aaron kall Paradigm

Director of Debate at The University of Michigan


General Judging Paradigm- I think debate is an educational game. Someone once told me
that there are three types of judges: big truth, middle truth, and little truth judges. I would
definitely fall into the latter category. I don’t think a two hour debate round is a search for
the truth, but rather a time period for debaters to persuade judges with the help of
evidence and analytical arguments. I have many personal biases and preferences, but I try
to compartmentalize them and allow the debate to be decided by the debaters. I abhor
judge intervention, but do realize it becomes inevitable when debaters fail to adequately
resolve the debate. I am a very technical and flow-oriented judge. I will not evaluate
arguments that were in the 2AR and 2AC, but not the 1AR. This is also true for
arguments that were in the 2NR and 1NC, but not in the negative block.


Counterplans/Theory- I would consider myself liberal on theory, especially regarding
plan-inclusive counterplans. Usually, the negative block will make ten arguments
theoretically defending their counterplan and the 1AR will only answer eight of them- the
2NR will extend the two arguments that were dropped, etc. and that’s usually good
enough for me. I have often voted on conditionality because the Aff. was technically
superior. If you’re Aff. and going for theory, make sure to answer each and every
negative argument. I am troubled by the recent emergence of theory and procedural
debates focusing on offense and defense. I don’t necessarily think the negative has to win
an offensive reason why their counterplan is theoretically legitimate- they just have to
win that their counterplan is legitimate. For the Aff., I believe that permutations must
include all of the plan and all or part of the counterplan. I think the do the counterplan
permutation is silly and don’t think it’s justified because the negative is conditional, etc. I
do realize this permutation wins rounds because it’s short and Neg. teams sometimes fail
to answer it. On the issue of presumption, a counterplan must provide a reason to reject
the Aff. Finally, I think it’s illegitimate when the Aff. refuses to commit to their agent for
the explicit purpose of ducking counterplans, especially when they read solvency
evidence that advocates a particular agent. This strategy relies on defending the theory of
textual competition, which I think is a bad way of determining whether counterplans
compete.


Topicality- When I debated, I commonly ran Affirmatives that were on the fringe of what
was considered topical. This was probably the reason I was not a great topicality judge
for the negative my first few years of judging college debate. Beginning this year, I have
noticed myself voting negative on topicality with greater frequency. In the abstract, I
would prefer a more limited topic as opposed to one where hundreds of cases could be
considered topical. That being said, I think topicality often seems like a strategy of
desperation for the negative, so if it’s not, make sure the violation is well developed in
the negative block. I resolve topicality debates in a very technical manner. Often it
seems like the best Affirmative answers are not made until the 2AR, which is probably
too late for me to consider them.


Kritiks- If I got to choose my ideal debate to judge, it would probably involve a politics
or other disadvantage and a case or counterplan debate. But, I do realize that debaters get
to run whatever arguments they want and strategy plays a large role in argument
selection. I have probably voted for a kritik about a half of dozen times this year. I never
ran kritiks when I debated and I do not read any philosophy in my free time. Kritik
rhetoric often involves long words, so please reduce your rate of speed slightly so I can
understand what you are saying. Kritiks as net-benefits to counterplans or alternatives
that have little or no solvency deficit are especially difficult for Affirmatives to handle.
Evidence Reading- I read a lot of evidence, unless I think the debate was so clear that it’s
not necessary. I won’t look at the un-underlined parts of cards- only what was read into
the round. I am pretty liberal about evidence and arguments in the 1AR. If a one card
argument in the 1NC gets extended and ten more pieces of evidence are read by the
negative block, the 1AR obviously gets to read cards. I think the quality of evidence is
important and feel that evidence that can only be found on the web is usually not credible
because it is not permanent nor subject to peer review. I wish there would be more time
spent in debates on the competing quality of evidence.


Cheap Shots/Voting Issues- These are usually bad arguments, but receive attention
because they are commonly dropped. For me to vote on these arguments, they must be
clearly articulated and have a competent warrant behind them. Just because the phrase
voting issue was made in the 1AR, not answered by the 2NR, and extended by the 2AR
doesn’t make it so. There has to be an articulated link/reason it’s a voting issue for it to
be considered.


Pet Peeves- Inefficiency, being asked to flow overviews on separate pieces of paper, 2NRs that go for too much, etc.

