Arizona State HDSHC Invitational
2018 — Tempe, AZ/US
Congress Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello! I'm a parent judge, so I'm not super familiar with jargon or progressive arguments that neglect to fully explain their positions, but if you have a cool idea, I'm all ears as long as it's understandable and clear.
Traditional - preferred
Plans and Counterplans- will buy them, as long as they are supported
Kritiks - please don't
Theory/Topicality - not a big fan of the theory shell format, if something is abusive just point it out
Speed - it's ok if you go fast-ish, just don't spread to the point of incomprehensibility
Speaker Points- 25- offensive or unintelligible
26-27- ok, a bit unclear or content is hazy but mostly fine
28-29- good, likely to move on to out rounds
30- flawless, well-supported, clear.
Please speak clearly, and try not to spread.
Please be respectful to your fellow competitors, especially during direct questioning.
Overview: I have been the Head Coach at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy since founding the team in 2013. I have been fortunate to coach dozens of students both at the AZ-local level and on the national circuit, but believe this activity (regardless of event) is first and foremost about "seeking the truth" through deep reading, active listening, clear thinking, and finally honest speaking. Your goal should not be to only be able to convince people with insular prior experience and expertise in S&D; good communication is good communication and should be about being able to reach anyone. As a coach, I also have the privilege/challenge of training lots of new parent/community judges who are scared to judge for the first time. My honest belief is that if you've "read a book before, watched a movie before, listened intently to a lecture before, and had a conversation with someone who disagreed with you" then you have sufficient life experience to become a good speech and debate judge (assuming they also learn the event rules/format, give feedback, and keep asking questions to keep improving).
Congressional Debate: Congressional Debate will forever be one of my favorite events. Your job is to be the whole package: convincing speaker, solid researcher, active questioner, and get into the collegial role play (without wandering too far into excessive, unnecessary motions).
- Speeches: There is no specific speaking position that is prone to do better or worse than others for me. I've seen and coached dozens of students who were primarily constructive speakers who liked speaking in early cycles on each bill. Thoroughly researched and original constructive speeches are vital for inviting good debate to follow. Others preferred (and were successful) at being a mix of late-constructive-speaker with some refutation (I welcome direct refutation as long as it is deeper than "Rep XX says YY and I disagree", offer an analysis of their claims/warrants/impacts). Others preferred to be a late cycle ("crystalization") speaker with greater emphasis on "weighing" and clarifying the overall issues brought up in the debate (please know that just giving a laundry list of previous speaker names, what they said, and whether you agree/disagree is not a crystalization; I was already here to hear their speeches, you still need to offer unique research and original analysis, even if it is analysis of their analysis). Any of those three speaker positions can do well or can do poorly depending on the speaker/speech. All three of them have an important role to play in Congressional Debate. In all 3 speaking positions, evidence is necessary.
- Decorum/Speech Length: The NSDA rule is that speeches have a time limit of 3 minutes, but does not specify a penalty for those who abuse the speech length. My belief is that exceeding the time limit is un-collegial (privileging one's own speech over those of others), shows a lack of decorum, and disrespects the rules. Many tournaments/leagues have begun offering a 10 second grace period (with the idea of letting a speaker finish their sentence/thought). If you are competing at that allows such a grace period, know that your goal should still be to give a 3:00 speech and not 3:10 speeches. Exceeding 3:10 is frankly rude (I've been horror-struck to see speeches go to 3:17, 3:26, 3:42, etc.), particularly when your PO is giving you several warnings.
- Presiding: I have trained many students to preside (and even been fortunate to coach a student who Presided in the Finals at Nationals), and know how incredibly difficult it is to lead your peers. I have judged many POs who have been ranked in my Top 1-3 or Top 6, and also judged POs who have been in the bottom 25% of my Parli ballot. I know how difficult POing is and wish to reward a truly great PO, but the bar for leadership is still quite high and getting elected is not a guarantee that you're going to earn a good rank. POing takes practice both inside and outside of tournaments.
- Mentorship/Civility: In some ways I am grateful that there isn't a novice division of Congressional Debate because it means that new students or competitors from teams who are new to Congress will hopefully get to see some good models from experienced students in the room which they can learn from and emulate. If you are an experienced Congressional Debater, you already have a sizable competitive advantage over these students learning the ropes; they are not a threat to you. Build them up, invite them to discuss the docket with you before the round, encourage them to come to the next Congress (its in your best interest for Congress to grow across the State and Nation). Bludging a new congressional debater to death or being condescending just makes them never want to do the activity again, and makes judges less inclined to vote for you (even if you give solid speeches). This activity is about more than winning rounds; "speaking with good purpose" should be about more than giving quality speeches.
