Hello! This paradigm is for the 2021 Harvard PF tournament.
I'm a first-year in Harvard College and compete a ton on the American and British Parliamentary debate circuits. In high school, I practiced East Coast American Parli for three years, though I'm also familiar with West Coast Parli and Worlds Schools. I've watched PF rounds online and have read judging guides, though I've never competed in the format.
1. Perceptual dominance and performative anger/sarcasm are good if they match your style, but remember to direct that anger/sarcasm toward your opponents' arguments and not your opponents themselves. Please trigger-warn arguments too: when in doubt, trigger-warn it, even if it seems mildly controversial to you. Read the room and don't be offensive, otherwise I will tank you and, in severe cases, end the round early.
2. I strongly dislike spreading and borderline consider it an equity issue. I also don't see the educational/rhetorical/etc. value in ever speaking that fast. If I clear you and you don't slow down, I will tank your speaks. That said, I can flow reasonably brisk speaking.
3. Please do not cherry-pick or intentionally misquote cards to confirm your arguments—it's academically disingenuous. When you read cards, explain the logic/warrant/mechanism/internal link/etc. for the finding/statistic. If you don't tell me why an outcome is true, I cannot credit it.
4. I love weighing. Amazing advice I hear not often enough: you should weigh in every speech, even in your constructives. Preemptive weighing cuts to the key issues in rounds and significantly improves clash. No weighing means judging is significantly more difficult for me, which makes my decision slightly more interventionist. To be clear, saying the word "scope" without a thorough explanation on why you outweigh on scope does not constitute weighing, that's just naming a weighing technique. Be very explicit when weighing.
5. Low-probability, high-impact arguments are silly and thoroughly unconvincing. Like, please don't make outlandish claims. I strongly prefer two arguments with clever, well-developed links to five blippy arguments which require me to make many assumptions. Showing why an argument is true is just as important as showing why an argument matters: the best debaters do both. To that end, I am not entirely a tabula rasa judge: if you say the sky is red and your opponent doesn't contest it, and your collapse is that they dropped this obviously false assertion, I will not vote on it. Otherwise, I intervene as little as possible.
6. You don't have to use a utilitarian framework! I love when debaters break the utilitarian bubble (just weigh your framework against utilitarianism).
7. I have no preference for speaking styles as long as you're organized: some debaters are content-heavy, others are speech-y, focus on maximizing what works best for you and experimenting with different styles. Eloquence does not mean you will get higher speaks, hence I don't believe in low-point wins.
8. Theory and kritik are fine when necessary, but make them clear and intuitive, otherwise they're exclusionary and I might tank you.
9. If any offense or defense is not in your summary speeches, I cannot vote on it if you say it in your final focus. When responding to arguments, be charitable and beat the best case. It's better to build up your opponent's argument for them and beat that version than it is to waste time responding to a sillier version of that argument.
10. If anything in my RFD is unclear, please ask for clarification. Don't be afraid to "post-round" as long you're respectful. It's a lot more educational to understand the RFD than it is to agonize about it later. I promise I won't be offended.
11. As long as you're nice and make fair arguments, I am a speaks fairy—don't stress about the break :)
Have fun, and good luck!