Peter Rehani ParadigmLast changed 11/15 7:42P CST
UPDATED 11/15/19: Clarified evidence policy and paradigm comprehension reward.
UPDATED 5/25/19 for NCFL NATIONALS SPECIFICALLY: Regarding prep time, I will allow 10 seconds for teams to find cards under the requester’s prep time; after that, I will consider it an abuse of prep time and therefore it will not count.
PF TLDR: Heavily flow based judge. My biggest voters rely on extensions and clash in the round. Weigh and define the voters in the final focus. If you have a framework, I expect you to explain why you win under that framework (similarly, if your opponent's provide a framework, weigh under that too). Signpost. Signpost. Signpost.
Congress TLDR: I try to weigh speaking style equally for debate--for debate, I look for clash, extension, and clear reference back to previous speakers. Avoid rehash at all costs, else you will end up on the bottom of my ballot. Speak clearly and ensure that your speeches are clear and well structured.
I strongly encourage you to read this thoroughly. PLEASE ASK ME BEFORE THE ROUND IF SOMETHING IS UNCLEAR TO YOU. I will gladly answer any questions before the round (or after the round). I will try my absolute best to justify my decisions to you (debaters!) during PF disclosure, and if I'm not communicating in a way that you understand, it is YOUR responsibility speak up and let me know.
- If the tournament doesn't explicitly disallow plans and both teams agree before the round to allow plans, feel free to run a plan-based debate if the topic calls for it. I find it more educational.
- In the case of an evidence question being called, I default to tournament rules; barring specific guidelines from the tournament (if tournaments require prep to be run), my policy is to begin prep as soon as the opposing team provides the exact location of the reference. All citations should include dates. Paraphrasing is a realistic way to get more evidence on the flow, but you shouldn't be using evidence as your argument -- they are there to supplement and support your arguments. Otherwise I default to not running prep for evidence exchange.
- If it's not in the final focus, it's not a voter.
- I appreciate effective crossfire, however I don't flow it unless you explicitly tell me to write something down, like a specific concession (hint: you should do this, explicitly say "write that down").
- I am inclined to reward good communication with speaker points and a mind more receptive to your arguments.
- Outside of the fact that the 2nd overall speech is allowed to just read case, I expect FULL case/off-case coverage in EVERY speech starting with the 2nd rebuttal (4th overall speech) -- i.e. extend everything that you want weighed. The 1st rebuttal (3rd overall speech) doesn't need to extend case -- they just need to refute the opposing case.
- Exception to the above: Framework. If you're speaking second, don't wait until 15 minutes into the round to tell me your framework. You're obligated to make those arguments in case. I vastly prefer to see framework at the top of all speeches, as it provides structure and a lens to understand your arguments--if you wait 1:30 into summary to discuss framework, it's likely that I'll lose it on the flow.
- For rebuttal, my general preference for the sake of sanity in organization is concise, top down, line by line responses. I feel that this is often the best way to ensure that you get through everything in the case. Rebuttal does not have to repeat everything, but should provide organized responses. Please signpost.
- I am very likely not the judge you want if you're running a non-canonical strategy, like a "kritik". I am an engineer and I have a fairly rigid policymaker paradigm.
- I don't flow anything called an "overview". Overviews are heuristic explanations to help me make sense of the round. Please don't expect to generate offense off of an overview.
- I'm fine if you'd like to time yourselves with an alarm; however, for the sake of common courtesy, please turn this off if you plan to time your opponents.
- I am inclined to give bonus speaker points if I see an effort to "read me" as a judge, even if you read me wrong. Cite my paradigm if you need to. Learning to figure out your audience is a crucial life skill. On a related note: if you use the secret word 'lobster' in your speech, I will give you and your partner a metaphorical 0.5 extra speaker points, since it means you read my philosophy thoroughly. This applies to LD too.
- I generally prefer debates I'd be able to show to a school administrator and have them be impressed by the activity rather than offended or scared.
- Please give me voter issues in the final focus. Weigh if at all possible. When I weigh for you, hell breaks loose. I cannot stress this enough.
- I try to judge congressional debate through as balanced a lens as possible--this means I tend to value speaking quality equally to the quality of your debate abilities.
- Typically, the biggest reason that I knock speakers down comes from non-original arguments/causing rehash in the debate. I feel that this decreases the quality of the debate and fundamentally mitigates the educational benefits of congressional debate.
- Regarding roleplay of a true Congress, I think it adds a bit of humor to the debate and leads to more engaged speakers.
- On the note of questioning, I prefer when students keep questions as concise as possible to avoid burying the speaker in a mountain of jargon.
- Clash and extension (similar to my PF paradigm) are my biggest factors on the debate side--please please please introduce clash and cite the speaker that you are extending or clashing. It helps to follow the flow of the argument as you speak, and it demonstrates you're actually paying attention.
- The later you speak in cycle, the more clash I expect to see and I judge on that metric. Similarly, I strongly dislike having 2 speeches on the same side, as it often leads to rehash. If you are speaking for the second time on the same bill, I look more closely for unique arguments and extended clash, and tend to judge these speeches slightly more harshly.
- Extension of questioning time often leads to less speeches getting in, and ultimately means that less people get a chance to speak. For this reason, I'm typically opposed to having students extend their questioning periods.
- For later cycle, I don't mind crystallization speeches but I do expect to see weighing and clear reference back to previous speakers.
- As stated above, your evidence is not your argument--It serves to support your argument.
- Speaking: gestures and clear movements add to structure and to the quality of your speech. Gesturing for the sake of gesturing, and non directed movements do not. I tend to prefer when speakers keep it simple with the style instead of over-complicating everything.
- For authorships, sponsorships, and first negs, I tend to look at fluency breaks and time more critically, as these are speeches that should be well rehearsed ahead of time.
- I view a logical argument that flows well to be on par with literal evidence from a perspective of supporting your arguments. This means that 1-you shouldn't be afraid to use logic in your speeches and 2-evidence debates will not hold up for me.