Douglas Fraleigh ParadigmLast changed 1/25 3:09A UTC
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Director of Forensics, Fresno State. Competed in policy debate for four years for Sacramento State and coached policy at UC Berkeley, Sacramento State, Cornell, and Fresno State. Returned to coaching and judging in fall 2018 after serving as our department’s undergraduate advisor and chair, judged at ASU, SF State, San Diego State, UNLV, Northridge, USC, and Fullerton on this topic.
What Should You Know About How I Judge?
1. Run the arguments you run best, whether critical or policy. It is more important to me that you be clear (with your alt, your plan, your CP, your FW arguments, etc.) than follow any particular model of debate. If your arguments are vague or only become apparent in rebuttals, you are less likely to persuade me.
2. I am a flow-centric judge and the line-by-line debate is important to my decision.
3. I may not be persuaded by a very minimally developed argument (e.g. “T is an RVI, fairness”) even when it is dropped. However, I have a relatively low threshold for how much detail you need when extending an argument that was not answered. If the 1NC runs six off case positions and no case arguments, 2AC can safely spend a minute extending case (no need for detailed overviews) and focus on answering the off case.
4. My speaker points are mostly in the 28s-- low 28s for solid debating, mid 28s for good debating, and high 28s for very good debating, 29s for excellent debating. The considerations below are primary factors for me when assigning points.
What Can You Do to Earn Speaker Points?
1. Clash with your opponents’ arguments is essential. I am very impressed when debaters make on point answers and less impressed when the round looks like competing persuasive speeches. Debaters who extend arguments (explain why their arguments prevail on contested issues) earn top-tier points.
2. The quality of your evidence is very important. I look to the content, the match between content and tag, and credibility of your authors. I appreciate debaters who continue to research throughout the season. It is a plus when policy evidence accounts for recent events (e.g. Democratic House and Mattis resignation) and critical debaters incorporate recent literature.
3. Organization is very important. Be very clear and signpost where you are on the flow as you move through the debate. The more precise you are on the flow, the better. For example, instead of just saying you are on “case” or “the K” and mashing all your arguments together, identify the part of the argument you are on. (For example, “on the China scenario, three responses,” “go to framework,” or “now I’m on the alt.” If I am trying to figure out where you are, I am wasting cognitive resources that could be better spent listening to your argument.
4. Good delivery is a plus. Regardless of how fast you are going, it is important to enunciate well. This is especially important for analytics (and really/really important for analytics you plan to use in 2NR/2AR). I can follow the evidence on your speech doc, but don’t have this option when you are creating arguments on the fly. It is also a good idea to slow down a bit on the most essential arguments in 2NR/2AR, e.g. when you are advocating for how I should put the round together.
5. Be enthusiastic about your arguments, but when interacting with others in the round, err on the side of chill. The chance to travel with your squad, debate with your partner, and compete against other colleges is a privilege; enjoy the journey.
1. Tag-team cross-x is all right. When speakers are prompted by their partner, the speaker needs to follow up by making the argument and that is what I will flow. I listen carefully to cross-x and promise not to check real or fantasy sports scores until prep time starts.
2. I do not want to adjudicate what happened before the round started.
1. For me, the round usually comes down to case vs. disads and counterplans. It is often a good negative strategy to refute case (even with analytics), rather than concede a case with massive impacts. However, I rarely give aff 0% risk of any advantage and am unlikely to vote on presumption alone in the absence of any offense. The same principles apply to disads; it is strategic to minimize the links and impacts, but I rarely give neg 0% risk. I can be persuaded that other more probable arguments, such as lives saved or human rights protected, outweigh an infinitesimal risk of nuclear war. I like the debaters to argue for how I should balance the arguments, but in the absence of such arguments (or if the explanation is very limited), then it is up to me to put the round together.
2. On T, neg is most likely to win when they do a really good job explaining and defending their standards (blips not helpful here if you are seriously considering going for T in 2NR), and explaining how their definitions meet the standards for T better than their opponents’ do. If the T debate is close, I generally vote aff.
3. No preference for or bias against any particular counterplan. The domain of neg’s fiat power on CPs is up for debate. Both counterplan text and permutations should be clear.
1. Critical Affs. For critical affs, a key argument for me is the rationale for debating about the K rather than debating about a plan that purports to be topical. What is the opportunity cost of having a policy debate instead? I am open to a wide variety of arguments by both sides to address this question. A second important consideration is your vision of what the round should look like.
2. Critical Negs vs Policy Cases. The link to the aff should be clear. If the link is based on evidence (especially multi-page evidence), specify where in the evidence you are getting the link. I am most likely to be persuaded by a clear and specific alt that is developed in the 1NC. If you are not using a link/impact/alt format, explain your model for what the debate should look like.
3. K vs K Debates. I look to the debaters to make arguments about how the round should be judged.
I can be persuaded to vote for a performance. A performance can be rhetorical (or is always rhetorical, depending on your definition of rhetoric). However, I need to understand what arguments are being made by your performance and why you are saying these arguments warrant a decision for your side. It should also be apparent to your opponents. Don’t be subtle when explaining this.