Barkley Forum for High Schools
2016 — GA/US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
PF: I did PF for the last year and a half in high school. I am okay with any argument as long as you warrant it. I won't do any work for you so be clean with your extensions and weigh for me.
LD: I did LD for the first 2 and a half years in high school. I am okay with any argument as long as you sufficiently warrant it. I won't down you for running any argument, I try to be as Tab as I can. If it comes down to it I evaluate framework over contention level debate. That being said just because you win framework doesn't mean you automatically win the round.
Speed: Don't spread.
Currently a law student. I did PF for three years and have been coaching/judging on and off for Lake Highland for six years. My only request is that you extend arguments, not just author names.
Contact info: email@example.com
Conflicts: American Heritage Plantation, Poly Prep Country Day
Background: I competed for Okoboji (IA) and was at the TOC '13 in LD. I also debated policy in college the following year.
General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. I will say clear as many times as needed. Signpost and add me to your email chain, please.
High theory: 1
K: I really like K debate. I have trouble pulling the trigger on links of omission. Performative offensive should be linked to a method that you can defend. The alt is an advocacy and the neg should defend it as such. Knowing lit beyond tags = higher speaks. Please challenge my view of debate. I like learning in rounds.
Framework: 2013 LD was tricks, theory, and framework debate. I dislike blippy, unwarranted 'offense'. However, I really believe that good, deep phil debate is persuasive and underutilized on most topics. Most framework/phil heavy affs don't dig into literature deep enough to substantively respond to general K links and turns.
LARP: Big fan but don't assume I've read all hyper-specific topic knowledge.
Theory/T: Great, please warrant extensions and signpost. "Converse of their interp" is not a counter-interp.
Disclosure: Not really going to vote on disclosure theory unless you specifically warrant why their specific position should have been disclosed. If they are running a position relatively predictable, it is unlikely I will pull the trigger on disclosure theory.
Speaks: Make some jokes and be chill with your opponent. In-round strategy dictates range. I average 28.3-28.8.
Other thoughts: Plans/CPs should have solvency advocates. Talking over your opponent will harm speaks. Write down interps before extemping theory. When you extend offense, you need to weigh. Card clipping is an auto L25.
PF Paradigm: I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.
Revised April 11, 2018
The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN), where I teach communication and coach Public Forum, World Schools, Policy, and Congressional Debate. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.
I debated policy in high school and college and began coaching in the early 1980s. In addition to the events listed above, I have coached and judged Lincoln Douglas, Extemp, Oratory, Rhetorical Criticism/Great Speeches, Informative, Discussion, and (and to a lesser extent) Interp events, at variety of schools in IL, NY, NC, MN, MI, ME, and CA.
Fundamentally, I believe that PF provides debaters with opportunities to engage and debate key issues of the day before experienced debate and community judges. It is useful and important to understand and adapt to a judge’s preferences. So, for me:
--The crux of PF is good solid argumentation delivered well. Solid arguments are those that relate to the resolution, are well organized, well warranted, and supported with quality evidence that is explained.
--Good analytical arguments are useful but not normally sufficient. If you make an argument, you bear the responsibility of supporting, explaining, and weighing the argument.
--I flow. But, clarity is your responsibility and is key to a good debate.
--Evidence is critical to building good arguments and that includes warrants. Use academically rigorous and journalistic sources to support your arguments. Offering a laundry list of 5-10 names with few warrants or methodology is not persuasive.
--Proper citation is essential. That does not mean “University X” says. A university did not do the study or write the article. Someone did. Source name and date is required for oral source citation. Providing qualifications orally can definitely enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of your argument. The complete written citation (including source name, date, source, title, access date, url, quals, and page numbers) must be provided when asked in the round.
--Exchange of evidence is mandatory when requested. There is not infinite prep time to find evidence. If it takes you more than a minute to find a card when asked, or all you can provide is a 50 page pdf, then I will disregard it.
--Paraphrasing is not as persuasive as reading cards and using the evidence appropriately to develop and deepen your arguments.
--If you have misconstrued evidence, your entire argument can be disregarded.
--Evaluate your own and your opponents’ evidence as part of your comparative analysis.
--Extending arguments goes beyond authors and tag lines. Extend and develop the arguments.
--Narrative is key. Debate is inherently persuasive. Connect the arguments and tell a story.
--It is in the best interest of the second speaking team for the rebuttalist to rebuild their case. If the 2nd speaking team does not do that, they likely yield the strategic advantage to the 1st speaking team.
--Avoid Grand becoming yelling match, which is not useful to anyone.
--Clash is critical. It is vital to weigh your arguments, which is best to begin before the final focus. Write the ballot in the final focus.
Delivery and Decorum
--PF, and all debate, is inherently a communication activity. Speed is fine, but clarity is absolutely necessary. If you unclear or blippy, you do so at your own peril.
--Be smart. Be assertive. Be engaging. But, do not be a bully.
--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.
Finally, have fun and enjoy the opportunity for engagement on important questions of the day.
Worlds is an exciting debate format that is different from other US debate and speech formats. It is important for you to understand and adapt to the different assumptions and styles of Worlds. Content (the interpretation of the motion [definitions, model, stance], arguments, analysis, and examples), Style (verbal and nonverbal presentation elements), and Strategy (organization, decision making, engagement, and time allocation) all factor in to the decision and should be seen as critical and interrelated areas. Some things to consider:
--As Aristotle noted, we are influenced by both logos and pathos appeals, which you should develop through both examples and analysis. Thus, narratives are critical. Not just a story to “put a face on the motion,” but an overall narrative for your side of the debate.
--Motions are, in most cases, internationally, globally focused and your examples and analysis should reflect that.
--Have multiple, varied, and international examples that are used not only in the first speeches, but are also developed further and added in the second and third speeches to be more persuasive.
--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.
--POIs can be statements or questions and are a key element of engagement during the debate. Questioners should be strategic in what to pose and when. Speakers should purposefully choose to take POIs and smartly respond to them. Typically, speakers will take 1-2 questions per constructive speech, but that is the speaker’s strategic choice.
--Importantly, carry things down the bench. Answer the arguments of the other side. Rebuild and develop your arguments. Engage in comparative analysis.
--Third speeches should focus the debate around clash points or key questions or key issues. Narrow the debate and offer comparative analysis.
--Reply speeches should not include new arguments. But, the speech should build on the third speech (especially in the opp block), identify key voting issues, and explain why your side has won the debate.
Be smart. Be articulate. Be persuasive. Take the opportunity to get to know other teams and debaters.
Policy and LD
I judge mostly PF and World Schools. But, I have continued to judge a smattering of Policy and LD rounds over the last few years. Now that you may be concerned, let me be specific.
Overall, I believe that rounds should be judged based upon the arguments presented.
--Clarity is paramount. Obviously, my pen time is slower than it was, but I do flow well. Roadmaps are good. Sign posting and differentiating arguments is necessary. Watch me. Listen. You will be able to tell if you are going too fast or are unclear. Reasonably clear speed is ok, but clarity is key. For most of my career, I was a college professor of communication; now I teach communication in high school. I strongly believe that debaters should be able to communicate well.
--Do what you do best: policy based or critical affs are fine. But, remember, I do not hear a lot of policy or LD rounds, so explain and be clear. Having said that, my area of research as a comm professor was primarily from a feminist critical rhetorical perspective. In any case, you bear the responsibility to explain and weigh arguments, assumptions, methodology, etc. without a lot of unexplained theory/jargon.
--Please do not get mired in debate theory. Topicality, for example, was around when I debated. But, for other, new or unique theory arguments, do not assume that I have current knowledge of the assumptions or standards of the theory positions. It is your responsibility to explain, apply, and weigh in theory debates. On Framework, please engage the substance of the aff. I strongly prefer you engage the methodology and arguments of the aff, rather than default to framework arguments to avoid that discussion.
--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.
--Last, and importantly, weigh your arguments. It is your job to put the round together for me. Tell a good story, which means incorporating the evidence and arguments into a narrative. And, weigh the issues. If you do not, at least one team will be unhappy with the results if I must intervene.
Finally, I believe that Policy and LD debate is significantly about critical thinking and engagement. Better debaters are those who engage arguments, partners, opponents, and judges critically and civilly. Be polite, smart, and even assertive, but don’t be impolite or a bully. And, have fun since debate should be fun.
Stating something that contradicts what your opponents have said isn't debating; it's disagreeing. I look for the path of least resistance when I'm deciding a round.
If you misrepresent evidence I will drop you.
Debated in PF during all four years of HS for Bronx Science, Policy for a year at Emory.
Judged PF, LD, and Policy since like 2013.
Jane Boyd School: Grapevine HS -Retired
School affiliation/s – Grapevine HS, Texas
Years Judging/Coaching - 37
Years of Experience Judging any Speech/Debate Event 37
WORLD SCHOOL DEBATE
I have experience and success coaching American Style Debates. Worlds Schools Debate quickly has become my most favorite. I have coached teams to elimination rounds at local, state, and The NSDA National tournament every year that I coached WSD. I judge WSD regularly and often.
The main thing to know is I follow the norms of WSD (that you all have access). I don't want WSD Americanized.
How would you describe WS Debate to someone else?
WSD is a classic debate. The type when folks think about the debate. Much more based on logic and classic arguments with some evidence but not evidence heavy. It is NOT an American-style debate.
What process, if any, do you utilize to take notes in the debate?
I flow each speech.
When evaluating the round, assuming both principle and practical arguments are advanced through the 3rd and Reply speeches, do you prefer one over the other? Explain.
I look at both. Does the principle have merit and the practical is the tangible explanation? I don’t think that the practical idea has to solve but is it a good idea.
The WS Debate format requires the judge to consider both Content and Style as 40% each of the speaker’s overall score, while Strategy is 20%. How do you evaluate a speaker’s strategy?
Strategy is argument selection in speeches 2, 3, and 4. In 1st speech, it is how the case is set up and does it give a good foundation for other speeches to build.
WS Debate is supposed to be delivered at a conversational pace. What category would you deduct points in if the speaker was going too fast?
The style mostly, but if it is really fast then maybe strategy as well.
WS Debate does not require evidence/cards to be read in the round. How do you evaluate competing claims if there is no evidence to read?
The argument that makes the most sense, is extended throughout the debate and does it have the basics of claim, warrant, and impact.
How do you resolve model quibbles?
Models are simply an example of how the resolution would work. Which model is best explained, extended, and directly compared? If those are even, which one makes the most intuitive sense to me.
How do you evaluate models vs. countermodels?
Models and counter models are simply examples of how the resolution would work. Which model is best explained, extended, and directly compared. If those are even, which one makes the most intuitive sense to me.
Public Forum Debate
I am more of a traditionalist on PFD. I don't really like fast PFD. The time constraints just don't allow it. No plans or counter plans. Disadvantages can be run but more traditional and not calling it a disadvantage.
I have experience with every type of debate so words like link cross-apply, drop -- are ok with me.
The summary and final focus should be used to start narrowing the debate to the most important issues with a direct comparison of impacts and worldview
I flow - IF you share cases put me on the email chain but I won't look at it until the end and ONLY if evidence or arguments are challenged. Speak with the assumption that I am flowing not reading.
