2018 — Rolling Hills Estates, CA/US
Naomi Alan Paradigm
I have debated policy debate for 3 years in high school 2008-2011 and have judged for about 5+ years now. I always disclose.
I REALLY like to see impact calculus - "Even if..." statements are excellent! Remember: magnitude, time frame, probability. I only ever give high speaker points to those that remember to do this. This should also help you remember to extend said impacts.
- I don't like when both sides keep extending arguments/cards that say opposite things without also giving reasons to prefer one over the other. Tell me how the arguments interact, how they're talking about something different, etc.
Be sure to extend (especially your T voters). If it's going to be in your last speech, it better be in the speech before it. Otherwise, I give weight to the debater that points it out and runs theory to block it from coming up again or applying.
---------------------------- Miscellaneous ---------------------------------
I do not count flashing as prep time unless it takes around 3 minutes. Tag-team cross-ex is ok as long as it's both teams agree to it and you're not talking over your partner.
Full disclosure: I'm not familiar with a lot of K's beyond the basics (cap, fem, etc.), and FW tends to be a mess, so those might need a little more explanation on K solvency for me or ima get lost
Sanjay Bansal Paradigm
I am a parent judge. Please go slowly for case and refutations and don't use any circuit arguments. Only pref me for a lay round.
Benjamin Barov Paradigm
Last updated Berkeley 2019
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I was a policy debater at Niles North High School for 4 years, currently I'm a student at USC (not debating). I would say 70% of my 2NRs in high school were politics and case, so that's my background.
Ways to increase your speaker points:
specific neg strategies, especially if you have specific links to the aff on the K
pronouncing Reuters correctly
sending out the email chain before the start time, the earlier the better
starting the round before the start time
Ways to decrease your speaker points:
the words "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat"
"where in your evidence does it say..."
pronouncing reuters incorrectly
Biggest one: asking to send out a new doc without the cards the other team didn't read
(marked docs are OK)
asking to send out a doc with the overview/analytics
(interps and CP text is kosher)
"which evidence did you not read"
First and foremost you need to tell me on what grounds I should evaluate each piece of ev. I'll read all the evidence at the end of the round and if no one tells me what I should do with it then its much harder and so much less fun for me.
My default is that the only two reasons to reject the team are T and conditionality. It would be difficult to convince me otherwise.
The most important part of T are the case lists each side presents because that gives me a good vision of the topic each of you bring. Impacting your argument is especially important on T.
Melinda Berman Paradigm
Email me with questions and put me on the email chain: melindaberman88-at-gmail.com
UCLA '21 (Not debating, and a STEM major)
TL;DR: You do you, I have my ideas about debate but don't let those stop you from running what you want to, but I do have a slight bias to prefer more critical debates. Explanation and good evidence comparison is key to being successful in front of me. LINE BY LINE IS KEY. One word tags like "Extinction" aren't an argument in front of me. Save those cards for someone else. I try as much as possible to vote based on what's on my flow, but if left to my own devices because of a lack of framing from the later rebuttals, you're probably not going to be happy. FLOW. I have called people out after rounds and even docked some speaker points because they didn't flow and then didn't know what arguments were answered and weren't. Don't test my patience on this- it's limited at best.
Topic specific: I keep up with the news about immigration and am aware of the biggest and most public proposals but I really know nothing about the topic. If your aff is super jargon-y explain it to me and don't just shout acronyms at me. I won't understand your aff and you probably won't be happy with the result. I've done no work on the topic and don't really coach anymore so.
Speed is fine if you are clear, if you aren't clear and I miss something it is not my fault. If you need to go slower in order to be clearer, I will respect that more than if you can read 10 off and case and I can't understand any words you say. I will say clear once before starting to dock points.
I'll be more inclined to vote for you if you have a great CP/DA combo that's amazing rather than a barely there or poorly explained K. If your coach just gave you a complex K twenty minutes before the round and you shout tagline extensions at me for the last 10 minutes of your speeches, I will NOT be happy. Explanation is everything for me, and I can tell if you are just shouting buzzwords for your last rebuttal- and that isn't going to fly.
Specific things (Most of this is policy specifics with an LD section at the end):
Thoughts: I think debate has shifted to a place that overemphasizes doing whatever it takes to get a ballot. I have definitely fallen into that trap at times during my career, but I like it when the rounds I judge that both teams enjoy what they're doing and have fun. Try to win, but don't be super serious and only think about winning. I hate A/OSPEC and refuse to vote on it.
Ground Rules: If you are blatantly racist, sexist, ableist, etc. I will stop the round and vote you down. Debate is an activity to include everyone and have a good time, WITHOUT offending others for the sake of winning and advancing arguments. I do make some facial expressions, they're pretty telling as to what I'm thinking.
Affs: I'm good with any and all affs. Don't need to have a topic link, but I can be persuaded otherwise. I have read everything from a middle of the road policy aff to a far left, not really topical aff, so I'm really open for any type of aff as long as you explain.
T: I have gone for T a lot and see the value of it in certain debates. I will vote for it if you go for, but you must spend AT LEAST 5 mins of the block on it for it to be a viable option, mere extensions aren't enough.
CPs: They're not my favorite, but if you run it and I think it competes and works, I'll vote for it. I have no predisposition on any type of theory. I like CPs that really test the aff and see if there is a better, viable option rather than some generic actor CP that you can read against any aff.
Ks: My favorite. I went for fem frequently and towards the end when I transitioned to LD, I read much more far left, postmodern lit. I'll listen to any K. I'm not extremely well versed in the all of the literature (unlike some of my former teammates), so please explain them if they are less common or very dense. I tend to default neg on framework, meaning I am (the judge is) a critical intellectual, but I can be persuaded otherwise. Don't just shout buzzwords in the rebuttals, explain them and contextualize them in terms of the debate if you want to pick up my ballot. I'm less and less a fan of 5-7 minute overviews. If you want to give one, go for it, but I would also like to see specified clash to the aff arguments on the K, if you don't have some sort of answer on the aff in the 2NR and the 2AR is substantially about case, you're going to have a hard time winning my ballot.
DAs: Same as counterplans, not my favorite, but if it's your thing, run them. PLEASE explain these in the context of the aff, and have an aff specific link, not just a topic link. If it's a really good, contextualized DA to the aff, I'd love that debate, but general ones are meh at best and not fun.
Theory: I have run it and went for it, but I really don't like it or voting for it. I think it has a place in debate IF there is extreme abuse in the round.
Tech over truth: I really have no idea where I fall on this. I think both are highly important to debate. I think this should be left up to the debaters to decide what matters in the round, if not, I'm not sure where I default, probably somewhere more on the tech side of things.
LD: I debated in three national circuit LD tournaments with varying degrees of success. I exclusively ran far left and policy-esque Ks, on both the aff and the neg, so it has shaped my view of LD. Most of the framing and top level things from my policy paradigm apply so don’t forget those. I don’t think how you evaluate a round changes based on the style, just what you are evaluating. If you want me to change the way I evaluate the round, you need make it clear why your evaluation method is better than my default (who did the better debating) or the other team's evaluation method. I don't mind a more traditional round, but I greatly dislike theory overkill. DON'T have half of the AC time be theory violations and the like, I ABHOR those debates and you will be hard pressed to earn my ballot or get good speaker points. One or two theory violations are okay if the aff/neg really link to them but don't just throw a bunch of theory around and hope one sticks because the other team dropped it- odds are if you are doing it fast and kinda shady I might miss it too. I won't vote for RVIs, I think there are plenty of ways to win on the aff without having to use RVIs. Debate substance not about the rules of debate. I think making policy-esque arguments is an interesting phenomenon in LD and if you do it the above rules for policy apply. Spreading is 100% fine. I have not read ANYTHING on this topic except for some news stories so please, explain the AC. Explain your mechanisms, all of the things under the education topic specific category apply here.
All that being said, have fun, run what you love and enjoy your time in debate.
If you have any more questions, ask me before the round starts and I'll be happy to answer it.
Joe Biden memes and funny jokes about my former teammates are good ways to get extra speaker points or make me happy.
Adam Bistagne Paradigm
Updated for CPS 2018: This update is to mostly reflect how I've been judging rounds lately.
I debated for four years for Loyola high. I broke at multiple tournaments and had a 4-3 record at the TOC.
I am more familiar with policy arguments, philosophy, and theory, and am less familiar with kritiques. However, I am not really a fan of how most philosophy and theory debates are done today, and thus my familiarity does not always correspond to what arguments I vote on.
Specifically, I think that moral philosophy positions that involves tricks are doing a disservice to the literature. Further, theory debates are often frivolous, although what I may consider frivolous may be different than what others consider frivolous. Some examples of what I consider frivolous theory are the following: font-size theory, must spec status in speech theory, some spec shells, etc. My litmus test for frivolous theory might be the following: does the theory shell isolate an issue of fairness that has actual educational implications on the debate round?
Kritiques usually have good explanations attached to them, so I've voted on them in the past and will probably continue to vote on them in the future.
I evaluate the round via an offense/defense paradigm. Thus, I will vote for the debater who provides comparatively more offense back to the framework that has been won in the round, lest there are other issues (theory or kritiques) that precede this evaluation. Beyond this, I will try to evaluate the round in the most objective way possible. However, as all judges do, I have certain basic preferences that it would help to conform to.
First, when there is a clash on an issue or position, I tend to default to the more thorough and comprehensive explanation that makes sense to me. While technical drops are important, I don't think they automatically preclude good analysis. Strong weighing matters more to me than a dropped blippy argument on the flow.
Granted, this threshold only exists when there is clash on a position (and maybe sometimes across positions). If a position is totally conceded, or mostly conceded except for a couple of weaker arguments, my threshold for explanation and extensions becomes much lower (if totally conceded, it approaches zero).
Second, I flow CX, both because of theoretical implications of answers, and because I think your position is only as well warranted as your CX answers indicate. If I don't think there's a warrant after a particularly devastating CX on a position, you're going to have an uphill battle to convince me of the argument. (This is true only if the other debater brings up the flaws they pointed out in CX during a speech. CX by itself is not a rebuttal and thus cannot be the sole basis for my decision).
Third, I heavily favor debater's original analysis and arguments in later rebuttals (2NR and 2AR) as opposed to cards. While cards are good at setting up a position in constructive speeches, I heavily prefer debate styles that can go beyond cards with good explanations.
I default competing interpretations. I default no-RVI's. Topicality is a voter. All other issues must be justified by the debater.
I like numbered responses to arguments, and clear distinction between line-by-line analysis and overviews.
I will only vote on arguments that I have flowed. During rebuttals, I mostly flow from what you're saying, rather than from the speech doc, so adjust accordingly.
While debate is a game, it is an educational game that brings lots of enjoyment to many of our lives. Please treat other debaters and it with respect.
Amber Brooks Paradigm
wanna include me on your email chain? --> firstname.lastname@example.org
high school debate: crenshaw high school ( policy )
college debate: st. john's university ( BP )
currently: coaching high school policy with LAMDL
hi i'm amber and i want you to have fun and learn new things. don't be rude in round or out. make sure you enunciate and explain your arguments properly, especially if you're running a k or theory of any type.
run/read whatever you want. if i can't understand you i'll stop flowing; don't value reading the most stuff over making valid, relevant, and useful arguments.
you as the debater have a very basic obligation to fulfill, and that is understanding and being able to articulate your arguments properly. if, at the end of the debate, i can't explain to you back what went on in the round because of messiness or ill covered args, you have failed that obligation.
prep time/email chain:
prep ends after you share your files. if you're doing email chains, they need to be made and prepared BEFORE the debate starts, not during. the aff needs to be starting the chain-- we aren't about to hold up tournaments with email chain nonsense in this here 2019
paperless is great n cool n all but seriously, if it gets in the way, you're losing speaks. if you don't have a viewing computer for teams that don't have computers of their own, you're losing speaks. yes, it IS your job to make sure you accommodate them. a fundamental tenant of debate is that we're sharing evidence within round, and if you're hindering that in some way, we have a problem.
i flow args not authors most of the time. EXTEND YOUR ARGS. TELL ME WHAT THEY'RE REPLYING TO. "judge, extend our brooks '03" tells me nothing. where am i putting that? what is it answering? how is it relevant? you want me to do as little intervention in the back as possible-- tell me exactly where you want something flowed, that way at the end of the round we can be assured that my decision is based off of what you all debated for me, not my own opinions or biases.
Abbey Chapman Paradigm
I coach @ Harker. Please start an email chain before the round - email@example.com
here are some thoughts i have:
0) if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points
1) i do not think debates where the affirmative does not clarify until the 1ar whether they operate under comparative worlds or truth testing are productive - i will assume a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac justifies otherwise - the 1ar cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the 1ac.
2) toss me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 51-49 gop senate to 67 senators voting to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office."
4) miscellaneous, but i do not understand why the aff doesnt get perms in a method debate - never seen a compelling warrant - default assumption on my part is that the aff does and its an uphill battle to convince me otherwise
5) the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters
6) slow down on theory - will say slow twice, after that it is on you if i cannot flow it - i will miss your arguments and feel very comfortable disregarding them regardless of whats in the doc.
7) please dont read false politics disads in front of me i will be angry i keep up with politics i will know if you are lying
8) i am not particularly compelled by the insistence that the negative or affirmative answer t/k first in cx or theory arguments deriving from it
9) i will not vote for a kritik i do not understand
10) i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.
11) one notable contradiction in my thinking - i am very receptive to semantics bad claims on t (not into nebel t) but also pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this doesnt mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args.............)
12) if you suspect that i may need to look at interps/counter interps you read, those should be flashed before the speech [likely applies to perms as well]- i will not look at interps that are written down at the end of the round and will just evaluate the t debate based on what i have written on my flow.
13) given how clear it is to me that no one could flow theory as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow at top speed
just do you i guess, specifics for each event are down below
this used to be an extensive set of rules please just flash well i have no patience for inefficient flashing
its not prep but if it takes more than 30 seconds it will make me angry
Practices Trigger Warnings
Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.
The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.
This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.
This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot
- Clarity is important, and I’ll prompt you if need be. Slow down for tags and emphasize authors.
- debaters blazing through a doc of analytics without pausing can only hurt them, so you should slow down on theory dumps - it's on you if i miss one of your theory blips and i'm not going to call for theory analytics except for the exact text of interps - will shout slow on theory and you should heed that advice
- Additionally, nothing is more impressive than a slow, efficient debater winning the line-by-line against a fast opponent.
