Jack Howe Memorial Tournament
2016 — Long Beach, CA/US
Varsity Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Debated at UC Berkeley for 1 year.
Debated at Katy Taylor for 4 years.
Coached for College Preparatory, BAUDL, and NYUDL.
My opinion on this is not fully formed. I'm inclined as a 2A to believe that these debates are shallow and detract from substance, but recently, I've felt its necessity as a strategic option for the negative. It's also very easy for me to get lost in these debates. So here's my fair warning, going for T may have unpredictable consequences both in and against your favor.
Framework vs. Kritikal Affirmatives
I tend to lean affirmative on these debates. However, particularly on this topic, I think that holding the affirmative to a plan text is not unreasonable, but I also believe that if your only responses to an affirmative would be the politics disad and an agent counterplan, then you are doing it wrong.
What I thnk about debate really doesnt matter. My Job is to decide who did the better debating, how you choose to debate is up to you. Debate what feels right to you and Im with it.
Updated for October 2018.
Put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Note - I only check this email at debate tournaments, so if you are trying to contact me for some other reason, my response will be delayed.
I've started to question the utility of these paradigm things. In short, do whatever you want. Read whatever you want to read. All styles of debate can be done well or poorly. My decision in any particular debate does not reflect a judgement on those styles but instead on the aptitude with which they are deployed in the given debate. Content matters less than strategy, unless the content of your argument makes it a bad strategy. I tend to make decisions quickly. This should not indicate to you whether the debate was close or not. Just because I go for or have gone for certain arguments does not mean I will automatically understand your arguments or do work for you. Similarly, it doesn't mean I will automatically discount any particular argument. I like clash. I dislike attempts to avoid clash. Perm do the aff is not an argument.
One thing I have noticed about debate is the proliferation of "cut the card there." When you stop reading before what your evidence indicates what you will read, you or your partner must mark the card in the speech doc and have a copy of those marks ready for anyone who needs them. To quote Andy Montee,
"If you just yell out "Mark the card at bacon!" you have to physically mark the card on your computer. It is not the responsibility of the other team or myself to do so."
Not marking evidence, and relying "cut the card there" to indicate where you stopped reading, is a form of clipping cards, and I will treat it as such. Since this seems to be an acceptable thing in debate at the moment, at the first occurrence of "cut the card there" I will ask for the marks, and if I notice you going through the doc to mark your cards post-speech, I will warn you about basically everything above.
Background info on me: I'm a first year out of college debate. I debated at the college level for 4 years at the University of Southern California. Attended the NDT four times, making it to doubles twice and octas once. I debated at the high school level for 4 years at Notre Dame High School. Qualified to the TOC 3 times. I was both 2A and 2N during my debate career.
Debate is a rhetorical game where debaters use a set of (ostensibly) mutually agreed upon scripts to persuade a judge. Scripts are rhetorical conventions that have been constructed in order for the game to make sense to all involved - impact calculus, uniqueness, etc. are examples of these scripts, convenient ways of describing a world that make the complexity of that world reducible to a (hopefully) less than 2 hour conversation. Debaters who can control how these scripts operate within the debate, either by implicitly agreeing to them and winning their set of contentions, or through the use of competing framing arguments, generally seem to win more debates. For example, many debates occur in which the value of life is never questioned - that is a script implicitly accepted in those debates for the purpose of brevity. This is not to say that I want to judge a bunch of death good debates, though I won't say the opposite either. Regardless, controlling the framing of the debate will serve you well.
I seem to be judging a lot of framework/T-USFG debates. I think quite a few of the commonly held framework predispositions are arbitrary, so I'll just say this: yes, you can read your K aff in front of me. Yes, you can go for framework in front of me. I don't really care, just make it a good debate.
Here are some of my reflections about FW rounds that I have judged.
-I find myself voting affirmative when the negative fails to explain their impact beyond "limits are important for negative ground" or "we won't learn stuff about immigration" or "fairness is important because otherwise debate isn't fair."
-I find myself voting negative when the aff fails to provide a workable vision of what debate would/should look like. T/FW/whatever we call it is a question of models of debate. That the neg could have read a particular strategy against your particular aff is not a defense of your model. In other words, "potential abuse" is important. You need a defense of your model of debate.
-Almost all of the K affs that I saw on the education topic were basically little more than a criticism of education policy. I did not hear a persuasive response to "do it on the neg" in these contexts.
-Topical versions of the aff are not counter-plans. They don't have to be perfect. They should, however, be well researched (though not necessarily evidenced in the debate) and explained. I would prefer 1 good TVA over 5 asserted TVAs.
-Asserting that debate is a game is fair enough, but does not on its own provide a reason to discount any of the aff's impact turns. I do believe fairness is an impact. I don't think it is an impact that automatically trumps all other impacts. As with all other things, impact calculus on the parts of the debaters matters most.
I would prefer to adjudicate a debate in which the negative reads less than or equal to 4 well constructed offcase positions and invests a good deal of time in taking apart the aff instead of a debate in which throwaway offcase positions are used as a timeskew and the case is addressed sparsely and with only impact defense. A diverse 1NC that attacks advantages at every level is helpful regardless of your broader strategy. Most affs are terribly constructed and have awful chains of internal links. Most affs wont solve the things they say they solve. Point it out.
You do not need a card to make a smart case arguments. In fact, the desire for cards to make an argument can often work to limit the vectors of attack you have against the case. Example: you do not need a card to point out a missing internal link, or that the aff's internal link evidence is about X and their impact evidence is about Y.
CPs and DAs
Not much to say here. If you have them, read them. Specificity is your friend. "DA turns case" arguments are invaluable.
Teams have found it difficult to convince me that the reading of any particular counterplan makes being aff impossible and as such is a voting issue.
At the same time, I find myself increasingly annoyed at the "use fiat as a battering ram" approach to counter-plans. Indefinite parole that is immune from deportation or cancellation, has full work authorization, all the benefits of LPR, etc. is just not something that exists in the literature base and is a ridiculous interpretation of what scholars in the field are actually talking about. All that being said, it is up to the debaters to figure this stuff out in the round.
I have voted for conditionality bad only once, in a debate where the 2NR spent about 15 seconds on it.
"Judge kick" is an inevitable element of conditionality. If the status quo is always an option, then a 2NR that includes a counterplan is not always and forever bound to that counterplan. In other words, if the counerplan is described by the negative as conditional, then my default is to also consider the status quo, and not just the counterplan. I can be persuaded otherwise.
Sure, why not. I've read them, I've debated against them. Just be specific about what your alternative does. If it is a pic, say that it is and what your pic removes from the aff. If you are debating against a K, defend your aff. Generic K answers like the Boggs card are far less useful than justifying whatever assumption that the neg is critiquing.
Permutations are tricky. All too often, the aff just kinda extends "perm do both" and leaves it there. Explain what parts of the criticism you are permuting, how that interacts with the links, etc.
"No perms in a method debate" is a bad argument. You can wish away the form of "permutation," but you cannot do away with the logic of opportunity cost. If your K doesn't actually link, find a better argument.
As said above, "perm: do the aff" is not a thing.
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of severance permutations or intrinsic permutations. A permutation is legitimate only if it contains the entire aff plan and some to all of the negative counterplan/alternative. At the same time, many alternative texts are not representative of everything that an alternative would do - in my opinion, any evidence included by the negative as descriptive of the alternative is fair game for permutations. Example - many alt texts are written as "The alternative is to vote negative" - but the alt card says that "interrogating tropes of security" is important. A permutation that does the plan and interrogates tropes of security is not intrinsic.
If you have a theory of power, explain it and its implications for the aff. Meta arguments such as these have broad implications for both the link and the alternative.
Points are always arbitrary and I wont pretend that my personal scale is anything different. Average speakers get in the low to mid 28s. Good speakers get in the high 28s to low 29s. Mid to high 29s, good job. You wont get a 27 unless you consistently do something annoying, like telling your partner "faster!" over and over during their speech.
Other random thoughts.
--Puns translate directly to increased speaker points.
--Please don't call me judge.
--When reading evidence, I will only evaluate warrants that are highlighted.
--I hate word-salad cards.
--Arguments that are "new in the 2" - generally the bar for me is whether the opponent team could have expected this argument based on the content of the previous speech. This excludes new impact turns to a disad in the 2AR, but maintains the capacity for 2As to cross apply, say, an impact defense argument on the case in the 2NR (intervening actors check, for example) to a disad scenario. If an argument is made in the 2AC, conceded by the neg block, not mentioned in the 1AR (and thus not responded to by the 2NR), it would be 'new' for the 2AR to extend and elaborate on the argument. While this may seem arbitrary, and while dropped arguments are, in a provisional sense, true, it is the job of the debaters to jump on strategic mishaps, not me. However, if a completely new argument arises in the 2NR or 2AR, I am willing to strike it from my flow without a debater pointing out that it is, in fact new.
--Speed is good, clarity is better.
--Confidence in your arguments, your partner, and yourself is good, disrespecting your opponents is bad.
--Ethically repugnant arguments will not make me want to vote for you. At the same time, however, if you cannot defeat ostensibly "bad" arguments, then you are a bad advocate and you should lose.
--If a debate does not occur, I will either flip a coin or consult tab.
--Please, "settler colonialism", not "set col". similarly, "afro-pessimism" not "afro-pess" -- yeah, I'm grumpy.
--Just because I go for certain arguments does not mean I will either automatically understand your argument or supplement your lack of analysis with my understanding of the literature.
--Random buzzwords are not arguments. I don't care until you impact a statement.
--There can always be 0 risk of something.
--Ad homs about the other teams authors aren't arguments.
--A claim without a warrant is just that.
--Theory and T debates are not my favorite.
--No insults or general shenanigans.
--Binding and prior consultation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is probably pedagogically relevant.
Officially dragged back into the activity by the pandemic. I'm doing some administrative work for the Sacramento Urban Debate League. Don't expect to find me on your pref sheet but feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have research questions.
Officially retired. Feel free to contact me with research questions but I'm no longer actively involved in the activity. - May 2019
I debated policy for 5 years in college and qualified twice to the NDT for UNLV. I coached policy for College Prep (Oakland) for 3 years, and policy for Wake Forest for a year.
I also have several years of high school public forum experience and occasionally judge and coach those debates, but I am not actively coaching the 2018-2019 topics.
A little more about me: white, crip[pled], queer, femme, she/her or they/them pronouns.
Three Important Things
a. If you need to communicate an access issue to me before the debate, please send me an email before the round. This is a private way for you to give me information that you do not want to share with the entire room (for example, if nonverbal communication isn't accessible to you).
b. I have an auditory processing disorder. I can flow fast, technical debate but please do not sacrifice clarity for speed. If I have to call clear repeatedly, I will just stop flowing. If music is a part of your arguments please turn the volume down a bit so that I can hear you (I understand that music/audio are important and vital to certain argumentation; you do not have to turn it off -- just adjust the volume in front of me).
c. I will listen to almost anything, with a couple of caveats; I am not interested in hearing arguments like racism good or rape good, etc, or in hearing arguments or jokes about suicide. Also if appropriating culture or literature that doesn't belong to you is the strat, please don't pref me.
Debate is a communicative activity. Pick an argument and defend it, and answer the other team's arguments. Be persuasive. Make claims, back them up with warrants, and please compare impacts. Make jokes. Speaker points will go up. Cards are good, contextual analysis using cards is better, comparative claims contextualized to the evidence in the round is best. I don't read much evidence so don't count on me to read the 16 cards you shadow extend in the rebuttal; it is your job to tell me why a few of them tip the debate in your direction.
As a competitor I read everything from elections to Baudrillard, but had the most competitive success with structural criticisms about ableism and disability. I valued fast, technical debate and I appreciate and understand those debates. I also did performance debate for a year and have read a lot of critical race theory, critical disability studies/crip studies, gender/queer theory, and colonialism literature. Yes I will vote on in-round rhetoric arguments, so do not use racist/cissexist/ableist/homophobic/transphobic language. I will be very persuaded by a well-constructed argument about it from the other side.
I like all different styles of debate, so read arguments you are comfortable with and I will do my best to evaluate the debate in front of me. Speaker points are almost always between 28 and 29, adjusted for division; above or below indicates a unique round. Please remember that I am an imperfect being in the service of the imperfect god of debate, but I do promise to be attentive, work hard to understand your arguments, and try to give an RFD focused on education and how to improve for the future. One last thing: I give long RFDs, #sorrynotsorry.
Affiliations - Past & Present:
Currently coaching for CSU Fullerton.
Previously coached for Hebron, Fullerton Union, Southwestern College, Capitol Debate, Juan Diego, SDSU, The Meadows School, and some other mercenary stops along the way.
Previously debated at UNLV and Green Valley High School.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - 9/4/2020
I'm not sure I can be any clearer about this, but PLEASE go slower in front of me. Y'all don't have studio mics. I don't have studio speakers/headphones. I have auditory processing issues. This is not the same as being in the same room as each other. If you are super quick, then you should be going at about 80% of your top speed.
Does this mean you might have to read less in the 1NC? YES
Does this mean that 2As might have to make less/better answers? YES
Does this mean you need to slow down on prewritten extensions and analytics? YES
I want to fully grasp EVERYTHING in the debate and not just get the gist of things.
If you do not want to adapt to this, then you have prefs and strikes. I suggest you use them accordingly ...
1. Didn't work at a camp, so I'm still getting up to speed on the topics.
2. I don't want to hear any Death Good arguments. It's a very easy way to make me very unhappy. You *might* get the ballot, but you will not like your speaks.
3. I'm not a big fan of the procedural fairness variety of framework. It's an uphill battle with me.
4. Slowing down a tick in front of me is always a good strategy. First, I believe that debate is a communication activity and I enjoy debates where people use the skills of persuasion to try and get my ballot. Second, I can't keep up with theory shells or blippy card wars - was never the fastest of flows and this still holds true. I'll try my hardest, but it was always possible to outspread me as a debater and it's still true as a judge. I value clarity, especially in online debate. Slowdown on theory and analytics.
5. Speech docs: I want to be included on any email chains. I will use my flow to determine the decision, which can be different from speech docs, especially if you aren't clear and give me enough pen time.
