Mark Woodhead ParadigmLast changed 11/17 12:38P PDT
Pronouns: He/ Him. Will respect whatever your preferred pronouns are.
Role/ Experience: circuit policy/ coach @ Logan, parli debater @ UC Davis, currently head debate coach for Archbishop Mitty High School.
Evidence: Put me on the chain: email@example.com. However, I try to avoid reading speech docs for substantive issues- you have to make the arguments, interps, weighing clear to me in your verbalized speech. I will try to intervene/ "do work" for the debater as little as possible, so don't expect that I will buy all of the fire analysis of your card if you aren't extending or explaining any of it. Prep stops when you send out the doc. Don't burgle. Don't clip cards. Mark your docs if you end early.
Decorum: Be respectful of all in the round. Ad hominem attacks (about a person's immutable identity/ characteristics/ background) are never OK and will cost you speaker points at the very least. If you cross the line, expect the L and a talk with your coach. Attack arguments and their justifications, not the person.
- "Open" to any argument. I would say that I default policymaker but am certainly open to critical arguments/ affirmatives. When attempting to change my default-paradigm, debaters must overcome my skepticism by clearly explaining the role of the ballot and demonstrating some level of competitive fairness in their framework. I want to know what I am voting for, not simply that the other side was thoroughly confused.
- Speed is fine, but slow down on tags, blippy analytics, interps, and texts. Pause after cites. Introduce acronyms. I'll yell clear if necessary. Avoid other distracting behaviors like loud tapping, pen-dropping, super-double breadths. Non-speaking teams should limit their decibel level and overt facial indignation.
- T, theory, Ks, etc. are fine. But, as with any argument, if you would like for me to vote for these, you need to give me a clear reason. I am not as well-versed in the some K Affs or high theory Ks, but am certainly open to evaluating them if you can make them make sense. I am more comfortable adjudicating T, CP, DA/ case debates, but I am open to voting for arguments of all types (Ks, K Affs, etc...). I will vote for non-conventional argument forms (songs, dance & poetry, etc...), but will be very acutely focused on education and fairness implications of these alternative styles. I will give you more leeway on unconventional arguments, on the aff, if they bear some relation to the topic. Topic education is valuable.
- I leave my assessment of the round largely in the hands of the team that presents me with the best explanation of how to frame the major issues in the round, and why that favors their side. If that work is done thoughtfully and clearly, then my decision about which way the round should go becomes much easier. Oh yeah, it typically helps when you win the actual arguments too (warrants, evidence, links, impacts, & all that micro stuff).
- On theory, I usually will only pull the trigger if I can see demonstrable abuse or unfairness. The "potential for abuse argument" alone doesn't usually cut it with me (unless it's cold-conceded). Show me what specific limitations their interp caused and why that's bad for debate. Condo bad may be a good time trade-off for the aff, but probably won't convince me without some demonstrable in-round fairness/ education loss.
- I appreciate strategy, creativity and maybe a little humor. Speaks typically range from 26-29.5. I am not impressed by shouting, bullying or obstruction- these will cost you points!! Most importantly, have fun! If you have questions, you can ask me before the round.
Years Judging Public Forum: 6
Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 18
Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 6
If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Policy, PF, Parli, LD, Congress, Extemp, Impromptu
What is your current occupation? Debate Coach
Speed of Delivery: moderately fast, I would say full speed, but since people throw 8 "cards" up in 20 seconds in PF, you're better off at like 70% of full speed.
Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?): Line by line with some framing/ voters if it helps to clarify the round.
Role of the Final Focus: Establish voters, demonstrate offense, and weighing.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches: do it, please don't shadow extend everything, I won't do the work for you.
Plans: fine/ unless impossibly narrow
Kritiks: if it links, sure
Flowing/note-taking: Do it, I will.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Arguments matter more. But, as a member of the human species, style and conviction impact the level to which I am persuaded. Still, I prefer a style that oriented to a calm and reasoned discussion of the real facts and issues, so I think they go hand in hand.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Typically, yes, especially in the summary. The rebuttal may not necessarily have to extend defensive elements of the case.
If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Opponents case only.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Not unless something unique prompted the response for the first time in the immediately prior speech/ grand-cross.
If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. Be civil, succinct, and provide plenty of examples (either common knowledge or your evidence).
(Please see my policy paradigm above as this is where I draw most of my experience and perspective from. The gist is that I default as a policymaker, but this can be upended if you convince me your framework/ ethical system is good or preferable)
Speed: Fine with me. Slow down on tags, blippy analytics, interps, and texts. Pause after cites. Avoid other distracting behaviors like loud tapping, pen-dropping, super-double breadths.
Prep: Prep stops when you send out the doc. Don't burgle.
Evidence: Don't clip cards, it's cheating and you will lose. Mark cards when you don't finish them. Evidence must be properly cut (whole paragraphs are a minimum/ no distortions of author's intent).
Cross: Speaking over or past your opponent goes nowhere fast. If you ask a question, allow them an answer. If you want to move on, kindly ask to move on, don't shout them down.
Plans: I love them since they impart a clearer sense of your advocacy and one concrete comparative world. Still, you will be held to that plan. Shifting advocacies, vagueness on key functions of the plan, inserting extra-topical provisions to deck case neg offense are likely to get you in trouble. Spec args and funding questions need to be reasonable. Aff can, and probably should, defend normal means in these instances, but clarify what that probably looks like.
Whole Res: This style of debate is fine, but it makes affs vulnerable to a large set of topical, but terrible, ideas. It is each debater's job to weigh for me the preponderance of the evidence. So, even if you prove one idea is the res could cause nuke war, I need to weigh that eventuality's probability versus the rest of the aff's probabilities of doing good. This is a daunting task given the limited speech times, so make your examples as clearly defined, relevant, and probable. I am often persuaded by the most salient example.
Theory: I am far more receptive to theory arguments that pertain to choices by the opponent. Attacking structural differences of the the aff/ neg in LD as a justification for some unfair strategy choice is not likely to persuade me and often ends us as a wash. Tell me what arguments their interp specifically limits and why that's bad in this round or for debate in general.
Other things: I do not favor whimsical theory arguments that avoid debating the topic or avoid normative questions of public policy in general. So, save your font size theory for another judge.