Jack Howe Memorial Tournament
2017 — Long Beach, CA/US
TOC LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I debated all four years in high school. I graduated four years ago and have been volunteering as a judge for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League for about three years.
I allow tag team cross examination. Debaters should keep track of their speeches and prep time. If flashing evidence takes longer than a minute it will be taken out of their prep time. I'm ok with spreading as long its clear and tags are emphasized. If a team runs K, in order for me to vote on it, it has to be thoroughly explained. I'm open to analytical arguments but you should have evidence to support your clam. I personally like Topicality when it's done properly. I also like when debaters give an impact cal during their rebuttals and use debate terminology throughout the debate round.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a policy debater at Niles North High School for 4 years, currently I'm a student at USC (not debating). I would say that about ~107% of my 2NRs in high school were politics and case, so that's my background.
Start the email chain as early as physically possible. I will punish your speaker points if you wait until the last second to send it out, unless you're breaking a new aff/advantage/etc
My preferred style of argumentation is sending out the email chain right now and starting on time or before start time.
Ways to increase your speaker points:
specific neg strategies, especially if you have specific links to the aff on the K
pronouncing Reuters correctly
sending out the email chain before the start time, the earlier the better
starting the round before the start time
Ways to decrease your speaker points:
the words "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat"
waiting until the last second to send out the email chain, in the thinking that this gives you any strategic advantage
"where in your evidence does it say..."
pronouncing reuters incorrectly
Biggest one: asking to send out a new doc without the cards the other team didn't read
(marked docs are OK)
asking to send out a doc with the overview/analytics
(interps and CP text is kosher)
"which evidence did you not read"
First and foremost you need to tell me on what grounds I should evaluate each piece of ev. I'll read all the evidence at the end of the round and if no one tells me what I should do with it then its much harder and so much less fun for me.
My default is that the only two reasons to reject the team are T and conditionality. It would be difficult to convince me otherwise.
The most important part of T are the case lists each side presents because that gives me a good vision of the topic each of you bring. Impacting your argument is especially important on T.
If you're aff and you've gotten this far without sending out the email chain, send it out now.
I've been coaching and judging for 15+ years. So there isn't much I haven't seen or heard. I'm most persuaded by good debating. Please do not be rude or condescending. Please be clear enough to understand. Use your evidence wisely and whereas big impacts are good, realistic impacts are better. The point of debate, for me, is education and communication. Show me you learned something and that you can communicate in an intelligent, well thought out, cohesive manner. People can write out a hundred paragraphs about what they want but at the end of the day I've coached enough champions to tell you that's what it all boils down to. Most importantly, have fun! Love to see students progress and become the natural born leaders we know you all are! And to give some unsolicited advice from a seasoned coach, don't give up. It's may be cliche but somethings are said over and over for a reason. Keep trying, be consistent and you'll be successful! Good luck everyone!
Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA | email@example.com
For speech document sharing, please use speechdrop.net.
I am diagnosed (and am on medication) with severe ADD. This means my ability to listen carefully and pick up everything you're saying will wane during the round. I would strongly suggest you have vocal variety and slow down, especially for what you want to make sure I get.
Jonah Feldman, friend and former coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments
I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument.
I am primarily interested in voting on high-quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low-quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...
How should this affect the way I debate?
1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending many different answers to an advantage or off-case argument, pick your spots and lock in.
2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained the important components and implications of winning that argument.
His full paradigm: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=6366
I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."
The affirmative probably should be topical.
I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.
I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.
Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.
Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.
Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.
Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.
Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.
- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think it is ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.
- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will likely not end up well for you.
- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.
Some considerations for you:
- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.
- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.
History: I debated for CSU Long Beach for 3 years in Parlimentary debate and coached for San Marino High school for 3 years.
I am a hack for theory.
I type really slow.
I'm fine with most strategies.
Speaks: 30-29 you should be in late elims, 29-28 You should break, 28-27 I'm sorry I might be the reason you get 4-2 screwed.
I am generally of the belief that what debate should be is up to the debaters. I assume the position of a policymaker unless told otherwise. This means I heavily value impact weighing through timeframe probability magnitude within normative frameworks.
Coming from parliamentary debate there are a few shortcomings that I make a genuine effort to compensate for. The most obvious is the use of carded evidence. My process is first I look at what I wrote down, then I compare how arguments interact, and then compare if the evidence says what I wrote down. If there is a discrepancy between what I wrote down and what the cards say I will default to what I wrote down. The exception to this rule is on theory. In high school ld is way too fast for me to write down more than taglines. I would appreciate it if you slowed down significantly and clearly repeat any interpretation. Otherwise, I will evaluate what I write down.
Speed is typically not a problem for me however keep in mind that I default to what I write down. If your style is to sacrifice clarity for speed on cards I will probably miss some stuff. This problem has also occurred for scripted analytics where its usually too late for me to call clear. I have had the most problems with flowing long stream of conscious overviews and multiple planks in advocacies.
