Kelly Thompson ParadigmLast changed 9/19 1:21P UTC
I debated for 3 years @ Washburn Rural
I debated for 4 years @ Emporia State (NDT '08)
I am the Director of Debate at Lawrence Free State HS (3rd year at FS, 11th year as a head coach, 19th year in Policy Debate)
*Please add me to the email chain if one exists. I won't read along but I will read cards that have been contested during the round to make meta-decisions. firstname.lastname@example.org and Lfsdebate@gmail.com
I will do my best to answer any questions that you have before the debate.
-I don't care how fast you talk, but I do care how clear you talk. I won't clear you but it will be obvious if I can't understand you because I won't be flowing and I communicate non-verbally probably more than most other judges.
-I don't care what arguments you read, but I do care whether you are making arguments, responding to opposition arguments, and engaging in impact calculus (your arg v their arg, not just your arg) throughout the debate.
-I don't care what aff you read, if you defend a plan, or if you debate on the margins of the topic, but I do care if you have offensive justifications for your decisions, and if you solve.
-If you're reading generic link arguments or CP solvency cards - it will matter a great deal how well you can contextual that generic evidence to the specific affirmative plan.
-I think teams should be willing to go for theory more.
Some top level thoughts as we enter the Arms Sales topic:
1) "New in the 2" is bad for debate. I always forget to tell people this at the beginning of the year, then I have to watch sloppy/shallow debates until I remember. If you read new arguments in the 2NC (or 1NR) as a "strategy", you are making the debate round worse. If the other team does not further an argument about it (WHAT! Neither team read my philosophy), I'll evaluate you arguments and not intervene despite my bias. But, if the other team makes an argument about it - I will disregard all new positions read in the negative block.
2) This topic is pretty big and I think T ground is pretty bad for the negative. But - there is strategic value to reading T arguments to ensure links to Disads and competition for CPs.
3) Prep Time: Prep stops when the document is saved to your jump drive or the email is sent. It does not stop when you're "ready" and "just flashing". If you stop prep, and then restart it, its evident you've stolen prep in the interim. I get irrationally irritated about this practice and your speaker points will reflect it. Flowing during "flash time" is stealing prep and cheating. Your speaks will be docked accordingly. Finally, putting flows in order is part of prep time. Saying the order is not.
4) I do not enjoy giving long-winded oral criticisms or RFDs. I will default to tournament protocol - but most of my comments will be on Tabroom. If you struggle to access those after the tournament - email me.
5) If you're flowing the speech doc and not the speech itself you deserve to be conned in to answering arguments that were never made in the debate, and to lose to analytic arguments (theory and otherwise) that were made while you were busy staring at your screen.
General thoughts about debate:
-People should assume their opponent's are winning some arguments in the last rebuttals. A decision to assume you're winning everything nearly guarantees that you are incorrect and minimizes the likelihood that you're doing relevant impact calculus. I really think "even-if" statements are valuable for final rebutalists.
-People should deploy extensive impact calculus regardless of the arguments furthered in their final rebuttal. It is incredibly difficult to evaluate education v. fairness absent work done by the debaters, and I'm not comfortable intervening in doing so. I've found myself leaning negative in debates where this fails to happen because the aff has failed to articulate an impact to voting aff (presumption).
-My speaker point scale has tended to be:
29+ - you should receive a speaker award in this division at this tournamnet
28.5+ - you should be in elimination debates at this tournament, and probably win one or more of those rounds
28 - you are competing for a spot to clear but still making errors that may prevent you from doing so. Average for the division/tournament.
27.5 - you are slightly below average for the division/tournament and need to spend some time on the fundamentals. Hopefully, I've outlined in my notes what those are.
27 - there were serious fundamental errors that need to be corrected.
**I've found that the best way to boost your speaks on my ballot is to demonstrate that you understand the nexus points of the debate and/or when the debate has resolved itself through your argumentative prowess. Often, this means strong/specific overviews, and can sometimes mean not utilizing all of your prep/speech time when the flow of the debate indicates it is impossible for your opposition to come back in the round. (EG - if the 1AR drops a topicality argument in its entirety, and you use 4 minutes of prep for the 2NR and give a 5 minute 2NR speech - you have not demonstrated mastery of the flow.
An argument requires a claim, a warrant, and an impact. Saying "extend my link" is not an argument and likely will not warrant evaluation from me.
Topicality- I really enjoy T debates, I think competing interpretations is probably true and find reasonability arguments to be uncompelling almost always. If you're not topical you should have an offensive reason that you're not. If you are topical then you should win why your vision of the resolution is superior to the negatives. I'm equally likely to vote on a critique of topicality as I am a T argument against a blatantly topical affirmative.
Critiques- I'm fascinated by K debates and the literature, but also am just not being as smart as a lot of other coaches/debate people. As such, the two biggest issues for the negative are assuming I know your K and assuming I understand your alt. The 2NC (or 1NR) should be primarily focused on explaining how the alternative functions and either how it solves the aff or how your framework disengages the aff impacts. K debaters tend to spend an extraordinary amount of time on their link arguments, but no time on explaining how the alternative resolves them. The two biggest issues for the affirmative are assuming a permutation is the only viable answer to the link and also assuming that the 2AC can be defensive.
Counterplans - PICs are good, word PICs are typically not. That does not mean I won't vote for them - I just don't like them and find "pic's bad" to make sense in a world of word pic's.Other counterplans should be aff specific - I think generic CP's without specific solvency evidence (XO, States, Consult) are poor choices I've often found myself believing that process CPs are plan plus or normal means in many cases.
Critical affs- I'm fine with K affs and deployed them often as a debater. I find it difficult to evaluate k affs with poorly developed "role of the ballot" args. I find "topical version of the aff" to be compelling regularly, because affs concede this argument. I have been more on the "defend topical action" side of the framework debate in the last two years or so. I'm not sure why, but poorly executed affirmative offense seems to be the primary cause.