Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm
I debated ld and policy in high school, coach ld at westwood/privately now
(past: woodlands, dulles, edgemont)
here are some thoughts i have:
TOC 2018: my first two rounds of this morning have really underscored how badly i need you all to slow down on topicality/theory debates - i have not been at a tournament in weeks/months - this will help us all have better rounds
the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter
slow down on theory - will say slow twice, after that it is on you if i cannot flow it - i will miss your arguments and feel very comfortable disregarding them regardless of whats in the doc.
please dont read false politics disads in front of me i will be angry i keep up with politics i will know if you are lying
i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint - i do not foresee that changing
i am not particularly compelled by the insistence that the negative or affirmative answer t/k first in cx or theory arguments deriving from it
i will not vote for a kritik i do not understand
i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.
one notable contradiction in my thinking - i am very receptive to semantics bad claims on t (not into nebel t) but also pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this doesnt mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args.............)
if you suspect that i may need to look at interps/counter interps you read, those should be flashed before the speech [likely applies to perms as well]- i will not look at interps that are written down at the end of the round and will just evaluate the t debate based on what i have written on my flow.
given how clear it is to me that no one could flow theory as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow at top speed
just do you i guess, specifics for each event are down below
im down with almost everything - read ahead for specifics
if you are short on time before the round, i suggest you read the FLASHING section - from there the "debate practices" are all probably important as well
the theory vs rotb section is also fairly extensive if that is a clash you are concerned about
I will be frustrated if you walk into round and ask a question that is already answered here, (applies mostly if you are the second flight)
if i have said clear/slow more than 3 times and you have reverted to your lack of clarity you will not get higher than a 27.5 and i will likely miss a lot of your arguments - ask yourself if the lack of clarity is worth the risk of a loss - 27.5
tab judges dont exist
(perfectly "tab" judges are great in theory but its impossible for anyone to be completely tab.
i won't purposely intervene but i dont think its desirable to make myself a blank slate for the purposes of the activity)
this used to be an extensive set of rules please just flash well i have no patience for inefficient flashing
its not prep but if it takes more than 30 seconds it will make me angry
LD: Pref Shortcut (Roughly Speaking)
K debaters: 1
Theory debaters: 1-3 (depending on your strats against the K/ the frivolity of your interps)
Framework debaters: 3-4 (lack of familiarity with much of the literature means i'm always a step behind - high threshold for explanation)
Generic circuit: 1-2
Practices Trigger Warnings
Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.
The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.
This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.
This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot
- Clarity is important, and I’ll prompt you if need be. Slow down for tags and emphasize authors.
- debaters blazing through a doc of analytics without pausing can only hurt them, so you should slow down on theory dumps - it's on you if i miss one of your theory blips and i'm not going to call for theory analytics except for the exact text of interps - will shout slow on theory and you should heed that advice
- Additionally, nothing is more impressive than a slow, efficient debater winning the line-by-line against a fast opponent.
- slow down at the very least on the tags, especially when reading dense philosophical positions
- I'll say clear twice - speaks will be deducted after this
- pay attention to non-verbal cues from me
- clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR;
- don't go for 6 arguments if one is sufficient to win the round, don't waste time addressing all 4 levels of the debate if you're clearly winning the top 2, don't read unnecessary theory, etc.
- give a strategic and efficient 1AR,
- don't go top speed through the 2NR if you don't have to, a slow mastery of the line-by-line is just as if not more impressive than extending every argument on the flow.
- If any of this is not clear enough for you, feel free to ask before rounds and I'll tell you how my speaks have been distributed at that specific tournament.
- here are my average speaks for past seasons, do with this what you will
- grapevine: 28
- greenhill: 28.3
- marks: 28.4
- gbx: 28.08
- strake/rr: 28.21
- churchill: 27.98
- debate la: 28.63
- ahwl: 28.48
- emory: 28.22
- berkeley: 28.58
- tfa state: 28.25
- a weird paradigmatic issue that shift from judge to judge - i think i'm a bit more lenient on extensions for the affirmative but there's little leniency on the 2nr - you should be clearly impacting every extension you make when you make it especially if you want me to vote on it
- i don't think you have to extend the plan text explicitly if there is an implicit discussion of the advocacy during things like the extension of solvency, but it certainly will not hurt you
- on the question of theory - similar to how you're expected to extend standards and voters, i do think its important to extend interpretations here, especially in a competing interps debates - i dont know that itll necessarily lose you the round if you dont, but ill be willing to listen to a 2ar story about how your standards arent explicitly impacted back to an interp - keep that in mind
- dont re-read your ac or nc taglines for extensions - bad practice and rarely does this include an explanation of the warrants.