- slow down at the very least on the tags, especially when reading dense philosophical positions
- I'll say clear twice - speaks will be deducted after this
- pay attention to non-verbal cues from me
- clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR;
- don't go for 6 arguments if one is sufficient to win the round, don't waste time addressing all 4 levels of the debate if you're clearly winning the top 2, don't read unnecessary theory, etc.
- give a strategic and efficient 1AR,
- don't go top speed through the 2NR if you don't have to, a slow mastery of the line-by-line is just as if not more impressive than extending every argument on the flow.
- If any of this is not clear enough for you, feel free to ask before rounds and I'll tell you how my speaks have been distributed at that specific tournament.
- a weird paradigmatic issue that shift from judge to judge - i think i'm a bit more lenient on extensions for the affirmative but there's little leniency on the 2nr - you should be clearly impacting every extension you make when you make it especially if you want me to vote on it
- i don't think you have to extend the plan text explicitly if there is an implicit discussion of the advocacy during things like the extension of solvency, but it certainly will not hurt you
- on the question of theory - similar to how you're expected to extend standards and voters, i do think its important to extend interpretations here, especially in a competing interps debates - i dont know that itll necessarily lose you the round if you dont, but ill be willing to listen to a 2ar story about how your standards arent explicitly impacted back to an interp - keep that in mind
- dont re-read your ac or nc taglines for extensions - bad practice and rarely does this include an explanation of the warrants.
go for it, do it well
have a framework
perms are good, you should have explicit perm texts and you have them written down before the speech starts
will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
(perm texts should be more than "perm do both")
if you’re going to read a k make sure you can explain it, your explanation will always be the most important thing. K’s should have an explicit alternative, though what form that takes is up to the debater reading the criticism.
[The best form of kritik also has a topic-specific link, the more specific the better, please don’t read generic kritiks for the hell of it].
you should substantively engage kritiks when answering them, reading a lot of non-responsive arguments and hoping one of them gets dropped is a bad strategy
ask questions if anything is unclear
i really dont understand baudrillard in debate rounds i have tried and i just cant wrap my head around it feel free to try to be the one to change that but it is... an uphill battle
do w/e, i am here for it if you justify it
Skep/permissibility/all your tricky args
i'm not the judge for it
i will presume negative if they defend the status quo - if they read a cp or a kritik, then presumption shifts to the affirmative
speech times do not change this
- I default to theory as a question of competing interpretations though I can be persuaded otherwise as long as you clearly warrant/impact out your arguments (this probably means im down with the RVI on c.i. but im very skeptical of the rvi on reasonability (i.e. I assume counter-interps are offensive unless you justify why they're not) )
- I'm more than happy to listen to 6 minutes of theory in the 2nr, just do it well
- Make sure your counter-interps are competitive/that your interps actually exclude the position you're reading them against - low threshold for semantic i meet's on poorly worded interpretations
- Not the judge for Nebel T
- i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
- not sure how i feel about 2ar theory but wont rule it out on face
I don’t think there is an implicit role of the ballot in the debate space, which means all debaters must be ready to justify whatever they assume the RotB is, as well as why they presume that certain arguments (theory for example) should always be evaluated as the top layer of the debate.
Any questions at all, ask before round, and above all, do what you’re most comfortable with, don’t just read something because you think I’ll enjoy it
Bryant Cong Paradigm
University of Southern California '21 (not debating)
I debated 4 years of policy at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, CA. I started out as a 2A during my freshman year, but spent my remaining 3 years as a 2N. I read and researched arguments from all over the map – from one-off security to flex policy counterplan/disad strats to identity args like settlerism. I haven’t had any experience on this topic, so will probably need some explanation of acronyms, T interps, etc.
tech >>>>> truth - run 6 off, go one-off K, read a performance aff, anything goes - just win the line by line.
I have no ideological preference when it comes to nontraditional affs versus framework; I'll vote for whoever wins the tech.
I love smart analytics – a series of good ones can take out a poorly constructed advantage.
CX is important and I will bump up speaks if you incorporate it well into a speech!
Author quals, evidence date, and evidence quality matter – please use them to do comparative analysis
Tech > Truth:
I will listen and try to fairly evaluate whatever argument you read in front of me. You do you – I don’t care whether you read a nontraditional aff, read 7 off, or go one-off spark – as long as you win the flow, you win my ballot. While I have my dislikes, everything about even my philosophy and my argumentative preferences is up for debate – just win the tech.
Limits is the most persuasive standard to me. I am persuaded by the arg that an unlimited topic decreases effective rigorous testing and nuanced engagement of the aff.
T is about a model of the topic, not just your aff.
I default to competing interpretations – to quote Ani, if affs want to go for reasonability, “The articulation of reasonability that will persuade me is that the substance crowdout generated by T debates outweighs the difference between the two interps”.
Fine with generic/topic disads, but I love super case-specific and well researched disads.
The more specific the link, the better.
I love well-articulated and smart turns case args – talk about why your disad’s impact turns not just the aff’s impacts, but their internal links. If you have cards for turns case, read them.
There is such a thing as 0% risk. Most cards tagged "extinction" don't actually say that, which is an argument that both teams should leverage.
I'm fine with most counterplans - as long as you have a solvency advocate reasonably grounded in the lit, I'll be happy. If you don't, just win the tech.
My favorite counterplans to judge are well-researched and specific PICs, my least favorite are bad and technical process counterplans.
I think that counterplans that just have a counterplan text can be super strategic, if deployed properly.
The difference between a well articulated K and a terrible one is the link work – don’t just read your preconstructed link block, use points from CX and quotations from their ev.
Link turns case is a fantastic argument.
I love overviews with good framing issues/turns case args/tricks in them – but ideally your speech isn’t just 8 minutes of overview.
I’m most familiar with, in descending order: security, neolib, cap/Marx vs. K affs, settlerism, identity args, Bifo, other high theory.
Kicking the alt can be great when done right – but know when it’s a horrible idea to do so.
Contextualize your framework claims to the round – don’t just read scripted overviews and blocks.
Procedural fairness and any internal links into it are the most convincing standards to me.
Quoting Ani again: “Impact comparison is very important - if the aff’s model makes it substantially harder for the neg to engage but the neg’s speech act was problematic, which way do I vote? Make sure to warrant internal links - I’ve seen lots of neg teams just assume that all K affs make engagement impossible to their detriment.”
I will reward negative teams that have a better strategy than 2-off Framework and Cap K against K affs – other kritiks like Anthro, Chow, and identity args can be super strategic when deployed properly.
Most comfortable with 2 condo – feel free to read higher than that, but I’ll start leaning more and more aff on theory
David Dosch Paradigm
I debated for four years at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years, attaining a career total of 8 bids. I am the Co-Director of the San Jose Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list: https://camp.thesjdi.org/instructors/
Speed is fine. I don't care if you sit or stand, feel free to lay down if that’s how you're most comfortable. I come into the round with very few rigid preconceptions about what arguments should be read. Nearly all of the defaults outlined below can be changed by explicit arguments to the contrary. I will not blatantly intervene against any position (save for those which are morally repugnant).
As a competitor I ran primarily policy style arguments, so I feel very comfortable evaluating these types of debates. Robust evidence comparison is a tool that I feel is very underutilized. Identifying power-tagged evidence and pointing out intuitive logical gaps in an advantage can be just as effective as reading a hefty carded prep-out. I would say that I am fine with more conditionality than most judges. Feel free to read condo bad theory, just know that it’s a slight uphill battle.
The bulk of the K debate should not be centered around arbitrary assertions about the "role of the ballot." I absolutely loathe the state of K debate in contemporary LD. I will reward competitors who can make it through the round without using the phrase ROB or relying on the contrived pre/post-fiat metaphor, with extra speaker points. Rather than relying on Trifonas 03 as your ace in the hole, you should make arguments which actually explain why your criticism is a prior question to the hypothetical consequences of the 1AC. Many kritiks suffer from links which are overly generic and alternatives which are horribly convoluted. Remedy this by pulling specific lines from the Affirmative and by being able to provide an intelligible explanation of your alternative in CX. I'll vote on your silly K tricks (floating PIK, VTL > Extinction, Alt solves the case) just be prepared to defend them theoretically.
I gave this topic a separate heading because it presents unique challenges that may raise more nuanced questions. I am fine with performances and non-topical positions; often they introduce very interesting discussions and literature bases into the round which might otherwise be over looked. I would prefer that your position be at least in the direction of the topic, but that’s no mandate. Please defend something tangible. By tangible I do not mean realistic (feel free to burn it down, just please do tell us what that means!), rather I ask that you defend a consistent position so your opponent can formulate a coherent strategy. I will vote on T. I think topical version of the Aff arguments are pretty close to being silver bullets, so be sure you are winning impact turns to topicality or some other offensive reason why the topical version of your position is bad.
I default to viewing theory as an issue of competing interpretations. To me this means that you need offense on theory to either beat it back, or, assuming you've justified it, gain access to an RVI. Offense on the theory flow can come in the form of turns to your opponent's standards or a counter interpretation with standards of its own. I do not believe that competing interpretations necessitates an explicit counter-interp. If you want to justify an alternate understanding of competing interpretations, go for it, just explain the effect it has on the theory debate. To me reasonability means that winning sufficient defense on your opponent's abuse story is enough to beat back theory. Again, if your understanding of reasonability differs from the above explanation, warrant it and impact it. I default to drop the debater and no RVIs. As mentioned above, you must have offense in order to access an RVI. I will not vote on the RVI + I meet double whammy or any similarly preposterous shenanigans.
I'll touch on the issue of "spikes" here because it fits more neatly under the theory heading than any other. I strongly dislike spike-heavy strategies that rely on deception and trickery to snag a few easy ballots. Please slow down for short spikes. Though not mandatory, it would be greatly appreciated if you numbered your spikes. If your 1AR is four minutes of extending 1AC blips, expect very poor speaks. I am extremely receptive to the argument that spikes needn't be answered until they are extended. I will not tolerate CX evasiveness about the implication of spikes. Answer your opponent's questions honestly or face the wrath of the loss 25.
I default to a paradigm of epistemic modesty where I assign offense credence to the extent that the framework it links back to is won. I do not view frameworks as being entirely preclusive impact filters. I find framework heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing contention to be unpersuasive. I find framework heavy strategies to be more effective when coupled with case turns/case defense. If you are going to read a generic NC against a plan, please read a link specific to the plan just as you would for a DA or a Kritik.
Be comparative with warrants for your framework. Don't just insist that your framework justifications "come first", instead address the differences between your frameworks at the warrant level. I enjoy good framework clash and appreciate the strategic value of contesting framework.
My range is 25-30. An average performance will earn a 27. Good disclosure practices will earn you extra speaks (like a .5 boost or something).
Lisa Dykstra Paradigm
Hello, I have been involved with speech and debate for about 10 years and think that it is a wonderful activity, my judging approach is as follows:
Pretty lay judge so articulate everything well, explain your ideas and why I should vote on them thoroughly, steer clear of theory, stay at a rather slow and conversational speaking speed (no spreading), and be kind to each other.
Plans: Make them clear, concise, easy to follow, and supported by literature.
CP's: Explain to me why it is mutually exclusive and why it is desirable. I expect to hear "permutation" and an explanation of why it can be perm'd.
DA's: I like a good disadvantage but please make sure it links well, I will not vote on a disadvantage that doesn't make sense.
Theory: Theory is my least favorite part of debate so I have a very low threshold for what must be done to answer it. If there has been actual abuse then articulate what happened and why it is bad and thoroughly explain why I should vote on it.
Kritiks: Explain them throughly, I want to see a thorough depth of knowledge from you. Do not expect me to have read the literature you are reading or referencing so go in depth on what your philosopher(s) say(s).
Speed: While I do understand the point of spreading I would appreciate it if you did not, as I feel substantive debates can occur at conversational rates. If you do spread I will not be able to understand you and you will not win. (I will not yell clear so please just stay conversational with your speed)
Cross-X: I don't flow cross-x but I will listen however if something is conceded or something important is said don't expect me to remember it, bring it up and emphasize it in your speech.
Speaker Points: I will be fair with speaker points and will probably fall within the range of 27-29 unless you are especially impress/disappoint me.
Most importantly have fun!
Travis Fife Paradigm
I coach for Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles, judge very regularly, and have competed/coached a diversity of circuits in California and Texas. You should feel comfortable debating whatever style best suits you.
Hard and Fast Rules:
Flashing counts as prep if you are assembling the document. If everything is in one doc and you are just saving then that is not prep.
You must either flash or email your opponent your docs.
Evasiveness of any kind before round is highly frowned upon. My expectation is that debaters are honest with one another in all their dealings.
In general, I really enjoy judging debate. If you have a well thought out and interesting take on the topic/debate, I will be happy. If you use strategies that reflect a shallow understanding of the arguments you're running that avoid clash i will be less happy.
Here are 8 things i'd like for you to know:
1.I keep a good flow. I will hold you to what you say. I do not mind justifying my decisions after the debate by reading back to you what i have on my flow.
2. I will read your evidence and compare it to your explanation in round. Putting powerful spin on your ev is good and highly encouraged. Falsely representing what your evidence says is not. Similarly, having good ev but explaining it poorly will also hurt you.
3. I like philosophical debates. I majored in philosophy. I read ethics, philosophy of mind, political theory in my free time. But i have found that i do not like "phil debaters" because debaters who identify as such seem much more inclined to try to obscure clash and rely on spikes/tricks. If you debate philosophy straight up and have read primary source material to enhance your explanations, I might be the best judge for you. If you intend to read a million analytics and use trickery, i would be a terrible judge for you.
4. On K's, I start from the perspective of "why are the aff and alt different?" This means i focus my decision on 1. links application to the aff and how they turn case or gut aff solvency. 2. does the alt solve the k or the case?
i tend to think the AFF gets to "weigh" the case in the sense that the plan is some what relevant. I think framework arguments best indict how i evaluate the plan and impact calc more broadly. I think the aff commonly drops a lot of 1NC f/w arguments, but negs rarely capitalize on these drops in persuasive ways.
5. I research the topic a lot. I like debates about the topic grounded in a robust academic/theoretical/philosophical/critical perspective.