The types of debate I like to see tend to be theory heavy first and K heavy second. I really enjoy T debates and framework debates.
Theory: I default to competing interpretations. I think blocks that don't consider the context they are being used is unpersuasive. I think specificity is a necessary pre-requisite for offense on theory. I generally think education outweighs fairness and that rounds that are unfair don't entirely preclude the possibility of education. Some theory positions I have reservations against.
- Disclosure I believe is a good practice however the way the the position is deployed against schools that genuinely don't know about the wiki or people who are new to debate is problematic to me.
- Whole res is not a spicy argument to me but I would still vote for it.
- Rvi's on T I think need more than theoretical abuse. Unless you can show the 1nc is uniquely excessive and abusive then I don't think I'd vote here.
K: For reference I debated a lot of Lacan, Colonialism, and Cap. I'm fairly confident in my ability to understand arguments I haven't heard before. I think the aff should attempt to be in the direction of the resolution. I am open to performance debates and more non-traditional types of debate. I admit I'm fairly inexperienced in judging performance v performance rounds. Competing framing arguments need to be compared very clearly for me. If one team is saying ontology first a response that just says fiat is good is not sufficient as an answer. I default to theory coming before k framing but I am persuaded otherwise quite frequently.
Cp: The only thing I have to say about counterplans is I have a predisposition that excessive planks (2+) pics are really abusive which amounts to me giving more leeway to the perm.
I'd say that I am really really slow at typing. You can ask me to flow on paper especially in outrounds and if my hand is doing alright then I'd be happy to oblige. I think that taglines delivered at a pace of roughly 300 wpm is perfectly comfortable for me. On paper you can go as fast as you want I'll call clear/slow appropriately.
I think I have really expressive non-verbals.
I hold people to the text of their interpretations, role of the ballot/judge, plan/cp, permutations. I don't think condo good is a sufficient counter-interpretation on condo, I don't think perm do both/the cp/the alt are enough.
please be nice
I'll start prep if for whatever reason it is taking an absurd amount of time to start your speech.
Yes I want to be on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org. Pronouns are he/him.
My judging philosophy should ultimately be considered a statement of biases, any of which can be overcome by good debating. The round is yours.
I’m a USC debate alum and have had kids in policy finals of the TOC, a number of nationally ranked LDers, and a state champion in Original Oratory while judging about a dozen California state championship final rounds across a variety of events. Outside of speech and debate, I write in Hollywood and have worked on the business side of show business, which is a nice way of saying that I care more about concrete impacts than I do about esoteric notions of “reframing our discourse.” No matter what you’re arguing, tell me what it is and why it matters in terms of dollars and lives.
Politically, I’m a moderate Clinton Democrat and try to be tabula rasa but I don’t really believe that such a thing is possible.
I debated for four years in high school and now do policy debate at USC. respect your opponents, and each other. don't be rude.
I generally think the affirmative team should have a stable advocacy which defends the direction of the topic. Disclosure is good, please do it. Teams should place the full citation to arguments they have read on the wiki as soon as is possible. Disclosure enhances pre-round preparation, accessibility, the ability engage an opponent's argument, and raises the standard of what qualifies as evidence.”
I have been a 2A for almost my entire debate career; I ran almost exclusively policy affs with policy impacts, except a few soft-left K affs. favor affs that are more limited in scope but actually result in their impacts (they are True) to affs with tons of huge impacts and internal links.
On the negative, I have become most familiar with the politics DA, topic DA's, and topicality. My favorite types of debates to watch are ones where the negative has prepared a specific strategy and is well-versed in the technicalities of the 1AC. If the affirmative is simply not True, good case arguments and a DA can easily outweigh (and vice versa with the affirmative case vs. a DA).
DAs: Love them! Deficits in the 1AC’s internal links are often underutilized by the negative on the case in favor of generic impact defense.
Not a fan of politics theory arguments. If the DA's so bad, beat it on substance, not on "the neg dropped intrinsicness".
Make sure to use your DA to turn the case at the impact and internal link level. This means impact calc is essential.
I will usually default to competing interpretations – which is why I think topicality debates should be framed as two “counterplans” each with respective net-benefits (education, fairness, etc). Saying “depth over breadth” isn’t an argument – one of the hardest parts about going for T (and answering it), is making sure not to only explain the “link” but also implicate this in terms of terminal impacts (What does lack of education mean for debate? Why is that important? What impact outweighs the other, and why?) I have found that I am usually convinced that limits are the most important standard for evaluating a T flow, but I can be persuaded otherwise.
These counterplans are usually good:
These counterplans are susceptible to theory:
· International Fiat
· Consult, conditions, recommend
· Word PICs
I can be convinced either way. I will reward you for specific counterplans that are well-researched and prepared. If you go for CP theory, you will have to clearly explain and impact it out. Although I am definitely familiar with the basics, my knowledge of CP theory is not super technical. Also, clearly delineating impacts to your theory arguments is just a good idea in general.
