Judge Training


Initial (First Time) Certification

Who:  New or experienced coaches and/or adjudicators (judges) can gain certification through this training program. There is a modest fee to cover cost of materials and trainer expenses: $38. You may pay online when registering, or send a check to the state office.

How it works: You enroll in an online course, which takes about two hours to complete. After successful completion, you will register for an in-person, 3-hour workshop, where a trainer will guide you through best practices of writing effective evaluations. At the end of the workshop, you will independently write evaluations of two performances, and these evaluations will be assessed for quality constructive and instructive feedback.

Workshop: Enroll and complete the online course at least a week ahead of a workshop you wish to attend; you must register through the online course; walk-ins are not allowed.  We require at least 3 hours of in-person attendance; if the timeframe doesn’t work or you will be delayed in arriving, please find a different workshop.

Term of Certification & Renewal

Term:  Certification terms last three school years (inclusive of the one in which certification took place).

Recertification:  The state office emails adjudicators when certification is due for renewal. Following successful completion of a “refresher” online course (with about 30 minutes of tutorials outlining recent changes in evaluation sheets and reiterating adjudication expectations based on those new sheets), receipt of $6 fee, and assessment (online completion of evaluation of a video student speech), adjudicators are notified to download a digital certificate as proof of renewal (and their status is updated in the online roster). There are no longer multiple choice tests.

2017-18 Recertification Alternative (Pilot):  In lieu of the online refresher course, a renewing adjudicator may request to attend a three-hour in-person initial certification workshop (subject to space available) for a $15 fee (see list to the upper right).

Certification Status

The certification roster is available on the training site; you must create an account to view it (to prevent spam).

Speech Adjudicator FAQs

How many Speech adjudicators am I required to have?

Generally speaking, contests ask for one adjudicator for every five entries, or fraction thereof. Some contests require fewer or more. This means that if a school has 7 entries, it should bring two adjudicators. Some contests will allow schools to pay a fee for uncovered adjudicators, not because they have extras they can hire for a school, but to incentivize schools to bring their own adjudicators. It is a burden on any host when schools do not provide all of the adjudicators they are expected to.  The State Festival requires one adjudicator for 1-8 entries, two adjudicators for 9-19 entries, and three adjudicators for 20-25 entries.

How do I get certified to adjudicate (judge) Speech contests?

You will enroll in an online course that takes about 2 hours, followed by a 3-hour in-person workshop. The initial certification fee is $38 and lasts 3 years, at which point you will be able to renew. To learn more, visit our adjudication page.

How do I renew certification to adjudicate (judge) Speech contests?

You will enroll in an online course that takes about 30 minutes, plus evaluating a student presentation. Upon receipt of the $6 recertification fee and successful completion of the course and evaluation, certification will be renewed. To learn more, visit our adjudication page.

Do you have a list of descriptive words/phrases adjudicators can use?
How do I register a complaint about an adjudicator?

We now have an online complaint form that can be accessed from the Speech Contests or the Theatre Contests pages.

There is a list of FAQs at the bottom of the page, which can answer common inquiries about Speech Adjudicator Certification.


Upcoming Workshops

Upcoming Workshops
  • Workshop, Ripon
    January 22, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Ripon High School, 850 Tiger Dr, Ripon, WI 54971, USA

  • Workshop, Butler
    January 23, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Butler Public Library, 12808 W Hampton Ave, Butler, WI 53007, USA

  • Workshop, Green Bay
    January 24, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Bay Port High School, 2710 Lineville Rd, Green Bay, WI 54313, USA

  • Workshop, Eau Claire
    January 25, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701, USA

  • Workshop, Pittsville
    January 30, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Pittsville High School, 5407 1st Ave, Pittsville, WI 54466, USA

  • Workshop, La Crosse
    January 31, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State St, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA

  • Workshop, Boscobel
    February 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Boscobel Junior-Senior High School, 300 Brindley St, Boscobel, WI 53805, USA