Alta Silver and Black Invitational
2017 — Sandy, UT/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Assistant Debate Coach Skyline High School UT (2011-present)
[justinbaker006 gmail com]
I evaluate debate argumentation before evidence. Unless you specifically tell me to look at x,y,z evidence first, it's unlikely that I will hinge the debate on the evidence. I prefer voting off of the flow, but will look to substantiate evidence comparisons through the evidence.
I heavily favor debates that actively encourage clash. I find this notoriously lacking in small circuit policy v k debates. For the kritik, I like concise overviews and additional link analysis.
I prefer contextualized theory debates, over flow heavy theory debates. Resolution and round specific analysis carries more weight on my flow than the number of your turns to topic education.
I try to follow a speaker point system with median 28 and deviation .5. In this system a 29.5-30 reflects top 2% of speakers on the national circuit.
Director of Debate, Kent Denver
Please include me in email chains; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do what you do best and I will try to leave my predispositions at the door. I have voted for and against every kind of argument. How you debate matters more than what you debate.
I care most about your ability to successfully communicate and defend your arguments by flowing, doing line-by-line, speaking clearly, and thoroughly explaining your arguments throughout the debate. I do not follow along with the speech document and will tell you clear if I can’t understand you. The best tip I can give you is to go for less arguments as the debate develops and explain those arguments more.
Argument resolution is the most important part of debating. Making choices, explaining what issues are most important, identifying what to do with drops, answering “so what” questions, making “even if” statements, and comparing arguments (links, impacts, solvency, etc) are all examples of the kinds of judge instruction that winning rebuttals should focus on.
I value the research skills that debate fosters. I think a lot of teams get away with reading poor evidence. Please make evidence comparison (data, warrants, source, or recency) a significant part of the debate. I am more likely to read evidence that is discussed and explained during the debate and will use the debater's explanation to guide my reading. I am unlikely to read evidence that I didn't understand when it was initially presented, or to give much credit to warrants that only become clear to me after examining the evidence. Evidence that is highlighted in complete and coherent sentences is much more persuasive than evidence that is not.
The affirmative should present an advocacy that is grounded in topical policy and critical literature. The negative should clash with the affirmative. I am more persuaded by strategies that compete with ideas or positions the affirmative has actually committed to. I think many generic negative strategies, like process counterplans and “fiat not real” style critiques, are not automatically competitive. I think affirmative plan vagueness, lack of solvency advocates, and extreme negative conditionality significantly reduce the quality of many debates.
**Online update: if my camera is off, i am not there**
I think debate is a game with educational benefits. I will listen to anything, but there are obviously some arguments that are more persuasive than others. i think this is most of what you're looking for:
1. arguments - For me to vote on an argument it must have a claim, warrant, and impact. A claim is an assertion of truth or opinion. A warrant is an analytical connection between data/grounds/evidence and your claim. An impact is the implication of that claim for how I should evaluate the debate. debate is competitive and adversarial, not cooperative. My bias is that debate strategies should be evidence-centric and, at a minimum, rooted in an academic discipline. My bias is that I do not want to consider anything prior to the reading of the 1AC when making my decision.
3. framework - arguments need to be impacted out beyond the word 'fairness' or 'education'. affirmatives do not need to read a plan to win in front of me. however, there should be some connection to the topic. fairness *can be* a terminal impact.
4. critiques - they should have links to the plan or have a coherent story in the context of the advantages. i am less inclined to vote neg for broad criticisms that arent contextualized to the affirmative. a link of omission is not a link. similarly, affirmatives lose debates a lot just because their 2ac is similarly generic and they have no defense of the actual assumptions of the affirmative.
5. counterplans - should likely have solvency advocates but its not a dealbreaker. slow down when explaining tricks in the 2nc.
6. theory - more teams should go for theory more often. negatives should be able to do whatever they want, but affirmatives need to be able to go for theory to keep them honest.
7. topicality - its an evidentiary issue that many people impact poorly. predictable limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. saying 'we lose the [insert argument]' isnt really an impact without an explanation of why that argument is good. good debates make comparative claims between aff/neg opportunities to win relative to fairness.
8. clipping - i sometimes read along with speeches if i think that you are clipping. i will prompt you if i think you are clipping and if i think you are still clipping i will vote against you even if the other team doesnt issue an ethics challenge.
9. 2nr/2ar - there are lots of moving parts in debate. if you disagree with how i approach debate or think about debate differently, you should start your speech with judge instruction that provides an order of operations or helps construct that ballot. teams too often speak in absolute certainties and then presume the other team is winning no degree of offense. that is false and you will win more debates if you can account for that in your speech.
10. keep track of your own time.
unapologetically stolen from brendan bankey's judge philosophy as an addendum because there is no reason to rewrite it:
---"Perm do the counterplan" and "perm do the alt" are claims that are often unaccompanied by warrants. I will not vote for these statements unless the aff explains why they are theoretically legitimate BEFORE the 2AR. I am most likely to vote for these arguments when the aff has 1) a clear model of counterplan/alternative competition AND 2) an explanation for where the
I would prefer that debaters engage arguments instead of finesse their way out of links. This is especially awful when it takes place in clash debates. If you assert your opponent's offense does not apply when it does I will lower your speaker points.
In that vein, it is my bias that if an affirmative team chooses not to say "USFG Should" in the 1AC that they are doing it for competitive reasons. It is, definitionally, self-serving. Self-serving does not mean the aff should lose [or that its bad necessarily], just that they should be more realistic about the function of their 1AC in a competitive activity. If the aff does not say "USFG Should" they are deliberately shifting the point of stasis to other issues that they believe should take priority. It is reciprocal, therefore, for the negative to use any portion of the 1AC as it's jumping off point.
I think that limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. Ground is an expression of the division of affirmative and negative strategies on any given topic. It is rarely an independent impact to T. I hate cross-examination questions about ground. I do not fault teams for being unhelpful to opponents that pose questions in cross-examination using the language of ground. People commonly ask questions about ground to demonstrate to the judge that the aff has not really thought out how their approach to the resolution fosters developed debates. A better, more precise question to ask would be: "What are the win conditions for the negative within your model of competition?"
old judge philosophy from that wikispace page that some folks dont realize has been down for years. none of this relevant but i dont want to delete it:
Me – I debated for both Cate Palczweski and Jacob Thompson. I was the ADoD at UNLV from 2010-2013. I was at Damien High School from 2013-2015. I was at KU from 2015-2018. I am now at College Prep.
Cross-ex is rarely damning on any question. Stop saying that. if the person you are speaking over in cross-ex is your own partner who is also trying to answer the question, you may have a problem. a hilarious problem.
for the love of god can we stop having these moments in cross ex where we say "obviously debate doesnt leave this room when we say the government should do something" in a condescending tone. you sound ridiculous. no one thinks that. literally no one. this is like... the royalty of a straw-person argument.
I like solvency advocates that say what your plan says, impact comparisons, people that are having fun, and milkshakes. I flow. I vote on dropped arguments that I dont believe.
I increasingly find myself protecting negative teams because the 2AR explanation seems too new. So for all of you shady 2ARs out there, you need to hide your newness better. Or, you know, communicate with your partner so that they can help set up your argument(s).
Debate is a world of enthymemes where there is a lot of presumption on the part of community in relation to the meaning of the text that you choose to speak. It would be a mistake to not fully explain an argument because you think I "get it." Sometimes that may be the case, but that is by no means a universal truth. Play your game, but make sure I understand what game we are playing at the conclusion of the debate. E.g. If you thought an evidence comparison should have gone differently than my RFD, it is probably your fault. Debate is a communicative activity, so identifying how I should evaluate your evidence / their evidence is... important.
I think debate is a game. This probably makes me evaluate debate differently. I will listen to anything I guess. If you think an argument is bad, I would assume that you can easily defeat said argument. These are my thoughts, but keep in mind I will not just insert these things into the debate. That is your job. I have front loaded the philosophy with the things that you are most likely here to read. Without further ado:
Clipping - in many respects I think that prompts for clarity are interventionist. However, clipping is rampant, particularly during the 1AC. if I think that you are clipping, I will say clear. If it becomes a problem, I will prompt you with something to the effect of "read all of the highlighting." If I think that you are still clipping after this prompt, I will vote against you.
Buzzwords – stop it. If you cannot explain the argument, then that dog wont hunt. Also, I would really appreciate it if people would stop saying 'sure' prior to answering questions.
Critiques – An Aff will probably lose if they read generic answers and: don’t apply them to the criticism and don’t apply them to the affirmative. The more topic specific the K the better. The negative needs to win either that you 1) solve the aff 2) outweigh the aff [in those weird method v method debates] 3) have a framework or theory that makes the aff irrelevant. I dig the impact turn (imperialism good, Fox News) but also understand that these are probably more links to the critique. I find that lots of high end theory does not make sense when it is reduced to a blurb in the debate. method v method might be a top 5 worse argument in debate next to aspec.
"non-plan affs" – That word probably bastardizes your argument but I don't have a great alternate label that people can find in a quick search through judge philosophies. These are my predispositions. If you can address them, I'm all yours (but even if you don't, you should not worry. It seems to impact the debate less and less because you are answering generic blocks with specific arguments about your method.):
First, "role of the ballot" is over-used and rarely explained as a concept. Please do not assume that you will win just because you said it. Second, my understanding of the "policy debate good" literature means if I don't understand by your last speech, I will vote on a coherent framework argument. This is becoming less and less true because people are so afraid to say limits that they just say "you killed my decision-making" and decide thats sufficient for an impact. Third, these types of arguments typically mean the other team is forced to defend the community practices and not their own. At times I think this is a straw person argument, but I have become increasingly aware that this is not as artificial as I used to think. Fourth, teams tend to hilariously mishandle form arguments and generally lack a coherent strategy on the neg when answering these affs. Most of the time, every argument is a different way to say "you gotta have a plan." Even if the arguments sound distinct in the 1NC, they usually aren't by the 2NR. Rather than focusing on what you have prewritten, you should exploit these problems in the neg strategy. I end up voting for critical teams quite a bit because of this strategic problem even though i firmly believe in the pedagogical value of affirmatives being germane to the resolution.
Framework - "a discussion of the topic rather than a topical discussion" is not a good counter-interpretation. the limits disad is real.
Topicality – T is not genocidal unless the argument is dropped and that is an incredibly poor metaphor when trying to generate offense. I evaluate it like a disad so you should impact out arguments beyond words like "fairness" or "education". topicality is an evidentiary issue
Theory – You should go for theory because teams dont know how to answer it. The more counterplans there are, the more sympathetic I become to theory. that being said, its hard to be negative and the neg can do whatever they want. My threshold for theory other than conditionality is somewhat high as a reason to reject the team.
Disads - do people even read judge philosophies for this anymore? Don't bury me in cards. You may not like the outcome. Explanation of 1 really good card is better than 5 bad cards. The politics disad is a thing and so are other disads. i cut a lot of politics updates.
Counterplans - should have solvency advocates and should exploit generic link chains in aff advantages. The idea that a counterplan needs a card specific to the aff is not a deal breaker. Affs should probably read CP texts... they often times fiat out of your solvency deficits. what happened to 2nc counterplans?
Case Debate - These should be a thing. Ideally, there should be more than just generic impact defense. Otherwise, you will probably lose to specificity. People should impact turn.... everything.
Experience. Policy debater at Copper Hills High School for 3 years under Scott Odekirk
One year of experience debating at Weber State University
Although I haven’t judged any tournaments this year, I am pretty up to date on the topic lit
I think debate is an activity that should teach participators, and critics alike how to be better advocates in the world. I, of course have my idea of what "better" means, and what "advocate" means, but if I'm judging, I'm going to vote for the team who better advocates what they are proposing (whether it's state action, or a wild K). I consider myself a K debater, but that doesn't mean I won't vote for a topical plan, or the good old Counterplan/disad. As long as you defend your position well enough, anything goes.
Go for what you want, what matters more is how you develop the argument, and explain it. If you want me to evaluate certain arguments over others, let me know what's up in round.
T: T debates are fine, I don’t think my threshold on T is high in either direction. That being said, I’m less willing to pull the trigger on T when teams don’t impact T beyond buzzwords. I’m not saying you can’t label standards with those words, I just think you should probably explain why things like education or fairness are important to debate.
FW: I love framework, and honestly I notice myself swaying a little more towards the negative in a K aff v. fw debate, but all the Aff has got to do is do good job at telling me why fw is bad. Impact turn the ish.
Theory: Theory args are acceptable, if you can articulate a scenario for abuse. I’ll probably default most theory args might not be reasons to reject the team, but that all depends on how you frame that argument. I'm definitely a critic that you can go for theory in front of.
Counterplans: Counterplans are fun, make sure they’re competitive, make sure there’s a net benefit. Shadier counterplans like word PICs aren’t my favorite arguments, but I’ll vote on them if you articulate a net benefit.
Disadvantages: CP/DA debates might be my favorite negative arguments in debate, make sure your disads are either net benefits to the CP or are packaged with some case turns/impact defense, otherwise the aff will probably beat you in a body count debate.
THE KRITIK: K’s are fine, just be willing to put in the work necessary to explain the argument. I know all of the greatest hits, (Marx, Security, Baudrillard etc). but there are things I might not understand without some explanation. You don't need an alternative to win on a Kritik if you can phrase it as an effective enough case turn, that being said, having an alternative makes it much easier to resolve those debates if your alternative can resolve the impacts of the case.
Case: Case debates are underrated, but do what you have to do for your negative strategies. Read impact defense. Case debates make being a critic that much more fun.
Impacts: Comparative impact calc is something that makes resolving debates much easier for me. Questions of magnitude, timeframe, and probability are important and you should talk about those, but take it to the next level and talk about how your impacts interact with each other.
Speed is fine, clarity is better.
Don’t hide behind your laptop for the whole round.
Don’t prep steal.
Don’t be a jerk to other debaters, don’t be a jerk to your partner.
Maybe try and have a little fun, who knows.
I don't think a speech deserving of a 30 exists. I'll probably stay within 27-29 speaker points. If you're a meanie I'll probably dock your speaks. Yeah, I said meanie.
Email for questions: email@example.com
I am primarily a policymaker judge, with a stock issues influence. If you have no idea what this means, you need to ask your coach. Whether you know what it means or not, everyone needs to learn how to adapt to judges.
While I am an experienced policy debater, after my debate career, I experienced a traumatic brain injury. This makes some things harder, but in all reality, I think you should debate this way anyway. EXPLAIN your knowledge of every piece of evidence or analytic that you bring to the table. ARTICULATE/EMPHASIZE the taglines and analytics, because if I can't flow it, you don't get credit for it. What's more, part of my brain trauma was to the right hemisphere which impacts my understanding of most Kritiks, so it's safer not to run Ks in front of me, sorry! I thoroughly understand UTIL.
I'm mean with speaker points. I feel that 30 speaks should be triumphant, not expected. HUGE bonus points if you can make me laugh, if you make fun of someone, if you reference Psych, quote Brian Regan, and if you keep speech times short. You absolutely should not feel like you need to ever fill up all of the speech time, say what you need to say; if it takes all 8/5 minutes, great, if not, perfect, sit down. Ask questions. If you don't know if something is allowed, try it anyway.
P.S. Speechdrop.net is my favorite way of sharing evidence.
For e-mail chains and any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
About me - I debated for 8 years competitively, starting at Douglas High School (Minden, NV) before transferring to Sage Ridge (Reno, NV) where I debated with the incredibly brilliant Kristen Lowe. We were the first team from Northern Nevada to qualify to the TOC and had a pretty consistent record of deep elim appearances. I went on to debate at Wake Forest University (class of '17) with varying amounts of success on a wide range of arguments, finishing my career with Varun Reddy in semis of CEDA. I currently work as a legal assistant and lobbyist in Reno/Carson City when I'm not out and about judging and coaching debate.
I have also been published a couple times. I don't think any of it applies, but please don't read my work in front of me. That's just awkward.
2021-2022 Update - I have not judge any debates yet on the water resources topic, and have been away from debate for a semester. I have been working to get up to speed, but please know that I do not have as extensive of a background with the topic as many many other judges.
Generally - YOU DO YOU!!! I cannot stress that enough. Be aware of my general thoughts on debate, but I want to judge the debate that you want to have!! I have increasingly found that my role as an educator and adjudicator in debate prioritizes the debaters themselves, whatever argument that they want to make, and providing them with the advice and opportunities to be better that I can. It is extremely unlikely (but not impossible) that you read an argument that is entirely new to me.
Whether the 1AC has a plan, an advocacy text, or neither, truly makes no difference to me. It is up to you to explain to me why I should care. I have become increasingly frustrated with the people so quick to say "no plan, no chance at my ballot". This is a pedagogical question.
I consider myself a hard working judge. I will flow, I will read cards, and I will take the time to make the best decision I can.
That being said, the following are my thoughts on certain arguments and some pointers on how to win my ballot.
The kritik - Really dig K debates. I'm pretty well read in a lot of different theories and genuinely enjoy reading critical theory, but I still prefer clarity in explanation. The less jargon you use, the easier it will be to win a K in front of me. Overall, I find that framework args are increasingly irrelevant to the way that I evaluate these debates. Both teams will (hopefully) always win why their conversation is good, so just do the impact calc. But also answer critical framing args about ethics/reps/ontology/etc. For the aff - I find that permutations are pretty underutilized when it comes to mitigating links and find myself voting aff in policy v K debates on permutations more than I would have anticipated. Alternatives are usually the weakest part of a K IMO so leveraging bits and pieces that may not be mutually exclusive, in addition to winning some offense/defense, will go a long way. I also think impact turning is something that is truly underutilized by affirmatives that are facing off with a kritik. Digging in on certain points of neg offense can work wonders. DO NOT say things like anti-blackness, sexism, ableism, etc. are good though. PLEASE explain why your aff outweighs the K, especially if you have big stick impacts that are basically designed for some of these debates... For the neg - framing is absolutely essential. I like 2NRs on the K that guide me through my decision in a technical fashion. Links should obviously be as contextualized to the aff as possible. I am frequently persuaded by teams that realize the alt is a dumpster fire and shift to framework for the same effect. I am more likely to vote negative when there is case debating happening in line with the K, as well. Whether that is impact defense or some sort of "satellite" K, well, that's up to you.
The flourishing of performance debate has really effected the way that I think about form and content in the debate setting. I think these arguments are extremely valuable to the activity and I thoroughly enjoy debates about debate as well.
The DA - I think these debates are pretty straight forward. Do your impact calc, win your link, answer uniqueness overwhelms, etc. I like power plays where the aff straight turns a DA, especially if the 1NC was a lot of off case positions.
The CP - don't judge as many of these debates as I would like. A good counterplan with a specific solvency advocate will impress me. I think these arguments are relatively straight forward as well. In terms of theory issues like PICs bad, condo bad, etc., I truly don't have much of an opinion on these issues, but that doesn't mean I will let you get away with shenanigans. I would prefer arguments to be contextualized to in round abuse claims and how the role of the affirmative became structurally impossible. Rarely do I judge a theory debate, but I would be interested to hear more of them.
I do not default to kicking the CP for the negative. I think the 2NR needs to make that choice for themselves and stick with it. That doesn't necessarily mean I cannot be persuaded otherwise, however. This question should be raised before the 2NR for it to be persuasive to me.
Topicality - I like T debates. Limits isn't an impact in and of itself, I want to hear more explanation on how limits effects what should be your "vision of the topic" holistically, what affs and ground exist within it, and why those debates are good. Education impacts that are contextualized and specific will go a long way for me, whether it be in the context of the aff or the resolution.
I am increasingly persuaded by teams that give me a case list and explain what sort of ground exists within that limited topic.
