Gretchen Beckwith Paradigm

Last changed 4 May 2021 4:01 AM EST

Background Info

I have judged for high school debate tournaments for 10 years, and genuinely enjoy doing so. LD is by far my favorite event, because it is so beautifully structured, and requires significant thought and preparation and analysis.

In my day job, I'm a lawyer, but not a courtroom litigator. I'm not impressed by snarky CX strategies or ad hominem attacks during rebuttals. Your goal during CX & rebuttals is either to clarify information provided or to poke holes in your opponent's arguments, not to show off how clever you think you are. If you are in fact very clever, it will be evident to me based on your questions and arguments during the round.

Approach

I am a traditional flow judge. This should be a value debate. I want there to be a good clash, and I want each debater to have sufficient contentions to support his or her chosen VP/VC (so a kritik will probably turn me off). The evidence should be legitimate, and it should link to the contentions and then up to the VP/VC/resolution without me having to twist my brain sideways to figure out the links. Don't spoon feed me, but DO make sure it's addressed in your framework, because I won't assume a link exists if you don't mention it during the round.

The number of contentions is less important to me than the strength and validity of each one. It's possible to argue a winning case with only two contentions instead of nine, as long as they're well-researched and well-presented with great links to your value structure.

Also - even though I'm flowing your arguments, it's not an all-or-nothing round based on the flow. I'm definitely NOT persuaded by a debater who says "well, my opponent dropped my 4th contention so that argument carries through the debate and therefore I win the entire round" - because maybe your 4th contention was so worthless your opponent didn't see any need to waste time refuting it (for example). My point is, you won't lose just because you fail to rebut every single point your opponent makes; and you won't win just because your opponent fails to rebut every single point you raise. I'm flowing your cases, but my decision for each round is not limited ONLY to the specifics of the flow.

You will impress me much more with quick-thinking analysis of and response to your opponent's arguments than with a well-written constructive case (although the latter should be a given at this level of competition). I am not, on the other hand, going to be at all impressed by esoteric theoretic non-topical pollutificationism (although it can be entertaining, it won't win you the round).

I am able to understand extremely fast speech as long as you articulate your words clearly and remember to breathe. That said, IF YOU SPREAD - I WILL PROBABLY DROP YOU.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2021-06-07 LD R8 776 671 Neg Neg 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2021-06-07 LD R8 595 693 Aff Aff 3-0
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2021-02-27 VLD SEM Cary AC Carolina Day CK Neg Aff 2-1
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2021-02-27 VLD R4 Charlotte Latin EL Charlotte Country Day EA Aff
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2021-02-27 VLD R2 Providence AA Charlotte Latin SP Aff
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2021-02-27 VLD R1 Northwest Guilford LB Providence AK Aff
Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-11-21 VLD R6 Minnetonka MW West HS SLC TC Aff
Bob Jones Academy 34th Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-10-17 NLD R4 1119 1142 Neg
Bob Jones Academy 34th Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-10-17 NLD R1 1106 1126 Neg
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 LD V R6 Davis SS Teurlings Catholic CS Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 LD V R6 Hawken OT BASIS Peoria AA Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 LD V R5 Hathaway Brown AS University MF Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 LD V R5 University SK Centennial NS Neg
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 LD V R4 Davis BM University AA Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 LD V R4 University JB Redlands EC Aff
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R10 L203 L129 Aff Aff 3-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R10 L119 L172 Aff Aff 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R9 L215 L180 Neg Neg 3-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R9 L271 L212 Aff Aff 3-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R8 L306 L222 Neg Aff 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R8 L116 L121 Neg Neg 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R7 L148 L138 Neg Neg 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R7 L142 L156 Aff Aff 2-1
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R6 L265 L171 Aff
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R6 L257 L124 Aff Aff 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R5 L357 L268 Aff Aff 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R5 L147 L136 Neg Neg 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R4 L187 L310 Aff Aff 2-0
National Speech and Debate Tournament HS 2020-06-12 LD R4 L260 L292 Neg
Eagle Invitational HS 2020-02-08 NLD R3 131 178 Aff
Eagle Invitational HS 2020-02-08 NLD R1 177 159 Aff
Furman Paladin Invitational HS 2020-01-18 LD R2 1402 1408 Aff
Carolina Kickoff HS 2019-09-28 VLD R3 Asheville HR Greenville Senior RH Neg
Carolina Kickoff HS 2019-09-28 NLD R1 Mauldin CP Myers Park EL Aff
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2019-02-23 VLD R3 Charlotte Catholic CH NC School Of Science & Math RJ Neg
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2019-02-23 VLD R2 Central Academy of Tech and Arts KH Providence ZC Neg
Steven Davis Invitational at Ardrey Kell HS 2019-02-23 VLD R1 Northwest Guilford MW Cape Fear MA Neg
Corona Rostrensis at Charlotte Latin School HS 2018-11-03 LD R4 NC School Of Science & Math RJ Ardrey Kell NK Aff
Corona Rostrensis at Charlotte Latin School HS 2018-11-03 LD R3 Ardrey Kell HR Charlotte Latin JS Aff
Corona Rostrensis at Charlotte Latin School HS 2018-11-03 LD R1 Ardrey Kell VV Providence SR Aff
Charlotte Catholic Queen City Invitational HS 2018-10-27 NLD R4 Myers Park CM Fort Mill SC Aff
Charlotte Catholic Queen City Invitational HS 2018-10-27 NLD R3 Ardrey Kell HR Fort Mill JS Aff
Charlotte Catholic Queen City Invitational HS 2018-10-27 NLD R2 Ardrey Kell AS North Mecklenburg PM Aff
Charlotte Catholic Queen City Invitational HS 2018-10-27 NLD R1 Providence CK Asheville JL Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 LD R1 Mountain Brook JW Vestavia Hills RD Neg