Charlie Clark ParadigmLast changed 11/9 9:45P CDT
School Affiliation: Policy Debate Coach - Jefferson City High School
College: UW-Oshkosh (Outrounds/speaker awards at most regional tournaments and doubles of CEDA)
Experience: 12 years in the activity: 3 years high school; 4 years college; 7 years coaching (KC Central, Olathe North, Blue Valley West, and Marquette University High School (DOD))
Rounds Judged on Topic: 3
I'll preface everything by indicating that I'm from the "do what you want" camp. However, since the community wants us to have some guidelines to our philosophy, here they are:
T – I think it’s pretty important, especially on topics where the resolution has words that aren’t very static with their definition. I tend to give a little more weight to education arguments than fairness arguments, unless there is a good limits argument made in the debate. I very much believe that T debates need to be framed to say what arguments are/aren't allowed under each team's interpretation and why that is good/bad. I also think that competing interpretations is the best way to evaluate T. I'm somewhat sympathetic to a variety of T arguments on this topic, so don't be afraid to go for it in the 2NR if you feel that you're ahead on it.
Theory – I'm usually more sympathetic to aff teams on conditionality in the instance that the neg reads 3 or more conditional advocacies. I also believe that certain CP's are abusive (word PICs, consult, conditions), but I'm willing to listen to them. Another argument that I've become more receptive to has been floating PIKs bad, particularly because of the amount of abuse that occurs late in the debates. However, on most other issues I tend to err neg for the sake of having debates about substantive issues. I tend to prefer functional competition over textual competition. Lastly, I usually err to reject the argument, not the team unless there is a very good reason to do otherwise.
K’s – I'm pretty comfortable with the K and usually judge a lot of "clash of civilization" debates. While I'm not completely immersed in all K authors (namely Baudrillard and Deleuze), I'm still familiar enough to adequately evaluate the round. If the alternative doesn't solve itself, I often find myself voting aff. I, like many others, believe that the neg gets the right to the K. Also, I don't necessarily enjoy listening to framework debates against K aff's. I would much rather prefer that you engage their advocacy/argument. However, if there lacks a stable advocacy in the 1AC and the neg cannot get any links off of it, I'm more inclined to listen to framework. At the end of these debates, the team that is winning the framing of the debate is usually the one that wins the round. Another thing to note is that in K vs. K rounds, I usually find myself voting for the team that wins the direction of the internal links. If that is the locus of your strategy in these debates, you're doing something right.
Performance - I think that you need to have some form of an advocacy that at least affirms the direction of the topic. I still have yet to see many of these debates, so I'm not quite sure how I would evaluate the performance aspect of it, unless it is accompanied by some decent justifications in the 1AC/1NC.
CP’s –All of the theory questions are above. I tend to err neg on the question of CP solvency in the world that the aff doesn't have a DA to the CP or solvency deficit. Also, in the world of the neg PIC'ing out of a portion of the plan, you must have some form of a solvency deficit or I will probably give full weight to the net benefit. Further, I believe that a CP should have a solvency advocate so that we can prevent some of these ridiculous CP text/no evidence arguments. I would say that I prefer these debates more than K debates.
DA’s – Once again, I enjoy these debate more than K debates. On politics, I also tend to give a bit more weight to impact defense than some judges and will not vote because "risk of a link" was uttered by the neg. You usually need to have a fairly convincing link story to easily win these debates. However, when combined with an effective CP or case defense, both of those issues become less important. I am also a huge fan of overviews that explain how the DA turns the case, or creates a solvency deficit for the aff.
Speaks - Since I have to transition between judging Missouri tournaments and national circuit tournaments, I find that my speaker points tend to fluctuate a bit. However, here's a basic outline of what I give out:
30 - not happening unless its the best speech that I've ever heard
29.5-29.9 - You should be winning top speaker at most high school tournaments
29-29.4 - You're really good and should be getting a top five speaker award
28.5-28.9 - Still pretty good and should probably be getting a speaker award
28-28.4 - My most common area. You're above average and should probably break at the tournament.
27.5-27.9 - You're average.
27-27.4 - You need improvement and are probably in the wrong division.
26-26.9 - You either really messed up the debate, or made me angry
0 - You did something that needed to be punished (I've given this out twice).
Closing notes – This philosophy is just a basic guideline to my thought process in evaluating debates. In reality, you can run whatever you want, as long as you have a defense of it. The main question I try to answer at the end of these debates is "who does the most good?". If you're on the right side of that argument, you're probably going to win the round. Also important to note, this activity is supposed to be academic and professional. This means that you should not be rude to each other. When people do that, it honestly makes the judge feel awkward and very likely to vote against you. For overviews, make them mean something i.e. explain the implications of the argument and then in the rebuttles use it to isolate very important arguments that you happen to be winning. To close, make sure that you have fun in the round, which means have some jokes and lighten up the mood in the room.