Sean Lavelle Paradigm

Last changed 11/5 8:50P EDT

Please add me to the email chain: sdlavelle14@gmail.com (see below)

My experience is 4 years of high school debate @ St. Ignatius (toc/state/local/allthecircuits), one year of college debate @ Michigan State, and 3 years of coaching experience @ St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland). I currently study political science @ Ohio State.

Tldr: you do you, fairly open to anything; clash, comparison, nuance, and impact calculus win debates; have fun, don’t cheat, and be engaged!

I will probably leave something out or not make something very clear. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ME. I’m still learning/absorbing a lot about the way that I judge, so my preferences aren't very concrete at the moment.

I try to let the debate play out and do my absolute best to let the debaters tell me how to evaluate the round. I’d think I’m fairly open to just about any argument one could make, as long as it’s relevance is well articulated and impacted out.

I place high value in the craft of the activity and debater’s engagement with the relevant arguments at stake. I guess this means the more interested and engaged you seem about the debate and your arguments, the more interested and engaged I will be. Debate is an amazing activity and it should be both fun and educational for everyone involved.

I ask for speech docs mostly for my post-round decision-making (instead of having to call for cards). I rarely will follow along ur speech doc (cuz its not your speech…) but I sometimes will refer to it if something peaks my interest, to follow certain cx threads, or if I suspect someone of clipping cards or other malpractice. I will not substitute any inferences or knowledge I happen to gain from reading your ev during the round for how the evidence and arguments are debated. I will make determinations about evidence quality if there is high-level of comparison/analysis done on ev by the debaters (or sadly, sometimes in the event that there is none of this and I have to decide myself).

Speed = # of arguments communicated per minute (not words per minute). Efficiency + clarity are important.

Tech > truth, but big-picture framing of the debate often dictates my ballot allot more than technical aspects of things like line-by-line.

I’m not strictly offense/defense minded, but that way of thinking does have some inevitability in my head. However, I do believe that it’s possible for something to have a risk of 0%, and a great defensive argument is better than a bad offensive argument.

I might (?) have a higher bar than other judges for what constitutes an “argument”. Short-blips, two-word buzzwords, etc. are things that I will likely either miss or not understand. I will not vote for an argument that I cannot explain back to you.

Politics/Generic DA: I’m a big fan of DAs with a high level of nuance, especially on the link/internal link story, that also implicate a lot of the affirmative. If you think you’re DA is “generic”, make sure to try to make sound more specific/unique to the aff (analysis on why your link/internal link ev would be true of the aff)… this is especially relevant to politics DAs. While I’m sad with the current state of politics DAs, I think it could be a wake-up call for teams to find and read more intricate and specific internal link/link stories.

Aff teams often foreclose opportunities to do some serious mitigation of DAs with well-thought out analytics, by instead choosing to just read more cards. That’s not always the best idea.

CPs: I’m a sucker for really well-thought out and strategic CPs, like certain PICs, advantage CPs, or well-researched mechanism CPs. That being said, I have a higher bar for CP competition. Not as good for CPs that result in the entirety of the affirmative (process/consult CPs). That instinct could easily be changed if the CP has a solvency advocate in the context of the affirmative (eg: if there is a process/or consultable actor that’s HIGHLY relevant to the affs plan or case)… but what a proper solvency advocate comprises is also debatable.

With regards to the states CP: I think its definitely legitimate negative ground and has lot’s of strategic utility, however, the more magic wands of fiat you have to use to get out of the aff’s solvency deficits the less inclined I am to buy its legitimacy. DO NOT READ THIS AS “don’t read a states CP with lot’s of planks to deal with different arguments”. This is about how you explain how the CP skirts through certain solvency deficits.

T/Theory: I think I’m a better judge than most for topicality, as long as you have a good argument and set a clear vision for the topic…. Why it’s a voting issue.. etc.. generally I default to competing interpretations, but can be persuaded otherwise.

Ks: I’ve become a lot better for the K since high school as I’ve delved into more of the literature/thought about the strategic utility of the K. However, that doesn’t mean you should assume I will understand your K. I’m better for Ks that have a high level of clash with the affirmative (the alt/impact level somehow implicates case). I think the aff should probably get to weigh the material effects of the plan. I also think I should be able to easily understand/conceptualize your alt.