Conditionality is the only reason to reject the team (usually)
That being said, two or three conditional options is usually a good limit
Theory should be impacted if you’re going for it – buzzwords aren’t enough for me to vote for your argument unless you explain it. I don't have a great understand on LD theory and high philosophy LD debates. It will have to be pretty clearly explained to me otherwise I will be very unsure of what to vote on
I’m not your best judge for these. I am not super well-versed in K lit, especially really high theory stuff, but I keep up with topic specific Ks and generics.
– do not read a K in front of me if your only goal is to confuse the other team and win because of that.
If you decide to go for the K, please make sure to explain your arguments very clearly to me. This means being very explicit in CX about what the alt does. I will not vote on something if I don’t understand what it means. do not expect me to recognize your argument and vote on it absent a clear explanation.
I do not want to judge high theory and philosophy.
Links of omission are not links.
Floating PIKs are bad.
Weighing the aff is good - it is difficult for me to ever believe a framework which holds the affirmative to a perfect standard (in terms of epistemology, representations, etc) is one that is fair.
Death is bad - I will not vote for arguments that claim death is good.
Fiat is good - obviously voting aff doesn't usually cause change outside the round, but the notion of fiat allows for intellectually stimulating debates about the costs and benefits of public policy.
A 2AR that says the aff outweighs and the alt doesn’t solve is very persuasive to me, especially if combined with the permutation. That being said, I am sympathetic to new 1AR/2AR arguments if an argument in the 1NC or block is not developed.
Role of the ballot arguments are stupid and I won't vote on them. Just make a substantive impact framing argument.
For more info, please see the link below.
I think the best impacts to T are competitive equity and process-based education from deliberating with a well-prepared opponent. Both of those impacts are about the existence of a predictable topic as opposed to the merits of any particular topic. Topics are intentionally imperfect to allow room for both sides to have reasonable arguments.
Any model of debate in which the neg has to beat the case to win their T argument seems illogical to me, since the premise of the neg T argument is that they can't be prepared to beat the case.
The following is a list of phrases that are meaningless to me without further explanation:
A logical policymaker could do both
In the direction of the topic
Fiat solves the link
Perm do the aff
Good luck, have fun, and debate with heart. Feel free to ask me any clarification questions before the round.
I am currently the assistant debate coach for Claremont High School. I have been judging and coaching on and off for the last 8 years since I graduated from high school. In high school I primarily did circuit LD but also did parliamentary debate making it to the semi finals of the NPDL TOC. My background is in science so I will more often than not need extra explanation for philosophical arguments, that doesnt mean I wont vote on them but I am less likely to vote on underdeveloped arguments or simply off a tagline. Also, coming from LD i believe that the framework debate is very important in setting up how the judge should evaluate arguments. Absent of any framework I will resort to net benefits. I have no issues with either theory or Ks, but prefer debates to be accessible to both debaters. For example, I have no issues with flowing speed but if you are spreading simply because you think it will prevent your opponent from responding I will dock your speaks and assume you were too afraid to debate the actual topic at hand. The same should apply to theory and critical arguments, if you are using these arguments because they have a legitimate educational, or otherwise (fairness, preventing harms, etc.,) purpose in the round I have no problem voting off of them.
I debated LD for 4 years in Reno, NV
My goal is to judge solely off flow, so I don't really care what you do as long as I can follow your logic.
Framework: I want framework to evaluate the round. I don't care what kind. I'm not that well versed in philosophy, so if you're running phil, just make sure to explain it well.
Speed: I have no problem with speed, just slow down on author names and have super clear tags.
A few notes:
- I really enjoy big picture overviews of the round.
-Tell me why I should vote for you and outline the clash of the debate
-Please show me the impact of your plan or why your impact is greater/more important than your opponents
TLDR; I believe that true tab judges don't exist, but I will listen to any argument and evaluate it within the context of the round. I debated policy and public forum in high school and did NPDA in college.
I competed in debate throughout middle school, high school, and college for a combined total of 8 years of competitive experience. I graduated from a small high school program where I primarily competed in policy and national circuit PF, including the TOC. In college, I competed in NPDA at California Lutheran University. I have done every style of debate at some point, so I am familiar with and ready to listen to anything. For my first year and a half of debate, I was relatively traditional (think politics DA every round), but I became increasingly progressive as my career progressed (i.e. I ran critical race theory on the PF circuit).
Kritiks: I'm familiar with the literature base of most and can comprehend anything. Structure is very important to me here because it is very easy to get bogged down in a poorly structured K debate. If you're reading something kritikal, please explain your K whether I know it or not. If you can't explain your K, I'm probably not going to be super compelled by it. I am a firm believer that debate should be accessible to everyone, which means that your poorly articulated BwO arguments will lose to me every time (especially if you can't answer questions about it). All that being said, I was the kid that read genealogical interrogations in PF, so I will be happy with just about anything.
CPs: AFF has to read a perm. It takes less time to say "perm: do both" than it will take your opponent to respond no matter their WPM. CPs should have solvency to be compelling.
