Chicago Debates relies on a large network of volunteers to help our debate program thrive. Check out our volunteer resources below!

Volunteer Portal Login HERE

In order to volunteer with Chicago Debates we ask volunteers to complete the following prior to their first tournament:

1.Register to volunteer: Let us know you’re interested in judging by creating your account.
2.Check out the Tournament Schedule: Register for any of our tournaments this season here.
3.Background Check: This will be provided by Chicago Debates. After registering an account we will send you an invitation from Sterling Volunteers.
4.Complete training: All new volunteers will need to complete a 60 minute training session. You can register for training here.
5.Payment Forms: If you’d like to receive a stipend payment, you will need to submit one W9 per season.

Volunteer Documents

Volunteer Guide
High School Flow Template
Tabroom Account Setup Guide
Tabroom E-Ballot Guide
Volunteer Payment Form

Volunteer Trainings

Tabroom Training
Virtual Tournament Season Training
New Volunteer Training Deck
Flowing Training Deck

Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities

There are multiple roles you can serve in as a volunteer with Chicago Debates. Below are several positions we always need help fulfilling.

Tournament Judge

We need judges to give our students the opportunity to debate at tournaments! No experience is required; we will train you to be an effective judge. Judges have the option to volunteer for a half-day or full day. We offer judge volunteers a stipend. When we return to in-person tournaments lunch is also provided.

Tournament Operations

Not ready to become a tournament judge? You can help make sure tournaments run smoothly, assisting with registration, meals, and running the information table. We offer tournament operation volunteers a stipend and lunch. Note: during the 2020-21 school year this position will be temporarily suspended.

Community Debate Coach

Want to get even more involved? You can assistant coach for a debate team on an ongoing basis. Coaching occurs weekly at the school during school hours, and at monthly weekend tournaments. Community coaches can work in either a paid or volunteer capacity and are hired by, and work for, the school they’re coaching. The position requires a full background check and fingerprinting as required by Chicago Public Schools, as well as a deep commitment to coaching debate. Ongoing training and support are provided by Chicago Debates.

Read our community coach guidelines here. Apply to be a community coach here. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We will contact you once we find a team that fits well with your background.

Not Sure How You Can Help?

Email our Volunteer & Outreach Manager, Lauren Hince, at to learn about all the ways to support Chicago Debates.