Updated 11/22/21 for Post-Glenbrooks
Hi everyone! I’m Holden (He/They)
Jack C. Hays HS ‘20
The University of North Texas ’23 (Go Mean Green)
Please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Most of this paradigm is geared towards LD, anything specific to other debate events will be near the end
Random Thoughts (Updated as thunk):
- Please go for larp stuff in front of me I miss the days where people went for disads and impact turns
I’ll vote on anything with a warrant as long as it’s not violent, but I am increasingly wanting substantive debates. Meaning that while I can and will evaluate anything fairly and to the best of my ability, I would rather judge a solid 2nr on a disad, an nc, or a k than I would a 2nr on tricks or frivolous theory
Putting this at the top because that way more people see it. I’m growing increasingly tired of the debate community not assigning the proper punishment for debaters not respecting the pronouns of others. Your first offense is -1 speak, if it happens 3 times the ballot is taken even if there is not an argument made in round. I find arguments saying that you should lose for any of these offenses extremely persuasive and you will almost always lose that debate. Bottom line being, be a decent person, check your pairings, check the wiki, and if you aren’t sure then just don’t use gendered terms.
If a round gets to the point where it is no longer healthy or safe for the debate to keep going, and it seems like I am not noticing, please let me know. I try my best to be cognizant but I am imperfect and may miss something, it is my job as an educator to make sure that a round and debate is as safe and accessible is possible so I take these situations very seriously.
Yes speed, but clarity is a thing
For your pref sheets:
Clash debates (k v k, k v phil, k v policy, policy v phil, etc.) – 1
K – 1
Policy – 1
T/Theory – 1/2
Phil – 1/2
Tricks – 2/3
Trad – 4/Strike
In terms of ideology, I’m a lot like Patrick Fox, so you can pref me pretty closely with how you pref him.
Triggers – please refrain from reading anything with in depth discussions of anxiety, depression, or suicide that way I can adequately access and evaluate the round. Please give trigger warnings so that debate remains a place in which everyone can participate.
I flow on my laptop, but am not the fastest typer, so I would put me at a 8-8.5/10 in terms of speed. Just be clear, slow down on tags and analytics please
The long version:
Who the hell is this dude who I/my coach preffed?
I’m Holden! I did debate all four years of high school, I split my time between policy and LD. I wasn’t too involved with the national circuit during my high school career because of financial and school related problems but when I did compete I was pretty ok and broke a few times. I now compete at the University of North Texas in NFA LD (basically one person policy debate), where I’m also doing pretty ok (NFA nationals qualifier). At UNT, I study psychology and philosophy. I now coach and judge LD on the national circuit, where my students have accumulated a total of 14 bids, and I have judged over 300 rounds.
I have coached debaters all over the argumentative spectrum. From K debaters to policy kids to tricks debaters, if there’s a style out there, I have likely helped a student with it. Meaning that anything you read in front of me will be fine.
You can refer to me as Holden (what I prefer most), or judge. However, I would very much like it if you left anything more formal (Mr. Bukowsky, sir, etc.) as it makes me very uncomfortable and is rather impersonal in my opinion (Update: For the future, I will be docking .1 speaks every time you say that in reference to me because it a. reflects that you haven't read my paradigm or b. you have and just don't respect my opinion).
Conflicts: Jack C. Hays (my alma mater). I currently coach Carmel CS, Midlothian AC, Perry JA, Sandra Day O’Connor WW, Sidwell SW, Vestavia Hills GJ, Village JN, and Westlake AK, and consult for Cabot and Lynbrook High School
I have previously been affiliated with/have coached or have been contracted by: Evergreen Valley (on a team based level), and then Plano East AW, and Ayala AM (who I worked with on an individual level).
What does Holden think debate is?
I take my role within debate very seriously, it’s an activity I love very much and have been involved with for 6 years now no reservations. Debate is an educational game in which my role is to evaluate the arguments as presented in the least interventionist way possible, I'm probably a lot less ideological than most judges and that's because I do not think it is my place to deem arguments valid or invalid. That means that at the end of the day, you do you to the full extent. If you do what you do best, I will do my best to evaluate those arguments fairly (granted that the exceptions are arguments that are problematic and arguments with no warrant). There are two concrete rules of debate - 1. There is always a winner and a loser, and 2. speech times are set in stone. None of my preferences should matter because you should be making those arguments for me.
