Robey Holland ParadigmLast changed 2/9 9:55A CDT
I am the head coach at Plano West. I was previously the coach at LC Anderson. I was a 4-year debater in high school, 3-years LD and 1-year CX. My students have competed in elimination rounds at several national tournaments, including Glenbrooks, Greenhill, Berkeley, Harvard, Emory, St. Marks, etc. I’ve also had debaters win NSDA Nationals and the Texas State Championship (both TFA and UIL.)
Email chain: email@example.com
· You can debate quickly if that’s your thing, I can keep up. Please stop short of spreading, I’ll flow your arguments but tank your speaks. If something doesn’t make it onto my flow because of delivery issues or unclear signposting that’s on you.
· Do the things you do best. In exchange, I’ll make a concerted effort to adapt to the debaters in front of me. However, my inclinations on speeches are as follows:
o Rebuttal- Do whatever is strategic for the round you’re in. Spend all 4 minutes on case, or split your time between sheets, I’m content either way. If 2nd rebuttal does rebuild then 1st summary should not flow across ink.
o Summary- I prefer that both teams make some extension of turns or terminal defense in this speech. I believe this helps funnel the debate and force strategic decisions heading into final focus. If the If 1st summary extends case defense and 2nd summary collapses to a different piece of offense on their flow, then it’s fair for 1st final focus to leverage their rebuttal A2’s that weren’t extended in summary.
o Final Focus- Do whatever you feel is strategic in the context of the debate you’re having. While I’m pretty tech through the first 3 sets of speeches, I do enjoy big picture final focuses as they often make for cleaner voting rationale on my end.
· Weighing, comparative analysis, and contextualization are important. If neither team does the work here I’ll do my own assessment, and one of the teams will be frustrated by my conclusions. Lessen my intervention by doing the work for me. Also, it’s never too early to start weighing. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.
· I’m naturally credulous about the place of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD/CX, I default reasonability over competing interps and am inclined to award the RVI if a team chooses to pursue it. Don’t be surprised if I make theory a wash and vote on substance. Good post fiat substance debates are my favorite part of this event, and while I acknowledge that there is a necessity for teams to be able to pursue the uplayer to check abusive positions, I am opposed to this event being overtaken by theory hacks and tricks debate.
· I’m happy to evaluate framework in the debate. I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default Cost-Benefit Analysis.
· Don’t flow across ink, I’ll likely know that you did. Clash and argument engagement is a great way to get ahead on my flow.
· Prioritize clear sign posting, especially in rebuttal and summary. I’ve judged too many rounds this season between competent teams in which the flow was irresolvably muddied by card dumps without a clear reference as to where these responses should be flowed. This makes my job more difficult, often results in claims of dropped arguments by debaters on both sides due to lack of clarity and risks the potential of me not evaluating an argument that ends up being critical because I didn’t know where to flow it/ didn’t flow it/ placed it somewhere on the flow you didn’t intend for me to.
· After the round I am happy to disclose, walk teams through my voting rationale, and answer any questions that any debaters in the round may have. Pedagogically speaking I think disclosure is critical to a debater’s education as it provides valuable insight on the process used to make decisions and provides an opportunity for debaters to understand how they could have better persuaded an impartial judge of the validity of their position. These learning opportunities require dialogue between debaters and judges. On a more pragmatic level, I think disclosure is good to increase the transparency and accountability of judge’s decisions. My expectation of debaters and coaches is that you stay civil and constructive when asking questions after the round. I’m sure there will be teams that will be frustrated or disagree with how I see the round, but I have never dropped a team out of malice. I hope that the teams I judge will utilize our back and forth dialogue as the educational opportunity I believe it’s intended to be. If a team (or their coaches) become hostile or use the disclosure period as an opportunity to be intellectually domineering it will not elicit the reaction you’re likely seeking, but it will conclude our conversation. My final thought on disclosure is that as debaters you should avoid 3ARing/post-rounding any judge that discloses, as this behavior has a chilling effect on disclosure, encouraging judges who aren’t as secure in their decisions to stop disclosing altogether to avoid confrontation.
· Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions you may have before we begin the round, or email me after the round if you have additional questions.
· You should do what you do best and in return I will make an earnest effort to adapt to you and render the best decision I can at the end of the debate. In this paradigm I'll provide ample analysis of my predispositions towards particular arguments and preferences for debate rounds. Despite that, reading your preferred arguments in the way that you prefer to read them will likely result in a better outcome than abandoning what you do well in an effort to meet a paradigm.
· You may speak as fast as you’d like, but I’d prefer that you give me additional pen time on tags/authors/dates. If I can’t flow you it’s a clarity issue, and I’ll say clear once before I stop flowing you.