Public Forum Debate: Despite having a background in debate, I wish teams would emphasize the "Public" nature of Public Forum Debate. I competed in Public Forum Debate shortly after it was founded, and remember that part of the rationale for creating it was that debate was getting too far removed from the public and becoming increasingly insular If this community exists to only persuade those who have been specially trained to think in a specific way, then this activity fails at its goal of being relevant in the real world.
Speak clearly, medium slowly, persuasively, and be grounded in thorough research (in all speeches, not just the constructives). Unsubstantiated claims, or rebuttal/summary/final focus speeches that keep re-hashing your side while ignoring the opposition's side, are not rewarded. Even though I am coach, you are inevitably far more broadly and deeply read on this specific topic. Your job is to teach me just like it would be to teach any judge. I should leave feeling like I've learned something about the world, or think about the topic in a slightly new way.
Lincoln Douglas Debate: Please allow me to give you the respect of speaking honestly. I have coached lots of Novice LD through the basics of traditional LD, and past that I admit my limitations. I am essentially non-responsive to kritikal arguments and spreading. I acknowledge that you are significantly more thoroughly read on the topic than I am and likely will ever be. Use that knowledge responsibly and teach me. I should leave the round feeling like I as the judge learned something new about the world (or I should think about something in a new way), because you slowly taught it to the audience. Make it obvious your side is winning.
Policy Debate: If a tournament is in dire straits and desperate enough that I am judging a round of policy debate, then God rest both of our souls. Firstly, consider what I've said above about Congress, PF, and LD. If judging policy debate, I will basically adopt a "policy maker" paradigm, and your job is to (slowly, like a real policymaker would) convince me that the policy plan put forward is or isn't the better option. If I can't understand you, then I don't write it down and it didn't happen. You will have more success with stock arguments: topicality, advantages/disadvantages, maybe counterplans. If you're willing to meet me where I'm at, I'll give you a fair listening. I understand the need for progressive/kritikal arguments to exist in this form of academic debate, but they will most likely not help you win my vote.
No speed or jargon. I will vote for the team that persuades me with facts.
- I like unique/creative arguments and the use of props.
- I highly value good research and well-sourced information — and I will fact-check you.
- Good decorum is a must. I’m not judging based on the best debater, but rather, the best legislator. Keep your arguments within the relative mainstream.
- I do not value critical arguments or spreading.
I like to hear clear diction so that I can understand what you are saying, a slow enough tempo for me to process what you are saying; emphasis on important words; quality arguments, intelligent questions in crossfire, and confidence.
I am a lay judge.
Policy: Traditional Stock Issues judge, but open to other paradigms if presented by a logical and reasonable case. Prefer slow to moderate delivery, but able and willing to flow high speed (if delivery is coherent)
LD: Well reasoned cases that present logical and clear links between Value and Criterion are preferred; clash is important; K’s are acceptable when presented and explained well.
PF: Well reasoned cases with supporting evidence preferred; clash is important; Slow and deliberate delivery style preferred, but not required
Do not spread! If you cannot adjust to a conversational pace of delivery please strike me.
Updated 4/20/21 after TOC
Congratulations on qualifying for the National Tournament! Like you, I believe it is an honor to participate in this tournament and I take the privilege very seriously. I will be flowing your analysis and weighing your arguments with a fully open mind.
As the season winds down I have had the opportunity to judge outstanding speakers and debaters at national qualifying tournaments across the US. I have judged LD as a lay judge for 8 years and this season I have judged 45 rounds of LD at tournaments in 21 states due to zoom. Therefore, I am a lay judge with experience.
LD is a debate centered on value. Therefore I prioritize framework and consistently ballot for the debater who establishes the value premise for the round, links to that value and clearly outweighs opponent's value. Remember, as a lay judge I look for a clear narrative with quality of support rather than quantity. I vote on analysis and warranting rather than evidence.
I completely support the efforts for inclusiveness in the debate and speech community. As you will see below that commitment to inclusiveness in debate means your presentation and argumentation should include the broadest audience. Therefore NO speed k, progressive debate or theory. My experience this season has been that consistently in rounds I judge conversational paced traditional debate advances.
