My name is Amanda, and I'm the DOF at Concordia University Irvine. It's been a while since I've judged at a tournament, so I'll just give a few highlights:
*Not a very big fan of these things they call NIBs, to be honest I simply don't understand how they work. Sorry:( I won't vote on them.
*Things that are rules of the game (Topicality, time limits, prep, etc) are A Priori. Everything else is up for debate.
*Since this is my first tournament in a while, and my first one really judging virtually, please slow if I say slow. I promise I'm not doing it to be annoying, but I can't evaluate things I can't write down.
I tend to prefer policy debate, and am sympathetic to trichotomy arguments that say policymaking includes the educational facets of value and fact debate. Value and fact debates are often lacking in the very basic structure of claim+data+warrant, and rarely use terminalized impacts. These shortcomings are much easier to logically rectify if policymaking is used. "should" is not necessary to test whether or not the resolution is true.
Theory comes first in debate, since it is a debate about the rules. I default to competing interpretations and am unlikely to vote for your counter interpretation if it has no counter standards for that reason. That being said, a we meet acts as terminal defense under competing interpretations, so that's a way to win as well. MOs should choose whether to go for topicality or the substance debate and collapse to one OR the other, not both. Likewise, PMRs should choose whether to collapse to MG theory arguments OR the substance debate, not both. I do not enjoy voting for RVIs and have a very low threshold for defense on these. I do not enjoy voting for spec args honestly can't remember doing so.
Kritiks should explain why they turn the AFF and have terminalized impacts. The framework should be utilized as offense to frame out the method of the AFF, and prioritize the impacts of the K. The Alt should explain why they solve for the AFF, and avoid the disadvantages of the link story. I prefer critiques that do not make essentialized claims without warrants about how the AFF's method in particular needs to be rejected. I prefer critical affirmatives be topical in their advocacy statement or policy option.
Disadvantages should explain why they turn the AFF and have terminalized impacts. Uniqueness claims should be descriptive of the status quo, with a predictive claim about what direction the status quo is heading. Politics disadvantages should have well-warranted link stories that explain why the plan uniquely causes losers/win, winners to lose, etc.
Counterplans should solve for at least one of the advantages of the AFF. Plan-inclusive counterplans are core negative ground, though perhaps less so on resolutions with 1 topical affirmative (resolutions that require the AFF to pass a bill, for example). I usually default to counterplans competing based on net benefits, and thus permutation arguments need to explain why the perm shields the link to the disadvantage(s).