What does Holden like?
I like good execution. This means that you do you, and I will adapt accordingly. I have preferences obviously, saying anything else would be ignorant of me, but those preferences shouldn’t matter if you do the work for me.
Consider me dogmatic against dogmatism, I like debates that require little to no intervention. The way you can achieve that is weighing and making your arguments easy to flow (so label them like 1, 2, 3 a-point, b-point, c-point). I am agonistic about content, so do what it takes to get the win. Warranted arguments are key to that though, that means that I only evaluate arguments that are complete (claim, warrant, impact). Collapsing in your speeches is how you get the ability to make good arguments, it shows room for explanation and proficiency that the game known as debate.
A framing mechanism to help me filter the round, whether that be a standard, role of the ballot, impact calc, or fairness v education weighing. All of them help me decide the debate and what should be preferred.
To summarize the way I feel about judging, I think Yao Yao Chen does a excellent job at it, "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."
What does Holden dislike?
The opposite of above.
Messy debates that involve little to no weighing.
When people go “my timer will start in 3, 2, 1.”
When people ask if they can take prep time, it’s your time not mine.
Being exclusionary to novices, I am very much in the camp of trial by fire but you should use fire not lava. Meaning that yes, spreading, disads, counterplans, even phil is fine. But running theory and tricks is a no go and WILL get your speaks tanked.
How has Holden voted?
Across all of my time as a judge, I have judged 305 debate rounds. Of those, I have voted aff approximately 54.54% of the time. I also average a 28.5 in terms of speaks.
I have been apart of 68 panels, of those I have sat exactly 6 times.
What will Holden never vote on?
Arguments that involve the appearance of a debater (shoes theory, formal clothing theory, etc.)
Arguments that say oppression is good.
Arguments that contradict what was said in CX.
Yes, go for them. I ran these a lot as a debater and have cut a bunch as a coach, and I have judged them a heck ton. I enjoy these debates, and when executed well these are often the debates that get the highest speaks from me.
These aff’s don’t necessarily have to be constrained by relation to the resolution but defending something would be great.
For those negating these aff’s, yes this isn’t an automatic L, just don’t forget the case page and you’ll be fine.
Have also read and gone for it. Because of my debate career and background I think that I am *slightly* aff leaning on the question but that doesn’t matter if you just win the flow.
Fairness isn’t an impact but an internal to something else.
My favorite impacts are clash > fairness > advocacy skills.
The TVA is really important to me, blippy ones make me sad, contextual ones make me happy. I view these as counterplans in the sense that they resolve offense of the counter-interp so please explain them as such.
For those affirming versus this, impact turns are fine, but having a counter-interp also helps, don’t forget to weigh/leverage the aff.
For those running this, don’t concede large parts of the debate (the case page, the framing page, etc.), and don’t just read an overview for 6 minutes.
Topicality (Theory is it’s own Monster):
Yes please, topicality debates are great and some of my favorite debates to judge. Here’s the low down for my defaults, all of these are up for debate though:
- Competing interps > Reasonability
- Drop the Debater > Drop the Argument
- No RVI’s > Yes RVI’s
Reasonability most definitely needs a brightline, please and thank you. Definition quality matters, and having a definition with an intent to define is even better.
No arbitrary interps in these debates not grounded in a definitional vision of the topic aren’t good answers, this means that “your interp plus my aff” makes no sense
Getting tired of Nebel debates, yes I’ll vote for it but just go for a topic contextual interp instead. If you decide to have the Nebel debate, then just be able to explain your semantics warrants and contextualize them to the topic. Otherwise just go for the limits standard.
In these debates, slowing down a bit is key or else I will likely miss something that may be important.
Weighing your internal links and your standards would be wonderful and make the round easier for everyone.
I think that you need to read fairness and education voters (or some other voter) because otherwise I don't know what the impact is.