Please be at the round as instructed in the tournament directions. In order verify functioning technology, to respect the entire community and not delay the tournament I strongly urge you to be early.
I have become concerned with evidence, evidence ethics and evidence exchange in addition to spreading.
I work from the assumption that you have cut your evidence ethically. I do not place a great deal of my decision on conflicting evidence. Just give me a warrant. If a debater provides me with an analytic or comparison on a card I will accept it if not rebutted. However if I call for one of your cards you should be concerned. If I find you have cut the card out of context or in a misleading manner that will impact my decision.
I find it helpful for summary to begin to collapse the debate rather than run the flow. So provide weighing on voters and an analysis of your narrative of the round.
How I'll evaluate the round:
With my flow.
Please frame the debate for me.
Clearly warrant links
Warrants: I need to understand why and how a claim creates specific impacts. If I don't understand your warrant or if it just doesn't follow I cannot vote for it. Remember reading evidence is not a warrant.
Finally debaters should be respectful to each other and have fun. There is no reason to ever be disrespectful. In the unlikely event this happens it will be reflected in reduce speaker points and a note on the ballot for your coach.
Do not spread.
I don't believe that theory or kritiks should be a part of Public Forum or LD debate. If you run either, you will almost certainly lose my ballot. If you encounter kritik or theory in a round and I am your judge, all you need to say for me to dismiss that argument is that PF and LD debate is intended to be accessible to all people and should directly address the topic of the resolution, and then continue to debate the resolution.
I am among the most traditional, perhaps old-fashioned PF and LD judges you are likely to encounter. I believe that PF and LD should remain true to its original purpose which was to be a debate event that is accessible to everyone, including the ordinary person off the street. So I am opposed to everything that substantively or symbolically makes PF and LD a more exclusive and inaccessible event.
Quality over quantity.
CX: Ask questions and give answers. Don't make speeches. Try not to interrupt, talk over, and steam-roll your opponent. Let your opponents talk.
If you persuade me of your narrative and make your narrative more significant than your opponent's, you will win my ballot - regardless of how many minor points you drop. On the other hand, if you debate with perfect technique and don't drop anything, but you don't present and sell a clear narrative, it's highly unlikely that you will win my ballot.
Moreover be certain that you warrant your arguments. Repeating a card or evidence is not a warrant. A warrant is a logical argument for your claim. I will disregard claims that lack a warrant in my decision. Remember a warrant is not evidence
VALUE AND VALUE CRITERION: I think that the value and the value criterion are essential components of Lincoln-Douglas debate. They are what most distinguish LD from policy and public forum. If your advocacy is NOT explicitly directed toward upholding/promoting/achieving a fundamental value and your opponent does present a value and a case that shows how affirming/negating will fulfill that value, your opponent will win the round – because in my view your opponent is properly playing the game of LD debate while you are not.
It’s your job as a debater not just to say stuff, but to speak in the manner necessary for your judge to receive and thoughtfully consider what you are saying. If your judge doesn’t actually take in something that you say, you might as well not have said it to begin with.
Because I prioritize quality over quantity in evaluating the arguments that are presented, I am not overly concerned about “drops.” If a debater “drops” an argument, that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she loses.
As a round progresses, I really hope to hear deeper and clearer thinking, not just restating of your contentions. If you have to sacrifice covering every point on the flow in order to take an important issue to a higher level and present a truly insightful point, then so be it. That’s a sacrifice well worth making. On the other hand, if you sacrifice insightful thinking in order to cover the flow, that’s not a wise decision in my view.
If you present a ton of evidence for a contention, but you don’t explain in your own words why the contention is true and how it links back to your value, I am not likely to be persuaded by it. On the other hand, if you present some brilliant, original analysis in support of a contention, but don’t present any expert testimony or statistical evidence for it, I will probably still find your contention compelling.
PROFESSIONALISM: Please be polite and respectful as you debate your opponent. A moderate amount of passion and emphasis as you speak is good. However, a hostile, angry tone of voice is not good. Be confident and assertive, but not arrogant and aggressive. Your job is to attack your opponent’s ideas, not to attack your opponent on a personal level.
I may seem like I am not paying attention but I am listening. I am not very good at small talk so if you have a question just ask me.
To the point:
I am very much a progressive traditionalist when it comes to Public Forum.