What many think is progressive debate was done originally in 98-99 by Grapevine Debaters. We just did it better. A good debate is a good debate. Keep in mind that trying to be cutting edge does NOT make for good debate by itself. While I appreciate innovation - I hate tricks for the sake of tricks. Keep that in mind.
Standards, criteria, framework, and/or burdens serve as the same thing - these are mechanisms on how to determine who wins the debate. If a value is used it needs to be defended throughout the case and not simply an afterthought. The framework of the debate should not be longer than the rest of the case. Unless it is necessary to make the framework clear, cut to the chase and tell me what is acceptable and not acceptable, but don't spend 2 1/2 minutes on something that should take just a few sentences to make clear. I want to hear substantive debate on the topic, not excessive framework or theory. Note the word excessive. I am not stupid and usually get it much quicker than you think. In the debate resolve the issue of standard and link it to the substantive issues of the round then move on.
Evidence and Basic Argumentation:
The evidence adds credibility to the arguments of the case however I don't want to just hear you cite sources without argumentation and analysis of how it applies to the clash in the debate. I don't like arguments that are meant to confuse and say absolutely nothing of substantive value. I am fine with philosophy but expect that you can explain and understand the philosophies that you are applying to your case or arguments. A Kritik is nothing new in LD. Traditional LD by nature is perfect, but I recognize the change that has occurred. I accept plans, DAs, counter plans, and theory (when there is a violation - not as the standard strategy.) Theory, plans, and counter plans must be run correctly - so make sure you know how to do it before you run it in front of me.
Flow and Voters:
I think that the AR has a very difficult job and can often save time by grouping and cross-applying arguments, please make sure you are clearly showing me the flow where you are applying your arguments. I won't cross-apply an argument to the flow if you don't tell me to. I try not to intervene in the debate and only judge based upon what you are telling me and where you are telling me to apply it. Please give voters; however, don't give 5 or 6. You should be able to narrow the debate down to the critical areas. If an argument is dropped, then make sure to explain the importance or relevance of that argument don't just give me the "it was dropped so I win the argument." I may not buy that it is an important argument; you have to tell me why it is important in this debate.
I can flow very well. Speed isn't a problem, it is usually clarity that is the problem. Unless words are clear I won't flow the debate. If I am not writing then you probably need to adapt. Speed for the sake of speed is not a good idea.
I have been around long enough to have seen the genesis of Kritik arguments. I have seen them go from bad to worse, and then good in the policy. I think that K's arguments are in a worse state in LD now. Kritik is absolutely acceptable IF it applies to the resolution and specifically the case being run in the round. I have the same expectation here as in policy the "K" MUST have a specific link. "K" arguments MUST link directly to what is happening in THIS round with THIS resolution. I am NOT a fan of a generic Kritik that questions if we exist or not and has nothing to do with the resolution or debate at hand. Kritik must give an alternative other than "think about it." Most LD is asking me to take any action with a plan or an objective - a K needs to do the same thing. That being said, I will listen to the arguments but I have a very high threshold for the bearer to meet before I will vote on a "K" in LD.
I have a very high threshold of acceptance of theory in LD. There must be a clear abuse story. Also, coming from a policy background - it is essential to run the argument correctly. For example having a violation, interpretation, standards, and voting issues on a Topicality violation is important. Also knowing the difference between topicality and extra-tropical. or knowing what non-unique really means is important. Theory for the sake of a time suck is silly and won't lead me to vote on it at the end. I want to hear substantive debate on the topic, not just a generic framework or theory. RVI's: Not a fan. Congratulations you are topical or met a minimum of your burden I guess? It's not a reason for me to vote though unless you have a compelling reason why.
Good Debate is a good debate. I flow from the speech not from the document. I do want to be on the email chain though. I prefer good substantive debate on the issues. While Ks are ok if you are going to read them, make sure they are understandable from the beginning. Theory - the same. If you think you might go for it in the end, make sure they are understandable from the beginning.
Be aware, on virtual, sometimes hard to understand rapid and unclear speech (it is magnified on virtual). Make necessary adjustments.
Links should be specific and not generic. This is everything from K to DA.
The final speech needs to tell the story and compare worlds. Yes, line by line is important but treat me like a policymaker - tell me why your policy or no policy would be best.
Handshaking: Even before current viral concerns, I wasn't a fan of hand shaking. If you feel the need for post round physical contact, I will either accept a light fist bump or a full hug of no less than 5 seconds in duration. Alternatively, you can just wait for my decision.
Overview: I am the debate coach at Houston County High School a suburban (closer to rural than urban) school 2 hours south of Atlanta. We don't travel outside of the state much. I am a big advocate of policy debate, but, the vast majority of tournaments we attend no longer offer the event. So, we have switched to PF/LD debate.
I flow. If I am not flowing, there is a problem.
Speed okay. If I am not flowing, there is a problem. The most likely reason I would not be flowing is, that the sound coming out of your mouth is not words. If this happens, I will most likely close my laptop or put down my pen until I can recognize the sounds you are making.
Disclosure Theory: I am a small school coach. My teams are not required to post their cases online. I don't like it when teams lose debates to rules those teams didn't know were "rules". If disclosure is mandated by the tournament's invitation, I will listen. I also, will not attend that tournament. So, just don't run it. Inclusion o/w your fairness arguments.
PF: I judge on an offence/defense paradigm. Logic is good, evidence is better. I'm the guy who will vote on first strike good or dedev. Tech over truth, but I will not give a low point win in PF, and try to stay true to the speaking roots of PF. F/W is the most important part of the debate for me. It is a gateway issue that provides the lens through which to view my decision. I have done a moderate amount of research, but I probably haven't read that article. I may be doing it wrong, but I like logic when judging a PF round. I don't think you have time to develop DAs or Ks, but have no other objection to their existence. Jeff Miller says to answer these questions if judging PF... - do you expect everything in the final focus to also be in the summary? Yes. At least tangentially. The first final focus of the round needs to be able to predict the direction of the the final speech. If it's not in the Summary it gives an unfair advantage to the second speaker. - Do second speaking teams have to respond to the first rebuttal? No, but its a good idea. It makes for a better debate and I will award speaker points will be awarded for doing this. - Do first speaking teams have to extend defense in the first summary? If you want to extend defense in the final focus. - Do you flow/judge off crossfire? Cross is binding, but it needs to be made in the speech to count on the ballot. That being said, at this tournament, damaging crossfire questions have provided major links and changed the momentum of debates. - Do teams have to have more than one contention? No. - does framework have to be read in the constructives? Responsive F/w is allowed but not advisable in rebuttal only.
LD: For me, this is policy light. I understand it, but I try not to be influenced by a lack of policy jargon in the round. IE I will accept an argument that says "The actor could enact both the affirmative action and the negative action." as a permutation without the word perm being used in the round. I tend to view values and value criterion as a framework debate that influences the mechanisms for weighing impacts. I am a little lenient on 1ar line by line debate, but coverage should be sufficient to allow the nr to do their job. I will protect the nr from new 2ar argument to a fault. I will not vote on morally repugnant arguments like "extinction good" or "rocks are more important than people".
tl;dr: Spend a lot of time on F/W. Impact your arguments.
Policy Debate: (Having this in here is a little ridiculous. Its kinda like, "back in my day we had inherency debates. No one talks about inherent barriers anymore...)
I am human, and I have made mistakes judging rounds. But, I reserve the right to dock speaker points for arguing after the round.
I have few problems with speed. If you are unclear, I will say clear or loud once and then put my pen down or close my laptop. I love 1NC's and 2ACs that number their arguments.
I want the debaters to make my decision as easy as possible. My RFD should be very very similar to the first 3 sentences of the 2AR or 2NR.
After a harm is established, I presume it is better to do something rather than nothing. So in a round devoid of offence, I vote affirmative
As a debater and a younger coach, I did not understand nor enjoy the kritik. As the neg we may have run it as the 7th off case argument, and as the aff we responded to the argument with framework and theory. As I've grown as a coach I've started to understand the educational benefits of high school students reading advanced philosophy. That being said, In order to vote negative on the kritik, I need a very, very clear link, and reason to reject the aff. I dislike one-off-K, and standard Ks masked with a new name. I do, however, enjoy listening to critical affirmatives related to the topic. I am often persuaded by PIK's, and vague alts bad theory.
Don't assume that I have read the literature. I have not.
Non-traditional debate: We are a small and very diverse squad, and I (to some extent) understand that struggle. I have coached a fem rage team, and loved it.
I have no particular aversion to theoretical objections. As an observation, I do not vote on them often. I need a clear reason to reject the other team. I will occasionally vote neg on Topicality, but you have to commit. I think cheaty CPs are bad for debate, and enjoy voting on ridiculous CP is ridiculous theory. I still need some good I/L to Education to reject the team.
I enjoy this format. I will adopt a policy maker F/W unless otherwise instructed.
I am a Debate Coach at Charlotte Latin. Have been coaching all types of debate (except Policy), but most specifically Public Forum.
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Judge and Coach mostly Traditional styles.
2. Am ok with speed/spreading but should only be used for depth of coverage really.
3. LARP/Trad/Topical Ks/T > Theory/Tricks/Non-topical Ks
4. The rest is largely similar to PF judging:
- "Flow” judge I guess, can follow the fastest PF debater but dont use speed unless you have too.**
- I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that, with some humor and panache.
- I have a high threshold for theory arguments to be valid in PF. Unless there is in round abuse, I probably won’t vote for a frivolous shell. So I would avoid reading most of the trendy theory arguments in PF.
5 Things to Remember…
Sign Post/Road Maps (this does not include “I will be going over my opponent’s case and if time permits I will address our case”)
After constructive speeches, every speech should have organized narratives and each response should either be attacking entire contention level arguments or specific warrants/analysis. Please tell me where to place arguments otherwise they get lost in limbo. If you tell me you are going to do something and then don’t in a speech, I do not like that.
I will evaluate arguments under frameworks that are consistently extended and should be established as early as possible. If there are two frameworks, please decide which I should prefer and why. If neither team provides any, I default evaluate all arguments under a cost/benefit analysis.
Don’t just extend card authors and tag-lines of arguments, give me the how/why of your warrants and flesh out the importance of why your impacts matter. Summary extensions must be present for Final Focus extension evaluation. Defense to Final Focus ok if you are first speaking team, but you should be discussing the most important issues in every speech which may include early defense extensions.
I would prefer if you DO NOT paraphrase; you can, but you leave your evidence interpretation up to me. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round.
Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to the key contention-level impact story or how your strategy presents cohesion and some key answers on your opponents’ contentions/case.
SPEAKER POINT BREAKDOWNS
"30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior."
***Speaker Points break down borrowed from Mollie Clark.***
Please no speeding or spreading. What I cannot understand - aka discern due to speed - will not be judged; clear speaking is therefore a must.
Traditional judge - or at least what used to be considered "traditonal." AKA (Please read as this is important): NO PLANS, NO KRITIKS, NO SHELLS, NO COUNTERPLANS, AND NO NARRATIVES. Please just debate the resolution. If you do have to use these sorts of cases, please make sure the link is as clear and as evident and flushed out as possible.
LD, Congress, PFD, and Interp.
Anthropology & Human Biology and Human Health major, while I doubt it will come up based on the topic, if scientific literature is read, do not misconstrue it.
Speaker points will be given on how well you debate AND how you present your case and your arguments. (Low point wins, if we are allowed to give them, may be given.)