Defaults are the same for topicality, and they are just as debateable.
Go for whatever shell you want, barring these exceptions:
- Theory that includes the appearance/clothing of another debater (no shoes or formal clothing theory)
- Shells where the interp was checked before the round and there is verifiable evidence that it was checked
- Disclosure in the case which a debater has said that they can’t disclose certain positions for safety reasons, this is especially non-negotiable.
For counterplan theory, here are my leanings (they're slight but they exist):
- Counterplans with solvency advocates no matter the type = good
- PICs = good
- Process CP's = good
- Consult CP's = bad
- Actor CP's = good
- States CP's = good
Condo is good probably, but can be easily convince otherwise (leniency switches with >2 condo advocacies). I lean neg on most counterplan theory as well (that flips if there is not a solvency advocate).
I’m really cool with this, I did policy for 2 years and did it intermittently for the rest of my high school career. I now do NFA LD in college, which is literally just one person policy debate.
Contrary to my reputation to have a propensity to other styles of debate, I am extremely comfortable evaluating a counterplan/disad 2NR, and will understand the arguments and lingo associated with it.
Without real meta-weighing, I default probability > magnitude > timeframe, this shouldn't matter if you do your job correctly
Judge instruction in these debates are especially important because of how prone to being messy they are.
Evidence quality in these debates matter much more in this style than others.
I default yes judgekick, but it helps if you make this argument for me.
Explanation of link chains is important because often times teams have poor explanation of them. If a link chain is conceded, then extend it briefly (meaning I want at least a condensed version of the impact story) and implicate it, saying "extend x it was conceded" is not sufficient.
Counterplans are viewed through sufficiency framing until told otherwise.
I need to know what the world of the permutation looks like at least a little bit in the first speech it is introduced.
A few good, robust internal links into 2-3 impacts > a lot of bad internal links into 7 different impacts.
The DA turning case and it's analysis matters a lot to me, do the work and make it make sense.
I tend to read evidence more in these debates, I use your interpretation of the evidence to frame how I look at it, do with that as you will
This is where most of my debate experience has been, and the type of debate I am most comfortable judging, I went for the K a lot.
My ideal K 1NC (if it's one off) would have 2-3 links to the aff (one of which is a topic link), an alternative, and a role of the ballot (along with weighing on the aff page as to why it's a prior question).
Having links contextual to the aff, whether that be to the resolution, the reps, or the framing, is good and helps with strength of link.
Winning framing for both sides is a crucial part of strategy, and controls the direction of the debate (but does not guarantee the dub).
I may know the buzzwords you’re using but always be able to explain what the heck you’re saying.
Don’t run a k in front of me just because you think I’ll like it, because bad k debate makes me sad and will make your speaks reflect such. Explain the perm in the first responsive speech please.
2NR's need to tell me what the alt does
K tricks are cool, just make sure you actually warrant them
Floating PIK's are ok, just make sure to hint at them in the 1NC at least
Here’s a list of literature bases I know well: Stock K’s (cap, security, etc.), Rep K’s, Baudrillard, Beller, Deleuze and Guattari, Halberstam, Hardt and Negri, Scranton/Ecopess, Weheliye, Afropessimism
Here’s a list of literature bases I am learning/somewhat know: Agamben, Cybernetics, Psychoanalysis, Queerpess, Grove, Settler Colonialism, Puar
A note on non-black engagement with afropessimism, I will watch your execution of this argument like a hawk if you decide to go for it. This also means that if you are disingenuous to the literature at all, your speaks are tanked and the ballot may be given away as well depending on how annoyed I'm feeling. This is your first and final warning.
I'm good for these, I've coached debaters that have gone for tricks, and I've helped cut some tricks affs. Innovation of tricks are great because it shows that you aren't recycling the same old stuff.
These are fine, and can be quite enjoyable if executed correctly (that doesn't mean that you have the right to just extend arguments without implications or warrants).
I tend to think that when done well that these debates are some of the most technical and clean rounds to judge. This doesn’t mean do it because you think I’ll like you more, because these debates can also be extremely messy.
