Former coach for GMU, former debater at Liberty University, 7 years debating experience overall, NDT 2x, 2019 1st round, 2019 CEDA Top Speaker, and have judged all the tingz. After doing both policy and performance debate, I have learned that the most important thing for me is to create a space for myself and the arguments I want to read. Even though I think this is an educational and competitive activity that pays the bills (#schmoney), I still think it should be fun! That being said, my hope is that you will run what you are passionate about! If that's the Econ DA, Anti-blackness K, Fem K, or USFG, then let's get it! DO YOU BOO! This also means that yes debate is a game, but its full of real people and real consequences so we should keep that in mind as we play.
The above thoughts are still true, but thought it's probably time to update this thing in the case people actually read it. The biggest update is making sure y'all know that I want to be a puppet. I don't want to do more work than I have to, I don't want to have to read your evidence, I don't want to have to find pieces across the flow to make my decision, and I just don't want to intervene. So, please stop card dumping and just explain the warrants you have, please give me a clear ballot you want me to repeat back to you, and please talk about you really cool concepts in relation to the other team's arguments and not just as rants (even though they are really smart rants).
Now, that that's been said, I've found myself mostly in the back of the room of either KvK or clash debates, with the very rare appearance of a policy v policy round (minus novice and so my rant on theory doesn't apply to them), it may help to unpack my thoughts based on type of round.
K v K (jv/open):
There seems to be a lack of explanation burden for affs and alts recently. As a result, it normally ends up hurting the aff on presumption because the neg can kick the alt but the aff can't kick the aff. A few recommendations -
For the aff, make sure you know what your aff does and that you can explain the i/l to resolve your impacts. It really isn't enough to use words within your method to explain your method because it becomes circular logic very quickly. The second is to find ways to make it harder for the negative to kick out of the alt or have less burden to prove solvency than you do.
For the neg, take advantage if the aff has a lack of explanation. You should be pressing them to explain every impact in the aff even if they don't flag it as the big impact. I am very persuaded by presumption when its read offensively so make the aff do their job.
Other comments for k v k include the permutation debate. A lot of neg teams make the argument about no perms in a method debate and the only reason I am persuaded by that is 1ars never answer it and the 2ar answer is so new and lacks depth. As a result, aff's should probably have a better prepared answer and then I would be more open to your perm.
I vote on who wins the round which means one round I may vote on fmwk against a k aff, the next on the k aff. Each round is different so please, innovate! Even with the same argument, you should be searching for ways to re-articulate arguments. Seeing the same 1nc/2n/1nr read off same blocks is not a good look and this is speaking to both sides policy and k.
In these debates, I normally end up siding with tech over truth insofar as it has let me do the least amount of judge intervention. I want to be very clear about what I mean by this, truth normally requires me to read cards for people which if you're not explaining cards I don't want to do the work for you, which is why I say I tend to lean towards clash. I'm saying this to reassure K teams that tech > truth is not automatically a bad thing for you. Ultimately, the best debaters find a good balance between tech and truth, but again I'm a puppet so if you want me to lean a certain way, tell me to do so and why I should.
Policy v Policy (jv/open):
Again, I am rarely in these but the few I have been in tend to come down to the most random theory arguments and I have to be honest - condo is not bad. Whenever I hear condo read in front of me, it just feels like policy teams whining cause I'm like - this is literally the ground you want when you read fmwk, but now its abusive? 5 off is abusive? 3 off is abusive? I meaaaaan ... it just ain't clicking for me because its mostly teams who are absolutely losing other flows because the other team is better and theory is your hail mary. But that means I reward you for avoiding the fight? ok... That being said, people will continue to read condo and I get that - I don't want neg to read this and be like "bri says condo isn't bad in paradigm therfore I don't have to do a lot of work" - no. Please answer it accordingly. What I'm saying is I do not want to vote for condo so neg please don't create a world in which I end up voting for condo - close that door for the aff and I will forever appreciate you.
The only theory arg I find persuasive is perf con - because it means reading a k with something that contradicts makes you a fake radical. Do with that what you will.
End of update.
Now I know some debaters still like to worry about what the person in the back of the room thinks so I'll break down some key points.
-I used to say spreading is fine, but in the era of online debate, folks be more unclear than usual. Spread at your own risk because if you don't pace yourself, then it may not get on my flow.
