Henry Levinson Paradigm

Last changed 17 February 2021 4:04 AM EDT


I'm Henry (He/Him/His), and I look forward to judging your round. Below are some things you should know about me and my preferences as a judge. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

1. I consider myself a flow judge. Tech > Truth. This is my second year debating on the national circuit, so I know how to flow relatively well. I will vote off the flow and default to whichever arguments have the least ink on them, but good implication and weighing can definitely win me over, even on more muddled arguments.

2. Please have good evidence ethics. Evidence ethics are key. Add me to the email chain and expect me to look at all evidence exchanged. If your evidence is good, I'm more likely to buy your arguments. If you miscut/misconstrue evidence, I will not only probably drop the argument, but I'll also take all of your other arguments with a heavy grain of salt.

3. Please signpost. It makes my life as a judge easier and the round less muddled. Telling me exactly where you are on the flow is especially important if you're speaking fast, since I might miss one or two of your responses while I search for where you are.

4. Please weigh. You'll hear this a lot, and for good reason: weighing is the single most important thing you can do to win my ballot. The earlier you start weighing, the greater the likelihood you win the round. But the way you weigh matters. I have a really hard time voting off blippy weighing, like "We outweigh on scope because our impact is global" or "We outweigh on magnitude because our impact affects millions." Aside from the lack of specificity, the biggest issue is the lack of comparative analysis. You need to give me a comparison between your opponents' impact/link and your impact/link and take their argument into account. An example of good comparative prerequisite weighing would look something like: "Our terrorism impact always comes before their impact on economic growth, since terrorism decreases global investor confidence and prevents the flow of goods in and out of countries. That means that the only world where economic growth is possible is the world of the neg, and so when evaluating this round, you always look to our terrorism argument first. If we win it, we should win the round." Notice the warranting (why terrorism stops economic growth) and the implication (why this weighing matters in the context of the ballot). Strong weighing has both.

5. Please extend case in summary and FF. I'm not a stickler for super detailed extensions; just re-explain the argument you're going for in summary and FF. I probably won't evaluate your argument if it isn't extended at all.

6. Please frontline. You must frontline offense (turns and DAs) in 2nd rebuttal, or the response will extend clean through on my flow. You don't have to frontline defense in 2nd rebuttal, but it might be in your best interest (hint hint wink wink). Of course, please frontline in summary and final focus. If a solid response is dropped by you and extended by your opponents, I won't evaluate your argument.

7. Please weigh all rebuttal offense. If you want me to vote for you on turns or dis-ads/ads, please weigh them versus your opponent's case. For example, on the Medicare-for-All topic, let's say neg reads a link-turn about M4A leading to doctor shortages because of lower pay in response to aff's argument about increasing healthcare access. If neg doesn't do weighing or comparative analysis for me, I have no way of knowing if the amount of access lost because of doctor shortages is greater than the access gained through universal healthcare, or vice-versa. Chances are, I'll default to aff's case argument, since it is probably better warranted. Unless neg gives me this weighing, I'll treat the turn as a defensive response. That goes for both teams and all topics.

8. Please collapse. On offense and on defense. On 1-2 arguments. In summary and in final focus. Collapsing crystalizes the round and gives you the opportunity to strengthen the arguments you've already made. Do it.

9. Please be respectful! Be respectful to me and your opponents the whole round. Debate must be an inclusive space, and it's your job as a debater and my job as a judge to ensure that the round is so. On my part, I'll do my best to recognize, check, and prevent any of the implicit biases that I have (as does everyone!) from influencing my decision. On your part, I expect you to be polite and respectful during crossfire, especially. Don't interrupt your opponents, take turns asking and answering questions, etc.

10. And most importantly, have fun!

That's it from me. Again, if you have questions about my paradigm or anything else, I'll be happy to answer them before the round starts. Good luck, and I'm excited for a great round!

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Horace Mann Invitational HS 2021-01-24 Round Horace Mann KS Horace Mann GM Neg