Framework - I am an advocate for engaging with the affirmative and whatever it is that they have to say. I don't think framework should be taken off the table completely, though, and if you do plan to go for it just know that I require a lot more work on a topical version of the aff and some sort of in-road to how you resolve the claims of the 1AC. There are a lot of framework debates I have judged where I wish the 2NR did some work on the case flow -- ex: aff is about movements, 2NR makes arguments about why movements are coopted or repressed, therefore state engagement is essential.... whatever.
Procedural fairness is becoming less and less persuasive to me. I would vote on it if I have to, but I likely won't be happy.
I believe that debate is a game, but a game that has unique pedagogical benefits.
I may seem "K happy" but I promise my judging record proves that I am more than willing to vote on framework. But like I said, there needs to be more interaction between the affirmative and a limited vision of the topic. I have found that a lot of teams give case lists (both on the aff and the neg) but there is little to no clash over what those affirmatives are and why they are or are not good for debate. If you are trying to make arguments about why your vision of the topic provides a better set of affirmations, whether policy or critical, then there must be some comparison between the two. And those comparisons must have some sort of impact.
Other things - if there is anything else, please feel free to ask me. I know that some of this is vague, but my thoughts tend to change based off of the argument that is being presented and how exactly it is explained. I probably lean more on the side of truth over tech, but that doesn't mean I will make a decision wholly irrelevant to what is said in the debate unless I feel that it is absolutely necessary and something terrible happened. Plus I like to think I keep a clean flow so obvi tech still matters. I have absolutely no qualms checking debaters that are being rude or problematic. That being said, I look forward to judging you and happy prep!
Updated for NSDA ‘19:
This year I have judged fewer rounds than I have in years past. I’m not nearly as familiar with positions and the lit base. The biggest thing for me is overviews, both positional and global to explain your arguments and how I should be evaluating the round. Write my rfd for me.
I debated for four years in high school and have been a coach for three. In general, being clear about what you’re arguing (like giving overviews) makes me more comfortable voting for you. Assume that I am not familiar with the argument/literature of your 1AC, K, etc.
You can add me to the email chain (Parker.Davis23@gmail.com). I’m not going to sit and read through it during your speeches, meaning you still should make sure we’re on the same page and that I can understand you. If debate was just everyone sending speech docs back and forth we could all stay home and save a lot of time and money.
I find that my worst decisions come in two types of rounds: The first is when I’m not told what to evaluate and how to do it. In those instances, I may just have to pick what I see as the biggest disparities and start there, which may not be good if you and I see the round differently. The second is when I am in a round between two very good teams that are engaging at a high level (and generally pretty fast) on positions I am not super familiar with. In these types of rounds I still need clear and precise extensions in the 1AR and clear voters in the 2NR/2AR. The more time you devote to overviews and clear extensions/analysis, the more I'll actually be able to understand the argument.
Feel comfortable to do what you do best, but here are some specific thoughts:
Framework – If you are able to successfully frame the round in your favor, it can go far to help you win the round. It is important that both teams engage each other’s interpretations instead of just reading and extending.
Case Debate – Specific on-case arguments can be very compelling. I always have believed that smart analytics are preferable to just reading a bunch of cards.
DA/CPs – The more specific the better, but I’ll vote on anything.
Kritikal Debate – Sort of like what I said under case debate, taking the time to evaluate why the K is the most important impact in round is preferable to just reading your cards and extending them in later speeches. I think 2NC attempts to gain inroads to the case by suggesting the alternative is a necessary precondition to case solvency can be persuasive and is a helpful way for me to evaluate the K against the aff. I'm fine with kritikal affirmatives so long as you explain what exactly I'm endorsing by voting affirmative.
Topicality – My threshold for T is the same as any other stock argument. I think of standards/reasons to prefer as external impacts to a vote for a given team’s interpretation. That means that comparative impact calculus is important for any 2NR going for T. Explain to me what debate looks like if I vote for your interpretation and why that vision should be preferred to one that would allow for cases like the affirmative’s. That also means that proving in-round abuse isn’t necessary if you’re winning the standards debate, but it does make it a lot easier to vote on T.
Theory – Theory becomes easier to evaluate when actual clash takes place instead of just reading blocks and not engaging with the other team’s argument. If you expect to solely win on theory you should give me some kind of substantive reason why a given violation merits a rejection of the team and not just the argument.
Non-Traditional Debate – If I’m provided with a standard for evaluation that both teams can reasonably meet, I don’t care what you do.
Speed – I think I’m slower than a lot of judges. Breaking up your cadence and tone between tags/authors/analytics and warrants will help you make sure I don’t miss anything.
Speaker Points – 27.5 is average. I’ll add points for things like clarity and efficiency and subtract for messy debating or getting too harsh with your opponents/partner.
Feel free to ask any questions.
I've debated policy all throughout high school and have been judging for almost three years.
I'm open to any arguments as long as the team can articulate them properly. Please do not run a kritik unless you are familiar with the argument, and no generic links! Other than that, I have no bias to any style or argument of debate.
Debated in High School from 2010-2014, Judged and coached from 2014-2019. I may need a bit of time to adjust as I haven't judged since then, so bear with me. my email is email@example.com for any questions, and for adding me to the email chain.
I've seen a lot of stuff, please feel free going with any debate style you prefer. Try to assume I don't know a ton about what you are reading.
If you want to win in front of me, please try to go top down - what is the framing I should look to at the end of the round, what is the most important impact/voting issue/whatever, and what is the link to that offense. I pretty much look at what offense is there for me to vote on at the end of the round, and try to sort out which offense wins. You can't go wrong with more depth on your link arguments in front of me, as long as there's a reason to vote for those links.
I don't have strong opinions either way on theory arguments, critical affs, T violations, ect. Do what you like and convince me what the debate should be about.
The debates I like the most are ones where you play to your best strengths, and debates with plenty of actual argument interaction. I have ADHD so the best way for me to disengage from the debate or miss an argument or just not care is to read blocks at each other and not make any explicit, direct challenges to your opponents arguments. If you're not going to actually debate, it makes me want to flip a coin, because you're leaving me to decide which arguments were best myself (I'm always trying my hardest to be fair, but I'm not going to give good speaker points if I'm left trying to compare two ships passing in the night)
If you have any specific questions or concerns, feel free to ask me.
I am a coach at Nevada Union, C.K. McClatchy and West Campus 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.
Graduate Assistant @ UNLV
Assistant Coach @ Rowland Hall St Marks
Please include me in the email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hot take: The s is silent in debris.
I'll be honest. I really really really hate judging psychoanalysis. I would prefer not to judge these arguments. That being said, I'll still just evaluate the line-by-line....but just my preference
---Write the ballot in the 2NR/2AR
---The most reasonable argument usually wins in an equally debated round
---Risk is a sliding scale and arguments should be couched probabilistically since most of this isn't objective
---I prefer engagement over tricks. This applies in clash debates, k v k rounds, or policy throw downs. Speaker points will be higher in debates where you engage.
---Not interested in constant shifting explanations and dodging in cross-ex. Confident and direct answers show that you understand the weakness of your argument and are prepared to defend it.
---I generally lean neg on theory
---Affs can be vague in their plan but it makes circumvention and Say No harder to answer
---I will not give up my ballot to someone else. I will not evaluate arguments about actions taken when I was not in the room or from previous rounds. I will not vote for arguments about debaters as people. I will always evaluate the debate based on the arguments made during the round and which team did the better debating. Teams asking me not to flow or wanting to play video games, or any other thing that is not debate are advised to strike me. If it is unclear what "is not debate" means, strike me.
---Speech times are set. So is cross-ex and prep.
T vs Plans
Generally: Interps and definitions really matter. You need to counter-define words. Probably default to competing interps but I'm ok for reasonability combined with functional limits and indicts of neg evidence. But generally, aff's should be worried in front of me if they don't think their plan is T and negs shouldn't be afraid of going for T if they have good evidence. This is a big topic and I will have little sympathy for teams trying to make it even bigger.
An ESR counterplan that has the executive branch establish a policy is a core negative position that challenges the necessity of statutory and/or judicial restrictions on executive authority. An ESR CP that fiats Trump is intelligent or decides to resign or some other thing that is not necessarily an opportunity cost to statutory/judicial restrictions on executive authority are more questionable (though I lean neg on theory)
States is competitive (replace with ESR for college topic). Consult is most likely not. I'm not stoked about counterplans that do all of the aff but am a fan of smart PIC strategies. Textual vs Functional competition...both are probably good and each has its time and place... I still do not fully understand competition. If the aff has real solvency deficits they can make, I'm likely to not vote on theory.
I will kick counterplans for the neg IF the 2NR invokes the option. It is unlikely that I will care about new 2AR args for why thats difficult to answer if the 1AR didn't extend conditionality.
For God's sake please read impact defense
A DA is comprised of UQ, Link, Internal Link, and Impact arguments. I am not pleased with the recent trend that UQ is an argument for the block...
I'm willing to allow the 1AR to read cards based on 2AC analytics that actually have warrants.
---ok: No impact to proliferation---every empirical example like North Korea, India, and Pakistan disprove.
---not ok: No impact to prolif---empirics
Its arbitrary, but one is clearly a more complete argument than the other. Not saying I won't let the 1AR read a card in the 2nd instance, but you are much more likely to lose if the negative says that wasnt a complete arg in the 2AC and 1AR doesn't get to complete it.
Turns case arguments matter a lot to me. Make them and answer them. I can vote aff on a good risk of an advantage combined with a solid impact defense and internal link defense push. But I can also check out on turns case even if there is a large risk of the aff.
Policy Aff vs K
Totally open to it. These were my favorite debates as a 2A and offer some great opportunity for a smaller but more in-depth debate.
Affirmative teams should make sure to pre-empt the blocks attempt to not let them weigh the aff. Make impact framing arguments. And either no link or impact turn links. But the best focus is usually on the alternative. Most important, don't back down. Defend that things that matter actually do matter. Don't be the person who loses on "death good" or can't even answer the question "what is death." Think about why incremental progress matters, have a defense of it, and beat the ontology arguments. I find the most successful affirmative strategy is one that goes through the checklist of things every 2A needs to do against a K but also genuinely tries to understand the K and logically dismantles it/proves that is not the way the world works.
Negative teams are advised to generate links to the plan action. You can functionally disregard aff framework arguments if you do this because it proves the plan is a bad idea. If your strategy is to win links to discourse, epistemology, other "ologies" or things that are not the plan, the 2NC is advised to invest a substantial amount of time on framework. A well-devised framework argument, diverse links, impact framing arguments, and a decent alternative make for an extremely difficult 1AR. Combined with case defense and it becomes even harder. If you are feeling ambitious and can do both in the 2NC and have a DA in the 1NR, even better for neg flex.
---I generally find ways to think myself into believing structural/identity Ks do prove the aff is a bad idea if the negative wins their theory of power and am unlikely to vote on "plan action or gtfo" FW. The power of that arg is I have to weigh implications of the link vs implications of the plan, NOT that I throw out the K entirely.
I don't understand the trend of 1NR's "taking the perm" when the 2NC does the link debate. They are functionally the same and it doesn't take that much longer to put it in the 2NC and place some lower arguments into the 1NR to avoid messing up my flow.
The fiat double-bind is fundamentally unpersuasive. I do not enjoy K's that argue death isn't real/ is good.
K vs K
I've debated post-modernism and materialism. I read a lot. I watch a lot of different styles of debate. That being said, I very rarely participated in these debates. It will be important to identify points of disagreement and offense. For the aff, its important to identify actual link turns. Saying "the plan is anti-capitalist" is not a link turn or an answer to the link. Plenty of movements that didn't like capitalism ended up operating in a way that was beneficial to it.
Please say the alternative doesn't solve. And say the alternative does solve.
Please say root cause. And answer root cause.
Pick and choose links and consolidate as the round goes on.
Permutations need to explain why they solve the links and the negative needs to apply links to the permutation as well as the plan.
K vs T
I entirely believe debate is a game. I will vote otherwise if the argument presented as to why it is not a game or should be evaluated as something else is won by the affirmative, and that is because I believe it is a game... This can be an uphill battle if the affirmative does not present an alternate model for debate that has a well-conceived role for both the affirmative and negative and is able to weigh the benefits of that model against the negative's. It is easy to say what you are against, harder to say what you are for.
I do not have a preference for fairness or education (also called advocacy skills, mechanism education, etc.), but i do think the negative can persuasively argue that fairness is an impact in and of itself. Affirmative's must win that their educational benefits outweigh the negative's or that the cost of unfairness is worth the positive benefits of their model of debate.
I do not believe T is a weapon to exclude. I think it is an argument like any other and a core negative check against untopical affs (the states counterplan of clash debates). I believe that negative's who are overly rude, dismissive, or offensive in how they deploy T can lose to exclusion offense. Conduct yourself accordingly.
Topical version of the aff and Switch Side Debate are counterplans meant to prove the affirmative could access a large swathe of their literature base/education offense under the "traditional" model of debate. The negative should try to solve as much of the case as possible or prove that the TVA debates are better than the aff as is. The affirmative should argue that those debates are not educational, bad for their education, etc.
As always, these debates will become hyperbolic. That's fine. But when I vote on the silly hyperbole one team makes against the silly hyperbole the other team makes, that is just because it is what I was given to work with.
I have done policy debate for 4 years in high school and coached policy debate for the last 5-6 years. I am now an attorney with my own private law practice but still love coming back and helping the community. I am fine with speed just make sure you are clear and I like when teams go *slightly* (doesnt have to be much) slower on the tags so I can make sure I get everything down on the flow.
Argument preference honestly none but I am always a sucker for a good framework debate since I was the 2n in high school. I guess in all honesty I tend to lean more policy maker. Not by preference since I ran K's in high school but usually teams can't articulate what my ballot actually does in the round or why my ballot is important.
I am not as well versed in philosophy as I should be. So don't assume I know what the terminology is BUT I am willing to learn and love learning new philosophy.
T is fine but potential abuse is hard for me to vote on. I usually see T as a gateway issue.
Generic Link DA's: Honestly in the 1NC is fine because I know teams have strats and I get that but I really like a good specific link story to come out in the block or be able to explain it to me.
Impacts: Obviously I am all about impact calc at the end for policy debates and roll of the ballot arguments in K debates.
Usage of Evidence (because they ask for it on the site for some reason): uhhh yea evidence is key... Point out warrants in your card. I love it when teams do warrant analysis and not just tag analysis! That is how you seperate good debaters from excellent debaters!
Email Chain: email@example.com
A quick guide to getting good speaker points:
-get to the point, and be clear about it
-"extinction" or "nuclear war" is not a tag
-a well explained, logical, argument trumps an unexplained argument merely extended by it's "card name"
-Ks must pass the make sense test
-cross x is a speech-i figure it in as a substantial factor in speaker points
Here is an explanation of how I evaluate debates at a meta-level:
While I think there is value in the offense/defense framework for evaluation, for me to vote on offense there has to be substantive risk. Second, quality trumps quantity.
Also, "extinction" is not a tag line. I don't even like tag lines like "causes nuclear war." I need complete sentences, with claims and warrants.
Where does the evidence come from? there are not enough debaters talking about the quality of research their opponents are quoting.
Get to the point. On any given controversy in debate, there are relatively few arguments at play. Get to the core issues quickly. Point out the central logical/argumentative problems with a given position. I am much more compelled by a speaker’s ability to take the 2-3 core problems with their opponent’s position and use those fallacies to answer all of the other team’s advances. It shows you have a grip on the central issue and you understand how that issue is inescapable regardless of your opponent’s answer
Calling for cards: I will do this, but I don’t like to read every card in the debate. If you opponent is making well explained arguments you should be very wary of just saying “extend our smith evidence”.
Arbitrary interpretations are one of the worst trends in debate right now. If your interpretation of debate theory is wholly arbitrary and made up it doesn’t seem very useful for me to uphold it as some new norm and reject the other team.
Conditionality is good, it would take a very decisive aff victory with a very tangible impact (in policy debate). Whatever your arbitrary counterinterpretation is that limits the neg to X number of conditional positions…..sorry, I wasn’t born yesterday. If conditionality is good it’s good.
While I'm fine with conditionality, I am persuaded by other theoretical objections (multi actor fiat, uniform fiat without a solvency advocate, etc). I also think that a theory argument that combines objections (conditional multi actor CPs) could be a reason to reject the team.
My personal belief is that the negative can only fiat the agent of the resolution, and that competition based off the ‘certainty’ of the plan (consult/conditions) is not productive. This does NOT mean I have a low threshold in voting aff on agent/actor cps bad, but it does make my threshold lower than most. To win these theory debates on the aff, see above point about cutting to the core 2-3 issues.
On topicality-you need tangible impacts. You’re asking me to drop a team because they made debate too unfair for you. “limits good” is not an impact. “They unlimit the topic by justifying x types of affs that we cannot hope to prepare for” is an impact. There must be a very coherent connection between neg interpretation, violations, and standards in the 2nr.
Counterplans: I spoke above about my theoretical beliefs on counterplans. I think counterplans should be textually and functionally competitive. I am sometimes persuaded that purely functional competition (normal means/process counterplans) should probably not be evaluated. If you’re aff and theory-savvy, don’t be afraid to go for theoretical reasons the process cp goes away.
Floating Pics/Word PICs- I’m great for the aff on these. I believe that every position has theoretical reasons behind it related to education and competitive equity. The aff counterinterpretation of “you can run your K/word K as a K without the CP part” generally solves every pedagogical benefit of those positions-this means the aff just needs to win that competitively these positions are bad for the aff, and it outweighs any ‘educational benefit’ to word/floating pics. I'm persuaded by those arguments, making it an uphill battle for the neg if the aff can explain tangible impacts to the competitive disadvantage the PIC puts them in.
The story must matchup. I will vote on such non-offensive arguments like: your uq and link evidence don’t assume the same group of politicians, you have no internal link, passage of that bill is inevitable, Trump has no PC etc. Of course I don’t vote on these in isolation-once again, refer back to my meta-approach to debate-you need to explain why that core defensive argument trumps everything else the neg is saying.
I’m generally not compelled by framework against a Neg K-I think all Ks have a gateway/framing issue that is much easier and more logical for the aff to attack. For example, if the neg reads an epistemology K you are much more likely to win reading a card that says “consequences outweigh epistemology” or “epistemology focus bad” than you are to win that the other team is cheating because of their K. Focus on answering the gateway issue so that you can leverage your aff against the K and get the decision calculus of the debate back in your favor. Subsequently for the neg the issue of ‘framing’ is also very important.
That being said, I don't like Ks that are just framework arguments. Ks should have alternatives that actually resolve link arguments. I'm not going to weigh a K impact against the aff if the K can't resolve it.
In the 2ac, don’t make a bunch of perms you have no hope of winning unless they are conceded. Perm do the alt is not a perm. Make 1 or 2 permutations and EXPLAIN IN THE 2AC how the permutation overcomes neg links/risks of the impact.
Ks are a great example of the “there are only 2-3 arguments” theory I subscribe to. If you’re debating a 1 off team, it’s much better for me if you don’t read 40 cards in the 2ac with as many different caveats as possible. Instead, read a good number of argument but take the time to explain them. What part of the K do they refute? How do these arguments change the calculus of the round? When you do this I put much more pressure on the neg block to get in depth with their explanations, which I find usually helps the aff.
T > Framework. Given that most impact turns to T come from pedagogical reasons, you need to prove that your interpretation provides space for the ‘good education’ the aff thinks is key to stop genocide/war/racism/turkeys. Topical version of your aff is compelling, as well as giving other examples of topical action that prove the aff could have accepted the parameters of the resolution and gained the same educational benefits. Then it’s just a matter of proving that competitively the K aff hurts the neg. Also, prove how your competitive equity impacts implicate their education impacts.
