Put me on the email chain please! email@example.com
A little about myself: I debated until my graduation in 2018 at College Prep (qualified to the TOC in policy). I'm currently a junior at the University of Chicago, studying data science economics and public policy. I've continued to be involved in high school debate, first coaching with College Prep, and currently working in Chicago with the wonderful people at Lane Tech. I cut a lot of cards for Lane Tech, and the TOC will be my 9th official tournament judged this year, so I'm pretty familiar with the topic.
When I debated, I went for primarily: Politics DAs, Topic DAs, cheaty CPs, T, Impact Turns with Advantage CPs (bonus points if you execute this cleanly in front of me), and security/neolib/setcol/antiblackness. My tendencies did tend to be slightly more policy-leaning.
First, I was a flex debater in high school, and am a strong believer in debater flexibility and adaptation. My favorite teams to judge are ones that feel comfortable doing a host of things, like executing the K, going for framework, reading a variety of affs situationally, going for a core-of-the-topic CP and DA, committing to a T argument, or whatever else the round demands. When I debated, I made sure to always stick to this paradigm, and enjoy judging teams that do the same; reading a breadth of arguments in high school has helped me feel comfortable judging various styles of debate. Do whatever you do best and I'll listen.
Second, if you are a team that writes case negs to specific affirmatives at the tournament, and has nuanced aff-specific off-case and case arguments ... <3
My coach, John Hines, taught me two fundamental beliefs about what great debate looks like; these are the two things you should take away from this paradigm:
1) Line-by-line debating is not optional. I will be :( if you don't do/attempt line-by-line debating. Please try your best!
2) I like when debaters write my ballot for me, present nexus questions/framing issues, and do detailed impact calculus. Impact calculus doesn't just mean Mag/TF/Prob, but rather, instruct me how to understand the interaction between arguments. Tell me, why is this argument important? Use "even if" statements, weigh the quality of evidence/qualifications, and have an understanding of how different parts of the debate mesh with each other.
I suggest that people read the section of James Mollison's paradigm beginning "Many of the debates that I judge are what I call “a double loss.”" Here's a link to it.
I vote on dropped arguments I don't believe in, speed is fine, use cross-x in your speeches, yes your opponent's cards are "terrible" but why are they terrible, evidence quality matters but I'm not going to read cards and interpret them myself.
I want to be judging: I will put in the same energy in listening and engaging with you as you did preparing for the tournament. However, I do not take kindly to rude debaters. There's been a trend in debate towards teams thinking that it's edgy to be rude/dismissive, curse excessively during the round, laugh at your opponents, or be generally hostile. "Respect is non-negotiable for me." (Ed Lee)
Case: I know this isn't usually a part of judge philosophies, but I wanted to include it because it's by far the most underutilized part of negative strategy. I am a sucker for teams that have specific prepped-out strategies to affirmatives, and use the case page strategically. If you're a K team, use the case page to leverage your kritik offense. Please please please impact turn.
DA: Great. The politics DA is a very strategic tool, and I love topic DAs. I have yet to see a very compelling topic DA debate on the CJR topic, and will reward teams that go for this strategy. Don't turn the 1NR into the 5 mins of cards, and instead explain your good evidence with nuance. As for the "link exists of a spectrum" thing, I think that you need to qualify your chance of a link and incorporate it into the risk assessment component of impact calculus. Solid defense against a terrible DA can be enough to create zero risk of a DA, but the same goes the other way. I will evaluate the disad holistically. For 2N's, think about how you're allocating 2NR time if you're deciding to go for a CP and a DA as a net benefit, make sure you're making (preferably) carded turns case/solves card arguments, and do good impact calculus.
CP: Amazing. Be tricky, solve the case. I lean heavily negative on CP theory. 2NC CP's are underrated. I think a CP should probably have a solvency advocate, but it need not be specific to the aff. Well-written advantage CP's and process CP's will exploit weaknesses in generic affirmative link/internal link chains and FIAT out of aff solvency deficits. You need to articulate sufficiency framing and offense/defense arguments in your speeches even though they're pretty intuitive concepts. For the aff, make smart theory arguments, have good, specific, solvency deficits and weigh them well against the risk of the net benefit.
