Mateen Shah ParadigmLast changed 2/5 10:11A CDT
My Debate Experience:
I debated for 4 years in high school, graduating in 2012. I was not involved in the activity from 2012-15. I've been an assistant coach at Wichita East (Kansas) since Summer 2016. I usually judge ~2 varsity tournaments per month between September and January. I regularly cut CPs, case negs, and DA updates for my teams.
email: mateen.shah (at) gmail
Please make the subject line of the email chain: "[Tournament Name] [Round Number] --- [AFF School + Code] vs [NEG School + Code]" and not "r1" or "1ac."
I mostly judge/coach/understand traditional policy args. I don't dislike critical args, but I am less familiar with them, so my threshold for voting on them is higher than traditional args. I aspire to be the type of judge who says "do what you do best," but I'm not there yet. I care infinitely more about how you make your argument than the content of your argument. I don't think I know a lot, but I try to be honest about my limitations.
The most frustrating part about coaching for me has been when judges give my debaters 2-3 sentence RFDs, and then they proceed to act annoyed/disinterested when my debaters ask follow-up questions or for guidance regarding arguments that weren't in the 2NR/2AR. Debaters work hard and deserve thoughtful feedback. Too often judges are lazy and disengaged, or opt to withhold advice because they want their own teams to have a strategic advantage in later debates. I will never behave like this post-round.
I sometimes have trouble in the 1AR and 2NR distinguishing between new args and new application of earlier args. It helps me out a lot when you justify your new stuff, explain why your stuff isn't new, and/or call out when the other team says new stuff.
Speed: I don't care if everything you're reading is in a speech doc. You should still be clear and go slower during overviews/tags/analytics. I use speech docs primarily to read advocacy texts, look at contested ev during cx/prep, and/or to check for clipping.
Condo: Bad for condo debates. Since I began judging in 2016, I've heard one 2AR on condo. It was a really good 2AR. I voted neg.
T: I don't think I'm a good judge for technical T debates. A big part of this is that T debate are too quick and/or I'm bad at flowing T. TVAs, case lists, intent to define and specific DA/CP ground loss are all persuasive. I don't have a strong preference regarding competing interps vs reasonability.
CP: Read CP texts slower. I think judge kick is my default, and I'm probably a bad judge for judge kick debates. I am open to amendments and 2NC CPs, and their respective theory args.
K: If your go-to strat is a 1-off K, you shouldn't pref me. I don't know very much (any) critical lit. In the rounds where I've voted for Ks, the K was relatively simple and/or the aff overwhelmingly lost the framework debate. I'm most comfortable judging epistemology Ks and least comfortable with ontology and pomo Ks.
Judge instruction, historical examples, and simple overviews make these debates much easier for me to follow. Tell me about the world of the alt and why it's incompatible with the aff.
2As that perm Ks should do more than say "do both" and expect me to figure out what that means. Give me a sentence or two about how/why the perm solves the link, read a card, and/or tell me about the world of the perm in the 2AC.
Links of omission and reject alts are unpersuasive.
If I'm unfamiliar with your K, I'm usually reading that ev during cx or prep. If I think your explanation of K (usually the alt) either isn't grounded in the ev that you're reading or is otherwise incoherent, I'm very hesitant voting for you, even if the other team doesn't explicitly make those args.
K affs: I am open to hearing K affs, but I have little experience in these debates. My lack of exposure means that I've had little time to formulate extensive thoughts. Clash and fairness seem most persuasive. I think aff argument's about their model of debate are more persuasive than impact turns.
Case: I think I may have a higher standard for what constitutes a sufficient case extension than other judges. Under most circumstances, I need at least 2 sentences about how the aff resolves its internal links in the 2AC, 1AR, and 2AR. Listing your harms isn't good enough. If the neg has to extend more than their DA impact, so do you. Something like, "The aff ends arm sales, that results in y, which resolves z" is all I want. Too many teams get lazy and ONLY say things like "1% risk of solvency means you vote aff" or "it's try or die for the aff." These are sufficiency framing args, not case extensions. Tell me why you get to that 1%.
Speaker points: Things that I consider when deciding speaker points (in no particular order): effort, clarity, arg quality, ev quality, CX quality, speech doc organization, are you stealing prep, strategic kicks, demeanor during the round (to your opponents and partner,) ability to send an email, whether you're flowing.
Prep: It's never acceptable to use remaining cx time as prep. Asking what cards were/weren't read in a doc is always prep. Please stop asking questions after cx time is up.
Misc info: You should absolutely have an up-to-date wiki if you're competing at a TOC bid tournament. You should probably have an up-to-date wiki if you're competing in the varsity division at any Kansas tournament. Pre-tournament prep is good. Clash is good.
I am intentionally expressionless during rounds. I'm surprised more judges aren't--I think it's blatant intervention for judges to have physical reactions to arguments they like/dislike. It's also extremely condescending when judges vigorously shake their heads and sigh loudly. Don't adjust your strategy because you think you have a read on my facial expression/body language. I don't make a lot of eye contact.
An argument is only as good as your cx explanation. For example, if the neg reads a CP with an external DA net benefit, and during 1NC cx the neg team is unable to explain why the DA doesn't link to their CP, then I will not consider that DA to be the net benefit for the rest of the round. I will automatically disregard any later explanation of why the CP does not link. I apply this standard to all arguments. If you can't explain your "we meet" in cx, you don't get to magically figure it out during your rebuttals.
There's a distinction between spin and making an argument that's not grounded in your evidence. If you're doing the latter, I'm likely going to ignore whatever you're saying.
I think zero risk exists. For example, if the aff's only response to "this advantage has no internal link" is "it's try or die," I'll vote neg and blame the aff for everyone dying. You shouldn't get a W for reading a 1AC with an impact. Also, more teams should lose for writing terrible affs.
I don't think presumption ever flips. The greater the number of unresolved issues in the 2NR/2AR, the more inclined I am to vote on presumption even if the neg does not explicitly make a presumption arg.
I've voted on clipping each season I've judged, regardless of whether the opposing team has called it out.
I'm currently a law student, which definitely colors my reading of Court Affs/CPs/DAs. Practically, I think this means I'm more likely to be persuaded by defense (truth > tech) because internal links are often incomplete/wrong, and plan/CP texts never make any sense.
2As lie soooo much in the 2AR, and 2Ns don't anticipate/pre-empt often enough. Say stuff like, "The 1AR didn't extend a warrant for the link turn--they can't extend it in the 2AR."