6. All of you are smarter than me, so please be easy on me. I'll work hard to be a good judge, but I won't promise I will get everything that is happening in the round.
7. I'm an only-parent of two young children in the middle of a pandemic. Always a chance that something happens where I have to take a few minutes of judge prep. I'll work hard to minimize these instances, but cannot promise they will not happen.
If you still think it's good to have me in the back of the room after you know this, then continue reading and see if you still feel that way when you're done.
Meat/Mock Meat & Potatoes:
Topicality: It is up to the debaters to determine how I evaluate topicality. I tend to default to reasonability. Slow down a tick on T or you will make me sad. I cannot keep up with you reading your 2NC/1NR blocks at full speed.
Counterplans: The more specific the better, but I’m game for whatever. Consult CPs are fine. Delay is fine. I do not like counterplans with a lot of planks that the negative can jettison at will. Such counterplans will leave me sympathetic to affirmative theory arguments.
Counterplan Theory: Sketchy counterplans should lose to theory. However, theory violations should be well developed and it is up to the affirmative to prove why I should reject the team and not the argument. It's no secret that I am not the quickest flow, so slow down for me on theory debates.
Theory: I think negatives are getting away with too much. People can run multiple contradictory counterplans/advocacies all they want in front of me and I will not automatically vote them down for it. However; I am sympathetic to well articulated theory arguments as to why it is cheating, as well as sympathetic to affirmatives that use negative shenanigans to justify affirmative shenanigans. Play dirty pool at your own risk in front of me…aff or neg. I do not like cheap shot theory. I try to not vote for cheap shot theory arguments, even if they are dropped. However, I will use cheap shot theory arguments as a way out of difficult rounds in which both teams were making my job painful. I try not to let cheap shots determine the outcome of rounds that are well debated on both sides. I reward good smart debate. No New AFFs is not a good arg in front of me. Pref Sheet Disclosure is not a good arg in front of me.
Disads: The more specific the better. I prefer 1 or 2 good uniqueness cards to 10 bad uniqueness cards. I prefer 1 or 2 good warrants to 10 bad uniqueness cards.
Criticisms: The more specific the better. You probably know more about your specific criticism than I do. However, debate is not about who knows the most about a topic; it is about how much you can teach me within the time limits of the round. If I cannot explain your position back to you at the end of the debate, then I cannot vote for it.
Framework: Sure. You can go that route, but please slow down. I prefer substance to theory. I don't find the T stuff or procedural fairness stuff that persuasive. Institutions good and training is a much better route with me in the back.
Performance/Nontraditional/Critical AFFs: I’m cool with it. I don't find your argument persuasive that these AFFs shouldn't get perms. If I can't explain your AFF back to you then it will be really hard for me to vote for you. I have no problem voting NEG on presumption if I don't know what you do or can be persuaded that you do nothing.
Case: I wish my people debated it more. I honestly think that a well developed case attack (offense and a heck of a lot of good defense) with a disad or a critique are much more effective than multiple disads/critiques/counterplans. Case debate is good and underrated.
I’m open to any kind of argument you have as long as it is intelligent, arguably true, and not problematic.
One thing that everyone should know is that I naturally give a lot of nonverbal (sometimes verbal) feedback, even in the middle of rounds. If I think your argument is really smart then you will probably see me smiling and nodding. If I think your argument is not smart or just wrong, my face will look contorted and I will be shaking it in a different direction. If this happens…do not freak out. Use it to your advantage that you know which arguments I like and do not like.
I will also intervene in cross x if I think that a team is being particularly evasive on a point that needs to be clarified to conduct a good clean debate. I will also intervene in cross x if I think the environment is becoming hostile.
Finally, I am unabashedly human. I am open to the whims of fatigue, hunger, emotions and an overwhelming desire to do what I think is right, no matter how inconsistent and possibly misguided at the time. This is just a fair warning to any of you that will be inevitably upset if my decision seems to vary from this judging philosophy. I'm not a robot and sometimes my opinions about my role and this activity changes while judging a round. This is a fact. Deal with it :)
Debate is fun…at least it should be. Don’t be a jerk.
Updated October 2020
Note for Online Debate: Please check your internet connection, your audio clarity, and your volume levels before the debate starts. This can be as simple as doing a 2 minute speed drill for your partner in a separate chat. I don't want technology to become your biggest opponent in a debate. I will usually use a thumbs up to let you know I'm ready before speeches, so watch for that or let me know if you need a verbal response.
Yes I know my philosophy is unbearably long. I keep adding things without removing others, the same reason I was always top heavy when I debated. But I tried to keep it organized so hopefully you can find what you need, ask me questions if not.
For the few college tournaments I judge, understand that my philosophy is geared towards being of use to high school students since that is the vast, vast majority of my judging/coaching. Just use that as a filter when reading.
Seriously, I don't care what you read as long as you do it well. I really don't care if you argue that all K debaters should be banned from debate or argue that anyone who has ever read a plan is innately racist and should be kicked out of the community. If you win it, I'm happy to vote for it.
***Two Minutes Before A Debate Version***
I debated in high school for a school you've never heard of called Lone Peak, and in college for UNLV. I coached Foothill High School and currently coach Green Valley High School, as well as helping out as a hired gun at various institutions. I have debated at the NDT, was nationally competitive in high school, and coached a fair share of teams to the TOC if those things matter for your pref sheet (they shouldn't). I genuinely don't have a big bias for either side of the ideological spectrum. I seem to judge a fairly even mix of K vs K, Clash of Civs, and policy debates. I can keep up with any speed as long as its clear, I will inform you if you are not, although don't tread that line because I may miss arguments before I speak up. If you remain unclear I just won't flow it.
Sometimes I look or act cranky. I love debate and I love judging, so don't take it too seriously.
My biases/presumptions (but can of course be persuaded otherwise):
- Tech over Truth, but Logic over Cards
- Quality and Quantity are both useful. Quality increasingly so as the debate progresses.
- Condo is generally good
- Generic responses to the K are worse than generic K's
- Politics and States are generally theoretically legitimate (and strategic)
- Smart, logical counterplans don't necessarily need solvency advocates, especially not in the 1NC
- 2NC's don't read new off case positions often enough
- I believe in aff flexibility (read: more inclusive interpretations of what's topical) more than almost anyone I know. That is demonstrated in almost every aff I've read or coached. *Edit for CJR: This seems to be less true this year, as I find myself thinking about 50% of aff's I hear are untopical for one reason or another.*
- I'll vote for "rocks are people" if you win it (warrant still needed). Terrible arguments are easily torn apart, but that's the other team's duty, not mine.
A Few Notes You Should Know:
Speaker Points: Firstly, I compare my speaker points to the mean after almost every tournament, so I try to stay in line with the community norm. I have had a dilemma with speaker points, and have recently changed my view. I think most judges view speaker points as a combination of style and substance, with one being more valuable than the other depending on the judge. I have found this frustrating as both a debater and coach trying to figure what caused a judge to give out the speaks they did. So I've decided to give out speaker points based solely on style rather than substance. I feel whichever team wins the substance of the debate will get my ballot so you are already rewarded, so I am going to give out speaker points based on the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of a debater. Logos implies you are still extending good, smart arguments, but it just means that I won't tank speaks based off of technical drops (like floating pics, or a perm, etc) as some judges do, and I won't reward a team's speaker points for going for those arguments if I feel they are worse "speakers", the ballot is reward enough. Functionally all it means is that I probably give more low-point wins than some judges (about one a tournament), but at least you know why when looking at cume sheets after tournaments.
Debate is a rhetorical activity. This means if you want me to flow an argument, it must be intelligible, and warranted. I will not vote on an argument I do not have on my flow in a previous speech. I am a decent flow so don't be too scared but it means that if you are planning on going for your floating pic, a specific standard/trick on theory, a permutation that wasn't answered right in the block, etc. then you should make sure I have that argument written down and that you have explained it previously with sufficient nuance. I might feel bad that I didn't realize you were making a floating pic in the block, but only briefly, and you'll feel worse because ultimately it is my responsibility to judge based off of what is on my flow, so make those things clear. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
(*Update: This is no longer true in online debate tournaments, I look through docs because of potential clairty/tech issues*: I don't look at speech docs during debates except in rare instances. I read much less evidence after debates than most judges, often none at all. If you want me to read evidence, please say so, but also please tell me what I'm looking for. I prefer not to read evidence, so when I do after a round it means one of three things: 1. The debate is exceedingly close and has one or two issues upon which I am trying to determine the truth (rare). 2. You asked me to read the evidence because "its on fire" (somewhat common and potentially a fire hazard). 3. The debate was bad enough that I am trying to figure out what just happened.)
Prep time: I generally let teams handle their own prep, I do prefer if you don't stop prep until the email is sent. Doing so will make me much happier. If you are very blatantly stealing prep, I might call you out on it, or it might affect speaker points a little.
Neg: I am very much in favor of depth over breadth. Generally that doesn't affect how I feel about large 1NC's but it means I find myself thinking "I wish they had consolidated more in the block" quite often, and almost never the opposite. If you don't consolidate much, you might be upset with the leeway I give to 1AR/2AR explanations. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate. Pick your best arguments and go to battle.
DA's: I love in-depth disad debates. Teams that beat up on other teams with large topic disads usually have one of two things: A. A large number of pre-written blocks B. A better understanding of the topic than their opponents. If you have both, or the latter, I'll quite enjoy the debate. If you only have the former, then you can still get the ballot but not as much respect (or speaker points). Small disads very specific to the aff are awesome. Small disads that are small in order to be unpredictable are not. I am of the "1% risk" discipline assuming that means the disad is closely debated. I am not of that discipline if your disad is just silly and you are trying to win it is 1% true, know the difference.
CP's: I have a soft spot for tricky counterplans. That doesn't mean I think process/cheating counterplans are legitimate, that just means I'll leave my bias at the door more than most judges if you get into a theory debate. That said, theory is won or lost through explanation, not through having the largest blocks. Generally I think counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive, that doesn't mean you can't win of yours isn't, it just means if it is then you probably have some theoretical high ground. I also think if you have a specific solvency advocate for the counterplan (meaning a piece of evidence that advocates doing the counterplan, not just evidence that says the counterplan "is a thing" [I'm looking at you, Consult CP people]) you should utilize that both as a solvency argument and as a theoretical justification for the counterplan. I am neutral on the judge kick question. If you want me to judge kick, say so in the 2NR/2NC, and if you don't then say so in the 1AR/2AR, that's an argument to be had. However, if no one makes an argument either way, my default is if the 2NR is DA, CP, Case, then I think there is an implicit assumption in that strategy that the squo is an option. If the 2NR is only CP & DA, I think the implicit assumption is aff vs. CP. Advantage counterplans are vastly underutilized. Logical counterplans probably don't need solvency advocates. Many Trump impacts (such as "Trump lashes out at China") can be counterplaned out of with "executive restraint", yet not enough people seem to do that.
T: I think the way reasonability is construed is sad and a disservice to the argument. I perceive competing interpretations as a question of whose interpretation sets the best standard for all future debate, and reasonability as a question of whether the aff harmed the negative's fairness/education in this specific round. Under that interpretation (Caveat: This assumes you are explaining reasonability in that fashion, usually people do not). I tend to lean towards reasonability since I think T should be a check against aff's that try to skirt around the topic, rather than as a catch-all. T is to help guarantee the neg has predictable ground. I've voted neg a few times when the aff has won their interp is technically accurate but the neg has won their interp is better for fairness/limits/ground, but that's mostly because I think that technical accuracy/framer's intent is an internal link, rather than an impact, do the additional work.
Theory: This is a discussion of what debate should look like, which is one of the most simple questions to ask ourselves, yet people get very mixed up and confused on theory since we are trained to be robots. I LOVE theory debates where the debaters understand debate well enough to just make arguments and use clash, and HATE debates where the debaters read blocks as fast as possible and assume people can flow that in any meaningful fashion (very few can, I certainly can't. Remember, I don't have the speech doc open). I generally lean negative on theory questions like condo (to a certain extent) and CP theory args, but I think cp's should be textually, and more importantly, functionally competitive, see above.
Framework/T against Non-Traditional Aff's: I have read and gone for both the Procedural Fairness/T version of this argument and the State Action Good/Framework version of this argument many times. I am more than willing to vote for either, and I also am fine with teams that read both and then choose one for the 2NR. However, I personally am of the belief that fairness is not an impact in and of itself but is an internal link to other impacts. If you go for Fairness as your sole impact you may win, but adequate aff answers to it will be more persuasive in front of me. Fairness as the only impact assumes an individual debate is ultimately meaningless, which while winnable, is the equivalent of having a 2NR against a policy aff that is solely case defense, and again I'm by default #1%RiskClub. "Deliberation/dialogue/nuanced discussion/role switching is key to ____________" sorts of arguments are usually better in front of me. As far as defending US action, go for it. My personal belief is that the US government is redeemable and reformable but I am also more than open to voting on the idea that it is not, and these arguments are usually going straight into the teeth of the aff's offense so use with caution. TVA's are almost essential for a succesful 2NR unless the aff is clearly anti-topical and you go for a nuanced switch side argument. TVA's are also most persuasive when explained as a plan text and what a 1AC looks like, not just a nebulous few word explanation like "government reform" or "T-Visas to solve patriarchy". I like the idea of an interp with multiple net benefits and often prefer a 1NC split onto 3-4 sheets in order to separate specific T/FW arguments. If you do this, each should have a clear link (which is your interp), an internal link and impact. Lastly, I think neg teams often let affs get away with pre-requisite arguments way too much, usually affs can't coherently explain why reading their philosophy at the top of the 1AC and then ending with a plan of action doesn't fulfill the mandates of their pre-requisite.