Messy tricks debates make me sad, clean and efficient tricks debates make me happy.
Please slow down on your 27 point underviews, yes I think they're interesting, but I need to be able to flow them and I can't do that if you're blitzing through them. That doesn't mean go at like regular talking speed, but go at like 70% speed when you're blitzing through those aprioris please.
Being straight up, delineating them as easily identifiable, and making these rounds clean is how you get my ballot in these debates.
My threshold for these arguments also depends on you being straight up about them. If you lie about a version of an aff during disclosure and I have proof of this, my threshold for answering these tricks goes down, and so does my threshold for answering a misdisclosure shell.
Carded and well developed tricks > "member equals body part, and body parts can't reduce IPP"
I prefer well developed syllogisms with cards over your analytical phil dump. This is not to say I won't evaluate them fairly, I just think they're better set up to generate offense
After coaching several students that go for phil, and judging phil debates frequently I am happier to say that I'm good for these debates.
Syllogisms should be warranted and implicated in a way that shows their impact in the first speech (yes, saying solves skep for a skep trigger is enough for this threshold).
Going for and impacting out a certain the 1-2 justifications needs to involve weighing (this also means collapse in these debates too!).
In phil v util debates, I think that util debaters often undercover the line by line, or just don't really layer enough in these debates, phil debaters often concede a crucial justification or undercover extinction first, so both sides be warned.
In phil v phil debates, both sides need to be able to explain their ethic more. These debates can either be super informational, or super messy, and I would prefer that they be the former rather than the latter. Explanation, clear engagement, and weighing is the way to my ballot in these debates
Hijacks that are shorter than 15 seconds are often unwarranted, and blippy, call them out as such.
Blitzing through the line by line in these debates is annoying and will inevitably make me miss a warrant. Im not asking you to go at a conversational pace but be a LITTLE bit reasonable
I am studying philosophy in college as well, which means I am reading a lot about authors that you might be reading. This means that I am antiquated with a variety of philosophy literature.
I know I have it listed as a phil literature base, but I conceptually have trouble with deleuze ethical frameworks, especially since the literature doesn't prescribe a moral claim but makes a structural one which means that it doesn't make too much logical sense to force the literature to make an ethical claim.
Here’s a list of literature bases I know confidently: Locke, Hobbes, Moral Particularism, Pragmatism, Constitutionality, Deleuze, Kant, Hume, Nietzsche, Descartes
Here’s a list of literature bases I know somewhat: Rawls, Plato, Aquinas, ILaw, Virtue Ethics, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley
- Comparative worlds > truth testing
- Permissibility negates > affirms
- Presumption negates > affirms
- Epistemic confidence > epistemic modesty
Since these are becoming increasingly read in front of me, and are becoming a separate argument in debate, I thought they deserved their own section. I think that these are good arguments when executed well. That being said, I think that for these to be won, you need to win either some meta level framing (such as accessibility first) or linking it to an ethical framework. I often have to ask myself “should I abandon the flow if I think that this is violent” and here is the litmus test for how I will determine to abandon the flow, I will:
1. See if you won the flow proper to see if I can avoid intervening
2. If you did not win the flow proper, I will see if the action in question is a legitimate question of violence in the debate space, your explanation may help, your explanation may not. As much as your 2AR ethos may be good, if I do not think that this situation is an act of violence with reasonable malicious intent, then I will not abandon the flow. A few instances in which I will abandon the flow can be: misgendering, dead-naming, some sort of maliciously intended argument meant to exclude individuals from debate
This is not to say I won’t abandon the flow, but I feel like there has to be some outline for how I can reconcile this, or else this would justify me becoming increasingly interventionist for littler reasons which I think is a horrible model of debate.
Yes, I can judge this. But I often time find these debates to be boring, and most definitely not my cup of tea. I think that given the people that pref me most of the time, it will be in your best interest to pref me low or strike me, both for your sake and mine.
