National Speech and Debate Season Opener
2017 — Lexington, KY/US
Congressional Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Note: Been out of debate for a year, I spend very little time thinking about the topic, cutting cards, or judging. Keep that in mind.
For email chains and questions, my email is crballer1 (at) gmail (dot) com
I will vote for arguments virtually anywhere on the ideological spectrum. You are more likely to get my ballot if you read arguments you are good at rather than ones you think I will like.
Tech over truth, but my threshold for answering bad arguments is very low.
Ks- These debates are either the best, or the worst, please make them the best. Buzz words make bad K debaters. The link debate should always be specific and each link should be impacted out. There doesn’t need to be an alternative. AFF: I like perm+pragmatism/link defense. I want to vote for the team who best contextualizes their thing to the other teams thing in these debates. If the links are more specific than the permutation/link defense, the NEG is in good shape.
K AFFs- Have a method and defend it (which can include defending the lack of a method). I think there is value in having a particular topic, but I am open to the idea that a discussion about the topic is preferable to a topical discussion. For the neg: I like specific strategies. That being said, it is difficult to find specific strategies for every aff. If you like to read FW, I am more susceptible to FW as a counter-method defending law and pragmatism. Structural Ks (Cap, Anti-blackness, etc.) are good routes too. Make sure you question the affirmative’s ability to get a permutation in these debates. I am not fully convinced in either direction and think that there is a good debate to be had. Good spin with strong examples and the root cause/turns case debate usually decide these rounds for me.
Topicality- A list and comparison of the topical affs under each interpretation is necessary from both sides. A topical version of the aff is helpful, but not necessary. There is a direct correlation between how arbitrary the negative interpretation is and how likely I am to default to reasonability over competing interpretations.
DAs- Impact framing, please do it. The importance of link vs. uq is very dependent on the disad- convince me whichever one you are winning is more important.
Theory- The more specific the solvency advocate, the more likely I am to err neg on theory. If you are going to go for theory in the 2AR, spend a lot of time on it. A messy and blippy theory debate will usually favor the negative. All theory arguments (save Condo) are reject the argument, not the team. If I think the status quo is better than the affirmative and the CP, I will only “judge-kick” the CP if told to do so by the negative (without a convincing affirmative response). The illogical nature of this standard pains me, but I think it is necessary to both incentivize technical debating and punish poor strategic choice. I am pretty unlikely to vote for conditionality bad if it is not dropped.
Case- It’s my most favorite thing to debate. Good case debate by the negative can be devastating. Shallow case debate by the negative begs for an aff ballot. 2As: I see you dropping args like it’s hot in the 2AC, don’t do that. Neg: Don’t let them do that. Try to focus the case debate on internal links over impacts, that’s where the aff is usually the weakest.
Impact turn debates are awesome, link turns are the highest form of debate. This is where the real throw downs are at.
If you are deliberately or continually offensive, you will get very low speaks and lose.
If a clipping accusation is made, the round ends. I will consult with tab and evaluate the evidence. For a team found, beyond reasonable doubt, to be clipping, the punishment is either 0 speaks and a loss, or the particular tournament’s own procedure. False accusations are either your average speaks and a loss, if the tournament will do that, or 28s and a loss.
I've been judging Congressional Debate at the TOC since 2011. I'm looking for no rehash & building upon the argumentation. I want to hear you demonstrate true comparative understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the plan presented by the legislation. Don't simply praise or criticize the status quo as if the legislation before you doesn't exist.
Each LDer should have a value/value criterion that clarifies how their case should be interpreted.
I prefer to evaluate a round by selecting whose V/VC weighs most heavily under their case. Winning this is not in itself a reason for you to win. Tell me what arguments you're winning at the contention level, how they link, and how much they weigh in comparison to other arguments (yours and your opponent's) in the round.
Voting down the flow, if both sides prove framework and there’s not a lot of clash I would move on to the contention level and judge off the flow.
Don't. I can't deal with speed.
Paraphrasing is a horrible practice that I discourage. Additionally, I want to hear evidence dates (year of publication at a minimum) and sources (with author's credential if possible) cited in all evidence.
I believe it is the second team's duty to address both sides of the flow in the second team's rebuttal. A second team that neglects to both attack the opposing case and rebuild against the prior rebuttal will have a very difficult time winning my ballot as whichever arguments go unaddressed are essentially conceded.
The summaries should be treated as such - summarize the major arguments in the debate. I expect debaters to start to narrow the focus of the round at this point.
FOCUS is key. I would prefer 2 big arguments over 10 blippy ones that span the length of the flow. If you intend to make an argument in the FF, it should have been well explained, supported with analysis and/or evidence, and extended from its origin point in the debate all the way through the FF.
INTERP overall: I pay real close attention to the introduction of each piece, I look for the lens of analysis and the central thesis that will be advanced during the interpretation of literature. When the performance is happening, I'm checking to see if they have dug down deep enough into an understanding of their literature through that intro and have given me a way to contextualize the events that are happening during the performance
POI: I look for clean transitions and characterization (if doing multiple voices).
