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Welcome to the DAV Website
The DAV is a non-profit association which exists to promote debate. It is the peak debating body in Victoria and runs large competitions for adults and for schools across Victoria. It provides training and resources for debaters, teachers and adjudicators.

Seven Adjudication Tips
By Ray D'Cruz (Past President)

Ask yourself a simple question when assessing the debate: which team is most persuasive? While the rules should assist your decision making process, this is the overarching concern for all adjudicators.

Remember, method is not purely about the organisation of a speech. It is also about the extent to which the team and speaker responds dynamically to the other side.

Don’t forget to judge manner properly. Too many adjudicators give all speakers the same manner mark and judge on matter and method. Manner is important – it’s worth 40/100 marks (and in everyday communication it’s probably worth a lot more) – so don’t forget manner!

Matter is about logic and relevance. Test each argument to make sure that the conclusion flows from the premises (logic) and that it relates to the case which the team is trying to prove (relevance).

Know the result and the reasons for the result before announcing your decision. You should have identified the two or three principal reasons for giving the debate the winning side before standing to deliver your adjudication

Write down what the debaters say – not your interpretation of what the debaters say. It’s tempting to assist the debaters’ argumentation by adding your own spin, but that’s not your job.

All adjudicators must provide constructive feedback. The feedback should be linked to particular examples from the debate and should be couched in a positive and encouraging manner.