Kevin Steeper ParadigmLast changed 11/4 7:15A PST
Most Important Criteria
I'm a tabula rasa judge, so I look to vote on the flow where the debaters tell me to. If one team tells me the sky is orange and the other doesn't respond, the sky is orange for the purpose of the round. I will, however, intervene if the other team says the sky is blue as I'll be inclined to give weight to the argument I know is true. I want to see concrete, real world impacts on your argumentation. I won't do any extra work for you in order to give you the ballot, so you need to make sure you impact out all of your arguments. At the end of the round, I'm also far more likely to vote on probability over magnitude (so, for example, you'll might have a hard time getting my ballot if you lay out an unlikely human extinction scenario if your opponent has more reasonable impacts).
The only thing I'm predisposed to not want to vote on is a K. I want to hear a debate on the issues, one that was prepped as much as can be expected in the 20 minutes of prep time as opposed to something you've been working on all year. If you run it really well, or the opponent totally mishandled it, I'll still vote on it even though I won't want to. If the other team, however, handles it well enough, my threshold to reject a K is pretty low. Otherwise, I have no issues voting on T or any other procedural. I prefer to see arguments on the resolution, but have no problem voting on a procedural if it's warranted. In addition, on topicality (and related positions) I prefer potential abuse as opposed to proven abuse as far as what I need to vote on topicality. I feel that running a position that specifically does not link to the affirmative's case to prove abuse is a waste of my time and yours, and I'd rather you spend the 30-60 seconds you spend running that position making arguments that really matter in the round. Topicality can be evaluated just fine in a vacuum without having to also complain about how it prevented you from running X, Y, or Z position. The affirmative team is topical or they aren't, and no amount of in round abuse via delinked positions (or lack thereof) changes that. Additionally, I tend to default to reasonability over competing interpretations, but will listen to arguments as to why I should prefer competing interpretations.
I debated Parli for four years, so I have no trouble with jargon or debate terms. I'm not a fan of speed as a weapon and I like to see good clash, so my feeling on speed is don't speed the other team out of the room. If they call "clear" or "slow", slow down. Additionally, my feelings on speed are also directly related to clarity. My threshold on speed will drop precipitously if your clarity and enunciation is low, and conversely is higher the more clear you remain at speed.
NOTE: I do not protect on the flow in rebuttals. It's your debate, it's up to you to tell me to strike new arguments (or not). My feeling is that me protecting on the flow does not allow the other side to make a response as to why it isn't a new argument, so I want one side to call and the other side to get their say.
NFA-LD SPECIFIC NOTES: Because of the non-limited prep nature of the event, I am far more receptive to K debate in this event. Additionally, given that there are no points of order, I also will protect on the flow in rebuttals.