These are great. Impact defense is kinda meh unless it's real specific. Solvency and internal link answers are where it's at. Make alt causes great again!
It’s all about probability-magnitude is ok but only when you’re discussing it in terms of “our impact causes yours”. Extinction outweighs is trite because by the end of the debate all impacts are extinction or nuclear wars that easily result in another impact in the debate that has been claimed as extinction (nuke war hurts the environment, aff said that causes extinction). Probability is key. Establishing risk is where it’s at. A higher risk trumps a higher magnitude in most instances.
Cross Examination: it’s a speech, I grade it like a speech. Be funny if you can. Base the cross x on core issues in the debate, and base it on quality of evidence and establishing risk/threshold for various arguments.
"Quotes are for... people who can't think of something intelligent to say on their own." ~Bo Burnham
*Hi, Tyler here, two big things that I am tired of in debate are: 1. people thinking that I will flow their speech off of their speech doc 2. Debaters expecting me to understand everything about their arguments. I do not know everything, contrary to popular belief. If you choose not to read my paradigm then you are putting yourself in a position where I probs will vote you down. Read and adapt. Welcome to debate.*
I did policy debate for four years in high school (just because I say that does not mean I am any good. Lots of people say that but it doesn't mean much.). Graduated in 2016. I am here to judge whatever arguments you throw at me (as long as you EXPLAIN them.). I will try my best to flow whatever you say (see speed section). Although it will not effect the round be nice to the other team. *There is a difference between passion and being rude.*
Quick paradigm; TL;DR;
- Run what you want.
- Speed is fine, don't go too fast. Make sure as the aff you are extending your case through. Use your rebuttals to solidify your arguments.
- Please explain why my ballot is key.
- Don't assume I understand your K or K aff, they take explaining.
- I have a very basic understanding of the topic, so I could probably follow along, but explain your case anyways.
I would say here I am a tabs judge but I don't want you to read that an just go off of that because I feel like that 'type' of judge has become meaningless, everyone is a tabs judge. I will try my best to remove my personal views on anything, but (like any other judge) we have thoughts and feelings too. I am not your perfect judge (there isn't one out there I don't think). I will evaluate anything if you can explain it to me.
So speed is fine; make sure to be clear though. Please go slightly slower on tag lines and analytics. If you decide to do an overview (which I pray to the flying spaghetti monster you don't) do not just spread through it. *I want to be able to flow your arguments and if I can't then there is no way I can evaluate them.* I place part of the blame on myself for not being a faster flower but at some point the blame goes from me to the debater. Although speed is a strategy that I understand and used it myself, debate is still a competition of communication. If you are anything like me and have paragraph long tag lines on your K slow the hell down on them. I was a silly debater and thought that everyone could write/type as fast as I could talk.
Run whatever you would like. I can understand most arguments. ***Please don't assume I know what you are talking about though, K's and K aff's take explaining. I may have debated for 4 years but that doesn't mean I understand every single one of your DA's or CP's and how it works. Please make sure to explain.*** I like to think that I was a well versed high school debater, but in reality I relied heavily on a single K, so EXPLAIN. I do love a good line-by-line, I think this is a super strong way to prove your arguments. If you fail to explain your aff solvency or your alt solvency, why my ballot is key, then I have a really hard time voting for you. You need to give me a reason to vote for you.
Knowledge on the topic
I have read through a bunch of the Open Ev files so I have a basic understanding of the topic. I have also had some coaching from a few friends. So I should be fine. ***I am sad that I have to say this..... but this topic can be... Xenophobic. You run what you want, and you can say what you want and I will evaluate it. Think about it though, are you willing to forgo your morals just to win a debate? There are plenty of other arguments that you can and should run. Just a thought.***
I am not terribly well versed in a wide variety of philosophy so if you are going to go deep on me please make sure you are explaining so I can understand what you are talking about. I should be able to follow along as it is but make sure you don't lose me. If you lose me, then I also have a hard time voting for you because I have no idea what I am voting for. I am not going to be a judge that just pretends I know what you are talking about. ***I am a college student, working full time and trying (failing) to have a social life outside of all of that. I do not have time to read the latest book on theory. I probably have a low understanding of what you are talking about, so run what you are going to run but explain it to me.***
I did a variation of performance aff in high school, it was parody. I am cool with performance however if it is violent in any way I will not be tolerated. Like I said before make sure that you explain your arguments, even if they are performance I will need a reason to vote for you.
The Affirmative has to prove to me that the world of the Aff is going to be better than the world of the Neg or the status quo. So as the Aff make sure you hold tight onto your case, whatever that may be. If you have to make the choice between abandoning your case to attack the neg or sticking with your case, stick with your case 100% of the time. You can still kick out of advantages strategically, but if you drop everything I have nothing to vote on. Do not abandon your advantages because the neg does not talk about them, extend them through please, because I will not do the work for you.
That all being said - I really do want to be the best judge that I can be, and I try my best to take my time in evaluating your arguments. At the end of the day I do have to vote, if you do not like my decision I have no problem talking it over, but please remember that I am giving up my personal weekends, time and sleep to be here for you. I am trying my hardest and if you think my decision is BS, I will say sorry here, go back to your team and tell them you had a BS judge last round and rant about it for the short amount of time you have between rounds. Debate cannot function without debaters willing to debate and judges willing to judge. If you have any other questions please ask them! I would love to help out in whatever ways I can.
Add me to email chains, please and thank you!
CHANGE LOG (All times are in MST):
12/1/2018 06:48 -
+"I may have debated for 4 years but that doesn't mean I understand every single one of your DA's or CP's and how it works. Please make sure to explain."
-"P.S. This is my first year doing this but if you want to see a paper copy of my flows then just shoot me an email."
11/28/2018 13:32 -
+"Debate cannot function without debaters willing to debate and judges willing to judge."
The time has come for my yearly overhaul of my paradigm
Weber State University- 5 1/2 years included attending the NDT and breaking at CEDA
Alta High School- 3 years
Judging and helping at West High- 5 years
Current Judging for Weber State
"I know in your heart of hearts you hate [policy arguments] but you also vote for that stuff all the time."
The more I judge, the more I find that the way that I debated and the way that I judge are fairly different. I love kritik debate and I find it to be some of the most educational debates and research that I have found personally with inserting and forefronting real life impacts and experiences into debate especially for me as a disabled transgender woman. I also find that "kritik" or "performance" or "nontraditional" teams or what have you are bad at answering policy arguments from framework to simple extinction outweighs. It's incredibly frustrating but despite my reluctance, leads me to voting a fair amount for policy arguments. Let me make this clear though, I'm not a great judge for your super technical line by line on a politics disad though I won't be opposed to voting on that for you if you win.
One of the main reasons I present this with a caveat is because I have a **sensory processing disorder.** If you want to spread through and get as many arguments out no matter what, I will be unable to keep up with you and I will tell you to slow down. It is in your best interest to do so. The more time I struggle to hear the less I'm hearing and writing down. Furthermore if you refuse to slow down, **I will stop writing down arguments and start removing speaker points.** I'll tell you to slow down 3 times and then I will stop flowing. Further speeches will have 1 warning before that happens. Whatever speed I lower you to, go one lever below that to account for speeding up in the speech later. Trust me, you don't need that last argument more than you want me to understand the debate. 1 card I do understand is way better than 10 cards I don't. I almost never read cards unless necessary or if I'm looking for feedback so reliance on cards won't get you that far. If you want me to read a piece of evidence, it needs to be on an important part of the debate that can't be resolved otherwise and needs to be impacted out.
I'm a truth over tech judge one good/"true" argument can beat ten terrible cards. However, that doesn't mean you can't get me to vote on tech, you just have to impact it out more. If there is a strategic messup by your opponents and you explain why that should grant you and argument eg if they concede a permutation and you go for it even if it doesn't make sense outside of debate, if you explain it, I'm willing to grant it to you. You need to explain your shit. Cards and dropped arguments aren't inherently true and round ending. You have to tell me why all your shit matters for me to weigh it. I find teams are especially light on their impact level of the debate and on the solvency of their arguments so I would make sure to have emphasis there.
Postmodernism, psychoanalysis and the like aren't my cup of tea. I often spend these debates trying to wrap my mind around the terminology rather than the argument in question which can be a detriment to the debaters in round, just how my mind processes new information. I won't straight tell you I won't vote on it but I also find these arguments struggle to have applicability that can be explained in the "real world."
I believe there can be zero risk of impacts. I don't believe in assigning .1% risk of impacts to extinction. Either way the impacts go you need to tell me why that is the case.
I also don't believe that you just saying so means that you solve 100% of the aff with your counterplan. You need to explain in depth why that is the case
I default that the ballot does have meaning and that debate isn't just a game. I can be persuaded otherwise but I feel you need to explain why the community and activism that happens in debate is more of a side effect instead of debate actually having meaning
I think nontopical affs are often really cool and bring extra insight into the topic. For framework teams, i can be persuaded that these teams are cheating if it's impacted out and the education is bad but there is often a lack of legalistic warrants or topic specific education warrants to these arguments which needs to be present. I generally think it is better for the aff to be resolutional eg if it's an immigration topic, talk something about immigration but I won't penalize you for not doing so.
If you run a nontopical aff, you need a disad to the topical version of the aff on framework. I can't stress this enough. Many of my decisions have been made because the TVA solves the aff meaning the offense goes away or the aff forget to extend offense or impact out that disad. This is THE point that I find myself voting on over and over again on framework/t
I do find the evidential debate on disads and counterplans especially to have unique education and debate benefits that don't exist elsewhere and look forward to how debaters utilize them
I think theory debates are really useless. Everyone runs condo and severance perms and it's more of a flow check. I have a high threshold for a theory argument and there better be a damn good reason why you are turning the debate into a theory debate. I also find debaters being exceptionally bad at impacting out theory and explaining the standards. For these reasons I don't see myself voting on theory in the near future. Exceptions to the rule are 50 State fiat, world government fiat and other ridiculous multiactor counterplans and possibly utopian fiat on absurd kritiks.
I think "performative" arguments are really important to the activity and bring pathos that the event often badly lacks. Because of this, I often find myself giving better speaker points to performative teams. I don't think it is cheating or undebateable for someone to bring in their or other experiences and I look forward to these debates. That being said, I can often be persuaded to vote on framework because performative teams often struggle with what to do with their performance once they have performed.
Overview: Run what you want. I will vote on something if you tell me why - that being said there are certain arguments, or ways to run arguments that tend to be more persuasive. If you don't give me a Framework to vote on I tend to default to Policymaker. I tend to believe the neg gets at least 1 conditional advocacy. Run what you're good at.
Aff: In debate I didn't encounter many non-resoutional K aff's. That doesn't mean you shouldn't run them IF you think you can win, go for it. One thing I don't like is a kritical aff that doesn't have any form of even attempted solvency. Neg try and engage with the aff in someway.
DA: Run whatever you want. Meh. Impact Calculus. I tend to love a well run Ptix. Ptix is good.
Theory: I like theory, but I don't like it when it's the only thing in the debate. I feel that if you're going to run Framework or some Condo bad on the Aff you should also argue other things. NEG if you don't like their K Aff Answer their K and then Read a FW and T. If you run 5 T's I think its probably a lot more abusive than what they are doing. I'll vote on it if you can impact it out and tell me why it matters. Just because they tried to hold you to a standard doesn't mean I should drop them. BTW I tend to think the Neg gets 1 conditional world. I think forcing dispo/uncondo is illogical. I like logic. You get the Aff and perms, they get the Squo and another condo world.
T: T is T. Although I don't like T substantially but other than that T is good. Aff answering T by saying its on Open Evidence isn't a real answer. I default to competing interps unless you tell me otherwise.
K: This is the section you probably care about. I ran K's. I understand most authors but if you run some obscure K make sure you explain its interactions (I shouldn't need to tell you to do this). Regardless of what you run, tell me what your Alt and the ROTB are. Aff, I like perms. I don't like FW excluding K's from debate. That's illogical (see above). .
CP: I tend to think most CP's are okay. Please don't tell me to delay the plan... unless you have to. I will lose sleep voting on it. Sleep is good.
Precious Assistant coach, Rowland Hall St. Marks — five years
High school - Three years, Nationally
Role as judge in debate — I attempt to enter debates with as little preconcieved notion about my role as possible. I am open to being told how to evaluate rounds, be it an educator, policymaker, etc. Absent any instruction throughout the round, I will most likely default to a role as a policymaker.
Purpose of philosophy — I see this philosophy as a tool to be used by debaters to help modify or fine-tune specific parts of their strategies in round. I don’t think that this philosophy should be a major reason to change a 1AC/1NC, but more used to understand how to make the round as pleasant as possible.
Evaluative practices and views on debate round logistics
Prep time — Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/when the speech-email has been sent. I expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time, but I will usually keep prep as well to help settle disagreements
Evidence — I would like to be included in any email chain used for the round using the email address below. I will read un-underlined portions of evidence for context, but am very apprehensive to let them influence my decision, unless their importance is identified in round.
Speaker point range — 27.0 - 30. Speaker points below a 27 indicate behavior that negatively affected the round to the point of being offensive/oppressive.
How to increase speaker points — Coherence, enthusiasm, kindness, and the ability to display an intimate knowledge of your arguments/evidence. Cross-ex is an easy way to earn speaker points in front of me - I enjoy enthusiastic and detailed cross-ex and see it as a way to show familiarity with arguments.
How to lose speaker points — Being excessively hostile, aggressive, overpowering, or disengaged.
Clarity — I will say ‘Clear’ mid-speech if I’m unable to understand you. I will warn you twice before I begin subtracting speaker points and stop flowing - I will attempt to make it obvious that I’ve stopped flowing in a non-verbal manner (setting down my pen, etc.) but will not verbally warn you.
Argumentative predispositions and preferences
Affirmatives - I don’t think affirmatives should be inherently punished for not reading a plan text, as long as they justify why they do it. I am probably more interested in ‘non-traditional’ affirmatives than a big-stick Heg aff.
Counter-Plans — Speeding through a 20-second, catch-all, 7 plank, agent counter-plan text will not be received well in front of me. However, super-specific counter-plans (say, cut from 1AC solvency evidence) are a good way to encourage debates that result in high speaker points.
Disadvantages — Specific, well articulated DA debate is very appealing to me, but super-generics like spending are a bit boring absent an aff to justify them as the primary strategy.
Framework — Engagement > Exclusion. The topic can be a stasis point for discussion, but individuals may relate to it in very different ways. (See Role as judge in debate)
Kritiks — Easily my 'comfort-zone' for debates, both for the affirmative and negative. Creativity in this area is very appealing to me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that whoever reads the best poetry automatically wins. Be smart and articulate about your arguments, and make it seem like you care about what you're talking about. The 'K’s are cheating and so they should lose' -esque arguments aren’t especially compelling, but if you can intelligently explain why the hippy-anarchists sitting across from you should go back to their coffee shops and beat-poetry, I'll vote on it. Performance as a method of supporting arguments is welcomed and enjoyable insofar as it is grounded in arguments.
Theory — I think specific, contextualized Theory arguments are much more persuasive than generic, broad-sweeping theory claims. Spending 5 minutes on Theory in a rebuttal does not grant you an instant ballot, inversely,15 seconds of blippy violations it at the end of the debate makes it difficult to pull the trigger absent blatant concessions. I’m more comfortable and better versed in regards to theory arguments than with topicality. I am very persuaded by arguments against performative contradiction. I understand the strategic utility of having multiple lines of offence in a 1NC, but would prefer to evaluate 1NC’s holistically as a constant thought.
Topicality — Topicality is perhaps where I’m least experienced from an argument standpoint, and thus don’t particularly enjoy topicality debates, I do, however understand its utility against blatantly abusive affirmative. In-round abuse is more persuasive than potential abuse.
Feel free to ask before round or email me if you have any questions
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.
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
tl;dr - an argument is a claim+warrant+impact, do your thing and I'll evaluate the debate accordingly
I have debated (and listened to) some of the fastest debaters in the country, and I'm pretty comfortable flowing them. But unless you have the ability to be just as clear as they are, don't sacrifice your clarity to read 50 cards in your 1AC at a nice high pitched humming sound that no one understands. I'll give you two warnings if you're not being clear. Keep your speeches organized, line by line and signposting are important.
T - I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise, and you should impact out why your model for evaluating topicality is good. The same goes for the competing interpretations debate; it's not good enough to say that your interpretation has better/different limits than theirs, I want to know why that's important.
Disads - they're cool. I prefer specific links (specific disads are even better) rather than generic ones, and it will also make your life easier. Impact calculus is very important, but you also have to make sure you win the internal link chain to get you to the impact in the first place. I'll default to utilitarianism (whatever you tell me it means) unless told otherwise but am quite open to other frameworks for evaluating the impact debate.
Counterplans - PICs are cool, case-specific CPs are cool. It's important that you're actually competitive and that you're not placing an unfair burden (whatever that means) on the affirmative.
Theory - Use it strategically, and if one team is clearly making the debate unfair and you can impact out why I should actually care about it, that's when you'll win your theory debate.
Kritiks - Do your thing. Explain the link (ideally it's specific or at least articulated in the context of the aff) and impact it out. Even if your alternative is to reject the team I need to know why I should endorse it as a method to combat whatever impact you present. This is what I've spent the most time thinking about, but I wont be doing any extra work for you.
Framework - I really enjoy K debates but this includes a defense of your framework for the round, whether it's a question of alt solvency or state engagement or whatever, impact it out.
K Affs/Planless Affs - The same way it is with everything else, explain your argument and why I should care about it. I'm open to critiques of engagement practices, the resolution, the debate community, or whatever else you can come up with.
Framework v. K Affs - I'll default to competing interpretations, but the same stuff I said about topicality applies here. These debates will most likely include some question about the pedagogical value of the 1AC and I think that a good explanation of why they create better education (or don't) can be extremely strategic for the aff. Similarly, a role of the ballot is an impact framing argument, the 2NR/2AR isn't going to be able to win on "they dropped the role of the ballot." If you win your impact framing, do your impact calculus.
I will actively listen and work hard to develop my understanding of your arguments as the debate progresses regardless of whether or not I am familiar with your style of debating or type of argument.
It's been a while, but I was a policy debater throughout high school and college and coached at Utah and UNC. I've judged a bit over the past few years, but not enough to be totally up to speed on things. What this means for you is that I can understand what you're saying and write it down, but you still need to make sense out of it all. Help me out with some of the jargon. I don't have strong opinions about or preferences for certain types of arguments. Arguments should make sense, be made in full in the debate, and include evidence read in full if you need it to support the argument. If I'm on an email chain, I won't read the speeches during the round to understand arguments and evidence that weren't clear. If I need to, I'll look at things after the debate. In the last two rebuttals, explain, compare, and weigh so I don't have to do those things on my own. We will all be happier if you do.
Flow and respond to what the other team says.
I don't have the speech doc open so do things that make it easier for me to flow. Position yourself so I can hear you. Don't speak into your laptop or stand on the opposite side of the room. Don't read typed-out things like they are the text of a card. Slow down and change the intonation of your voice when you're speaking.
If I don't understand something, I will not vote on it even if it is conceded.
Corss-x starts right after the constructive speech ends.
Starting and stopping prep each time you need to use more prep time will cost at least 15 sec.
Very simply, if you have trigger warnings because the topics are more taboo then I am not the judge for you. If you can't explain it to your school administration or parents without them raising concerns then don't run it in front of me. Time and place are important.