Seasonal voting record:

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Event Rd Aff Neg Decision
Wayne State George W Ziegelmueller Invitational 10/21/2017 Open 1 Wayne State AH Kentucky SP AFF Wayne State AH
Wayne State George W Ziegelmueller Invitational 10/21/2017 JV 2 WisMad MP Indiana LG NEG Indiana LG
Wayne State George W Ziegelmueller Invitational 10/21/2017 Open 5 Pittsburgh RL Michigan State PB NEG Michigan State PB
Kentucky College Tournament 9/27/2017 Open 1 Michigan State AS Kansas FO AFF Michigan State AS
Kentucky College Tournament 9/27/2017 Nov 2 Navy BS Indiana GL NEG Indiana GL
Kentucky College Tournament 9/27/2017 Open 3 Kansas FM Mary Washington CL AFF Kansas FM
Kentucky College Tournament 9/27/2017 Open 5 Dartmouth FT UC Berkeley GF AFF Dartmouth FT
Kentucky College Tournament 9/27/2017 Open 6 Emory SY Wake Forest LM AFF Emory SY
Georgia State 9/17/2017 JV 2 Missouri State AK Liberty GH AFF Missouri State AK
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 3 Michigan State SA Pittsburgh KL AFF Michigan State SA
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 4 Indiana/Wyoming TL Kentucky KL AFF Indiana/Wyoming TL
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 6 Kansas BH Michigan State BP NEG Michigan State BP
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 7 Wayne State AD Kansas FM NEG Kansas FM
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN Doubles UC Berkeley GJ Nevada Las Vegas HG NEG Nevada Las Vegas HG
Nevada Las Vegas HG on a 3-0
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK 9/8/2017 VPD 4 Calhoun FG Montgomery Bell GL NEG Montgomery Bell GL
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK 9/8/2017 VPD 6 Montgomery Bell ZK Cabot RM AFF Montgomery Bell ZK
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 1 HJPPV AL ValDMLWhit BM AFF HJPPV AL
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 4 BFHHR GlKh ValDMLWhit AM AFF BFHHR GlKh
National Debate Coaches Association National Championships 4/8/2017 POL 3 Glenbrook South KS New Trier ES AFF Glenbrook South KS
National Debate Coaches Association National Championships 4/8/2017 POL 6 Blue Valley Southwest ZF Peninsula AS AFF Blue Valley Southwest ZF
71st National Debate Tournament at KU 3/23/2017 Open Round 1 Georgetown LK Cornell KR AFF Georgetown LK
71st National Debate Tournament at KU 3/23/2017 Open Round 2 Missouri State BR Nevada Las Vegas GH NEG Nevada Las Vegas GH
71st National Debate Tournament at KU 3/23/2017 Open Round 4 Georgia RS Michigan State WR AFF Georgia RS
71st National Debate Tournament at KU 3/23/2017 Open Round 5 Georgetown KL Northwestern CE AFF Georgetown KL
71st National Debate Tournament at KU 3/23/2017 Open Doubles Northwestern LW Harvard MS NEG Harvard MS
Harvard MS on a 5-0
Hoosier Invitational Tournament HIT 1/28/2017 Break 1 Illinois HP Indian Njuguna & Kalyan AFF Illinois HP
Hoosier Invitational Tournament HIT 1/28/2017 Break 6 Vanderbilt JR Illino Hodgson & Corbridge AFF Vanderbilt JR
Hoosier Invitational Tournament HIT 1/28/2017 Cutt 7 Indian Novicoff & Tally Kentuc Baller & Rivas AFF Indian Novicoff & Tally
Hoosier Invitational Tournament HIT 1/28/2017 Cutt Octos Northw Callahan & Weideman MicSta Brill & Brown AFF Northw Callahan & Weideman
Northw Callahan & Weideman on a 3-0
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 OPEN 1 Emory FL Kansas KF AFF Emory FL
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 OPEN 2 Nevada Las Vegas BO Georgetown GL AFF Nevada Las Vegas BO
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 OPEN 3 Nevada Las Vegas GH Emory SY NEG Emory SY
Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum 1/7/2017 SBF Octos Glenbrook South SB Meadows BN AFF Glenbrook South SB
Glenbrook South SB on a 2-1
Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum 1/7/2017 SBF Semis Glenbrook North JL Peninsula TW NEG Peninsula TW
Peninsula TW on a 3-0
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 5 Georgetown MS Nevada Las Vegas GH AFF Georgetown MS
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 6 Washington BP Indiana NT NEG Indiana NT
Wayne State George Ziegelmueller Ziggy Invitational 10/22/2016 Open 6 Iowa WR Indiana PS AFF Iowa WR
Wayne State George Ziegelmueller Ziggy Invitational 10/22/2016 Open 7 Wayne State DH Michigan State BR NEG Michigan State BR
Wayne State George Ziegelmueller Ziggy Invitational 10/22/2016 Open Quarters Iowa CK Wayne State DH NEG Wayne State DH