6. I think debate is both a game and contains an important educational aspect. I do not lean either way of "must defend the topic" but i tend to believe the topic has a role to be played in the community and shouldn't be totally ignored. How that belief plays out in a given round is much more hard to say. I think my record is about 50/50 on non-T AFF's vs topicality.
7. I like CX. You can't use it as prep.
8. I don't think i've voted in an RVI in like over 2 years. I would consider myself a hard press.
Jacob Fontana Paradigm
Homewood Flossmoor High School 2011-2015
Pomona College 2015-2019 (not debating)
The more work you do, the happier you will be with my decision. By this I don’t just mean that I reward smart strategies, research, etc. (I do), but rather that the better you explain and unpack an argument and tell me how to evaluate it, the less likely my own biases and preferences will affect the decision. With this in mind, there are a couple takeaways
- Framing is important. At a certain point, this seems redundant to say (obviously impact calc is important), but all too often debaters fail to “tie up” the debate in a way that is easy to evaluate. What impacts matter? What arguments should I look to first? How should I think about making decisions? Leaving these calls up to my gut may not work out well for you. Do not assume that I will put together the pieces of your argument in the way that is most favorable to you, or the way that you they should be viewed. Your best bet is to do this for me. As a general rule of thumb, your likelihood of picking up my ballot is directly proportional to the number of “even if” statements you make.
- truth and tech are both important and the divisions between them are far more arbitrary and vacuous than it is usually given credit for. That being said, it is up to you to give me a metric for evaluating what claims are true. What types of evidence should I look to? Should I view that evidence through a certain lens? How should I treat dropped/under covered arguments? Obviously I have some personal proclivities that may be harder to overcome than others
o I will always tend to evaluate dropped arguments far less than extended arguments. This does not mean that dropped arguments are automatically “true” or that truth claims made earlier in the debate are suddenly gone (that may well require more work on my part), but it does mean that I am less likely to give these arguments weight.
o Although they can be important parts of a speech, I am not inclined to give as much weight to solipsistic narratives as evidence. This is not a hard or fast preference, and some smart framing arguments about the way I should evaluate narratives will go a long way, but do not assume I will immediately evaluate a narrative as evidence in its own right sans an evidenced claim that I should evaluate them this way.
o Make smart analytic arguments, these can often be better than reading yet another terrible uniqueness card on the politics disad. The more I see you thinking for yourself and making creative and smart arguments in a debate, the better speaks you will get.
I appreciate creative and innovative strategies, maybe more than others. If you want to bust out that weird impact turn or super cheating counterplan or sweet ass new K, you should do that. You will always be better at doing what you do best. Please don’t feel deterred from reading a strategy in front of me because the community has generally frowned on it (spark, death good, etc.), I’m down to hear things outside of the norm. That being said, I included a few notes about how I feel/debated like in high school, you can take these preferences however you want, they are subject to change within a round.
As a caveat, Debate should be a space where everyone feels welcome. Please do not read racist/sexist/anti-queer/ableist/ or otherwise offensive arguments in front of me.
Please add me on the email chain: Jacob.email@example.com.
I debated both sides of this extensively in high school. I will not “penalize” you for reading framework; I think it is a smart and strategic argument. Similarly, do not assume that because you read framework you have my ballot, I am very middle of the road on these issues. You should treat this as any other K/CP strategy you have read. Too often teams miss nuance in these debates and read a bunch of state good/bad evidence while neglecting the smaller moving pieces, I tend to think those are important, and the more you address the internal link level of the debate, the better off you will be.
Affirmatives should find ways to leverage offense against the negatives interpretation. Playing some light defense and reading some reasonability blacks is not going to win you my ballot. I generally tend to default to competing interpretations. Furthermore, teams need to treat this debate more like disad, you should do impact calc, read impact, link, or internal link turns, explain why your interp solves a portion of their offense, etc. I greatly enjoy smart T debates and will reward you handsomely in speaker points if you execute it well.
Absolute defense (or defense to the point where I should cease to evaluate the disad outside of the noise of status quo) is a thing and far too few debaters go for. 90 percent of disads are absolute garbage and you shouldn’t be afraid to point that out. More broadly, Offense defense tends to be a heavily neg biased model of debate and contributes to a lot (in my eyes) to the denigration of the activity towards the most reality-divorced hyperbolic impact claims, and I will not default to it. Obviously this is subject to change in a given round, but you should be conscious of the weight I tend to give to defensive arguments. In general, I think link controls the direction of uniqueness, but I can easily be persuaded otherwise
Please, if you have it, read something different than politics. I don’t hate the politics disad, but it is an often overused strategy and I will reward your innovation with speaker points
Any argument is legitimate until it is not, don’t hesitate to read your cheating counterplans in front of me, but be ready to defend them. Theory debates are good and valuable, but I do not want to listen to you read your blocks at 400 words a minute. Slow down, make smart arguments, and go for what you’re ahead on. Less is often more in these situations. I actually very much enjoy good theory debates and find them quite interesting. You should treat these like any other type of debate, you should do impact calc, flesh out internal links, etc.
I have a reasonable familiarity with most mainstream critiques and greatly enjoy these debates. In high school, I would most often read the security or the cap K, but this should not be interpreted as an exclusionary list. You do you and I’ll likely jive with it. I will reward innovation, reading a tailored critique is far more interesting to me than rereading the same Spanos block your team has had for the last 8 years. The one caveat here is that my familiarity with certain “high theory” authors (Bataille, Deleuze, etc.) is rather passing. I am more than certainly open to hearing these arguments and don’t have any prejudices against them (I debated on the same team as Carter Levinson for 3 years), but this does mean that you may need to take extra time to unpack arguments and contextualize them in terms of the debate.
I have not worked on the China Topic, for you this means you probably want to slow down on, and possibly explain, acronyms the first couple times.
Ethic violations are deliberate, not accidental. Missing a few words or accidentally skipping a line isn’t a big deal, but repeatedly doing that or doing it in a way that is clearly intentional is. If you believe that someone has committed an ethics violation, please start recording the round, I also reserve the right to do this. If I think you are clipping, I may start a recording of my own, I will also try read along in the speech docs whenever possible. If I do determine you’ve committed a violation, you will lose the debate and receive 0 speaks, I will also speak to your coaches. Clipping is a serious offense and I will treat it with the attention it deserves.
Levon Ghanimian Paradigm
Background: I competed in LD Debate with Granada Hills Charter High School, and now in college, I compete in Policy Debate with California State University, Northridge. I'm familiar with Parli and Pofo as well since I've done several tournaments in both. I'm a pretty easy going judge that will be fine with most arguments you decide to run. Debate is supposed to be a fun learning experience and I intend to create that environment when I judge. With that being said, don't be afraid to run risky arguments or unconventional cases. If you need any clarifications of my paradigms before the round, don't hesitate to ask me.
Yes, I'd like to be included in the e-mail chain. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
- I evaluate as a quasi-Tabula Rasa. No one is perfectly unbiased, but I do my best to not intervene.
- Almost always Tech>Truth.
- No racist, homophobic, ableist, sexist, transphobic, etc. arguments
- Organization is key.
- If you're running genocide as an impact, please LOGICALLY link to it. In other words, don't hyperbolize your impacts by just claiming genocide. It WILL tick me off.
- Real Genocides actually happening in the squo and that have happened (Use this as a guide if you're not sure what qualifies as genocide): Darfurian, Myanmar, Yemeni, Kurdish, Rwandan, Armenian, Cambodian
If you're here for PF, my paradigm is towards the bottom.
Framework (Traditional): Values are the most important part for me in LD. I absolutely love philosophy and will be accepting of almost any values you decide to run. With that said, make sure your arguments are warranted. I want you to clearly show me the link, don't expect me to link it for you or make your arguments for you. I only flow what has been said in the round. I will usually vote off of the values rather than contention level debate, but that doesn't mean I believe that evidence is useless or unimportant. My main focus in Values is the VC. Please actually have some clash in the VC and make the round fun. I've gotten bored from hearing the good ol' Morality+Util FW. Hey, it works, it's easy, and it's mainstream; I get it. If you've decided that you want to try a new FW, or that you're not sure if you want to be a bit risky, I'm the judge for you.
- I'll virtually vote on any framework and ROTB.
- Please warrant your framing WELL and link back to it.
- I expect framing to be extended throughout the speech if you're planning on winning off of it.
- Actually ask questions in CX
- CX is a speech, not prep time
- Don't be rude
- Ran a lot of these and vote off of these often.
- Make your links for me PLEASE.
- Please explain your warrants clearly and guide me through the link story.
- I usually only ran T, Spec, and Framework and vote off of them often
- Never dabbled in frivolous theory and I rarely vote off of it. I have a low threshold for friv theory.
- I will get annoyed if you're using these as an easy win rather than actually calling out your opponent for something.
- I've literally only voted off of tricks once. ('Twas a painful ballot to input)
- Why do they exist?
- Try actually engaging in the debate rather than weaseling your way out of it. (You can @ me, it won't change my mind on these)
- Primarily ran these and often vote off of them.
- K's I've run: Heidegger, Dialectical Materialism/HMA/Orthodox Marxism, Gendered Language, Genocide Trivialization, Ableism, Generic Cap, Neolib, Security and Ecofem.
- Be clear in your links. (I always love a good link story)
- Be clear in your alt and how you actually solve.
- PLEASE ACTUALLY BE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR PHIL. NOTHING BOTHERS ME MORE THAN A DEBATER WHO CONFIDENTLY PRESENTS THEIR K AND COMPLETELY MISINTERPRETS IT IN LATER SPEECHES.
- Ran these a lot and have voted off of them.
- Please be prepared for TVA args and FW args.
- If you're going to perm a K or another adovcacy, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR PERM CLEARLY AND HOW IT WOULD INTERACT WITH THE K.
- Occasionally ran these, but easily vote off of them.
- Net benefit, net benefit, net benefit.
- Clearly explain your solvency mechanism.
-A. PERM. IS. NOT. AN. ADVOCACY.
- I'm fine with spreading.
- Slow down for taglines and sources so I can clearly flow it down.
-If you start to get incomprehensible, I'll say, "clear."
-Make sure your opponent is ok with spreading. If they aren't, DON'T SPREAD.
I genuinely enjoy judging Public Forum rounds as they deal with tangible impacts with relevant resolutions. I learn something from PF after every tournament. The style of speech in PF is also a nice break from hearing students drill words into your head at 500 wpm.
Framework: I would like for the debaters to provide a framework, even if very short, to give me a weighing mechanism in round. As a judge, I want to be told how to vote, I want to be guided by the debaters. Without a proper framework, a lot of arguments are left up in the air in terms of my ability to weigh them on the ballot. I'm usually ok with any framework you decide to run, as long as they're not abusive. If no FW is provided I will default to cost-benefit analysis and do my best as a judge to use that as a heuristic with the arguments you've provided me.
Crossfire: See Cross Ex in the section above
Summary and Final Focus: I expect all impacts that YOU EXPECT TO WIN OFF OF to be extended into the Summary and Final Focus speeches. I will not make extensions for you. Extensions should also be longer than a blippy one-liner. They should tell me WHY they matter at the end of the day. If you expect to win off of a drop, it should be extended with a warrant as well.
Policy Stuff in PF:
I like to say that I'm not ok with spreading, CP's, DA's and K's in PF but most debaters won't read this paradigm anyway since debate is no longer an event of adaptation and judge persuasion. If you so choose to run these arguments I expect them to be VERY WELL warranted. If you're running theory, your opponent should genuinely be abusive. If you're running a CP, you need to CLEARLY show me why you have net benefit. If you're running a DA, I need you to CLEARLY AND CAREFULLY walk me through the links. If you're running a K, PLEASE BE VERY FAMILIAR WITH YOUR PHILOSOPHY. I would rather that you not run these arguments, but I will evaluate them if I have to.
Rochelle Haas Paradigm
I'm a lay parent judge. Have judged Policy, LD, and PF at bid tournaments such as at Jack Howe. I can understand your arguments if you explain them to me. I prefer that you do not spread, as I will award lower speaker points if I can't understand you. If you must spread, flash me the doc. Don't run racist, sexist, homophobic cases if you want to be happy with the outcome of the round. I am informed on the topic.
Skyler Harris Paradigm
One of my favorite quotes:
"I don't have problems with drugs, I don't commit crimes, I don't take pleasure in hurting people, and I don't typically have relationship problems. I do have a complete lack of empathy. But I consider that an advantage, most of the time. Do I know the difference between right and wrong, and do I want to be good? Sure. ... A peaceful and orderly world is a more comfortable world for me to live in. So do I avoid breaking the law because it's 'right'? No, I avoid breaking the law because it makes sense.”
Debate is a very fun and educational game
Be kind to others, speak with blazing quickness (or not, won't hate on u) and clarity.
Do whatever it takes to win - insofar as it is logical and coherent, it shouldn't be an issue
Have lots of fun, and have a beautiful day! ヾ(＠＾▽＾＠)ﾉ
I currently coach Futures RA (Ronak Ahuja)
Laura Hosman Paradigm
Feel free to email me prior to if you have any questions.
Include me on email chains - Laura.Hosman5@gmail.com
I currently coach LD and CX at Denver East. I competed in LD back in the early 2000s, and have been coaching since I graduated from HS in 2004. Most of my coaching as been part time as I'm a perpetual student/grad student. I'm currently working on my PhD in IR at the University of Denver. Prior, I attended law school and completed my JD in 2013. My current research interests focus broadly on judicial defection under non-democracies, International Human Rights Law, and the impact of transitional justice on democratization (https://www.du.edu/korbel/sie/people/research_assistants.html). Feel free to talk to me about law school versus grad school - I'm friendly :)
Since I've been coaching for almost 14 years now, but part time, I'm good with national circuit trends and topic substance despite a low judging record. Where it hurts me is with spreading - I'm good with a fast rate of speed, but I'm not where I should be with proper spreading. As long as you flash me or email me your stuff, and slow down on tags and analytics, and you're clear, I'm fine. If I miss any cards I'll just ask.
On staff at SJDI this summer -- https://camp.thesjdi.org/instructors/
Flashing/Emailing is not prep - just keep it reasonable. I prefer email chains.
Flex prep is fine - that's up to the debaters as far as I'm concerned
For CX - open cross is fine; again, that's up to the debaters as far as I'm concerned
I lean strongly towards an offense-defense paradigm - You can concede FW and I'll still vote for you so long as your impacts outweigh. Just make sure when you kick FW its strategic - otherwise why are you running that FW in the first place. Subsequently, I'm not a huge fan of terminal defensive - link turns and perms are good so long as the impacts outweigh and there are some grounds for uniqueness.