Theory: I love a good theory debate, but make sure you have all parts of a shell and give me reasons why the T matters. If you're answering theory, I prefer line by line down the shell than a blanket response. I don't think RVIs are the best strategy against theory, but I am willing to listen to and vote on them if the teams feel it is necessary.
DAs: Before reading the DA you are considering, ask yourself "does this make sense?" If the answer is no, try again. As long as you can articulate uniqueness, links, internals, and impacts, the DA should make sense. I have heard and voted on some out there DAs, but my threshold for explanation remains high here.
Speaker Points: I think they are useless and generally exclusionary, but I will assign them as the tournament requires. 30 speaks theory takes 10 seconds... do with that what you will.
Everything else: Give me solid impacts and tell me why you're winning. Good impact calc is the fastest path to my ballot. I am fine with any speed and can flow whatever. I recognize that CX is binding, but I don't flow it, so say it in a speech if you want it on my flow.
My general philosophy is that debate should be accessible and equitable. That means a couple of things that could help or hurt you. For one, I am receptive to arguments with an impact in the debate space. It also means I am sensitive to things like gendered language, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I believe that you should not run an argument that you are not passionate about, and likewise that if you are passionate about something that you should run it no matter how strong your coach thinks it is.
If you have questions, please ask in round!
If I judged you and you have more questions for me that you didn't get to ask in round, email me at email@example.com. I will do my best to get back to you before your next tournament with anything that might help you, and I am happy to send you my flows if you think they will be helpful to you.
I have not judged national circuit debate since TOC 2018, so you should start slow and build up your speed. I will yell slow as many times as necessary to get you to slow down. I've stayed involved, teaching workshops when I can, judging at local UDL's, but I'm a lawyer now. Much of what below still applies. I really like debate and I like judging and I try my best to judge rounds on their own terms.
Hard and Fast Rules:
Flashing counts as prep if you are assembling the document. If everything is in one doc and you are just saving then that is not prep.
You must either flash or email your opponent your docs.
Evasiveness of any kind before round is highly frowned upon. My expectation is that debaters are honest with one another in all their dealings.
In general, I really enjoy judging debate. If you have a well thought out and interesting take on the topic/debate, I will be happy. If you use strategies that reflect a shallow understanding of the arguments you're running that avoid clash i will be less happy.
Here are 8 things i'd like for you to know:
1.I keep a good flow. I will hold you to what you say. I do not mind justifying my decisions after the debate by reading back to you what i have on my flow.
2. I will read your evidence and compare it to your explanation in round. Putting powerful spin on your ev is good and highly encouraged. Falsely representing what your evidence says is not. Similarly, having good ev but explaining it poorly will also hurt you.
3. I like philosophical debates. I majored in philosophy. I read ethics, philosophy of mind, political theory in my free time. But i have found that i do not like "phil debaters" because debaters who identify as such seem much more inclined to try to obscure clash and rely on spikes/tricks. If you debate philosophy straight up and have read primary source material to enhance your explanations, I might be the best judge for you. If you intend to read a million analytics and use trickery, i would be a terrible judge for you.
4. On K's, I start from the perspective of "why are the aff and alt different?" This means i focus my decision on 1. links application to the aff and how they turn case or gut aff solvency. 2. does the alt solve the k or the case?
i tend to think the AFF gets to "weigh" the case in the sense that the plan is some what relevant. I think framework arguments best indict how i evaluate the plan and impact calc more broadly. I think the aff commonly drops a lot of 1NC f/w arguments, but negs rarely capitalize on these drops in persuasive ways.
5. I research the topic a lot. I like debates about the topic grounded in a robust academic/theoretical/philosophical/critical perspective.
6. I think debate is both a game and contains an important educational aspect. I do not lean either way of "must defend the topic" but i tend to believe the topic has a role to be played in the community and shouldn't be totally ignored. How that belief plays out in a given round is much more hard to say. I think my record is about 50/50 on non-T AFF's vs topicality.
7. I like CX. You can't use it as prep.
8. I don't think i've voted in an RVI in like over 2 years. I would consider myself a hard press.
Yes, I would like to be included in the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
High School: Traditional LD with Granada Hills Charter
College: Policy with California State University, Northridge
Coaching: Traditional and Circuit LD at Granada Hills Charter, Public Forum at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
Background: Since I did traditional LD in high school, almost all of my circuit knowledge comes from policy debate. I mostly read K's in Policy.
- Don't be rude.
- Don't be someone who advocates for discriminatory or harmful positions.
- I'm not omniscient.
- Clarity is one of the most important things for me in a round.
- I used to be completely tech>truth, but tricks and friv theory are pushing me to a more techy truth approach.
- You have absolutely no right to personally attack your opponent in ANY way.
- I usually see myself giving 27.5-28.5 on average. I tend to give one 30 out per year.