Iowa CK on a 2-1
New Trier Season Opener 10/8/2016 Open Rd 2 Glenbrook North CR Glenbrook South KV AFF Glenbrook North CR
Kentucky College Tournament 9/28/2016 RR 3 Kentucky BT Michigan State MW NEG Michigan State MW
Kentucky College Tournament 9/28/2016 RR 4 Northwestern CE Emory FL NEG Emory FL
Kentucky College Tournament 9/28/2016 RR 5 Wake Forest SA Rutgers-Newark NM AFF Wake Forest SA
Kentucky College Tournament 9/28/2016 RR 9 UC Berkeley WG Georgetown KL AFF UC Berkeley WG
Georgia State University 9/17/2016 OPEN 6 Indiana DG Nevada Las Vegas BO NEG Nevada Las Vegas BO
Georgia State University 9/17/2016 OPEN 7 Nevada Las Vegas GH Central Florida FO AFF Nevada Las Vegas GH
Georgia State University 9/17/2016 OPEN Doubles Georgetown KS Kentucky HN AFF Georgetown KS
Kentucky HN on a 2-1
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest 9/3/2016 Var 6 Montgomery Bell Ha Johns Creek LW NEG Johns Creek LW
NDCA National Championships 4/9/2016 POL 3 Midway KK Westminster Schools RD NEG Westminster Schools RD
NDCA National Championships 4/9/2016 POL 6 Kapaun Mount Carmel HE Highland Park BD NEG Highland Park BD
National Debate Tournament NDT at Binghamton 3/31/2016 Open Round 3 Mary Washington CW Missouri State BR NEG Missouri State BR
National Debate Tournament NDT at Binghamton 3/31/2016 Open Round 6 Kansas Ca Wyoming MM AFF Kansas Ca
District 5 NDT Qualifying Tournament 2/19/2016 NDT Round 3 Michigan State Brill & Runburg Indiana Aaronson & Ferguson NEG Indiana Aaronson & Ferguson
2016 Golden Desert Debate Tournament at UNLV 2/6/2016 VCX 6 Harker HK St George's MV NEG St George's MV
Justin Wilson Debates Pace RR 1/27/2016 Pace 6 La Costa Canyon Glenbrook South NEG Glenbrook South
Justin Wilson Debates Pace RR 1/27/2016 Pace 7 Edgemont Jr./Sr. Little Rock Central NEG Little Rock Central
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest University 11/13/2015 Open RD 1 Georgetown EK Southern Methodist NS AFF Georgetown EK
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest University 11/13/2015 Open RD 3 Kansas FK Georgetown DG AFF Kansas FK
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest University 11/13/2015 Open RD 5 Missouri State BW Mary Washington CW AFF Missouri State BW
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest University 11/13/2015 Open RD 6 Capital CL UT Dallas SY AFF Capital CL
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 RR 1 Georgetown KL Emory LK NEG Emory LK
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 Open 1 Mary Washington CW Kansas BC NEG Kansas BC
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 RR 2 UT Dallas LO Harvard SH NEG Harvard SH
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 RR 4 Kentucky GN Kansas RB AFF Kentucky GN
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 Open 5 Kentucky GN Kansas FK AFF Kentucky GN
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 RR 6 Michigan State TS Trinity SR AFF Michigan State TS
Kentucky College Tournament 9/30/2015 Open Doubles Kentucky RH Kansas BC AFF Kentucky RH
Kentucky RH on a 3-0
Greenhill Fall Classic 9/19/2015 CX 2 GleSou CA GPS AS AFF GleSou CA
Greenhill Fall Classic 9/19/2015 CX 3 RouRoc AC Penins TW NEG Penins TW
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/19/2015 OPEN 6 Miami LS Mary Washington CW NEG Mary Washington CW
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/19/2015 OPEN 7 Kansas BC Kentucky GN NEG Kentucky GN
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/19/2015 OPEN Doubles Georgetown KK Kentucky HR AFF Georgetown KK
Georgetown KK on a 4-1
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest 9/4/2015 Var 6 Montgomery Bell JG Milton FM NEG Milton FM
NDCA National Championships 4/12/2015 POL 4 Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart CG Westminster Schools CK NEG Westminster Schools CK
69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa 4/3/2015 Open 3 Wyoming MM Michigan State ST NEG Michigan State ST
69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa 4/3/2015 Open 5 Kansas KC Northwestern OW AFF Kansas KC
69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa 4/3/2015 Open 7 Georgetown KK Kentucky GV AFF Georgetown KK
69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa 4/3/2015 Open 8 Liberty CS Iowa SH NEG Iowa SH
2015 Golden Desert Debates 1/31/2015 VCX 6 Harker HS Notre Dame SF AFF Harker HS
