Mike Harris ParadigmLast changed 9/20 8:18A CDT
Wichita East High School -Director of Debate
Online norms - Be nice and have fun. Clean tech makes me happy. Fast is not always the best when it becomes unclear. I flow your speech, not your speech docs, especially after the 1AC/1NC.
2020-2021 Update : One of my undergraduate degrees is criminal justice. I'm well versed in both theory and procedures. I've hosted guest lectures this season with speakers on Police militarization and the Use of Force, Death Penalty, and "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness". I have a federal court judge scheduled to speak. My knowledge level is high, which means your arguments are going to have to be explained correctly to persuade me most effectively. Truth is important on this topic, especially when making claims to solve structural problems at a value level.
I have significant experience in the past 15 years judging many tournaments both in Kansas and around the nation. I am the Director of Debate at Wichita East in Wichita. I have multiple students currently competing in the NDT/CEDA, and Parli circuits in colleges across the country. We have had many national qualifiers in policy debate in recent years . I coached the 2nd and 3rd place teams at NCFL, had three teams in the top 30 at NSDA and coached the 7th place team and a top ten speaker, and had two teams qualified for the TOC. I have been exposed to many teams and styles from across the nation. Below is a brief explanation of some of my judging preferences. This is by no means a complete explanation, so feel free to ask specific question regarding my paradigm:
I'm a tabula rasa judge as much as that exists and you will need to address framing in this debate to win my ballot. DOn't care of it's K v K, clash of covs, or policy debates.
Speed - No preference as long as you are clear. I can keep up on the flow with any team although I do not believe that extreme speed is required to win. I prefer clarity and quality argumentation to speed. With that said, I most enjoy a quality high speed round that combines the above traits.
Kritik's - Literature is essential to quality kritik arguments. I do not have any problem with performance k's or kritikal aff's. I'm familiar with kritikal identity and postmodern lit. I am a glutton for solid evidence and I know that the literature exists. Be prepared to explain the literature clearly and succinctly. I have a philosophy degree although I am quite a few years removed from in-depth study of the literature.
CP's - If it solves the for the aff advantages and has a net benefit I'm good. I'm solid on theory. Not often do I reject a team on theory.
Topicality- My threshold for topicality is high. That said, I have voted on T in very significant out rounds when I don't feel it has been covered appropriately, and it is extended effectively. T must be impacted out and weighed to be a factor in my decision. I've judged a lot of debates for a long time, and seen debate go through a lot. Be specific and focus on t what would happen if this specific aff is allowed. I have interesting perspectives on the concept of fairness.
Disads - I am particularly interested in strong specific links and true internal link scenarios. I hate hearing internal links and impacts that are based on evidence from 2007. I am convinced at this level of debate evidence for disads should be updated every week to paint an accurate portrayal of the world. I will weigh a disad impact scenario without good specific links against case impacts in all cases, but the risk will probably be very low. I'm going to vote for whichever team (aff or neg) has the best and most true story.
Case - I love a good case debate. Above I mentioned I have a criminal justice and philosophy background, it is important to note my main degree area if study was political science (IR) and history.. I have found that specific and significant case turns by the negative can be very effective in undermining an aff case and being enough to win a round. Common sense analytics are important to accompany cards for both teams. Shadow extensions do little for me, I want warrant analysis with specific comparisons.
Theory and framework - Ask regarding specifics. Impact it out, ask for leeway, answer independent voters. I think this is an area of debate that is often under-covered and not understood by many advanced teams. I vote for kritikal affs and neg t/framework about evenly. I'll go either way. I don't like cheap theory (disclosure in round one of the first tournament of the year), but understand creative theory as part of the game.
All said, have fun and enjoy yourselves. Please signpost appropriately! I don't always catch the authors and sometimes it gets interesting in rebuttals when all I keep hearing is the "Brown 11' card" over and over. I can usually figure it out, but is annoying and a waste of time. I am very open-minded and will listen to anything, however teams need to explain both claims and their appropriate warrants. [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]