USC '25 - Notre Dame '21 - Qualed to TOC - Was on Coaches Poll - add me to the email chain - [briansnitman at gmail.com]
TLDR: I view debate as a competitive activity which means that my argumentative preferences go out the window once I enter the room or the zoom call. For me, this has meant I have cut arguments ranging from SPARK to Set Col to H-Triv. For me it doesn't really matter, I don't think that any discussion can be objectively pedagogically harmful no matter the content. This means that to me Tech>Truth, and I can be convinced of anything if the other team does not contest it adequately. The only other important thing to know is that for me, the most effective ballot framing occurs when each team can paint a clear picture of what the world looks like after I submit an aff or neg ballot. This means going beyond just extending your impacts, and actually humanizing the whole aff, and almost explaining it in very simple terms. I am also not very card focused meaning: Smart Analytics > Bad cards or even good cards that aren't explained well.
K's - I'll be honest as a 2A my partner and I ran a one-off K strat every round, but I still don't understand all the buzzwords that people like to throw out. For the neg, I am more likely to just vote on just framework than other judges because the aff teams usually don't do any line-by-line. If the alt is just a framework argument then just say it, otherwise, I get confused. Links are usually mishandled and don't require a lot of evidence. K-tricks are cool and I think they should be employed, who cares if it's an easy way out. For the aff, perms make a lot of sense for soft-left aff's - you do need a net-benefit, but it seems pretty easy to win that the alt doesn't solve the aff so long as you answer the outlandish alt solves case arguments. Other than material net-benefits - I think that epistemological net-benefit also makes sense (ie practicality or particularity in policy analysis). The neg usually makes the mistake of not contextualizing the link to the perm - and DA's to perms usually don't have impacts that the alt can't resolve. For me, the perm doesn't need to avoid the links if it solves the impacts to said links. For extinction affs it makes a lot of sense to just go for util and impact turns, but you have to use util as a justification on the framework, otherwise it will be difficult to win.
PTX DA's - Let's be honest the politics card you are probably reading aren't about the aff, meaning that a blanket extension is not sufficient. I don't want to hear "X author says this"; instead take the opportunity to impress me with your civics knowledge and make logical arguments as to why the aff would derail the agenda. The one caveat to the you don't need cards rule is that if the aff has very specific link turn evidence you will be in a bad spot. I think that it is important for the negative to contextualize the link as much as possible. Too often the generic 1NC taglines make it seem like there are a million thumpers and anything can trigger it. What this means is, if your card says that water policy is controversial and thus derails the agenda, you should explain why every other contentious policy issue does not derail the agenda in similar ways. For the aff, you should obviously try to do the reverse and explain why, despite what their evidence says, other issues do have the potential to derail policy items. While the link debate is a little bit more about spin, I think that cards are very important on the internal link and uniqueness debate.
TOPIC DA's - These typically cause a lot of clash which makes them more fun to judge. Hats off to you if you go for a generic disad and just get really good at it. That being said, these disads usually require a little bit more evidence. For me, I think it is more important to contextualize all the warrants in the existing evidence, IE explains what the statistics and studies mean before you read another card that says basically the same thing as the one you already read.
CP's - I was a 2N my junior year and I almost exclusively went for the most abusive counterplan on the topic - thus have fun and feel free to terrorize the aff so long as you can defend it. Theory is great against these counterplans but affs get scared to go for it when the block read their 18 sub-point response. Condo - literally have no preference.
T - This is the one place where it is all about evidence. Intent to exclude is very important to me, otherwise IDK why the aff can't be topical.
Speaks - Technical debating is what gets you the ballot - ethos and pathos get you speaker points - To be honest I probably give higher speaks than other judges