While I have participated in all of the forms of debate - excluding policy - I only judge once a year, so consider me to not be up to date on whatever new debate terminology has come about in the past year. As such, if you do bring up terminology, theory, common phrases, etc., explain what you mean or else you will have a confused judge which may or may not - depending on what you are trying to argue and how important it is to the round - change the outcome of the round. (e.g. if you state a specific theory, chances are high I will not be familiar with it, so explaining it in a manner that is understandable is vital if it is important to your case.)
If you can crystalize and provide voting issues in the NR or 2AR that would be very helpful and benefical for your case.
Thank you and best of luck.
**3min summary update** You should still collapse in summary. The extra minute should not go towards you trying to cover everything on the flow. The extra minute should go towards cleaner extensions, more in-depth analysis, more frontlining on the argument you collapse to, and weighing/impact calc.
-Do not spread. On a scale of 1-10 for speed I prefer somewhere around 7. I would prefer you to slow down or pause a tad for taglines for my flow. Also if you list 4-5 short points or stats in quick succession, I probably will miss one or two in the middle if you dont slow down.
-Arguments you go for should appear in all speeches. If your offense was not brought up in summary, I will ignore it in FF.
-I do not think cross is binding. It needs to come up in the speech. I do not flow cross, and as a flow judge that makes decisions based on my flow, it won't have much bearing on the round.
-At the least I think 2nd rebuttal needs to address all offense in round. Bonus points for collapsing case and completely frontlining the argument you do go for.
-In terms of overviews, please do not be abusive. I don't like it when a team throws a nib on their opponent. I will reduce speaker points for this tactic. It's fine to use an overview for something that covers their entire case, not to just introduce a new argument that acts just like a contention from case.
-Please time yourselves. My phone is constantly on low battery, so I'd rather not use it. If you want to keep up with your opponents' prep too to keep them honest then go ahead.
-For speaking, I do not care at all about eye contact. I do not care if you sway, etc. I will not be looking at you during speeches, as I am looking down at my flow most of the time. Project your voice and be clear.
-In terms of some of the more progressive things- I haven't actually heard theory in a PF round but I hear it's a thing now. If your opponent is being abusive about something then sure, let me know, either in a formal shell or informal. Don't run theory just to run it though. Obviously, counterplans and plans are not allowed in PF so just don't.
1) Bad or misleading evidence. Unfortunately this is what I am seeing PF become. Paraphrasing has gotten out of control. Your "paraphrased" card better be accurate. If one piece of evidence gets called out for being miscut or misleading, then it will make me call in to question all of your evidence. If you are a debater that runs sketchy and loose evidence, I would pref me very high or strike me.
2) Evidence clash that goes nowhere. If pro has a card that says turtles can breathe through their butt and con has a card saying they cannot and that's all that happens, then I don't know who is right. In the instance of direct evidence clash (or even analytical argumentation clash) tell me why to prioritize your evidence over theirs or your line of thinking over theirs. Otherwise, I will consider the whole thing a wash and find something else to vote on.
3) Not condensing the round when it should be condensed. Most of the time it is not wise to go for every single argument on the flow. Sometimes you need to pick your battles and kick out of others, or risk undercovering everything.
a) What do you like to see in the round? A debate
b) What do I have to do to get a 30? Start by not asking me how to get a 30. I rarely, if ever, do I give a 30. I typically start with a 28 and deduct for rudeness, evidence ethics problems, general speaking, etc and goes up for good extensions, good strategy decisions, collapsing early, etc.
So first, I primarily judge PF. This means my exposure to certain argument types is limited. I LOVE actually debating the resolution. Huge fan. I'm cool with DAs and CPs. Theory only if your opponent is being overly abusive (so no friv). If you are a K or tricks debater good luck. I know about the progressive things but since I primarily judge PF, my ability to evaluate it is very limited from experience. If you want to go for a K or something, I won't instantly drop you and I will try my best to flow and evaluate it in the round. But you will probably need to tweak it a little, slow down, and explain more how it is winning and why I should vote for it. I come from a traditional circuit, so the more progressive the round gets, the less capable I am of making a qualified decision.
I do not want you to flash your case to me. I want to flow it. If you read to point that it is unflowable then it is your loss. If I don't flow it, I cannot evaluate it and thus, cannot vote on it. Spreading in my opinion is noneducational and antithetical to skills you should be learning from this activity. Sorry, in the real world and your future career, spreading is not an acceptable practice to convince someone and get your point across.
Please signpost/roadmap- I hate when it is unclear where you are and I get bounced around the flow. Have fun and don't be overly aggressive.
I debated for four years at Northview High School (09'-13') and very occasionally debated for the Barkley Forum at Emory University (13'-17'). [email@example.com]
I've randomly inserted a couple quotes from some debaters who have impacted how I view the activity.
on evidence / debating
tech over truth. Good evidence is good. But good debating is always better. What does this mean? Having a better/more qualified/more recent piece of evidence won't do you much if you can't coherently explain and impact the argument itself as well as how it affects the debate. If you really think your piece of evidence is better and/or that the difference in evidence quality should matter in how I resolve the argument, then tell me.
"I really don't care what arguments you read. Debate is cool because it's an intellectual marketplace in which a debater's persuasion, not my ideology, determines what sinks or swims." - Alex Miles
I'm policy-oriented in terms of how I used to debate and my fundamental evaluation of different arguments but I can be persuaded to vote for **almost** anything.
Debate is always about communication. Be clear. Sacrificing clarity for a bit more speed won't do you much good in front of me. I also feel like speed at some point trades off with persuasiveness which is something I value not just in terms of speaker points, but also in terms of evaluating arguments. That being said, you can go extremely fast idc I'm just saying understand when to use inflection or slowing down to break down an intricate argument, etc.
I think zero risk of an argument is possible but my threshold is relatively high.
Judges try to remain as impartial and unbiased as possible but the nature of communication is that we will be persuaded by arguments that make intuitive sense. Does this mean you can't run confusing/nuanced arguments? No. Does it mean there's a higher threshold to actually explain what your nebulous process CP does and why it solves better? Yes.
Recognizing that an argument was dropped is not sufficient. Explain the argument, it's warrants, and how the concession of the argument affects the debate.
"I wish the debate norm was less focused on whether every impact escalated to maximum magnitude. Most of them probably don't. Things can be bad without being an extinction event.I am definitely guilty of being a debater." - Daniel Taylor
I am definitely guilty of being a debater who often used existential / try-or-die framing but I whole heartedly agree with the above. Intuitive arguments that can dismantle improbable extinction scenarios while articulating why something can be very bad without needing to eviscerate every human on the planet is very persuasive to me.
There are valuable things to learn from just about any topic you could think of. But I believe the resolution is the only non-arbitrary starting point from which both fair and meaningful discussion can occur. goes w/o saying that the affirmative probably needs a plan
On theory and topicality
One conditional advocacy is probably okay, more justifies the question. Most theory arguments I don't lean one way or another and in most cases its not a reason to reject the team. That being said you should not be afraid to go for theory, but recognize that these debates are often incoherent exchanges of short, jargon-filled arguments so unless you're ready to unpack or show some level of analysis earlier in the debate the threshold is high.
I think severance or intrinsic perms being justified by multiple conditional advocacies or PIC/process cp's bad is a persuasive arg if done correctly.
I default to competing interpretations. I think reasonability is arbitrary. but I just feel like the aff should be able to prove the type of debate and topic they justify via their plan is better than a world of debate without it.
I think topicality is inherently about presenting your vision of what the topic should look like under your interpretation and why it is better
the argument that the affirmative does not meet their own c/i should probably be made more by negative teams extending topicality into the block (if it makes sense)
On the criticism
I think winning the link level is particularly important in K debates. Case must be part of the discussion i.e. the criticism must be both relevant and relative to the affirmative. In order to win the criticism in front of me you must be impacting it as it relates to case and thus you should be "winning case" in some sense. I'm always going to vote for the devil I know over the one I don't i.e. explaining what the alternative does and why that's a better approach then the affirmative is also important. that being said most aff teams should capitalize on this or make arguments that combat these mistakes by negative teams more.
I believe affirmative arguments against the criticism that are rooted in some form of "the K is a non-unique disad" aren't particularly persuasive but the negative should be able to contextualize / differentiate between residual link instances in the status quo vs the plan and whether the alternative does / need / should resolve both or just the latter.
I've judged a decent amount of debates on this topic, however I am probably not as familiar with the topic as y'all are. So buzzwords and concepts that are commonly tossed around in rounds will probably need to be contextualized a bit better at first. Fine to use afterward.
blatant performative contradictions like reading realism against a criticism when your aff is not realist erk me but aren't nearly leveraged enough by either side anymore.
I believe 'uniqueness controls direction of the link' can be a particularly persuasive framing mechanism if done correctly.
I understand that debate is inherently a competitive activity and things do get heated, but there is a clear distinction between being competitive and being obnoxious/rude.
I don't have a great poker face. If I'm particularly vibing/not vibing with an argument, you'll probably be able to tell. It'll also remind you to look up once in a while.
I love a good impact turn debate (heg good/bad in particular) but people don't really go for it or straight turn disads etc. anymore and it disappoints me. I'm not going to vote on these things just bc you go for it. I'm just saying I miss it.
Death is probably bad.
no need to read this, just food for thought.
Debate is inherently a relative, arbitrary, and qualitative activity. There's no quantifiable way to determine winners, all participants and the judge possess their own implicit and explicit biases that are impossible to flip 'on' or 'off' or separate from our evaluation of ideas and arguments, regardless of how hard we 'try' (I put the word try in quotes because its not something you can try to do, it just exists whether you like it or whether you let yourself believe it or not).
Through this view, consider the following hypothetical situation: a local tournament is short on judges and so a soccer mom with absolutely zero experience in any form of debate or any activity dealing in rhetoric or discourse for that matter has agreed to judge to help alleviate the shortage. She judges a round between a novice team of two freshman who are debating at their second tournament ever and a team that has cleared at the TOC before, made it to the late out rounds of multiple national tournaments, and have attended 'prestigious' debate camps. Both teams debate their hearts out and she votes for the former. Most would just chalk this up to circumstance, or because the judge doesn't understand the technical aspects of the activity. The novice team may have double turned themselves or dropped multiple critical arguments and by every major 'indicator', lost the debate. They could have dropped an entire flow. They could have got up in their final speech, made animal noises for 30 seconds and sat down. In my view, none of that matters. The novice team has won and the other has lost, fair and square.
the judge and your audience exist on a completely independent plane from everything else. in debate and in life. and this is a margin of error that you must willfully accept and embrace in order to truly understand this activity.
Have multiple years of experience either as a college debater (CETA) in the early 90s or supporting high school debate of all types. I take an open approach to both speed and argumentation. Argumentation that is well researched and apply across a flow is more powerful than mere case press and assertions. I don't have a preference or dislike of any particular argumentation briefs. If you can provide solid evidence it's all fair game.
Hello, I have not judged this semester. Please be kind to each other.
I am old and cannot flow speed particularly well but will do my best to keep up.
Theory is okay if it checks abuse, but I don't like it if it's frivolous. I will always caution that I may not follow Ks as well as you do, so read them at your own risk.
I will call for evidence if it sounds too good to be true and reserve the right to disregard entire arguments if the evidence is particularly miscut.