- I'm pessimistic about the future of debate mainly because competitors do not bother to explain anything to the judge and they treat the judge as if they're an idiot for not knowing something. Taking the time to break away from your script to explain something to me is something I look forward to.
- I'm generally fine with any T/FW arguments you decide to run as long as they're ethical. Warrant your interps and counterinterps well. I like to see good clash with T/FW. In other words, actually interact with your opponent's claims.
- I absolutely love K debate. I am mostly familiar with forms of Cap: HMA, Neolib, Orthodox Marx. I've done some performance with Genocide Trivialization (if you're interested in this, just let me know. I could rant about this for hours).
- I am really interested in identity politics, but I don't feel comfortable voting for debaters that don't identify with their K and simply use it as a tool to win. Otherwise, I'm all for hearing identity politics and performance.
- Please actually be knowledgeable about the lit you're citing.
- I'm down for PIKs
- I believe TVA is a strong argument against K Aff's.
- I will evaluate and vote off of PoMo, but I am not the most knowledgeable in this area.
- If you are going to run something that is high theory: Zizek, Delueze & Guattari, Derrida, Baudrillard, Agamben, etc., please explain it to me like it's not high theory. In other words, explain it to me like I'm five.
- My only request here is that YOU do all of the link work for me. I will not fill in gaps for you.
- A conceded DA will usually never look good for you.
- Net Benefit, net benefit, net benefit
- Don't drop the perm. I would like to see actual interaction with the perm.
- I don't mind PICs
- I'm not a fan of frivolous theory by any means. (Highlighter, Brackets, Shoes, etc.)
- I believe that theory should be used as an actual check against abuse in round.
- I don't mind "X" argument bad arguments. (Condo, PIC/PIK's, etc.)
- Otherwise, explain theory clearly and simply to me.
- Don't like them, but will vote on them if it comes to that unfortunate scenario.
- Try actually engaging with the round rather that doing this.
- Both sides, DO NOT drop the case.
- Aff, I think it's super important to hammer down on the fact that the case stands through. Too many debaters spend too much time on off cases and leave their case in a very vulnerable position.
- Responding to the case is a MUST. If you're a K debater, it's not mandatory for me but it will convince me to vote for you even more if you are able to pull direct rhetorical links from the AC.
- Please feel free to ask me any questions after I give my RFD.
- It's very possible that you do not agree with my, or any other judges', interpretations in a round you lost. This DOES NOT give you the right to yell at your judge or the competitor.
- If you have any other questions after the round, please feel free to email me.
- I am fine with spreading.
- Slow down for tags and authors.
- DO NOT spread if your opponent is not okay with spreading.
- I vote off of a general offense/defense paradigm and use cost/benefit framework. However, I am MORE THAN HAPPY to have another FW in round.
-I expect arguments to be extended through summary to final focus if you intend on winning off of them. I don't have specific preferences for PF besides these, so if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Gabrielino High School 2011-2015
Speech times are set, one team wins
I will ask for what you are reading (if it is electronic), and I will follow at random intervals. My email is email@example.com
However, will (attempt to) not reevaluate this evidence post-round, I don't want to do that work for you.
Don't be afraid to use analytics to take out bad arguments. Just because you need a warrant for everything, doesn't mean you always need a card for it.
Explanatory overviews are much appreciated, especially for nuanced strategies and positions.
If I'm confused, I will look confused. Take advantage of this.
I don't believe in debating for anyone. If you can justify it, you can run it. I believe if someone makes a truly despicable argument, you should clap back and make them regret it.
DO IMPACT CALC OR I WILL GOT FOR THE LOWEST HANGING FRUIT. I AM ACTUALLY AN IDIOT SO PLEASE MAKE MY LIFE EASY
*CHRIST ALMIGHTY SLOW DOWN ON ANALYTICS/THEORY*
I am VERY bad at catching blippy arguments. if you spend less than a sentence on the arg, i probably won't catch it. beat me over the head with it tyvm.
honestly i didn't actually believe i was really tabula rasa until i recently voted for a tragically underanswered spreading bad arg do you understand what that does to a man i don't play NO GAMES MANG
Topic Familiarity: I probably won't research the topic and most likely won't judge it enough to know the meta. I would avoid using acronyms that have previously not been defined
Delivery: Not really used to speed anymore tbh. Using audible cues such as increasing the volume of your voice and slowing down instinctively puts my pen to paper. Do so for things you want me to flow.
Cheap shots: If it has a voter, they are voters. It's up to the other team to say why they don't count. but again, don't count on me to catch blippy args
CP threshold: Honestly I don't have much experience with deeper CP theory. but as long as you keep your theory organized, i will likely be able to follow
tag team cx is fine
having your partner speak for you is ok, but if it occurs enough times say bye bye to your speaks
prep ends when the flashdrive leaves the computer / the email is sent
time each other's prep, i will not keep track
Frame the framework by indicating what interpretation of debate you desire and why that is net beneficial for debate. I think of fw like a cp - give me your interp of debate, how you solve it, and hit me with those nice and clear net benz to your vision of debate.
you can frame the impacts of your fw. i love filtering since it makes my decision easier
I dig it. I’m as dense as a brick, so regardless of the K I’m gonna need a good overview explaining your jam.
