Jesus Caro ParadigmLast changed 7/3 6:51P UTC
Lincoln Douglas Coach - Oxford Academy; previous policy debate coaching experience
Experience: 4 years college LD/Parli
Backround: I debated for two years at Cerritos College and later transferred to CSU-Long Beach to compete in parliamentary debate. My academic background is in Finance and Accounting. I am familiar with most contemporary arguments in debate and have read books and news article before. I think that there is no such thing as tabula rasa but I also try not to insert myself, too much, in the debate round.
How Do I View Debate?
Fundamentally, I see debate as a rhetorical game that rewards the deployment of strategic skillsets within the round. This means that you should do whatever it is you are good at. I tend to believe that the affirmative will present a question and attempt to resolve that question using whatever tools they have. The negative will stand up and try to do the same, using different strategies and techniques. Whatever it is you do, you should be trying to write my ballot for me.
How Do I Decide Debate Rounds?
From my experience judging debate rounds I’ve come to the conclusion that most rounds either conclude in one of two scenarios. Either teams will compare their arguments versus their opponents or they won’t.
“Even If” Statements: I think the most important rebutalist tool is the “Even If” statements. Even If statements allows for the narrowing of the debate because it allows for certain parts of the debate to be conceded and ignored. They focus the debate to only the arguments that are important.
Risk Assesments: In assessing risk I think a team should win their link before they begin their risk assesment. Uniqueness usually controls the direction on the link, however, if this is all you are going for you in the rebuttals, then your probably behind everywhere else and your link argument was “ they pass plan”. For example, a politics disad requires a nuanced explanation of how the specific policy triggers the link. Otherwise the risk of a link is not intrinsic to the affirmative and tenous at best. In this situation I find that good link and impact defense are enough to mitigate any substantive effect of the disad, if argued in round.
When there is no Comparison: Intuitively I think I evaluate timeframe first, the sequence of the impacts, then the probability of your impacts happening, and finally I look to magnitude to quantify the gravity of the impact. This usually means that one of the teams will dislike the decision because I barely understand what timeframe, probablitiy or magnitude mean.
When there is Comparison: In rounds where one team is making all the comparisons using “even-if” statements, that team will usually win the round. However, in exceptional rounds where both teams are making comparative statements I will examine what questions have been established as relevant Then I will try to determine which team most accurately answers those questions.
Things That Can Be True.
Regarding speed of delivery I usually believe that I can catch most of what is being said in the debate round. However, as there is no “pen time” be aware that pausing between the #5 on the Uniquness and the #1 on the Link, helps keep my flow organized.
There are some arguments that will take some extra work to get me to vote on, usually RVI’s and Speed Bad.
Framework should never be considered a voting issue. Most of the time these arguments are simply impact calc. Essentially, any argument that describes a process of prioritization between two competing impacts/scenarios is a framework argument.
“Dropped” arguments, if answered elsewhere, are not dropped.
I think that you should have a resolutional basis for your affirmative. If you are the affirmative and have some rational basis for your interpretation of the debate (Policy/Kritik/Value/Fact/Whatever), all you have to do is answer the procedural effectively.
I appreciate strategic issue selection; you do NOT need to go for every argument in the round. Both teams should be collapsing to the FEW arguments that WILL win the round.
The best advice I ever received from a coach was this, “if you lose to a bad argument/team, it is because you did not do a good enough job explaining to the judge why the argument was nonsense or unimportant”.
Theory/Topicality/Procedurals: Since all of these questions are questions regarding rules, within the debate round, I will adhere to the following when evaluating them:
Unless otherwise indicated I default to seeing these as issues questions of competing interpretations, this means in-round abuse is not necessary. I also think that reasonability can be defined as having a counterinterpretation that solves the impact of the original interpretation, fairness or education.
Counterplans: Generally, I think that counterplans are one the most strategic tools the negative has to leverage any access to affirmative impacts. This is especially important when government actions seems almost necessary like “ The USFG Should send money to six children in a rural community”, what’s the disad to that aff? I think you should begin defending your CP in the LOC to fend off new theory arguments in the PMR. I usually let teams resolve questions of counterplan theory in-round. I do, however, have a predispotion towards fairness and tend to evaluate these questions through that lens.
Critiques: I am farily familiar with the kritik and understand the fundamental basis of its operation. However, this does not mean that I know the authors that you may be referencing or the terms you may be using.
Framework: I find most kritik frameworks to be spectres of illusions by assuming that there is a substantial difference between the impacts of the affirmative and the impacts of the affirmative. The function of the framework should be to clarify the role of the judge within the round and the role of the participants. Any framework that does not discuss these two concerns leaves me wanting for NB.
Alternative/Solvency: I find the most vulnerable part of a criticism is the function of the alternative, which, stems from the function of the framework. Largely teams will read framework claiming rhetoric comes first, with an alternative that to reject. The logical response is for the affirmative to say reject and affirm the plan, the permuation. In these situations the affirmative will almost always come ahead. However, a framework that delineates the requirements for a win always ensures that the alternative is the only viable option, giving the neg a better answer to the perm. Solvency, I find, in most criticisms are rather shallow because kritik teams are not quite sure how this part works. Much like a counterplan or PMC, the purpose of the alternative is to show that the alternative works. You should have warrants and examples to prove that a vote for the alternative can solve. It is not necessary to show that you create in-round change, insofar as it’s not the purpose of the framework.
Permutations: A legitimate permutation is all of the plan and all or parts of the counterplan. Permutations should not be advocacies. This can be dissuaded by the debaters in round.
Please feel free to ask me if you have any specific questions.