2,000 volunteers are needed to help with the Montana District National Qualifier Speech and Debate Tournament on February 14 and 15 at Missoula Sentinel High School.

Sentinel High School social studies teacher and speech and debate coach Adriel Shearer said on Tuesday, February 4, that schools from across the state will be sending students to compete.

"All 14 Double A and several A, B and C schools will be sending their students to compete, and hopefully many will qualify," Shearer said. "Then 30 or so will be competing at the national tournament in Kansas City later on in June."

Shearer outlined the need for volunteer judges.

"For this national qualifying meet, we need three debate judges in every round, and two speech judges in every round over the course of Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th," Shearer said. "Each round lasts about an hour and a half. That means we need over 1,200 judges for those two days, which translates to over 2,000 hours of community service from our judges."

Shearer said no experience is necessary to be a speech and debate judge.

"All of the competitors are used to giving their speeches to what we call 'lay judges', that is, judges without a whole lot of experience," Shearer said. "If you want to find out more about it, we will be holding judge's clinics on Monday the 10th and Thursday the 13th at the Sentinel High School cafeteria."

Shearer encouraged anyone interested in volunteering as a speech and debate judge to visit their event's website. He is hoping to wrap up the search for judges by Thursday the 13th, and for anyone interested to register by Wednesday the 12th.

Missoula Sentinel High School Speech and Debate Coach Adriel Shearer




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