Things I will not vote on:
Arguments that suggest students should engage in risky behavior.
Death is good.
Fear of death is bad
Aff's that don't defend the resolution.
Aff's that link to debate in general instead of the resolution.
Judge pref disclosure
Vote for a team because they are part of a marginalized group.
In fact, it would be better if you just didn't run a K.
This list will be ongoing. I will update it to let you know.
So what is left you might ask:
CP's that are not listed above.
Other things you might want to know:
1. Da's can have a zero-risk.
2. Aff adv's can have zero risk
3. Solvency can have zero risk
4. Substantial will be important in these types of debates.
5. The neg will get a healthy dose of presumption.
I really would like to listen to a debate about the resolution.
After the weekend (at UNLV) I have decided to change my paradigm. I'm open to all arguments as long as they: 1) Are well fleshed out, 2) Understood, 3)Argued through the entire round.
Contact info: email@example.com
I coach debate so I am comfortable with most debate styles. I coach LD and am more familiar with LD, but also did policy in college and assist in coaching it now. I am qualified to judge both events.
Debate is fun. I value wit and humor. Debate is educational. I value scissor-sharp logic. Debate is a chance for high school students to make radical arguments for change. Don't be afraid to be yourself and express your opinion in any method you choose.
I like well-developed, persuasive and interesting cases with strong internal links and warrants and interesting and novel approaches to the resolution.
I believe that debate is, at its core, a thought experience. As a debater, you get to approach each debate round as your debate round. You get to set the rules. You get to debate what you find educational and valuable. To me that is the greatest thing about debate. To that extent, I like creative arguments and the arguments do not have to be conventional. However, you have to persuade me that there is a reason to vote for you, and you have to be prepared to justify that what you are debating is fair and educational to your opponent. To that extent, your opponent also gets to set the rules and play the game the way he or she wants to as well. That means that I am open to theory/topicality arguments on either side in order to set the ground rules for the debate.
I value cross-examination. It shows how a debater thinks on his or her feet, how well he or she understands the resolution and case and how well he or she uses rhetoric and logic. Use it effectively. I want you to answer your opponent's questions and not blow off cross ex. I flow cross-ex and consider statements made in CX as binding.
I will vote on textual arguments, Ks, policy arguments, theory, narratives and performative debate as long as you present an overall persuasive case.
In terms of layering, Theory/Topicality is evaluated as the first layer in debate. I have to first determine that the game is being played fairly before I consider the substance of the arguments. To that extent, I am open to theory arguments. If you are going to make theory arguments, please set forth an interpretation, standards and voters. Don't just claim your opponent is being unfair. If you are are arguing against the theory argument, please provide a counterinterpretation or show me that no counterinterpretation is necessary because you meet the interpretation and do not violate. I am open to RVI arguments and will evaluate those arguments, but only if you prove the theory is frivolous, time suck or strat suck. So RVIs will be considered but you have to show me that the theory argument, itself, was abusive. I will not consider an RVI just because you blip it out. Neg does not get reciprocity on RVIs.
After theory, I next evaluate ROTB, ROTJ and framework arguments. ROTB and ROTJ tells me that there is a role that I play that transcends the debate round. As such, I evaluate ROTB and ROTJ equally with other more traditional framework arguments. If you tell me what my role is, I will accept that as my role. That means the opponent has to come up with a counter ROTB, or show how he or she accesses your ROTB or how your ROTB is somehow bad or that your framework is superior. Same with arguments that you tell me are a priori, prior questions or decision rules. If you tell me there are, justify it, provide rationale. It is then up to your opponent to counter that. Your counter ROTB can be as simple as you should vote for the better debater, but don't just drop it because you assume that traditional framework (weighing case) comes first.
After framework, I will evaluate the contention level. Ks, narratives and performative arguments will be evaluated equally with other arguments but you have to provide the layering for me and tell me how to evaluate those arguments in the round.
Great weighing of arguments is your best route to high speaks. Don't just extend args. Please make sure it is clear to me how your arguments function in the round and how those arguments interact with the other side. I will evaluate all arguments that are not blatantly offensive. But it is up to you to tell my why those arguments are voters. The worst rounds are rounds where there is no weighing, or limited argument interaction. Please make the round clear to me. If an argument is dropped, don't just tell me it is dropped. Tell me why it matters. The more work you do telling me how arguments function in the round, the easier it will be to evaluate the round. I like extensions to be clearer than just a card name; you have to extend an argument, but I also value extensions that are highly efficient. Therefore, summarize your warrants and impacts in a clear and efficient way. Most importantly, please make sure you are very clear on how the argument functions in the round. And, don't go for everything. The best debaters are the ones who are able to succinctly crystalize the key issues in the round and collapse down to those key issues and tell me why they win the debate.
Kritiks: I love them and I love how they are progressing in debate. This includes narratives/performance arguments. Some of the best debates I have seen are good perfomative Kritiks. I will evaluate Ks equally with other positions. However, I have a few ground rules for Ks. First, if you are going to do a K, clearly explain your alt, ROTB and methodology and do not stray from it. It is a pet peeve when someone runs a K and then cannot justify it in CX or is snarky about answering questions about it in CX. If you are criticizing something, you have to be able to explain it under pressure. Second pet peeve: Your method/performance must go in the same direction as the K. If you are running Bifo (semiocapitalism) and then spread without giving your entire speech document to your opponent, I find that to be a performative contradiction. This will not end well for you. On a K explain whether you claim pre-fiat or post-fiat solvency and clearly how your discourse preempts other arguments in the round and weigh your discourse against your opponents framework. If you are doing a narrative or performative argument, you should be able to clearly articulate your methodology for your performance in the round. I know that I bring my own biases in the round, but I try my best to leave them at the door of the debate room and approach narratives and performative arguments with a blank slate. I appreciate hearing your voice in the round. If you are running fem rage or queer rage I want to hear it in the round. I want to hear your voice. That, to me, is the point of using the debate space for performance and narrative. So, I expect you to be able to clearly articulate your methodology and narrative and answer questions about how your opponent interacts with the methodology in the round. If you run a narrative but fumble over how that narrative and methodology works in the debate space, I find it less credible.
Policy arguments (Plans, CPs, DAs) are all evaluated. If you're running a DA, make sure the link debate and impacts are clear. Make sure you are doing good impact calculus on timeframe, magnitude, probability, reversability, etc. I will consider all impact scenarios. It is up to your opponent to tell me why those impact scenarios are outweighed.
Spikes, tricks and Other "Abusive" Arguments: I am not a fan of "tricks," spikes and blippy arguments and struggle to evaluate these strategies, so if your strategy is to go for underview blips and extensions of spikes and blips in your case that are barely on my flow to begin with, whether those arguments are philosophical or theoretical, I am going to have a lower threshold for responses. That means if your opponent has a halfway coherent response to them I am likely to drop the argument. I know that tricks are a new and sexy thing in debate. I just hate them.
Speed: I can flow speed. However, I like to be included in the email chain or pocketbox. Also if your analytics are not on the document, I will try my best to keep up, but don't blame me if you spread through them and I miss something. It is up to you to make the argument explicitly enough that I flow it and extend it. I like to review the evidence, so if you speed, I will follow along as I flow. Make sure the tags and card tags are are slightly slower and are clear. My issue is most often with enunciation, not actual speed, so please make sure you are enunciating as clearly as possible. No speed at the cost of understanding.
Points--(Note that these points have changed as of the ASU 2018 tournament)
30--You have a chance of winning this tournament and are one of the best debaters I have seen in a while.
29.0-29.5 - You are in the top 10% of the tournament and will definitely break.
28.5.-29.0 - You should break at this tournament.
28.0-28.5 - My default speaks. This is for a good and above average debater.
27.5-28.0 - You are average compared to other debaters in the tournament.
27.0-27.5 You are learning and have significant areas of improvement.
<27 This is the lowest I will go. You have done something unfair, offensive or unethical in the round.
Former coach. Current debate boomer. Put me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, please make the accommodation. If you don't, 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 reading a plan. 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.
The philosophies of the judges I most admire tend to explain relatively little in terms of which arguments debaters should run. Objectivity is an ideal I will strive to reach in my own judging. However, while I strongly believe that debate should be entirely about the debaters, I also understand that we all have biases that cause us to make decisions counter to our ideals for judgement and that it would be irresponsible of me to suggest otherwise. I tend to believe that the best way to know what those biases are is through looking at what judges empirically vote for. You're probably best served by looking at my past judging history. Otherwise, I will just tell you some general statements about things I, myself, have done in debate/personally believe about debate, and you can interpret these as biases or not, as you will, knowing that I will actively attempt to prevent them from affecting my decision.
My debate history/education/general preconceptions --
I debated in high school and part of college. Since then, I coached high school debate for awhile. Now, I judge occasionally. As a debater, I tended to read postmodern arguments (Baudrillard, Bataille, etc). I read a bit of Afropess in college. I coached kids reading policy and k arguments. I also graduated pretty recently with a degree in rhetoric (sorta like philosophy but a bit more in the postmodern direction). Since leaving debate, my personal reading has drifted away from critical literature towards more things about policy. related to Ks/debating against Ks --
I'm very conflicted in terms of what I actually believe -- in an outside of round sense -- about framework as a strategy against k affs, because although I, myself, have read mostly kritikal affs and think there are educational aspects to them, I do think there are also some benefits to a more limited topic. I have found that, in my own prep, it has been easiest to effectively prepare against an opponent when their affirmative is at least related to the resolution; however, I have also read affirmative's unrelated to the resolution. Framework is neither engagement with the aff nor is it not engagement with the aff; it is one or the other depending on how it is read. There is no "most" important part of a K. It is illogical to claim that the link is more important than the impact or vice versa (because you can't make monolithic statements about rounds, "Ks" as a category, or even with regards to any individual K, especially given that the parts are dependent on each other...). In a similar vein, I do not think winning an alt is necessary to win every K (although, it is necessary to win many and perhaps most).
Things related to T/Theory --
I'm super interested in T and theory. Debaters don't read either of those positions enough. Also, I don't think debaters, in high school, read enough cards on topicality. People should have more nuanced theory interpretations that are as specific to their position as possible. People shouldn't read "cheating" CPs, but they would win more if they did.
Things that are miscellaneous in nature --
Generally, the more disclosure the better. CX is undervalued. Defense is too. Zero risk is possible but unlikely. Avoiding extinction is maybe the highest collective human imperative, but the ways that debaters get to supposed extinction impacts are almost always inane from a realistic perspective. In terms of the tech/truth question, I used to debate in a pretty techy way that was very centered on the flow. I'm not even really sure what it would mean for someone to vote on truth over tech. If judges are rated on a scale of "willingness to vote on an argument they know is ridiculous if it is well executed," I am probably one standard deviation above the mean in the direction of willingness to vote on absurd things. Realistically, most debate arguments are a bit silly when you really look at them, but we are willing to suspend disbelief for certain things and not others. I generally try to suspend as much outside disbelief as I can and just understand the debate as a sort of internally coherent text.
Finally, I love bad jokes, particularly puns. If you make them, I will not intentionally give you more speaker points, but I will be amused and maybe even like you more as a person. I, however, cannot control if said positive impression unconsciously causes me to give you more speaker points in an unintentional way.
put me on the email chain: email@example.com
coach @ Brophy College Prep.
experience: 10+ years
tldr: i have minimal predispositions - all of the following are my preferences, but good debating will always change my mind. i arbitrate debates purely based off the flow - i don’t read evidence unless 1) i was told to in reference to an argument or 2) the debate is incredibly close and evidence quality is the tiebreaker.
topicality: it’s okay. i think limits are the controlling standard. reasonability is probably a non-starter unless it’s dropped.
framework/k affs: let me start off by saying i would prefer if the affirmative defends something contestable. affirmative teams should not rely on “thesis-level claims” and should engage the line by line, mostly consisting of defense and impact turns. as long as the negative wins that debate in and of itself is good (which shouldn’t be hard), fairness is a legitimate impact. i think decision-making is silly. negative teams shouldn’t be afraid to go for presumption. same goes for performance affs. i don’t think a poem necessarily solves unless tied to tangible advocacy; convince me otherwise. *on the education topic, i’m especially persuaded by the tva*
kritik: it’s okay, but i’d prefer a more technical line-by-line execution by the neg over three minute long overviews that are repeated on every single argument. that being said, i think the ideal 2nc for most k’s should focus less on reading new evidence and more on contextualized analysis to the substance of 1ac. i think most k debates are lost due to lack of explanation or contextualization of the link or alternative. blippy extensions won’t do it for me, unless you can explain your advocacy in tangible terms. i will probably default to letting the aff weigh its impacts, unless you convince me otherwise. affirmatives, this is probably where you should invest the most time. losing 2ar’s either miss offense embedded on the link debate, lose the framework, or let them get away with absurd broad generalizations (or drop a pik). winning 2ar’s buckle down on case outweighs, mutual exclusivity, or well-analyzed impact turns.
da: love them. politics is my favorite argument. case-specific da’s are the best. aff don’t drop turns case. in the absence of a counterplan, impact calc/framing is incredibly important for my ballot and should be introduced earlier rather than later. in the presence of a counterplan, negs should weigh the da to the risk of a solvency deficit. specific internal links always beat general framing pre-empts.
cp: also love ‘em. pics are my second favorite argument. condo is probably good to an extent. decide what that extent is for me. i enjoy watching a well-executed process counterplan so long as you know how to defend it theoretically. unless told otherwise, i default to judge-kick.
case: please bring this back - it’s a lost art. highly encourage re-hilightings of their evidence, specific advantage frontlines, etc. i love impact turn debates. if an aff can’t defend why economic decline is bad, why should it win?
cross ex: i appreciate when you can answer every question straight-up in cross ex, instead of dodging them. cross-ex is a great time to build ethos. i think one of the greatest mistakes i see debaters make round after round is not carrying concessions in cross-ex into their speeches. cross-ex is binding.
---The University of Chicago Law School 2023, Emory 2020, Rowland Hall 2016
---firstname.lastname@example.org chain---title it with year, tournament, team names, and sides.
---Fifth year judging varsity policy. Actively coaching for Chaminade.
---my topic knowledge this year is quite high both from my research and from my academic/professional background, despite only have judged at Blake this year. I'm in law school and also work at a law clinic that represents indigent federal defendants in criminal pretrial proceedings, trials, appeals, and collateral attacks. I have been heavily involved in card cutting/strategy for Chaminade.
---my favorite part of the TOC is seeing how teams have innovated since the end of the season, and have reciprocally prepared to deal with unpredictable innovations. If you're rehashing stuff that's been debated ad nauseam, I'm likely to be disappointed with your level of preparation.
---I included a list of arguments I have voted for/against this year at the bottom if that helps.
---strategy > ideology. With the exception of the very limited logistical/procedural requirements below, I am receptive to any argument that you think is strategic (with the caveat that some arguments are more strategic than others, and not all arguments start at an equal level. That has to do with their utility more than my feelings about them).
---as a weak proxy for prefs: fairness is (or can be) an impact but isn't dispositive without the right framing, comfortable judging both technical policy debates and deep K debates (and anything in between), Ks are best if you’re disputing a central component of the aff, strategies meant to obfuscate are a sign of intellectual weakness and are boring. Did mostly policy stuff at Emory, did mostly K stuff at Rowland Hall.
---Most of my aff research right now is about the courts, and most of my neg research is K stuff, questionably competitive CPs, and process type DAs.
---cameras on if possible (mine will be), slow down, I only flow what I hear you say even if you flash analytics (idc if you don't)
---I don't like intervening to say "clear" or "slower" because it encourages debaters to toe the line and rely on a safe harbor for correction. If you're unsure whether you're clear, I'd encourage you to speak in front of your partner or coach before the debate.
---I realize that puts the opposing team in a difficult situation. If the opposing team points out times in which their opponents have been unclear and I agree, I will be more likely to grant that team leeway in assessing that team's burden to respond to arguments. I also think that ambiguity incentivizes you to answer your opponent's arguments at their best.
---that obviously doesn't apply to tech issues, where I'll immediately interject if there is an issue that needs to be corrected.
---prefer quick, technical debating regardless of argument.
---clash > tricks, but I'm in the "if you can't beat a bad argument, you should lose" camp
---I care a lot about card quality. I sometimes read them even if uncontested, and at the margins, good card quality overcomes mediocre spin. Acknowledging the limitations of your evidence during judge instruction ensures this tips in your favor.
---Mark your cards during your speech. Anything that happens after is your prep time, and I'll give you a warning. If in the next speech you fail to do so, I will significantly reduce your points.
---CX ends after 3 minutes
---clipping requires a recording unless I see it myself. Substantive evidence ethics should be treated as part of the debate.
---any of the following defaults I reserve the right to raise on my own unless meaningfully overcome by debating.
---presumption is less change
---an argument is not new if it's a predictable extrapolation based on an earlier iteration of that argument
---even if an argument is conceded, the minimum for its extension is a claim, warrant, and impact. I will disregard it otherwise.
---the weight of a dropped argument depends on the robustness of its original claim, warrant, and impact. If the impact is a non-sequitur from the claim and warrant, I may just ignore it ("PICs are bad, steals the aff, reject the team").
---a concession also happens when you implicitly waive your right to respond to an argument (e.g., aff says “conditionality bad” but never asked you in CX. If in the block you fail to say “we’re not conditional,” you don’t get to raise this defense in the 2NR).
T USFG/Planless affs:
---fairness can be an impact, but the extent to which it outweighs is contingent upon defensive framing arguments. I am most persuaded by arguments about the (non-)solvent power of the ballot as a reason why fairness outweighs. Impact turns to fairness seem tautological, and just because fairness is also an internal link doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.
---I do not automatically think fairness is the only impact solved by the ballot. Debating the extent to which a given team solves an impact (through the ballot, model of the topic, etc) is the best way to tip the scales in your favor.
---quantifying the size of the link to one’s offense is helpful. Neg teams, for example, are poor at contextualizing fairness link arguments in light of narrow counter-interpretations, but affs often miss the opportunity to maximize the utility of those counter-interpretations.
---making a fairness argument AND skills argument often means you lose the most strategic defensive components of fairness impact framing
---there is a distinction between voting for a model of debate and voting based on what happened in this specific debate. Exploiting/justifying this distinction is a good example of innovating T USFG debates
---trying to garner offense by analogizing T to some undesirable thing is rarely persuasive to me.
---impacting contradictions is essential. What does it mean if a counter-interp links to the aff's offense? Does it link less? Does that matter?
---do the aff and neg get to defend the idyllic version of their model, or do they have to defend how their model would likely play out? Answering this question is incredibly helpful in evaluating counter-interpretations and the extent to which they solve neg offense
---truth testing as a reason not to weigh the aff doesn't make sense to me. I might agree that it means one shouldn't get to say "aff outweighs T," but I don't think it's a reason to disregard the aff-specific impact turns to T. I also don't really get why policy debates are better at truth testing. Depends on the neg strat I guess, but I don't know if politics and the courts CP test the "truth" of the aff in any quasi-objective sense.
---I'm bad for education (and eh for skills) arguments on both sides. This is result of teams having a really difficult time quantifying the sufficiency/size of the internal link vis-a-vis a counter-interpretation.
---relatively well-read in most theories and I'm receptive enough that I can and will learn your argument quickly if you explain it well, even if unfamiliar
---framework isn’t “yes/no Ks,” but is about the permissible form of negative rejoinder. Both affirmatives and negatives need to do more to explain what their interpretation of rejoinder means (does the neg’s alt have to happen in the world of the plan? Can the negative meet its burden of rejoinder by critiquing the aff’s discourse?)
