Ryan McFarland ParadigmLast changed 9/22 8:11A CDT
Debated at KCKCC and Wichita State
Two years of coaching at Wichita State, 3 years at Hutchinson High School in Kansas, two years at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, now at Blue Valley Southwest.
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***Virtual debate*** My rant below still applies, and is probably magnified in a world of online debating. Mic quality is bad. Internet connections fluctuate which could randomly drop the quality of the sound. Keep in the mind the format that you are debating in. This is not the time for going full speed. Slow down. Be clear. Enunciate. If you fail to do those things and I don't catch arguments because of the sound quality, you will likely lose.
I have become increasingly frustrated at the recent debate trend where debaters just read pre-prepared blocks straight from their laptop at full speed with little contextualization to the arguments the other team is making. That frustration is magnified when the 2AR/2NR re-reads things from earlier speeches, at the same speed, while still not contextualizing those arguments to the other team. I appreciate debaters who debate from their flow and use their computers for reading evidence. Three things you should take away from this;
1. you could technically be winning a debate, but if I don't believe that you have clashed with the arguments presented by the other team, I will likely vote against you. Clash is not "they said perm, so insert generic perm 2NC block here". Clash is directly answering the nuances made by the other team.
2. I'm fairly expressive. I'm not going to say clear or tell you to slow down. If you think reading full speed in the 2NR/2AR is how you can convince me to vote for you, you're mistaken. If I'm not able to process the arguments you are making because you are reading full, card speed during a rebuttal, I'm not going to vote for you. I will either miss important things you want me to vote on, or I will spend my energy trying to make sure I can keep up with everything and not think about the arguments.
3. When I've given low speaker points in the last two years, it was because the things that I have mentioned above.
K v. FW - I'm pretty open to most arguments in the debate, but I will be up front and say that I believe the topic is good and important. This is not to say that I will never vote for a critical affirmative, but I am ideologically on the side of debating the topic is a good idea. With that said, I'm probably split pretty much down the middle on my voting record when it comes to K aff vs Framework. Most of the time when I have voted negative its because the affirmative does not adequately deal with the topical version of the aff. When I vote affirmative its because the negative spends most of its time establishing a link, but very little impact explanation and comparison. I do think that fairness is an impact, and don't find arguments about framework creating actual violence against people persuasive.
I don't find "debate bad" arguments persuasive. I've coached teams to say these things, but still don't find them valuable.
DA v. soft left aff - I don't think I've ever voted on the framing page takes out 100% of the disad. I've seen plenty of teams think that because they've read a framing page they don't need to engage the components of the DA and that will always be a losing strategy. Having specific critiques of disadvantages is more compelling to me. Likewise, negative teams reading a bunch of extinction first, util cards and generically extending them does little for me.
K's on the neg - I'm better for K arguments on the negative than K affirmatives. I might expect more link contextualization than some judges. I don't have a problem voting affirmative if I don't believe you have explained a link that makes sense with the aff.
An affirmative saying "duh" to "fiat isn't real" is sufficient, but you still need to defend your method of policy making.
Other things - I default to competing interpretations on topicality and other theoretical arguments. Conditionality is good but will vote on theory if it's well developed. Read disadvantages and counterplans. Case debate is underutilized and will increase your speaker points.
Judge kick - no idea why affirmatives just let negative teams get away with this. It forces the affirmative to give two different 2ARs. I'm not saying I'll just wholesale reject this, but affirmatives should get smarter.
I appreciate multi-plank counterplans that have some evidentiary support for all planks. I don't appreciate multi-plank counterplans that are used to fiat out of solvency deficits or offensive arguments.
More than 5 off case arguments - bad strategy. Makes me grumpy. Lowers your speaker points. Reading a bunch of bad arguments for the sake of reading more arguments is a bad debate trend.
Stop being scared of going for theory against cheating arguments.
Clipping is cheating no matter the intent.
I won't read or flow your inserted re-highlighting.