Post Berkeley 2021 Update:
I feel compelled to call out the blatant misogyny I've witnessed judging rounds recently. Those debaters who are outwardly presenting as male and being a jerk to your opponents, or partner, must stop. I've seen absolutely fantastic speakers who try their hardest to tool outwardly presenting females in debate, and I'm not here for it. I struggle with how to handle these situations when it's your partner and am likely to default to NOT dropping you but can make no promises. I default this way because it punishes your partner as much as it punishes you. I CERTAINLY am going to give you extremely low speaker points up to and including a zero. If you have issues with this activity being inclusive I would strongly encourage you to strike me. If you are doing this to another team we can call it a day, I'm not voting for you. When I see these things happen in round I'm going to call them out during the Oral RFD and put it on the ballot to ensure your coach sees it as well.
Add me to your email chain, but I don't plan to read what there unless evidence is debated or called into question during the round. I will post my email in the chat when I check in for the round.
If I am judging you there is a near certainty that I am volunteering to do this. I am not being financially compensated for my time. I am doing this because I genuinely like to judge. What I like is giving back to an activity that has given me everything and enabled the success I have in The Corporate World. I don't have a team/argument style/agenda that I am pushing. I am here to adjudicate a debate round, and hopefully offer some points of view about how you get better moving forward. Depending on where we are in the year I may offer topic-specific insights OR more general notions of things to try to do differently. I want to have fun judging, I want you to have fun debating, and I want to hear smart arguments.
When I debated my favorite judges were those that were straight forward about preferences and how they would ultimately adjudicate rounds when it was time to fill the ballot out. That being said, I am equally comfortable hearing your 6-minute politics link wall in the block as hearing your extrapolation about why reforming CJR props up The State and re-entrenches The State's agenda and movements within will be co-opted.
I am comfortable with you making arguments at the speed with which you are comfortable, as long as you are clear. My preference is to watch a debate at a high velocity of speaking to ensure the most high-quality arguments are made in the round. Given the fact that we are virtual please ensure that you are not moving at your fastest when reading procedural arguments including voters or high volume theory. Additionally, please ensure a clear transition between arguments as I will be switching to a different sheet of paper.
Tech over truth in the most macro sense of the concept; however, there are exceptions, and pointing those exceptions out without needing to cite an author to back you up is reasonable. If your parent knows the truth over tech in this micro argument then you are very likely good questioning it, disagreeing and moving on with your life. I haven't heard a lot of rounds on the CJR topic where this has come into question but is worth mentioning.
If my camera is off, I'm not listening, unless otherwise noted due to technical issues.
Please have your camera on unless you have extenuating circumstances which prevents that from happening.
Update post ASU: after doing some deep dives on speaker points in the current debate world in high school I have greatly recalibrated how I award speaker points. When I see a great debater give a great constructive and rebuttal I need that debater to be rewarded for that. The zeitgeist has changed, I've adapted. The below is true again on speaker points.
I likely have a lower threshold for high speaker points than other judges. I tend to view debate rounds in a silo and am not weighing your speech against the speech I heard Team X give at Blake last year. You don't need to give an all-time speech to get a 30 from me, you need to give flawless speeches to receive a 30 from me. You can do it, I believe in you. I have no concerns giving out a low point win and don't consider who won a debate round when determining speaker points. You earn bonus points for the following: Clearly having fun, being funny, making smart case arguments, not making generic link arguments (unless it's really just to make a T fairness/education question better), employing tact during CX with your opponents, and framing things consistently throughout the debate round.
Do what you are most comfortable doing in order to win a debate round. Do speak clearly, Do sign-post, Do be fair, Do have fun, Do make the kind of arguments that you have the most fun making that you believe will lead you to a win, Do tell me why you are winning as frequently as possible, Do tell me why the other team is not winning as frequently as possible, Do leverage Impact analysis- Probability and Magnitude are most compelling to me- as frequently as possible, and Do emphasize the important points by referencing back to them or even going as far as to tell me that this point/argument is what this debate round will be decided on at the end of the round!
I tend to view a debate round by every single line on the flow and find arguments about not responding to an argument that represents a line on the flow quite compelling assuming that it is explained why it is unique and why there is an impact. Additionally, each of those lines is likely to be offense or defense at the end of the day. I don't see Defense as things that tend to win many rounds but do tend to lose many rounds when not handled properly.
