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  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 13 people are interested

Volunteer with urban student debaters! No debate experience needed!

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Chicago Debates

  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 13 people are interested

Academic Debate is life changing for the debaters, but you can benefit too!

Why Judge Debate?

  • Empower a young person
  • Serve as a conscientious educator
  • Use your professional skills to support future leaders
  • Improve your professional network working with other judges
  • Academic service learning opportunity
  • Give back

Time commitment varies depending on role. Tournament support roles are expected to be available the entire tournament. Tournament judges may chose which rounds they’d like to work (1-2 hour time slots). We offer $15 per preliminary round judged and $20 per elimination round judged. Prior to the tournament you will communicate which rounds you’d like to judge with the Volunteer and Outreach Manager. Tournament schedules vary but typically go as follows:

  • Middle School Conferences: Saturday 8:00am - 3:00pm
  • High School Red and Maroon Conferences: Saturday 8:00am - 4:00pm
  • High School Blue and Silver Conferences: Friday 3:00pm - 8:00pm / Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm (includes elimination rounds)

This year's debate topic will be about water resources. Start your volunteer application here:

*Please note debate tournaments will take place virtually this season. To volunteer you will need access to a camera and stable internet connection.

Before Judging, volunteers will receive a 75 minute introduction training on policy debate judging to ensure volunteers are comfortable with this new opportunity! Volunteers will also need to pass a background check.

Training dates can be found at the link below and will be conducted virtually. If you are interested in learning more about time commitment for this opportunity please email Lauren at
Training Information:

A volunteer who judges a full day of debate impacts 16 students who wouldn't have had the chance to be heard otherwise. A half-day of your time impacts 8 students, and just two hours of your time helps four ambitious and courageous students!

More opportunities with Chicago Debates

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Chicago Debates



Mission Statement

We envision a world in which Chicago youth are empowered to find their voice, succeed in college and career, and become leaders in their community.


As a partner to Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Debates promotes, facilitates, and runs the Chicago Debate League (CDL), providing competitive debate programming in high schools and middle schools across Chicago, serving over 1400 students. The Chicago Debates also trains teachers to use debate tools and methodologies to improve the delivery of regular curricula. Debate provides low-income and minority Chicago students with a unique educational program that dramatically improves academic results and expands college and life opportunities.

Advocacy & Human Rights
Children & Youth


We'll work with your schedule.


This is a Virtual Opportunity with no fixed address.


  • General Education
  • Literacy / Reading
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Advocacy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Public Speaking


  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Background Check
  • Orientation or Training
  • When registering for tournaments volunteer will select their shift left. Shifts very from two hours to eight hours depending on preference.

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