I teach Mandarin 1 at Strake Jesuit. Good debaters are like big politicians debating on a big stage. Persuasion is necessary. Speak clearly if you want to win. Please make sure your arguments are topical. I'd like a clear story explaining your position and the reasons you should win.谢谢!
University of Florida
Bachelor's Degree in chemistry, PhD in analytical chemistry, MBA, DMD
I have never participted in debate, however I do have judging experience from the Sunvitational and New York City invitational. I am a tabla rasa judge to this topic, meaning I have not researched the topic or have any preconceived beliefs about it. I will consider each round a blank slate, so all information must be provided by the teams. While I understand some debate jargon, please consider me a lay judge for all intents and purposes.
Treat this round like I am the jury of a trial. I am an educated citizen of the United States with no prior knowledge on the topic. All arguments must be strengthened by evidence, logic, or both.
Speed is an important factor in my decision. On a scale from 1 (conversational speed) to 10 (speed reading) I am comfortable at a 3, but will disregard anything above a 5.
Weighting and Preferences:
I will weigh persuasion extremely heavily. I will be taking minimal notes during the round, so I will appreciate clear, articulate, and concise arguments and evidence. I believe skilled debaters can communicate their ideas effectively with as few words as possible. If one can persuade me to vote for their side, I will. This is why it is crucial that the debater outlines why I should vote to their side during their final focus speech.
Evidence is crucial towards any claim, unless it is a logical conclusion that is reasonable to understand. I weigh evidence based and logic based arguments equally. Impacting arguments is important, so make sure I understand why each argument is relevant to the round.
Please do not waste my time on counter plan accusations. Unless an argument is EXTREMELY obvious in demonstrating a plan of action, I will ignore the accusation.
Please note that since I am acting as a jury, I will accept any argument as long as it sounds logical. It is up to the other team to disprove a claim or explain why it should not be counted. It is not my job to analyze each piece of evidence. I do not like it when teams are picky about evidence. Source comparison is okay as long as both teams are being reasonable.
Please read all acronyms fully at least once, or I will start to think about what they mean and miss your argument.
I will give points to teams who sound educated and well researched on the topic. I ask teams to only read their first speeches from paper, and not read directly for other speeches. Debaters should be able to explain rebuttals and strengthen their arguments in their own words. This will persuade me more and will be weighed in my reason for decision.
I do not have any seating preferences and I will not be keeping time.
If you have any questions or concerns about my preferences, please ask me before the round with the other team present. I will give light feedback after each round upon request but will not disclose my reason for decision until after the tournament. Good luck to all debaters!
I am old. I have been coaching and judging for over 35 years. This means that much/most of my experience predates the existence of Public Forum. I competed primarily in Policy, Lincoln Douglas (in its first year of existence), and Extemp. I have coached Policy (in the Dark Ages), Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Congress, and assorted speech events.
Speed does not offend me. That said, I am OLD and have carpal tunnel syndrome, so my flow is sloooooow. I will not punish you with points if you are fast and clear, but there is a risk I may not get everything you want on my flow.
There are a lot of regional/circuit differences in PF norms. I recognize that answering refutation of one's case in the second constructive speech (when speaking second) is unusual in some areas of the country. That said, I am used to LD, where the first negative speech includes both the negative case and refutation of the affirmative case. Some LDers even go "straight ref" on the negative, entirely forgoing reading a negative case and only arguing against the affirmative case. I will not punish teams speaking second for beginning refutation in their first constructive, or for answering the first team's arguments against their case in their second constructive. I view this as a regional difference.
I do not like surprises, not even good surprises. I always peeked at my presents as a child. Arguments should be extended in the summary speech if you want to win on them in the final focus. I favor line by line until the final focus, which should crystalize the debate and provide clear impact calc.
I think topic wording is important and that it determines burdens. I like it when teams are explicit about what the topic wording demands. A kritik is just an argument. If you can explain how it affirms or negates the res, it's all good.
Plans and counterplans are not allowed. Don't blame me. I didn't make the rules. You chose this event, despite the rules. That said, I think it is fair (and even a good idea) to talk about how the resolution would be implemented (assuming it calls for action and is not simply a question of fact/value). One can do this by looking at real world, typical proposals for resolutional action. I also don't think that the affirmative should be stuck advocating the worst possible way to implement the resolutional policy.
Evidence is important. Cheating is bad. Read author and date cites. I will grudgingly allow paraphrased evidence, but the full text must be available and easily evaluable. By this I mean that it is not okay to paraphrase evidence and then, when asked to provide it, hand over a ten page document with no highlighting/underlining of the bits that you claim to be paraphrasing. If you cannot say, "this paraphrases these three lines of text in the original document," or something like that, I'm going to disregard this "evidence." Neither I nor your opponents should have to read through the entire document to assess whether your paraphrasing is accurate.
I hate crossfire, especially the Grand Cluster F*!k. Please don't yell or speak over each other. I recognize that this aspect of PF is conducive to chaos, and that you are not responsible for this design flaw. That said, I will punish you with speaker points if you make the crossfire worse than it has to be.
Argument > Style. This is debate. Style is reflected in speaker points.
Public Forum Paradigm
***Updated for 2019 BFHS Tournament
About me: I am a member of Emory's Barkley Forum Debate Team, on which I formally competed for two years. I did Public Forum all four years at my high school in Maryland, serving as my team's captain as a sophomore. I have judged both Public Forum and Policy Debate, including two BFHS tournaments (I didn't judge last year's because I was studying abroad in Rome).
1) Weigh your arguments versus those of your opponent, especially in the final focus. Judging PF both locally and nationally there is nothing that makes me more frustrated than when teams don't give me a reason why to prefer their arguments versus those of their opponents.
2) Extending arguments is more than giving an author name and publication date. You must explain the links and warrants of the card!
3) Saying your opponent dropped one of your arguments is not enough. You must tell me why whichever arguments they dropped are important and why that means I should vote for you.
4) Don't lie about evidence. This is especially true in PF given that because of time constraints teams often only cite 1 or 2 lines from a piece of evidence--and these lines are often totally out of the card's larger context.
5) Explain your impacts! Don't tell me that "_______ impact" will happen if I don't vote pro/con without explaining to me what that impact is and why it is so devastating.
Notes on Speaker Points:
1) For PF, I consider both quality and presentation of the arguments--doing well on both of these fronts will give you good speaks.
2) Being rude and not letting your opponents ask questions in crossfires is going to lower your speaks.
3) I will give high scores when warranted, but I almost never give 30's, because I have rarely seen a "perfect" performance.
1) You are welcome to go fast--but know that I don't think PF is meant for spreading a million miles an hour-that's for policy debate
2) Not a fan of teams reading a counterplan or K in PF
3) Crossfire answers are binding and I will flow it
4) Feel free to ask me any questions you would like after my RFD.
Please include me on the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will vote on T. If you are a team reading a planless aff, you better be able to tell me why you cannot meet the constraints of the topic to read a plan.
My favorite type of negative argument, make sure you clearly explain the uniqueness, link, and impact. There can be 0% risk of a DA, but it is extremely rare in my book. Also, I thoroughly enjoy DA's turn case arguments.
When I debate I mostly run policy arguments, but that doesn't mean I won't vote on the kritik. If you are running a kritik, you better understand it and be able to explain its premise. Give me a clear link, impact and alternative--preferably one that is more than simply to reject the other team.
I enjoy listening to well-written CP's. That being said, please keep the number of planks of your CP's to less than what I can count on both hands, and be sure to have a clear net-benefit attached. I do not like process cp's.
I will vote on theory. I will vote on conditionality bad, but I'm less inclined to do so if the negative team is reading only a few conditional advocacies. You also will have to spend more than 10 seconds on it in the 2AC and in 1AR if you are going for it in the 2AR. I think most other arguments like 50-state fiat bad are a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
I enjoy good case debates, and debating the level of solvency of the affirmative. I will vote on presumption, but it is a rare occurence.
If you want to view the round in a certain way, tell me how I should view it and why. I enjoy good framework debates.
Giving impact calc is key. Tell me why you outweigh on likelihood, timeframe, and magnitude.
Above all else, have fun, learn, and feel free to ask me any questions you might have.
I've been around a long time. I've seen a lot of conventional wisdom come and go. I don't always agree with the consensus of the moment. Be fast, be clear, read a K and/or a counterplan.
I flow on paper and actually make an effort to watch you and listen to the words you are saying. It's hard to give speaker points to a glowing dot, so turn on your camera when speaking if possible. I will not follow the speech doc as you are talking, so be clear.
Want to be on the email chain? - Yes, but know that I won't look at the docs until the debate is over.
Please send docs to: email@example.com
Speed? - Yes
Open CX? - Sure, but if you aren't involved somewhat, your speaker points suffer.
When does prep time stop? - When you cease to alter your speech doc and to talk about the debate with your partner.
Judge Disclosure - Unless the tournament has some terrible counter-educational policy preventing it (looking at you, NCFL).
Can I read (X argument)? Yes, if it's not hideously offensive.
T? - Reasonability (whew - really feels good to be honest there)
Will you vote on disclosure theory? - No. Disclosure is a good community norm which I support, but I do not think ballots can or should enforce this norm. The exception would be if you can prove that someone straight up lied to you.
Tech over truth? - Yes, but I think people often take this way too far.
Years Judging: 14
Years Debated: 4
I debated for four years in high school for Nevada Union (1998-2002) during which time I made two TOC appearances. I did not debate for Berkeley during my time there, but I was an assistant coach for the College Preparatory School from 2002-2006. After that, I was off the circuit for a few years because I moved to Hong Kong for a year and then went to graduate school. 2010-2011 was my first year back. I worked for New Trier for a year after that and at Nevada Union from 2011-2012. After that I went back to CPS for three more years. I then spent four years running the program at St. Francis. I now work with the Washington Urban Debate League as a volunteer. I have judged a lot for a long time.
Tech Over Truth - This is not dogma
I think that the phrase "tech over truth" is just as vacuous as its inverse, "truth over tech." I honestly have no idea what either of these slogans is trying to say, but I do know that people who repeat either of them incessantly tend to make decisions that I don't get.
"Tech" is just as subjective as "truth" because whether someone's embedded clash has answered something, whether an argument has a warrant, whether someone has explained something enough to have extended it, etc. are all judgement calls at some level anyhow.
I think that dropped arguments are conceded. I think that I should refrain from dismissing arguments that I don't agree with. I think that arguments which I think are bad should still win the debate if the debater advancing them has argued better than the opponent. I guess that's tech over truth?
At the same time, I am the kind of judge who thinks that one compelling, well-developed argument can be more important than three specious, underdeveloped ones. I don't think that the concession of a less significant argument necessarily outweighs a more significant argument that is won despite contestation. Is that truth over tech? Is this whole tech vs. truth binary kind of pointless?
My bumper sticker slogan would be something like: "Analysis over blips."
Speaker Points - No, you can't have a 30.
It used to go without saying that I award speaker points solely based on how well I feel the debaters performed in each round. These days, it seems that I need to say that I will continue to do this regardless of what anyone else does and regardless of what debaters tell me to do during the debate.
I think that there's a performative/communicative aspect to this activity. Speak persuasively and your points will improve.
Try to be nice.
Judge Disclosure - I do it.
