Contest Judging

XX. Contest Judging

Eligibility of Judges


1. The following people are not eligible to be judges:

  • Employees of the Agora Speakers International Foundation
  • Direct Relatives of contestants.
  • Present or Incumbent country Ambassadors.

Number of Judges

1. Depending on the level of the contest, the following number of judges are required (the number includes the tie-breaking judge):

Stage Minimum number of judges
Club 3
City 3
Region 5
State 5
Country 5
International  / World Final 7



Selection of Judges

1. For the Club level, judges will be volunteer members.

2. For the City, Region and State levels, judges will be volunteer members from different clubs. Ideally, they should be preferably from clubs that do not have a participating contestant (either because they lost at an earlier stage, or because they didn’t enter the competition). Each judge should be from a different club unless there’s absolutely no possibility of doing it this way.

3. For contests at the Country and above levels, judges will be non-Agora members from the following professions:

  • Media professionals - presenters, show hosts, actors, producers,  etc from the TV, radio, press or movie industries.
  • Journalists
  • Lawyers
  • Judges
  • Investors
  • Executives of middle and large companies.
  • Casting agents
  • Politicians
  • Speakers from the professional (for-pay) public speaking circuits.
  • Speakers from other public speaking events such as TEDx., Munk Debates, etc.

4. If possible, the judge role should be offered to people that are recognized and well-known in their areas.

5. No performance fees will be payable, however, reasonable transportation expenses will be reimbursed.

6. For contests at the Country and above levels, all Judges should be either native speakers or C2-level speakers of the language in which the contest takes place.

7. The above criteria may be overridden for specific contests.


Judging Procedure

1. At the beginning of the contest, the Contest Facilitator, together with the Contest Leader, will enter the names of all the judges in https://www.random.org/lists/ and will generate a random ordering. The last name of that list will act as a tie-breaking judge, whose identity will remain only known to the Meeting Facilitator and Meeting Leader.

2. The Contest Facilitator will give each judge:

  • One Standard Judging Form per contest in which the judge participates.
  • Two sheets of scratch paper.
  • One Pen.

3. After all the contestants have finished, the Contest Leader will announce a 2-minute pause for voting.

4. Each judge will order all the contestants from Best to Worst in their own opinion. 10 points will be given to the best contestant, 9 points for the second-best and so on.  Specific Contest types may override these criteria and mandate a more structured opinion based on formal criteria.

5. The Judging Forms will be collected by the Contest Facilitator and with the assistance of the Timer and they will both sum the votes cast by all judges except the Tie-Breaking Judge.

6. If there’s a tie in the scores of contestants for the first or second places, the vote of the tie-breaking judge will be used to break the tie, as follows:

  • If the tie is for the first place, the scores of the tie-breaking judge for the two contestants that are tied are added. The one with the higher new score becomes the winner, whereas one with the lower score becomes the runner-up. The previous second-place winner becomes the third-place winner.
  • If the tie is for the second place, the scores of the tie-breaking judge for the two contestants that are tied are added. The one with the higher new score becomes the 2nd place winner, whereas the one with the lower score becomes the third-place winner

XXI. Protests

1. Protests may be logged for any of the following reasons:

  • Disagreements with contestant eligibility.
  • Disagreements with speech originality.
  • Disagreements with disqualifications due to timing or leaving the speech demarcation area.

2. The protest must be notified in writing (either on paper or by EMail) to the Contest Leader before the winners of that contest are announced, providing all the evidence supporting it

3. All protests will be addressed by the Contest Leader and the team of Judges. For protests related to timings or speech demarcation violations, the recording will be examined if available.

4. The Judging team will discuss and vote on the validity of the protest and reach a decision by means of a simple majority vote.  In case of a tie, the vote of the Tie-breaking Judge will be used to determine the final outcome.

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Page last modified on Monday January 13, 2020 11:18:00 CET by agora.