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Judge Training Introductory Courses

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has created a series of courses that are relevant to speech and debate judges.  Access these courses: On the NFHS Learning Center, you must first register for or sign in to an NFHS account. Navigate to a course using the following links, select your state, and “Order Course.” Each of the following courses are free, and the checkout page will show a $0 charge. Select “Checkout” and “Go to My Courses” to begin!
Introductory Courses

Cultural Competence Judge Training

Judges play an important role in supporting students’ educational and competitive endeavors. This course is designed to help judges ensure they are providing culturally competent and inclusive performance feedback and decisions that meet students where they are in order to create safe spaces and healthy competition. 

Certify Completion in This training is required of judges who participate in NSDA-hosted tournaments. To certify completion of this course in, select “Judge Certifications” under the Judging header, select the button in the “Take” column next to Cultural Competency, mark the “Yes” checkbox, and “Save Answers.” A badge certifying completion of this course will appear on your public judge paradigm in

Adjudicating Speech and Debate

This course is designed to help you identify the different types of speech and debate events, review basic judging guidelines for each event, and includes example student performances so you can practice judging while receiving tips on what to note during an actual round. This course also includes the aforementioned Cultural Competence Judge Training modules.

Protecting Students From Abuse

The NSDA also highly recommends that all judges complete the NFHS Course “Protecting Students from Abuse.” Abusive behaviors and misconduct do not belong within athletic and activity programs. To assist in creating an enjoyable and safe environment for students, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, in collaboration with the NFHS, has developed “Protecting Students from Abuse.” The course presents definitions of several types of abusive behaviors and misconduct, the signs and symptoms of abuse, and the ways in which someone can report these behaviors. The course also includes some DOs and DON’Ts for making a report.