K's: These are the best and worst debates. The bad ones tend to be insufferable and the good ones tend to be some of the most engaging and thought provoking. Sadly, most debaters convince themselves they fall into the latter when they are the former so please take a good, long look in the mirror before deciding which you fall under. I have a broad knowledge of K authors, but not an in depth one on many, so if you want to go for the K you better be doing that work for me, I won't vote for anything that I don't totally understand BEFORE reading evidence, because I think that is a key threshold any negative should meet (see above), so a complex critical argument can be to your advantage or disadvantage depending on how well you explain it. I also think the framing args for the K need to be impacted and utilized, that in my opinion is the easiest way to get my ballot (unless you turn case or win a floating pic). In other words, if you can run the K well, do it, if not, don't (at least not in the 2NR).
Edit: I think it usually helps to know what the judge knows about your critique, so this list below may help be a guide:
I feel very comfortable with, know the literature, and can give good feedback on: Nietzsche, Wilderson, Moten (& Harney), Security, Neolib, Historical Materialism, Colonialism (both Decoloniality and Postcolonialism), Fem IR, Deleuze and Guattari (at least relative to most).
I have both debated and read these arguments, but still have gaps in my knowledge and may not know all the jargon: Hillman, Schmitt, Edelman, Zizek cap args, Agamben, Warren, Ableism, Kristeva, Heidegger, Orientalism, Virillio, Lacan, Anthro, Ligotti, Bataille, settler colonialism metaphysics arguments.
ELI5: Baudrillard, postmodern feminism arguments, Killjoy, Bifo, Zizek psychoanalysis, Object Oriented Ontology, Spanos, Buddhism, Taoism, your specific strain of "cybernetics", probably anything that isn't on these lists but ask first.
Bad aff teams wait til the 2AR to decide what their best arguments are against a position. Good aff teams have the round vision to make strategic choices in the 1AR and exploit them in the 2AR. Great aff teams have the vision to create a comprehensive strategy going into the 2AC. That doesn't mean don't give yourself lots of options, it just means you should know what arguments are ideally in the 2AR beforehand and you should adapt your 2AC based off of the 1NC as a whole. Analytical arguments in a 2AC are vastly underused.
Non-Traditional Affirmatives: I'm fine with these. They don't excite me any more or less than a topical aff. I think the key to these aff's is always framing. Both because negatives often go for framework but also because it is often your best tool against their counter-advocacy/K. I often am more persuaded by Framework/T when the aff is antitopical, rather than in the direction of the resolution, but I've voted to the contrary of that frequently enough. This won't affect the decision but I'll enjoy the aff more if it is very specific (read: relevant/jermaine/essential) to the topic, or very personal to yourself, it annoys me when people read non-traditional aff's just to be shady. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
Answering K's: It is exceedingly rare that the neg can't win a link to their K. That doesn't mean you shouldn't question the link by any means, permutations are good ways to limit the strength of neg offense, but it means that impact turning the K/alternative is very often a better strategy than going for a link turn and permutation for 5 minutes in the 2AR. I think this is a large reason why aff's increasingly have moved further right or further left, because being stuck in the middle is often a recipe for disaster. That said, being able to have a specific link turn or impact turn to the K that is also a net benefit to the permutation while fending against the most offensive portions of negative link arguments are some of the best 2AR's.
I prefer quality over quantity of arguments. If you only need a minute in the 2NR/2AR then just use a minute, cover up any outs, and finish. I believe in the mercy rule in that sense, rambling or being braggadocios won't help your speaker points. I've tried to keep up with community inflation of speaker points, and I think they're right near average. I will vote against teams that clip and give the culprit 0 speaker points, however I believe in the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", so be certain before levying accusations and make sure to have a recording.
I'll give you +.1 speaker points if you can tell me what phrase appears the most in my philosophy. Both because it shows you care, you want to adapt to your judge, and maybe because I'm a tad narcissistic.
Things I like:
- A+ Quality Evidence (If you have such a card, and you explain why its better than the 3+ cards the other team read, I accept that more willingly than other judges)
- Brave (strategic) 1AR/2AR decisions
- Politics disads that turn each advantage
- If you are behind, I'd much rather you cheat/lie/steal (maybe not steal, and cheat within reason) than give up. If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'.
- Neg blocks that only take 1-2 flows and just decimate teams.
- Controlling the "spin" of arguments (I'll give a lot of leeway)
- Red Bull/Monster/M&M's (Bringing me any of these will make me happy, me being happy = higher speaker points)
Things I don't like:
- Not knowing how to send speech docs in a timely manner!
- Debaters that act like they are of superior intelligence compared to their partner/opponents
- Reading arguments with little value other than trying to blindside teams (timecube, most word pics, etc.) Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
- Being unclear
- Horses (Stop acting like they're so goddamn majestic, they're disgusting)
- Toasted Coconut
I'm currently a policy debater for CSUF. I have 3 years of policy debate experience. I’ve done both traditional and critical debate. Do whatever you want, just make sure you have a clear explanation of what your argument is with a warrant. Emphasize on things you want me to underline or pay specific attention to.
Extend arguments. If you bring it up in the 1A/N but it never gets mentioned anywhere else but your 2AR/NR, it's dropped.
Debate however you want but I don't like unnecessary meanness.
I don't count flashing as prep - don't abuse this.
I'm more inclined to vote for FW over T, but if you decide to go for T, make it clear how the AFF is abusive, how it's unfair, and don't run generic T arguments that make you sound whiny. I like a more pragmatic approach to FW and I'm not particularly persuaded by *most* T arguments so be clear. If you encounter critical and performance AFFs, I like seeing engagement with the arguments rather than fixating on how they're not topical. Again, I have voted on T before but going for T in the 2NR isn't your best option in front of me.
I'm probably the most well-versed in this area so I tend to lean towards K's more. If you're running a K, know what you're running instead of using it as a filler argument. Have specific links so that there is clash.
Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League Program Director: 2015 - Present
UC Berkeley Undergrad (non-debating)/Bay Area Urban Debate League CX Coach: 2011- 2015
Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League Debater: 2008-2011
The TL;DR: There is no argument that I won't listen to-do what you do best. My background is in policy with experience debating, coaching, and judging most styles. I still coach/judge, but most of my work recently is administrative or in the tab room. As a result I've judged limited rounds on the topic. I also judge LD, but some of the LD theory/args are weird to me - so ask me about anything you might be concerned about that I may be unfamiliar with.
If there's an email chain, include me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regardless of style, I prefer narrow debates. I prefer to make my decision based on clash as opposed to concessions. The team that is best able to identify and control the nexus questions of the debate are most likely to win my ballot. Debates that are less narrow are fine too; however, the limited time you have to allocate between arguments usually leave things unresolved for me, leaving me to need to come to my own conclusions. Generally, I find arguments to be more persuasive when you go for one or two developed impacts/turns instead of three or four blippy ones.
Teams that win my ballot tend to use their established arguments and evidence to clash with their opponents' and have better control of the bigger picture or debate as a whole. Even if statements and line-by-line will help facilitate clash on my flow.
I don't prefer truth over tech, but your tech needs to be in the service of a complete argument. Even if an argument is dropped, I need you to articulate the argument and what its significance is for the rest of the flow/round. Simply saying they dropped it doesn't tell me how to evaluate it. Unwarranted claims are not enough for me to vote, even if it was dropped. Err on the side of over explaining.
I would prefer to not need to call cards/look at a speech doc - if you explain your evidence in a compelling and accurate way that will go much further. I appreciate overviews, but they need to be more than just a summary of your arguments. The overview should be used to show me the big picture of the round; where are all the pieces of the debate and how do they interact?
Assume I don't know your topic specific acronyms.
New note as of Jack Howe 2020:
Judge Kick - I'm hesitant and have high threshold to judge kick. I believe it's a strategic decision the 2NR needs to make; make the choice and tell me what I'm voting on.
I will take away speaker points if being paperless gets in the way of debate (ie missing major parts of the speech, giving the other team way more evidence than you read, sending multiple docs per speech that you're reading off of, not marking cards, general lack of organization etc.).
At the same time, being paperless debate is not an excuse not to flow, so if you answer arguments that weren't made, or miss arguments because you were only looking at the speech doc, that's your own fault. Another important note, not everyone owns a laptop. For the rounds where your opponent does not have their own laptop, you should provide a viewing computer during your speech (such as your partner's). When your opponent doesn't have access to your evidence it hurts the debate as a whole.
Other Stuff: Arguments based on anything that happens outside the debate are difficult for me to evaluate (ie- we will take this argument to elims, they said other things in other debates etc) so don't use them unless you feel it is a decisive point to bring up for the debate.
*This section was written for in-person tournaments, and has not been adjusted for online tournaments. Generally speaking I will be more lenient on this with online debates.
Email chain/contact: email@example.com
About me - I am the DoF at Sonoma Academy. I debated at SVDP in Petaluma, CA under the guidance of Laila McClay and Orion Steele, and briefly at UC Berkeley. I spent some time working in intellectual property law before returning to coach debate.
General - My judging philosophy is pretty simple - you should ultimately do what you do best. I prioritize specificity, contextualization, and evidence quality over your style of debate. Really, I can't stress this enough. I don't judge many policy v. policy debates, but I am able to adjudicate them. I do, however, primarily judge K v. K/clash rounds.
Organization is very important. I flow on paper. I am not a fan of huge overviews and card dumps- please do the work for me and tell me where I should flow things. Explaining warrants is crucial. Empirics and examples are great. Impact analysis is critical. Tech should be truth.
Topicality - I will vote on topicality. The negative must win that their interpretation is good, predictable, and resolves their voters. You should be explaining why, as a whole, your vision of the topic is good, and have tangible impacts. Potential abuse isn't super compelling to me, but I'll vote on it if you tell me why I should. Ks of T are often pretty trifling and need to be explained in depth. "Community consensus" on T doesn't mean much to me and should not be taken for granted.
Theory - I have a high threshold for theory debates and find them to be blippy and frivolous most of the time. I default to rejecting the argument and not the team, but if there is a voting issue it must be thoroughly articulated and should have a very strong presence in the 2nr/2ar. Slow down, be clear, and do more than read the shell.
Framework - I mostly judge debates wherein affirmatives do not read a traditional plan text. I am fine with this. Should affirmatives at least be in the direction of the topic? Probably, but not necessarily. Framework read against a K/performance aff that does something concrete is typically not a good argument to read in front of me. You should be engaging in what they do and you should do more than say that they shouldn't be allowed to do it. Provide a creative topical version, and explain why fairness or education or whatever comes first (and why this means the aff can't access their own pedagogy). Do more than provide a case list, but explain why those cases are good for debate. I tend to think that fairness is more of an internal link and not a terminal impact, but if you're winning that I will vote for you.
The K - love it. I spend a lot of time reading critical theory and am probably familiar with your lit, but I will not do extra work for you, so the less jargon/more explanation, the better. Be specific and have contextualized links (the link should be to the aff and not the world). You should also answer all of the aff's impacts through turns, defense, etc. Framing is super important. The permutation is underutilized. Impact turns on the aff are cool, but not when it's something you shouldn't say pedagogically.
Disadvantages - Fine. Win your link, turn/outweigh the case, impact calc. Intrinsicness is silly and I'll probably not evaluate it much unless it's seriously mishandled (though it can be compelling against things like riders DAs, which are, in my opinion, a misinterpretation of fiat).
Counterplans - Great. I love a creative advantage CP. You should have a solvency advocate. I definitely lean neg on most theory arguments here, but that doesn't mean I won't vote on them.
Let me know if you have any questions. Shoot me an email before the round if you want me to be aware of access needs, pronouns, etc.
I am a coach at Nevada Union and C.K. McClatchy high schools. My general philosophy is run whatever you want, do it as fast as you want, just be clear. I will vote on just about anything except racist, sexist, homophobic etc arguments. I see my job as a judge as evaluating the evidence in the round and deciding the debate based on what is said without my intervention to the greatest degree possible.
That said, I do have a few notions about how I evaluate arguments:
Topicality -- I vote on it. I do not have any "threshold" for topicality -- either the aff is topical or it is not. That said, for me in evaluating topicality, the key is the interpretation. The first level of analysis is whether the aff meets the neg interpretation. If the aff meets the neg interpretation, then the aff is topical. I have judged far too many debates where the negative argues that their interpretation is better for education, ground etc, but does not address why the aff meets the negative interpretation and then is angry when I vote affirmative. For me if the aff meets the neg interpretation that is the end of the topicality debate.
If the aff does not meet, then I need to decide which interpretation is better. The arguments about standards should relate 1) which standards are more important to evaluate and 2) why either the negative or affirmative interpretation is better in terms of those standards (for example, not just why ground is a better standard but why the affirmative or negative interpretation is better for ground). Based on that, I can evaluate which standards to use, and which interpretation is better in terms of those standards. I admit the fact that I am a lawyer who has done several cases about statutory interpretation influences me here. I see the resolution as a statement that can have many meanings, and the goal of a topicality debate is to determine what meaning is best and whether the affirmative meets that meaning.
That said, I will reject topicality on generic affirmative arguments such as no ground loss if they are not answered. However, I see reasonability as a way of evaluating the interpretation (aff says their interpretation is reasonable, so I should defer to that) as opposed to a general statement without grounding in an interpretation (aff is reasonably to--pical so don't vote on T).
I will listen to critiques of the notion of topicality and I will evaluate those with no particular bias either way.
Theory -- Its fine but please slow down if you are giving several rapid fire theory arguments that are not much more than tags. My default is the impact to a theory argument is to reject the argument and not the team. If you want me to put the round on it, I will but I need more than "voter" when the argument is presented. I need clearly articulated reasons why the other team should lose because of the argument.
Disadvantages and counterplans are fine. Although people may not believe it, I am just as happy judging a good counterplan and disad debate as I am judging a K debate. I have no particular views about either of those types of arguments. I note however that I think defensive arguments can win positions. If the aff wins there is no link to the disad, I will not vote on it. If the neg wins a risk of a link, that risk needs to be evaluated against the risk of any impacts the aff wins. Case debates are good too.