Everyone has a spicy alt like "giving back the land" or "revolutionary suicide" What i need to know is HOW YOU PERFORM YOUR ALT. Are you literally giving land back? what is revolutionary suicide supposed to mean? this stuff should be explained.
Even if you're not performing your alt (which is ok i guess i mean how else are we gonna spread the gospel of death good), why is your method good/better than the other team's method?
btw, if your alt is literally just "reject the aff" and that will spillover to 100% capitalism solvency with no further explanation, i may involuntarily gag
THOUGHTS ON SPECIFIC TYPES OF Ks
Nietzsche: I was the 1n that spent his time finding links for my partner that can literally (literally.) only go for Nietzsche. At the last leg of our careers wanted to run death good, but ever could :(
Race: probs the one I’m most comfortable with, ran a myth of the model minority/antiblackness aff senior year.
French philosopher soup of the day: i hope you write good overviews and explain your buzzwords. if not, the other team could prob say "lol whatre you even saying" as an effective response. i do not like being pressured to vote for something that is incoherent.
etc (queer, ableism, things i can't think of): no real experience, but i have no reason to dislike these args at all so go for it
THEORY THEORY THEORY
For the love of all that is holy, slow down on this crap... I have a very hard time following theory debates that are just blasting at full speed. If you do this and ask why my decision is incomplete, this will be why.
note for ld: i've never voted for an rvi and god willing i never will. unless it gets egregiously dropped
For organizational purposes I would follow much easier if you put your theory in this fashion:
Interpretation -> violation -> standards -> voters
This will also let me know if you’re serious or if you’re going for some dirty communist cheap shot - I see so many theory debates where y'all are just blasting lines at each other, doing no form of impact calc to your theory. It's pure nonsense and a headache to adjudicate where one side had 5 lines of DAs to the interp and the other had 6 lines and it's just throwing crap at the wall (aka ME >:|) and seeing what sticks.
Some violations aren’t big enough to warrant a loss; rather, a concession. I will totally buy your strategy setup where you say “ok, we’ll kick T if they drop their no link arguments”, but hey everything's gotta be a friggen voter doesn't it, huh.
As you may be able to tell, I am a big fan of theory that DOES NOT operate in a vacuum. T-subs and a spending DA hits different.
In-round abuse stories are very convincing. Potential abuse is fairly weak for me tbh, but if it's there i'll evaluate it the best i can
judge kicking: the more autonomy you give me over our RFD the more unhappy you'll be with my decision :P. "the status quo is always an option" makes me uncomfortable b/c you're making me do it. commit to something.
Speaks = organization + ethos + clarity
I don't know how judges are able to make the tenth's distinction, so this will be a ballpark estimate. Speed does not play a role in speaks; audibility and fluidity is first and foremost, followed by the funnies. HAVE SOME PERSONALITY, THAT HELPS YOUR SPEAKS LOTS.
I am impartial to all spreading styles except for the "booming and committing verbal genocide" style and the "spread at 0.05dB for the card text so no one can possibly tell I'm clipping xD" style, please respect the local volume.
I should be able to coherently hear the texts of your cards btw.
30: i don't know what you did to get this but it's gonna be a helluva story innit
29: hey you should get a speaker award in this tourney
28: not likely to get a speaker award but i like the cut a ya jib
27: delivery is incoherent at key moments or made life hell playing flow hopscotch
26: it is possible that words were spoken but i can neither confirm nor deny
25: i don't know what you did to get this but it's gonna be a helluva story innit
Debate History: 3 years in High School for LAMDL and 1 year at Fresno State.
I am open to basically any arugment as long as it makes sense and you can convince me to vote for you.
T: I don't really care much for T because most teams use it as a time-skew or a throwaway arugment, but if you wanna go for T by all means do, as long as you can convince me that you're winning on it then I have no problem voting for it.
DA: I love DAs! Don't forget impact calculus though! MAJOR KEY!
CPS: I love a good CP, but all you need to remember is to have a net benefit another MAJOR KEY!
K: With Ks I am always open to listening to one, you just gotta make sure you know your stuff and can articulate well enough for me to understand and not be confused on it. Also don't forget to explain what the ALT does and why to vote on it.
Crtical AFFs: I love these a lot! Very unique arguement and something I am always open to listen to, but be ready to defend your stuff because I won't just for you if that's your aff.
Theory: I have to say that theory arguments are my least favorite. They usually serve as a time suck and take away from other meaningful debates you can be having on case or other positions. But I will vote on theory in extreme situations; for example team drops it or is not answered properly.
I accidentally deleted my paradigm, so please express the brevity of this new paradigm. (This is extra short so there's a paradigm out before the next round at the tournament I'm judging).
