The optimist boldly claims, "this is the best possible world". The pessimist retorts, "that is exactly the problem."
I'm a former varsity debater from Heights High School. I go by "Tavia" or "Via", and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I'm a freshman in college, and this is my seventh year in debate, consisting of two years in middle school and four years in high school with Heights. I debated exclusively Policy (CX) in high school, so I will likely recognize those arguments more often than those from other forms of debate. I have some knowledge of LD and can typically follow LD rounds well, but be careful with LD-specific arguments and shorthand, as I likely don't know them all. As long as you elaborate and explain well, you should be fine. The same goes for those debating PF. When it comes to worlds, I have very little experience. I've judged worlds before, but I likely won't know the topic.
I'm Tab. You can read just about anything. Non-traditional affs are fine. Explain Ks well and don't use buzzwords. DAs are fine. If you read T or Theory, have all parts of the shell, including the implication. I won't know LD specific shorthand, including the common arguments in most RVI debates, but you can run RVIs as long as you explain well. CPs and alts should be competitive. PLEASE weigh and do the work on framing. For anything more specific look below.
Rounds you want me judging
- rounds with performative, narrative, and/or identity affs (including good, CLEAR K v K and K v T-FW debates)
- policy rounds
- clear/basic or well-explained K rounds
Rounds you probably don't want me judging
- heavy/uncomprehensible/convoluted K lit without explanations and with a lot of buzzwords
- Mach 10 (faster than the speed of light) RVI heavy theory rounds
- K v K rounds that are dense and require extensive previous knowledge about the literature
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Speechdrop is fine too. I prefer these two methods to flash, but if all you have is a flash, then that's fine.
In a world where debate is virtual and technological discrepancies exist, having a speech doc is more important than usual. Please make your speech docs organized and easy to navigate. Don't forget to signpost either. Great docs + great signposting = anywhere from .2 to .5 extra speaks.
I'm okay with both Open CX and Flex Prep, but if CX is open, I'd like to see everyone participate throughout all of the CXs. The 60-40 rule is probably a good threshold for the involvement of the assigned speaker. Both partners should ask and answer questions. Also, if you choose to use flex prep, the other team doesn't have to answer your question; it's up to that team or debater.
I don't count flashing (or emailing) as prep, but don't steal prep time by prepping while flashing. If you try to steal prep, I'll likely start running your time until you stop prepping. Also, if you're taking too long to email or flash a file (over 1-2 minutes) and you aren't having technical difficulties, I'll likely start prep until you finish.
I'm a tab judge. I won't hack against any arguments, and I don't really have any argument preferences. I can be either truth over tech or tech over truth, depending on the situation, but I tend to lean towards tech > truth, so be aware of that. Which one SHOULD I be? Idk. You tell me. With that said, analytics STILL have to be answered. They are arguments, and they should be warranted.
"My partner will answer that in the next speech" is NOT a CX answer, and if you use it I'll doc you .1 speaks.
Maybe let's try not to read difficult Ks against first-years/novices early in the season. If you do, explain it VERY well. If you're rude about it, I'll doc anywhere from .5 to 1 speaks.
My range is typically 27-30. Speaks in the 26-26.9 range will be awarded very rarely and only if the above standards are met. Anything below 26 means you did something problematic, and it's possible I will end the round there if it is extreme enough. I will not tolerate rhetoric that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, islamophobic, etc. If you justify racism good, sexism good, etc., your speaks will reflect that, and so will the ballot. So don't.
Speed is fine. My speed threshold is probably around 7/10. However, as I've not judged much this year, it might be smart to start at a 5 or 6 and work your way up. If you're spreading, SLOW DOWN AND ENUNCIATE FOR TAGS AND AUTHOR NAMES. You don't need to drop to a conversational speed, but I should have no trouble understanding either of these things. I will call clear, slow, or louder only if I think it's necessary, so don't ignore them if you hear them. I will only call them twice. I won't call them beyond that because you clearly aren't listening. Your response, or lack thereof, will be reflected in your speaks. If I can't hear or understand you, then your speaks will show that.
Signpost what flow you're on and where on the flow you are. Smart strategic choices and efficiency will be rewarded. Speed and efficiency are NOT the same thing, so be aware of that. If you choose to spread, don't use that as an excuse to sacrifice efficiency.