I'll disclose my decision and talk about the round with you in depth afterwards. I remember getting a lot out of post-round discussions when I was a debater, and I hope I can pass something along. If your analytics are in your speech docs for my later reference, I'll even give you my flows.
Speed - Go ahead, but be clear
I can flow any rate of delivery.
Lately, someone out there has been telling high school debaters to slow down and emphasize tags. Stop it, whoever you are. This advice implies that I don't care about the text of the card. In fact, I care about how you tagged the card far, far less than I care about what the text of the card actually says. When you slow down for the tag, but slosh unintelligably through the card, you are implying that I can't understand high speed and that the actual card text is a mere formality. If this is so, you may as well just paraphrase the card like a PF debater.
Believe it or not, I actually can understand your card at high speeds if you read it clearly. I'm actually flowing what the card says. Often as not, I won't flow your (often misleading) tag at all.
I'll yell "clear" at you if you're not being clear. I'll do this twice before putting my pen down and pointedly glaring at you.
Line By Line - Please and Thank You
I'll look at evidence, sure, but I will be grumpy if you make me sort out a huge rat's nest of implied and unexplained clash for you. I am a believer in directly responsive line-by-line debate. I think that explaining warrants is good, but comparing warrants is better.
Framework - Can't we all just get along?
I am one of the last folks out there who won't take a side. I vote neg on framework sometimes; I vote aff on framework sometimes. I think framework debates are kind of fundamental to the activity. I'm up for any kind of argument. I love a good K debate, but I'm equally pleased to adjudicate a game of competing policy options. Run what you love. In my heart, I probably don't care if there's a plan text, but I'll vote for theory arguments demanding one if the better debating is done on that side. Please don't read offensive/amoral arguments.
Conditionality - Yeah, sure, whatever
I think one or two conditional CP's and a K is just fine. You can win a debate on conditionality being more permissive than that or being bad altogether. I won't intervene.
T - I am different from the folks at Michigan
I think that winning complete or nearly complete defense on T is sufficient for the aff even in a world of competing interpretations. If the aff meets, they meet. I'm unlikely to give this RFD: "Even though you're winning a we meet, the neg interpretation is better, so any risk that you don't meet etc etc." Ever since someone told me back in 1999 that T should be evaluated like a DA, I have not agreed. It's a procedural issue, not a predictive claim about the consequences of implementing a policy. As such, I evaluate T procedurally. Whether or not the aff meets is a binary question, not a linear risk.
I think sometimes people think that "competing interpretations" means "the smallest interpretation should win." To me, smallest is not necessarily best. Sure, limits are a big deal, but there is such a thing as over-limiting. There are also other concerns that aren't limits per se, like education, ground, and predictability.
I can be persuaded otherwise in a debate, but I think we should evaluate T through the lens of reasonability.
Open Cross Ex - Yeah
Just make sure that you're involved somewhat or I'll hammer your speaks.
Stop it. People choose to disclose as a courtesy. It is not and should not be a requirement. I tell all my teams to disclose. I think you should disclose. If you choose not to, so be it.
If you make a disclosure theory argument, I will ignore you until you move on to something else. I will never vote on a disclosure theory argument, even if it is not answered.
I always find it sadly hilarious when big, brand-name programs tell me that disclosure is good for small schools. It most definitely is not. The more pre-round prep becomes possible, the more that coaching resources can be leveraged to influence debates. That's why the most well-resourced programs tend to be the most aggressive about disclosure theory.
New affs are fine. I will not consider arguments which object to them, even if the aff team never answers such arguments.
Experience/Background: I coached at Columbus HS from 2013-2021, primarily Public Forum, and will be coaching at Carrollton HS beginning August 2021. I did not debate in high school or college, but I have been coaching and judging PF since 2013, both locally (Georgia) and on the national circuit, including TOC and NSDA Nationals.
If you have specific questions about me as a judge that are not answered below (or need clarification), please feel free to ask them. Some general guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions are below:
1. Speed: I don't have a problem with speed for the most part. On a 1-10 scale, I can handle around a 7, though you should not consider that a green light to take off at top speed. My tolerance for speed does drop when a) it is late in the day/tournament or b) I have judged more than 5ish rounds that day. I will always value the quality of your arguments over the quantity of words you may be able to squeeze into a four or two minute speech. Similarly, I understand debate jargon just fine, but if your goal in over-using debate-speak is to confuse your less-experienced opponents or muddy up a round, I'm probably not going to respond well to that. For online rounds, I prefer that you speak at a more moderate speed.
2. Flowing: I do flow. Normally, I flow on my laptop, but in a world of online debate, I am back to flowing on paper. I probably won't look at you much during the debate, but I am listening and flowing, and I am aware when you're attempting to make connections with me as a judge.
3. Signposting and Roadmaps: Signposting is good. Please do it. It makes my job easier. Off-time roadmaps aren't really needed or helpful if you're just going "their case, our case." If you're doing something complicated with overviews and observations, then roadmaps are good and appreciated.
4. Consistency of Arguments/Making Decisions: Anything you expect me to vote on should be in summary and final focus. Defense is not "sticky" -- meaning you cannot extend it from rebuttal to final focus. Please weigh. I can deal with a line-by-line summary, but prefer voters.
5. Prep (in-round and pre-round): Please pre-flow before you enter the round. Monitor your own prep time. If you and your opponents want to time each other to keep yourselves honest, go for it. Do not steal prep time - if you have called for a card and your opponents are looking for it, you should not be writing/prepping unless you are also running your prep time. On that note, have your evidence ready. It should not take you longer than 20-30 seconds to pull up a piece of evidence when asked. If you delay the round by taking forever to find a card, your speaker points will probably reflect it.
6. Overviews in second rebuttal: In general, I think a short observation or weighing mechanism is probably more okay than a full-fledged contention that you're trying to sneak in as an "overview". Tread lightly.
7. Frontlines: Second speaking team should answer turns and frontline in rebuttal. I don't need a 2-2 split, but I do think you need to address the speech that preceded yours.
8. Theory: I am a really bad judge to attempt to run theory in front of. I would much rather you just debate the resolution. If you really feel it's necessary to call out some sort of theory issue, do it quickly...but don't make it the sole thing you want me to vote on, please, or spend a ton of time on it.
9. Crossfire: I do not flow crossfire. If it comes up in cross and you expect it to serve a role in my decision-making process, I expect you to bring it up in a later speech.
10. Speaker points: I basically never give 30s, so you should not expect them from me. If you ask what it takes to get a 30 from me, you'll be lucky to get a 29. I do appreciate wit.
The paradigm below is pretty old, but many of the things still hold. I judge a lot more PF than LD & policy debate anymore. For those of you looking for a PF paradigm, if you go with a lot of the stuff below, you'll be on the right track. I view PF as old time case debate in policy debate. It's about evidence and demonstrating why your argument is smarter and better than your opponent's. It's all about the final focus for me and how you access the arguments you have been making in the debate.
NONTRADITIONAL ARGUMENTS: It's probably dealt with below, but you need to demonstrate why your project, poem, rap, music, etc. links to and is relevant to the topic. Theory for theory's sake is not appealing to me. In short, the resolution is there for a reason. Use it. It's better for education, you learn more, and finding relevancy for your particular project within a resolutional framework is a good thing.
THEORY: I consider myself to be a policy maker. The affirmative is making a proposal for change; the negative must demonstrate why the outcome of that adoption may be detrimental or disadvantageous. Counterplans are best when nontopical and competitive. Nontopical means that they are outside of the realm of the affirmative’s interpretation of the resolution (i.e. courts counterplans in response to congressional action are legitimate interpretations of n/t action). Competitive means there must be a net-benefit to the counterplan. Merely avoiding a disadvantage that the affirmative “gets” could be enough but that assumes of course that you also win the disadvantage. I’m not hip deep sometimes in the theory debate and get frustrated when teams choose to get bogged down in that quagmire. If you’re going to run the counterplan conditionally, then defend why it’s OK with some substance. If the affirmative wishes to claim abuse, prove it. What stopped you from adequately defending the case because the counterplan was “kicked” in the block or the 2NR? Don’t whine; defend the position. That being said, I'm not tied to the policy making framework. As you will see below, I will consider most arguments. Not a real big fan of performance, but if you think it's your best strategy, go for it.
TOPIC SPECIFIC ARGUMENTS: I’m not a big “T” hack. Part of the reason for that is that persons sometimes get hung up on the line by line of the argument rather than keeping the “big picture” in mind. Ripping through a violation in 15 seconds with “T is voting issue” tacked on at the bottom doesn’t seem to have much appeal from the beginning. I’m somewhat persuaded by not only what the plan text says but what the plan actually does. Plan text may be topical but if your evidence indicates harm area, solvency, etc. outside of the realm of the topic, I am sympathetic that the practice may be abusive to the negative.
KRITIKS/CRITIQUES: True confession time here—I was out of the activity when these arguments first came into vogue. I have, however, coached a number of teams who have run kritiks. I’d like to think that advocating a position actually means something. If the manner in which that position is presented is offensive for some reason, or has some implication that some of us aren’t grasping, then we have to examine the implications of that action. With that in mind, as I examine the kritik, I will most likely do so within the framework of the paradigm mentioned above. As a policymaker, I weigh the implications in and outside of the round, just like other arguments. If I accept the world of the kritik, what then? What happens to the affirmative harm and solvency areas? Why can’t I just “rethink” and still adopt the affirmative? Explain the kritik as well. Again, extending line by line responses does little for me unless you impact and weigh against other argumentation in the round. Why must I reject affirmative rhetoric, thoughts, actions, etc.? What is it going to do for me if I do so? If you are arguing framework, how does adopting the particular paradigm, mindset, value system, etc. affect the actions that we are going to choose to take? Yes, the kritik will have an impact on that and I think the team advocating it ought to be held accountable for those particular actions.
EVIDENCE: I like to understand evidence the first time that it is read. Reading evidence in a blinding montone blur will most likely get me to yell “clear” at you. Reading evidence after the round is a check for me. I have found in the latter stages of my career that I am a visual learner and need to see the words on the page as well as hear them. It helps for me to digest what was said. Of course, if I couldn’t understand the evidence to begin with, it’s fairly disappointing for me. I may not ask for it if that is the case. I also like teams that do evidence comparisons. What does your evidence take into account that the other teams evidence does not? Weigh and make that claim and I will read the evidence to see if you indeed have made a good point. SPEECH DOCUMENTS: Given how those documents are currently being used, I will most likely respectfully decline to be a part of any email exchange. However, I may ask for those same electronic documents at the end of the debate to check my flow against what you claim has been read in the round. Debate is an oral activity; let's get back to that.
STYLE: As stated above, if you are not clear, I will tell you so. If I have to tell you more than once, I will give much less weight to the argument than you wish me to do so. I have also found in recent years that I don't hear nearly as well as in the past. You may still go fast, but crank it down just a little bit so that this grumpy old man can still understand the argument. Tag-team CX is okay as long as one partner does not dominate the discussion. I will let you know when that becomes the case. Profanity and rude behavior will not be tolerated. If you wish me to disclose and discuss the argument, you may challenge respectfully and politely. Attempts at making me look ridiculous (which at times is not difficult) to demonstrate your superior intelligence does little to persuade me that I was wrong. My response may very well be “If I’m so stupid, why did you choose to argue things this way?” I do enjoy humor and will laugh at appropriate attempts at it. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Make them specific. Just a question which starts with "Do you have a paradigm?" will most likely be answered with a "yes" with little or no explanation beyond that. You should get the picture from that.