I don't vote on presumption - the negative should at least have some net positive impacts from the SQ that outweigh. If I do vote on presumption, it was a bad round.
I'm a pretty progressive judge, so I love a good K, including [performance] aff Ks. But I'll hold you to a higher standard - if you access your solvency via deconstruction of the round itself, your method of doing so better be consistent with your theoretical FW. Fiat is merely a tool through which we can debate empirical impacts as a basis for that which we ought to do, rather than debating the likelihood of occurrence. So if you're running something pre-fiat, you no longer have the luxury of severing theory from method. On neg Ks, just make sure there's a link that's clear and specific, and you have an alt. If you do that you're probably fine. I'm significantly more likely to vote for your K if you have an alt.
Dropped arguments only matter if there's an impact - so again, be strategic and focus on the warrant + impact. In general try not to drop arguments though.
I favor conditionality, just explain [in brief] why kicking the CP, K, or whatever doesn't impact your offense.
DAs - links and impacts generally matter more than uniqueness, but don't ignore uniqueness if there's a CP/Perm
Counterplans are good, just make sure it competes with the plan (think opportunity cost model here).
Debate Theory/ROB - I've never once been persuaded by debate theory. Feels like most folks run debate theory out of habit and because they have the blocks, not because they mean it or even hope to win on it. And folks tend to sound like they are whining by defaulting to theory cause they don't have cards prepped out. But if you can argue it well I might be persuaded by it - especially if something in round is egregious enough to warrant rejection on such grounds (guess I'm yet to see something so egregious). In general, though, I'd rather just see debaters debate substance. I'm more inclined to favor the educational value that comes from debating whatever is offered in round, especially in light of current disclosure norms.
Disclosure Theory - I'm yet to have this be an issue in round, so I can't say definitely how I would vote if someone ran disclosure theory against their opponent. But I've been in this community a decent amount of time, and I've seen the net positive benefits of disclosing on competitive debate. So I strongly support disclosing and am apt to vote accordingly. Granted, I'd rather just vote on the substance of whatever is offered in round if I can, so I wouldn't spend much time on this (esp if its clearly a kid from a i.e. small program without a lot of resources - the net effect at that point is to just be exclusionary and keep kids out of the community).
Theory is not an RVI.
I default to competing interps.
I like T debates, but rarely find myself voting for it - probably because folks don't argue it well and don't impact it. Explain to me why I should pref your definition and why the distinction matters - the distinction should be fundamental and substantial to the resolution/debate/evidence, so don't just run debate theory as the basis for preferring your interp (i.e. studies on democratization are largely dependent on how you define "democracy," with findings determined by quantity versus quality operationalizations of democracy -- so you could link/impact turn the entire 1AC with an alternative definition of democracy). Generally, I'm more inclined to favor the educational value of debating whatever is offered in round and not vote on T.
I'm not a fan of spikes, so I wouldn't go for that strategy. I do see debate as a game, but it should be one with integrity and I see spikes as diminishing the integrity of the game.
Lastly, be nice and respectful, esp in cross. I have a really high threshold for what I consider to be "too aggressive," so rarely do I ever think debaters have crossed the line so to speak. But, i.e. do give your opponents an opportunity to answer during cross.
Speaks - I generally range from 27 to 30. My average is probably somewhere around a 28.5 (I wouldn't be surprised if I'm more generous than others with speaks). If you get above a 29, I think you should be in elim rounds. If you get below a 28, something about your behavior in round bothered me (it probably had to do with cross, and I've only given below a 28 once). If its borderline, I'll probably just give you a flat 29.
For traditional LD, the logic of all of the above applies - I need an impact calc under your value-criterion FW. You can concede your value and still win on impact calc.
Nadia Hussein Paradigm
I have debated for three years at Georgia State and did a mixture of debate in high school. Now I’m a graduate coach at Wake Forest
I want to be on the email chain; use email@example.com
Slow down when reading your tag and author, or I won't be able to catch it.
If GSU debate has taught me anything, it's to be extremely open minded to a variety of arguments. If you want to run death good, afropessimism, deterrence das, no period plan flaw, K affs, traditional affs, feminist killjoy etc, go for it. Just be sure to explain why you should win with this argument. ROB will be who debated the best unless I'm given another ROB with reason to perfer it. I'm against judge fill in but will vote down oppressive/offensive language/arguments especially if the other team points it out.
Do whatever you're best at, stay topical (or be ready to explain why topicality doesn't matter), be organized, and extend your case and why it outweighs throughout. I tend to err aff on framework if they have and defend a plan text, but you have to lock in if you decide to do that, otherwise I'll be persuaded to neg's abuse claims.
I love a good k with a clear link and impact. Your alts have to be clearly explained. I'll buy links of omission but the neg has to defend why the aff can't simply perm. Negs really have to take time in the block to explain why the aff can't perm and why it's net better to do the alt alone. Affs have to explain why they can perm and why the perm is net better than aff alone or why the alt can't solve the case. Don't drop theory args, or I will have to vote the other way.
I’m good with das but there has to be work done on how it links to the aff, or I will agree with the aff on no link args. If you have a solid Nonunique arg and extend it and I will vote on that. Solid impact calc will seal the deal for me, but if the aff successfully turns the DA or explains why the case outweighs the DA, I will vote on that as well. Long story short the more clash on the DA the better.
Love a creative CP, but it needs to solve/have a net benefit (DA or a K) along with stealing aff ground; otherwise I will agree with aff's perm and theory args. Aff needs to clearly explain why CP can't solve case, beat the net benefit, and articulate why the perm is best. Don't drop theory or you lose my ballot.
I will vote neg on a T arg if you convince me the violation is clear, the aff's counter interpretation is unreasonable, and the impact is big. I will vote aff if they convince me that their aff is reasonable, counter interpretation is better or equal to the negs, and a benefit to their definition, but aff can chuck topicality and still win if they articulate why being topical doesn't matter or is worse for debate. If the aff locks in and says they're T however, they cannot shift or it's an auto win for the neg.
I lean aff in most cases unless the neg provides me with a clear violation, story, and impact. 2acs have to clearly explain why the aff is fair and/or better. Tech is important when arguing FW but explanation is key when you arguing framework. Truth always better than tech.
cross ex is binding, answer the questions honestly, don't ask why the aff should win during 1ac cross ex or generic questions like that.
Ellen Ivens-Duran Paradigm
Here are the things that matter:
I did not debate as a student.
I have judged and coached PF and LD for 8 years.
I don’t lean towards any style of debate, just convince me why I should vote for you and you can win.
My favorite philosophy is Utilitarianism... just sayin’
Eric Johnston Paradigm
High School--Bravo Medical Magnet HS (2013-15)
College--CSU Fullerton/UCI (2016-17)
While there's no such thing as a blank slate, I will try my best as a judge to leave debate for the debaters. That also means that I'm unwilling to do much work for you, if any all (of course this will be adjusted with skill level, which means I'll also be holding a higher standard for explanation at the open level of debate). Explain everything. Don't assume I know what you mean when you repeat some jargon, because there's no stasis or dictionary for anything in debate, so even if I'm familiar with your lit or argument, every debater means something slightly different when they say "ontology" or "perm." So tell me what you mean.
T - awesome. slow down. if the other team can't catch your tech I probably won't. have impacts.
FW - go for it. everything I said about T applies here. with that said, I have two more notes here: (1) Framework determines what I should view as important in the round, meaning everything in debate is about framework, even if it's not on a separate flow. Because I won't be doing much work for you, framework is thus the only measure I have for evaluating the round, making it a prior question. (2) If we're talking about the framework that goes on a separate flow, don't call it T. T is about having mutual ground to debate on for x, y, or z (even if it's not about the resolution). Framework concerns our orientation towards x (could be the resolution, a pedagogy, etc.)
DAs - cool. have internal links. don't out-tech the judge.
CP - great. as a 2a I probably have a slight bias against PICs. sorry. don't let that discourage you from running one.
Ks - The best advice I can give you here is assume I don't know your lit. Like I said above, even something as 'generic' as a cap K will be ran drastically different from round to round. The debaters are different, and so is the debate. Even if the lit is the same, your interpretation is probably different. This also means that if you do happen to 'botch up' the lit per my own interpretation, I'll try to evaluate the round based on the debaters' own arguments and readings of their lit, because no reading or argument is ever the same. My reading is not more valid or correct than yours. (Short of being blatantly racist, antiblack, or transphobic, you have to really mess up for me to think "yeah you're doing this wrong." But if it's clear that you're respecting the lit, I will try to abide by your interpretation.) With that said, this means I will have a high threshold for how you explain your lit to me based on YOUR own reading. Be specific. Case engagement will always grab my attention. Try to be explicit with your angle on the K - i.e. are you solving the aff? should we even care about the aff? etc.
Case - explain the aff. have overviews. I hate debates where I don't know what the 1ac does by the 2ar. even if you get my ballot, your speaks will probably suffer.
In general, don't be rude. Some people can handle it, some can't, so my thoughts on this will change from round to round. If the debate is really heated and everyone knows what they're doing, that's fine. Go all out. Have sass or whatever. But pls try to keep this activity enjoyable.
Yash Kamath Paradigm
ykamath [at] usc [dot] edu
can't judge: Wichita East, Loyola
Any questions please ask don't assume
Wichita East '15
4 years HS policy, currently coaching Loyola policy
1. Flashing is not prep.
2. Cross-x will be flowed. You will be held to what you say in cross-x.
3. Clipping cards, reading ahead in speech docs, falsifying evidence, all auto-losses.
4. Please disclose.
5. Stand/sit/dance/jog I don't care. Just look at me when you are speaking.
6. Arguments need warrants. No warrants = not an argument.
7. Please add me to the email chain, pocket box, hand me the flash drive, etc.
I will try my best not to intervene in a debate. Execute whatever strategy you are best at, and do it well. I will listen and evaluate almost every argument tabula rasa.
Here are my argument preferences:
Neg- Case list, impacts to your standards, and topical version of the aff are all very persuasive.
Aff- Reasonability is not as a persuasive as a robust defense of your great counter-interpretation and disads to their interp.
Neg- Explain the alt well. The link and impact story is usually what the neg is superb at, but if you don't explain the alt well, what the hell am I voting for? 2NC/1NR tricks are great if executed properly.
Aff- Impact turns, disads to the alt, and permutations are persuasive.
Neg- Happy with most, not a fan of process cps or generic word pics, but I will still vote for them if executed properly.
Aff- Solvency deficit, and defense to the net benefit (whatever page it is on), are very persuasive.
Neg- Turns case, and impact framing are very persuasive.
Aff- You must have offense on this page. With hard technical debating, I do believe in a possible 0 % risk of the disad.
Neg- Case turns, and case specific defense are very persuasive. A ton of generic impact defense not so much.
Aff- Your answers to case args should be fantastic, no excuses for a poor performance on something for which you have had unlimited prep.
Mostly lean neg, again interp and counter-interps are key.
2 condo is fine, 3 is still okay, 4 and my threshold for an aff theory arg will be very low.
Aff- This is fine. Please explain what voting aff means, what you have to win for me to vote aff.
Neg- Answer the case. T (content guidelines) not framework (performance guidelines), impact turns, and criticisms are very persuasive.
High speaker points:
1. Great strategic moves. Technical strength will serve you well.
2. Humor. Only if you are funny.
3. Great case debate.
4. Number/letter arguments.
5. Great evidence.
Low speaker points:
1. Not clear. Can't stand this. Hurts me, your partner, the other team, and the quality of the debate at the whole.
2. Really stupid arguments. If you have to ask if it meets the really stupid threshold then don't read it.
Don't be rude or obnoxious. In debate and in life.
Harut Kejejyan Paradigm
Harut Kejejyan ( firstname.lastname@example.org) - add me to the email chain.
Debated for Bravo Medical Magnet High School for 2 years: LAMDL Alumni
Currently Debating for Fullerton College!
I am currently majoring in communication studies with a minor in sociology.
Prefer Spreading to be clear and understandable, I will tell you to slow down if you become unclear (Clarity First)
If you have any problems during the debate PLEASE! Notify Me so we can resolve the issue. If at any point in the debate you feel uncomfortable once again bring it to my attention, Debate rounds should be a safe space where ideas can be discussed openly without judgment. Respect! Comes first, if you are rude or inconsiderate on more than one occasion I will deduct speaker points, you don't have to be rude to get your point across.
Evidence Matters!!! God please use and extend your evidence, arguments that are just read and never talked about are really confusing and frankly, you wasted your time if you're reading evidence you're not using.
I love a good CX, even if it gets a little heated but DONT attack your opponent during CX
Overall: I love a good debate! The round should be a place where you give everything you got because if you don't your arguments will suffer. I want to see you express everything you been prepping for. Don't panic just breath and you'll be fine the worst that can happen is you lose, even you win in some sense. Can't wait to see everyone debate.
P.S: Have some emotion when you're reading the evidence, makes a big difference.
Samantha Lemus Paradigm
I did policy debate for three years at Downtown Magnets High School (LAMDL). After the Urban Debate National Championship in 2016, I retired from debating and served as a judge for the league. That summer of 2016, I interned at the LAMDL SDI. The following summer, I was a varsity lab assistant. I continue trying to be involved in the debate community as much as possible but have not been as much as I wish due to lack of time.
I am currently a 2nd-year college student but did not continue competing in debate until Fall of 2017. I do IPDA for East Los Angeles College and will be doing Parli along with Speech in Spring of 2018. Aside from being a full-time student, I work full-time at an immigration law firm located in Echo Park as a legal assistant/paralegal.
I am pretty relaxed when it comes to judging. I do not go in to every round with a still perspective -- let your arguments convince me. Period.
Case is the most important debate to me. If you are the affirmative, please do not neglect your case. Cross-apply it as much as possible and use it to your advantage, rather than going up in the 2AC and wasting your time reading 5 new cards that were not necessary had you used your contentions properly.
Speed is perfectly fine with me, so long as you are clear. If clarity is an issue, I give two warnings before I completely stop flowing the entirety of the rest of your speech. Two warnings should be sufficient, in my opinion.
High theory arguments are also fine with me. Personally, I was a more policy-oriented debater, nevertheless I had to become familiarized with high-theory arguments because of the nature of where debate is going, so do not be afraid to run Ks or a Counter Advocacy.