DAs- I have no problems with disadvantages, and I use them myself when I find them useful. It will help you if the DA has specific links and/or is the link is contextualized well. If you want to debate only disads as the neg, then you do you. But, please weigh and make impact calc arguments so I know why I should vote for the DA, and avoid DAs with unnecessarily long link chains because probability decreases as the link chain increases. Tell me why the DA is a voting issue, and why I vote neg.
CPs- Tell me why the CP is competitive (explain how the CP is better than the aff AND the perm). I have no reason to vote on a non-competitive CP. If a DA gives the CP a net benefit, then defend the DA. If you don't go for the DA but go for the CP, and the net benefit of the DA provides the CP competition, then the CP is no longer competitive. Be aware of whether or not your CP generates competition on its own. Know your CP well enough to know if it's competitive against the aff or not.
T- I'm okay with topicality. Please include all parts of the shell (interpretation, violation, standards, voters, and IMPLICATION). Why isn't the aff topical? What does an untopical aff mean for the round and/or for debate in general? (Why is topicality important?) Don't just read standards, justify them. What ground do you lose? How many possible affs are there in the world of the aff? All of these questions should be answered in your shell.
Theory- Most of this is the same as T, so look at that if what you need isn't here. I'm fine with theory, just make sure to include all parts of the shell (interpretation, violation, standards, voters, and IMPLICATION). If there's no implication, and it's pointed out, then I have no reason to vote on Theory. Tell me what the shell means and what effect it should have on the round. To my LDers out there: RVIs are fine. I don't have a predisposition to vote for or against them. So, if you want to read an RVI, then go for it. Just make sure you warrant the arguments you're making. Also, be aware that I may not know the usual arguments surrounding an RVI debate, so warrants are probably more important than usual. If your RVI arguments aren't in the doc, then it would be useful to slow down when you get there on the flow.
Framework/T-Framework- This is useful when determining which types of offense I need to evaluate. Which model of debate is best? Why should I only evaluate the offense that fits under your framework? If using T-FW against a K aff, tell me WHY I care about the topic, your interp of the topic, or your interp of debate. If the K aff says they can't access the education under your interp, tell me why/how they can. TVAs or alternatives to the aff never hurt. Why does the TVA solve the aff?
Framing- Framework is helpful when evaluating offense and weighing arguments. Overall, just make sure to justify the arguments you make here, and tell me how I should use it in the round. Why should I evaluate structural violence over nuke war? Why is generational violence weighed over extinction? Is util good? I don't know, you tell me.
Kritiks- I typically enjoy Ks. I think they have the capacity to be a lot of fun and address new, abstract ideas. Here's the catch: if you don't understand a K, DON'T RUN IT. And on a general note, if a K is bad, it probably shouldn't be run either. If you're using a generic link, contextualize it and explain to me why it links to the plan. Always explain your Ks, especially the alt. How am I supposed to know what the alt does and vote on it if you don't? If you're running a K, you probably know the literature, but I may not. In fact, I likely don't. Assume when running a K that I've never read or discussed the literature you're mentioning. This will improve the discussion within the round. If you're running convoluted Ks with complicated literature, I'm probably not the best judge for you. Ks that address changes in how we interact in the debate space are Ks that I rather enjoy, especially those that address issues (such as sexism, racism, patriarchy, transphobia, etc.) that are not only visible in the "real world" but are visible in the debate space as well. It's both fun and important to interact with others in this way and exchange experiences. I default to thinking the aff probably gets to weigh case unless you can provide a really good reason why they can't.
K Affs- Go for it. I will say, however, that it would be useful to read the K section above for general notes and such. I'm telling you now, I probably won't know the lit, and buzzwords won't change that. Be prepared to answer T-FW and neg Ks. Why is the education of the aff more important than that of the topic or the K?
Performance Affs- Yes, run it. I read performance during my senior year in high school debate, and I loved it. I especially enjoy performance affs that address the debate space as a whole. Debate bad affs are fine, but you should probably tell me how you plan to make it better. Justify why the performance matters and be ready to answer T, FW, Theory, etc. Prove why your model of debate is better and tell me why and how to vote for you. Utilize and weaponize your performance.
Other Non-traditional Affs- Sure, you do you. Debate bad affs are fine, but you should probably tell me how you plan to make it better. Planless and untopical affs are fine, but be prepared to answer whatever T, FW, or Theory the neg runs. Aff probably has to win their version of debate is better.