---if the links/alt exist in a different world from the plan, you NEED to win a framework argument. No idea what "weigh the aff" means vs Ks that don't exist in the same world
---argumentative coherence is good (can’t say ontological death and also black people should engage the state), but I am more ambivalent about strict philosophical coherence (you can utilize two scholars/theories that might not agree on everything so long as the components you invoke are compatible). The more background disagreement, though, the harder it is to defend your position
---blippy K tricks are a weak facade to hide a lack of skill and I’ll likely be okay with new answers depending on egregiousness.
---argument by analogy alone is not an argument at all ("they are the logic of the WOT")
---the form of the alternative is under-discussed. Who enacts it? Why is that mutually exclusive with government action? Does the negative get to fiat it in a manner similar to the aff?
---the best examples of the alt aren't empirical but are normative in the context of the aff. In other words, the aff identifies a problem and solution. What SHOULD the aff's solution to its particular problem have been? (e.g., it's a lot less persuasive to be like "here are anti-capitalist movements in Latin America," and is a lot more persuasive to say "the aff should have asked how we can galvanize activists to interrupt the capitalist prison industrial complex by refusing to pay taxes, organizing boycotts of products made by prison labor, etc")
---I'd vote on reasonability more if teams were better at invoking aff predictability as a DA to adjudicating under competing interpretations rather than just the predictability of one interpretation of the topic.
---also, "reasonability is arbitrary" shows a general ignorance about the function of reasonability. Yes there is no "brightline," but every single argument in debate depends on reasonable assessment of arguments, and topicality is no different.
---precision isn't the end-all, be-all. I could be convinced that a word certainly means one particular thing, but vote for a different interpretation of the topic if it would create better debates
---that said, the quality of the interpretation is correlated with components of a good version of a topic (predictability).
---"interpretation" means you are defining words. Saying "counter-interp, courts have enacted rules" is not an interpretation at all (may be a we meet), but is a we meet/predictability argument. "Counter-interp, enact includes court-enacted rules" IS a counter-interp. Cards that use the phrase "CJR" in reference to CJR proposals rather than to define the phrase CJR are similarly not interpretations. A team obviously has to point this out/impact these things. Does that mean their "interp" isn't within my jurisdictional ambit? Is this a predictability DA to their interp? Etc
---unpersuaded by education impacts, whether an impact to a model of the topic or as an impact to something like overlimiting. I care a lot about debatability. Questions of predictability, limits, quality of ground, are highly relevant.
---comparing the size of these internal links is essential. Imo everything gets back to debatability, so if your topic is limited but unpredictable, it may not be preferable (or vice versa).
---zero risk is possible, but judge instruction helps.
---there’s a distinction between a mitigated DA and an incomplete DA. This is a helpful starting point for thinking about crafting judge instruction.
---this topic is tough for the neg. Referencing impact uniqueness for things like neg ground might make me more amenable to theoretically questionable arguments.
---unconvinced you need a solvency advocate for intuitive advantage CPs/PICs
---better for pdcp than cp not legit all else being equal
---I think you can win "their CP illegit" without having to win "category of CP is illegit"
---conditionality by type makes more sense than by number (if you already have 2 advocacies, it probably won't hurt you to add more).
---default no judge kick. Late breaking judge kick debates usually = no judge kick. 2NC "Logic" =/= judge kick.
---if the neg wins judge kick and the aff wins pdcp, I'll kick the CP and evaluate the aff vs the DA in its original, non-permuted form absent judge instruction otherwise
---that means if the aff wins PDCP and no judge kick, the aff avoids the link to the nb.
---vague plans + clear solvency advocate = route to something like positional competition (idk if that's the best form of it though).
---necessary/sufficient language is underutilized when debating internal links/solvency to the case.
---as far as zero risk, I'm unclear on what the threshold for surpassing the burden of proof is, and would love to hear a debate on where I should draw the line
---soft left impact framing arguments indicting prioritizing magnitude are a strawperson of typical decision-calculus. I have never ignored probability regardless of the magnitude of an impact. Impact framing arguments are more persuasive to me when indicting the methods used to achieve a certain prediction rather than saying "probability first."
Things I have voted for this year:
*if you were in any of these debates and feel that I mislabeled your argument, please email me so I can correct!
---T USFG (fairness) and presumption vs settlerism aff
---T USFG (fairness) vs financialization of subjectivity aff
---Settler semiotics aff vs T USFG (education/skills)
---Abolition aff vs T USFG (fairness)
---Heg DA vs abolition aff
---Native jurisdiction aff vs T CJR requires police accountability
---Warren/Black Nihilism vs extraterritorial statutes aff
---K of technology/Zoom vs black ratchetness aff
Tech savvy truth telling/testing debaters who crystallize with clarity, purpose persuasion&pathos will generally win my ballot.
For Greenhill RR -- consider my guidance on speed carefully, and don't forget the big picture while you are warring furiously on the line by line.
Speed: Reading a Card -- light-speed + speech doc; Constructives: fast + slow sign posting please; Rebuttals: I prefer the slow spread with powerfully efficient word economy myself, but you do you.
College Parli -- Arguments that heavily weigh on the core ground intended by the topic always tend to strike me as more persuasive. A unique procedural element of Parliamentary debate is the ability to ask a question during opponent's speech time; debaters who utilize this tool to further conversational turns increasing analysis on a key issue usually impress me as well.
Policy -- AFFs advocating topical ethical policies with high probability to impact real people suffering right now are best in front of me. I expect K AFFs to offer solid ground and prove a highly compelling advocacy. Procedural fairness is probably the only fairness arguments I ultimately consider. And you play to win the game. Give me clash: prove you can engage a policy framework as well as any other competing frameworks simultaneously, while also giving me compelling reasons to prefer on FW. Anytime you are able to demonstrate valuable portable skills or a superior model of debate you should tell me why that is a reason to vote for you.
LD -- See Policy above, and also Parli for cross-examination analysis. While this event has evolved considerably, I am still a firm believer that Value/Criterion is the straightest path to victory, as a strong V/C FW will either contextualize impacts to a policy/plan advocacy, or explain and justify an ethical position or moral statement functioning as that necessary advocacy. Also, V/C allows a debater to jump in and out of different worlds, advocating for their position while also demonstrating the portable skill of entering into an alternate FW and clashing with their opponent on their merits. An appropriate V/C will offer fair, reasonable, predictable, equitable, and functional Ground to both sides. I will entertain any and all theory, kritiks, T, FW. procedure, resolution-rejection/alteration, etc. -- but fair warning, positions that do not directly relate to the resolutional topic area will require a Highly Compelling warrant(s) for why. At all times, please INSTRUCT me on how I am supposed to think about the round.
Public Forum -- In order to further value open access to debate, I try my best to adapt myself to public forum debates rather than expecting debaters to adapt to me as I do in the other debate events. Part of what will help me is to articulate the reasoning for preferring an interpretation, whether of a rule, a norm, macro-strategies, or anything else, so that I can evaluate with understanding. Follow claim-warrant-impact-weighing and speak with authority.
Please ask specific questions before the round if you have any.
So...that is my paradigm proper, intentionally left very short. I've tried the more is more approach, and I have become fond of the less is more. Below are random things I have written, usually for tournament-specific commentary.
Worlds @ Coppell:
I have taken care to educate myself on the particulars of this event, reviewing relevant official literature as well as reaching out to debate colleagues who have had more experience. My obligation as a fair, reasonable, unbiased and qualified critic requires me to adapt my normal paradigm, which I promise to do to the best of my abilities. However, this does not excuse competitive debaters from their obligation to adapt to their assigned judge. I adapt, you adapt, Fair.
To learn how I think in general about how I should go about judging debates, please review my standard Judge Paradigm posted below. Written short and sweet intentionally, for your purposes as Worlds debaters who wish to gain my ballot, look for ways to cater your strengths as debaters to the things I mention that I find generally persuasive. You will note that my standard paradigm is much shorter than this unique, particularized paradigm I drafted specifically for Worlds @ Coppell.
Wesley's Worlds Paradigm:
I am looking for which competitors perform the "better debating." As line by line and dropping of arguments are discounted in this event, those competitors who do the "better debating" will be "on balance more persuasive" than their opponents.
Style: I would liken Style to "speaker points" in other debate events. Delivery, passion, rhetoric, emotional appeal. Invariably, the power of excellent public speaking will always be anchored to the substantive arguments and authenticity of advocacy for the position the debater must affirm or negate. While I will make every effort to separate and appropriately quantify Style and Content, be warned that in my view there is an inevitable and unbreakable bond between the two, and will likely result in some spillover in my final tallies.
Content: If I have a bias, it would be in favor of overly weighting Content. I except that competitors will argue for a clear advocacy, a reason that I should feel compelled to vote for you, whether that is a plan, a value proposition, or other meaningful concept.
PAY ATTENTION HERE: Because of the rules of this event that tell me to consider the debate as a whole, to ignore extreme examples, to allow for a "reasonable majority" standard to affirm and a "significant minority" standard to negate, and particularly bearing in mind the rules regarding "reasonability" when it comes to definitions, I will expect the following:
A) Affirmatives will provide an advocacy that is clearly and obviously within the intended core ground proffered by the topic (the heart of hearts, if you will);
B) Negatives will provide an advocacy of their own that clashes directly with the AFF (while this is not completely necessary, it is difficult for me to envision myself reaching a "better debating" and "persuasion" standard from a straight refutation NEG, so consider this fair warning); what the Policy folk call a PIC (Plan-Inclusive Counterplan) will NOT be acceptable, so do not attempt on the NEG to offer a better affirmative plan that just affirms the resolution -- I expect an advocacy that fundamentally NEGATES
C) Any attempt by either side to define their opponent's position out of the round must be EXTRAORDINARILY compelling, and do so without reliance on any debate theory or framework; possibilities would include extremely superior benefits to defining a word in a certain way, or that the opponent has so missed the mark on the topic that they should be rejected. It would be best to assume that I will ultimately evaluate any merits that have a chance of reasonably fitting within the topic area. Even if a team elects to make such an argument, I still expect them to CLASH with the substance of the opponent's case, regardless of whether or not your view is that the substance is off-topic. Engage it anyways out of respect.
D) Claim-Warrant-Impact-Weighing formula still applies, as that is necessary to prove an "implication on effects in the real world". Warrants can rely on "common knowledge", "general logic", or "internal logic", as this event does not emphasize scholarly evidence, but I expect Warrants nonetheless, as you must tell me why I am supposed to believe the claim.
Strategy: While there may be a blending of Content & Style on the margins in front of me as a judge, Strategy is the element that I believe will be easy for me to keep separate and quantify unto itself. Please help me and by proxy yourselves -- MENTION in your speeches what strategies you have used, and why they were good. Debaters who explicitly state the methods they have used, and why those methods have aided them to be "on balance more persuasive" and do the "better debating" will likely impress me.
POIs: The use of Questions during opponent's speech time is a tool that involves all three elements, Content/Style/Strategy. It will be unlikely for me to vote for a team that fails to ask a question, or fails to ask any good questions. In a perfect world, I would like speakers to yield to as many questions as they are able, especially if their opponent's are asking piercing questions that advance the debate forward. You WANT to be answering tough questions, because it makes you look better for doing so. I expect the asking and answering of questions to be reciprocal -- if you ask a lot of questions, then be ready and willing to take a lot of questions in return. Please review my section on Parli debate below for final thoughts on the use of POI.
If you want to win my vote, take everything I have written above to heart, because that will be the vast majority of the standards for judging I will implement during this tournament. As always, feel free to ask me any further questions directly before the round begins. Best of luck!
--Assistant Debate Coach at The Harker School (2018-current) & previously UC Berkeley (2018-2019)
--Sixth-year coaching/judging high school policy debate
--M.A. in Communication, University of Wyoming (thesis was on the rhetoric of settler colonialism and urban homonationalism)
--Policy debater for the University of Wyoming (B.A. in American Indian Studies & Political Science) and Twin Falls High School in Southern Idaho
ACCESS REQUIREMENTS: Do not relentlessly post-round me. If you want to disagree with my decision and argue with me about it then send me an email and we can have a constructive dialogue that way. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the space accessible for you before the round begins.
--Flowing: I am not opposed to arguments that challenge how I flow, but here are my default mechanics: I use my laptop and I can type pretty fast, but you should still slow down on tags, analytics and most importantly, theory. I flow CX. I attempt to line up every argument so I expect you to debate line-by-line. Tell me if you have an overview on each page. I will only flow the speaker who is supposed to be giving the speech unless instructed otherwise for performative reasons.
--Paperless Debate: I will not count emailing as prep time unless you are being unreasonable. Your doc needs to be saved and ready to be uploaded by the time you end prep. I am not afraid to arbitrarily deduct time from your prep clock if you are stealing prep (trust me, we all know it is happening). You are likely to get higher speaker points if you are ready to give your order and speech the second your prep clock ends.
--Clarity: I tend to value clarity more than most judges. I need to be able to hear each word you read. I will yell "clear" three times and if you do not correct your clarity I will stop flowing (same with "louder" or "slower").
--Clipping: Zero-tolerance policy so MARK YOUR CARDS as your speaking (I flow the marks). If I think you clopped with malicious intent I will stop the round and award the individual who clipped zero speaker points and the team with the L. If you know it occurred and I don't, it needs to be on film for verification.
--Evidence Standards: I prefer that every argument made in policy debates have evidence attached to them unless the observation is obvious. I am less strict in kritical debates, but evidence on questions of ontology, theory, and your alternative would help your arguments greatly. I tend to read in-between highlighting to ensure the description of your evidence is accurate (this is why my decisions take a while sometimes). If you want to point out that your opponents read evidence out of context you should read a re-highlighting of it not just insert it into the debate.
Tech > Truth
I am agnostic on content, but not on form. Your arguments need to be well-warranted (i.e. you should not merely present a conclusion, but you should present logical reasons for why I should accept that conclusion as true or I will presume it false because you have not presented a complete argument).
Kritical/Planless Affirmatives--- Affs should be debatable and, at the very least, your 1AC should have a solvency mechanism attached to a stable advocacy statement. I am willing to vote neg on presumption if you don't solve your impacts unless your interpretation of presumption is better than the negs.
Topicality (Kritical affs)---
Affirmative advice: You have to have a compelling competing model of debate to win my ballot (i.e. a counter-interpretation that sets limits on the topic). I agree that the best debates are ones that generate the most clash so if you can prove you were debatable you will be in a good spot for my ballot. I can be persuaded that breaking some rules of the game are good. However, I'm increasingly frustrated by arguments about debaters as people rather than theory. I will never be persuaded that reading framework in and of itself is violent, and I am not compelled by pre-requisite arguments or impact turns that are based on metaphors or syllogisms (claiming that "plan debate is genocide" is trivializing). Instead, you should critique the neg's substantive model of debate. Framework alone can outweigh the affirmative even without a TVA or solvency answers, but either of those greatly diminishes affirmative offense. I don't think TVAs need to solve perfectly, just access a similar discussion so I will rarely vote for aff teams that do not have an offensive reason to reject the TVA.
Negative advice: Make sure you are accurately describing policy debate, not an abstract deliberative process. I am likely to conclude that the educational content both policy debate and kritical debate give you are equally valuable so it is better to ground your offense in the form of iterative argument refinement and rigorous contestation around a predictable stasis point to demonstrate why your model of debate is preferred (this means you have to win a predictability internal link and prove the aff is un-debatable). Fairness is an impact but you should still tell me why it outweighs the aff's offense. Case defense helps minimize the risk of the aff's impact turns. TVAs better be topical, but they don't have to solve the aff just access the 1AC's educational value.
Topicality (Policy affs)--- I don't think teams go for T enough. Quality and context of evidence matter. You should provide a detailed picture of what the topic should look like. Reasonability framing only makes sense if you are winning that your interpretation of the topic is reasonable (i.e. extend a counter interp). I am highly unlikely to vote aff if you only have an education impact.
Case Debating--- I want more of it unless you are going for a CP that clearly solves the aff. I love impact turns (no matter how absurd; thanks TCram).
Kritiks--- I'm down with any K you want to read, but I am less familiar with continental philosophy so you need to clearly explain your theory. I am not willing to reward you for my prior knowledge so define complex terms. Don't just assert the impact and assume I know what it is, you need to explain it and tell me why it outweighs. The neg should present an opportunity cost to doing the affirmative, even if the alternative is a superior method or I will likely vote on a permutation. Roll of the ballots/judges are only important if you impact them out or I will always just vote for the team who I think did the best debating. I tend to agree that affs should justify their epistemology before getting to weigh their impacts (but you need to prove their impacts false first so go for case defense).
Disadvantages--- I prefer topic DAs, but also enjoy a tricky election or agenda DA. The quality of evidence matters, but spin is also critical. I will vote on zero risk, but it is unlikely. Good impact calc can easily switch my ballot in a close debate.
Counterplans--- Consult, conditions, and process CPs are not very compelling, but I enjoy predictable PICs. I tend to agree that solvency advocates matter for each plank. My default is to kick the CP if it doesn't solve but the DA still outweighs the aff (unless the aff proves the CP links to the net benefit).
Theory--- People cheat. Don't let them. Your block should be fully developed and read slowly. Theory arguments are only reasons to reject the team when you have proven the other team has changed your ability to engage in the substance of the debate (even if the argument was conceded).
Conditionality--- Conditionality is good (contradictory truth claims are not, but for substantive reasons rather than theoretical).
All of my policy preferences above apply. I recommend making way fewer arguments so you can develop them more. I have a little more sympathy for the aff's theory arguments due to the format of the activity, but it'll be hard to convince me to vote on an RVI.
Currently, I'm a radio news producer and have been for the last two years. Prior to kick-starting my career, I debated in college for 3 years, coached high school debate for 4 years, and competed in high school debate for 4 years.
I'm really up on current events, considering current events are my 9-5 and hobby. However, I love to learn new things and hear compelling and unique arguments.
In college, I competed in parliamentary debate. The best way to describe the event is like policy debate and extemporaneous speaking combined. I coached all forms of debate. And in high school, I did Oregon parliamentary debate and Public Forum.
What I like to see:
I'm a big fan of clash and having a clear flow. If I don't have it down on my paper, I'm less likely to vote for the argument. I'm a bit of a scatterbrain (thank you ADHD) so while I can keep up with a hoppy flow, I would prefer it keep it as clean as possible, for yours and my sake.
I enjoy strong impact and link debate and believe that's usually where the debate comes down to. When judging K debate, I believe framework and the impact debate are most important.
Additionally, I LOVE hearing arguments you wouldn't normally hear or go for. So, that wacky K or questionable disadvantage... free game. Debate isn't just about winning--I believe the fundamental point is learning and getting better at the craft. Try new things out when I'm your judge. I'll give you feedback and let you know how to make the case stronger for your next round.
I'm fine with speed, but will clear you if I have zero idea what you're saying. If I clear you or your opponent does more than twice, I would recommend just slowing down.
Disclaimer: I'm a fan of trigger warnings when talking about sensitive subjects such as sexual assault and suicide. I won't automatically dock you if you don't inform me that you'll be talking about this before the start of the debate, but I probably will have a sour look on my face.
As always, feel free to ask me any specific questions before the round and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Affiliations and History
I am the Director of Debate at Westminster. I also teach economics and history in addition to directing the debate program.
High School Coaching: Three years at Notre Dame (2015 - 2018) and have been at Westminster since 2018.
I debated at Wichita State University (2008 - 2012).
College Coaching: Three years at Wichita State (2012 - 2015) and three years at the University of Texas at Dallas (2015 - 2018).
My educational background includes a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration from Wichita State as well as a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Economy from UTD.