· I like policy arguments. It’s probably what I understand best because it’s what I spent the bulk of my time reading as a competitor. I also like the K. I have a degree in philosophy and feel comfortable in these rounds.
· I have a high threshold on theory. I’m not saying don’t read it if it’s necessary, but I am suggesting is that you always layer the debate to give yourself a case option to win. I tend to make theory a wash unless you are persuasive on the issue, and your opponent mishandles the issue.
· Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you.
· I’m voting on substantive offense at the end of the debate unless you convince me to vote off of something else.
· You should strive to do an exceptional job of weighing in the round. This makes your ballot story far more persuasive, increasing the likelihood that you'll pick up and get high speaks.
· Disclosure is good for debate rounds. I’m not holding debaters accountable for being on the wiki, particularly if the debater is not from a circuit team, but I think that, at minimum, disclosing before the round is important for educational debates. If you don’t disclose before the round and your opponent calls you on it your speaks will suffer. If you're breaking a new strat in the round I won't hold you to that standard.
· Speaker points start at a 28 and go up or down from their depending on what happens in the round including quality of argumentation, how well you signpost, quality of extensions, and the respect you give to your opponent. I also consider how well the performance of the debater measures up to their specific style of debate. For example, a stock debater will be held to the standard of how well they're doing stock debate, a policy debater/policy debate, etc.
· I would estimate that my average speaker point is something like a 28.7, with the winner of the debate earning somewhere in the 29 range and the loser earning somewhere in the 28 range.
Debaters that elect to read positions about traumatic issues should provide trigger warnings before the round begins. I understand that there is an inherent difficulty in determining a bright line for when an argument would necessitate a trigger warning, if you believe it is reasonably possible that another debater or audience member could be triggered by your performance in the round then you should provide the warning. Err on the side of caution if you feel like this may be an issue. I believe these warnings are a necessary step to ensure that our community is a positive space for all people involved in it.
The penalty for not providing a trigger warning is straightforward: if the trigger warning is not given before the round and someone is triggered by the content of your position then you will receive 25 speaker points for the debate. If you do provide a trigger warning and your opponent discloses that they are likely to be triggered and you do nothing to adjust your strategy for the round you will receive 25 speaker points. I would prefer not to hear theory arguments with interps of always reading trigger warnings, nor do I believe that trigger warnings should be commodified by either debater. Penalties will not be assessed based on the potential of triggering. At the risk of redundancy, penalties will be assessed if and only if triggering occurs in round, and the penalty for knowingly triggering another debater is docked speaks.
If for any reason you feel like this might cause an issue in the debate let’s discuss it before the round, otherwise the preceding analysis is binding.
· I enjoy a good framework debate, and don’t care if you want to read a traditional V/C, ROB, or burdens.
· You should do a good job of explaining your framework. It's well worth your time spent making sure I understand the position than me being lost the entire round and having to make decisions based on a limited understanding of your fw.
· I’m more down for a topicality debate than a theory debate, but you should run your own race. I default competing interps over reasonability but can be convinced otherwise if you do the work on the reasonability flow. If you’re going for T you should be technically sound on the standards and voters debate.
· You should read theory if you really want to and if you believe you have a strong theory story, just don’t be surprised if I end up voting somewhere else on the flow.
· It's important enough to reiterate: Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you. Also, if you do not heed that advice there's a 100% chance I will miss some of your theory blips.
· I’m a fan of the K. Be sure to clearly articulate what the alt looks like and be ready to do some good work on the link story; I’m not very convinced by generic links.
· Don’t assume my familiarity with your literature base.
· For the neg good Kritiks are the ones in which the premise of the Kritik functions as an indict to the truth value of the Aff. If the K only gains relevance via relying on framework I am less persuaded by the argument; good K debates engage the Aff, not sidestep it.
· If you give good justifications and explanations of your performance I'm happy to hear it.
· These are good neg strats to read in front of me.
· Both the aff and neg should be technical in their engagement with the component parts of these arguments.
· Neg, you should make sure that your shells have all the right parts, IE don’t read a DA with no uniqueness evidence in front of me.
· Aff should engage with more than one part of these arguments if possible and be sure to signpost where I should be flowing your answers to these off case positions.
· I think I evaluate these arguments in a pretty similar fashion as most people. Perhaps the only caveat is that I don't necessarily think the Aff is required to win uniqueness in order for a link turn to function as offense. If uniqueness shields the link it probably overwhelms the link as well.
· I think perm debates are important for the Aff (on the CP of course, I WILL laugh if you perm a DA.) I am apt to vote on the perm debate, but only if you are technical in your engagement with the perm I.E. just saying "perm do both" isn't going to cut it.
· I'm not very familiar with it, and I'm probably not the judge you want to pref.
Feel free to ask me questions after the round if you have them, provided you’re respectful about it. If you attempt to 3AR me or become rude the conversation will end at that point.