2015 Golden Desert Debates 1/31/2015 VCX Quarters Peninsula WT Notre Dame AP AFF Peninsula WT
Notre Dame AP on a 2-1
Justin Wilson Debates Pace RR 1/21/2015 Pace 1 Greenhill Wayzata AFF Greenhill
Justin Wilson Debates Pace RR 1/21/2015 Pace 2 Notre Dame Niles North AFF Notre Dame
2014 Franklin R Shirley Classic 11/15/2014 OPN 5 Kansas CK Michigan State ST NEG Michigan State ST
2014 Franklin R Shirley Classic 11/15/2014 OPN 6 Miami GS Mary Washington/Kentucky WA AFF Miami GS
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 SRR 6 Wylie E. Groves Rajagopolan & Oleynik Ransom Everglades Petros & Belausteguigoitia NEG Ransom Everglades Petros & Belausteguigoitia
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 VCX Final Pace LS Westminster Schools FG NEG Westminster Schools FG
Pace LS on a 2-1
Harvard Debate Costume Contest and Tournament 10/25/2014 Open Round 5 UT Dallas LO Georgetown EK AFF UT Dallas LO
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/20/2014 OPEN OPEN 6 Liberty CS Samford HB AFF Liberty CS
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/20/2014 OPEN OPEN 8 Liberty AM Wake Forest CV AFF Liberty AM
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 1 RT Mika & Chandler SS Zhao & Khan AFF RT Mika & Chandler
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 2 CL Matt & AJ ClaBMW Kim & Chen AFF CL Matt & AJ
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 3 RT Abdus & Hannah CL Chang & Mia AFF RT Abdus & Hannah
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 5 SS Chase & Solayman ClaBMW Jiang & Mcfadyen AFF SS Chase & Solayman
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 6 ClaBMW Markowitz & Siegman ClaBMW Yang & Huang NEG ClaBMW Yang & Huang
68th National Debate Tournament in Indiana 3/28/2014 Open 2 Indiana Swing Georgetown EM NEG Georgetown EM
68th National Debate Tournament in Indiana 3/28/2014 Open 6 Wyoming MP Berkeley SW NEG Berkeley SW
68th National Debate Tournament in Indiana 3/28/2014 Open 7 Kansas KS Kentucky GV AFF Kansas KS
2014 District 5 NDT Qualifying Tournament 2/21/2014 CX 1 Michigan State CZ John Carroll MS AFF Michigan State CZ
2014 District 5 NDT Qualifying Tournament 2/21/2014 CX 3 Wayne State JS Northwestern OS NEG Northwestern OS
2014 District 5 NDT Qualifying Tournament 2/21/2014 CX 4 Northwestern MP Wayne State JS AFF Northwestern MP
2014 District 5 NDT Qualifying Tournament 2/21/2014 CX 7 Wayne State LM Northwestern MP NEG Northwestern MP
2014 District 5 NDT Qualifying Tournament 2/21/2014 CX 8 Northwestern MP Wayne State LM NEG Wayne State LM
Dartmouth Round Robin 1/24/2014 7 Harvard Taylor & Dimitrijevic Rutgers-Newark Smith & Randall AFF Harvard Taylor & Dimitrijevic
Justin Wilson Debates Pace RR 1/22/2014 Pace 6 Lexington Glenbrook North NEG Glenbrook North
Justin Wilson Debates Pace RR 1/22/2014 Pace 7 Carrollton School of Sacred Heart Stratford AFF Carrollton School of Sacred Heart
2013 Mountaineer Debate Tournament 11/16/2013 Nov Novice Rd 1 JCU GW Clarion PS NEG Clarion PS
2013 Mountaineer Debate Tournament 11/16/2013 OPEN 5 Gtown LP UGA KS NEG UGA KS
2013 Mountaineer Debate Tournament 11/16/2013 JV JV Quar Liberty MW GMU KM NEG GMU KM
GMU KM on a 2-1
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX 5 Wayzata LH Westminster Schools HL NEG Westminster Schools HL
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX Final Westminster Schools BG Iowa City West MY AFF Westminster Schools BG
Westminster Schools BG on a 2-1
Kentucky College Tournament 10/5/2013 Opn Rd 6 Michigan State CZ Northwestern MP NEG Northwestern MP
Kentucky College Tournament 10/5/2013 Opn Rd 8 Wake Forest HS Texas BJ AFF Wake Forest HS
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/21/2013 JV Rd 5 Samford CH Liberty CS NEG Liberty CS
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/21/2013 NOV Rd 6 Miami NV Liberty MP AFF Miami NV
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/21/2013 OPEN Dbls Michigan State RT Wake Forest HS NEG Wake Forest HS
Wake Forest HS on a 2-1
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/21/2013 OPEN Sems Harvard BS Wake Forest MQ AFF Harvard BS
Harvard BS on a 3-0
GSU National College Debate Tournament 9/21/2012 open Open 7 GTown EnMc MSU GT NEG MSU GT
UNI Ulrich Season Opener 9/14/2012 JV Jr Rd 2 WSU CD KCKS GL NEG KCKS GL
UNI Ulrich Season Opener 9/14/2012 Op Open rd 3 UMinn BE August BH NEG August BH