Tabroom - Judging Help

Guide to Speech Ballots

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To see your current ballots (including upcoming rounds if they’ve been posted), log in to your account. 

You should then see a page that looks like image to the right. This is your judge dashboard.

If you do not see this page, click on your email address at the top of the page to get here.


Ballots are typically released 20 - 30 minutes before the start of the round. If you do not have a ballot, wait in the judges room until dismissed. If you do have a ballot, you should head to the competition room about 10  - 15 minutes before the round is scheduled to start. AS SOON AS YOU GET TO THE ROOM, EVEN IF THE ROUND HASN’T STARTED, please click the big green button that says “Start Round”. This is very important, as it lets tournament staff know that you have received your ballot and are on the way to the competition room.  If you don’t, tournament staff may reassign your ballot to another judge, and can penalize your school. 



Your ballot will look something like the image at the left. Generally you’ll see a list of names instead of code numbers, along with a column and some checkboxes.

In the RANKS column, you’ll input your rankings for the round. Remember, 1 is always the highest score. 

You may also see a POINTS column. Unlike the ranks column, higher scores here are better. Think of points like a grade for the individual student, rather than a comparison against the others in the room.

The OVERTIME checkbox should be checked whenever a student exceeds the grace period (10:31 for all Interp and Platform events, 7:15 for Extemp, or 5:15 for Impromptu). If you see this checkbox the tabroom will impose an automatic penalty for going over time, so please do not penalize the student in your rankings.

Do not click the NO SHOW checkbox unless you have waited at least an hour past the start time of the round (and 15 minutes after the last speaker) and the student has not arrived.



Below the ballot is a section titled General Feedback. This is the place where you will give your comments to the students. You will be able to edit these comments after you’ve submitted your ballot, so please submit the ballot as as soon as possible after the last speaker has finished and then return to work on comments.

Your feedback is what makes this activity worth it, and the students are saddened when they receive ballots with no comments. Please give thoughtful attention to providing useful comments to EACH student. 

Below the rankings you’ll see a section like this: The first item in the dropdown menu is “Reason for Rankings”. Any comments entered here will go to ALL students in the round. Please take some time to tell the students what criteria you used to decide who got the better rankings (i.e. what made the 1st place speaker stand out from the rest).

If you click on the dropdown menu you’ll see an option for each student in the round. These comments go only to the individual student(s). Please be thoughtful and specific about what you liked about their performance, what you didn’t understand, and what you think they can do to improve. 


It is especially helpful to make some notes for each student while they deliver their speech/performance. To make sure you don’t lose any work it’s a good idea to click the “Save Comments Only” button after you finish your comments for each speaker.


Once you’ve entered all your ranks you’re ready to submit the ballot. You’ll be asked to double check your scores before confirming the ballot. Once you click the big green “Confirm” Button your ballot will be submitted to the tabroom and will not be able to edit your scores.


To prove the point that comments are the most important thing on the ballot, even after you submit the ballot you can still edit comments.



After you’ve submitted your ballot, you’ll be taken back to your dashboard, where you will see a new section that looks like the image at the left. 

Click the “Edit Feedback” button to go to a page where you can see and edit the comments you made for each student. The layout will be a bit different than it was on the ballot — each student will have a separate box, with the general Reason for Rankings at the top — but otherwise it acts the same.