-Explanation > reading more cards
-Organization is key. Even if the other team is messy, it puts you in a better position to clear things up for the judge so line by line can help
-I'm a very expressive person so look at my face cause my visual cues might help you out (and I oop...)
-More people should pref Tyler Wiseman.
-At the end of the debate, be sure to tell me why I should vote for you; if you don't, then you can't get big mad when I don't ... periodt
I love running the K and the moment I was able to get into critical literature in my debate career, I dived right in. That being said, two important conclusions: One, I understand the foundations of most literature bases so feel free to run them if that is the style of argumentation you prefer.
Two, I have a larger threshold for the K because I expect you to explain the link story and the alternative with warrants so don't assume that just because I know the theory means you don't have to put in the work for the ballot. Links should be contextualized to the aff - please don't restate your tags and author, but pull lines from 1ac/2ac. I would also warn against just running a K because you think I'm only a K debater. Again, DO YOU BOO! If your heart is in the K, go for it! If its not, don't force yourself.
I love performative links not personal attacks so if you are unsure what that line is, talk to your coaches or email me before you dive in. With performative links, just make sure to give a warranted analysis as to why I should vote on it and what the impact is.
Love them! I do prefer K aff's to be in the direction of the topic or make some attempt to include a discussion of the resolution, but if you are not, then at least give me a warranted explanation as to why you have chosen that route. For those that are in the topic of the resolution, have a clear impact and solvency story. Many times, debaters will get so caught up in the negative arguments that they lose sight of what is important...their aff! So make sure to keep a story line going throughout the entirety of the debate.
When you get into FMWk/T debates, be sure to extend and explain your counter-interpretation. What is your model and why is it good? That plus impact turns = a pretty easy ballot from me.
It's a strategy that is read against K aff's, it's a strategy I have won against, a strategy I have lost to, a strategy I have voted on and against. My personal outlook - debate is a game but it has real impacts that can help or harm certain individuals. While it is a competitive strategy, I do not think it is an excuse to not engage the affirmative because most of the time, your lack of engagement is what the aff will use to link turn the performance of reading fmwk (hint hint to K debaters reading this).
PSA - fairness is not an impact... at best, its an internal link to education. That being said, unless the aff has no justification for their aff, then you will have a 2% of getting my ballot by reading fairness. I find it most compelling when you prove in round abuse so be on the lookout and don't miss opportunities if you really down for that fairness life. I like the impact of education a lot more because it has better spill over claims. I also don't think you need a role of the ballot because I think fmwk is a counter RoB, but you should probably indicate that. Don't be shifty with your interp, but I believe a capable 2N will be able to accurately counter the 2AC shift and reframe the debate through the same interp in the 1nc. Please have a TVA! No, it does not need to solve the entirety of the aff because that is neg ground, but it should be able to solve the main impacts they go for. Lastly, defend your model of debate and explain why it would be better for the debate community writ large. If you are only focusing on the one round, then explain why that is better.
I don't have a preference meaning I am open to all types of CPs. What I do ask is that you have a net benefit and explain how your CP solves the aff. It's also nice if your CP is competitive...
I'm down for some good old throw downs on the DA flow, but make sure you have a clear and warranted link story and awesome impact calc for ya girl.
I think theory is procedural just make sure you explain very clearly and slowly what the violation is and why that matters...if you are going to go for theory, I expect the 2n or 2a to spend a good amount of time on it which means not just 30 sec or 1 min.
Policy Affs vs K:
Engage the K! Too many times policy teams just write over the K with their fmwk thinking that is the only work they have to do but it's just like debating a DA or CP. Do the link work and the more specific answers you have to the alt, the better position you are in. Don't just say Perm DB or Perm aff then alt, but really explain what that means and looks like in the world of the aff. I think you do need fmwk to get to weigh your aff but that is all the fmwk will get you which means don't forget to extend your aff and the impact story. A really good way to engage the K is to prove how the plan not only outweighs but resolves the specific impacts.
I think cross-ex is a really good place to assert your arguments and point out key flaws in the other team's arguments. This means you should take advantage of the time to really prove to me why the entire speech they just gave don't matter. While I think cross-ex is binding, you still have to bring it into a speech to explain why that moment was so important and the impact of it.