I am going to flow, I am going to read evidence that is called into question/debated and that argument is not settled during the round. On this note, I would encourage you to do the work for me. There is a good chance that you understand your evidence better than I do and clearly understand the framing of the intention of the author. If I am the one doing the work at the end of the round by needing to read evidence I am likely coming from a less authoritative position on the question at hand than you are. This should be a compelling reason enough for you to articulate why your evidence is better than the other team's evidence, why the context is more relevant, etc.
Things to know for Aff:
If you defend a plan it should be topical. The debate round should be where you decide what topical means; however, I generally do not find spending a disproportionate amount of time on a topicality argument as a compelling reason to vote negative. This means if the Neg goes for T in the 2nr and spends 30 seconds on it then it is not likely that you need to spend half of your 2ar telling me why I should not vote for T.
If you do not defend a plan you should put into context why you are not, or at the very least be prepared for the other team to make that argument. You are going to need to defend uniqueness and impact as to why Aff sans plan is good/preferable to a world where there is a plan.
I appreciate a 2A who leverages the 1AC as answers to arguments from the 1NC, the same for the 1AR, etc. Don't let the 1ac be the only time that you talk about your affirmative. That seems like a losing strategy.
If your plan/framework is not clear do not be surprised when the negative team makes a fairly unclear link to whatever you are advocating for and I find it compelling.
Performance and Project Affs- cool. Everything I explain here is applicable to you. It's your obligation to ensure I know what I am voting for, the role of the ballot in the round, is this an advocacy for the round proper and I should adjudicate only on the discourse in the round, or is your performance/project a grassroots movement that I should view as the start of something greater. And on and on. I'm using these are extremely rudimentary examples to help you understand what you need to do in order to compel me to vote for your aff.
Don't group and extend- Do offer clear impacts to the arguments that were dropped.
Things to know for Neg:
When I debated if I was going for T it isn't likely that I was going for much else if anything.
I can't recall a debate round where I gave a 2NR that only included a Disad, though I suppose it's a strategy.
I view K's and CP's fairly similarly as that they are each competing for my vote as an alternative to the affirmative. With this understanding I believe your CP and K need to be textually competitive, there should be a text no different than an aff plan text. Similar to an aff plan text, if you don't read one be prepared to engage in a theory debate around why. I'm happy to hear these rounds and adjudicate them.
I find Case arguments to be quite compelling though would prefer those arguments to tell an entire story. If the Aff is implementing a plan to double the funding for forensic science in the US and you are making an inherency argument.... you need to also be making an impact argument. What is the impact of this plan not being inherent and the Affirmative advocating for said plan?
When reading multiple off and you throw a PIC/K in somewhere please ensure that you give me a moment to process going from your second CP to the PIC to the Disad. Like, I get the advantage you may be trying to gain by throwing something in there and it literally being Text with no cards or Voters; however, I haven't found myself voting for blippy stuff in a long time. If you find yourself winning rounds with blippy theory, independent voting issues, or quick PICs often then I am likely not the right judge for your team.
You don't need to tell me to kick a CP/K, I am only voting aff is the advocacy/plan is better than the SQUO AND/OR the CP/K. Ultimately, if the debate round is not about a theory argument then you get the SQUO plus whatever other alternative world you are arguing for and the AFF gets their advocacy.
Don't group and extend-
DO NOT be mean/hateful/crass/disrespectful.
I do not have preconceived notions about debate rules with one exception noted below. Debate is generally a Finite Game with defined players and a defined outcome (win/loss) but I could be compelled in a round to view debate as an Infinite Game without identified players or outcomes. The meta concept of debate is an Infinite Game and as such I encourage you to think about moving beyond the box and not just thinking outside of the box.
EXCEPTION: I think that everything said in a debate round when a timer is running, aside from prep time, is binding and something I am going to flow. Feel free to make an argument and convince me otherwise.
Theory is something that should be treated like any other argument in that there should be some uniqueness, some linkage, and impacts. There needs to be impact calculus for my decision-making process. Conditionality is probably fine, plan-plan is probably..., but I can be convinced of almost anything in a debate round.
*Note on language criticisms* If you are going to make an argument in a debate round that leveraging a particular word, let's say "abuse" is bad and that I should use the ballot to punish the other team by voting against them for making this argument then you are going to need some evidence to articulate why. I don't find ad hoc blips about voting against a team for saying the word abuse very compelling, make this a position in the debate round. That being said, if you use language that is blatantly offensive in all manners of conversation there is a good chance I am not going to listen to anything else that you say- this means homophobic, genderphobic, racist, xenophobic, sexist, etc.
Given all of the above, you are going to be best served by doing the work for me. When the round is over you are going to have won the round if you told me why you won the round and why the other team did not. Write my ballot for me.