In terms of speaker points, I rank competitors based on clarity, substance of argument, and the way you behave in round. If you are overtly condescending to either your opponent or even your partner, do not anticipate your speaks to be high.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask in round.
Miscellaneous Debate Information:
I do not take prep for flashing, so long as you do not abuse of time. If you are having technical issues, let me know.
I do not take time in round, as I believe you all should be capable of taking your own time as well as keeping an eye on your opponents time. If for whatever reason you need me to take time let me know and I will do so.
I do not need to be added to any email chain, but if you would like to do so my email address is: email@example.com
As previously stated, I work at an immigration law firm, therefore any xenophobic, classist, racist, or sexist comment will not be tolerated in round. Your speaks and credibility take a huge blow if you are to either make any of those arguments or if you come across as too condescending in round.
Again, if you have any questions in round do not hesitate to ask.
Other than that, please remember that although debate is a competition you should still make time to enjoy yourself. Do not become overwhelmed with the culture of debate. It can be fun, when engaged in properly.
Eddie Marfori Paradigm
Lay dad judge
Matthew McFadden Paradigm
ucla - 2020 - economics major
firstname.lastname@example.org - email chain - please put me on it
predispositions – if you accurately describe your evidence as phenomenal, i will reward you with extra speaks in proportion to how good your cards are. if you oversell your sub-par cards, i will be thoroughly disappointed. not to say debating is in any way less significant, but if you have research of superb quality, it makes the debate much easier for you. regardless of my biases, please just go for what you are prepared to execute and have the research on.
if you are understandably in a hurry, there are really only 2 things you need to take from this –
1 – do what you're good at
2 – do LINE BY LINE
"i vote on dropped arguments that i don't believe" -ian beier
for ld – please spare me the kant.
topicality – love it. please read a good amount of cards. if you've done the research to support a well-articulated t argument, i will be overjoyed to judge the debate. although i generally default to competing interpretations, after thinking about it, reasonability is compelling if the 2ar accurately articulates why the neg interpretation is unpredictable and overly burdensome for affirmatives, which outweighs 2nr offense – this is especially persuasive if you have aff-specific cards in relation to the topic literature or legal question of the resolution. negatives that 1 – do thorough impact calculus external to ‘they explode limits – limits are good’ and 2 – give overwhelmingly extensive lists of the absurd affs their interp justifies are crucial. limits is an internal link to the topic-specific expertise the resolutional question is designed to impart.
theory – can be tedious to resolve, but i'm intrigued. 1ar's do not extend this enough. 2ar's that do the impact comparison, turns case analysis, and offense/defense framing on theory as if it were a da are very enjoyable. if theory arguments aren't well-articulated and are overly blippy, i am fine with simply dismissing them.
must disclose judge prefs theory – no, thank you. i am not sympathetic.
kritiks – the most intricate debates or the most mediocre debates – i mean this sincerely. if you are good at making a real argument, yes please. specific link work with intricate turns case analysis and examples relating to the aff win debates. reading a new phenomenal critical theory card will make my day - ie if you have done the research to support your argument, let's go. the more generic your k is, the less inclined i am to vote for you. if you are a team that goes for the k like a disad (techy, line-by-line, interacts with the case) i'll be happy to judge the debate; the inverse is true as well.
cp – wonderful.
counterplans with long texts – my favorite.
pics – they're the best. HOWEVER – they should be substantively different than the aff and have a solvency advocate.
process cp's – you're probably cheating.
states cp – teams overestimate the impact of their solvency deficits and underestimate the efficacy of theory as an answer. aff – please go for theory.
judge kick – i'm ideologically sympathetic but will not default to it.
da – yes, please.
well-researched link evidence works wonders. taking a minute of the 2nr to detail turns case analysis puts you in a great position.
if you don't have a da, you don't have a da. 1% risk calculus won't make your link for you.
impact turn – please go for these if your evidence is recent and of high quality. doing thorough comparison between the data and qualifications of your cards versus theirs is how these debates are won.
"people should impact turn.... everything" -ian beier
neg v. k affs – if you're neg and don't win these debates, you're the exception. these are the hardest 2nr's, so i'm willing to grant some leeway.
presumption – make this argument.
framework – yes. compare your impacts at the internal link level and do intricate turns case analysis. i enjoy institutional engagement arguments vs identity affs and truth testing/fairness against more abstract affs.
the k – though i think it is an admirable strategy, unless you have hyper-specific evidence about the aff or its mechanism, you are highly susceptible to the perm.
k affs – good luck.
aff v. the k – you have an aff; that's all you have to defend.
affs lose to the k when they don't answer offense that is embedded in link arguments, lose the framework debate, letting them get away with broad and absurd generalizations, and going for too much.
execution – evidence quality doesn't replace the necessity of good debating. but i really do love good evidence.
zero risk – it’s not possible strictly in the sense of ‘zero risk’, because there is inherently a possibility of all events but it is possible to diminish the risk of an advantage or da to such a degree that it is not sufficiently significant to overcome from the noise of the status quo. i think the new fettweis card is pretty devastating impact defense. lots of neg da's are utterly ridiculous.
cx – if their cards are awful, or their da is incoherent, pointing it out is fun. being strategic in the rhetorical method you use to get the other team to say what you want, then referencing their answers in speeches to warrant arguments is persuasive and gets you additional speaks if what they said is truly applicable.
"be snarky if you want" -grace kuang
judges/people i admire - dheidt, tallungan, khirn, tyler peltekci, dan bannister, grace kuang, spurlock, matt munday, tucker carlson, forslund, scott brown.
prep – being efficient will make me happier with you – ie have the 1nr emailed out before 2nc cross-ex is over.
bad args – 'racism/sexism good' args are obviously non-starters. i won't immediately dismiss 'death good' but if this is really the position you're in, you have more immediate problems than my judging preferences.
Mike Murray Paradigm
I spent 9 years as a debater at the college( Diablo Valley College and CSU Long Beach) and high school ( De La Salle HS, Concord, Ca) levels. I am now in my 5th year of coaching and my 7th year of judging. So I've heard almost every argument out there. I mostly competed in parli and policy, but I did some LD as well. I am ok with Kritiks, Counter Plans, and plans. I like good framework and value debate. I am cool with spreading but articulation is key!!! I am a flow judge so sign posting and organization is important. Please weigh impacts and give me voters. In LD make sure you link to a framework and a value and explain why you win under those guidelines.
Michael O'Krent Paradigm
Affiliations/Judging conflicts: Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough
I debated for four years at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, qualifying to TOC thrice. I now coach for Marlborough.
If you have questions, email me at email@example.com
I like hearing well-developed, supported, smart arguments. This can include philosophy, t or theory, Ks, plans, CPs, DAs, etc. Form doesn't matter a huge amount to me. Just steer clear of my landmines and make good arguments: your speaks and win record will show it.
Flashing/emailing is on prep time.
Traditional Policy stuff: yes
Theory: yes if there’s real abuse.
Philosophy (almost all sorts): yes
Do I say clear? Yes.
How many times? Until you get clear or it becomes clear that you're ignoring me.
Mandatory scary stuff:
Landmines: The following things are not ok in debate. I WILL INSTANTLY DROP YOU FOR:
-Religious/theistic arguments *I don't think very many (if any) other judges hold this prohibition, so I want to emphasize that I do hold it, and I will hold you to it.*
-moral skepticism (unless the topic specifically mandates it, like the Nov-Dec 2011. I'll specifically note it at the top of my paradigm if one of these comes up.)
-presumption (if you tell me I should ignore substance to vote on presumption. I might presume if there is legitimately no offense but I will do everything in my power not to.)
-any argument that is “triggered” in a later speech. If you defend it, you must say so in your first speech
-biting the bullet on something atrocious like genocide, rape, mass murder, etc. (That is, openly acknowledging that your framework would not condemn something like this. Simply arguing that your opponent’s framework can’t condemn genocide will not be a reason to drop them.)
-an a priori (these are arguments that say that the resolution is true or false for linguistic/semantic reasons and don't link to a framework. Despite debaters' best efforts to hide them, a prioris are pretty easily visible.)
-blatantly lying in cx
In general, be honest. I won’t instantly drop you for anything not on this list, but if you pull tricks or are generally sketchy I will be pissed. My stance on this is pretty similar to Chris Theis’.
The following arguments I will not listen to, but will not drop you for the sole reason that you ran one of them (you can still win elsewhere on the flow). I will not vote on:
-any argument that is not normative, like ought implies can or ought means logical consequence.
-theory arguments against an interp in the AC are counterinterpretations/defense only
Things I dislike but will vote on if you win them by a wide margin (either they're conceded or you crush):
-Competing interps requires a counterinterpretation.
-Affirmative “ethics” choice (When the aff gets to pick the standard/value criterion – distinct from AFC as run in policy, which I am ok with)
-Meta-theory comes before “regular” theory. OK to run a “meta-theory” shell and weigh impacts, but I don’t believe that meta-theory exists differently than theory. One sentence in a theory voter will not convince me otherwise.
-Anything that would have me take an actual action other than judging. (It takes a really good reason to make me not be lazy. I might vote for the position and ignore the action anyway.)
And a bunch of theory shells fall into this category too. If you run one of these shells, I will be skeptical and probably find the most stock responses persuasive. I'll vote on it, but you'll have to do lots of work and win it by a lot:
-Must run/not run framework
-Must run/not run plan/counterplan (inc. plans bad)
-Must run/not run kritik (noticing a theme?)
-Must run/not run DAs, etc.
-Can't have both pre- and post-fiat impacts
-Can't make link/impact turns (yes, people actually run this shell)
-Negatively worded interps bad ("Must have positively worded interp" for the formalists)
-Neg must defend the converse
John Overing Paradigm
I debated two years for Loyola High School, where I earned six bids to the TOC and attended NSDA Nationals my senior year. I've judged over 250 rounds.
Stock anything - 1
Utils/LARP - 1
Stock Ks - 1
T/theory - 1
Lots of theory - 2
Funky Ks - 1/2
Bad/Messy Tricks - 4
Philosophy - 3
Do impact calculus, win the case.
Here's how you win in front of me:
1. Collapse to one primary position and win it
2. Explain why its impact outweighs all else
Mostly tab, not scared to vote on abnormal stuff
For completely conceded positions, you only need to extend the base description of the position and its syllogism, and then jump into impact calculus. You don't need to name cards in extensions (though if there's one specific card, bring it up in the last speech). If a card will become relevant, even if it was conceded, still give an explanation of the warrant.
Things I like (in no particular order):
- Non-topical ACs
- Politics DAs
- Stock Kritiks
- Oddball Kritiks that show up out of left field (or are atypical or high theory)
- Legit Theory
- a solid Phil NC syllogism
- well-explained atypical Phil NCs
- Solid layering
- Solid collapsing
- Skep in a sketch v sketch round
- Prankster Ethics ;)
- lots of other things
- Debate well, do something new or interesting, or give me an easy decision in a polite way.
- Open-source disclosure will make me much more generous with speaks, let me know if you do this.
- Props if you work puns into your speeches?
- Show me your flow after the round and I'll add 0.1 to 0.3 speaks. If requested, I will give feedback on your flow.
- *Please* do not attack your opponent. There's a fine line between "You are racist" and "Your position is racist," and they have wildly different impacts.
My judging style is similar to these judges:
For my opinions on in-round attitude and debate environment, see Ben Koh and Chris Kymn. Poor behavior will affect your speaks, though (barring extreme cases) I'll keep such issues out of my decision.
I don't enforce prep time for flashing. Be reasonable.
Flex prep is assumed. I flow cross-ex and prep. I don't flow off of speech docs.
Water and restroom breaks during the round: counts as prep time unless your opponent is okay with it being off the clock. (I do this not because I care, but because I don't want to risk debaters interacting with coaches or others mid-round.)
I like kritiks. I read kritiks throughout my senior year. They can be very strategic, and I have a strong baseline knowledge of most positions. If you read Ks, I'll be a good judge for you.
- to be filled out further
I read theory shells throughout my senior year. I think 1AR theory can be very strategic, though try not to use it as a crutch for a bad aff. My background is very theory-oriented; if you weigh between standards / abuse stories in your last speech, you'll be fine. Make a mess (Read: don't collapse), and I'll be sad :(
- I think defaults are silly, so just tell me if it's drop the debater/arg/etc, and so on
- to be filled out further
I attended Loyola High School. This is what we did best. This is what I know well.
- to be filled out further
Phil / LD Framework
I'm currently a Phil major at UC Berkeley, and have a strong grasp and appreciation of most positions. I think phil is quite strategic. Here are some phil positions I'm familiar with and can evaluate:
- Util and other forms of consequentialism; Rawls (very familiar)
- Intent-based (Kantian & etc.) OR virtue ethics (Aristotelian & etc.)
- Social Contract (Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, or others)
- Constitutivism can be cool
- various forms of skepticism
- Prankster Ethics ;)
- Those not named you should ask me about, I have less knowledge in those content areas
I am willing to vote on disclosure theory. Should you read it? Sure, UNLESS your opponent is new to debate. I'm very opposed to disclosure theory against students new to the activity. It makes me sad when this happens :(
Procedurals - Speech Times, Evidence Ethics, Resolution?
Procedurals are the rules that govern debate's structure and are integral to (or constitutive of) the activity . I regard the following as procedurals: equal speech times, equal prep time, who gets to speak when, only one debater per side, no mid-round coaching or help, evidence has not been falsified or made up, probably some more.
Two sub-points. A) "Procedural" doesn't mean it's set in stone. If you argue that I should reject certain procedurals, I'm receptive and will adjudicate it. B) There are debates about whether or not theory, topicality, debating the resolution, etc. are procedurals. I don't default -- I treat this issue no different than drop the debater vs arg, ROB vs theory, etc.
Elizabeth Pavlath Paradigm
Since the Judge Philosophies wiki page has been deactivated.
I am a junior at California State University Long Beach and I debated LD for four years at La Reina High School. I will listen and vote on nearly any argument with certain exceptions i.e. racism, sexism, etc. good. If you choose to run theory, I will be happier if it is warranted, but a well-done frivolous theory debate can be fun to judge. I read a lot of critical arguments in high school so feel free to run them eg-Anti-blackness, feminism, etc. Policy-style debate is fine too. Finally, spreading wise, I have not heard spreading in a while so if you could start slow and build up speed that would be great.
