Ridge High School
Updated for TOC 2016
Lincoln-Douglas Paradigm (Scroll Down for PF)
General Update 4/2016: I much prefer rounds where specific interactions happen rather than rounds where the strategy is to extend dropped arguments and blow them up without really addressing the other debater's position(s). This is particularly true on the negative side--I FIRMLY believe the 1NC should spend time SPECIFICALLY addressing the AC on the AC side of the flow. This is not to say that I won't vote for you if you don't do this, but debaters who do this will get higher speaks. Also, please stop assuming I understand dense, uncommon positions--you need to be clear in your explanation.
Overview: I've been judging circuit LD for a while now and actively coach it, so I am familiar with many different types of arguments. Please make sure it is clear to me how your arguments function in the round/how you are interacting with the other side. I can't think of any arguments I won't evaluate (except the offensive "rape good, racism good, etc." arguments which I will drop you for running)--my goal is to not intervene. Please make sure it is clear to me how all arguments are functioning in the round. Slow down on tags. Overviews are much appreciated.
Some important notes:
1--I find myself incredibly uncomfortable with frameworks that explicitly use religion as a justification (evidently called the "God" case). I will attempt to evaluate them as I would any other argument, but if you're attempting to argue that God exists in front of me and that's a reason to vote one way or another, I'm not going to be very receptive to the argument. I respect every person's freedom of religion, but I struggle to understand the place of religion in the debate space.
2--I really struggle to evaluate rounds where there is no weighing, a lack of crystallization, or limited argument interaction. Please make the round clear to me. Crystallize in the 2NR/2AR. Weigh or explain why your arguments are a prerequisite or pre-empt to those made by the other side. If an argument is dropped, don't just tell me it is dropped--implicate the drop and tell me why it matters. The more work you do telling me how arguments function in the round, the easier it will be to evaluate the round, and the lower the chance that I accidentally intervene/have to play "argument roulette" and pluck something off the flow to vote off of because no one told me how to evaluate the round.
3--I am not very receptive to arguments saying that your opponent does not have the right to speak on a certain issue. This does not apply to theory arguments that say "debaters must not X" or "speaking for others" kritiks, which argue that NO debaters should do a certain thing (they don't leave one debater allowed to speak on an issue and another not allowed to speak on the issue). But I am not very receptive to "My opponent comes from X background, so she shouldn't speak on this issue, but I can because I come from Y background." If this argument has no carded evidence attached to it, I will not evaluate it. If it does have carded evidence attached to it, I will evaluate it, but I consider it an ad hominem attack and will have an extremely low threshold for responses to it. However, I am fine with (and even like) arguments that say authors of evidence are less qualified to speak on issues because of their background; this type of argument discusses how out-of-round discourse is shaped, so I'm fine with it.
4--You really need to slow down on the tags and implications of evidence in less common, phil-heavy frameworks, especially if they come from the analytic tradition or are not very common in LD. I am not as familiar with these frameworks, so make sure you are especially clear in explaining how they function.
5--I'm really bad at keeping track of blippy cross applications when you're on your side of the flow; for example, if you're extending out of the AC on the AC side of the flow and also say "cross-apply this to X card on the NC flow" the chances are I miss that or something else right after it. So I prefer these cross-applications be made when you are making arguments on the side of the flow you are applying them to.
Speed: I'm basically fine with speed--though the very, very fastest LD rounds might be slightly out of my comfort zone. I’ll say "slow" if you’re going too fast, "enunciate" if the words are garbled, and "louder" if you're too soft. If you're going fast on the evidence, please make sure the tags and analysis are slightly slower and are clear. My issue is most often with enunciation and lack of vocal emphasis on important points in the case, not actual speed, so please make sure you are enunciating as clearly as possible.
Kritiks: I really like them, including narratives/performance arguments. I enjoy role of the ballot arguments and micropolitical positions, both pre- and post-fiat. I do not care if you are topical as long as you JUSTIFY why you are not going to be topical. This doesn't mean you are immune from losing a T debate; it simply means I will evaluate non-topical positions. Please make the link story clear on the negative side. I'm better at evaluating ks and other policy arguments than I am at dealing with heavy and uncommon philosophical positions, but I will vote off the flow.