Kritikal affirmatives: I think the affirmative team should generally have an advocacy/stable defense of SOMETHING, but I can certainly be persuaded that this does not require a ‘topical plan’. If you’re not a “topical discussion”, I’d like to at least hear a “discussion of the topic”.  The framework/topicality debate is something I’m pretty open with and can see both sides of the debate. For the neg going for framework/topicality arguments, I’m more persuaded by advocacy skills/solvency type arguments than procedural fairness questions. But again this is something that’s open for debate.

 

 

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 VCX R7 Montgomery Bell KJ Lexington FR Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 NCX R6 Niles West LN Glenbrook North KP Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 VCX R5 Glenbrook North CK H.H. Dow VB Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 VCX R4 Glenbrook South MJ Glenbrook North DS Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 VCX R3 Lexington BY Maine East PP Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 NCX R2 Niles West SK Glenbrook North OS Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/30/2019 VCX R1 Okemos LY Maine East ST Neg
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R9 X126 X151 Neg Aff on a 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R7 X135 X268 Aff Aff on a 3-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R6 X185 X131 Neg Neg on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R5 X218 X241 Neg Neg on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R4 X227 X243 Aff
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R2 X274 X140 Aff Aff on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2019 CX R1 X182 X249 Aff Aff on a 2-0
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R7 Stevens Point SK Walter Payton HP Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R6 Maine East PP University RV Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R5 Hawken GL McDowell SZ Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R4 Henry W Grady NW Hawken TZ Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R3 Mamaroneck CL Niles West PS Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R2 Mamaroneck MM Little Rock Central GL Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/24/2018 VCX R1 Iowa City CW Univ Of Chicago Lab NK Aff
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2018 CX R9 X184 X228 Neg Neg on a 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2018 CX R6 X219 X131 Aff Aff on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2018 CX R5 X155 X158 Aff Aff on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2018 CX R4 X182 X127 Neg Neg on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2018 CX R3 X212 X133 Neg Neg on a 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament 6/17/2018 CX R1 X190 X122 Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 NCX R6 Berkeley Prep WS Isidore Newman NG Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 NCX R5 Niles North AV Cathedral Prep EL Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 VCX R4 Lane Tech MC Glenbrook South KR Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 VCX R3 Lane Tech LM New Trier ML Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 NCX R2 Berkeley Prep SZ Glenbrook North LS Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 VCX R1 Northside CP HL Glenbrook South SV Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 NCX R7 Westminster Schools AB Okemos SZ Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 NCX R5 Glenbrook South SY Niles North BP Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX R4 Westminster Schools BH West Bloomfield BH Aff
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX R3 Wayzata YK Niles West AD Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 NCX R2 Little Rock Central AK Homewood-Flossmoor PB Neg
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX R1 Westminster Schools RM Marist AV Neg
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Semis ABMPS Gehling & Resar ABMPS Koo & Harbeck Neg Neg on a 2-1
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Octas ABMPS Wang & Borbon ABMPS Carithers & Kong Aff Aff on a 3-0
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Round BHW Soria & Asilis CGRS Ventarapragada & Kim Aff
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Round HLR Evans & Varma BHW Brannen & Menon Aff
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Round BHW Lemons & Mohamed CGRS Abramson & Zhu Aff
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Round GKMS Gupta & Jiao GKMS Mo & Lee Neg
SDI 2014 4Week 8/5/2014 CX Round GKMS Shannahan & Song HLR Bhatnagar & Zhang Neg
SDI 2014 4Week Mini 7/26/2014 CX R4 BHW Nimkar & Devulapalli BHW Hurt & Bacon Aff
SDI 2014 4Week Mini 7/26/2014 CX R3 HLR Fermo Resch CGRS Zhang & Rosenthal Aff
SDI 2014 4Week Mini 7/26/2014 CX R2 CGRS Hu & Kakkar HLR Evans & Varma Neg
SDI 2014 4Week Mini 7/26/2014 CX R1 CGRS Chen & Movsovitz ABMPS Wang & Borbon Aff