Adjudication (2)
• Sample Structure:
– Declare who won
– General comments to the debate, perhaps some
on the technicalities
– Issues you perceived in the debate
• Justify why and how did one side win on certain issues
• Explain the relevance of each issues to the debate
– Constructive feedback
Judging Ethics
• General conducts
– Write down notes, unless you have a super-human
– Refrain from heckling and distracting the speaker
– Please turn your phone to silent mode and refrain from
picking up phone calls
– Do not fall asleep
• In adjudicating
– Do not “jump” in the debate
• Using personal knowledge in assessing the merit of arguments
• Being biased in general
• Giving the “you could have said this argument but you did not so
you lose” line of result.
– There is no “automatic loss” or “automatic deduction”
towards a speech.
Q & A Session
Thank you for your attention!