I would much prefer these debates be executed as a shell rather than having the round staked on them. I hate adjudicating these debates because a. They deprive me of a substantive round and b. Are normally a cheap shot by an opposing debater. As such, if you stake the round on evidence ethics this will be the procedure for which things will go down: 1. I will look into the evidence that is in question 2. Compare it to the claim/violation that is being presented 3. Utilize the rules for which the tournament is using (NSDA, NDCA, etc.) to determine whether or not it is a violation 4. Check with the debater if they are sure they want this to be a drop the debater issue, or to drop the evidence. If it is a violation, then I will drop the person who committed such with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then I will not evaluate the evidence and we can debate as normal. If it is not a violation, then I will drop the accuser with 25 speaks if it's a drop the debater issue, if it's not drop the debater then your speaks will be capped at a 28.
Here is what I consider evidence ethics violations in the absence of guidance: 1. If the author concludes in opposition of what is cited 2. If worlds are deleted or inserted in the middle of a sentence 3. If a debater misrepresented what the author says
For the policy kids-
- I judge circuit LD a lot (and I mean A LOT), on there I judge nothing but T, cp/da, and k debates. I can handle speed, and I will understand the intricacies of whatever argument you want to run
- Sign post please
- Weighing early is how you get my ballot (best case scenario is starting in the 2AC)
- Yes open cross
- Yes K-Aff's
- Yes T-FW
- Fairness is an internal link and not an impact
- in terms of pref ratings:
Any sort of clash debates (both policy aff v the k, and k aff v t-fwk) - 1
K v K - 1
Pure policy rounds - 2
For the World Schools Kids-
- I don't have TOO much experience in this, but that being said, when I did worlds I was somewhat successful (15th speaker and dubs at the 2020 NSDA tournament, went undefeated in prelims)
- Countermodels are ok, but need to be contextualized about how they a. compete with the proposition, b. solve the props impacts
- I still think that tech > truth, but this becomes muddled a bit in worlds given the nature of the activity. I think that warranting is still important, but if an argument is conceded, the threshold for explanation becomes a lot lower, BUT it needs to be implicated and impacted out
- 3rd speakers need to collapse and weigh a BUNCH. I was the 3rd speaker all of my rounds, so this is arguably one of the more important speeches to me
- Spreading can be ok? I don't know how it would work given worlds structure and nature but I'm definitely down for spreading
- Overall, do what you do best and I will do my best to evaluate the round accordingly
For the PF Kids-
- Never did pf in high school, but am somewhat familiar with the event
- Defense is not sticky, extend your arguments please
- It makes the most sense for proper refutations to be saved for the summary's but at the same time the policy mind in me says to respond to them, so I will leave that up to judge instruction
- Yes theory is fine, just be clear on the abuse story
- Yes your progressive arguments are also fine, just explain them in an efficient manner
- Yes speed is fine, just be clear P L E A S E
Across over 100+ prelims at bid tournaments, I have averaged at a 28.45 in terms of speaks, which means I'm not necessarily a speaks fairy or stingy
A 30 is very hard to achieve in front of me, and the only ones I have given out is because of the utilization of the challenges
I don't evaluate "give me x amount of speaks" arguments, if you want it so bad utilize the ways to get extra speaks I have below
They're adjusted according to the tournament, but here's a general scale -
29.6+ Great round, you should be in late elims or win the tournament
29.1-29.5 Great round, you should be in mid to late elims
28.6-29 You should break or make the bubble at least
28.1-28.5 About middle of the pool
27.6-28 You got some stuff to work on
27-27.5 You got a lot of stuff to work on
Anything below a 27: You did something really horrible and I will be having a word with tab and your coach about it
Challenges (Max up to 1 point):
- Come into the room and shout "rev up those fryers" loud enough for people outside the room to hear = +.5
- If you send pictures of your cute pets in the doc, +.1-.5 depending on how cute I deem them (no snakes please, I have a phobia of them and this will get your speaks docked half a point)
Other ways to just boost your speaks:
- Be pleasant (not in the artificial "hi judge how are you doing" way, but like just be vibey i guess??)
- Humor inserted into your speeches in an organic way
- Good strategic choices that make my job easier
If you have anymore questions about my paradigm, please don't be afraid to email me or ask me in the room.