Ks: I like them and I think they can be good arguments. I like specific links and am less pursuaded by very generic links such as "the state is always X." Unless told otherwise, I see alternatives to K's as possible other worlds that avoid the criticism and not as worlds that the negative is advocating. With that in mind, I see K's differently than counterplans or disads, and I do not think trying to argue Kritiks as counterplans (floating PIC arguments for example) works very well, and I find critical debates that devolve into counterplan or disad jargon to be confusing and difficult to judge, and they miss the point of how the argument is a philosophical challenge to the affirmative in some way. Framework arguments on Ks are fine too, although I do not generally find persuasive debate theory arguments that Kritiks are bad (although I will vote on those if they are dropped). However, higher level debates about whether policy analysis or critical analysis is a better way to approach the world are fine and I will evaluate those arguments.
Non-traditional affs: I am open to them but will also evaluate arguments that they are illegitimate. I think this is a debate to have (although I prefer juding substantive debates in these types of rounds). I tend to think that affs should say the topic is true in some way (not necessarily a plan of action) but I have and will vote otherwise depending on how it is debated. I do remain flow-centric in these debates unless there are arguments otherwise in the debate.
INCLUDE IN EMAIL CHAIN! Ggonzalez0730@gmail.com
CSUF policy debate 5yrs (2010-2016)
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League 2yrs (2008-2010)
Currently: Coach and Program Manager for The Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League
I engaged and debated different types of literature: critical theory (anti-blackness and settler colonialism) and policy-oriented arguments during my early years of debate. I am not very particular about any type of argument. I think that in order to have a good debate in front of me you have to engage and understand what the other team is saying.
My experience in college debate and working with UDLs has taught me that any argument has the ability to or Critical arguments. All of them have a pedagogical value. It’s your job as the debater to prove to me why yours is a viable strategy or why your arguments are best. Prove to me why it matters. If you choose to go for framework or the politics DA, then justify that decision. I don’t really care if you go for what you think I like and if you are losing that argument then it would probably annoy me. Just do you.
Framework vs. Plan less or vague affirmatives
As a critical affirmative, please tell me what the affirmative does. What does the affirmative do about its impacts? If you are going for a structural impact, then please tell me how your method will alleviate that either for the world, debate, or something. I don’t want to be left thinking what does that affirmative does at the end of the 2ar because I will more likely than not vote negative.
I don’t mind framework as long as you can prove to me why the method that you offer for the debate, world, policy, etc. is crucial. Please explain how you solve for "x" harm or the squo goes. I promise you this will do wonders for you in front of me. I will not be doing the work for you or any of the internals for you. As long as your argument has a claim, warrant, and evidence that is clear, then what I personally believe is meh. You either win the debate based on the flow or nah.
Seems rudimental but debaters forget to do this during speeches.
If I can't understand what you're saying when you are speaking, then I'll yell out "clear" and after the second time I yell out clear then I won't flow what I can't understand. I will also reduce your speaker points. I tend to have facial expressions during rounds. If you catch me squinting, then it is probably because I can’t understand what you are saying. Just slow down if that helps.
DA+ Counter Plans
Cp have to have a net benefit.
I need specific impact scenarios--just saying hegemony, racism, global warming, and nuclear war does not win the ballot please explain how we get to that point. I really like when a 2AR gives a good explanation of how the aff solves or how the affirmative triggers the impact.
Make sure to articulate most parts of the DA. just bc you have a big impact that doesn't mean much for me please explain how it relates to the affirmative especially in the rebuttal. impact comparisons are pretty good too.
Not my strong point, but if you are going for this which I understand the strategic reasoning behind this, then explain the "why its bad that X thing" and how that should outweigh anything else. Also, slow down during these debates especially on the interpretation.
Speaker Quirks to watch out for:
Being too dominant in a partnership. Have faith that your partner is capable of responding and asking questions during CX. If you see them struggling, then I am not opposed to you stepping in but at least give them a chance.
For the most part, my paradigm applies to much of the args made in this sector of the activity a couple of things that you should mindful of when you have me as a judge:
1) I appreciate disclosure, but any theory args that are made about disclosure I don't appreciate, especially if I wasn't in the room to make sure neg/aff accusation are actually being saiD. If I'm not in the room its just a case of "they said I said." If you have it in writing, then I guess I can appreciate your arg more. I would still vote on it, but its not a decision I am happy about.
2) Time: LD leaves a lot of unresolved problems for me as a judge. Please make sure:
aff with plan text *make sure to not forget about the plan solvency mechanism and how you solve for your harms. this should be throughout the debate but especially in the last speeches. I understand there is an issue of time but at least 30 sec of explaining aff mechanisms.
sympathetic towards time constraints but be strategic and mindful of where to spend the most time in the debate. Ex: if you are too focused on the impact when the impact is already established then this is time badly spent.
If you are concerned with the affirmative making new arguments in the 2AR have a blip that asks judges not evaluate. Because of the time (6 vs 3min), I am usually left with lots of unresolved issues so I tend to filter the debate in a way that holistically makes sense to me.
DA (Reify and clarify the LINK debate and not just be impact heavy)
T ( make sure to impact out and warrant education and fairness claims)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Y'all know me, still the same O.G. but I been low-key
Hated on by most these nigg@s with no cheese, no deals and no G's
No wheels and no keys, no boats, no snowmobiles, and no skis
Mad at me cause I can finally afford to provide my family with groceries
Got a crib with a studio and it's all full of tracks to add to the wall
Full of plaques, hanging up in the office in back of my house like trophies
Did y'all think I'mma let my dough freeze, ho please
You better bow down on both knees, who you think taught you to smoke trees
Who you think brought you the oldies
Eazy-E's, Ice Cubes, and D.O.C's
The Snoop D-O-double-G's
And the group that said motherduck the police
Gave you a tape full of dope beats
To bump when you stroll through in your hood
And when your album sales wasn't doing too good
Who's the Doctor they told you to go see
Y'all better listen up closely, all you nigg@s that said that I turned pop
Or The Firm flopped, y'all are the reason that Dre ain't been getting no sleep
So duck y'all, all of y'all, if y'all don't like me, blow me
Y'all are gonna keep ducking around with me and turn me back to the old me
Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say
But nothing comes out when they move their lips
Just a bunch of gibberish
And motherduckers act like they forgot about Dre
Recently retired from the debate world but I still privately coach a few select debaters to keep a foot in the water. Experienced former debater from the Bay Area. Previous coach in Sacramento for CK McClatchy, Rosemont, Davis Senior, and others. I am the former Executive Director and founder of the Sacramento Urban Debate League (SUDL). I've judged a ton of rounds on all levels of policy debate and feel in-depth and informative verbal RFD's are key to debate education.
I will adapt to you rather than you to me. It's not my place as a judge to exclude or marginalize any sort of argument or framework. On the neg, I will vote for K/K + case, T, CP + DA, DA + case, FW/FW + case, performance, theory.... whatever. I personally prefer hearing a good K or theory debate, not that I'm more inclined to vote on those genres of argumentation. I am down for the K, performance, or topical aff. Anything goes with me.
I'm big on organization. Hit the line by line hard. Don't just give me 3 min overviews or read a bunch of cards off the line, then expect me to conveniently find the best place on the flow for you. Do the work for me. I flow on paper OG style, so don't drop arguments. I don't flow off speech docs (neither should you), but put me on the email chain so I can read cards along with you and refer back to them. I can handle any level of speed, but please be as clear and loud as possible.
I will work hard to make the debate accessible and a safe place for you and your arguments. If you have access needs during a debate, wish to inform me of your preferred gender pronoun, or if there is anything you wish to communicate privately, please let me know or send me an email.
My judging philosophy is very short for a reason. Its your debate, not mine. Do you. Just stay organized and tell me where and why to vote. Write my ballot for me in your 2NR/2AR.
College Prep Policy Debate Coach
20+ Years Judging/Coaching
Line by line debate is actually a thing. Its a skill not a referendum on you as a person or what I think about your arguments. Its a method of clash that allows judges to decide rounds with minimum intervention on their part. If your approach to debating line-by-line includes extensive overviews, "cloud clash," and requests for me to pull out new sheets of paper I am probably not a very good judge for you. I will do my best to evaluate the round in front of me, but if you chose to abandon the line by line please know that you have asked me to insert my subjective views of debate in to the round and you are not likely to be happy with the outcome.
Standard philosophy begins here:
Rather than list off a series of personal beliefs about arguments, an explanation of how I decide debates seems more productive. Three keys to debating well in front of me:
1. Make Arguments. I tend to decide debates within 20 minutes of the end of the round. I will call for VERY few cards after the debate as I prefer to make my decision based upon what you argued in the last rebuttals rather than what I think about the quality of your cards. I will not re-read every card read in the debate. I will not read portions of evidence not read in the round by debaters. I will not read cards handed to me that were not extended in the last two rebuttals. I will resolve arguments consisting of disputes over interpretation of warrants in evidence by reading those cards. I will make sure arguments extended in the last two rebuttals can be traced back across the flow to the point they originated. I will make sure cards handed to me were extended properly during the debate before reading them. I will keep a careful flow of the debate and will do my best to vote based upon warranted arguments extended throughout the debate. Your job is to speak clearly and coherently and to dispute the warrants within your opponents’ arguments with analysis and evidence.
2. Make Choices. Most debates come down to a couple of key issues which need to be resolved by me; awareness of these nexus issues and ability to clarify how they should be resolved is the key to your success. Does the perm on the CP avoid the links to the net-benefits? Does the solvency deficit to the counter-plan outweigh the net-benefits? Who controls the question of uniqueness (both at the link and impact level)? Can the alternative to the criticism function simultaneously with the plan? I prefer to intervene as little as humanly possible. Your ability to accurately frame the nexus issues of the debate for me will reduce the need for me to resolve these questions for you and make me a much happier judge.
3. Don’t be a Jerk. As Ed Lee of Emory says in his most recent Judge Philosophy--"Respect is non-negotiable for me". I work VERY HARD as a judge. I flow on paper, I generally keep my computer closed the entire debate and I try to pay very close attention to everything you say. I spend time constructing my post-round discussion to be clear, concise and educational. I do not take kindly to debaters or coaches who wish to interrupt and argue with me before I've reached the conclusion of my RFD. I promise to give you plenty of time to ask productive follow-up questions. Lately I've become even more concerned with in-round comity. Rudeness and snide remarks during cross-ex, insulting the intelligence and good will of the other team and other derisive and insulting behavior towards opponents will not be tolerated. To once again quote Ed - "If you are engaging your opponent in a way that you would not if you were in front of one of your professors [teachers] or the president of your university [principal/head of school] then you should not do it in front of me." I love seeing passionate engagement with argument, but quickly become physically uncomfortable when passion turns into hostility. If you are confused as to where this line resides watch my non-verbals...it will be very obvious.
Finally, on the question of "What kinds of arguments do you prefer" I'll answer by agreeing with Jarrod Atchison on the importance of FLEXIBILITY as a debater. To quote his ballot from a recent NDT final round "Debater flex is the past, present, and the future":
Jarrod ATCHISON, Director of Debate and Assistant Professor of Speech and Drama at Trinity University (Incoming DOF at Wake Forrest), 2008
[Judge Ballot from the Final Round of the 2008 National Debate Tournament, Available Online at http://groups.wfu.edu/NDT/Results/JudgesBallots2008final.htm, Accessed 03-16-2010]
7. Debater Flex is the wave of the future: I would have loved to have been a part of the Dartmouth coaching staff and squad when they were brainstorming a negative strategy for this debate. Although they had an extremely limited amount of time, they had two fantastic debaters in Josh and Kade that could execute a wide range of arguments leaving no option unavailable. In this debate, they had two case specific counterplans, a well developed kritik, two topicality arguments, etc…This debate reminded me that debaters who self identify as “policy” or “kritik” are missing out on a wide range of ways to win. Forget the labels, just think of everything as an argument. Some arguments require more understanding than others, but they are just arguments. If you want to be able to take on a new high tech aff with less than 45 minutes of prep before the final round of the NDT, the last thing that you want to tell your coach/partner is “I can’t argue __.” Debater flex is the past, present, and the future and I hope that students will see Josh and Kade’s 1NC as an example of how important it is to be versatile.
ykamath [at] usc [dot] edu
can't judge: Wichita East, Loyola
Any questions please ask don't assume
Wichita East '15
4 years HS policy, currently coaching Loyola policy
1. Flashing is not prep.
2. Cross-x will be flowed. You will be held to what you say in cross-x.
3. Clipping cards, reading ahead in speech docs, falsifying evidence, all auto-losses.
4. Please disclose.
5. Stand/sit/dance/jog I don't care. Just look at me when you are speaking.
6. Arguments need warrants. No warrants = not an argument.
7. Please add me to the email chain, pocket box, hand me the flash drive, etc.
I will try my best not to intervene in a debate. Execute whatever strategy you are best at, and do it well. I will listen and evaluate almost every argument tabula rasa.
Here are my argument preferences:
Neg- Case list, impacts to your standards, and topical version of the aff are all very persuasive.
Aff- Reasonability is not as a persuasive as a robust defense of your great counter-interpretation and disads to their interp.
Neg- Explain the alt well. The link and impact story is usually what the neg is superb at, but if you don't explain the alt well, what the hell am I voting for? 2NC/1NR tricks are great if executed properly.
Aff- Impact turns, disads to the alt, and permutations are persuasive.
Neg- Happy with most, not a fan of process cps or generic word pics, but I will still vote for them if executed properly.
Aff- Solvency deficit, and defense to the net benefit (whatever page it is on), are very persuasive.
Neg- Turns case, and impact framing are very persuasive.
Aff- You must have offense on this page. With hard technical debating, I do believe in a possible 0 % risk of the disad.
Neg- Case turns, and case specific defense are very persuasive. A ton of generic impact defense not so much.
Aff- Your answers to case args should be fantastic, no excuses for a poor performance on something for which you have had unlimited prep.
Mostly lean neg, again interp and counter-interps are key.
2 condo is fine, 3 is still okay, 4 and my threshold for an aff theory arg will be very low.
Aff- This is fine. Please explain what voting aff means, what you have to win for me to vote aff.
Neg- Answer the case. T (content guidelines) not framework (performance guidelines), impact turns, and criticisms are very persuasive.