Tyler Peltecki Paradigm
Damien HS 2017 | Loyola Marymount 2021
Debate is a game about research.
Send me the speech docs as well please — firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated with Matt McFadden from 2013-2017 (Latin America thru China) at Damien HS in Southern California.
I had some competitive success in debate if that matters to you, qualified to the ToC both junior and senior year, was the 2nd seed my senior year, and finished in quarterfinals (5th place). Also won 2nd place at St. Marks, 1st place at Golden Desert, 6 ToC bids and was in the elimination debates of every major tournament.
There are TLDR's if you're in a rush
Fast and technical debating between two well-prepared opponents is my ideal.
I will always reward a well-researched strategy -- but execution is JUST AS IMPORTANT as evidence.
My favorite debates to participate in were the ones where BOTH sides had the cards to throw down, so I’d imagine my favorite debates to JUDGE, would be the same.
My biggest preference, is that you go for what you are the most PREPARED to go for, and what you have done the most RESEARCH to support..
I understand my role as judge is not to be dogmatic, and I won’t vote against an argument on ideology. I’ll remain objective when evaluating debates, and this paradigm reflects my argumentative preferences, not any sort of dogma.
That being said, here are some preferences and thoughts:
Topicality - TLDR: Yes
Love when the neg recognizes that topicality is the best strategy against a certain team/affirmative, and does the research to execute it.
EVIDENCE MATTERS, reasonability is almost never a round-winning argument, we meet is a yes/no question, the most persuasive impact arguments are ones concerned with gaining expertise from debates and predictability,
I’m not the judge with pre-determinations about all these small things that a lot of people in debate talk/argue about, that being said - fairness can be an impact, and it can also be an internal link, my advice is you make it whatever is most likely to win you the debate
I love when the AFF reads something questionably topical but just out-techs neg teams going for T, or when they just have the bag ready to be thrown on "we meet" and read a plan that doesn’t actually do anything.. #BTC
Framework/"T-USFG" - TLDR: Just debate this argument well and I will likely be persuaded..
Likely all that should be in the 1nc in a debate vs an AFF team that did not defend the resolution, going for a Kritik (against non-plan affs in HS) is almost asking to lose to a permutation, unless it's very specific/well-researched, or you’re winning some reason why permutations shouldn’t be allowed.
I will lean very heavily neg in Framework debates.
The way you deploy a framework strategy should probably change depending on what type of affirmative you’re debating; I’m equally persuaded by the impact arguments related to engaging in institutions/gaining skills as I am by arguments related to debate as a game and fairness/truth testing, so I’m game for whatever, just debate well and make sure you think strategy when deciding what 1nc to read…
The way you lose going for framework is by not comparing at the internal link level, and allowing the AFF team to get away with incredibly outlandish claims that make your offense irrelevant..
Kritiks - TLDR: As long as the argument follows...
Not my favorite type of argument, but it's difficult to deny its strategic utility in debte...
- specific links, yes
- reason why the plan is bad, yes
- link of omission, no
- death k, save it for McFadden
- state is always bad, big no
- turns case, yes
- framework, do more than read a roleplaying bad card and hope they drop it
AFF against the K - TLDR: defend your aff, and impact turn every word they say
You have an aff, forgetting about the 1ac is how you lose this debate…
- weighing your aff is important, not doing that would be bad
- impact turn, yes
- util, yes
- impact defense to their impacts, yes
- link thresholds, yes
- perm, why do this when statistics prove hegemony is good
- going “soft left”, this can be very smart against certain K 1NC’s - think strategy
- alt answers, less important in front of me because impact turns make it somewhat irrelevant,
- but if you’re not impact turning and you’re letting them get away with the assertion that a “reorientation” or whatever solves their links and the aff, you’re going to be in a tough spot debate wise…
- you also don’t NEED cards to answer the alternative, smart arguments go a long way against the 80% of High School K 1nc’s that literally don’t make a cogent argument.
Kritikal AFFs - TLDR: Uphill Battle
My threshold is quite simply that your 1AC should include logical premises and some form of conclusion which follows them.
Presumption against planless affs is both persuasive, and underutilized.
3 questions your K AFF should answer:
- How does voting aff solve your role of the ballot?
- If you read impacts about things happening outside of debate, how does voting aff solve those impacts? and if you read impacts about debate, how does voting aff solve those impacts?
- Why can’t I vote negative to preserve a model of debate, but still agree with everything the 1ac says and just assign you the loss?
Counterplans - TLDR: yes, being extra technical in these debates can only benefit you
PICs were my favorite strategy to cut/research and my 2nd favorite strategy to execute. Process CP’s are cool if you do it right, and have the technical proficiency to win competition/theory debates..
Actually competitive CP’s that don’t do the aff/use a different mechanism usually need good solvency evidence, the more comparative the better (obviously a high standard, but we’re talking ideals here).
The aff should be going for PDCP/Theory in most of these process CP debates, but do it right (answer the theory block)..
You don't need solvency advocates or cards for smart and intuitive advantage CP’s, and 2nc CP’s out of add-ons.
judge kick is sooooo 👎👎
DA's - TLDR: yes please, but I have no trouble assigning zero risk if you want to read something incoherent against a smart 2A (make an argument please)…
Link usually controls the direction (but I understand the need to go for UQ controls direction), generic/topic DA's are great when you have a specific link argument, politics+case is ALWAYS the move! If you’re e-sub-pointing turns case warrants for every internal link, you’re debating DA’s the right way…
If you don't have a DA, you don't have a DA... 1% risk analysis isn't the substitute for a link...
Impact Turns - TLDR: my favorite type of argument in debate — if you think a team can’t defend that a war between the US and China would be a bad thing, why not exploit that? :)
Evidence quality, and comparison of that evidence is HUGE in these debates and the more well-researched team typically wins.
prolif good is defense (except for bioweapons tradeoff)
impact turn k affs when you can, and go for it if you're winning..
Do more line by line than usual in these debates
--- some personal favorites: China War Good (+0.2pts if you win), Red Spread, Dedev (+0.1pts if you win), Water Wars Good, IPR Bad, Multilat Bad, I-LAW Bad, Cap good, Tech good, Hegemony good
Theory - TLDR: do line by line, 2nr/2ar offense defense paradigm framing and impact comparison/turns case warrants will win you these debates..
In terms of biases/which way I “lean” in theory debates — I have no bias strong enough to inform you not to go for a certain argument, just be honest with yourself over your ability to credibly persuade someone that a vague alternative is a reason to vote aff, and so on.
Tech over Truth, always-- if you go for truth over tech, i will evaluate the opposite --
consider the following:
1 - you had to technically win that I should evaluate truth before tech.. So tech comes before truth inevitably
2 - truthfully, it shouldn't come first in debate..
Rewarding good research - if your cards are fire, or just better than the other teams, let me know:
if you accurately sell your cards, higher speaks.
if you over-sell them, lower speaks.
Execution matters just as much as evidence - telling me to read your cards is NOT ENOUGH, you need to make an argument.
- if you give a bad 2ac on case, I’m not going to let the 1AR pretend like that didn’t happen if the neg points it out, and THEY SHOULD
- idk why you’re scared to straight turn a DA, test their link file (assuming you have a link turn file)...
- the first 30-45 seconds of the 2ar should write my ballot
- be strategic
- just read your best offense and get ready to throw down and you will make me happy, but you're not here to make me happy, you're here to win, so if you need to read T-with, do it
- 1 OFF DA = +0.3pts if you win
- 1 OFF PIC = +0.3pts if you win
- heg bad; you’re bad
- you never have “nothing” to the point where you have to read time cube, consult Ashtar, or any of that other noise -- yes it's funny, but you might lose when you could have gone for politics or the death k and won...
See Matt McFadden if this philosophy if this wasn't enough, I understand debate similar to how he does -
Vito Perez Paradigm
Add me to the email chain please: email@example.com
Please email me any questions regarding my decision. On the Subject line, please provide the name of the tournament, your team code, and the round number.
Bravo Medical Magnet HS (2010-2013)
UC Irvine (2013-14): 2014 NDT Qualifier and 2014 CEDA Octafinalist
My ideal debate demonstrates a) well-researched positions that are communicated clearly and concisely and are easily flowable, and b) direct refutation of arguments that can be easily visualized on the flow.
In 2014, I said, "I am compatible with embedded clash" and will do the sorting work even if messy. This delays the tournament schedule by prolonging the time it takes to render a decision. Line-by-line refutation is most preferred. Grouping arguments is acceptable if you identify what premise they all share that you are refuting.
The literature bases I’m most familiar with are around afropessimism, settler colonialism, capitalism, whiteness, biopolitics, semiotics, and (some) psychoanalysis.
Prerequisites to earning the Ballot:
1.) Be Clear: This is a communication activity. You are persuading the judge. I'm slightly hard of hearing, so if I can't understand you, I'll say "CLEAR". I will repeat only twice per debater. Lack of clarity will reduce speaker points and will make it difficult to flow and genuinely understand the argument. This rule is most important during OVERVIEWS and ANALYTICS.
SLOW DOWN for Plan texts, Counterplan texts, Advocacy texts, Permutation texts, and PIC/PIK texts. If I have to look at the speech document for the TEXT, I will remove half a speaker point. This is a speech activity. If it weren't, we would only need to share word documents over email and we wouldn't need to be physically present at tournaments.
Speaking for/over your partner (or puppeteering them) will reduce both of your speaks. Debaters should be able to speak for themselves in a speech activity.
2.) Complete the argument: A complete argument contains a claim, warrant, and evidence. An incomplete argument will be flowed for reference but ultimately will not be evaluated. If an argument is completed in a constructive, I will evaluate it. If it is completed in a rebuttal, it is a new argument and I will not evaluate it.
3.) Explain Key Theories/Concepts: Assume I am a lay judge who only knows how to flow. Do not assume that my familiarity with certain literature bases will allow you to skip over explaining key philosophical, economic, or political concepts and chains of logic. Doing so risks skipping warrants, which means you've made an incomplete argument that I will not evaluate. Returning to the first prerequisite of clarity, if you are not clear I might not completely understand the concepts you explained. Then, your warrants and analytics might be absent on my flow. Don't let that happen.
Also, DO NOT use abbreviations or acronyms until you have spelled them out for me. Do not leave me to guess. I might not flow it.
4.) Tell me who I am: Role of the Judge. Dictate to me how I ought to view the round--as a policymaker, a critic, an educator, a revolutionary, etc. Otherwise, my default position is to evaluate the round as a policy-maker. I have spent too much time post-round thinking about how to weigh impacts and advocacies that clash and are both well-researched. Do not leave me at the end of the round with my biases.
5.) Tell me what the ballot does: Role of the Ballot. Dictate to me what the purpose of the ballot ought to be: for example, does it simply go to the team that did the better debating or does it change the structure of debate or the debate community? Moreover, what the ballot ought to do/be depends on what DEBATE should be about. In short, delineate your model of debate (what debate should be about) and defend why we should affirm that model of debate.
6.) Tech over Truth: I will only evaluate what is said in the round not what I know outside the round. Prioritizing truth claims relies on judge intervention which nullifies the argumentation within the round and the purpose of the activity. Prioritizing tech minimizes judge intervention because the argumentation in the round determines the ballot.
Aff/Neg Roles: The affirmative must change the status quo via fiat or performance. The 1AC must make the status quo net better. The negative must prove the affirmative either DOES NOT change the status quo or makes the status quo net worse. Sounds too basic but is a fundamental theoretical issue about the model of debate that debaters gloss over with statements like "we only need to prove the aff is a good/bad idea".
I find myself wanting to vote Neg on presumption in debates in which the Aff does not meet the burden of changing the status quo or does not provide a counter-interpretation to "changing the status quo". To clarify, I won't vote on presumption if the argument is not made.
I believe the neg should have the status quo as an option, only if the neg makes this argument. Unless the debate becomes a method vs method debate, the focus of the debate is the 1AC's effects on the status quo.
Framework: Tell me why I ought to prefer your model of the debate. The more comparative the standards and impact debate, the better. For example, tell me whose scholarship/pedagogy should be preferred with clear disads to the other team’s education claims. As a judge, I do not take a position on the structural fairness vs procedural fairness debate, except that fairness (structural or procedural) should be explained as an impact in and of itself. Otherwise, I am likely to interpret fairness as an internal link to an impact waiting to be articulated.
Topicality/Theory: Will vote on it but my threshold is high because in the debates I've judged, abuse in-round is not clearly articulated (or that it's potentially abusive) or it is unclear what kind of ground the aff destroyed or the extent to which the negative was unable to generate substantial clash or the aff killed education on topic literature. If neg definitively proves in-round abuse, I'll vote on T.
Topical versions of the Aff are extremely persuasive because they prove that the 1AC's content is non-competitive with topicality, which means that being un-topical is not uniquely key to access 1AC offense. Neg doesn't have to prove solvency; only that the content and performance of the 1AC is not competitive with affirming the resolution.
Disadvantages: I’m not always familiar with abbreviations so please explain them at least once. For politics debates, I like case-specific specific links. If you only have generic links available, contextualize the links to the warrants and evidence of the 1AC or the warrants and premises you have elicited from the cross-ex of the 1AC. Returning to the third issue of explanation, explain the economic and political concepts that prove the disad.
Counterplans: Slow down substantially so I could catch the full CP text instead of relying on CX to clarify for me or waiting throughout the debate for the text to be fleshed out. Solve for your net benefits, don't link to them. I don’t dislike any specific CP. Agent, consult, delay CPs...I could vote on them.
Plan-Inclusive Counterplans/Kritiks: May or may not be abusive. I will consider voting on it if neg proves textual and functional competition. If aff does not impact a lack of such competition, then the PIC is legitimate. Provide an impact to "Mooting the 1AC". Provide defense for this impact.
Kritiks: Do not depend on tag-lines and buzzwords for explanatory power. Be well-read on your literature base. If I recognize that you mischaracterize, oversimplify, or misunderstand the thesis of the K, your speaks will decrease.
Starting point debates/Root Cause debates: I evaluate these debates just like a framework debate: competing models of structural analysis. Thus, I compare standards/net benefits. If your analysis has a wider scope, why is that good? If it has a narrower scope, why is that good? If your starting point historically precedes the other team's starting point, why does that mean I should prefer your starting point. I ask these questions because these are the questions I am left with at the end of the debate. Dictate to me the criteria for comparing starting points. Without it, you are asking me to intervene with my own analysis. Don't do that.