What does that mean?
Yes, I believe that parents should be 100% comfortable judging public forum debate at all levels. It is your job as a debater to adapt and NOT the other way around.
Fast talking is fine. Don’t spread. Creative Arguments, I am listening. You are not actually topical, but you are in the direction of the topic, YES, I am still listening.
FRAMING IS THE BEST PART OF PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE. How your team frames the round should be strategic and work in your team’s advantage. A team should only concede framework if they actually believe that they can win the debate under the other team’s framework. Otherwise, defend your framework. If they call you out for “abusive framework” tell me why it’s not and why I should still be voting under it.
While it’s not mandatory, if you are speaking second you should address your opponent’s rebuttal. I don’t expect you to split your time in some specific way, but at the end of the day a speech did happen just moments before yours and you kind of need to engage with it. (Translated: Must respond to your opponent’s case and defend your own)
Rebuttals: cover their case in the context of yours. cross applications are going to be key to get me to sign the ballot in your favor.
I do not flow cross, but I am listening and PRAYING that all the cool things that take place during this time find a place in speeches. Otherwise, all the sweating, panting, and exchanging of evidence was pointless.
If it isn't in Rebuttal, it can't be in Summary. If it isn't in Summary, you can't go for it in Final Focus.
Oh ya, I am bad at speaker points.
As it relates to LD -
Fast talking is acceptable but I cannot deal with spreading for extended periods of time, flow, and be objective. My mind drifts whenever people speak to me in the same cadence for extended periods of time.
Spreading: My brain can’t handle it which is why I generally avoid judging TOC Circuit Varsity LD debates. I do this because I agree that spreading is a skill and I understand that since you are on the circuit you would probably like to have the opportunity to do so. However, if you get the wonderful privilege of having me judge you, I will expect you to do a few things to enhance my involvement in the round. I ask that you not practice spreading in front of me.
“I hear everything when in sensory overload. But it’s not as if I can hear what is being said; rather it is just many, many sounds, unfiltered and loud. It feels like sounds are coming at me from every direction. Lights from all directions also seem to glare in my eyes. Sensory overload is horrible.” — Laura Seil Ruszczyk
I evaluate the framework first. I prefer debates that are topical. That said, I think on most of the resolutions for LD there are lots of topical discussions debaters can engage about race and identity matters.
If they say they are in the direction of the topic and clearly articulate how they are, I would probably agree that they are probably pretty topical. However, I do think T is a real argument.
I prefer students to use cx for questions and answer exchanges, not for extra prep.
email@example.com any and all questions are welcome
I have been the head coach of John F. Kennedy Speech and Debate since the 2016-17 season and was a competitor the previous 4 seasons. I primarily did congress and that is my team's main event so I'll be writing about that.
First off I believe this is a debate event before anything. That means you should be adapting to the round as it goes. Everyone from the sponsor to the closer has an equal shot at getting my one as long as they do their job. The job for the sponsor and first negative speaker is to set up the round for strong debate. The sponsor should state the problem, how this bill fixes the problem, give one or two impacts from solving it, and if you're a superstar give me a framework. The first negative should give us the main idea of what we should expect from a strong negation argument. This should take the problem the sponsor laid out and then give us the negative thought process on if this legislation fixes it. After that I should see an increasing amount of refutations and original arguments as to why this legislation is good or bad. Once we are 3/4 of the way through I should be seeing a lot of extensions as the debate is coming to an end. Still give an original POV but keep it within the frame of the debate. Lastly, I should see nothing but refutation and crystalized speeches. Once again I want your own original analysis but use it to end the debate through a refutation of the other side instead of individuals. (Side note: I love aggressive refutations)
Effective cross examination is when you attack your opponents arguments and shut them down. You can use your argument to help you with that but I hate seeing someone just ask questions to set up their arguments even if it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the speech their opponent just gave. Defense in cross x is a little more straightforward because all I want to see is that you can defend your argument to the point where it is still standing strong after cross x. Overall, I tune out when both sides start over talking each other and I prefer calmer cross x over yelling.
When it comes to speaking I don't have a preferred style. I can respect all styles as long as it suits you. Picking a speaking style is like picking a batting stance in that there isn't a wrong way as long as you're doing what is best for you based on your natural voice, range, and variation. If you stick to that then I'll probably think you're a great speaker.
