Carl Schwartz ParadigmLast changed 11/3 1:37P CDT
I judge and coach LD, PF, and Congress.
Picking a Winner
When deciding the winner of a debate, I resolve the decision-making standards layer of the debate first and then use that standard to weigh impacts. If there is no standards debate or if I can't make sense of it, I use a cost/benefit analysis.
During the final speeches, the debaters should be explaining how I ought to write the "Reasons For Decision" part of my ballot.
I am most persuaded by debaters who make purposeful arguments. You should be able to answer the question: "Why does this argument matter?"
Lacking purpose is a big problem in a lot of the LD rounds I judge. The value and criterion aren't independent reasons to negate or affirm. They just set up a decision-making standard I can use to weigh arguments.
The debaters need to respond to each others' arguments. I'm not impressed by clever methods for avoiding clash. Sometimes, agreeing to framework issues like definitions and standards creates better and more substantive clash.
Since each side is going to have costs and benefits, debaters need to do impact comparison/weighing.
A lack of clash is a common problem in Congress. Needless clash over similar values/criteria is a problem in LD.
I just won't evaluate arguments that I didn't understand. Debaters should speak at a conversational pace and make clear arguments.
The intended audience for PF Debate is the public, and debaters should present arguments as if they are attempting to persuade an informed and interested audience, not a Debate specialist.
Congressional Debaters should play the role of an adult legislator.
LD and PF Debaters are relying too much on "cards" and flow technique in rebuttal speeches. I want to hear arguments, not references to arguments. For example, "Cross-apply the X card" is not an argument.
I'm most persuaded by arguments that reflect a thorough knowledge of the topic and its related literature.
Prep Time and Evidence Exchange
No cross-examination during prep time.
Debaters are responsible for the validity of the evidence they read and should have it available for review by their opponents and me. Evidence usage should comply with NSDA standards.
Debate should be a civil exchange of ideas.