Note - I haven't judged in around 5 years. Please go a little slower, be slow/clear on taglines, look up at me to make sure I'm following you, and don't assume I know any topic specific acronyms, common arguments, or trendy argument styles.
Background - I debated for Northland and graduated in 2014. Mostly competed in LD, but also did a bunch of other events and worlds schools debate for Team USA. Coached Northland for a bit, then Harvard-Westlake for 4 years, then I was the director of the MS speech and debate program at Harker for 3 years. Now, I'm in law school and an assistant coach for Harker.
Short version - I always read policy arguments so those are probably the best type of argument to read that I know how to evaluate well. I will vote for Ks or theory/T or nuanced frameworks, but please make sure you explain your arguments logically. I don't know what the trendy arguments are, what the background on those arguments are, etc. I will not do any work for you to understand your position - so make sure if you are worried that you look up at me to gauge how I'm reacting. I tend to wear my expressions on my face when I'm confused! Re speaker points, you'll get better speaker points if you are clear, signpost well, show good strategic thinking, explain what the impact to argument are in a round, etc.
Things I absolutely need
- I need evidence/arguments to be extended in order for me to vote off them. Lighter extensions are fine when an argument is conceded, but otherwise I need to hear the author name, some warrant, etc.
- Please read plan text/advocacy texts slowly
- Politics - I'm not super into the news these days while I'm in law school, so make sure you have clear impact stories
- Ks - please make sure you explain your alternative and what framework your K functions under
- I mostly debated util, I know the basics of a lot of random frameworks, but don't assume that means I know how offense should work under any given framework - please explain that in round
- The more unique your philosophy gets, the more work you'll have to do to explain it
- I need clear arguments on how to evaluate theory - how do I evaluate the standards? What impacts matter? What do I do if you win theory? How does your opponent engage?
I will update this after round 5 at Presentation with more detail.
Here are the things that matter:
I did not debate as a student.
I have judged and coached PF and LD for 8 years.
I don’t lean towards any style of debate, just convince me why I should vote for you and you can win.
My favorite philosophy is Utilitarianism... just sayin’
I debated at the University of Kansas for 5 years, graduating in 2009, after debating at Manhattan High School. I judged off and on my first few years away from the activity, spent a couple years away from debate, and then judged and coached somewhat regularly with Downtown Magnets High School in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League until this past Spring. I would say I'm still fairly fluent in the speed and vernacular of debate.
I'd be interested in seeing any style of debate. I've debated and coached a wide array of arguments. Like any judge, I tend to decide on intelligent themes, the things that tie debates together, well-warranted claims, and the like.
I do not have much advice particular to a specific debate argument. I like topicality, theory, case debate, disadvantages, counterplans, criticism, performance, or whatever other argument you would like to present. No matter the argument, my decision tends to come down to one basic thing: I like good arguments more than bad ones. Good arguments are well-developed, tied to the greater debate, obviously understood by the proponent, and confidently presented. Bad arguments are poorly-developed, independent of the rest of the round, not understood by anyone, and dependent on questionable presentation tactics to succeed.
If you have any questions, just let me know.
ykamath [at] usc [dot] edu
can't judge: Wichita East, Loyola
Any questions please ask don't assume
Wichita East '15
4 years HS policy, currently coaching Loyola policy
1. Flashing is not prep.
2. Cross-x will be flowed. You will be held to what you say in cross-x.
3. Clipping cards, reading ahead in speech docs, falsifying evidence, all auto-losses.
4. Please disclose.
5. Stand/sit/dance/jog I don't care. Just look at me when you are speaking.
6. Arguments need warrants. No warrants = not an argument.
7. Please add me to the email chain, pocket box, hand me the flash drive, etc.
I will try my best not to intervene in a debate. Execute whatever strategy you are best at, and do it well. I will listen and evaluate almost every argument tabula rasa.
Here are my argument preferences:
Neg- Case list, impacts to your standards, and topical version of the aff are all very persuasive.
Aff- Reasonability is not as a persuasive as a robust defense of your great counter-interpretation and disads to their interp.
Neg- Explain the alt well. The link and impact story is usually what the neg is superb at, but if you don't explain the alt well, what the hell am I voting for? 2NC/1NR tricks are great if executed properly.
Aff- Impact turns, disads to the alt, and permutations are persuasive.
Neg- Happy with most, not a fan of process cps or generic word pics, but I will still vote for them if executed properly.
Aff- Solvency deficit, and defense to the net benefit (whatever page it is on), are very persuasive.
Neg- Turns case, and impact framing are very persuasive.
Aff- You must have offense on this page. With hard technical debating, I do believe in a possible 0 % risk of the disad.
Neg- Case turns, and case specific defense are very persuasive. A ton of generic impact defense not so much.
Aff- Your answers to case args should be fantastic, no excuses for a poor performance on something for which you have had unlimited prep.
Mostly lean neg, again interp and counter-interps are key.
2 condo is fine, 3 is still okay, 4 and my threshold for an aff theory arg will be very low.
