Chris Palmer Paradigm

Last changed 16 January 2021 7:03 AM EDT

Tabroom.com is mostly my fault. Therefore I'm out of the active coaching game, but occasionally will stick myself on a pref sheet as a free strike so I can judge in an emergency.

My history in the activity includes competing in parliamentary debate and extemp, coaching and judging a lot of extemp, PF, LD and some other IEs, policy and congress along the way. I've coached both champs and people who are lucky to win rounds, and respect both. I coached at Milton Academy, Newton South HS and Lexington HS in that order.

All: Racist, ableist, sexist, trans- or homophobic, or other directly exclusionary language and conduct is an auto-loss. Debate the debates, not the debater. I will apply my own standards/judgment, it's the only way I can enforce it.

Policy & LD: I'm not active but do regularly watch debates. I'm OK with your speed but not topic specific jargon. Be slower for tags and author names. If you're losing me I'll say clear a couple times, but eventually will give up flowing and you won't like what happens next. I won't lean on the docs to catch up and have zero shame in saying "I didn't get it so I didn't vote for it." If I don't understand it until the 2N/2AR I consider it new in the 2.

LD: I did a lot of LD in the late 90s until the mid 2000s, then mostly stopped, then started again at Lex and coached them for about eight years. So I'm comfy with both older-school framework debates and the LARP/policy arguments my kids mostly ran.

My threshold on theory tends to be high; dumb theory debates are part of why I stopped coaching LD. I wrote an article that people still card about how theory should be relegated to actual norm creation instead of tactical wins -- though if you card me as an attempt to flatter instead of actually understanding the point, I will probably be cross.

I also dislike debates about out of round conduct or issues. I can't judge based on anything that I did not see, such as disclosure theory, pre-round shenanigans, or "he said last debate that he'd do X and he didn't." I also will take a dim view towards post-rounding that crosses from questions into a 3AR/3NR and will adjust points to reflect that.

Don't tell me that the tab room won't let me do that. I can always do that.

K: I am sympathetic to K debate and its aims, and will frequently vote for it if it makes sense in the round, but Ks get no more gimme wins from me than any other argument. If it doesn't link or I don't get the impact or the alt sounds like we're supposed to stop all the world's troubles by singing campfire songs you'll probably lose.

I take a dim view on the type of K or identity debates that demand disclosure of identity from anyone in the room. I'm part of the LGBTQ spectrum, and when I was competing, I could not disclose that without risk to myself. I therefore flinch reflexively if you seem to demand to know anyone's place on various identity spectrums as the price of winning a debate. A place in debate should not be at the cost of their privacy.

That said, if you put your own identity in the round you therefore risk your identity being debated. Don't try to run a K and then call no tag-backs if someone tries to answer your stuff with your stuff.

Policy: I have less background in your activity than I do in LD. So I know the general outlines fine, as the events have converged, but I'm definitely going to need you to slow down just a titch especially if you're running the type of policy args that haven't crossed as much into LD, like T debates or specific theory/condo stuff. I'm very much not a fan of the politics debate and will have a very low threshold on no-link args, since I tend to believe politics almost never links anyway.

Also see the K section under LD.

PF: I mostly enjoy PF rounds and coached it as my only debate event for about 4 years at Newton South. I don't sneer at it like a lot of coaches from the LD/Policyverse might. However, there are a few things I really dislike that proliferate in PF.

1) Evidence shenanigans between speeches. Have your evidence ready for your opponent to read/review immediately. Your partner can create a doc while you speak, for crying out loud. If you fumble around with it and can't get your act together, you'll see your speaks dropping.

2) Evidence shenanigans during speeches. Look, PF speeches are short. I get it. But ultimately the decisions as to whether you're abusing evidence are mine to make and I will make them. Don't fabricate, make up, or infer things your evidence doesn't say because I will read and check anything that sounds suspicious to me, or your opponents call out. This includes PF Math™: taking numbers out of your ev and combining them in ways the author did not. I read a lot of news so the likelihood I know when you're making it up is rather high.

3) Good God most crossfires, especially the free-for-all at the end, make me want to stab my ears out. Here's where I import prejudices from LD and policy more than anything: cross is about setting up arguments and confirming things, not trying to corner and AHA! your opponents or sneaking in a third contention. Set up arguments, don't make them. If you try to extend something out of cross, that's not going to go well for you. If you are an obnoxious talking-show nitwit, that's REALLY not going to go well for you.

4) If you're playing the game of "Look How Circuit I Can Be Mr Policy/LD Judge!" and your opponent has zero idea of what's going on, I'm not impressed. Debate is engagement, and giving your opponent no chance to engage by design is pretty much an auto-loss in my book. That does not mean you should shy away from creative arguments. It means you must explain them so that everyone in the room can be expected to understand and engage with them as long as they're trying to.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2021-01-29 PEL TGP Glenbrook South MJ Bellarmine HM Neg Neg 11-4
Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention and Tournament C 2019-03-20 NP-O R1 Grove City BT Texas State SW Gov
John Edie Holiday Debates Hosted by The Blake School HS 2018-12-14 WSDC Semis St. Croix Prep GPA Team USA D-Team Yellow Neg Neg 3-0
King Round Robin HS 2018-03-23 LDRR R4 Harrison LC Harvard-Westlake VC Aff
King Round Robin HS 2018-03-23 LDRR R3 Harvard-Westlake VC Westwood RM Neg Neg 2-0
Canadian National Debate Championships HS 2017-04-20 JUN R2 SK7 BC12 Prop Prop 2-1
Electric City Debates MS 2015-12-03 Open Semifi Pace FM Edgemont JM Neg Aff 2-1
Heart of Texas Invitational HS 2015-10-16 LD Double Peninsula IG Dulles NB Aff Aff 2-1
Heart of Texas Invitational HS 2015-10-16 LD Round Harker KQ Greenhill VA Neg
Heart of Texas Invitational HS 2015-10-16 LD Round Meadows LS Peninsula KK Aff
Heart of Texas Invitational HS 2015-10-16 LD Round Dulles NB Meadows KB Neg
Heart of Texas Invitational HS 2015-10-16 LD Round Reagan NP Colleyville Heritage MS Aff
Tournament of Champions HS 2015-04-25 LD Fin University DB Harker PR Aff Neg 2-1
Collegiate Round Robin HS 2013-09-07 LD R2 TJ Foley Adam Tomasi Neg Neg 2-0
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD Dubs ScarsdMM MarlboDD Neg Neg 2-1
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD 5 MarlboDD TimothAM Neg
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD 4 Bronx BA NFA VB Neg
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD 4 ScarsdRG TimothDL Aff
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD R3 MontclBW StuyveMK Neg
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD R2 StuyveJA ScarsdMB Neg
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD R2 Bronx JV MillbuSL Neg
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD R1 PrinceCP Bronx CL Aff
The 2012 Ridge Debates HS 2012-12-07 VLD R1 LivingJX NFA AS Aff