Zachary Burdette Paradigm

Last changed 31 December 2019 9:16 AM EDT

I debated for St. Mark's and briefly for Georgetown. The last year I debated was 2014, and I have generally judged around once a year since then. I'm posting this for the 2020 MBA tournament.

Thanks to the wisdom of the tabroom, I rarely judge debates that are close enough that the result is a function of my idiosyncratic views about anything. The only time I've thought my subjective beliefs actually changed the outcome related to whether judging should optimize for rewarding "true" arguments or the technical presentation of the arguments in the debate (i.e., tech vs. truth). Debate serves many purposes to different people, but its primary academic value is to teach analytical thinking by forcing students to figure out how best to organize and communicate their own arguments and to pick apart stupid ideas systematically. If I cannot articulate the logic and evidence behind an argument, I will not consider it as a key factor in my decision-making. But if it is somewhat coherent and the other team has not adequately explained why it is dumb, my role is to focus on the effectiveness of the argumentation rather than the substantive veracity of the claims.

I have not yet judged any debates on the arms sales topic, but am extremely familiar with the underlying subject matter. If you show that you have worked hard to research and understand the policy issues involved, you will receive really good speaker points. If you make the debate about theory or topicality (barring egregious violations, most of which will probably be affs that are not substantial or lazy counterplans that are basically just the aff), you will not.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum MBA HS 2020-01-04 SBF R2 Montgomery Bell GH Westminster FK Neg
National Debate Coaches Association National Championship HS 2016-04-09 POL R6 Peninsula TW Glenbrook South SR Aff
National Debate Coaches Association National Championship MS 2016-04-09 POL R3 Pace FA Westminster Schools CK Neg
National Debate Coaches Association National Championship HS 2016-04-09 POL R2 Berkeley Prep MY Jesuit CP BR Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools MS 2016-01-29 PEL ADW Pace FM Glenbrook South AC Aff Aff 3-0
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R5 Greenhill WM Jesuit CP HL Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R1 Lexington SM Hawken YZ Aff