I typically read a lot of news, and you can expect me to be on top of major current events. I also have a fairly broad knowledge base, and will usually know at the very least some background about a debate topic. That being said, I am not a debate coach, I do not prepare or help prepare cases on the debate topics, and I do not do any specialised research or read any briefs to acquaint myself with a topic I am going to judge. Do not expect me to know specific details, acronyms, jargon, or sources related to a topic unless you tell me about them/what they are. This is especially true in the earlier rounds at a tournament. If you're using names or acronyms you had never heard of before researching the topic, and would probably never learn otherwise, tell me what they mean the first time you use them.
The same thing goes for the background literature behind any K or other non-traditional arguments you make. I know very little abstract philosophy beyond the basics of deontological ethics vs utilitarianism. I tend to dislike Ks, but I'll keep an open mind to any argument and try to judge it on its merits. To do that, I'll probably need you to really explain the theory behind your K, rather than just name dropping a famous philosopher or one of their theories. If you don't, there's a good chance I'll have no idea what you're talking about. That won't end well for you.
Competitive Experience: Two years of high school public forum. Two years of collegiate experience in various types of debate and speech events.
Judging Experience: Since 2016 for Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas, plus various types of speech
I try to be Tabula Rasa, within reason. If you want me to know a specific piece of information, tell me. If you want me to weigh the round a certain way, tell me. If your opponent tells me what they think I need to know, and how to weigh the round, and you don't, they're going to have a distinct advantage.
Organize your speeches well, and please signpost and give clear tags as you go. It makes it easier for me to give you the credit you deserve for your arguments. If I don't know where to put something on my flow, it might get left out, or I might miss part of it while deciding where to flow it. Even if I do end up writing it down, it will probably be in the wrong place. I can't emphasize this enough: if I can't find something on my flow, then it didn't happen.
Every argument needs a link and an impact, and I prefer for these to be as clear as possible. Occasionally I see contentions without impacts, but more often than not, I see missing links. If your opponent shows me that you don't have a link, that point falls, period. If your opponent doesn't have a link, make this abundantly clear.
Clash with your opponent's case. The more you clash, the easier it is for me to see the strengths of your case and the flaws of your opponent's. If you just end up repeating your case, you're not giving me any new reasons to vote for your side or against your opponent's.
It should go without saying, but Lincoln Douglas is NOT one on one Policy debate, and Public Forum is NOT Policy-lite. If you want to debate policy style, I won't hold that against you. Policy is a valuable style of debate that stands on its own merits. Just don't do it when you're signed up to compete in LD or PF and I'm your judge.
Decorum - Be polite, be courteous, and be a decent human being. Poor decorum typically won't affect my decision on the ballot, but it will affect your speaker points. As long as you attack your opponent's arguments, and not them as people, we should be fine.
Evidence - Evidence is a powerful tool. We are not all experts on every topic, but evidence allows the experts to weigh in to separate truth from fiction. It can strengthen your arguments, and every case should have at least some. But evidence does not replace basic logic. It does not replace the need to provide links. The better you understand your evidence, and that of your opponents, the stronger your position. I also prefer quality over quantity: don't try to overwhelm me or your opponent with evidence, use it to further develop your position.
Speed - I'm not a fan of spreading. If you do end up going too fast for me to flow, I'll put my pen down, cross my arms, and look unhappy. It should be pretty obvious. Once you slow down, I'll start flowing again. If this happens, and you fix it, then no harm, no foul. If you don't slow down, then I won't flow a word you say, and you'll get terrible speaker points. My body language will be clear. Listen to it.
Be clear, be logical, be polite, give a well-structured case, don't spread, tell me what I need to know, and clash with your opponents.