• Judge Registration & Background Check

  • Currently, there are no tournaments for judges to register for. Please check back often for updates.

Volunteer in Public Schools (VIPS)

  • We must ensure that all our judges, both paid and volunteer, are background-checked through VIPS. This must be completed each year, regardless if you’ve completed VIPS before.

    Step 1: Orientation Training
    • Click here: https://www.houstonisdpsd.org/dmol/VIPS/index.html#/
    • Navigate through the training
    • Sign the certificate at the end, save a copy and send it to Mark Niles
    • You are finished with Step 1. The link to begin Step 2 will be provided; however, it's included below as well just in case.

    Step 2: Background Check Application
    • Click here: https://apps.raptortech.com/Apply/NjcyOmVuLVVT

    There are 7 pages you will navigate through. Keep reading for instructions on completing each page.
    1. Welcome: Read and proceed to the next page
    2. Personal Information: Select Community Member under Affiliation.
    3. School Information: Under school preferences, scroll down to the very bottom and choose HISD Administration Bldg. If you plan to volunteer for other programs or schools within HISD, you can indicate that as well.
    4. Functions: Choose Tutor
    5. Organizations: There are four columns on this page. Please select UIL Programs in the first column near the bottom and Houston Urban Debate League in the fourth column about halfway down. If you plan to volunteer for other organizations, you can indicate that as well.
    6. Disclaimer: Review and sign
    7. Done: Read and click Finish.

    Step 3: Government I.D.
    • After registering through VIPS, please submit a valid photo ID and send it to Mark Niles

How to Register

  • After you submit your online registration form, you need to wait for an HISD-HUDL employee to send you a confirmation that you are registered to judge.

Tournament Guidelines

  • Upon Arrival (for in-person events)
     
    1. Please arrive 30 minutes before any round you have agreed to judge.
    2. Judges should report to the Judge Room (usually the library) for assignments (ballots).
     
    Map
     
    Payment
    HISD Employees: We can no longer accept HISD employees as paid judges. 
     
    Contract judges must be legally authorized to work in the Unites States.
    • Pay is $20 per round unless otherwise noted in the sign-up form. (For shorter debate rounds, we consider one round as a flight: Two short rounds back-to-back.)
    • Standby rate (when you don't get a ballot) is $10 per round. If you get more than one rounds on stand-by, your payment will be calculated on a case-by-case basis. Judges who routinely get lots of standbys will receive reduced payment. 
    • Paid Judges: Please pick up a Judge Form at the ballot table and have it stamped between each round so we can correctly calculate your payment. Failure to do so will result in payment delays. 
    • You should receive payment within 30 days following the tournament. (This may take longer for first-time judges.)
    Dress Code (for in-person and online events)
    • Dress code for judges is business casual. Business casual is dressing professionally, looking relaxed, yet neat and pulled together. 

Judge Rules

  • No Call No Shows
     
    When a judge signs-up to judge for a tournament, they are expected to attend. Judges that are no call no shows will be removed from the judging list. Please notify us if you are unable to attend before the tournament or at a minimum, email us the week after the tournament to let us know why you didn't make it. You will not be notified when you are removed from the list. This rule applies to all judges regardless of their history with the organization. 
     
    Judge Complaints
     
    We allow our coaches to submit formal protests against judges.  Once we receive two complaints against a judge from at least two different schools, we will consider banning that judge from tournaments. These issues will be resolved on a case by case basis. For minor complaints, we require a greater number of protest forms before a judge is banned. For serious infractions, as little as one protest form may be needed. Our first priority is serving our students.