go for it, do it well
have a framework
perms are good, you should have explicit perm texts and you have them written down before the speech starts
will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
(perm texts should be more than "perm do both")
I will not reward a poorly-executed k over other arguments on the flow simply by nature of it being a k. if you’re going to read a k make sure you can explain it, your explanation will always be the most important thing. K’s should have an explicit alternative, though what form that takes is up to the debater reading the criticism.
[The best form of kritik also has a topic-specific link, the more specific the better, please don’t read generic kritiks for the hell of it].
you should substantively engage kritiks when answering them, reading a lot of non-responsive arguments and hoping one of them gets dropped is a bad strategy
ask questions if anything is unclear
im most familiar with literature surrounding identity debates though i also see a fair share of deleuze rounds - again, do with this what you will
do w/e, last year one of my students gave a silent 1ac i am here for it if you justify it
Skep/permissibility/all your tricky args
i'm not the judge for it (unfamiliar with the arguments and skeptical of them before they're read)
i will presume negative if they defend the status quo - if they read a cp or a kritik, then presumption shifts to the affirmative
speech times do not change this
- I default to theory as a question of competing interpretations though I can be persuaded otherwise as long as you clearly warrant/impact out your arguments (this probably means im down with the RVI on c.i. but im very skeptical of the rvi on reasonability (i.e. I assume counter-interps are offensive unless you justify why they're not) )
- I'm more than happy to listen to 6 minutes of theory in the 2nr, just do it well
- Make sure your counter-interps are competitive/that your interps actually exclude the position you're reading them against - low threshold for semantic i meet's on poorly worded interpretations
- time skew?? come on
- Fairness isn’t a voter, it is an internal link - this does not mean i would /never/ vote for fairness claims but i have a very low threshold for reasons education would come first Education /is/ a voter, and it is /always/ a voter - im very skeptical you can win my ballot with "education bad" or "education is not a voter" - your role of the ballot /role of the judge arguments are certainly valuable but its unlikely they change my role as an educator in the debate space.
- you should not just say 'its in your paradigm that fairness isnt a voter', you should explain the reasons that that would be true
- Not the judge for Nebel T
- i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
- not sure how i feel about 2ar theory but wont rule it out on face
"Theory vs. RotB" (long, but read this if you're worried about these debates in front of me - also read for generic rotb vs rotb questions)
I often hear debates that center around the question of “theory vs. the kritik”
I think this question largely misses the point on how these positions interact with one another
Debaters regularly say things like “theory is a gateway issue, it controls whether my opponent gets access to their post-fiat offense,” an argument that I think is at best silly.
There are two reasons: 1) it assumes a static conception of what arguments are post vs. pre “fiat,” and 2) it assumes an objective layering to the debate round – in truth, any argument could be the highest layer of the debate, given that they all impact back to a role of the ballot in some manner
I understand RotBs as shaping the debate space in exactly the same way as theory interps (or potentially, theory voters, depending on how they are articulated) do – they frame what debaters must do to win the round (standards/value criterions probably function very similarly but that’s a much more controversial claim)
All of this means that the debater who has initiated the theory debate (at least with me in the back) must either
- impact their standards and voters back to the “new” role of the ballot (especially especially especially when the role of the ballot reconceptualizes what forms of education are valuable in debate), or
- they must read (and justify) their own competitive role of the ballot.
This is not limited to the kritik debate – any role of the ballot will implicitly interact with any theory shell, and all debaters would do well to understand this and use this to their strategic advantage (or preclude their opponent from doing this)
The role of the ballot is nothing new – it’s a weighing mechanism under a new name, yet it somehow poses a unique threat to traditional models of debate.
I don’t think there is an implicit role of the ballot in the debate space, which means all debaters must be ready to justify whatever they assume the RotB is, as well as why they presume that certain arguments (theory for example) should always be evaluated as the top layer of the debate.
Any questions at all, ask before round, and above all, do what you’re most comfortable with, don’t just read something because you think I’ll enjoy it, I’ll enjoy seeing you be good at your specialty infinitely more (unless its like skep then yeah dont read it i'd rather see a bad k or policy debate than a skep round).