Alternatives: By the 1NR, it should be clear how the alt solves. Whether this is via fiat or via scholarship (epistemological/ontological model) should be established BY THE BLOCK.
If something happens in-round and one team argues that the other's performance/language/etc is problematic in some form, explain how the significance of this issue outweighs the rest of the debate (i.e. why should I pay attention to this before analyzing the debate itself)--which means engaging in the framework debate.
If this is a new argument in the rebuttals, you have a higher threshold for proving why this outweighs the rest of the debate or why I should/can moot the 1AC.
Debate ought to encourage safety, fairness, and education.
Everyone should feel as safe and comfortable as the community can make itself to be, even though safety and comfort are effects of power and are not equitably distributed.
Debaters should be able to substantially engage with the topic and each other. Please disclose arguments and evidence properly. Please share enough with the other team before the round so they can understand and at least attempt to make arguments.
Everyone should be able to learn from the activity, win or lose.
The team that violates any of these tenets will be denied the ballot.
Samal Senaratna Paradigm
No one likes vague mysterious judge philosophies so I’ll make this as straightforward as possible. I’m a stock issues paradigm kinda guy: you tell me the impacts in the round, why they matter, and why they outweigh.
General: argumentation only works if there is clash so go line by line and refute points. Signpost. If you see I’m not flowing on the same paper as you, it’s probably cause I have no idea where you are and I just titled miscellaneous on a page and started writing. I believe that speed is a viable way of presenting as much evidence as possible within the time alloted. I can flow just about anything brought up in round. That being said, I value the use of speed combined with clarity. If you are just mumbling your way through your speech, I won't be able to flow you. While I won't drop you for the act of being unclear... I will not be able to get everything on the flow (which I am confident is probably just as bad). Obviously be respectful. The only time anyone should be crying in round is if they are hungry af which would be a reasonable reason. Debate is a safe space so let’s keep it that way.
On Aff: love good comprehensive policy affs, especially if it’s creative (but still topical b). Not big on planless affs, K affs, performance affs, etc. unless you make a big stink of framing the round to why the aff is important and by extent, why I sign my ballot to you. Aff theory still works if you think neg is abusive but if you really wanna make it important I expect a comprehensive 2AR. All in all theory I hold to a very high threshold so run it well or don't run it at all.
On Neg: I like DAs, Ts, CPs, but tell me why the DA shows a detriment to the aff, why I’m considering T as an a priori issue, why the CP has net benefits and solvency (solves better than the aff and like screw whatever perm they make). Again, not huge on Ks, but if running, make sure there are clear link stories and flush that out and tell me why the alt is better than anything else. Run theory if you think something the aff team did was abusive and try to organize your neg strat around it out of the block. High threshold here too.
Smile and have fun. We are all nerds talking really fast in an empty classroom on a Saturday and Sunday (maybe a Friday too).
Sarah Sherwood Paradigm
UPDATED 10/22/17 Fall '17 Update (New PF section included)
I have been judging high school debate for the past 9 years now, and I did Parli in High School, and Parli and LD in College. I have judged all forms of High School Debate. Feel free to ask me more in depth questions in round if you don't understand a part of my philosophy.
Over All Debate Philosophy
Don't be a jerk. Make good arguments.
I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO GUT-CHECK DROP ANY AND ALL TEAMS/DEBATERS I PERCEIVE AS BEING RACIST/SEXIST/HOMOPHOBIC/TRANSPHOBIC. I'm not in the mood for any problematic comments in debate rounds. Your speaks and record will suffer greatly in my hands.That being said I do not find running conservative arguments to automatically trigger this. If you have a problem with this I don't care. Your views are not wanted in the rounds I'm in the back of the room for.
Policy Debate Edu Topic Update 10/22/17
Please note that I do not judge Policy Debate very often. I am not as familiar with your norms but being an educator and knowing and working with educators I am more familiar with topic lit than I have been in the past. I am familiar with both Policy style arguments having done LD in College and Ks. I tend to vote more for truth over tech. I have recently found myself being interventionist against cards with problematic authors or cards cut to exclude marginalized groups from the debate space. That being said, nothing makes me happier than being able to vote on T. I love hearing a good K. But please be sure that you explain it or that your cards do. If I still have no idea what you are talking about then that is a you problem. Spread fast if you want but at a certain point I will miss something if you are going top speed because I flow on paper, I do know how to flow I'm just not as fast as those on a laptop. Feel free to ask me any questions before round.
[Do not read my LD phil as it is directed at TOC LDers only and probably won't give you any clarity in how I will vote in your rounds.]
LD Debate (Updated 4/21/17)
[Do not take my Policy phil into account as it does not apply to you and I will not evaluate you how I evaluate them.]
STRIKE ME if you won't disclose your cases to the other debater AND the judge/s. I will not vote for a debater that won't give their case. It is shady and uneducational. If you are that afraid of people having your case it's bad, and all you have as a replacement for skill is this game of playing gotcha. I'm not impressed. I shouldn't have to have this on here but I don't trust ya'll and I don't want to be put in a spot where I take this out and someone pulls something.
Things to consider:
- I see my self as a truth over tech K judge. High theory, love for dead white male philosophers, and time wasting theory spikes are really not my thing and not what I am interested in having to evaluate. I will. But I'm probably not the judge for you if you think your two line theory spikes are something I should take seriously.
- Your K's should link and I need an alt that is more than 'Drop Aff Vote Neg'. At least care about what your K is talking about instead of making it just a means to my ballot.
- I will vote on RVI's if they apply. A well warranted theory argument or T that is part of the main Neg strat that is not dropped does not deserve an RVI nor will I vote on that RVI.
- In rare cases I will drop you for rudeness. Be sassy. Be loud. Be aggressive. Don't be a jerk.
- Education is a voter to me, but that's because as an educator I feel like Debaters should be able to get something out of this activity.
- I flow on paper. I hate the current methods of flowing on a laptop. So I don't flow nearly as fast as some of my fellow judges.
- I will look at your docs during your speech, and I do so for two reasons. One: I want to spell the author's names right. My quality of life when judging has drastically increased since speech docs. Don't take this away from me. Two: I'm checking against you clipping cards.
- If you are not going to try to adapt to what I have written here then at least let me know and ask me some questions to try to make the best of it.
- I probably need real articulated abuse in round to vote for your theory or RVI or whatever. Your arbitrary "Neg can only run this many of this argument" probably doesn't have the abuse story I am looking for.
- On the note of super complex philosophical arguments, I try really hard to understand what you are talking about and there has only been one round this past season that I felt totally lost in the lit. But if I don't get it I probably will not vote on it.
- K probably comes before T.
You do not win rounds if you win framework. You do NOT win rounds if you win framework. YOU DO NOT WIN ROUNDS IF YOU WIN FRAMEWORK. You win that I judge the round via your framework. You can still lose under your framework, you shouldn't but that's a YOU problem and not a ME problem. When it comes to framework I'm a bit odd and a bit old school. I function under the idea that Aff has the right to define the round. And if Neg wants to me to evaluate the round via their framework then they need to prove some sort of abuse. I don't buy "mine is better" or "mine presumes theirs" or whatever buzz phrase ya'll are using these days. I do buy "mine is more important" due to kritikal positions that come first. When it comes to competing kritikal frameworks I often feel like I am being asked to prioritize one marginalized group over another. I don't like being put in this position. I always feel gross. I feel like it is often taken personally that I voted for one over the other. I just ask that you understand that I have to make a choice in a limited time and often it doesn't come down to the framework. I try to not judge rounds based on framework.
I apparently need to clarify my position on theory. I'm good with theory but that doesn't mean I buy yours. And that doesn't mean I live for it. LD theory is always changing and adapting and I don't buy that a lot of it is good or correct or needed. If you want to win your theory spend time on it and put a voter on it. So basically tell me why it's important. Reading 80 theory spikes in the AC wastes all of our time. If the Neg is good enough your one line spike won't be enough to stop whatever it is they want to do. But just doing work on theory isn't enough to win it. I do not like frivolous theory. I don't want to promise I will or will not vote for it it really depends on how the rounds go but if you are running what I see as frivolous theory then I probably won't vote for you.
I define frivolous theory to be:
- Theory spikes read in the AC at the bottom that will never be used for anything. Just read another card for your contentions.
- Theory that tries to get debaters to debate under a super restrictive requirement.
- Theory that could easily go away with a "we meet". Or in other words a waste of time.
My brightline for "we meet" on theory will vary depending on what it is. But most often if I can reasonably agree there is some type of "we meet" and no articulated actual abuse then I will probably buy there is no reason to vote on the theory.
Speaks will be disclosed if they are asked for. Range is 28.5-29.6 for me mostly. If you are really good they will be higher, if you are not so good they will be lower but this is my normal range as of the last few tournaments.
I'm impressed that you found this, and also bewildered I was put in the position I have to judge PF. So lets make the best of it.
- You are required to read a date and an author or source name for your evidence.
- You are required to hand over evidence if asked for it.
- I will drop you and tank your speaks if you don't. Protest me I'll walk into a tab with a smile on my face and be happy to fight with your coach over it.
- I know how to flow and will flow.
- This measn I require a road map. This does not need to be timed.
- I need you to sign post and tell me which contention you are on. Use author/source names.
- You do not need to stand. You do not need to wear your jacket if you do not want to. You do not need to wear heels if you have comfy alternatives you would rather wear. None of these things have any impact on my ballot in any way.
- I will disclose. I will give feedback. If you ask I will disclose speaks.
- I will vote on Ks.
- I will vote on theory.
- If you run it and I don't vote for you I will give you a full explanation as to why I did not and let you ask me as many questions as you want as to why I didn't and try to give you ideas on how to run it better in the future.
- Be strategic and make good life choices.
Chris Thiele Paradigm
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
Adam Torson Paradigm
1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)
2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)
2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)
2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)
2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)
General Preferences and Decision Calculus
I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.
I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.
Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.
I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.
Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.
I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.
I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.
I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.
Tricks and Triggers
Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.
Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs
The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.
I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.
I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.
To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.
The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.
My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.
It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.
I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:
30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.
29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.
28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.
27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.
26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.
25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors
Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.
Rude or Unethical Actions
I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.
A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.
To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.
I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.
Kate Totz Paradigm
Tldr; Debate is first and foremost an educational experience that needs to be accessible and accommodating to all.
General Preferences: Email chain me at firstname.lastname@example.org before you give your speech please and thank you. I’m fine with flex prep as long as everyone else in the room is cool with it. Speed is fine but debate is still an activity about communicating so please for the love of all that is holy, enunciate and differentiate your tone. Also slow down on analytics ESPECIALLY if they aren’t on the doc. If you just give me 7 minutes of monotone spread I will not be happy. I am doing my best but I can only type so fast. Most importantly, debate is a learning experience first and foremost, I don’t appreciate anyone taking away learning opportunities just for a win. Let me know if you have specific questions on this paradigm, debate, or just life in general before the round starts! Good luck and debate well.
T: - new and improved! Legitimate theory is always cool, friv theory is cool with me as long as it doesn’t take away from anyone’s learning. This means I’m not down for frivolous theory against a kid who has never once encountered theory, that’s not cool. Topicality/framework against K’s, particularly debate space K’s, is really iffy to vote on for me, I will 100% always prefer that you actually engage the meat of the K. Topicality and framework against pretty much anything else is cool with me, but again my threshold for voting on it is pretty high if it’s against anything other than a topical version of the aff. In general, I tend towards standards of accessible education, competing interpretations, and portable skills.
K’s: - love a good k still!! Specific links are always very important; I LOVE a great link story! Perms of K’s need to be very well explained and I need to walk away knowing what the perm world would look like pretty clearly. This means that if you’re deciding between 3 perms with no explanation and 1 really good, well-explained perm, you should always go for the one perm response in front of me. I love a good K aff, but be ready to defend it on the framework and the body level of the K. Debate space K’s will always come before T, all other types of K’s I’m willing to hear debate about which comes first but I tend towards K unless there’s some really great accessible education claims out of the T.
CPs: - nice!!! But please give really good solvency advocates, especially on PICs. Down for PICs, but also down for PIC theory. Get creative with perms but, like with K perms, you need to give me a brief explanation of what the perm world would look like if you want me to vote on it.
DAs: Down, specific link chains are really important to me, as are specific link beginnings. I’m over the ‘any international change will lead to nuke war’ arguments, but I’m very down for specific analysis on why a particular action triggers the DA. The more chains in the link, the less likely I am to buy that the DA turns case.
Framing: In general, utilitarianism and philosophy are kind of fake arguments and I’ll tend to vote on K responses to those arguments, but I do still enjoy a good phil v. phil debate and can follow most phil as long as it’s clearly articulated outside of case.
Teja Vepa Paradigm
Update for Voices / LD Oct 2018:
I coach Policy debate at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA. It has been a while since I have judged LD. I tend to do it once a or twice a year.
You do you: I've been involved in judging debate for over 10 years, so please just do whatever you would like to do with the round. I am familiar with the literature base of most postmodern K authors, but I have not recently studied classical /enlightenment philosophers.
It's okay to read Disads: I'm very happy to judge a debate involving a plan, DAs and counter-plans with no Ks involved as well. Just because I coach at a school that runs the K a lot doesn't mean that's the only type of argument I like / respect / am interested in.
Framework: I am open to "traditional" and "non-traditional" frameworks. Whether your want the round to be whole res, plan focused, or performative is fine with me. If there's a plan, I default to being a policymaker unless told otherwise.
Theory: I get it - you don't have a 2AC so sometimes it's all or nothing. I don't like resolving these debates. You won't like me resolving these debates. If you must go for theory, please make sure you are creating the right interpretation/violation. I find many LD debaters correctly identify that cheating has occurred, but are unable to identify in what way. I tend to lean education over fairness if they're not weighed by the debaters.
LD Things I don't Understand: If the Aff doesn't read a plan, and the Neg reads a CP, you may not be satisfied with how my decision comes out - I don't have a default understanding of this situation which I hear is possible in LD.
Other thoughts: Condo is probably a bad thing in LD.
Update for Jack Howe / Policy Sep 2018: (Sep 20, 2018 at 9:28 PM)
Please use the link below to access my paradigm. RIP Wikispaces.