DI: I look for the small human elements that come from acting. Big and loud gestures are not always the way to convey the point, sometimes something smaller gets the point more powerfully.
HI: I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. And of course the humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well researched speech that has a strong message to deliver. Regardless of the genre of info you're presenting, I think that showing you've been exhaustive with your understanding is a good way to win my ballot. I'm not wow'd by flashy visuals that add little substance, and I'm put off by speeches that misrepresent intellectual concepts, even unintentionally. I like speeches that have a conclusion, and if the end of your speech is "and we still don't know" then I think you might want to reassess the overall direction you are taking.
FX/DX: When I'm evaluating an extemp speech, I'm continually thinking "did they answer the question? or did they answer something that sounded similar?" So keep that in your mind. Are you directly answering the question? When you present information that could be removed without affecting the overall quality of the speech, that is a sign that there wasn't enough research done by the speaker. What I vote on in terms of content are speeches that show a depth of understanding of the topic by evaluating the wider implications that a topic has for the area/region/politics/etc.
My experience is entirely in policy debate so I don't care how fast you talk and I will evaluate things according to the flow
Add me to the email chain- email@example.com
I strongly believe that you should do what you do best within a debate round whether that be a very far right, very far left or somewhere in between. Really do you. Card quality is pretty important to me.
The best debates have lots of case debating, lots of author indicts, lots of re-highlighting the other team’s evidence, and lots of evidence comparison.
You really need to express 2 things along with winning the flow-
a. That your vision of debate is good- that means explain what your world looks like and why its better than the squo.
b. That is no possible T version of the aff. This is pretty easy when its just like do the plan with the USFG but if it actually probably solves the aff, then this needs a lot of work in front of me.
I do also believe that the aff should have some tie to the topic
Explanation is key. That applies to all Kritiks cause if you are just spitting jargon at me and the other team, you aren’t gonna have a good time. I don’t think that you need an alt but if you are going to extend it then it needs a very clear explanation in how it functions. On the other hand you NEED a clearly explained framework and links contextualized in terms of the aff.
T is great when its well debated. That means that there is good impact analysis and explanation of the standards. I didn't do any topic research past camp so need to be more clear
Condo is good.
I have a special place in my heart for impact turns and love to listen to those debates.
- If you are mean, I will be mean to your speaks. It is not fun for anyone if you are mean so don’t be. The only time I will interfere in the debate is if you are being overly offensive and you will probably get an 18.
- Clipping cards is not okay. If the other team has evidence that you were clipping or that I know that you are clipping then you will automatically lose and receive 0s
- Please don’t call me judge. It's weird.
My paradigm boils down to four points:
1. Please provide me with a framework/weighing mechanism for the round.
2. Do not spread. I will put my pen down if you're going too quickly for me to understand.
3. Tag your points and subpoints––as a judge, I like to be able to strike through these points as the other team tackles them, or else to draw them through several speeches. That way, it's very clear who won and who lost, and little is left up to my own biases/personal paradigm.
4. Be nice to each other :)
Whitney Young ‘15
University of Kentucky ‘19
Cornell Law '23 and coaching UK
Add me to the email chain- Jacindarivas@gmail.com
My name is Jacinda (Juh-sin-duh) so call me that instead of judge.
I will reward smart teams that can effectively and efficiently communicate their arguments to me. Engaging with your opponent, having a well-thought out strategy, and demonstrating that you’re doing consistent, hard work is what this activity is about.
I'm pretty expressive when I'm judging so I would look up every once in a while to know how I feel about particular arguments.
First things first- Everyone is always so angry and doesn’t want to be in these debates. No one ENJOYS clash debates. Please be nicer. Substance wise, I really do believe that affs should have a tie to the topic and should be in the direction of the topic. I am not the judge for an aff that has a couple cards that say a theory and then pretend to say something about the topic. I also believe that debate is an inherently good activity so indicting the entirety of the activity we participate in is not great for me. I think this matters a lot for the way some teams answer framework so be cognizant of this. The only thing that my ballot decides is the winner.
Links should be causal, specific and about the plan. They NEED to be contextualized to what the aff actually did. I have too often judged debates where a team presents a theory of the world but have not explained what the aff has done to implicate that. Explanation is key. That applies to all Ks cause if you are just spitting jargon at me and the other team, you aren’t gonna have a good time. I am not persuaded by arguments that the aff just doesn’t get fiat.
Love them. Obviously better the more specific to the aff they are
I default to judge kick unless expressly informed not to
There can be zero risk of a DA
Conditionality is good.
You can insert a re-highlighting of a card- you shouldn’t have to waste time re-reading a card if they suck at research
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite
Ethics violations (ex. Clipping, a card being cut in the middle of the paragraph, etc.) should just have the debate staked on it. It is a bad form of education and should be rejected. No point in drawing it out.
Further questions- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org