High speaker points:
1. Great strategic moves. Technical strength will serve you well.
2. Humor. Only if you are funny.
3. Great case debate.
4. Number/letter arguments.
5. Great evidence.
Low speaker points:
1. Not clear. Can't stand this. Hurts me, your partner, the other team, and the quality of the debate at the whole.
2. Really stupid arguments. If you have to ask if it meets the really stupid threshold then don't read it.
Don't be rude or obnoxious. In debate and in life.
Former coach. Put me on the email chain, email@example.com.
Please standardize the title of the email chain as [Tournament Name] [Round x] [Aff] v [Neg].
1. I will say "slower" twice, and if it becomes more incoherent, I'll stop flowing.
2. I'll have my camera on during your speeches and my RFD.
1. If a team asks you to not spread, make the accommodation. You can still win the debate, but I'll dunk your speaks.
2. If your arguments discuss sensitive issues, talk about it before the round. If there aren't any alternatives, please be thoughtful moving forward.
1. I personally lean 80/20 in favor of framework. I end up voting 50/50.
2. Debates should be about competing scholarship or literature, not about ones self.
3. DA/CP debate makes as many good people as it does bad people.
1. I'm tough on speaker points.
2. I'm very expressive, so you'll know whether I vibe with what you're saying or not.
3. Technical, well organized policy debates make smooth brain feel good.
4. DA + Case or T 2NRs are always impressive and brilliant.
5. Copy/pasting cards into the body will drop your speaks .1 every time it happens.
Some of my preferences are still unknown to myself. If background information helps, I've defended arguments from all ends of the spectrum - 'performance', critical theory, politics DAs, etc.
You do you. I'll do my best to evaluate your arguments.
Please do not debate like you don't want to be debating. Persuade me. Communicate with me. Care about what you are arguing about.
Clarity. Clarity is important. A round is immensibly more fun to judge if I can hear evidence and then listen to explanations of evidence. Greater the explanation, the better. Impact out your link arguments. Warrants. Empirics. Examples.
Don't just do evidence comparison, do evidence take out. I strongly dislike affs with weak internal link chains and neg teams tend to grant aff's solvency without reading and poking holes in aff evidence. Explain why their own evidence takes out solvency.
Yes, I do judge a lot of debates where affirmatives do not read a traditional plan text. I also have 2N sympathy vs these affs. These affs need to do something. 2Ns need to restructure how I view these sorts of debates. How does aff solvency change without fiat? How is presumption implicated? How does your alternative function? What do you need to win the debate and why? Answering these questions will put you in a much better position with these affirmatives. You need to have DAs to the aff. You have to establish competition. These DAs can come in a multitudinous amount of ways. This could be a topicality argument.
A few things irk me while judging high school k debate:
Do not make arbitrary role of the ballot claims in front of me. ROBs should not be about voting for something you did first before the other team. Just because a team does not say the words 'role of the ballot' does not mean they didn't answer it.
"They don't get perms, this is a method debate" is not an argument. I have no idea what that means. If arguments like this are explained, warranted and impacted out, I think that would be enjoyable. I have no default to perms in this sorts of debates.
Director of Forensics, Cal State Northridge
Email speech documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any other inquires should go to email@example.com
A. Judging/Coaching History
- Over 19 years of experience judging/coaching competitive debate events; less experience with speech and individual events (5 years)
- Worked with students of all ages: elementary (MSPDP), middle school (MSPDP), high school (policy, LD, public forum), and college (NDT/CEDA, NFA-LD, NPDA, IPDA, CPFL)
B. General Philosophy
1. Do you thing! This activity should center the stylistic proclivities of students, not judges. Full stop. My academic background has taught me reasonable arguments come in a variety of forms, styles, and mediums. I've coached and judged a wide range of styles from very traditional (e.g. topicality, disads, cps, and case), critical (e.g. post-structural/modern/colonial theory), to very non-traditional (e.g. performative/identity/method debate). There are things I like and dislike about every style I've encountered. Do what you do and I'll do my best to keep up.
2. "Inside Baseball" Sucks. These days I mostly judge college policy and high school LD. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge.
C. Pedagogical/Competitive Points of Emphasis
1. Importance of Formal Evidence (i.e. "cards"). I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments where technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
2. Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder One of things that makes policy and LD debate (and perhaps public forum) a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who spend their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that it's laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
3. The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Debate. The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multiple. Asserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
4. Theory Debates (i.e. Debates about Debate Itself) I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 28.
Debated for Downtown Magnets High School for 2 years for the Los Angeles Metro Debate League (LAMDL) area from 2009-2011
Debating for California State University, Northridge from 2011 to 2015
**I have not had any ballots on the 2016 College Resolution so don't expect me to be quick on the uptake for acronyms**
email for email chain: Byron.firstname.lastname@example.org
***Update for Cal Tournament 2017***
I won't have my laptop due to a student using it so I will be flowing on paper and I am considerably slower than I would be on my laptop. I'm not asking you to slow down the entire speech just that at some parts I would prefer clarity over speed like Plan or CP text and critical warrant comparison on arguments you are banking the debate on. It would help make the debate cleaner and your speaker points will reflect how much I appreciate it. I also would still like to be on any email chains just in case Evidence does need to be reviewed I can just do it on my Phone etc. but I rather not hold the tournament up by asking and having you dig through all the speech docs for a card I already know where it is at.
TL;DR: Run whatever you like but be sure to defend it. I dont really care for any argument over another but I do care about how well argumentation is carried out. Being borderline racist or a jerk is just grounds for low speaker points you won't lose. If you're aff just defend the plan and make sure no offense gets through. If you are neg just tell me why the aff cannot work for any number of reasons and win that, that argument outweighs case.
Topicality/Vagueness/Plan Flaw/Whatever-SPEC - Love them all except for the SPEC arguments i really don't want to hear F-SPEC in the 2NR. When going for arguments like these especially for Topicality, explanation and comparison are your best weapons. On the T debate don't just tell me it's a voter tell me why it's a voter what education have you lost in debate or maybe why should fairness be a priori?
Theory - Same as with T tell me the abuse or the conflict of interest and why should i vote on it or else i find myself erring neg on most CP theory
DA- They're cool, really specific and warranted Disads are great to hear along with stuff like Pltx DA's i'm all ears just be sure to explain the link story, sufficiently extend it, and impact calculus on why it turns or outweighs case.
CP- Make sure i can at least hear the CP text cause its annoying to figure it out from Cx question, but yea do what you want make them competitive and explain why does it solve whatever.
K's - I like them when they're well explained, but i find more and more debates seem to skim through the ideologies. You need to be really clear explain the story well and tell me why the alt is a better choice and why the Aff is bad. I will often think your K is stupid when you run arguements like "(this) is the root cause of (that)" seriously no one thing is the root cause of an entire form of oppression or any impact for that matter. I'd prefer to hear the Aff specific action would justify these horrible impacts and the alt solves this. Also if i don't get (understand) the K at the end of the round cause you didn't articulate it well enough i will vote you down.
Performance - Same as K please explain clearly and on top of that you need to have s very good reasons why you're a performance if you're aff cause i strongly believe that the resolution should be up-holded unless you find some witty and interesting way to tell me it's not but at least talk about the topic somehow or at least tell my why the topic is bad and should be ignored, remember i'm open to any and all crazy arguments. I will warn performance Affs that if at any point you find yourself arguing that you should win because of your performance then know you are probably not winning my ballot. I find that winning because you're a performance is no different from a team reading fem k saying vote for us cause were feminist it's just not enough of a reason to vote on. I'd prefer you to tell me the arguments you make through the performance rather than voting on the performance itself.
K Aff's - Same as performance tell me why you don't defend the resolution and make it a good reason. Be clear, articulate your arguments, and tell me how you want me to evaluate the round. Neg should be on top of their game and run the general framework/t shell but let's get smarter here i would much prefer to hear their evidence and their authors argument just for you to point out the aff doesn't do that, if the aff calls for the destruction of capitalism and you point out one of their cards says we need to have a revolution for that and the aff doesn't do that then that sounds like a pretty effective argument to make.
Framework- Only cause i feel it's being brought up more and more, i need both teams to tell me how the debate should be frame in whatever way you want it to be framed give me standards reason to prefer and good luck don't get me wrong i love a good framework debate but until you tell me what your framework is, I am just gonna assume its Util Good.
Any question just ask before or after round or email me i'm always happy to help email@example.com
tl;dr yeah, you can go fast
Yes, I would like to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update for St Mark's LD: I haven't judged much LD at all, but my understanding is that the basic principles are mostly policy these days anyway. So that should just mean for you that (1) I don't have topic background, (2) I don't have predispositions for or against LD-specific theory things, (3) if you are going to make format-specific arguments like the existence of a side bias, etc., you'll need to justify them more than maybe you normally do. Otherwise, all the same stuff should be good!
Debated in college for UC Berkeley, have coached high school and college teams, etc. In grad school now doing a bit of occasional judging but I'm not plugged into the circuit hardcore. My own argumentative evolution has been from a pretty exclusively K debater early on to almost all policy work by the end, though I've coached all kinds. For what it’s worth, if you need an easy way to rank me, I lean more and more towards enjoying straight-up policy debates the more I judge. It's tough to disentangle "what are you a good judge for" and "what are you gonna have more fun watching" sometimes, even though they're definitely different, so I'm just gonna be honest and say that if you have no good reason to pick the K or the DA or which of your affs you're gonna read, might as well read the policy one. Regardless, same stuff everyone says: debate like you want to debate, explain things and impact them, tell me why you winning or losing an argument does or does not influence my decision, and have fun. Otherwise, here’s some random thoughts:
- I’m probably at least 60/40 towards voting negative in the default, stereotypical framework debate. I'm a larger percentage towards the negative in my ideal universe, but those numbers are based on how teams usually perform. Predictability and debatability sound like pretty important things to me, but that doesn't mean any given neg team executes properly. I think like most everyone I’d rather here some clever unique strategy, but I dislike the dichotomy that framework isn’t a “substantive” argument and that the negative “didn’t engage the aff” by reading it. It's a good argument.
- I’m generally unpersuaded by arguments along the lines of “the permutation/framework/etc. is violence/stealing our advocacy/etc.”, arguments that the negative doesn’t have to disprove the affirmative, purely nihilistic alternatives, and K speeches that consist entirely of buzzwords where you expect me to fill in what I already know about your concepts. I’m not afraid to give decisions which consist mostly of “I have no idea what you were talking about most of the time” if you just repeated the words “rhizome” or “foundational antagonism” at me, even if I know what you were trying to mean. Additionally, I'm super not down with arguments that are about things outside of the debate, like "show us your prefs" style stuff. I think the other team needs like a ten second defense of "you can only critique stuff we actually said" and I'm checked out.
- Evidence comparison, and calling out your opponent’s terrible, terrible evidence for what it is, is both extremely important and probably the best way to rack up your speaker points, alongside detailed impact calculus.
- My favorite debates to judge are: huge in-depth case throwdowns, techy aff-specific counterplan debates, K on K clashes that are grounded in true disputes in the literature, impact turn debates (on the case or against a DA/K), and well-executed topicality debates. My least favorite debates to judge are: theoretically questionable process CPs, bad framework debates, "here are my 18 impact cards tagged Extinction" DA debates, bad word PICs and silly reps Ks, and poorly-executed topicality or theory debates. I am relatively neutral to politics debates, but I also think their technical and constantly updating nature means they have the highest potential to be truly excellent examples of good debating.
- Because so many debates start with the question, "Can we do open CX?", the answer is always the same: you can, technically, there's no rule against it. But I would really recommend you don't - it's always better to get practice handling your CXs alone, going to your partner only as a last resort. It's important that they have the time to prep their next speech (that's three full minutes of free prep time!) and it's also much better for both of your speaker points if you each look organized and have mastery of your material.
Link for Judge Philosophies wikispaces.
UC Berkeley 2018
East Kentwood Highschool 2016
PF TOC 2019:
Threshold for theory is high, I'll vote on it if the abuse is egregious. Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)
Speed is fine
I will call for evidence after the round has ended either when I have to intervene on evidence (which I hate doing by the way) or when there's a significant dispute throughout the round / asked explicitly in a speech to do so. If there is legitimate abuse of evidence, you're getting dropped and losing speaker points regardless of how hard you won. Don't make me do this.
warrants, line by line, effort, humor, examples, historicity, praxis, you telling me how to vote and why
I don't like:
Rudeness or over hostility
I do not have:
reservations about voting for any argument
the ability to adjudicate any disputes about what goes on outside of the debate
I don't want:
you to change anything about what you do just because you think it will appeal to my tastes. You do you
I will hold the line on:
speech times, evidence quality, clipping and cheating of any kind
As far as arguments go
Topicality- I'm for it. Compare how your interp affects aff/neg ground vs theirs. Compelling impact stories are awesome
DA's- I'm a sucker for flushed out turns case analysis and impact comparison
Case debating- please do
Counterplans- "Why debate the aff when you can steal it"- Miles Gray. I draw great inspiration from this line of thinking
K- near and dear to my heart. As such, I hold a high threshold for compelling link/impact analysis and will be displeased at shallow explanation of theory. I appreciate an Alt that is contextualized to the aff grounded in examples/history. If you're going to make a big fw push (which I highly recommend), develop robust arguments about how we should understand/utilize debate and how I should relate to your arguments
FW- Love these debates. I prefer external impacts to debate is a game but will vote on procedural fairness if you win its the only thing I can/should be concerned about. As with disads, sucker for compelling turns case analysis. Fw is not genocide unless this argument is dropped.
Theory-No strong feelings either way
High School Debate: Heritage Hall School (OK)
College Debate: University of Southern California (2017)
The following are just MY thoughts on policy debate. In general, you should do what you are comfortable with– this will make the debate better for both of us.
–you must have a counter-interpretation
–you must have terminal impacts like you would for any DA (your standards are not your impacts, they are internal links to greater skills that are integral to debate)
–I will typically default to competing interpretations over reasonability
–case-specific links will only help you
–strong/creative DA turns case/case turns DA arguments are most convincing to me
–impact calculus is very important, but it's more than just magnitude and probability. I am much more convinced by arguments that prove how the DA impacts interact with the case (see above point)
–I will kick the cp for you if told to do so
–you must have a solvency advocate
–CP's that compete off the mandate of the plan and use the same actor are legitimate
–I am not opposed to questionably legitimate CP's, in fact, I kind of like them. However, the aff can easily beat them with a WELL-DEVELOPED AND IMPACTED theory argument
–I am not the best person to read high-theory, obscure K's in front of. I am not well versed in the literature and you'll have to do an exceptional job explaining your argument. However, that does not mean I will never vote on the K.
