Judging Workshop

New Rules for Judges

Toastmasters International has released new contest judging rules commencing January 2011.

Ian Pickens conducted a workshop on January 29, 2011 to discuss the new rules and train judges who can help at contest level as early as possible.  Ian does believe it is most ideal to conduct frequent training sessions at club level.  However as a first step he facilitated this workshop.

The opening review

The workshop commenced with a review of the judges form, looking at Content, Delivery, Language and how this criteria, affects a judge. The responsibilities, qualities, accountability and barriers, were the focus of this session, followed by analysing the new rules in detail.

Key changes

Rule 3B deals with the District options to allow two contestants from each club etc progressing to the next level something for District 17 to consider. It is not be a new rule but becomes relevant in D17.

Rule 5A deals with the specified number of judges and officials required at contests and rule 5B with judges eligibility. These rules will pose the greatest challenge to clubs and areas to comply with. Add the changes to the role of the chief judge, and tie break judges (Rule 5F) we have a need to ensure we have a ready pool of volunteers to judge.

Rule 5N confirms that 1st and 2nd place are announced at all contests, also for contests with 5 or more a third place will be announced. The words (if wanted) have been removed from previous years rule books.
Timing of speeches and disqualifications have not been changed and this rounds out the 7 contest rules.]

Check Lists

The separate Contest details and contest check list which were previously a separate document have been included into this manual and provides comprehensive check lists and procedures to be followed. I have found the check lists already being used from various D73 websites remain very suitable and require very little change.

A practice run

The workshop concluded with a practice run through, judging two speeches from the Creswick convention. This allowed John Palmer to see on the big screen, his performance on the District stage. It was the first time he had seen the video.

One big question arose “does the chief Judge have to judge or are they an advisor and co-ordinator?”. I am sure the answer is subject to debate but the general feel is the they do.

These manuals (item 1171) are available from Toastmaster International or from each President who has been delivered copies.

I urge leaders, contestants, and judges to read the rules, and ensure all contest chairs and chief judges are familiar with the rules of the contest prior to the club event.

Thanks to Ian Pickens for this report and the photo.