Read this entire PF paradigm before the round please. It will cover almost every question you might have.
I competed almost exclusively in Public Forum debate from 2010-2014 at Cypress Bay High School in Florida before going on to debate NPDA/NPTE parliamentary debate at Texas Tech University. In college I coached PF teams in Florida, namely at Nova High School, West Broward High School, and C. Leon King High School. Now I am the new Head Coach at Coral Springs High School and tend to do more coaching/observing than actual judging.
If you have to trade off clarity for speed, don’t go for speed. My ears can only pick through so much mumbling and if I don’t clearly hear it, it won’t be on my flow. Also, keep in mind that you should try to slow down on your taglines and citations as they are crucial to making sure I'm on the same page as you. Especially for online debates, I would highly recommend slowing your pace from your usual speed in front of flow judges. I'm still flowing intensely, but I would prefer if you slowed down just a tad bit as I am growing increasingly concerned with the new trend towards speed. Otherwise, I am open to just about any style you might have. I try not to penalize teams for having a different regional style than what I might be used to. Off-time roadmaps are not only accepted but encouraged. Second speaking rebuttal doesn't have to respond to the first speaking rebuttal but it will certainly help your case and make life easier for your summary speaker.
Speaker Point Scale:
I go by a pretty standard scale moving in increments of .5 points (where applicable). You’ll never win my ballot just by being the better speakers, but I certainly do appreciate everything that goes into a great presentation/speech. Proper eye contact, appropriate hand motions, clarity, good posture, projection of your voice, etc will win you marks. Low-point wins are rare but totally a possibility based on what happens on the flow.
< 26 = You said something incredibly offensive and I'm considering dropping you on face value.
26-26.5 = You definitely have room for improvement.
27-27.5 = You’re an alright speaker and might even break.
28-28.5 = You’re a great speaker and will probably break.
29-29.5 = You might be in contention for a speaker award with speeches that good.
30 = You impressed/entertained me in such a way that I had no choice but to give you the maximum amount of points.
If you have a framework then it should be warranted if you want me to take it into account when making my decision. The more clearly defined a framework is, the more likely I am to buy into it. I’m open to just about any type of framework but it’s all about how you use it in the later speeches to win. Absent any framework, I’ll just default to stock-issue impact calculus to figure things out.
Critical or non-traditional arguments:
I predominantly dealt with these arguments in NPDA/NPTE Parli but I'm open to hearing them in all forms of debate. Don't be overly concerned though, 99% of PF rounds that I watch don’t end up being like this at all and I’m perfectly fine with that either way. I think teams that run these types of arguments just to confuse or exclude their opponents ruin the experience for everyone and should be dropped, but otherwise, it is up to the debaters in the round to tell me why they get to run what they want to and why that matters. Likewise, it’s up to the opponents to tell me why they don’t get to and why that matters as well.
What happens in crossfire doesn’t ever make it onto my flow until you explicitly tell me to refer back to it in one of your speeches. I’ll still be listening so stay on your game and keep things engaging. Be extra mindful of respecting your opponents in crossfire to avoid things getting too heated. This is especially true in Grand Crossfire when most teams are fed up with one another and really start to turn up the heat. It's not life or death, it's just crossfire. Don't use crossfire to make a speech or grandstand, use the time to go back and forth on questions to clarify points of clash in the debate. And don't be rude. I shouldn't have to tell you that.
I try to refrain from intervening under any circumstance. I try to sign my ballot using the path of least resistance for the relevant issues on the flow. Your best bet of getting there comes from your ability to weigh arguments against one another, starting at the very latest in summary and then again in final focus. If you don’t weigh, you leave things up to my interpretation and we may not have the same interpretation of how the round went. That being said, the summary doesn’t need to perfectly mirror the final focus, just have some consistency in what arguments you go for. I'm going to try and be as laid back as possible primarily because I want everyone to be comfortable. Do whatever has brought you competitive success before or whatever you enjoy the most and I guarantee it’ll make for better rounds. At its core, competitive debate is a subjective activity in persuasion and no matter how long of a paradigm I give you, there will always be a human element to these things. If you want disclosure and comments at the end of the round, I’d be more than happy to offer what I can within a reasonable amount of time (assuming the tournament allows for disclosure). Otherwise, the ballot will be filled out rather extensively (in my atrocious handwriting if we're unfortunately on paper ballots).
If you have a problem with any of this, I recommend you strike me ahead of time. Absent that option, cross your fingers.
Sheryl Kaczmarek Lexington High School -- SherylKaz@gmail.com
I expect debaters to treat one another, their judges and any observers, with respect, and I also expect all audience members to treat every participant in a round with respect. If you plan to accuse your opponent(s) of being intellectually dishonest or of cheating, please be prepared to stake the round on that claim. Accusations of that sort are NOT JUST ARGUMENTS, they are round ending claims for me, one way or the other, so don't make the accusation in a speech if you don't want me to judge the round based on that argument alone, either for or against the person making the claim. I believe debate is an oral and aural experience, which means that while I want to be included on the email chain, I will NOT be reading along with you, and I will not give you credit for arguments I cannot hear/understand if you do not change your speaking after I shout clearer or louder for the second time. [Note for the Virtual World: I don't think judges shouting at debaters to be louder or clearer is a very good idea, so I may glance at a speech doc during CX or Prep Time for "big picture" assistance, should I find a debater especially hard to understand, but I will not read full speech docs to produce a flow.] I take the flow very seriously and I probably judge as much as anyone my age, across the disciplines, but I still need everyone to explain their arguments because I may not "know" all of the nuances for every topic in every event, and I should not judge on what I know anyhow. There is an exception: I will NOT vote for arguments that are racist, sexist or in any other way biased against a group based on gender identity, religion or any other characteristic and I will NOT vote for suicide/self harm alternatives. None of those are things I can endorse as a long time high school teacher and decent human.
The Resolution -- I would prefer that debaters actually address the resolution, but I do vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often. That is because it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I often find that these debates get really messy really fast. Debaters tend to make too many arguments and tend not to answer the arguments of the opposition very clearly. I would prefer more direct clash, and fewer arguments overall. While I don't think framework arguments are as interesting as many other types of arguments in a debate, I will vote for the team which best promotes their vision of debate through their framework arguments, or at least look at the rest of the arguments in the round through that lens.
Links -- You should have them, for both Disads and Kritiks. I would really like to know what the affirmative has done to cause the impacts referenced in a Disad, and I think there has to be something the affirmative does (or thinks) which triggers a Kritik. I don't care how big the impact/implication is if the affirmative does not cause it in the first place.
Solvency -- I expect actual solvency advocates for both plans and counterplans. If you are going to have multi-plank plans or counterplans, make sure you have solvency advocates for those combinations of actions, and even if you are advocating a single action, I still expect some source that suggests this action as a solution for the problems you have identified with the SQ, or with the Affirmative (which is why your counterplan is better).
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part of the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.
Old/Traditional Arguments -- I have been judging long enough that I have a full range of experiences with inherency, case specific disads, theoretical arguments against politics disads and many other arguments from policy debate's past, and I also understand the stock issues and traditional policy-making. If you want to really confuse your opponents, and amuse me, you'll kick it old school rather than going post-modern.
The Resolution -- The thing that originally attracted me about LD (as opposed to policy) was that debaters actually addressed the whole resolution. These days, that happens far less often in LD than it used to. I do like hearing the resolution debated, but I also vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often in LD. That is because I believe it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I think LDers are better at framework debates than policy debaters, as a general rule, but I have noticed a trend to lazy framework debates in LD in recent years. How often should debaters recycle Winter and Leighton, for example, before looking for something new? If you want to stake the round on the framework you can, or you can allow it to be the lens through which I will look at the rest of the arguments in the round.
Policy Arguments in LD -- I understand all of the policy arguments that have migrated to LD quite well, and I remember when many of them were first developed in Policy. The biggest mistake LDers make with policy arguments -- Counterplans, Perm Theory, Topicality, Disads, Solvency, etc. -- is making the assumption that your particular interpretation of any of those arguments is the same as mine. Don't do that! If you don't explain something, I have no choice but to default to my understanding of that thing. For example, if you say, "Perm do Both," with no other words, I will interpret that to mean, "let's see if it is possible to do the Aff Plan and the Neg Counterplan at the same time, and if it is, the Counterplan goes away." If you mean something different, you need to tell me. That is true for all judges, but especially true for someone with over 40 years of policy experience. I try to keep what I think out of the round, but absent your thoughts, I have to use my own.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part if the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.
Traditional Arguments -- I would still be pleased to listen to cases with a Value Premise and a Criterion. I almost certainly prefer traditional arguments to new arguments that I cannot understand at full debate speed.
Theory -- Theory arguments are not magical, and theory arguments which are not fully explained, as they are being presented, are unlikely to be persuasive for me, particularly if presented in a paragraph, since there is no way of knowing which ones I won't notice or write down, and no one can write down all of the arguments in a densely packed theory paragraph. I also don't like theory arguments that are crafted for one particular debate. If it is not an argument that can be used in multiple debates (like topicality, conditionality, etc) then it probably ought not be run in front of me. New 1AR theory is risky, in my opinion, because the NR typically has more than enough time to answer it, and I don't especially like disclosure theory arguments because I am not in a position to judge what was done or said before a round, and because I am not at all sure I ought to be voting on things that happened before official speech or CX time begins. All of that being said, I have voted on theory, even new 1AR theory, and disclosure theory, if a debater WINS the argument, but it does not make me smile.
The Resolution -- PF still debates the resolution, which is one of the things I really like about the activity. Please make sure you do debate the resolution when debating in front of me. It would be best if the Final Focus on each side attempted to guide me to either endorse or reject the resolution.
Framework -- This is beginning to be a thing in PF in some places. I am perfectly willing to consider a lens through which I can look at the arguments in the debate, but given the time limits, please keep your framework simple and focused, should you decide to use one.
Policy or LD Behaviors/Arguments in PF -- I personally believe each form of debate ought to be its own thing. I do not want you to talk quickly in PF, just because I also judge LD and Policy, and I really don't want to see theory arguments, plans, counterplans or kritiks in PF. I will definitely flow, and will judge the debate based on the flow, but I want PF to be PF. That being said, I will not automatically vote against a team that brings Policy/LD arguments/stylistic approaches into PF. It is still a debate and the opposition needs to answer the arguments that are presented in order to win my ballot, even if they are arguments I don't want to see in PF.
Paraphrasing -- I really wish the NSDA had decided to kill paraphrasing in PF. When someone paraphrases inaccurately, I have a huge problem with it. I expect debaters to be able to immediately access the text of the cards they have paraphrased -- there should not need to be an off time search for the article, or for the exact place in the article where they drew their paraphrasing from. Taking a 150 page article and making a claim from it is not paraphrasing unless you can point to the exact place your statement is based upon.