–The K does need a specific link to the aff and more importantly, the neg needs to talk about the aff in terms of the K. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
–dropped arguments are true arguments
–I don't take prep for flashing
–the last 2 rebuttals should not be a reiteration of the debate so far, but rather you should be telling me what you need to win to win this round and CLOSING DOORS. too often the final rebuttals are just two ships passing in the night, which means I have to resolve things on my own. this will not make you or me happy
–over everything... have fun, be nice, and learn stuff
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Fight on!
20 years coaching. I have coached at Damien High School, Cal State Fullerton, Santa Margarita High School, Fairmont High School, Illinois State University, Ball State University, Wayne State University and West Virginia University. Most of my experience is in policy but I have also coached successful LD and PF teams.
After reading over paradigms for my entire adult life, I am not sure how helpful they really are. They seem to be mostly a chance to rant, a coping mechanism, a way to get debaters not to pref them and some who generally try but usually fail to explain how they judge debates. Regardless, my preferences are below, but feel free to ask me before the round if you have any questions.
Short paradigm. I am familar with most arguments in debate. I am willing to listen to your argument. If it an argument that challenges the parameters and scope of debate, I am open to the argument. Just be sure to justify it. Other than that, try to be friendly and don't cheat.
For Water Protection: I am no longer coaching policy full time so I haven't done the type of topic research that I have in the past. I have worked on a few files and have judges a few debates but I do not have the kind of topic knoweldge something engaged in coachting typically does.
For CJR: New Trier is my first official tournament judging this season, but I have done a ton of work on the topic, judged practice debates etc.
Evidence: This is an evidence based activity. I put great effort to listening, reading and understanding your evidence. If you have poor evidence, under highlight or misrepresent your evidence (intentional or unintentional) it makes it difficult for me to evaluate your arguments. Those who have solid evidence, are able to explain their evidence in a persuasive matter tend to get higher speaker points, win more rounds etc.
Overall: Debate how you like (with some constraints below). I will work hard to make the best decision I am capable of. Make debates clear for me, put significant effort in the final 2 rebuttals on the arguments you want me to evaluate and give me an approach to how I should evaluate the round.
Nontraditional Affs : I tend to enjoy reading the literature base for most nontraditional affirmatives. I'm not completely sold on the pedagogical value of these arguments at the high school level. I do believe that aff should have a stable stasis point in the direction of the resolution. The more persuasive affs tend to have a personal relationship with the arguments in the round and have an ability to apply their method and theory to personal experience.
Framework: I do appreciate the necessity of this argument. I am more persuaded by topical version arguments than the aff has no place in the debate. If there is no TVA then the aff need to win a strong justification for why their aff is necessary for the debate community. The affirmative cannot simply say that the TVA doesn't solve. Rather there can be no debate to be had with the TVA. Fairness in the abstract is an impact but not a persuasive one. The neg need to win specific reasons how the aff is unfair and and how that impacts the competitiveness and pedagogical value of debate. Agonism, decision making and education may be persuasive impacts if correctly done.
Counter plans: I attempt to be as impartial as I can concerning counterplan theory. I don’t exclude any CP’s on face. I do understand the necessity for affirmatives to go for theory on abusive counterplans or strategically when they do not have any other offense. Don’t hesitate to go for consult cp’s bad, process cps bad, condo, etc. For theory, in particular conditionality, the aff should provide an interpretation that protects the aff without over limiting the neg.
DA's : who doesn't love a good DA? I do not automatically give the neg a risk of the DA. Not really sure there is much else to say.
Kritiks- Although I enjoy a good K debate, good K debates at the high school level are hard to come by. Make sure you know your argument and have specific applications to the affirmative. My academic interests involve studying Foucault Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze, , etc. So I am rather familiar with the literature. Just because I know the literature does not mean I am going to interpret your argument for you.
Overall, The key to get my ballot is to make sure its clear in the 2NR/2AR the arguments you want me to vote for and impact them out. That may seem simple, but many teams leave it up to the judge to determine how to prioritize and evaluate arguments.
Loyola: I have done signficant research on the topic and I have judged a number of rounds for camps.
Debate how your choose. I have judged plenty of LD debates over the years and I am familiar with contemporary practices. I am open to the version of debate you choose to engage, but you should justify it, especially if your opponent provides a competing view of debate. For argument specifics please read the Policy info. anything else, I am happy to answer before your debate.
Overview: 7 years of policy debate. I debated four years during high school, and 3 at CSUF. I'm on my fourth year of coaching policy debate.
Clear speed is ok. Tag team is ok. Prep doesn’t stop until the flash drive leaves your computer.
I prefer for both teams to use arguments that they enjoy using since this always makes each debate round stand out. I make my decisions based on the quality of the arguments that are presented. This means that I do not mind you reading a lot of cards as long as you impact them and prove to me why you should win the debate round.
Traditional aff: I'm good with this form of debating, I did this for most of my high school career so I will be able to understand your arguments effectively. Just remember to extend your arguments effectively through the debate round and I will consider this a good debate round.
K aff: I've primarily done this during my years at CSUF. I will vote for your aff as long as my flow shows that you are winning the debate round. Also remember to impact your arguments, and persuade me to vote for you. I will vote on it as long as you make the decision clear for me. Just uttering the words “role of the ballot” is not sufficient---why should the role of the ballot be what you have suggested it to be? Affs should also argue why the aff is sufficiently debatable (negs should argue to the contrary), not merely why the aff is important to discuss.
T---T is a question of should the aff be topical. If you aren't reading cards on T, then you're doing it wrong. I will vote on it if you do a good job on it, do not expect me to vote on T, if it's clear that you are using it only as a time skew. If you run T, make sure you also have a topical version of the affirmative.
Theory: I'll vote on it if convinced on your argument. Reject the arg not the team is generally sufficient to resolve most other theoretical objections. If this argument is not made, I'll defer to the other team's interp on what I should do with the suspect arg (ie, reject the team).
CP/DA's: I'm good with these and will vote on them if you persuade me to do so. Just make sure that it is competitive with the Affirmative and that you do prove to me why I should vote on it. This also applies to the affirmative team, persuade me as to why your affirmative is better.
K: I've used them a lot before so I'm familiar with the language used and will vote on it if convinced that I should do so. Make sure that you do impact calculus so that I can know whether to prefer the impacts of the aff or the K first. Also make sure that the Alternative and Links are explained throughout the debate round, this makes the round flow smoother.
-ask me questions before the round or after if you need more clarification on my decision or args, etc.
-I value analytics as much as evidence as long as it is explained well enough, and if you make it obvious that it does answer the cards.
-I like rounds where there is quality over quantity, however I will weigh all arguments equally.
-I consider myself fair on the speaker points that I give, just perform at your best, and don't be over agressive towards the other teams.
-Respect me, your opponents, and the physical space you are debating in
Competed: University of Minnesota
Coach (Present): Emporia State University; College Prep
Coached (Past): Augsburg College; Highland Park Senior High (MN)
Although my primary background is in policy, I am familiar with the procedures of public forum and spent a season of my high school career competing in the format. Below are my answers to the suggested PF philosophy questions provided by the TOC.
Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round: Speed of Delivery: Speed is fine so long as clarify doesn't suffer.
Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?):Both effective line by line and big picture storytelling are important to my ballot.
Role of the Final Focus: Providing a rubric/judge instruction for my ballot
Topicality: Generally these debates are done poorly, it's important to have a comparative metric for evaluating interpretations and a robust discussion of the various impacts to the violation. I do not view topicality in a purely "jurisdictional" way - offense/defense is important.
Plans: Not needed but not automatically disallowed.
Kritiks: Sure although just like any argument, it must be explained, applied, and impacted thoroughly.
Flowing/note-taking: I will flow the entirety of the debate.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Quality and depth of argument is the primary thing I will evaluate, but style is not unimportant by any means.
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.
"I view my role in the debate not as arbiter of truth, but critic of argument, as such I attempt to divorce myself from relative "truth" values of arguments." - Chris Loghry
I like to see debaters deploying arguments that motivate and interest them.
I don’t call for many cards. This does not mean evidence quality does not matter, or that I don’t call cards often. What it does mean is: the debaters make the arguments, not the cards. I will not view them as placeholders for warranted explanation. Not every argument requires a card to answer.
Framing matters: provide me a macro-level filter through which to view the micro-components of the debate. The debates I find myself most frustrated with are the ones in which the 2NR and the 2AR have respectively delivered me 2NC #2 and 2AC #2 and left me to sort through the pieces. Rebuttalists that present a clear story while closing the right doors will be rewarded.
The more explicit you are with me in terms of my ballot, the better. This mostly goes for presumption and judge conditionality, but also for competing Frameworks/Role of the Ballots. If debaters are not explicit, there becomes no objective standard for me to use as a reference for when and where I infer these arguments.
Have a plan for Cross-X.
Things I like to see in cross-x: Asking precise, critical questions. Giving succinct, impactful answers. Writing down all concessions for utilization in the next speech.
Things I hate to see in cross-x: Ad-homs. Open-ended softballs. Questions that blatantly indicate a lack of flowing. Refusal to answer reasonable questions. Repetition of questions to avoid giving answers. Poorly-timed invocations of false ethos. 4-person shouting matches.
If you are reading critical literature, whether on the Affirmative or Negative, please explain and utilize your method. Make the links turn the case. Have a robust explanation of the alternative. Strive for internal, philosophical consistency. Your authors have particular theories of subjectivity, violence, etc., and I want to thear them; just remember that they all can and SHOULD be ACTIVELY applied broadly to frame many portions of the technical debate.
A speech doc is not a flow substitute.
Debate matters just as much to your opponents as it does to you, even if for different reasons. Be mindful of this and respect your competitors.
Saint Francis High School
Sup! I debated at Saint Francis the past 4 years and I currently attend USC. My senior year I broke at the TOC and was 5th speaker.
Here are my thoughts on debate:
Affirmatives should defend the hypothetical enactment of a topical plan. Middle of the road or big stick, doesn't matter to me.
Read what you want as long as it engages the affirmative in a meaningful manner. This necessarily excludes decontextualized criticisms and counter-plans that do not compete functionally and textually.
My default is competing interpretations, but interpretations should be reasonable.
Reject the argument not the team, except for conditionality.
DA's other than politics are awesome.
Advantage CP + DA or DA + Case = my favorite 2NR's.
Must compete functionally/textually.
PIC's are awesome.
Advantage CP's are awesome.
International fiat tows a fine line. Could be persuaded it's good or bad.
CP's without solvency advocates are hard to win in front of me unless it's a new aff.
I am not biased against these per se but they are by far the hardest argument to execute, absent dropped silver bullets i.e. root cause, ontology first, or floating pik's.
Framework should be impacted.
Links should be responsive to the content of the 1AC.
Impacts should be based off of such links, not the overall knowledge/material/methodological structure you are criticizing. K's should not be an excuse to sidestep conventional impact comparison.
Alternatives should either be explained to solve such links or explained within a framework that makes alternative solvency irrelevant.
Explanation over evidence. If you ask me to read a card after the round which has warrants not explained in the debate, those warrants are irrelevant.
Tech and truth. Technical concessions matter, but there can be larger truths which belittle the weight of such concessions. Control framing to control the debate.
Rebuttals. Make choices. Go for what you are ahead on, and explain why what you are ahead on is more important than what you are behind on using even if statements.
Prep time ends after you are done writing the speech.
Debate is a game. Have fun, respect your opponents, and it'll be a good round!
In high school I debated for two years at Stern Math and Science School. In college I debated for three years at California State University, Fullerton.
I find debate is an educational activity. What that looks like is up to the competitors, I will try and insert myself as best I can. My role as a judge is to be an educator and mediate between competing interests.
I may have not heard of your Kritik/Affirmative/Disadvantage/Counterplan/ etc. Don’t be offended. Don’t assume. In general it is best to err on the safe side and explain the plan function, the thesis of the disadvantage, and how counterplans avoid net benefits.
Framing debates- An easy way to ensure higher speaks and tell me how and what to evaluate in 2nr/2ar is to have an ethos moment. An ethos moment tells me how to filter/view the debate.
Explanations over cards. I usually award my ballot to debaters who create a story and have good analysis of their arguments. Like a lot of judges, smart arguments can beat carded evidence.
I perhaps am considered a "K hack". This by no means suggests I do not/prefer not to judge policy rounds. I find that there are good things from the policy side as well as the critical side.
Things I like to see in a round
Courtesy. Be nice to your partner and opponents.
Be prepared to defend everything you say, do, or justify.
Time your own prep and your opponents.
Prep ends when flash is handed to opponents, otherwise I will deduct speaker points at my discretion.
Cheaters! You will lose. No clipping. No power tagging. No plagiarizing. No exceptions.
*The opposing team must prove without a doubt that such instances occurred. Video recordings resolve this for me. Punishment for stopping a debate and failing to prove dishonesty will result in an automatic loss or some consequence at the discretion of tournament officials.
Counterplans- Read the plan text slowly, also extending the plan mechanism in later speeches is not a bad idea. Explain how the counterplan solves the net benefit.
Kritiks- Good plan and advantage links are very appreciated, as is alternative explanations. Avoid lengthy overviews as much as possible. Because of the complexity of Kritik debates, I suggest you read the Miscellaenous section and the Framing section of my philosophy.
Disadvantages- Explain the story. I want to know very specifically what the affirmative does to uniquely trigger the link. The neg fares better chance at winning a disadvantage in front of me if I am clear on what the aff is or does.
Topicality- Slow down. I want to hear the interpretation and standards. Explicit extension of the interpretation(s) is most crucial here.
*On issues of Kritik affirmatives, I do evaluate impact turns to arguments such as Topicality.
