Getting Started

Instructions for Debaters

Step 1

Get Familiar With Ziggy

If you’re reading this page, you’re well on your way to becoming a Ziggy pro! 

If you’re competing in the Fall Tournament, you’ll get a new pairing assignment every Sunday morning (note the Calendar if you want a big picture overview). That means you have one week to complete each debate round. If you’re competing in the Spring Tournament, you’ll get a new pairing assignment every other Sunday morning (so, two weeks per round).

Be sure to check your emails regularly! You’ll get an email each time we make a new pairing. You can also view all rounds at the Ziggy Tournament Platform.

Step 2

Talk To Your Opponent

When you get your weekly Pairing email, click the “View Debate” button in your email. That’ll take you to the Pairing page. Then, post a comment on your Pairing page to tell your opponent what times during the week you’re free.

Example: “Hi Alexandra! I’m free to debate Monday–Wednesday from 12pm–5pm Central Time, Friday from 2–6pm CT, and Saturday from 10am–2pm CT. Let me know if there’s a particular time that’s good for you.”

If you can’t get in touch, text or call your opponent—their phone number is listed right below their name on the Pairing page.

P.S. If you’re the Aff team doing TP, you should send your 1AC (or an outline) to your opponent ASAP.

Step 3

Schedule Your Round

The Ziggy Tournament Platform makes it easy to schedule rounds. After you agree on a time and date with your opponent, one of you should enter that date/time into the “Schedule” section on the Pairing page. Set this in your own timezone—the Ziggy Tournament Platform will automatically display the correct timezone for everyone else on their own computer. 

Example: Isaac, who lives in Central Time, sets the time in the Schedule for 12:00pm CT, June 4, 2021. When Katie (who is on Eastern Time) views the Schedule, she will see the round as scheduled for 1:00pm ET, June 4, 2021, because that’s her timezone. Everything is working correctly.

Step 4

Request a Judge

Now it’s time to find a judge. After setting your Schedule, click the “Request a Judge” button. This will bring you to the Judge List.

Search through the list for judges who are available at the time of your debate (such as judges available on Monday Mornings). Check the box next to every judge you want to contact, then click the Request button. Requests will automatically be sent to those judges.

We recommend asking for judges 3-4 days in advance if possible.

Step 5

Setting a Room

After you’ve requested your judge, be sure to set a “room” for the debate. You can use Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, FaceTime, Discord, etc—just make sure it’s something everyone can use.

Post the link to your debate room in the “Room” section on the Pairing page, so everyone can easily access it.

You can also use a free room on Discord by joining the Ziggy Discord channel (get access via the password-protected Members page; password is in your registration confirmation email).

Step 6

Show Up and Debate Respectfully!

You’ll get an automated email reminding you about your debate 1 hour before the start time, but it’s your responsibility to show up and be on time.

I suggest arriving a few minutes early to make sure your mic (and video, if you choose) are working.

Then debate, treat everyone with respect, and have an awesome time! You’ll get an email when your judge submits their ballot.

Instructions for Judges

Step 1

Get Familiar With Ziggy

If you’re reading this page, you’re well on your way to becoming a Ziggy pro! 

Please note that students get new debates assigned every Sunday morning, with the exception of Thanksgiving week. That means they have one week to complete each debate round. Keep this in mind for your ballot deadlines.

Be sure to check your emails regularly!

Step 2

List Your Availability

After you register, we’ll make you an account on the Ziggy Tournament Platform, where all the debates happen. You’ll get a separate email about how to reset your password.

When you first log in, you’ll need to visit the  and set your availability. Locate your name on the list of judges, click the “edit” button, and then check every box of time where you’re available. Then click “Save.” That’s it!

Step 3

View the Judge Orientation

Take a look—either using the Slides or the Video—at our Ziggy Judge Orientation.

Even if you have done Ziggy before, we’ve updated the Judge Orientation to add new information and we need you to review it before starting Ziggy. It’ll take about 15–20 minutes and will give you some helpful tips for judging online debate.

If you’re new to debate completely, click here.

Step 4

Skim the Speaker Points Guide

Some judges find giving speaker points confusing—how do you know whether to give someone a 4 or a 5? Is a 3 too low? When should you give a 1 or a 2?

Our Speaker Points Guide gives you some helpful suggestions about how to do this. You can download it and use it for any round you judge.

Step 5

Finding a Round to Judge

We give judges TWO ways to sign up for rounds.

Option A: Judges may browse the Ziggy Tournament Platform to see if any rounds are scheduled, and to sign up for them directly. When visiting the site, click any Round marked as and then see if there are any rounds highlighted in yellow that say . Click the date, and then click the  button.

Option B: Students have the ability to request that you judge their rounds. So you can also wait until you get emails from them about a particular round. Click the link in the email to sign up.

You do NOT need to reply to those emails—they’re automated. If you can’t judge, just ignore the email, or click the “View Debate” button and leave a comment saying you’re unavailable.

Step 6

Judging & Filling Out Your Ballot​

You’ll get an automated email reminder from Ziggy 1 hour before the debate you’re judging, but please make sure to put it on your own personal calendar as well.

The debaters will have posted a meeting link in the “Room” section on the debate pairing page. Click that to join.

After you judge, please be sure to fill out your ballot within 48 hours after the round is over. We suggest clicking “Save Ballot” as you edit so nothing gets lost. If you encounter any issues, shoot us a text: 979 429 4449