I do rank presiding officers pretty well as a scorer and if I'm a parli it can serve as a tie breaker between two kids that I'm picking between. As long as you do it well then it'll boost you but if you don't then it'll drop you pretty far.
This next part should go without saying but your arguments need to be backed by evidence at all times and have clear logic behind them. If they don't meet this criteria dont run them because I'll ignore them.
Lastly, be respectful and have fun. If you aren't having fun then you're doing this activity wrong. I can't wait to see y'all in round!!!
PF Paradigm: I am an experienced PF judge on the national circuit. I judge primarily on impacts. You need to give a clear link story backed up with logic and evidence. Framework is important. Weighing is very important. It is better to acknowledge that your opponent may be winning a certain argument and explain how the impacts you are winning outweigh than it is to ignore that argument made by your opponent. Don't extend through ink. If your opponent attacks your argument you need to respond to that attack and not just repeat your original argument. I don't mind rapid conversational speed - especially while reading evidence, but no spreading. I will keep a good flow and judge primarily off the flow, but let's keep PF as an event where persuasive speaking style, logic, evidence, and refutation are all important. Also let's keep PF distinct from national circuit LD and national circuit policy - let's avoid kritiks, disads, plans, counterplans and theory arguments.
LD Paradigm: I am an experienced LD judge. I do prefer traditional style LD. I am, however, OK with plans and counter-plans and I am OK with theory arguments concerning analysis of burdens. I am not a fan of Kritiks. I will try to be open to evaluate arguments presented in the round, but I do prefer that the debate be largely about the resolution instead of largely centered on theory. I am OK with fast conversational speed and I am OK with evidence being read a little faster than fast conversational as long as tag lines and analysis are not faster than fast conversational. I do believe that V / VC are required, but I don't believe that the V / VC are voting issues in and of themselves. That is, even if you convince me that your V / VC is superior (more important, better linked to the resolution) than your opponent's V / VC that is not enough for me to vote for you. You still need to prove that your case better upholds your V / VC than your opponent's case does. To win, you may do one of three things: (1) Prove that your V / VC is superior to your opponent's AND that your case better upholds that V / VC than your opponent's case does, OR (2) Accept your opponent's V / VC and prove that your case better upholds their V/VC than their case does. OR (3) Win an "even-if" combination of (1) and (2).
CX Paradigm: I am an experienced LD and PF judge (nationally and locally). I have judged policy debate at a number of tournaments over the years - including the final round of the NSDA national tournament in 2015. However, I am more experienced in PF and LD than I am in policy. I can handle speed significantly faster than the final round of NSDA nationals, but not at super-fast speed. (Evidence can be read fast if you slow down for tag lines and for analysis.) Topicality arguments are fine. I am not a fan of kirtiks or critical affs.
I am in my tenth year of coaching and teaching Speech & Debate (6 in OR; 4 in UT).
Overall, I want to see true clash and I usually judge on the flow. Strong, crystallized voters can win me over though. I am fine with progressive cases (and sometimes prefer them if they are creative while maintaining logical appeal), as long as you are able to defend them aptly and you still truly attack your opponent's case and contentions. And don't lose enunciation.
I have judged LD at Nationals and have had a student compete at Nationals in LD twice. I prefer traditional, but can roll with progressive.
I will judge on true clash, the least dropped arguments, and strong voters. I like civil sass and speaking styles that engage and entertain as long as it's not at the expense of argumentation and substance. I try to be tabula rasa. Don't just tell me you uphold your value criterion or that your opponent does not; explain why (links).
I prefer to not have card battles. If I want to see a card, I'll ask for it at the end. Don't waste too much of your time on it. Yes, specific and credible evidence is needed but I look more holistically at the logic.
I like true clash, but don't want a debate that turns into hyper-focus on a definition or card battle. Note the disagreement, concisely state why your side is better then move on.
My vote goes to whoever has the most sound logic holistically, with strong voters and impacts. I also like strong links between each contention and framework and being able to point out flaws in your opponent's logic. Consideration of and insight into your and your opponents' warrants will go far. Being respectful will go far. Being disrespectful will lose you speaker points and will make me less forgiving of smaller flaws in your case.
School: Clark HS, Speech and Debate Coach
Experience: 2 years
LD: I am a flow judge. I prefer the debate to focus primarily on the resolution with thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments. Avoid k and theory arguments with weak connections to the resolution.