Theory- Mostly a nonstarter. I do not like this trend of two second voting issue theories. I consider theory to be a legitimate argument to ensure fairness, and when applied in situations that merit theory I can vote on it. Ridiculous or excessive theories will result in lower speaker points. That being said, I will vote for conceded theory arguments.
Permutation- Make it clear in 2ac when they are made. Also please explicitly extend the perm you go for in later speeches. I don't like guessing which perm you go for.
Independent Voters- I do not like the idea of evaluating issues independent of arguments that you go for. If you really want me to vote on one specific argument, I expect the whole 2nr/2ar to be just that.
I've noticed that when evaluating kritik debates, a clear articulation of links/link turns has been lacking:
1) I am not usually persuaded by links of ommission/deliberate exclusions of ....
2) Links that indict knowledge/logic and/or representations must show exactly how those representations manifest into something bad. (Historical analysis helps do this).
Ask me any questions before the round starts.
Current Affiliation = Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Debates Judged on this topic: about 40 Rounds (UMich Debate Institute)
Prior Experience: Debated policy in HS at Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, CA (1992-1995); Debated NDT/CEDA in college at USC (1995-1999); Assistant debate coach at Cal State Northridge 2003-2005; Assistant debate coach at Glenbrook South HS Spring of 2005; Director of Debate at Glenbrook North HS 2005-2009; Director of Debate at Notre Dame HS Fall of 2009-Present.
My defaults go into effect when left to my own devices. I will go against most of these defaults if a team technically persuades me to do so in any given debate.
If you start taking excessive time to flash your document, I will start instituting that "Prep time ends when the speaker's flash drive is removed from her/his computer."
I am familiar with the topic (4 weeks of teaching at Michigan at Classic and involved in argument coaching at Notre Dame).
Delivery rate should be governed by your clarity; WARRANTS in the evidence should be clear, not just the tagline.
Clarity is significantly assisted by organization - I flow as technically as possible and try to follow the 1NC structure on-case and 2AC structure off-case through the 1AR. 2NR and the 2AR should have some leeway to restructure the debate in important places to highlight their offense. However, line-by-line should be followed where re-structuring is not necessary.
Ideal 2AR Structure
Offense placed at the top (tell me how I should be framing the debate in the context of what you are winning), then move through the debate in a logical order.
2NR's Make Choices
Good 2NR strategies may be one of the following: (1) Functionally and/or textually competitive counterplan with an internal or external net benefit, (2) K with a good turns case/root cause arguments that are specific to each advantage, (3) Disadvantage with turns case arguments and any necessary case defense, (4) Topicality (make sure to cover any theory arguments that are offense for aff). My least favorite debates to resolve are large impact turn debates, not because I hate impact turns, but because I think that students lose sight of how to resolve and weigh the multiple impact scenarios that get interjected into the debate. Resolving these debates starts with a big picture impact comparison.
Reference evidence by warrant first and then add "That's [Author]." Warrant and author references are especially important on cards that you want me to read at the end of the debate. Also, evidence should reflect the arguments that you are making in the debate. I understand that resolving a debate requires spin, but that spin should be based in the facts presented in your evidence.
I have been getting copies of speech documents for many debates lately so I can read cards during prep time, etc. However, note that I will pay attention to what is said in the debate as much as possible - I would much rather resolve the debate on what the debaters say, not based on my assessment of the evidence.
Safer to go for offense, and then make an "even if" statement explaining offense as a 100% defensive takeout. I will vote on well-resolved defense against CP, DA's and case. This is especially true against process CP's (e.g., going for a well-resolved permutation doesn't require you to prove a net benefit to the permutation since these CP's are very difficult to get a solvency deficit to) and DA's with contrived internal link scenarios. Winning 100% defense does require clear evidence comparison to resolve.
I like a well-developed topicality debate. This should include cards to resolve important distinctions. Topical version of the aff and reasonable case lists are persuasive. Reasonability is persuasive when the affirmative has a TRUE "we meet" argument; it seems unnecessary to require the affirmative to have a counter-interpretation when they clearly meet the negative interpretation. Also, discussing standards with impacts as DA's to the counter-interpretation is very useful - definition is the uniqueness, violation is the link, standard is an internal link and education or fairness is the impact.
Word PIC's, process, consult, and condition CP's are all ok. I have voted on theory against these CP's in the past because the teams that argued they were illegit were more technically saavy and made good education arguments about the nature of these CP's. The argument that they destroy topic-specific education is persuasive if you can prove why that is true. Separately, the starting point for answers to the permutation are the distinction(s) between the CP and plan. The starting point for answers to a solvency deficit are the similarities between the warrants of the aff advantage internal links and the CP solvency cards. Counterplans do not have to be both functionally and textually competitive, but it is better if you can make an argument as to why it is both.
All parts of the DA are important, meaning neither uniqueness nor links are more important than each other (unless otherwise effectively argued). I will vote on conceded or very well-resolved defense against a DA.
Good K debate should have applied links to the affirmative's or negative's language, assumptions, or methodology. This should include specific references to an opponent's cards. The 2NC/1NR should make sure to address all affirmative impacts through defense and/or turns. I think that making 1-2 carded externally impacted K's in the 2NC/1NR is the business of a good 2NC/1NR on the K. Make sure to capitalize on any of these external impacts in the 2NR if they are dropped in the 1AR. A team can go for the case turn arguments absent the alternative. Affirmative protection against a team going for case turns absent the alternative is to make inevitability (non-unique) claims.
Framework is applied in many ways now and the aff should think through why they are reading parts of their framework before reading it in the 2AC, i.e., is it an independent theoretical voting issue to reject the Alternative or the team based on fairness or education? or is it a defensive indite of focusing on language, representations, methodology, etc.?. Framework impacts should be framed explicitly in the 1AR and 2AR. I am partial to believing that representations and language inform the outcome of policymaking unless given well-warranted cards to respond to those claims (this assumes that negative is reading good cards to say rep's or language inform policymaking).
Neg framework is particularly persuasive against an affirmative that has an advocacy statement they don't stick to or an aff that doesn't follow the resolution at all. It is difficult for 2N's to have a coherent strategy against these affirmatives and so I am sympathetic to a framework argument that includes a topicality argument and warranted reasons to reject the team for fairness or education. If a K aff has a topical plan, then I think that framework only makes sense as a defensive indite their methodology; however, I think that putting these cards on-case is more effective than putting them on a framework page. Framework is a somewhat necessary tool given the proliferation of affirmatives that are tangentially related to the topic or not topical at all. I can be persuaded that non-topical affs should not get permutations - a couple primary reasons: (1) reciprocity - if aff doesn't have to be topical, then CP's/K's shouldn't need to be competitive and (2) Lack of predictability makes competition impossible and neg needs to be able to test the methodology of the aff.
I prefer substance, but I do understand the need for theory given I am open to voting on Word PIC's, consult, and condition CP's. If going for theory make sure to impact arguments in an organized manner. There are only two voting issues/impacts: fairness and education. All other arguments are merely internal links to these impacts - please explain how and why you control the best internal links to either of these impacts. If necessary, also explain why fairness outweighs education or vice-versa. If there are a host of defensive arguments that neutralize the fairness or education lost, please highlight these as side constraints on the the violation, then move to your offense.
Classic Battle Defaults
These are attempts to resolve places where I felt like I had to make random decisions in the past and had wished I put something in my judge philosophy to give debaters a fair warning. So here is my fair warning on my defaults and what it takes to overcome those defaults:
(1) Theory v. Topcality - Topcality comes before theory unless the 1AR makes arguments explaining why theory is first and the 2NR doesn't adequately respond and then the 2AR extends and elaborates on why theory is first sufficiently enough to win those arguments.
(2) Do I evaluate the aff v. the squo when the 2NR went for a CP? - No unless EXPLICITLY framed as a possibility in the 2NR. If the 2NR decides to extend the CP as an advocacy (in other words, they are not just extending some part of the CP as a case takeout, etc.), then I evaluate the aff versus the CP. What does this mean? If the aff wins a permutation, then the CP is rejected and the negative loses. I will not use the perm debate as a gateway argument to evaluating the aff vs. the DA. If the 2NR is going for two separate advocacies, then the two separate framings should be EXPLICIT, e.g., possible 2NR framing, "If we win the CP, then you weigh the risk of the net benefit versus the risk of the solvency deficit and, if they win the permutation, you should then just reject the CP and weigh the risk of the DA separately versus the affirmative" (this scenario assumes that the negative declared the CP conditional).
(3) Are Floating PIK's legitimate? No unless the 1AR drops it. If the 1AR drops it, then it is open season on the affirmative. The 2NC/1NR must make the floating PIC explicit with one of the following phrases to give the 1AR a fair chance: "Alternative does not reject the plan," "Plan action doesn't necessitate . Also, 2NC/1NR must distinguish their floating PIK from the permutation; otherwise, affirmatives you should use any floating PIK analysis as a outright concession that the "permutation do both" or "permutation plan plus non-mutually exclusive parts" is TRUE.
(4) Will I vote on theory cheap shots? Yes, but I feel guilty voting for them. HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A REVERSE VOTING ISSUE EVEN IF IT WAS DROPPED.
Who is a Good Debater
Anna Dimitrijevic, Alex Pappas, Pablo Gannon, Stephanie Spies, Kathy Bowen, Edmund Zagorin, Matt Fisher, Dan Shalmon, Scott Phillips, Tristan Morales, Michael Klinger, Greta Stahl, George Kouros. There are many others - but this is a good list.
Your Opponents, Your Teammates, Your Coaches, Your Activity.
Extra Notes CP/Perm/Alt Texts
The texts of permutations, counterplans, and alternatives should be clear. I always go back and check the texts of these items if there is a question of a solvency deficit or competition. However, I do feel it is the burden of the opposing team to bring up such an argument for me to vote on it - i.e., unless it is a completely random round, the opposing team needs to make the argument that the text of the CP means there is a significant solvency deficit with the case, or the affirmative is overstating/misconstruing the solvency of a permutation because the text only dictates X, not Y, etc. I will decide that the aff does not get permutations in a debate where the affirmative is not topical.
I try to follow the flow the best I can - I do double check if 2AR is making arguments that are tied to the 1AR arguments. I think that 2AR's get significant leeway to weigh and frame their impacts once the 2NR has chosen what to go for; however, this does not mean totally new arguments to case arguments, etc. that were presented before the 2NR.
Frame claim in comparison to other team's response, extend important warrants, cite author for evidence, impact argument to ballot - all of these parts are necessary to resolve an argument fully. Since debate is a game of time management, this means going for fewer arguments with more thorough analysis is better than extending myriad of arguments with little analysis.
Complete disrespect toward anyone who is nice; no one ever has enough “credibility” in this community to justify such actions. If there is a disrespectful dynamic in a debate, I ALWAYS applaud (give higher speaker points to) the first person to step down and realize they are being a jerk. Such growth and self-awareness should rewarded.
Fear to Engage Bad
Win or lose, you are ultimately competing to have the best debate possible. Act like it and do not be afraid to engage in the tough debates. You obviously should make strategic choices, but do not runaway from in-depth arguments because you think another team will be better than you on that argument. Work harder and beat them on the argument on which she/he is supposedly an expert. Taking chances to win debates good.
And, as Lord Dark Helmet says, “evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb.”
I assist with coaching at CK McClatchy. I debated in college at SFSU. I have coached at both the collegiate and high school levels for many years. I had my turn, now it is your turn. You should get to have the debate that you want, so you can run whatever args you want to run.
That being said, I do enjoy arguments that challenge the participants to examine the debate through a critical lens. But explain your high theory arguments and clearly articulate the applicability to the topic, the round, the other team, and/or to me as a human person.
I am more inclined to buy an alternative that has some practical call to action rather than conceptual alts. I will vote for a conceptual alt if you tell me why, but I prefer something concrete.
I am also good with straight up policy debates with good old fashioned nuclear disads And counterplans. Or topicality and theory arguments if the aff doesn't choose to affirm the resolution. Tell me what the impact is and why that means you should win my ballot.
Don't expect me to vote for you, persuade me to...with critical thinking and strategy. Be smart and make good (read: well reasoned) arguments.
Like I said, it is your debate. If you have specific questions, ask me.
Update for Loyola 2020:
Honestly, not much has changed since this last LD update in 2018 except that I now teach at Success Academy in NYC.
Update for Voices / LD Oct 2018:
I coach Policy debate at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA. It has been a while since I have judged LD. I tend to do it once a or twice a year.
You do you: I've been involved in judging debate for over 10 years, so please just do whatever you would like to do with the round. I am familiar with the literature base of most postmodern K authors, but I have not recently studied classical /enlightenment philosophers.
It's okay to read Disads: I'm very happy to judge a debate involving a plan, DAs and counter-plans with no Ks involved as well. Just because I coach at a school that runs the K a lot doesn't mean that's the only type of argument I like / respect / am interested in.
Framework: I am open to "traditional" and "non-traditional" frameworks. Whether your want the round to be whole res, plan focused, or performative is fine with me. If there's a plan, I default to being a policymaker unless told otherwise.
Theory: I get it - you don't have a 2AC so sometimes it's all or nothing. I don't like resolving these debates. You won't like me resolving these debates. If you must go for theory, please make sure you are creating the right interpretation/violation. I find many LD debaters correctly identify that cheating has occurred, but are unable to identify in what way. I tend to lean education over fairness if they're not weighed by the debaters.
LD Things I don't Understand: If the Aff doesn't read a plan, and the Neg reads a CP, you may not be satisfied with how my decision comes out - I don't have a default understanding of this situation which I hear is possible in LD.
Other thoughts: Condo is probably a bad thing in LD.
Update for Jack Howe / Policy Sep 2018: (Sep 20, 2018 at 9:28 PM)
Please use the link below to access my paradigm. RIP Wikispaces.
1. Offense-defense, but can be persuaded by reasonability in theory debates. I don't believe in "zero risk" or "terminal defense" and don't vote on presumption.
2. Substantive questions are resolved probabilistically--only theoretical questions (e.g. is the perm severance, does the aff meet the interp) are resolved "yes/no," and will be done so with some unease, forced upon me by the logic of debate.
3. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true."