T/Theory: I would rather hear a substantive debate, but I don’t have a bias against evaluating theory, and I am growing more comfortable and familiar with it. Please be sure to give me a clear sense of how the shells and theory strategy function in the round and interact with the other side. I prefer theory be read at a slower pace than other positions, and PLEASE slow down on interps and implications. I understand that theory has strategic value beyond just checking abuse, but PLEASE note the following:
--I prefer (and sometimes even like) T debate to theory debate because I find it more interesting and relevant.
--I default reasonability and drop the argument.
--When a shell is missing links or poorly explained, or if I find the theory more abusive than the abuse itself (more than 4 shells in the NR, for example) I'm going to have a lower threshold for responses.
--If the neg position is actually abusive, unlike many judges, I am receptive to theory initiated in the 1 AR, but only against an actual abuse.
--I find AFC and theory that is run against an out-of-round abuse (i.e. disclosure theory) or an abuse that is not related to content (apparently "wifi theory" is a thing?) annoying, abusive, and bad for education, so I have a lower threshold for responses on these as well, and speaks will be low. Running these things won't get you more than a 26.9.
--If there is no voter extended in the 2AR/2NR I will not vote on it unless it is the only offense in the round. I default to voting on substance if the theory debate is muddled and lacks a voter in the final rebuttal.
Tricks and Other "Abusive" Arguments:
I am not a fan of "tricks" and struggle to evaluate these strategies, so if your strategy is to go for extensions of blips in your case that are barely on my flow to begin with, whether those arguments are philosophical or theoretical, I am going to have a lower threshold for responses, and speaks will be low. However, I am somewhat more receptive to skep (though I certainly don't love it) and tricky philosophical arguments that are extremely well-developed--if you are running these arguments, you need to slow down. Running skep or well-developed analytically philosophical tricks that I understand when they are argued in the AC will not negatively affect you're speaks.
When I say "lower threshold for responses" it means I think these are weak arguments or abusive strategies, so while I will always vote off the flow, I don't like these arguments to begin with, so I'm very open to logical responses to them.
Extensions: I like extensions to be clearer than just a card name; you have to extend a full argument, but I also value extensions that are highly efficient. Therefore, summarize your warrants and impacts in a clear and efficient way. Most importantly, please make sure you are very clear on how the argument functions in the round.
Policy arguments (Plans, CPs, DAs) are all fine. If you're running a DA, make sure the link is clear and you're weighing, but in general, I like policy arguments and am probably better at evaluating them than I am at evaluating heavy and uncommon philosophical positions.
Speaker Points: I start at a 28 and go up/down from there. Please note that in addition to what is listed below, I also give some consideration to clarity of spreading (enunciation especially) and word economy. If your words are incredibly garbled, I'm not going to be particularly happy--this usually makes a difference of .1-.2 speaker points.
26-26.9--You have a lot of work to do OR you ran AFC or disclosure theory.
27-27.9--You did a decent job, but I do not think you have a chance of breaking.
28-28.9--You will probably break, but you aren't interacting arguments enough and are not making strategic enough decisions.
29-29.9--You are one of the better debaters I've judged at the tournament. You're clearly signposting, weighing and/or explaining how arguments function in the round. Your strategy might have a misstep or two, but on the whole, you've executed extremely well.
30--You executed your strategy in such a way that I wouldn't reasonably expect better from a high school student.
Some Notes on Public Forum
I've judged more LD this year than anything else, and I struggle to find out what that means for those off you who have me as a PF judge. I will say the following: I vote strictly off the flow, I aim not to intervene, and I will call cards in PF only if there is dispute over evidence in the round or if something seemed off to me when you read the card (i.e. if you cite the Washington Post saying 90% of Americans are Democrats or something). Some specifics:
1--I do not care how fast you speak.
2--Turns are offense. Implicate and use them as such.
3--The summary should respond to your opponent's rebuttal against your case and generally focus on your side of the flow (i.e. focus on your offense, not defense on their case--but remember, turns are offense). Since it's usually impossible to respond to everything that was said in their rebuttal, be strategic about which arguments you go for and please weigh.
4--Please crystallize the round in the final focus. If you don't weigh arguments in the summary and final focus, it will be very hard for me not to intervene, which makes everyone sad.
5--Frameworks and observations are important and should provide me a way to weigh the round.
6--In the absence of weighing, I tend to look for clear offense (things that were dropped and clearly extended) rather than doing weighing for you.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have questions.