T: T debates are great if done right. I hate it when T debates turn into scattered concepts thrown around without clear explanation. Answer questions that you think are intuitive: What's the line you draw about how big of a topic should be allowed (caselists are a solid way to answer this question)? Why are limits good? What's the relationship between neg clash and aff predictability? Why is your I or C/I undoubtedly reasonable, and what does reasonable even mean? One thing I love is when reasonability is articulated as an 'aff predictability' argument. Ask me what this means if you're confused by it. Evidence evidence evidence. The block and the 1AR should be full of quality definitional evidence, and I will be much more likely to persuaded by solid topicality evidence than weak topicality reasoning. Lastly, please don't read your blocks like the text of a card!!
Theory: These debates are definitely winnable, but they're often late-breaking and shallow. I agree with Ian Beier that teams are really bad at answering theory, so even if I believe that the neg should be able to do what they want, affs should consider theory if there's some level of neg abuse.
K: I'm familiar with the theories and basics of most core K's read on the debate circuit, like security, neoliberalism/capitalism, settler colonialism, afropessimism, and feminism. I need explanations that extend pass buzzwords, and I want you to contextualize the debate in terms of a specific link, a fleshed-out alternative, and a reason why it resolve the aff impacts; a good specific link debate will make your argument much more persuasive. If I havw to pull out a new sheet of paper called "K overview" after the neg block, the 2N needs to do some serious re-evaluation of the way they're doing line-by-line debating on the K. I think that framework is extremely important in these debates, and I will always decide it first: I don't understand how I'm supposed to evaluate hypothetical extinction against a bad methodology. I have found myself in the back of the room for a lot of K debates this year, and I work with a lot of critical literature over the course of my research for Lane Tech.
K Affs/FW: While I lean negative on framework, I have seen a lot of solid no-plan affs on this topic, and understand the value of K affs in debate. In my voting record this year, I've actually voted against framework more times than I've voted for it, mostly because teams don't have good enough answers to impact turns. If you're reading a K aff you should: have a tangible link to the resolution, a good answer against TVA's, articulation of impact turns, defense of your method, and "a reason why you've chosen the debate space as the site for your epistemological project" (Maya Mundada). Work to really delve into your best two or three pieces of central offense -- I find that impact turns are more persuasive than a weak counter-interpretation and link turns. I'm equally convinced by both fairness and skills framework impacts. I aim to judge these debates as technically as possible - if you have a storytelling element to your 1AC, how can you contextualize it in terms of the sequencing questions of the affirmative? And finally, don't forget your aff solvency/method! For the negative, use smart defensive tactics like switch-side debating and TVA's, explain the flaws in the counter-interpretation (unlimited topic, links to aff offense, creates bad debates), and making smart arguments about limits, predictability, mechanism education, or clash. I would like to see more teams go for impact turns against K affs, or change up the way they're approaching clash.
1. I used to flow on paper, but I am flowing on computer for virtual debates so I can maximize the amount of content I am able to process.
2. I think folks underestimate how mic quality and connection issues impact an activity where people are speaking extremely fast. Please try and go slower during your speeches, especially on tags and analytics. There's a trend in policy debate where everyone goes fast and is borderline incomprehensible, but everyone just pretends they understand every word in speeches. I will miss things if you're going too fast, and I would be very content if we lived in a world where both teams would simply jointly agree to go slower as a collective. I understand this is somewhat unreasonable to expect in the real world lol.
3. Please turn on your cameras. I will always have my camera on during debates even when I'm not at my computer. (Message me for accommodations)
4. I give higher speaker points than most. If it's a good debate (which I expect will be fairly common given it's the TOC), my point range will be from [28.8, 29.5]. From coaching Sam & Cam this year and working at a school that has very minimal policy debate resources, I understand debaters work incredibly hard to get to the Tournament of Champions. I want to reward you for the hard work you put in to succeed and be well-prepared. As such, I will put in a lot of effort to be a fair critic, since debaters deserve well-engaged judges for their most important debates.
Any other questions you have I'd be more than happy to answer before the round, or email/FB message me! Good luck y’all!