I am not the kind of judge who will read every card at the end of the debate. Claims that are highly contested, evidence that is flagged, and other important considerations will of course get my attention. Debaters should do the debating. Quality evidence is still important though. If the opposing team's cards are garbage, it is your responsibility to let that be known. Before reading my preferences about certain arguments, keep in mind that it is in your best interest to do what you do best. My thoughts on arguments are general predispositions and not necessarily absolute.
T – Topicality is important. The affirmative should have a relationship to the topic. How one goes about defending the topic is somewhat open to interpretation. However, my predisposition still leans towards the thought that engaging the topic is a good and productive end. I tend to think the implementation of the plan must be defended, but there is a debate to be had. I am most persuaded by topicality debates that focus on questions of limits. Competing interpretations typically make more sense to me than reasonability.
Disads/Case Debate – Among my favorite debates to judge. Clash is built-in and evidence comparison occurs naturally. Offense is important, but it seems like defense is often undervalued. I am willing to assign 0% risk to something if a sufficient defensive argument is made.
Counterplans – I lean neg on conditionality and PICs. Functional competition seems more relevant than textual competition. If the affirmative is asked about the specific agent of their plan, they should answer the question. I increasingly think the affirmative allows the negative to get away with questionable uses of negative fiat. Actual solvency advocates and counterplan mechanisms that pass the rational policy option assumption matter to me.
Kritiks – While I am not very deep on the literature base, I do think these are strategic arguments. I expect the negative to explain the impact of their argument beyond a nebulous claim. It seems like the aff generally outweighs. However, good K debates usually control the key framing questions that make those concerns irrelevant. I tend to think of the alternative like a uniqueness counterplan. It benefits the aff to have clever perms as well as offense against the alt.
Theory – A quality theory argument should have a developed warrant/impact. “Reject the argument, not the team” resolves most theory arguments except for conditionality. It benefits both teams to slow down slightly when engaging in the theory debate. Making sure I am able to sufficiently flow the substance of these debates is important.
Scale - Adjective - Description
29.6-30 - The Best - Everything you could ask for as a judge and more.
29-29.5 - Very, Very good - Did everything you could expect as a judge very, very well.
28.6-28.9 - Very Good - Did very well as a whole, couple moments of brilliance, but not brilliant throughout.
28.3-28.5 - Good - Better than average. Did most things well. Couple moments of brilliance combined with errors.
28-28.2 - OK - Basic skills, abilities, and expectations met. But, some errors along the way. Very little to separate themselves from others. Clearly prepared, just not clearly ahead of others.
27.5-27.9 - OK, but major errors - Tried hard, but lack some basic skills or didn’t pay close enough attention
27-27.4 - Needs Improvement – major errors/lacked effort - Major errors committed, effort questionable
Below 27 - Bad, and I intend for you to take it that way - Disrespected one’s opponent, the judge, or otherwise
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
I debated policy for West High school and went on to coach for them, as well as becoming the dedicated policy coach at East High school. When I was in high school I was a k, framework, and theory debater. As long as an argument follows the proper structure, I don't care how crazy it is, go for it. Explain it well, however, I like to know what I'm getting when I sign a ballot. As for speed, if you sound like a garbage disposal chewing up a glass, I will just stop flowing.
If you have any specific questions feel more than free to ask them for the round, but I am lazy and don't feel like writing 20 paragraphs on what arguments I like.
General Thoughts – I try to be as tab as possible. However, I think everyone inevitably comes in with some preconceived notions about debate. Don’t feel like you have to adapt to my preferences--you should do whatever you do best. But if what you do best happens to be judge adaptation, here are some of my thoughts:
Framework – All I ask is that you engage each other's interpretations and arguments--don’t just read and extend. Look to my comments on topicality if you're interested in how I try to evaluate standards-based debate.
Case Debate – I think case-specific strategies that integrate intelligent on-case arguments into the 1NC can be really compelling.
DA/CPs – The more specific the better, but I’ll vote on anything.
Critiques – Most persuasive when they interact explicitly with the 1AC/2AC. For example, I like specific 2NC link analysis (doesn’t necessarily need to be carded) that points to arguments being made in the 1AC/2AC, and I like 2NC attempts to gain in roads to the case by suggesting the alternative is a necessary precondition to case solvency. I'm fine with critical affirmatives so long as you explain the significance of voting affirmative. A general note: given that I'm trying to evaluate your arguments as though I'm hearing them for the first time, please operate under the assumption that I'm completely unfamiliar with the literature you're reading.
Topicality – My threshold for T is the same as any other type of argument, but like all other positions, there are central issues that the 2NR needs to resolve in order for me to vote on T. If neither team articulates a framework within which I can vote, then I’ll default to competing interpretations, but I’d much rather not have to default to anything. Assuming I’m voting in a competing interpretations framework, I think of standards as external impacts to a vote for a given team’s interpretation. That means comparative impact calculus has a huge place in a 2NR that’s going for T. Explain to me what debate looks like if I vote for your interpretation and why that vision should be preferred to one that would allow for cases like the affirmative.
Theory – Please engage the other team's arguments--don't just read blocks and talk past one another. If you expect to win on theory (independently), you should probably give me some kind of substantive reason why a given violation merits rejection of the team, and not just the argument.
Nontraditional Debate – As long as I’m provided with a standard for evaluation that I feel both teams can reasonably be expected to meet, you can do whatever you'd like.
In Round Decorum – Don’t be mean. Try to have fun.
Speed – As long as you’re clear, I’m fine with speed.
Speaker Points – 28.5 is average. I'll add points for things like clarity and efficiency, and I'll subtract points for particularly messy debating.
If you have any specific questions, please ask. Feel free to email me after round with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
-I vote for things that I don't like, the debate is yours to make what you will. That does not mean I have no opinions.
-T: Substantial means many things; compare evidence and impact T like a DA.
-I have a hard time understanding teams that run Neolib/Cap with a Spending DA (?). This does not make a lot of sense to me and I can be persuaded to vote on the performative contradiction (distinct from condo).
-Things I am unlikely to vote for: Inherency, "speed kills", claims without warrants, poorly debated T violations, "multiple perms are bad".
Read a topical plan----------------------X--------------------say anything
Usually some risk---------x---------------------------------Zero Risk
Conditionality Good--------------------X----------------------Conditionality Bad
States CP Good------X------------------------------------States CP Bad
Process CPs------------------X------------------------Ew Process CPs
Competing off immediacy/certainty---------------x---------------------------No
Politics DAs are a thing-------------------x-----------------------Good Politics DAs are a thing
Read every card----------x--------------------------------Read no cards
Lots of evidence--------------------------------------x----Lots of good evidence
Judge Kick---------------------x---------------------Stuck with the CP
Reject the Team--------------X----------------------------Reject the Arg
CPs need cards--------------------------------------x----Smart CPs can be cardless
Competition is based off the plan----x--------------------------------------Neg gets to define the plan
Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President
K alts need to do something-------------------------------X-----------but you're asking the wrong question
K links about the plan---------------X---------------------------K links about a broad worldview
Not my Baudrillard-----------------------------------------X yes your Baudrillard
I will try to keep in these range for speaker points:
29.3+ — the top speaker at the tournament.
29.1-29.2 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.
28.8-29.0 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.
28.6-28.7 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.
28.4-28.5 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.
28.0-28.3 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.
27.7-27.9 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.
Have fun and be kind.
Marist, Atlanta, GA (2015-2019, 2020-Present)
Pace Academy, Atlanta GA (2019-2020)
Stratford Academy, Macon GA (2008-2015)
Michigan State University (2004-2008)
Please use email chains. Please add me- email@example.com.
Short version- You need to read and defend a plan in front of me. I value clarity (in both a strategic and vocal sense) and strategy. A good strategic aff or neg strat will always win out over something haphazardly put together. Impact your arguments, impact them against your opponents arguments (This is just as true with a critical strategy as it is with a DA, CP, Case Strategy). I like to read evidence during the debate. I usually make decisions pretty quickly. Typically I can see the nexus question of the debate clearly by the 2nr/2ar and when (if) its resolved, its resolved. Don't take it personally.
Case Debate- I like specific case debate. Shows you put in the hard work it takes to research and defeat the aff. I will reward hard work if there is solid Internal link debating. I think case specific disads are also pretty good if well thought out and executed. I like impact turn debates. Cleanly executed ones will usually result in a neg ballot -- messy debates, however, will not.
Disads- Defense and offense should be present, especially in a link turn/impact turn debate. You will only win an impact turn debate if you first have defense against their original disad impacts. I'm willing to vote on defense (at least assign a relatively low probability to a DA in the presence of compelling aff defense). Defense wins championships. Impact calc is important. I think this is a debate that should start early (2ac) and shouldn't end until the debate is over. I don't think the U necessarily controls the direction of the link, but can be persuaded it does if told and explained why that true.
K's- Im better for the K now than i have been in years past. That being said, Im better for security/international relations/neolib based ks than i am for race, gender, psycho, baudrillard etc . I tend to find specific Ks (ie specific to the aff's mechanism/advantages etc) the most appealing. If you're going for a K-- 1) please don't expect me to know weird or specific ultra critical jargon... b/c i probably wont. 2) Cheat- I vote on K tricks all the time (aff don't make me do this). 3) Make the link debate as specific as possible and pull examples straight from the aff's evidence and the debate in general 4) I totally geek out for well explained historical examples that prove your link/impact args. I think getting to weigh the aff is a god given right. Role of the ballot should be a question that gets debated out. What does the ballot mean with in your framework. These debates should NOT be happening in the 2NR/2AR-- they should start as early as possible. I think debates about competing methods are fine. I think floating pics are also fine (unless told otherwise). I think epistemology debates are interesting. K debates need some discussion of an impact-- i do not know what it means to say..."the ZERO POINT OF THE Holocaust." I think having an external impact is also good - turning the case alone, or making their impacts inevitable isn't enough. There also needs to be some articulation of what the alternative does... voting neg doesn't mean that your links go away. I will vote on the perm if its articulated well and if its a reason why plan plus alt would overcome any of the link questions. Link defense needs to accompany these debates.
K affs are fine- you have to have a plan. You should defend that plan. Affs who don't will prob lose to framework. A alot.... and with that we come to:
If not defending a plan is your thing, I'm not your judge. I think topical plans are good. I think the aff needs to read a topical plan and defend the action of that topical plan. I don't think using the USFG is an endorsement of its racist, sexist, homophobic or ablest ways. I think affs who debate this way tend to leave zero ground for the negative to engage which defeats the entire point of the activity. I am persuaded by T/Framework in these scenarios. I also think if you've made the good faith effort to engage, then you should be rewarded. These arguments make a little more sense on the negative but I am not compelled by arguments that claim: "you didn't talk about it, so you should lose."
CPs- Defending the SQ is a bold strat. Multiple conditional (or dispo/uncondish) CPs are also fine. Condo is probably good, but i can be persuaded otherwise. Consult away- its arbitrary to hate them in light of the fact that everything else is fine. I lean neg on CP theory. Aff's make sure you perm the CP (and all its planks). Im willing to judge kick the CP for you. If i determine that the CP is not competitive, or that its a worse option - the CP will go away and you'll be left with whatever is left (NBs or Solvency turns etc). This is only true if the AFF says nothing to the contrary. (ie. The aff has to tell me NOT to kick the CP - and win that issue in the debate). I WILL NOT VOTE ON NO NEG FIAT. That argument makes me mad. Of course the neg gets fiat. Don't be absurd.
T- I default to offense/defense type framework, but can be persuaded otherwise. Impact your reasons why I should vote neg. You need to have unique offense on T. K's of T are stupid. I think the aff has to run a topical aff, and K-ing that logic is ridiculous. T isn't racist. RVIs are never ever compelling.... ever.
Theory- I tend to lean neg on theory. Condo- Good. More than two then the aff might have a case to make as to why its bad - i've voted aff on Condo, I've voted neg on condo. Its a debate to be had. Any other theory argument I think is categorically a reason to reject the argument and not the team. I can't figure out a reason why if the aff wins international fiat is bad that means the neg loses - i just think that means the CP goes away.
Remember!!! All of this is just a guide for how you chose your args in round. I will vote on most args if they are argued well and have some sort of an impact. Evidence comparison is also good in my book-- its not done enough and i think its one of the most valuable ways to create an ethos of control with in the debate. Perception is everything, especially if you control the spin of the debate. I will read evidence if i need to-- don't volunteer it and don't give me more than i ask for. I love fun debates, i like people who are nice, i like people who are funny... i will reward you with good points if you are both. Be nice to your partner and your opponents. No need to be a jerk for no reason
Assistant Coach: Rowland Hall, UT
I keep my camera on as often as I can. I still try to look at faces during CX and rebuttals. Extra decimals if you try to put analytics in doc.
I still end prep once the doc has been sent.
****TLDR IN BOLD****
Please include me in email chains during the debate (johnshackelf[at]gmail). I do not follow along with the speech doc during a speech, but sometimes I will follow along to check on clipping and to follow along with cross-ex questions about specific pieces of evidence
Here is what an ideal debate looks like. (Heads up! I can be a silly goose, so the more you do this, the better I can judge you)
- Line by Line (Do it in order)
- Extending > reading a new card (Your better cards are in your first speech anyway. Tell me how the card is and how frames the debate in your future analysis)
- More content >Less Jargon (avoid talking about the judge, another team, flows, yourselves. Focus on the substance. Avoid saying: special metaphors, Turns back, check back, the link check, Pulling or extending across, Voting up or down. They don’t exist.)
- Great Cross-examination (I am ok with tag team, I just find it unstrategic)
- Compare > description (Compare more, describe less)
- Overviews/Impact Calc (Focus on the core controversy of the debate. Offense wins)
- Engage > Exclude
- Clarity > Speed
- Making generics specific to the round
- Researched T Shells (Do work before reading T. I love T, but I have a standard on what is a good T debate)
- Arguments you can only read on this topic!!
- K/FW: More sympathetic to Ks that are unique to the topic. But I dig the 1 off FW strat or 9 off vs a K.
- Theory: Perfcon theory is a thing, condo theory is not a thing. I like cheating strats. I like it when people read theory against cheating strats too.
- Prep time: I stop prep time when you eject your jump drive or when you hit send for the email. I am probably the most annoying judge about this, but I am tired of teams stealing prep and I want to keep this round moving
- I flow on my computer
Want extra decimals?
Do what I say above, and have fun with it. I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions. It is all about how you play the game.
Cite like Michigan State and open source like Kentucky
Speaker Points-Scale - I'll do my best to adhere to the following unless otherwise instructed by a tournament's invite:
29.5-This is the best speech I will hear at this tournament, and probably at the following one as well.
29-I expect you to get a speaker award.
28.5-You're clearly in the top third of the speakers at the tournament.
28-You're around the upper middle (ish area)
27.5-You need some work, but generally, you're doing pretty well
27-You need some work
26.5-You don't know what you're doing at all
26 and lower-you've done something ethically wrong or obscenely offensive that is explained on the ballot.
All in all, debate in front of me if your panel was Mike Bausch, Mike Shackelford, Hannah Shoell, Catherine Shackelford, and Ian Beier
If you have any questions, then I would be more than happy to answer them
Head Coach of Rowland Hall
Do what you do best. I’m comfortable with all arguments. Practice what you preach and debate how you would teach. Strive to make it the best debate possible.
Key Preferences & Beliefs
Debate is a game.
Literature determines fairness.
It’s better to engage than exclude.
Critique is a verb.
Defense is undervalued.
I work hard to be objective.
I flow on my computer. If you want a copy of my flow, just ask.
I think CX is very important.
I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions.
Add me to the email chain: mikeshackelford(at)rowlandhall(dot)org
Feel free to ask.
Want something more specific? More absurd?
Debate in front of me as if this was your 9 judge panel:
Ian Beier, Maggie Berthiaume, Daryl Burch, Yao Yao Chen, Malcom Gordon, Jyleesa Hampton, Nicholas Miller, Christina Philips, jon sharp
If both teams agree, I will adopt the philosophy and personally impersonate any of my former students:
Ben Amiel, Andrew Arsht, David Bernstein, Madeline Brague, Julia Goldman, Emily Gordon, Adrian Gushin, Elliot Kovnick, Will Matheson, Ben McGraw, Corinne Sugino, Caitlin Walrath, Sydney Young (these are the former debaters with paradigms... you can also throw it back to any of my old school students).
Most of what is above will apply here below in terms of my expectations and preferences. I spend most of my time at tournaments judging policy debate rounds, however I do teach LD and judge practice debates in class. I try to keep on top of the arguments and developments in LD and likely am familiar with your arguments to some extent.
Theory: I'm unlikely to vote here. Most theory debates aren't impacted well and often put out on the silliest of points and used as a way to avoid substantive discussion of the topic. It has a time and a place. That time and place is the rare instance where your opponent has done something that makes it literally impossible for you to win. I would strongly prefer you go for substance over theory. Speaker points will reflect this preference.
Speed: Clarity > Speed. That should be a no-brainer. That being said, I'm sure I can flow you at whatever speed you feel is appropriate to convey your arguments.
Disclosure: I think it's uniformly good for large and small schools. I think it makes debate better. If you feel you have done a particularly good job disclosing arguments (for example, full case citations, tags, parameters, changes) and you point that out during the round I will likely give you an extra half of a point if I agree.
- 11 Years Policy Debate
- Weber State and University of West Georgia
- Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High
Good evidence is secondary to what a debater does with it. I really appreciate evidence of interrogation in speeches and cross-examination.
I often vote for the team that can make complex arguments sound like common sense. Clarity of thought is paramount
If there is an “easy” way to vote, that's warranted, I’m likely to take it.
I appreciate technical execution and direct refutation over implied argumentation.
The earlier in debate that teams collapse down to lower quantities of positions and/or arguments, the more likely I am to latch on to what is going on and make a decent decision.
Identifying what I have to resolve behooves you. Debates are won or lost on a few primary debatable questions. If you are the first to identify and answer those questions thoroughly, you will be ahead in my mind.
UPDATED 1/31/2021 BERKELEY 2021 UPDATE
I have been judging high school debate for the past 12 years now, and I did Parli in High School, and Parli and LD in College. I have judged all forms of High School Debate. Feel free to ask me more in depth questions in round if you don't understand a part of my philosophy.
I want on the email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I know how to flow and will flow.
- This means I require a road map.
- I need you to sign post and tell me which contention you are on. Use author/source names.
- I will vote on Ks. But this means that your K needs to have framework and an alt and solvency. If you run a K my threshold for voting on it is going to be high. I don't feel like there is enough time in PF to read a good K but I am more than willing to be open to it and be proven wrong. For anyone who hits a K in front of me 'Ks are cheating' is basically an auto loss in front of me.
- I will vote on theory. But this doesn't mean that I will vote for all theory. Theory in debate is supposed to move this activity forwards. Which means that theory about evidence will need to prove that there is actual abuse occurring in order for me to evaluate it. I think there should be theory in Public Forum because this event is still trying to figure itself out but I do not believe that all theory is good theory. And theory that is playing 'gotcha' is not good theory. Having good faith is arbitrary but I think that the arguments made in round will determine it. Feel free to ask questions. If you want a better view into my beliefs on theory go read my theory section in my LD portion. (scroll down)
- Be strategic and make good life choices.
- Impact calc is the best way to my ballot.
- I will vote on case turns.
- I will call for cards if it comes down to it.
I tend to vote more for truth over tech. I have recently found myself being interventionist against cards with problematic authors or cards cut to exclude marginalized groups from the debate space. That being said, nothing makes me happier than being able to vote on T. I love hearing a good K. Spread fast if you want but at a certain point I will miss something if you are going top speed because I flow on paper, I do know how to flow I'm just not as fast as those on a laptop. Feel free to ask me any questions before round.
