It has been 2 years since I have attended an in-person tournament. I miss the activity in person. I am also grateful that we get the chance to see each other virtually instead of having our activity sidelined.
I was a policy debater in West Texas in the late 90's. Competing and doing well in both UIL and TFA. Afterwards, I spent four years competing in two forms of limited prep debate at the collegiate level (IPDA and Parliamentary)
ONE DIAMOND COACH:
In 14 years of coaching, we have competed and won in Policy, Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, World Schools and Big Question. We are the only small-school ,from Arkansas, that has been consistent at qualifying for Nationals.
In the past 16 years, we have attended TOC 4 times and NSDA Nats 6 times. We have made it to nationals in everything from Oratory, World Schools Debate, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, Big Questions and World Schools debate.
I have judged; 2020 NSDA PF FINALS, NSDA finals rounds of Individual events, NSDA Nats World Schools Debate, Big Questions Nationals Semi-Finals Round, Lincoln-Douglas.
TOC PF and everything that you can think of on our local circuit.
This activity and its associated community give me life. It has led me from a life of poverty into a prosperous one that allows for a completely different world than I was raised in. I am honored to be judging debaters of your caliber and degree.
My View on debate:
It is my hope that my view on debate is nuanced and takes into account as many viewpoints as possible. Debate is a 'game'. However, this game has the ability to examine, indict and change the status quo. The words we say, the thoughts we use, and the policy that we propose is not only a reflection of real life but often has real-world implications outside of the round. My responsibility as an adjudicator extends past the time we share together. My ballot will carry the ramification of perpetuating or helping to stop the things that are espoused in that round.
I ,therefore, take my job extremely seriously when it comes to the type of argumentation , words used and attitude presented in the rounds that I will sit in front of. It is also a game in the sense that the competitors are present in order to compete. The fact that we are engaged in an intellectual battle doesn't change the fact that every person in the round is trying to win. I have never seen a debater forfeit a round in order to further their social or political commentary.
If the topics calls for an in-depth discussion of any type of argument that might be considered a "K" that is entirely fine. I caution that these types of arguments should be realistic and genuine. It is a travesty and a mockery of the platform to shoehorn serious social commentary with the sole intent of winning a game.
In terms of the words you choose and the arguments that you make. Please follow this advice that I found on another judge's Paradigm "A non-threatening atmosphere of mutual respect for all participants is a prerequisite to any debating."
If you make arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise blatantly discriminatory you will lose the round. Debate should be a free marketplace of ideas but it should also be a marketplace that is open to all humans on this earth. That can't happen with aggressive language that dehumanizes others. Make your point without tearing people down. Getting a W isn't worth losing your moral compass.
This activity is a game of persuasion that is rooted in evidenced based argumentation. I prefer a well warranted argument instead of a squabble over dates/qualification of evidence. [this is not to say qualification don't matter. But you have to prove that the evidence is biased] Don't waste your time arguing specifics when it doesn't matter.
- Speed is fine. "Spreading" is not. Your breathing shouldn't become markedly different and noticeable because of your rate increase. The pitch of your voice shouldn't also change dramatically because of your delivery. If you are clean, clear and articulate then you are free to go as fast as you wish.
- Don't just extend cards with Author name. "Extend Samson '09". You need to explain why that argument is a good answer to whatever you are extending. For me, debate is more than just lines on a page. Your words matter. Your arguments matter.
- I feel that the first two speeches are solely for setting up the case in favor or opposition to the resolution. If an answer happens to cross-apply as a good answer to their case that is fine. But, I don't expect PF teams to divide their time in the first speeches to offer counter-arguments.
- No new in the 2. Core arguments should be flowing out of the first two constructive speeches. If it isn't covered by your partner in the second constructive or by you in the summary speech then it is dropped. Too little, too late. This isn't football and a Hail Mary will not occur.
- While I view debate as a game....it is more like Quidditch and less like muggle games. (*just because you win the most points doesn't make you the winner. If you catch that golden snitch....you can pull out the win! Don't be afraid to argue impacts as opposed to number of points)
- The affirmative has the burden of proof. It is their job to prove the resolution true. If the debate is a wash this means the default win will go to the negative. (low speak wins included)
- Framework: I will assume CBA unless otherwise stated. You can win framework and then lose the debate under that framework. That should be obvious. Make sure that you explain how and why you win under the framework of the debate.
- PF Plans/ CPs: Simply put. These are against the rule. You are allowed to give a general recommendation but this often delves right into plan territory.
- ATTITUDE: Humor is welcome. Sarcasm and rudeness are not.
- Evidence: Don't miscut evidence. I will call for evidence if (A) a team tells me to do so or (B) I suspect it is miscut.
- Round Evaluation: I am a flow judge. I will judge based on what happens in-round. It is your job to impact out your arguments. Don't just say 'this leads to racism'...TELL ME WHY RACISM IS BAD and what the actual impact is. Don't make me do the work for you. Make sure to weigh the arguments out under the frameworks.
- Shoo fly, you bug me:
- Don't tell me that something is dropped when it isn't. If they simply repeat their assertion in response, that is a different story. But if they have a clear answer and you tell me that they dropped that isn't going to end well for you. Don't extend through ink.
- Rudeness: This isn't a street fight. This is an intellectual exchange and thus should not be a showcase of rude behavior such as: Ad Hominem attacks on your competition, derision of your opponents argument or strategy, Domination of Cross by shouting/ cutting off / talking over your opponents.
- Arguing with me after disclosure. It wont change the ballot.
- Packing your things while I am giving you a critique.
Overall, do your best and have a fantastic time. That is why we are all here. If you have any questions about a ballot feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com