I am a first year debate coach and I did debate in high school.
Paradigm-I will default to policy making if debaters don't specifically put me into another way to evaluate the debate. I tend to default to truth over tech. I want debaters to clash with each other's arguments. I have come to despise debates where both sides read pre-prepared blocks through the 1AR, and the arguments never actually interact, and I've seen some, supposedly, very "good" teams do that very thing.
You should probably watch me for feedback. I don't hide reactions very well...
I really want the 2NR and 2AR to tell me their stories. If you choose not to do that, I will absolutely sort the debate out for you, but then you don't get to complain about the decision. It's your job to frame the round for me. If you don't, you force me to intervene.
Speed- I really like a quick debate, but I don't get to see those as much as I used to, so if you are incredibly fast, you may want to watch me a bit to see if I'm keeping up. You'll be able to tell. I also find that I can flow much faster rate if you are making tonal differences between tags and evidence. It also helps if your tags are not a full paragraph in length...
I will sometimes ask for a flash of the 1AC and 1NC after the speeches to fill in my flow. I only do this if I need it because I missed things. It does frustrate me when debaters assume that I can’t take speed because of how long I’ve been in the activity.
Style- I suspect that even adding this section makes me sound old, but these things matter to me:
I still think that persuasiveness matters- especially in CX and rebuttals. It's still a communication activity.
Professionalism also matters to me. I will (and have) intervened in a round and used the ballot to help a debater or a team understand that there are boundaries to the way you should interact with your opponents. This includes abusive or personally attacking language, attitude and tone. At minimum, it will cost you speaker ranks and points. To quote paraphrase a friend, I'll use my "educator pen" to help teach professionalism.
When everyone is in the room, I want to start the debate. I am not fan of everyone arriving, asking me some clarifying questions, disclosing arguments to each other, and then taking another 10-20 minutes before we begin.
Prep time/Flash time- I kind of despise prep time thieves, and I think that flashing evidence has allowed that practice to explode. If you say "I'm up", and then continue typing, that's prep. I will be reasonable about flash time, in terms of moving the files between teams, but sharing it with your partner is part of your prep. You need to be reasonable, here, too. Again, this will affect speaker points and ranks.
CX- open CX is fine. In fact, I think it often makes for a better debate. That being said, if one partner does all the asking and answering, that debater is sending a pretty important, negative message to me about how much his/her colleague is valued.
Disadvantages- Like I said, I'm a policy maker. I vote on the way that advantages and disadvantages interact more than I vote on anything else. I don't mind generic DAs, but I prefer that Neg take the time to articulate a specific link. I'm also a big fan of turns from the affirmative (or from the negative on advantages). I really enjoy a case specific DA, but they just don't happen very often. I like buried 1NC links that blow up into impacts in the block. I like impact extension/blow up in the block. I am not a fan of brand new full offensive positions in the 2NC.
Critical arguments- I don't mind a critical debate, but I think that needs to be more than "Aff links, so they lose". Critiques need to have a real, evidenced, articulated justification for my vote- either a clear alternative, or some other reason that the argument is enough to win the debate. I am willing to entertain both real world and policy level implications of the criticism. It is really important that you give me the framing for these arguments, and, specifically explain why the argument warrants my ballot. I am not well read in very much of the critical literature, so it will be important for you to explain things pretty clearly. As with other arguments, I'm pretty willing to listen to turns on these arguments.
In terms of critical affs, I believe that aff should have a plan text, and that plan text should be topical. It's a big hurdle for the affirmative if they don't start there. That being said, I am perfectly ok with critical advantage stories. Again- framing matters.
Topicality: I will vote on T, I don’t think the 2NR has to go all in to win it. I believe topicality is, first and foremost, an argument about fairness, and I think that it’s an important mechanism for narrowing the topic.
Kritiks: Sure. Win the argument. I prefer more tangible alternatives rather than reject the team. I also think you should not assume that I know and/or understand your literature (Unless it’s Fem/Fem IR). You need to explain the literature and clearly articulate the impact and alternative and win the debate on how this matters. Critical Aff’s are fine too.
DA’s/Adv/Turns: Please utilize turns. I grant some risk to weak link stories. Make sure you still do the work and answer all levels. Impact Calc. is crucial.