Evidence -- If you are using evidence, I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is unacceptable. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part you card you read needs to say extinction will happen. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
Theory -- This has begun to be a thing in PF in some places, especially with respect to disclosure theory, and I am not a fan. As previously noted, I want PF to be PF. While I do think that PFers can be too secretive (for example, getting excited because people are watching their debates -- debates are educational and should be open to observers) I don't think that PFers ought to be expending their very limited time in rounds talking about whether they ought to have disclosed their case to their opponents before the round. Like everything else I would prefer not be true, I can see myself voting on theory in PF because I do vote based on the flow, but how about debating the case in front of you, instead of inventing new arguments you don't really have time to discuss? I would like that, and happy judges give better speaker points.
The execution of the argument is almost as important as the quality of the argument. A sound argument with good cards that is poorly explained and poorly extended does little to compel. I like well-developed arguments that I can understand. I prefer debates that are intelligent, articulate, and persuasive rather than a speed-talking jumble of statistical evidence.I have to be able to comprehend and flow the internal logic of your arguments. If you are clear, enunciate well, with good diction and voice inflection it helps me understand the key parts of what you are saying.
Evidence is extremely important, but debate is more than just tag and card. I expect debaters to spend time talking about the implications of evidence and making analytical comparisons between arguments. Description of arguments through analogy, examples, testimony, or hypothetical situations is a much more persuasive style of debate than just presenting a flurry of statistics.
Debaters who take the time to create good cross-examinations are appreciated. A goal of the cross-examination is to reveal the fallacies of your opponents' arguments and how their claims appear to run counter to probable impacts or how their silence or ambiguities are cause to vote against their conditional claims. A good cross-examination will go a significant way to winning a debate and scoring high points. Take time to consider what it is you are going to ask and how to develop your line of questioning.
I wish to hear clear and impactful speeches. You must spend time accentuating the evidence as you read it and after you read it. Contentions should be more than a number and a few words. You must articulate the warrant extended to the claims you are offering up for consideration.
Everyone in the debate should be courteous through-out the debate, and it is preferable that you keep your own accurate time. Winning arguments are good arguments, not necessarily plentiful ones.
Have fun and show how your arguments matter and why you should win!
This is also my paradigm for LD - Please NO SPREADING for LD.
I'm going to keep this short since I agree with a lot of what is said on the wiki. Where I'm from probably tells you a bit about some of my leanings, but as I grow older in debate I really, really don't care what is said as long as it is debated well.
What is debating well? To me, a good debater should be able to persuade anyone. For example, if you feel like your style of debate is one that relies on slang you picked up from reading the back of the book of whatever you're going for, I probably am not the best for you. The reason why I have leanings (i.e. framework is important, the politics DA can be useful, creatively cheating CPs are cool) is mostly because that is what I am familiar with.
Flowing, line-by-line, even if statements, overviews, writing the ballot are all good things to do.
PICs are good, condo is bad, intrinsicness is debateable.
If you can beat a team going conversation speed (remember we do policy debate so that's still at least 1.5x normal), extra speaker points are definitly in the cards.
I debated for four years at Bronx Science and am now a student at Vanderbilt where I am studying Neuroscience and Public Policy. I loved Speech and Debate in high school and I hope it brings you the same excitement it brought me! Here are a few things you can do to tip the scales in your favor if I'm your judge:
- Don't be mean or obnoxious to your opponent, no matter what - especially if you're clearly winning the round. Doing that takes away the educational value of debate and it makes your opponent less likely to continue to engage and improve in the activity, which lowers the standards in our community as a whole. I will drop you. I don't care how many other arguments are in your favor - this one outweighs all. That said, I was sassy, my partner was sassy, and I appreciate sass and humor - as long as it adds to everyone's experience rather than ruins the competative - but mutually respectful - atmosphere.
- I will always prefer a logical argument to one with evidence and no logical basis. In the same vein, I would rather you give me one or two good arguments for a point rather than all the ones in your brief/blocks packet. Reading off jargon won't work in the real word - but a logical analysis always will. That said, please have evidence to support your claims. A claim without a warrant, even if it could make sense, isn't enough either. That said, if you don't have evidence to block evidence but you can give me a really solid logical reason for why that evidence isn't something I should buy - go for it. I'm more inclined to listen to that kind of argument than not.
- Make sure you abide by the NSDA rules for fairness in the round. No wifi on (that will also cause me to drop you if someone points it out or I notice it) and observe what extent of your evidence you need to have on hand. Regardless of whether or not your opponent calls you out on it, if I don't buy some kind of evidence you cite - especially if it becomes a huge point in the round - (or if I just need to see it to clarify, miss it the first time around, etc) chances are I will want to see the entire study, not just the card.
At the end of the day, I'm a super friendly college kid who really loved Speech and Debate and pursues similar kinds of activities/engagements. Also, because this is always a thing, I'm taking Econ, so don't try to sell me some nonsense about GDP we both know isn't true.
Hope you have fun in all your endeavors! Also, no pressure. A really amazing person told me when I was a competitor you remember rounds, not wins - and I am telling you from the other side it is true. Focus on learning, improving, and getting something meaningful out of this activity - that is what will matter in the end.
Director of Speech & Debate at Marist School in Atlanta, GA (2011-present)
Director of Debate/Asst Director of Debate, Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA (2006-2011)
Public Forum Paradigm Updated for 2021-2022, Post Kentucky
Email chains are a must and I won't tolerate Google Doc sharing this year. You need to either send Word/PDF documents to the email and/or copy and paste your evidence into the body of the email. I am noticing a proliferation of Google Docs that are locked and/or get deleted once the round is over.
For said email chain, please add firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to the email chain. This should be started in the tech time.
Both teams should use it and send the constructives at a minimum. I am fine with constructives being sent after they are read in the debate. Please call the email chain something real like "Kentucky Round 1 - Marist VL vs Marist HN." If you read cards, you should send the cards in the order they are read. If you paraphrase, you should send your paraphrasing and the cards that you paraphrased in the order that you read.
some major bullet points adapting to me:
- i prefer you read cards. this doesn't mean i won't evaluate paraphrasing and it doesn't mean that i'll automatically drop you on paraphrasing bad theory it just means that better arguments are made by the experts you quote in your evidence than your interpretation of the experts. i wouldn't waste a strike on me if you paraphrase but still cut cards.
- speeches build off of each other. everything in the final focus should be in the summary. second rebuttal should respond to first rebuttal.
- made up jargon is bad. clarity of impact is not a thing.
- i prefer substantive debates to theory debates. i really am not a fan of theory. i have strong beliefs in how debate should be done, but i have stronger beliefs in learning about topics. read theory if you must, and I'll obviously evaluate it - but i do prefer a debate about the topic.
- i value hard work. Debate is hard. It's rewarding because its hard. The debate you have in front of me should a representation of your hard work you spent preparing for that debate.
Debate is an intellectual expression of the arts of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
A strong debater presents well organized intellectual content that rises to the level of artful expressive and receptive communication.
The flow of the debate should be simple for me, or any other judge, to record if the debtor's content is smoothly and sisinkly presented. The debateor(s) with strongest content will earn the ballot. The artistic use of speaking, reading, writing, and listening add tremendous strength to any public speaking opportunity but the refined use of these tools move the expression of different points of view from a week discussion or argument to the classical delusion found in all forms of debate.
If you are speaking faster than I can write, I'll put my pencil down so I can listen intently. At this point it would be wise for a debator to speak more slowly. Then I could return to flowing the debate so I have this documentation to review when completing the ballot and make the decision.
As a former CX Debater/coach, I generally start with framework and observations and weigh them throughout the round, and I do not automatically count drops unless they are actually outlined. I don't mind a sense of humor. I always enjoy good clash in a debate round. Spreading is not encouraged, as what cannot be heard will not be flowed I love PF, and I have judged hundreds of rounds at every major tournament in the country including semi-finals at TOC's.
Here are a few basic rules:
*Old policy habits die hard: Framework, Framework, Framework,
*Arguments require claims and warrants. A claim without warrant is unlikely to be persuasive
*I don't intervene on the flow; you must make the argument.
*Be careful with evidence; I probably know the card as well as you do.
*If you have a winning argument; I need to hear it before final focus; It must run throughout the round.
*Never lie about what the other team dropped.
I have judged speech and debate events for the past 13 years. My son was in Congress.
Regardless of the event, I expect professionalism and preparation from all competitors. Showing up unprepared or engaging in unprofessional behavior wastes your time, my time, as well as that of the other competitors and your coaches.
Public Forum Debate & LD
Although I’ve judged PFD more than LD, I feel comfortable with both events. I appreciate assertiveness but actively dislike aggression. Clarity is extremely important. Don’t be cocky: instead, try to convey how deeply you’ve researched the topic. I always leave my personal opinions on the topic aside in order to be fair to all debaters.
I started off my judging career judging interp, even though lately I’ve been judging defat more. Regardless of the piece, you have to give your best when performing. Delivery must always be clear and interesting. Tech should be smooth and reflect the norms of the event itself (tech in DI is very different than tech in HI).
Yes, I am a parent judge, yet travelled with my son's team for three years and judged at every tournament. I want you to convince me with your arguments, not with a bunch of PF lingo. I do not like speed for speeds sake, as I can't flow. If I can't understand what is coming out of your mouth, I can't follow you. If I can't follow you, I can't vote for you. I originally came from a speech background, I care about speaking technique. Quality of argument over quantity.
Public Forum's roots are based in "one" going before the general public, persons of diverse education, intellect and knowledge. I expect the presentation of your arguments to reflect that. Please don't dumb down because I am a "parent" judge.
Be clean: Please do not play dirty, the world is dirty enough. Be clean.
Be respectful: In crossfire, don't get muddled in stupid arguments, use them intelligently to undue the other side. Please do not be rude or condescending. There is no room for that.
Your constructives to set me up for your arguments - build your case, tell me the story.
Your rebuttals to give me reason to disagree with your opponent. Don't just attack, you need to defend.
Your summaries to clean up anything vague or muddled.
Your final focus to make me vote for you.
The easiest way to win my ballot is to have great warrants in your arguments. To me, debate isn't all about how good of a researcher you are, so don't read every statistic on the topic at me. I really believe that debate is about the argumentation, not the evidence. Teams that debate to that paradigm will most likely win the round and certainly get high speaks (I don't ignore evidence; its pretty important, but its not everything. I just value smart and nuanced argumentation).
The most common question I get deals with extensions in summary and final focus. For me, if I'm voting for an argument, I want to hear it in both speeches. If there is defense in the rebuttal that I wouldn't necessarily vote on but is important, you don't have to worry about extending it. Just worry about offense (case arguments/turns).
I evaluate the round in the least interventionist way possible. I'll vote for what you tell me to if your extensions are clean, your arguments make some sense, and you weigh. Its that simple (please weigh). If you don't weigh and I'm left with a bunch of random arguments, I'll weigh by myself, and you might not end up with the result you wanted.
In terms of speaker points: just be smart. I'm pretty liberal with speaks.
Ethics are pretty important to me, don't lie/misconstrue cards.
Finally, and most importantly, it is more enjoyable for everyone if the round is light. Don't yell at each other for 45 minutes, no one likes that.
Don't hesistate to ask questions.
I’ve been judging PF for a number of years and I do practice flowing, HOWEVER, Flow is not at the top of my list for winning the arguments. Rather I consider your ability to persuade me as a typical everyday citizen. Your ability to do that is unique. I am expected to come into the Debate room without any previous opinion and with a clean slate, in order to keep my own personal opinion from influencing how I choose the outcome. In exchange I expect the debaters to assume that I do not know anything more about the topic than an ordinary person. It is therefore each debaters responsibility to define acronyms and define anything that an ordinary person would not commonly know.