Nick Weir Paradigm
I debated for 5 years on both the Local/National level (2012-2017) for Saint Thomas Academy, a small school in Minnesota. I was never super successful at a debater, but held my own in rounds with top debaters. That being said I haven’t debated in awhile so I’m sure my flowing/understanding of speed has regressed. If you’re going too fast for me, but you’re still being clear i’ll say slow. However, if you’re being unclear i’ll say clear once and then after that im docking speaks.
IMPORTANT: Debate was a really fun, educational space for me. Because of this I will make a major effort to be as inclusive as I can be of all arguments and styles (besides morally reprehensible arguments). Additionally, if I ever see a debater attempting to run someone out of a round (like for example a debater with bids going top speed against a novice) I will be really upset, and if it’s egregious I will drop you. Bottom Line is that I want you to give the other person the respect and dignity they deserve as a human being. We’re all trying to learn, get better, and have fun. Too many people are pushed out of this activity, and as a community we need to step and do better.
LARP: I’m good with pretty much all policy style arguments, but that being said if you go too technical you have a chance of losing me.
Critical: If you need a more in depth explanation on this check Nick Smith’s paradigm. But the basics are I enjoy good critical debate, but really prefer original, creative, and topical positions (easiest way to get good speaks if done well). I will vote for non-topical Affs, but have a high threshold for Affs that aren’t even loosely topical. Explaining your alternative is going to be very key for me to vote on this style of argument. I think High theory can be really cool and interesting, but I am really not well read on this type of debate and will need in depth explanations.
I enjoy a good T debate with layering, and weighing, but I think it is oftenly sort of just thrown in these days as an extra layer to just bog down the opponent. Feel free to go as technical as you would like on this type of debate, but develop your arguments and don't blip storm. This was the style I was best at, and I think I understand technical arguments very well. If you’re trying to use this strategy to circumvent the debate just know im gunna have a hard time voting for that. That being said I have seen a bunch of high level theory debates that engage and weigh extremely well. I realize that a lot of theory debate is just recycled, and will know if you’re just reading from a back-file. I’d much rather prefer shells that are tailored to what is going on in the round. Im default competing interps/drop the arg/RVIs, but can be persuaded. If the abuse story is weak, i’ll probably give more weight to the other debater’s args. Don’t do a blip storm or any arguments that are one sentence and win you the round. That doesn’t show that you are the better debater. If I don't flow a warrant Im not voting on it.
Phil: I understand all stock frameworks, but am not extremely well read in Philosophy. Give me clear warrants, and explanations and you'll do well in this style of debate. Also, tell me how you want me to evaluate the round whether that is VC, ROB, etc. Please don't go for the value debate.
I will strong default to comparative worlds, but can be persuaded with well warranted and clear explanations.
Disclosure: Early in my career I wasn’t down to disclose at all, but Bennett Eckert showed me the light, and I share very similar opinions to him. It would be a uphill battle to convince me not to vote on disclosure theory unless 1) They didn’t disclose either 2) and it’s being used against an obviously less experienced debater. “The affirmative must tell the negative what the aff is before the debate, unless it is a new aff. If it is a new aff, the affirmative does not have to tell the negative what the aff is/what the advantages are/what the advocacy text is/anything. All they need to say is 'new aff.'" ~ Varad Agarwala. If your team policy requires non-disclosure please don’t pref me, and even consider striking me.
Things I wont vote on:
Morally reprehensible args
Args that attack other debater personally
Scott Wheeler Paradigm
1. Offense-defense, but can be persuaded by reasonability in theory debates. I don't believe in "zero risk" or "terminal defense" and don't vote on presumption (though technically i guess I do in debates where the aff goes for "perm do the CP" and wins that it isn't severance, but not in any other instance).
2. I'll submit the ballot that is most persuasive to me, and will try to think through the story of each ballot before choosing (of course, in good debates, that's what the final rebuttals do). I won't simply point to an argument on my flow and say "I voted on this," nor will my RFD lead with technical advice in lieu of an actual decision. Substantive questions are resolved probabilistically--only theoretical questions (e.g. is the perm severance, does the aff meet the interp) are resolved "yes/no," and will be done so with some unease, forced upon me by the logic of debate.
3. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true."
1. Conditionality bad is an uphill battle. I think it's good, and will be more convinced by the negative's arguments. I also don't think the number of advocacies really matters. Unless it was completely dropped, the winning 2AR on condo in front of me is one that explains why the way the negative's arguments were run together limited the ability of the aff to have offense on any sheet of paper.
2. I think of myself as aff-leaning in a lot of counterplan theory debates, but usually find myself giving the neg the counterplan anyway, generally because the aff fails to make the true arguments of why it was bad.
1. I don't think I evaluate these differently than anyone else, really. Perhaps the one exception is that I don't believe that the affirmative needs to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense. If uniqueness really shielded a link turn that much, it would also overwhelm the link. In general, I probably give more weight to the link and less weight to uniqueness.
2. On politics, I will probably ignore "intrinsicness" or "fiat solves the link" arguments, unless badly mishandled (like dropped through two speeches).
1. I like kritiks, provided two things are true: 1--there is a link. 2--the thesis of the K indicts the truth of the aff. If the K relies on framework to make the aff irrelevant, I start to like it a lot less (role of the ballot = roll of the eyes). I'm similarly annoyed by aff framework arguments against the K. The K itself answers any argument for why policymaking is all that matters (provided there's a link). I feel negative teams should explain why the affirmative advantages rest upon the assumptions they critique, and that the aff should defend those assumptions.
2. I think I'm less techincal than some judges in evaluating K debates. Something another judge might care about, like dropping "fiat is illusory," probably matters less to me (fiat is illusory specifically matters 0%). I also won't be as technical in evaluating theory on the perm as I would be in a counterplan debate (e.g. perm do both isn't severance just because the alt said "rejection" somewhere--the perm still includes the aff). The perm debate for me is really just the link turn debate. Generally, unless the aff impact turns the K, the link debate is everything.
3. Many of these debates seem to involve one team discussing a nuanced critique and the other side arguing "state bad" or "state good." Not surprisingly, I'm generally going to side with the team doing the former.
1. I usually vote neg in these debates, because the aff never has a defensible interp (to be honest, I think the current model might be what they want--these affs require a boogeyman to rail against). Some people seem to view these debates as a plan/counterplan debate where the 1AC is weighed against the "topical version of the aff." I don't subscribe to that view. The affirmative has to defend an interp. If I do vote aff, one of two things has happened. Most often, the aff successfully impact-turned the impacts the negative went for. The other time I vote aff is when the neg doesn't have an external impact--their offense is simply "we're the better version of the discussion you want to have." In those debates, "TVA doesn't solve" does become offense against their interp.
2. I've noticed that some judges tend to dismiss T impacts that I take seriously. I've seen this with not just fairness, which I think is the truest T impact, but others run less often (like "moral hazzard") that were in the 2NR and then not in the RFD at all. I think a lot of things can be impacts to T, so aff teams might want to spend more time on them.
3. To be honest, I enjoy judging K affs with plans, and wish teams ran them more. With judges voting on nonsense like PIC out of fiat and Schlag, I can see why teams don't. And of course you also still have to answer politics/util and regular T (which you might not be used to debating), but I think those are pretty doable and you'd be in better shape in front of me if you are a team that is at all flexible.
Versus the K:
1. Affs are in much better shape here because, for me, it's not up for debate whether planless affs get to perm. They do. I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why there is such a thing as a "methods debate" for which theories of debate competition no longer apply. If the negative has a better methodology or starting point, I will vote aff, provided the aff methodology or starting point is good. I wouldn't vote for a counterplan that solves warming better than the aff without a link to a disad, and I don't believe competition theory goes out the window because it's a performance aff. If the aff doesn't get a perm, there's no reason the neg would have to have a link.
Topicality versus plan affs:
1. I used to enjoy these debates. It seems like I'm voting on T less often than I used to, but I also feel like I'm seeing T debated well less often. I enjoy it when the 2NC takes T and it's well-developed and it feels like a solid option out of the block. What I enjoy less is when it isn't but the 2NR goes for it as a hail mary and the whole debate occurs in the last two speeches.
2. Teams overestimate the importance of "reasonability." Winning reasonability shifts the burden to the negative--it doesn't mean that any risk of defense on means the T sheet of paper is thrown away. It generally only changes who wins in a debate where the aff's counter-interp solves for most of the neg offense but doesn't have good offense against the neg's interp.
1. I've been judging LD less, but I still have LD students, so my familarity with the topic will be greater than what is reflected in my judging history.
2. Everything in the policy section applies. This includes the part about substantive arguments being resolved probablistically, my dislike of relying on framework to preclude arguments, and not voting on defense or presumption. If this radically affects your ability to read the arguments you like to read, you know what to do.
3. If I haven't judged you or your debaters in a while, I think I vote on theory less often than I did say three years ago (and I might have already been on that side of the spectrum by LD standards, but I'm not sure). I've still never voted on an RVI so that hasn't changed.
4. The 1AR can skip the part of the speech where they "extend offense" and just start with the actual 1AR.
Addie Wilson Paradigm
add me to the email chain pls: email@example.com
i am very short and am often confused for a high school child. yes I am your judge.
Who I am:
Denver East/Denver Independent '17
UC Berkeley '21
I personally never cared about this kind of stuff as a debater, but in case you do—I debated three years of high school, made it to the TOC and broke at almost every national tournament I went to (almost entirely as an independent entry so small schools, I feel you).
tldr: if you're wondering if you can read *x* argument in front of me, the answer is yes. I am familiar with and have read K literature, the politics DA, performance, framework, counterplans, high theory, heg good affs, etc. don't tailor your argument to fit what you think I want to hear. do what you're good at and explain your arguments well and there won't be any problems.
in terms of speaking—despite spreading, I believe debate is still an exercise in persuasion and public speaking. look at me! make jokes! be charismatic! make fun of the other team's arguments/yourself/people I know!
do what u want. ideally, your aff should be somehow related to the topic. however, if you are able to convince me that you deserve to win with an aff that is as untopical as some of the nonsense I read in high school, I'll still vote for you. but don't assume I'm familiar with the theory you're reading—trying to confuse the other team with big words that you never explain will not help you. I will hold you to a very high threshold when it comes to answering framework because this is an argument that you ABSOLUTELY need to have good answers to if you are choosing to read a K aff. On the immigration topic specifically, be sure you have excellent answers to topical version of the aff as I foresee these arguments being very persuasive. if you chose to advocate something (which you probably should), tell me what it is and why it matters. tell me what my ballot means. too often the actual aff gets lost in clash of civ debates and I hate when the 2AR is nothing but "framework bad".
while my arguments in high school rarely ever included framework, I answered it almost every aff round. this means that despite my personal history, I have a good understanding of and appreciation for FW debates. as a judge, my perspective on FW debaets has evolved consierably from when i was a debater. you are on the side of truth—use it. read specific interpretations and topical versions of the aff. tell me specifically what about the aff is unfair/abusive. HOW DOES THE AFFIRMATIVE ACCOUNT FOR THE FACT THAT DEBATE IS A COMPETITIVE ACTIVITY WITH A WINNER AND A LOSER. the one thing I hate about FW debates is when they have nothing to do with the aff itself. that being said, I love judging FW debates. a lot.
yes!!!! I like Ks. read them well. this includes going very in-depth with the link debate in the block (and actually answering the answers made to your links—not reading the link wall your senior wrote for you), articulating your alternative well, explaining the relationship between the squo/the world of the aff/the world of the alt, a strong link debate, and most importantly: clear, developed framework that tells me how I should evaluate the round and what my ballot means in terms of the K. oh and did I mention links? *side note* if you're reading a K your coach just threw at you moments before the round because you think I'm a K hack and I'll like it better than a policy arg, don't. I will be sad.
I decided to add this here after some thought, and my goal is not to offend anyone with this section. please be careful when reading language/rhetoric Ks in front of me (ex. "you guys"/ableist rhetoric). unless the K is either connected to the argument you are reading or genuinely comes from a place of passion and desire to improve debate, please don't read it. a simple call out during CX should suffice and is often a more effective way of changing this kind of speech. obviously I will deal with any egregiously offensive language. but if the team you are debating unintentionally lets slip a word that carries offensive connotations to a certain group—this should not be treated as an instant ballot for you. it is an opportunity to educate and should be handled as such. if you have questions feel free to ask me :)
Affs v. Ks:
pretty much the inverse of my stance on Ks. attack each and every link, point out flaws in the alternative, tell me why the aff is better than both the squo and the alt, and make good framing args. the key to winning against the K with a policy aff most often lies on the framework flow. for critical affs against the K- articulate and execute the permutation if you have one.
yep. compare and explain your definitions/interpretations and tell me why they're better. if you want me to vote on T, tell me why I should. attach your interpretation specifically to the topic and the necessity to exclude THIS aff in particular.
I love them!!! good CP debates that clash over solvency and perms are some of the most exciting. I don't have any particular stance on CP theory except for I think the neg should probably get to read them. the CP should be both textually and functionally competitive. I will listen to it and vote for it even if its not, but it should be. disads are great by themselves but are best when paired with a more offensive argument in the 2NR. specific links will get you far.
ugh. I have been in many of them myself so I do understand why it happens, but 2ARs on nothing but theory are the worst. that being said, if the neg is trying to read a CP that steals your aff, PLEASE call them out on it. I don't air a certain way on any theory arguments, however I believe they are almost never reasons to reject the team. the only thing important to me is that you contextualize all of the arguments you are making to what is happening in the round. I DESPISE people just spreading their theory blocks at each other with no actual analysis or clash.
I think evidence is a tool, not a weapon, and blanket extension of cards without talking about their contents doesn't make an argument. Use evidence to support arguments, not to make them. That said, unevidenced, but well reasoned arguments are good. I'm for it! I don't think only cards can be evidence; a good story, poem, allegory, song, dance, whatever, could be evidence too. Of course, cards can beat non-traditional evidence also.
Things I think are rules of debate:
tech > truth
you cannot clip cards
you must flash/show your evidence to your opponents
you cannot text or communicate otherwise with anyone who is not your partner during the round
you cannot steal prep
debater-directed sexist/racist/prejudiced speech or behavior is never acceptable
Things I do not think are rules of debate:
whether or not you are topical
using the internet to look up what the hell that weird K word means (is ok)
being nice to your opponents (tho you will lose speaker points)
being nice to me (tho I'll like you more if you are)
what you choose to do with your speech/prep time