1. Conditionality bad is an uphill battle. I think it's good, and will be more convinced by the negative's arguments. I also don't think the number of advocacies really matters. Unless it was completely dropped, the winning 2AR on condo in front of me is one that explains why the way the negative's arguments were run together limited the ability of the aff to have offense on any sheet of paper.
2. I think of myself as aff-leaning in a lot of counterplan theory debates, but usually find myself giving the neg the counterplan anyway, generally because the aff fails to make the true arguments of why it was bad.
1. I don't think I evaluate these differently than anyone else, really. Perhaps the one exception is that I don't believe that the affirmative needs to "win" uniqueness for a link turn to be offense. If uniqueness really shielded a link turn that much, it would also overwhelm the link. In general, I probably give more weight to the link and less weight to uniqueness.
2. On politics, I will probably ignore "intrinsicness" or "fiat solves the link" arguments, unless badly mishandled (like dropped through two speeches). Note: this doesn't apply to riders or horsetrading or other disads that assume voting aff means voting for something beyond the aff plan. Then it's winnable.
1. I like kritiks, provided two things are true: 1--there is a link. 2--the thesis of the K indicts the truth of the aff. If the K relies on framework to make the aff irrelevant, I start to like it a lot less (role of the ballot = roll of the eyes). I'm similarly annoyed by aff framework arguments against the K. The K itself answers any argument for why policymaking is all that matters (provided there's a link). I feel negative teams should explain why the affirmative advantages rest upon the assumptions they critique, and that the aff should defend those assumptions.
2. I think I'm less technical than some judges in evaluating K debates. Something another judge might care about, like dropping "fiat is illusory," probably matters less to me (fiat is illusory specifically matters 0%). I also won't be as technical in evaluating theory on the perm as I would be in a counterplan debate (e.g. perm do both isn't severance just because the alt said "rejection" somewhere--the perm still includes the aff). The perm debate for me is really just the link turn debate. Generally, unless the aff impact turns the K, the link debate is everything.
3. If it's a critique of "fiat" and not the aff, read something else. If it's not clear from #1, I'm looking at the link first. Please--link work not framework. K debating is case debating.
1. I'm *slightly* better for the aff now that aff teams are generally impact-turning the neg's model of debate. I almost always voted neg when they instead went for talking about their aff is important and thought their counter-interp somehow solved anything. Of course, there's now only like 3-4 schools that take me and don't read a plan. So I'm spared the debates where it's done particularly poorly.
2. A lot of things can be impacts to T, but fairness is probably best.
3. It would be nice if people read K affs with plans more, but I guess there's always LD. Honestly debating politics and util isn't that hard--bad disads are easier to criticize than fairness and truth.
Versus the K:
1. If it's a team's generic K against K teams, the aff is in pretty great shape here unless they forget to perm. I've yet to see a K aff that wasn't also a critique of cap, etc. If it's an on-point critique of the aff, then that's a beautiful thing only made beautiful because it's so rare. If the neg concedes everything the aff says and argues their methodology is better and no perms, they can probably predict how that's going to go. If the aff doesn't get a perm, there's no reason the neg would have to have a link.
Topicality versus plan affs:
1. I used to enjoy these debates. It seems like I'm voting on T less often than I used to, but I also feel like I'm seeing T debated well less often. I enjoy it when the 2NC takes T and it's well-developed and it feels like a solid option out of the block. What I enjoy less is when it isn't but the 2NR goes for it as a hail mary and the whole debate occurs in the last two speeches.
2. Teams overestimate the importance of "reasonability." Winning reasonability shifts the burden to the negative--it doesn't mean that any risk of defense on means the T sheet of paper is thrown away. It generally only changes who wins in a debate where the aff's counter-interp solves for most of the neg offense but doesn't have good offense against the neg's interp. The reasonability debate does seem slightly more important on CJR given that the neg's interp often doesn't solve for much. But the aff is still better off developing offense in the 1AR.
1. I've been judging LD less, but I still have LD students, so my familarity with the topic will be greater than what is reflected in my judging history.
2. Everything in the policy section applies. This includes the part about substantive arguments being resolved probablistically, my dislike of relying on framework to preclude arguments, and not voting on defense or presumption. If this radically affects your ability to read the arguments you like to read, you know what to do.
3. If I haven't judged you or your debaters in a while, I think I vote on theory less often than I did say three years ago (and I might have already been on that side of the spectrum by LD standards, but I'm not sure). I've still never voted on an RVI so that hasn't changed.
4. The 1AR can skip the part of the speech where they "extend offense" and just start with the actual 1AR.
Pronouns: He/ Him. Will respect whatever your preferred pronouns are.
Role/ Experience: Director of Debate @ Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA. Formerly debated circuit Policy & coached @ Logan, & brief Parli debater @ UC Davis.
Evidence: Put me on the chain: email@example.com. However, I try to avoid reading speech docs for substantive issues- you have to make the arguments, interps, weighing clear to me in your verbalized speech. I will try to intervene/ "do work" for the debater as little as possible, so don't expect that I will buy all of the "fire analysis" of your card if you aren't extending or explaining any of it. Prep stops when you send out the doc. Don't burgle. Don't clip cards. Mark your docs if you end early.
Decorum: Be respectful of all in the round. Ad hominem attacks (about a person's immutable identity/ characteristics/ background) are never OK and will cost you speaker points at the very least. If you cross the line, expect the L and a talk with your coach. Attack arguments and their justifications, not the person.
- "Open" to any argument. I would say that I default policymaker but am certainly open to K arguments/ affirmatives. When attempting to change my default paradigm, debaters must overcome my skepticism by clearly explaining the role of the ballot and demonstrating some level of competitive fairness in their framework. I want to know what I am voting for, not simply that the other side was thoroughly confused.
- Speed is fine, but slow down on tags, blippy analytics, interps, and texts. Pause after cites. Introduce acronyms. I'll yell clear if necessary. Avoid other distracting behaviors like loud tapping, pen-dropping, super-double breadths. Non-speaking teams should limit their decibel level and overt facial indignation.
- T, theory, Ks, etc. are fine. But, as with any argument, if you would like for me to vote for these, you need to give me a clear reason. I am not as well-versed in some K Affs or high theory Ks, but am certainly open to evaluating them if you can make them make sense. I am more comfortable adjudicating T, CP, DA/ case debates, but I am open to voting for arguments of all types (Ks, K Affs, etc...). I will vote for non-conventional argument forms (songs, dance & poetry, etc...), but will be very acutely focused on education and fairness implications of these alternative styles. I will give you more leeway on unconventional arguments (on the aff) if they bear some relation to the topic. Topic education is valuable.
- I leave my assessment of the round largely in the hands of the team that presents me with the best explanation of how to frame the major issues in the round, and why that favors their side. If that work is done thoughtfully and clearly, then my decision about which way the round should go becomes much easier. Oh yeah, it typically helps when you win the actual arguments too (warrants, evidence, links, impacts, & all that micro stuff).
- On theory, I usually will only pull the trigger if I can see demonstrable abuse or unfairness. The "potential for abuse argument" alone doesn't usually cut it with me (unless it's cold-conceded). Show me what specific limitations their interp caused and why that's bad for debate. Condo bad may be a good time trade-off for the aff, but probably won't convince me without some demonstrable in-round fairness/ education loss.
- I appreciate strategy, creativity, and maybe a little humor. Speaks typically range from 26-29.5. I am not impressed by shouting, bullying or obstruction- these will cost you points!! Most importantly, have fun! If you have questions, you can ask me before the round.
(Please see my policy paradigm above as this is where I draw most of my experience and perspective from. You can also find my thought on speed/ evidence/ speaks there. The gist is that I default as a policymaker, but this can be upended if you convince me your framework/ ethical system is good or preferable)
Cross: Speaking over or past your opponent goes nowhere fast. If you ask a question, allow them an answer. If you want to move on, kindly ask to move on, don't shout them down.
Plans: I love them since they impart a clearer sense of your advocacy and one concrete comparative world. Still, you will be held to that plan. Shifting advocacies, vagueness on key functions of the plan, inserting extra-topical provisions to deck case neg offense are likely to get you in trouble. Spec args and funding questions need to be reasonable. Aff can, and probably should, defend normal means in these instances, but clarify what that probably looks like.
Whole Res: This style of debate is fine, but it makes affs vulnerable to a large set of topical, but terrible, ideas. It is each debater's job to weigh for me the preponderance of the evidence. So, even if you prove one idea is the res could cause nuke war, I need to weigh that eventuality's probability versus the rest of the aff's probabilities of doing good. This is a daunting task given the limited speech times, so make your examples as clearly defined, relevant, and probable. I am often persuaded by the most salient example.
Theory: I am far more receptive to theory arguments that pertain to choices by the opponent. Attacking structural differences of the aff/ neg in LD as a justification for some unfair strategy choice is not likely to persuade me and often ends up as a wash. Tell me what arguments their interp specifically limits and why that's bad in this round or for debate in general.
Other things: I do not favor whimsical theory arguments that avoid debating the topic or avoid normative questions of public policy in general. So, save your font size theory for another judge.
Plans are cool/ extra-topical planks are not. Evidence is cool, but warranted and empirically supported reasoning is best. DO NOT take 45 seconds between speeches. DO ASK POIs! Please take at least 2 POIs in constructive for the sake of clarity and education.
Years Judging Public Forum: 9
Speed of Delivery: moderately fast, I would say full speed, but since people throw 8 "cards" up in 20 seconds in PF, you're better off at like 70% of full speed.
Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?): Line by line with some framing/ voters if it helps to clarify the round.
Role of the Final Focus: Establish voters, demonstrate offense, and weighing.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches: do it, please don't shadow extend everything, I won't do the work for you.
Plans: fine/ unless impossibly narrow
Kritiks: if it links, sure
Flowing/note-taking: Do it, I will.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Arguments matter more. But, as a member of the human species, style and conviction impact the level to which I am persuaded. Still, I prefer a style that oriented to a calm and reasoned discussion of the real facts and issues, so I think they go hand in hand.
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? Typically, yes, especially in the summary. The rebuttal may not necessarily have to extend defensive elements of the case.
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? Opponents case only; though, you won't get back the time later to explain and frame your best responses, so I'd try to cover responses to case too.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Not unless something unique prompted the response for the first time in the immediately prior speech/ grand-cross.
If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. Be civil, succinct, and provide plenty of examples (either common knowledge or your evidence).
Very experienced judge and coach for Saint Francis high school. I will consider pretty much any arguments that are not blatantly sexist, racist or crudely discriminatory (blatant is the key word here, much of this stuff is debatable and I will try not to punish you for my general feelings about your arguments).
It is important to me that debaters be respectful and polite to each other, this puts the spotlight on the arguments themselves and I am not a fan of extra drama.
I try hard to be fair and the following things help me do that:
- I rarely call cards. I like to focus the debate on the analysis given by the debaters (of course I will usually give more weight to analysis that is taken from qualified sources). I do not like to decide debates on random parts of a card that neither debater really focused on. I will call cards if I forget what they said, if there is a conflict about what they say and I can not remember, or if I am personally interested in the card.
- I try to judge on the flow in the sense that I evaluate the debate on the arguments presented, explained and extended into the rebuttals. I will occasionally do the work to weigh impacts or decide framing if the debaters are not doing that for me.
- I will not yell "clear", so mumble and slur at your own risk (I don't yell clear because I don't want a team to find that sweet spot where I can understand them but their opponents can not). I will also not evaluate arguments that I can not hear. I do not read speech documents during the debate rounds, sometimes I will look at them after the round (see calling cards stuff above).
I am cool with critiques on the aff and neg.
I am cool with framework (I like the debaters to work this out and I am pretty neutral on this question).
I like clarity (both in speech and arguments). I am not impressed by things that are "too complex" for me to understand but I will do my best to try to make sense of it. I am confident enough to not pretend I know your position and I will not fill in the blanks for you.
I am cool with policy arguments.
I have a wide breadth of knowledge but little depth on certain positions, don't assume I know your literature.
I give high speaks for clarity, efficiency, a pace that I can flow, respectfulness and occasionally speaking style.
I feel like the speaker point range I give is pretty close to average (I am not a reliable source of high speaks for everyone, but I will reward excellent debate with high speaks).
mail all speech documents to: firstname.lastname@example.org
anything else (if you want me to read the e-mail or respond): email@example.com
College Prep, Oakland, California
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Coach at Success Academy Queens 1 Middle School
Full Judging Record: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=12179
In General... Read anything you want to read as long as it isn't racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic - you catch my drift. Junior year, I defended no plan coloniality affs on the Latin America topic and only went for one off kritiks on the neg. Senior year, I read an oil aff on the Oceans topic and went for politics disads. Given this, I am seriously welcome to all argument types as long as you argue for them well. Be nice, there is no blurred line between being disrespectful and a good debater. Also, I'd rather not call for cards at the end of a debate, explanation of your arguments during the round matter the most.
- Speed: I am fine with all ranges of speed as long as you are clear.
- Case: I like good case debate. Being able to tear apart the aff's 1AC is a great route for a win. Detailed case debate also shows you are well-prepared which is always a plus.
- DAs: I really like it when good impact debates happen on disads. Explain smart turns and impact filters. I am also a fan of smart defensive arguments.
- CPs: No one likes super generic counterplans but I get it. More specific the better but even if it isn't just be prepared to give good spin or else I won't be very compelled to vote for the counterplan.
- Ks: I am familiar with most of the kritiks read in high school debate. Thorough explanations are extremely important. I will not understand the point you are trying to make if you just throw a bunch of philosophical jargon at me.
- Topicality: T is cool just don't read T as a time suck. I think a well thought out T argument can be very dangerous for an aff.
- Framework: I am not predisposed to voting a certain way on framework as I have been a debater on both sides of the argument. I think an aff that is winning its value within the debate space is in good shape. On the other hand, a neg who is winning the limits debate is in good shape.
- Theory: I don't really see myself voting on theory unless it is flat out dropped or it is conditionality. Conditionality is probably not something that I will vote for if the neg reads only 1 conditional position. However, I think theory is underutilized in terms of using it to try to get a team to kick an argument.