I’ve been judging PF for a number of years and I do practice flowing however my decisions are determined more on persuasion than flow. I believe that it is extremely important therefore to know your judge and ask the appropriate questions to make sure that what you are saying and how you’re saying is catered to the listener because even if you know what you’re saying but the judge is not able to understand it or appreciate the logic behind it then you are at a loss. In short, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Feel free to ask me as many questions as needed before the round begins to clarify further. Best of luck and remember to have fun!
I am a sophomore at Emory University, studying Political Science and conducting undergraduate research on topics including political monitoring and political development. In high school, I debated in Public Forum for 4 years, attending multiple national-level tournaments and breaking to outrounds at multiple tournaments.
As a judge, I judge with a mixed flow-lay style. In my decisions, my biggest decision makers are explicitly-quantified impacts and chain of logic. Ensure that all arguments are logically sound and that you are able to provide evidence if it is called for.
1) Speed: Keep it understandable. If I cannot understand what you are saying, I will not consider it through the round.
2) Speaking Style: Be clear in which arguments you are addressing after the constructive speech. If I don't know what you're referring to, I can't evaluate your argument properly as a judge.
Also, the Final Focus is typically what I use to come to my decision. If you don't bring it up in Final, it will at most be a secondary thought to me and not influence my decision. In general, I want teams to clash throughout the round, because no clash is no fun.
3) Be cordial and civil in CX. I will drop teams for being rude/abusive/overly aggressive in extreme cases, and it generally reflects poorly on your team.
Head Coach of Rowland Hall
Do what you do best. I’m comfortable with all arguments. Practice what you preach and debate how you would teach. Strive to make it the best debate possible.
Key Preferences & Beliefs
Debate is a game.
Literature determines fairness.
It’s better to engage than exclude.
Critique is a verb.
Defense is undervalued.
I work hard to be objective.
I flow on my computer. If you want a copy of my flow, just ask.
I think CX is very important.
I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions.
Add me to the email chain: mikeshackelford(at)rowlandhall(dot)org
Feel free to ask.
Want something more specific? More absurd?
Debate in front of me as if this was your 9 judge panel:
Ian Beier, Maggie Berthiaume, Daryl Burch, Yao Yao Chen, Malcom Gordon, Jyleesa Hampton, Nicholas Miller, Christina Philips, jon sharp
If both teams agree, I will adopt the philosophy and personally impersonate any of my former students:
Ben Amiel, Andrew Arsht, David Bernstein, Madeline Brague, Julia Goldman, Emily Gordon, Adrian Gushin, Elliot Kovnick, Will Matheson, Ben McGraw, Corinne Sugino, Caitlin Walrath, Sydney Young (these are the former debaters with paradigms... you can also throw it back to any of my old school students).
Most of what is above will apply here below in terms of my expectations and preferences. I spend most of my time at tournaments judging policy debate rounds, however I do teach LD and judge practice debates in class. I try to keep on top of the arguments and developments in LD and likely am familiar with your arguments to some extent.
Theory: I'm unlikely to vote here. Most theory debates aren't impacted well and often put out on the silliest of points and used as a way to avoid substantive discussion of the topic. It has a time and a place. That time and place is the rare instance where your opponent has done something that makes it literally impossible for you to win. I would strongly prefer you go for substance over theory. Speaker points will reflect this preference.
Speed: Clarity > Speed. That should be a no-brainer. That being said, I'm sure I can flow you at whatever speed you feel is appropriate to convey your arguments.
Disclosure: I think it's uniformly good for large and small schools. I think it makes debate better. If you feel you have done a particularly good job disclosing arguments (for example, full case citations, tags, parameters, changes) and you point that out during the round I will likely give you an extra half of a point if I agree.
THE OG PARADIGM
Former Competitor: 2008 - 2011
Coach - 2011 - Present
Speed - Go for it, I am not the best with speed but if you go for it, it isn't going to lose you points. I won't say clear or give you any indication that I am missing things though so you are taking a slight risk.
Weighing - Do it. Seriously, If I am given any clear weighing analysis in the round I will go for it. My resume and background reads like a moderate Republican's fantasy. You probably don't want me making personal decisions about how I think we should craft policy or evaluate vague concepts.
Signposting - Clearly tell me where you are going in the round. If I get confused I get disinterested and if I get disinterested I get onto Netflix and watch West Wing with the subtitles on.
Off-time Roadmaps - Do them. If you say you are going to read an overview or a framework, tell me where to put it or I will put in in my computer's trash file and empty it after your speech.
Crossfire - I might look like I am not paying attention to your crossfires. That's because I am not. Thats for you to clarify the round and for me to add detailed comments to the ballot. If something interesting happens, let me know in a speech. If you are going to start hitting someone, let me know and I will get out a camera.
Extending Defense - Meh. You don't really have to do this in my opinion but obviously if your opponents go through ink you might want to remind me of that fact, especially if it is on something you really want me to care about.
Weighing Pt.2 - Please do this. I am begging you.
SPECIAL LD EDITION
If I had a PF team that had the capacity to come this wouldn't be necessary but, for now, here we are. Doomed to dance this dance until my obligation of a minimum of three ballots are up and I have left your hopes and dreams broken at my feet.
Let's start this off on the right note. I know enough about LD and all of its components to be dangerous. In clearer terms, when you tell me what you are going to try to do I will conceptually understand what you are going for but I will lack the experience or wherewithal to implement your vision on my flow. See? Dangerous.
Don't take this to mean I don't care about the event or that I don't look forward to these rounds. Do take it to mean that if you are planning on taking any risks or doing anything tricky, that your opponent stands to benefit from my ignorance as much as you.
Speed (Preface): Good luck. Seriously, good luck. Speed is an excellent tool to put more arguments out there on the flow but maybe we want to make sure I understand the basic ones you are dropping first? Just a suggestion. And no, I won't do that "Clear" business. Adapt or die. This is forensic darwinism.
Technical Debate: Solid meh. You can. I won't drop you for it and I get that the adaptations I am asking for will mean that you need to adjust in ways that will force you to use it.
Defaults: Let's return to that dangerous thing. I don't really have any default preferences that I have developed over my lackluster experience judging. You can read my paradigm below for PF to see if you glean any information from that but otherwise, I am tabula rasa to a fault and will stick to what I am given in the round despite any personal beliefs or pre-existing knowledge.
Disclosure: Unless you are disclosing who wins the round before I need to judge it, it's not something I really care about. I buy why disclosure is a good thing and I also get how it can be abused given enough resources. If it becomes an issue I will evaluate it based on the arguments in the round and not the ones in my head.
I hope this helps although it undoubtedly will leave you in a state of fear akin to the people of Pompeii as the ash cloud descended on their once-idyllic town.
For email chains my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Jay Stubbs
School Affiliation: Bellaire High School
Number of Years Judging Public Forum: Since the event was introduced
Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: PF did not exist when I competed
Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 38 years
Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: High School and College
If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Public Forum, Congress, Extemp
What is your current occupation? Debate Coach
Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:
Speed of Delivery Clarity for understanding is most important
Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Line by line on most important issues along with big picture to guide the way the debaters want me to vote.
Role of the Final Focus Final resolution of key issues along with framing the decision for the judge.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches Essential for key arguments in the round.
Topicality Can be run if there are blatant violations…anything can be found to be non-topical via definition…that is a waste of time.
Plans This is a function of the wording of the resolution. Acceptable when the resolution suggests a specific action.
Kritiks Are not going to persuade me.
Flowing/note-taking Is a function of the clarity of debaters in the round. Clarity makes it much easier to keep all issues organized on the flow.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Clarity is most important to me. Just because a debater makes an argument doesn’t mean that I understand it or know how to weigh it in relation to other arguments without intervention. Clarity brings meaning to important arguments…clarity explains how to weigh arguments against other issues. Providing clarity early in the round is essential when it comes to evaluating arguments as the evolve throughout the round. Waiting until the end of the round to provide clarity can be too late.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Yes
If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Yes
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No…new arguments should have been introduced earlier in the round. An extension of a key argument is a part of argument evolution.
I evaluate your arguments in a Congress session in relation to your effectiveness in delivering them. An effective Congressional Debater is one who is committed to making sure that the judge understands the arguments and information they are presenting. When a debater's commitment is limited to getting information into the debate they are assuming that I will gain the same understanding of the information that they have.
Introductions should be creative when possible. Generic intros are frowned upon greatly.
Good arguments should contain both evidence from qualified sources AND analysis.
Devoting time to the summary/conclusion is very important.
Ending speeches at 3:00 is very important. Speeches ending at 3:10 show a lack of discipline and preparation.
Questioning should be focused on exposing weaknesses in opponent's arguments. Questions that cause little to no damage are of marginal value. There should never be a time when the questioner and respondent are both talking at the same time for more than a brief moment.
Respondents should view questioning as an opportunity not an adversarial activity. Attitude and unnecessary aggression will be scored lower. "I don't know" is perfectly acceptable if there is no reasonable reason why you should know the answer. I would like to NEVER hear the answer "I am sure you could tell me." I can not tell you how much I really don't appreciate that response in a questioning period.
Competed in lay policy/pf. Qualified to TOC in pf senior year. If you use jargon, please explain it. Please do not spread.
Recommended practice for calling for evidence: Ask to see evidence before your next speech/after crossfire or partner can hand over evidence during crossfire.
If it takes longer than a minute, I will assess prep time to the team calling for the evidence.
Likes: Narrative in final focus, clear speaking style, back and forth during crossfires, weighing/crystallization of important arguments in summary/final focus
Dislikes: Blippy one line responses, evidence presented without analysis, misconstruing evidence, shaking hands with debaters (only because I don't want to get sick)
IN THE ONLINE REALM OF SPEECH AND DEBATE - SLOW DOWN.
I am a flow judge.
I have a few things you should keep in mind:
I evaluate the rounds based on the framework provided by debaters.
When extending evidence, extend the warrant not just the author (because sometimes I don't write down the tag and just the warrant).
Everything in final focus must also be in summary speech.
I do not flow crossfires. If you make an argument in crossfire or your opponent concedes an argument in crossfire, you must say it in a speech in order for me to count it.
**Although I am a flow judge, I reserve the right to forfeit my flow (and vote like a lay judge) if competitors are offensive, bullying, or just unnecessarily rude.
Hi, I'm the Director of Speech and Debate at Poly Prep.
I did 8 years of policy debate in HS & College. I started my career coaching college policy at NYU, was then the Director of Debate at Byram Hills HS, and now have been at Poly for the last 5 years.
I see rounds as technical applications that interact with each other and split out a winner. My goal as the judge is to be the least involved with the decision I make as possible. The more you let this happen for me, the happier you will be with speaker points.
I have no preferences in the types of arguments you run - but make sure to provide a framework for how to evaluate said arguments.
**2020 TOC add-on:
I have been on the sideline from judging for the last several years due to health issues that limited the use of my hands. I am so pumped to be able to judge again. That being said - in order to make sure I have a correct flow, if you are going too fast for my hands to catch up (which for PF should be fine, but just so you know), I will unmute and say 'slower'.
Traditional, not too quick on speed, new to judging