Speech Adjudicator Certification

Enrollment in the Initial Certification Course is suspended until the new school year begins.

Initial Training

Online course (~2 hours) + in-person workshop (3 hours). At the end of the workshop,  an independently written evaluation will be assessed for quality constructive feedback. Walk-ins are not allowed at workshops.  Enrollment will re-open late October 2020.


For those whose certification has lapsed anytime since 2008; consists of refresher online tutorials (~30 minutes), plus assessment (online completion of evaluation of a video student speech). Entirely online.

If you had a website account prior to fall 2018, please sign up for a new account when enrolling in a course.

Certification lasts 3 school years (inclusive of certification).

Interscholastic Speech contests involve subjective and standards-based evaluation of students across more than a dozen contest categories. Coaches and/or adjudicators (judges) gain certification through training, and can report time spent as professional development.

Speech Adjudicator FAQs

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.

My speech adjudicator certification lapsed. Which course do I enroll in?

If your certification lapsed since 2007, you may enroll in the Renewal course. If it was earlier than 2007, please enroll in the Initial Training course.

Do you have a list of descriptive words/phrases adjudicators can use?
Can I volunteer to host a workshop?

Please contact your district chair. To keep costs down, up to two workshops may be scheduled per district, but are contingent on availability of a trainer. Weeknight workshops are scheduled between 4:30/5:00 - 7:30/8:00 pm, and Saturday workshops are scheduled from 9am-12 Noon. Workshops should be centrally located in an area, so they are more easily accessible to the greatest population. We will not schedule workshops during major break periods (Thanksgiving week, the end of December), and will only schedule workshops over the summer if there is significant demonstrated need and interest (we tried to offer several in 2018, and all but one were canceled for lack of signups).

Are there online workshops?

When we tried doing videoconference workshops in the past, participants were not interactive. However, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, other mitigating circumstances, or if scheduled workshops are cancelled, a virtual alternative may be scheduled. Contact the state office for details.

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 hired to adjudicate/judge?
If you're not affiliated with a particular school, or would like to offer your adjudicating services to additional schools and contests, please join our statewide email list. We do not have lists for specific regions of the state, because there's too much overlap between areas with contests schools attend.
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.