Fair warning it has been a few years since I have judged high level LD.
Things to consider:
- I see my self as a truth over tech K judge. High theory, love for dead white male philosophers, and time wasting theory spikes are really not my thing and not what I am interested in having to evaluate. I will. But I'm probably not the judge for you if you think your two line theory spikes are something I should take seriously.
- Your K's should link and I need an alt that is more than 'Drop Aff Vote Neg'. At least care about what your K is talking about instead of making it just a means to my ballot.
- Despite seeing myself as a K judge I was mainly reading DAs and counter plans in college so I am pretty good at evaluating those if that's the type of debater you are i got you.
- I will vote on RVI's if they apply. A well warranted theory argument or T that is part of the main Neg strat that is not dropped does not deserve an RVI nor will I vote on that RVI.
- Education is a voter to me, but that's because as an educator I feel like Debaters should be able to get something out of this activity.
- I will look at your docs during your speech, and I do so for two reasons. One: I want to spell the author's names right. My quality of life when judging has drastically increased since speech docs. Don't take this away from me. Two: I'm checking against you clipping cards.
- I probably need real articulated abuse in round to vote for your theory or RVI or whatever. Your arbitrary "Neg can only run this many of this argument" probably doesn't have the abuse story I am looking for.
- On the note of super complex philosophical arguments, I try really hard to understand what you are talking about and there has only been one round this past season that I felt totally lost in the lit. But if I don't get it I probably will not vote on it.
- K probably comes before T.
- Lay or Traditional LDers make sure you are framing your arguments via your framework. Do the work for me.
You do not win rounds if you win framework. You win that I judge the round via your framework. When it comes to framework I'm a bit odd and a bit old school. I function under the idea that Aff has the right to define the round. And if Neg wants to me to evaluate the round via their framework then they need to prove some sort of abuse.
I'm good with theory but that doesn't mean I buy yours. And that doesn't mean I live for it. LD theory is always changing and adapting and I don't buy that a lot of it is good or correct or needed. If you want to win your theory spend time on it and put a voter on it. Reading 80 theory spikes in the AC wastes all of our time. But just doing work on theory isn't enough to win it. I do not like frivolous theory. I don't want to promise I will or will not vote for it it really depends on how the rounds go but if you are running what I see as frivolous theory then I probably won't vote for you.
I define frivolous theory to be:
- Theory spikes read in the AC at the bottom that will never be used for anything. Just read another card for your contentions.
- Theory that tries to get debaters to debate under a super restrictive requirement.
- Theory that could easily go away with a "we meet".
My brightline for "we meet" on theory will vary depending on what it is. But most often if I can reasonably agree there is some type of "we meet" and no articulated actual abuse then I will probably buy there is no reason to vote on the theory.
Speaks will be disclosed if they are asked for. Range varies.
I usually judge LD, but I often judge CX and PF as well. I don't care about your style of debate. I just want a clear reason to vote for you.
I flow and vote from the flow. I want to be able to look at the flow and see a simple, clear, and unbroken story about why you win based on the framework that you provide. Crystallization is important throughout to give me this story. Overviews are often effective.
My experience with T and theory debates are more limited than most judges. It doesn't mean that I won't vote for them, as I often do. A blippy T or theory argument is unlikely to get my vote, however.
I enjoy good k debates. If you're clear about your k's thesis and how the alternative works, they're fun and interesting. It doesn't mean that you should run a k, but if you like them and want to run one, go for it. I think that the philosophical ideas in a k can add a lot to discussions of topics. I doubt that I know a ton about your literature on the k, however, so don't expect me to have a lot of background.
Framework for why your impacts matter is vital. You can win deontological positions, but you need to give offense under those frameworks too! I default to a cost-benefit analysis if no framework is provided. What else am I supposed to do? I'm open to suggestions, but I'd prefer that you give me a clear framework.
Update for 2021-2022 season: I have not worked on this year's topic, so please be as thorough as you can. I have some familiarity with the resolution based on my law school coursework in antitrust law, including antitrust law in the context of mergers and acquisitions.
My argument experience is still the same in terms of having more experience with policy arguments/plan-based debate, but as mentioned below, this is just a disclaimer about my background, rather than a preference for any type of argument. I will do my best to evaluate your arguments no matter the style, and I am happy to answer questions before the round if there is something specific you'd like to ask about. I've also noticed that I find framing the ballot even more useful for me as someone who has been out of the activity for a little bit, particularly in the final speeches- i.e. explaining what you think you are winning, why it matters, why your evidence is good and theirs is bad, etc.
- Debated for 4 years at Gonzaga University, current law student at Georgetown
- Assistant coach for Gonzaga University
- My experience is nearly exclusively in policy-based debate. That does not mean that I’m unwilling to listen to other styles of argumentation, it just means that I require an extra level of explanation if that's not your argument style.
- I do not want to reconstruct the debate and arbitrarily make a decision based on whose evidence is better- I think you should do that work in the debate, and I will do my part by working hard to listen and evaluate what you have to say.
- I think it is much more important to be clear than fast. I'm more likely to reward a 4-off strategy than a 9-off strategy.
- I think negative teams get a logical but not contradictory amount of conditional advocacies.
- I'm not persuaded that many things are reasons to reject a team, but I'm perfectly willing to make a cheating counterplan go away if you have a strongly developed theoretical objection
- I am a huge fan of case debate, and am strongly opposed to 2As that fly through case arguments
- The phrase “try or die” is not compelling to me, I prefer engaged impact comparison
- I am more persuaded by substantive reasons about why progress in the direction of the resolution is possible and desirable than I am by purely theoretical arguments, but a combination of both is worthwhile in establishing a link to your violation
- I'm typically confused about what it means for the aff to be a prerequisite to the resolution. I find offense related to the negative's interpretation far more persuasive than trying to find some balance between defending the resolution and not defending the resolution
- Topical versions of the aff don't have to be perfect to be worthwhile arguments
- I think topicality has become a non-starter for many judges as long as the aff is close enough; I don't feel that way and will not be disgruntled listening to a T debate if that's a part of your strategy against a particular aff
- I default to competing interpretations but can be persuaded by a thoroughly explained reasonability argument
- Evidence comparison is important to me; predictability is not the only litmus test for the desirability of a given definition
- I think there should be a solvency advocate that agrees with the counterplan text
- I am willing to evaluate the status quo if the 2NR establishes a judge choice argument- if the 2NR does not make this argument, I think the 2AR ought to make clear that the negative is stuck with the counterplan
- I will reward smart, case specific counterplans more than I will generic agent/process counterplans
- I think the following counterplans are more objectionable than others: consult counterplans, condition counterplans, and anything else that could be characterized as “plan plus.” This doesn't mean I don't want to listen to these counterplans, I was a 2N for my whole debating life so I'm comfortable with whatever you want to do. This is just a disclaimer that I tend to find these theory arguments more persuasive than other judges might.
- Impact comparison matters very much to me but not at the expense of the rest of the DA- if entire pieces of the DA are missing and I'm confused about something, I'm not likely to fill in the gaps for you
- I'm not a fan of a proliferation of 2AC arguments with no warrant or explanation, but I also think bad DAs deserve plenty of logical indicts and I think that defensive arguments can be enough to beat a bad argument
- Of my limited experience with critical argumentative strategies, I have the most familiarity with gender and critiques of capitalism
- The impact debate should focus on contextualizing your evidence to the aff’s advantages or mechanism
- I will be sympathetic to a conditionality argument if your kritik explicitly contradicts one or more of your other off-case positions
- I am not persuaded by arbitrary or self-serving "role of the ballot" arguments. I would prefer a clear explanation of how to compare your arguments against the affirmatives
I will evaluate the debate that you want to have to the best of my ability. If you have questions, feel free to ask before the round or email me: email@example.com.
I do college policy at Weber State University
1. I will hear any argument you have. Just make sure it has a claim, warrant, and impact.
2. I do more performative arguments so I am not the best tech wise. I should be able to hear and understand your arguments no matter the debate.
3. Cross ex is important and I will consider the things you've said.
4. Do not be rude, racists, homophobic, ect. You can be mad, loud, soft, funny. Just do not be rude.
5. Last just have fun and learn something! Be passionate. Extra speaker points for the level of spiciness you bring to a debate.
First, I will for nearly no reason insert anything I think independent of the debate round into my decision or evaluation of said round. I don't care if you think something is a bad argument or morally suspect, if either of these things are true in context of the round it should simply be easy to beat. This applies to most all things, illogical or not. This also means I have a low threshold for what needs to be said to beat a bad argument. If the DA they read doesn't have a link to the AFF a one sentence response will suffice.
Second, debate is a game that you can approach however you would like. Because of this you should attempt to win in anyway possible. PIK's, theory, cheating CP's are all fair game if you can defend them (some are easier to defend then others of course).
Third, framework when not contextualized to the AFF being read in the round is pretty much never going to persuade me. Framework debate has become too formulaic and repetitive resulting in facsimiles of prior debates playing out against different AFF's sometimes three times a tournament. Some blocks and card extensions are obviously universally applicable, but they still need some case specific analysis done for the round that is happening. The ability to make unique arguments on the spot is a sign of a good debater. This all goes doubly so for K's. I read mostly Cap and Baudrillard in college and high school and the failure to contextualize your links and alternative to the round at hand is a strategy destined for defeat.
Finally I would like to briefly add that my speaker points scale while fairly average (majority 28's) can easily be increased with humour. What ever happened to debaters being funny and persuasive in round, and why aren't these two things not more intricately connected with one another? Also, don't go faster than you know you should, slurring your speech at 400WPM will not help you win a round, focus on making good concise arguments with less filler and you won't need to force yourself to talk at Mach 10.
Debated 4 years at Weber State University (2013-2017)
Four time NDT Qualifier, 2017 NDT Octa-Finalist, 2015 CEDA Quater-Finalist
Currently a Graduate Assistant at James Madison University
I believe debate is for the debaters, I am happy to listen to whatever your argument is and will do my best to adapt to you so you don’t have to change the way you debate. I would much rather you do what you are comfortable with than read an argument just because you think it is something I would prefer to hear. I debated for 8 years and have read and coached all different kinds of arguments, so you should feel comfortable doing whatever you want in front of me. Everything else I’m going to say is just my preference about debate arguments and doesn’t mean that my mind can’t be changed. The last thing I'll say here is the most important thing for me in debates is that you defend your arguments. You can read almost anything in front of me as long as you can defend it. I decide the debates based off of what is on my flow, and nothing else.
Critical Affirmatives – I believe affirmatives should have a relation to the resolution, but I think there are many different interpretations as to what that can mean. To get my ballot with a non-traditional affirmative you must justify why your discussion/performance is a better one for us to have than talking about the resolution or why the resolution is bad. I am sympathetic to arguments that the negative needs to be able to engage the affirmative on some level, and I don't think that "they could read the cap K" is good ground. Counter interpretations are important on framework and will help me frame your impact turns. To win your impact turns to any argument I think the affirmative should have some mechanism to be able to solve them. Overall, I think it is important for any affirmative to actually solve for something, having a clear explanation starting from the 1AC of how you do that is important, and that explanation should stay consistent throughout the debate.
Framework – I think negative framework arguments against critical affirmatives are strategic and love to listen to thought out arguments about why the resolution is an important form of education. Fairness and ground are also impacts I will vote on and I perceive them as being important claims to win the theory of your argument. I am easily compelled that the negative loses ground when a non-topical affirmative is read, and having a list of what that ground is and why it is important is helpful when evaluating that debate. Even if you don't have cards about the affirmative it is important that you are framing your arguments and impacts in the context of the affirmative. If your FW 2NC has no mention of the affirmative that will be a problem for you. I view topical versions of the affirmative and switch side arguments as an important aspect to win this debate.
Kritiks – As I reached the end of my debate career this is the form of debate I mostly participated in which means I will have a basic understanding of your arguments. My research was more in structural critiques, especially feminism. I have dappled in many other areas of philosophy, but I wouldn’t assume that I know a lot about your Baudrillard K, so if that is your thing explanation is important. If you have an alternative, it is important for you to explain how the alternative functions and resolves your link arguments. I would prefer links specific to the affirmative over generic links. I am not a huge fan of links of omission. You will do better in front of me if you actually explain these arguments rather than reading your generic blocks full speed at me. In method v method debates I think you need to have a clear explanation of how you would like competition to function, the sentence "no permutations in a method debate" doesn't make sense and I think you need to have more warrants to why the permutation cannot function or wouldn't solve.
For affirmatives answering critiques, I believe that impact turns are highly useful in these debates and are generally underutilized by debaters. I don't think permutations need to have net benefits, but view them as just a test of competition. However just saying extend "perm do both" isn't an acceptable extension in the 1AR and 2AR, you should explain how it can shield the links. As for reading framework on the aff against a critique, it will be very hard for you to convince me that a negative team doesn’t get the critique at all, but you can easily win that you should be able to weigh the impacts of the 1AC.
Counterplans – Please slow down on the text of the CP, especially if it is extremely long. I am fine with anything as long as you can defend it and it has a clear net benefit. If I can't explain in my RFD how the counterplan solves majority of the affirmative or its net benefit then i'm probably not going to vote for it, so start the explanation in the block.
Disadvantages – I enjoy a good disad and case debate with lots of comparison and explanation. I would much rather that you explain your arguments instead of reading a bunch of cards and expecting me to fill in the holes by reading all of that evidence, because I probably won’t.
Topicality - I really don't have a strong opinion about what it is and isn't topical and think it is up to you to explain to me why a particular aff makes the topic worse or better. I tend to have a pretty low standard of what it means to be reasonably topical.
Theory - I generally think conditionality is good. Other than that I really don't care what you do just be able to defend your arguments.
Finally, as I becoming older and more grumpy I am getting increasingly annoyed about stealing prep and random down time in between speeches. That doesn't mean you aren't allowed to use the restroom, just be respectful of my time. I will reward time efficiency between speeches with better speakers points. Especially if you can send the email before prep time is over. These are my preferences
--If a speaker marks the speech document and the other team wants the marked document that should happen after CX during prep time. If the other team cannot wait until after CX then they can take prep time to get the cards
--If a speak reads a cards that were not in the speech document and needs to send them out the speaker will take prep time before CX to send out the necessary evidence.
--CX ends when the timer is over. Finish your sentence quickly or take prep time to continue CX
I would like to be on the email chain – firstname.lastname@example.org
After a decade, I’ve now finally decided to update my philosophy. I’ve found that nothing I could say about each of the main argument categories would be particularly relevant because of one simple fact - my ultimate preference is to evaluate the round in whatever way you tell me to. I’m not saying you can call me a “tabula rasa” judge, if people even use that phrase anymore…I’m saying that my goal is to intervene as little as possible in the debate.
-I find myself evaluating every argument in a debate as a disad. This is obvious for actual disadvantages, counterplans, etc but for me, it's also true of theory, framework, and topicality. Did you read framework against a critical race aff? Then you likely have a predictability disad and a fairness disad against the aff’s framing of how debate should be. Did the neg read a conditional CP, K alternative, and insist the SQ is an option? You probably have ground and fairness disads to the CP/K. In those instances, you HAVE to make an impact argument that makes sense. Exclude the aff, reject the CP, reject the team…whatever. I will compare those impacts to the impacts the other side has (flexibility, education, etc.). It’d be a lot better if you did the comparison for me. If you don't, I will read into everything and make a decision for myself.
-Otherwise, debate like you want to debate. I no longer find myself voting against framework all of the time or voting for the K vs policy affs that are going for framework against the alt. I probably have voted the opposite way more often in the last year.
-Lastly, I flow but I also want to be on the email chain (email@example.com). I'm actually trying to model what you are supposed to be doing...flowing the speech and looking at the evidence the team is reading once I've written down what they said ALOUD. If you do this, guaranteed 28.9 or better (which is high for me). If you actually flow AND you are funny and/or efficient at line-by-line and/or making a ton of smart arguments while covering everything, guaranteed 29.5 or better (which is outrageous for me).
------------------------------Online Debate Update------------------------------
My computer setup is way better in my house than on the road. I have incredibly fast internet and multiple screens. But it's not enough to be able to flow full speed debates over Zoom without issues. Please keep that in mind. A few things will help, if you so choose - send out your full speech doc, not just your cards so I can follow along (I'm still going to flow what you say out loud but will cut you a bit of slack in the form of looking at your speech doc to fill in holes) and slow down on theory and analytics (I'm flowing on computer and not paper at home which is both faster in some respects and slower in others).
I debated throughout high school and then at Idaho State University for 5 years. I then coached at Idaho State University for 2 years, Weber for 1, and USC for 1. I've been out of the game this season, fair warning.
I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I've had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and it's my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations, make me adapt to you instead of the other way around.
I try my damnedest to line up all the arguments on my flow. I am, however, open to alternate flowing styles. I really do prefer when debaters make specific reference of which argument(s) they are answering at a given time regardless of flowing style. I also flow the text of cards.
I prefer not to call for evidence (although I would like to be on your email chain... firstname.lastname@example.org). This means explain, explain, explain! Tell me what the card says; tell me why I should care and how I should apply it. That being said, I do not think that cards are always better than analytics.
Be prepared to defend all aspects of your argument.
Everything is open to (re)interpretation. For example, some questions that may be relevant to my ballot include: What is the purpose of debate? How does this affect the way that impacts are evaluated? These kinds of top-level framing issues are the most important to me.
This means things like framework and T (fun little-known fact: I've always found topicality in general super interesting--I love the nit-picky semantics of language) can be viable options against K affs. However, you are better off if you have a substantive response to the aff included as well.
I'm still kind of deciding how I feel about how competition functions in method debates. I think the most accurate depiction of what I think about it now is this (and it all obviously depends on what's happening in the debate/on the flow, but in general): I'll probably err that the affirmative on-face gets a permutation to determine if the methods are mutually exclusive, and so that means the best strategy for the negative in this world is to generate their links to the aff's method itself to prove that mutual exclusivity.
I'd really appreciate it if you could warn me in advance if there will be graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
I am okay with any kind of debate, as long as you can explain it well. I did two years of high school LD, one year of policy in college, and I have coached more or less 4 years. If I can't understand you then I can't flow your arguments. If I can't flow your arguments I can't vote for them.
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.
Spreading is difficult for me to follow. I don't like critiques that are not closely related to the round. Make sure you have a strong link. I don't like theory arguments and I don't like advanced framework debate. Relate everything closely to the topic.
Juan Diego Catholic: 2011-2014 (1N/2A and 1A/2N)
Rowland Hall-St. Marks: 2014-2015 (1A/2N)
University of Michigan: 2015-2019 (1A/2N)
University of Kentucky: 2019-2020 (Assistant Coach)
Wake Forest University: Present (Assistant Coach)
*Please put me on the email chain: email@example.com - NO POCKETBOXES OR WHATEVER PLEASE AND THANK YOU*
TL;DR: You do you, and I'll flow and judge accordingly. Make smart arguments, be yourself, and have fun. Ask questions if you have them post-round / time permits. I would rather you yell at me (with some degree of respect) and give me the chance to explain why you lost so that you can internalize it rather than you walk away pissed/upset without resolution. An argument = claim + warrant. You may not insert rehighlighted evidence into the record - you have to read it, debate is a communicative activity.
