• Judge Registration & Background Check

  • If you are interested in signing up to judge for the 23-24 HISD Debate Season, please register here

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 starting in August of each school year, regardless if you’ve completed VIPS before.

    Step 1: Orientation Training
    • Click here: https://apps.raptortech.com/Apply/NjcyOmVuLVVT
    • Navigate through the training
    • Sign the certificate at the end, save a copy and send it to John Rassenfoss. 
    • 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 John Rassenfoss.

How to Register

  • Judges in the HISD pool will receive a monthly email seeking to recruit judges, judging opportunities are available on a first come, first serve basis.  

Event Schedule

  • March 5, 2022
    Judge Check-In: 7:30 AM
    LD/WSD OCTO: 8:30 AM
    Lunch: 12:30 PM
    Semifinals: 1:15 PM
    Finals: 3:15 PM
    Awards: 5:15 PM
    Bus Departure: 7:00 PM

Tournament Guidelines

  • Upon Arrival (for in-person events)
    1. Please arrive to tournaments by 8:00 AM.
    2. Judges should report to the Judge Room (usually the library) for assignments (ballots) and should remain there when not in rounds.
    HISD Employees: We can no longer accept HISD employees as paid judges. 
    Contract judges must be legally authorized to work in the United States. 
    Dress Code (for in-person and online events)
    • The 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.