General thoughts: I enjoy debate immensely and I hope to foster that same enjoyment in every debate I judge. With that being said, you should debate how you like to debate and I’ll judge fairly. I will immediately drop a team and give zero speaks if you make this space hostile by making offensive remarks or arguments that make it unsafe for others in the round (to be judged at my discretion). Clipping accusations must have audio or some form of proof. Debaters do not necessarily have to stake the round on an ethics violation. I also believe that debaters need to start listening to each other's arguments more, not just flowing mindlessly - so many debates lose potential nuance and clash because debaters just talk past each other with vague references to the other team's arguments. I can't/won't vote on an argument about something that happened outside the debate. I have no way of falsifying any of this and it's not my role as a judge. This doesn't apply to new affs bad if both teams agree that the aff is new, but if it's a question of misdisclosure, I really wouldn't know what to do (stolen from DML and Goldschlag). *NOTE - if you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me. If you think that what you're saying in the debate would not be acceptable to an administrator at a school to hear was said by a high school student to an adult, you should strike me. (stolen from Val)
General K thoughts:
- AT: Do you judge these debates/know what is happening? Yes, its basically all I judge anymore (mostly clash of civs)
- AT: Since you are familiar with our args, do we not have to do any explanation specific to the aff/neg args? No, you obviously need to explain things
- AT: Is it cool if I just read Michigan KM speeches I flowed off youtube? If you are reading typed out copies of someone else's speech, I'm going to want to vote against you and will probably be very grumpy. Debate is a chance for you to show off your skill and talent, not just copy someone's speech you once saw on youtube.
K (Negative) – enjoyable if done well. Make sure the links are specific to the case and cause an impact. Make sure that the alt does something to resolve those impacts and links as well as some aff offense OR have a framework that phases out aff offense and resolves yours. Assume I know nothing about your literature base. Try not to have longer than a 2-minute overview
K (Affirmative) / Framework – probably should have some relation to the resolution otherwise it's easy to be persuaded that by the interp that you need to talk about the resolution. Probably should take some sort of action to resolve whatever the aff is criticizing. I think FW debates are important to have because they force you to question why this space has value and/or what needs to change in said space. Negative teams should prove why the aff destroys fairness and why that is bad. Affirmative teams should have a robust reason why their aff is necessary to resolve certain impacts and why framework is bad. Both teams need a vision of what debate looks like if I sign my ballot aff or neg and why that vision is better than the other side’s. Fairness is an impact and is easily the one I'm most persuaded by, particularly if couched in terms of it being the only impact any individual ballot can solve AND being a question of simply who's model is most debatable (think competing interps).
T is distinct from Framework in these debates in so far as I believe that:
- T is a question of form, not content -- it is fundamentally content neutral because there can be any number of justifications beyond simply just the material consequences of hypothetical enactment for any number of topical affs
- Framework is more a question of why this particular resolution is educationally important to talk about and why the USfg is the essential actor for taking action over these questions
Case – Please, please, please debate the case. I don’t care if you are a K team or a policy team, the case is so important to debate. Most affs are terribly written and you could probably make most advantages have almost zero risk if you spent 15 minutes before round going through aff evidence. Zero risk exists.
CPs – Sure. Negative teams need to prove competition and why they are net beneficial to the aff. Affirmative needs to impact out solvency deficits and/or explain why the perm avoids the net benefit. Affs also must win some form of offense to outweigh a DA (solvency deficits, theory, impact turn to an internal nb/plank of the cp) otherwise I could be persuaded that the risk of neg offense outweighs a risk a da links to the cp, the perm solvency, etc.
DAs – Also love them. Negative teams should tell me the story of the DA through the block and the 2nr. Affirmative teams need to point out logical flaws in the DA and why the aff is a better option. Zero risk exists.
Politics – probably silly, but I’ll vote on it. I could vote on intrinsicness as terminal defense if debated well.
Topicality – You need a counter-interp to win reasonabilty on the aff. I default to competing interpretations if there is no other metric for evaluation.
Theory – the neg has been getting away with murder recently and its incredibly frustrating. Brief thoughts on specific args below:
- cps with a bunch of planks to fiat out of every possible solvency deficit with no solvency advocate = super bad
- 3+ condo with a bunch of conditional planks = bad
- cps that fiat things such as: "Pence and Trump resign peacefully after [x] date to avoid the link to the politics da", "Trump deletes all social media and never says anything bad about the action of the plan ever", "Trump/executive office/other actor decides never to backlash against the plan or attempt to circumvent it" = vomit emoji
- commissions cps = still cheating, but less bad than all the things above
- delay cps = boo
- consult cps = boo (idk if these exist on the immigration topic, but w/e)
- going for theory when you read a new aff = nah fam (with some exceptions)
- 2nr cps (yes this happened recently) = boo
- going for condo when they read 2 or less without conditional planks = boo
- perf con is a reason you get to sever your reps for any perm
- theory probably does not outweigh T unless impacted very early, clearly, and in-depth
Bonus – Speaker Point Outline – I’ll try to follow this very closely (TOC is probably the exception because y'all should be speaking in the 28.5+ category):
(Note: I think this scale reflects general thoughts that are described in more detail in this: http://collegedebateratings.weebly.com/points-scale.html - Thanks Regnier)
29.3 < (greater than 29.3) - Did almost everything I could ask for
29-29.3 – Very, very good
28.8 – 29 – Very good, still makes minor mistakes
28.5 – 28.7 – Pretty good speaker, very clear, probably needs some argument execution changes
28.3 – 28.5 – Good speaker, has some easily identifiable problems
28 – 28.3 – Average varsity policy debater
27-27.9 – Below average
27 > (less than 27) - You did something that was offensive / You didn’t make arguments.
TLDR: debate however you would like in front of me. I'll evaluate whatever you give me to the best of my ability.
Speed: 6. If you aren't clear, then it makes my job infinitely harder. If you spread through the standards on T, Theory, and other analytic arguments, I won't feel guilty if it doesn't make it onto the flow. I can only evaluate what I was able to flow.
T: Go for it
Performance: Go for it.
Non Topical affs
I am open to new uses of time, performance, and affs that are not topical. However, I feel it is the burden of the affirmative to provide solid framework telling me to evaluate the round differently than if I were a traditional policymaker.
Topicality I'll be honest here. As aff, I was frequently non topical and as neg I read T all of the time. I am okay with T hacks, and I won't punish an aff outright so long as they can provide ample reason why their aff would be preferrable to the topic. I will default to competing interps on T debates generally.
Debate authors: this is my pet peeve. Debate people are great for advice at camp, they're not gods on the T flow. Cut it out. "Don't use me in round," Steve Knell, 2015
I don't really feel like I should have to put a section in here for K's but, here we go. I was a K hack that read Queer Theory/Ableism all of senior year. I believe that the K is a valid argument, and provides great (if not real world value,) intellectual value. I am familiar with queer, fem, and ableism literature as well as biopower. If you choose to read other identity critiques or something that isn't a "generic K," I may call for evidence. I will evaluate arguments I am unfamiliar with to the best of my ability.
Most CPs are totally able to be permed. I require debaters explain how the permutation is functional first, and evaluate whether or not the perm harms the integrity of the kritik if that becomes relevant. I am happy to grant perms, but if you do not tell me how the perm would function, I will most likely conclude neg.
Honestly, disads are my least favorite arguments. If you want me to vote for it, you're best going for a CP/DA strategy.
Hey, so apparently sending evidence without tags is a thing now. Don't do it in front of me. I'll cap your speaks at 28.
from another paradigm I recently saw re: high school debate -
If you think that what you're saying in the debate would not be acceptable to an administrator at a school to hear was said by a high school student to an adult, you should strike me.
I don't want to be on the email chain. If I want to, I'll ask. You should debate as if I'm not reading a speech doc.
I'm currently a phd candidate and I view debate as an educator and also activist/organizer. This is to say that I ground much of what I think is important in debate in terms of how skills critical thinking in debate rounds adds into a larger goal of pursuing knowledge and external decisionmaking.
i've been in debate since fall 2008. at this point i'm simultaneously more invested and less invested in the activity. i'm more invested in what students get out of debate, and how I can be more useful in my post-round criticism. I'm less invested in personalities/teams/rep/ideological battles in debate. it's entirely possible that I have never heard of you before, and that's fine.
you should run what will win you the round. you should run what makes you happy. don't run what you think I want to hear.
Impact scenarios are where I vote - Even if you win uniqueness/link questions, if I don't know who's going to initiate a war, how an instance of oppression would occur, etc. by the end of the round, I'll probably go looking elsewhere to decide the round. The same thing goes for the aff - if I can't say what the aff solves and why that's important, I am easily persuaded by marginal negative offense.
Prep time ends when you email the file to the other team. It's 2020, you've likely got years of experience using a computer for academic/personal work, my expectations of your email prowess are very high.
Competing methods debates don't mean no permutation, for me at least. probably means that we should rethink how permutations function. people/activists/organizers combine methods all the time.
I don't think I've ever voted a team down b/c theory. an arg yes, but not a team:
I've found myself especially unwilling to vote on theory that's on face not true - for example: if you say floating PICs bad, and the alternative isn't articulated as a floating PIC in the debate, I won't vote on it. I don't care if it's conceded.
I think fairness is an independent impact, but also that non-topical affs can be fair. A concession doesn't mean an argument is made. your only job is to make arguments, i don't care if the other team has conceded anything, you still have to make the argument in the last speech.
Affs I don't like:
I've found myself increasingly frustrated with non-topical affs that run philosophically/critically negative stances on the aff side. The same is true for non-topical affs that just say that propose a framework for analysis without praxis. I'm super open to presumption/switch-side arguments against these kinds of affs.
I'm frustrated by non-topical affs that do not have any sort of advocacy statement/plan text. If you're going to read a bunch of evidence and I have to wait until CX or the 2AC to know what I'm voting for, I'll have a lower threshold to vote on fw/t/the other team.
Finally, I have limited belief in the transformative power of speech/performance. Especially beyond the round. I tend to think that power/violence is materially structured and that the best advocacies can tell me how to change the status quo in those terms.
Negs I don't like:
Framework 2nr's that act as if the affirmative isn't dynamic and did not develop between the 2ac and the 1ar. Most affs that you're inclined to run framework against will prove "abuse" for you in the course of the debate.
Stale politics disadvantages. Change your shells between tournaments if necessary, please.
Theoretically inconsistent/conflicting K strats.
I don't believe in judge kicking. Your job is to make the strategic decisions as the debate continues, not mine.
if you have questions about me or my judge philosophy, ask them before the round!
-Include me in email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Clarity over speed.
-Overviews, Impact Calc, and Line by Line or else
-Kritical Affirmatives/Framework: A well-run framework argument is compelling to me. I am willing to vote for a limits/fairness argument. For kritikal affirmatives, the alt debate matters to me. Win it.
-Topicality: If fleshed out, I am willing to vote on reasonability. Fairness is also legitimate. I lean truth over tech in these debates-but tech still matters.
-CPs: If enough work is done on the theory debate, Process CPs, Advantage CPs, and PICs can be legitimate. Work means engaging with the other side's arguments; repeating your shell in the rebuttals is not enough.
-DAs: DA and case is a strat. Generics are fine. Politics is my jam.
-Ks: Contextual link work and a clear, direct explanation of how your alt works may get you the ballot. Explain your jargon. I'm not down for "we're a K so as long as we win the general thesis of the argument, it doesn't matter if we drop stuff." Dropping stuff matters. If you make that argument, you will probably lose.
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: email@example.com
anything else (if you want me to read the e-mail or respond): firstname.lastname@example.org
"There are some who believe that there is a "correct" way to debate just as there are some who believe that there is only one true religion. I am respectful of all of those who so believe but I do not think students should have those values imposed upon them."
-- Jim Gentile, legendary debate coach
I have judged a minor slew of the wild'n'crazy debates over the past few years. This has lead me to a strong appreciation of the fundamentals: line-by-line, "even if" statements and strong impact calculus. That said, I like to learn and experience new things. If you introduce me to a word or an author or a frame of thinking, I am more likely to reward you with whatever ballots mean.
My definition of a *good debate* is as follows: words are clear and discernible, arguments are distinct and comparative, speeches are well-organized and contain multiple historical and situational examples, debaters are cordial and crafty while always keeping a sense of humor, paperless wastetime is kept to a minimum and the final two speeches are spent writing my RFD.
Unless you are doing something wrong, I almost always flow cross-ex.
While not impossible, I don't typically vote for teams that solely extend defensive arguments.Since definitions of offense/defense differ among judges, mine are:
Offense = what they advocate is/leads to something that is bad/dangerous/catastrophic. Defense = something they said is incorrect/unlikely/false.
If you are using debate to fashion a new Total World-Image, you should realize that I might not care that hard. I leave you with the following kernel of empuzzling wisdom from the Haruki Murakami:
...there is nothing unusual about a dairy cow seeking a pair of pliers. A cow is bound to get her pliers sometime. It has nothing to do with me.
(Older Extra-Long Version, All Of Which Is Still True-ish)
My primary goal as a judge is to enjoyably resolve debates with a minimum quantity of my own intervention. While true tabula rasa is impossible, I think that attempting to constrain the influences on my decision to arguments in the debate is a necessary thought experiment in the interests of pedagogical competition. Therefore, I will attempt to prevent my prior knowledge of the topic, history, and certain authors or literatures from influencing my decision and will consign such interests to post-round suggestions and comments.
That being said, I have some presumptions which are generally reflected in the way I make decisions in really bad/unresolved or good/close debates, where key questions are left to the judge. If you want me to judge in a different way, then you should introduce a judgment calculus as an argument in the debate itself and tell me how you’d like things resolved. Below are a list of some of my considered presumptions.
Debate is a game — it is supposed to be fun and it is supposed to stimulate participants’ intellect. Rules and constraints on arguments are a vital element of motivating this stimulation, in the same way that constraints on poetic forms motivate novel plays of language. Debating the rules, the framework and the impact calculus within that framework has always been a component of winning debates. This is true whether the framework argument concerns a stipulation that the affirmative defend the minimum number of votes necessary for legislative passage, that the judge is a logical policy-maker, that the affirmative must defend a topical plan or that every debater must answer the cross-ex questions posed to them. Fiat and policy implementation are black boxes that can be uniquely unpacked in every debate for strategic gain, whether via an intrinsicness argument or an argument about one’s personal connection to the topic.
Line-by-line is pretty important — it’s how I flow and my flow typically dictates how I decide debates. If there is a compelling reason not to decide a debate on dropped arguments, tell me what it is during the debate and if the other team drops it I’ll make a good-faith effort to embrace your paradox. Conceded arguments may be treated as true, but the scope of that truth is limited by arguments which remain contested. I try to remain vigilant of new arguments in final speeches.
Scope matters — an argument that is thesis-level is more powerful and wide-ranging than a specific argument, but because there are more opportunities for counter-example, general arguments are logically easier to disprove. If you concede the truth of a thesis-level claim without taking the opportunity to find a counter-example, then you should not be surprised when the debate is decided at the level of generalities. See Karl Popper’s explanation of Occam’s Razor for an explanation of the logic behind this.
Warrant depth and diversity are key — it’s how I decide most contests between given claims. Counter-intuitive, improbable and morally repugnant claims are totally winnable with diverse and high-quality warrants.
Cheap shots aren’t a great idea — I’m a pretty good flow but I have a high threshold for clarity. If you mumbled out a voting issue or trick perm in pig latin that the other team missed there’s a decent chance I missed it too. I won’t vote on an argument that I didn’t record during a speech unless all four debaters agree that it was made or concede the same
Offense/defense is standard — with some obvious exceptions it seems like everyone wants to debate this way, so I’m happy to go along with it. I do think there are serious problems with the logic of offense/defense, most easily highlighted in debates over the link differential between a plan and counterplan. I am also susceptible to offense/defense bad arguments (“Arguments are sentences that are either true or false…the counterplan either links to the DA or doesn’t… therefore link differential as a concept is incoherent… you’re either pregnant or you’re not”), but I’m sure there are good responses to such objections
Remedy is the most important question for theory debates. I will assume that the impact to a theory argument is to reject the argument unless it is explicitly stated otherwise prior to the final rebuttals.
Conditionality is usually a good thing, but then again it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Nuanced theory is key — I’m more sympathetic to the aff if conditional advocacies contradict or steal the aff in some way, as opposed to the debate over whether or not conditionality in the abstract is good or bad.
Postround conditionality is sweet for the negative but terrible for the aff. I am very sympathetic theoretical objections against it. I won’t kick arguments for the negative unless explicitly told to, and then only if the aff doesn’t object.
Permutations are tests of a link unless explained otherwise. If there is a link argument extended by the negative, then it must be explained how the permutation resolves the link arguments.
Uniqueness controls the direction of the link if decisively won by either team — otherwise I’ll evaluate all arguments probablistically via offense/defense
Diverse case turn arguments are a great way to persuade me that you’ve won the debate
I find that I begin most of my decisions by looking at impact uniqueness — the part of debate that determines whether or not either side truly controls “try-or-die”. If a team decisively controls impact uniqueness, then I may be inclined to vote for them even if they appear to be losing much of the rest of the debate.
Extreme-low-risk causal chains fall within the penumbra of statistical noise and in principle only dictate possibility rather than probability. In other words, if you lose a key defensive argument on a DA, you have proven that the link-chain suggested by the DA is possible, but not probable. Because lots of things are possible, the fact that the DA is possible may not be significant in my decision.
PICs done right are some of my favorite arguments. Case specific, functionally and textually competitive, with specific solvency advocates are awesome
Counterplans that steal the aff are probably unfair for the aff to have to debate — I’m more aff-leaning on condition/consult than most
Cross-ex is the best way to establish competition
Solvency advocates in general are preferable but not a must
Specificity is key — if you aren’t pointing to specific 1AC cards to do link analysis then you are depriving yourself of both a speaker point opportunity and strategic advantage
Think through what the alt is — if you get embarrassed on the alt being vague and/or naive and/or dumb in cross-ex then I may feel hard-pressed to vote for you
Floating PIKs are silly but really strategic — if you make them too sneakily in the block and then claim that they were “dropped” I think the 2ar probably gets a few new-ish logical answers
I flow it sometimes, it’s binding and vital for speaker points
Only use it for research questions during debates — fine for Wikipedia checks or to get the context of a full article, not cool to open an email with a bunch of new updates half-way through the debate. If you want to use time during a debate to cut a cards, that’s your own business
I give speaker points for rhetorical and persuasive flourish, use of historical examples and creative analogies, humor and technical talent. I may lower points for debaters who fight with or interrupt their partner, are cruel or disrespectful to their opponents, who prompt excessively, who make poor use of cross-ex. I will also punish the speaker points of debaters who use prejudicial or discriminatory language in a debate, or violate ethical norms of conduct.
I don’t vote on ethics challenges. There are other remedies that solve better, and I don’t think that it is worth ruining an entire debate over one person’s opinion of what constitutes “community norms” or “ethical practices”. That being said, please don’t lie, cheat, steal, cross-read, fabricate evidence, text/chat with your coaches during a debate and so on — it fosters a weakness of spirit if you get away with it and makes you look pathetic and/or stupid if called out on it.
Arguments are arguments, whether made by voice, image, song or body. That being said, sometimes it’s difficult for me to flow the warrants of the body, so make sure you explain your arguments in plain language. I appreciate rhetorical debating, and will give higher speaker points for performances that look like some effort was put into composition and rehearsal.
I find that reading evidence often distracts from / undermines the rhetorical force of a performance. I appreciate warranted argumentation — you don’t need to hand me a lot of evidence.
Your opponents influence the way that I judge your solvency. Make sure that the other team understands what you’re argument is, or at very least give them the opportunity to understand. Performance teams whose arguments are excessively complicated, vague or constantly morphing can undermine their own raison d’etre.
I am more sympathetic to performances that either justify the resolution or have advocacy statements that are germane to the topic. I think that topicality and framework are different arguments. Make sure you can defend your education in the context of the education facilitated by the resolution.