Aff- This is fine. Please explain what voting aff means, what you have to win for me to vote aff.
Neg- Answer the case. T (content guidelines) not framework (performance guidelines), impact turns, and criticisms are very persuasive.
High speaker points:
1. Great strategic moves. Technical strength will serve you well.
2. Humor. Only if you are funny.
3. Great case debate.
4. Number/letter arguments.
5. Great evidence.
Low speaker points:
1. Not clear. Can't stand this. Hurts me, your partner, the other team, and the quality of the debate at the whole.
2. Really stupid arguments. If you have to ask if it meets the really stupid threshold then don't read it.
Don't be rude or obnoxious. In debate and in life.
Former coach at Washington HS and New Roads School. Circuit Parli debater at Prospect (2013-17). Former BP debater at USC.
I will vote for mostly anything as long as you explain it well. Please give content warnings pre-roadmap so that strat changes can be made accordingly. Deliberately misgendering a competitor in the round will result in an auto-loss and a not so pleasant conversation with me and a member of tournament staff. As a judge, I’ll vote for the single team that has the clearest path to the ballot. While warranted extensions can be helpful in terms of voting, I very much dislike when teams rely on "extend ___ uniqueness/argument". Chances are, there aren't as many "conceded" arguments as you think there are - don't be lazy on the line-by-line. My default on dropped arguments is that they are true and I will evaluate them as such. If you have questions on presumption, message me. I want it to be easy to vote, so do that for me. Debate is a game (unfortunately?) and as such, everyone is reading arguments in order to either increase and/or secure their chances of a W. Therefore, I find it hard to be convinced that any particular argument ought be banned or norm ought be forgone (e.g., banning the use of back files, shaming speed, disallowing Ks). That DOES NOT mean that I believe that we should abandon common human decency and practices of kindness.
I will call clear if I have to, but speed generally isn’t a problem. That being said, if your opponents are not able to compete with your speed, I expect that you will adjust accordingly. Please do not read Speed Theory if you are not going to give your opponents the opportunity to slow down (by calling 'slow' or 'clear') in previous speeches. I find it difficult to identify a bright line between conversational, fast and very fast speaking and unless you tell me where the bright line is, therefore it is incredibly difficult for me to evaluate Speed Theory. Keep tag-lines slow just for the sake of me keeping a clean flow. The more signposting you do, the faster I can flow.
I’m down for them as long as they have a link and they aren't being read purely to deny your opponents equitable access to the debate space. Parli generally has larger K frameworks than policy, so I’m down with that default. Please avoid making generalizations about society. In the same vein, I'm inclined to vote against root cause claims without warrants. I think the aff has the ability to leverage the 1AC/plan as offense versus the alt. I find that the debates that are most engaging/convincing, are ones where kritikal teams engage with case and where case teams engage with the criticism.
K affs are all good in policy, but are sketch in parli unless they have a policy alt. If you feel so inclined to read a kritikal affirmative, I expect that you will disclose within 10 minutes of prep. I never read performance Ks, but am down to listen to them. I’ll flow as well as I can, but be ready to explain how you give the neg ground. Very low threshold on offense against truth testing framework. The lit-bases that I am reasonably well-read on include cap, whiteness, neolib, fem and setcol.
Framework debates are my jam.
I am a firm believer that good case/theory debates are more valuable than bad K debates so don't be cheaty just because you have a backfile.
Make sure to explain how the CP functions in the 1NC. I am not a stickler on CPs being ME so have fun with that. If you choose to read a perm (in most cases, you should), I'd prefer you read a perm text and an explanation for how the permutation has solvency/functions. "Perm, do both" is not a perm text. I am very unlikely to vote on a Delay CP because I have yet to hear a good justification for why delay resolves the harms in squo better than the plan and doesn't bite the DA(s).
Default to competing interps and no RVIs, and theory coming first. I don’t need articulated abuse to vote on theory, but if it is there, point it out and your speaks will go up. If you are going for theory, you better actually go for it. I probably won’t vote on it if it is 30 seconds in the 2NR/AR. That being said, I really don't expect you to go for every theory arg you read. High threshold for PICs bad and Condo bad. I will not vote for Ks Bad if it is used as an out from actually engaging with critical positions. I also find that generalizing that all Ks are bad does very little to improve the quality of the debate space. If you choose to read a generalized Ks Bar argument, I will need warranting for why the argument you are attempting to mitigate is specifically exclusionary to your team in the round.
I'm going to be completely honest and say that tricks go completely over my head. That's not to say they are bad arguments or ineffective but rather that they are often inadequately explained and I fail to find a way to evaluate how they interact with other args on the flow. Riley Shahar is a much better judge for such args.
Generally default to probability over magnitude unless you give me a reason otherwise. Weighing is your job, not mine. I need clear impact scenarios to vote for an argument.
Speaker Points -- I will vote on 30 speaks theory
25 - Please take a moment to rethink what you are about to say (P.S stop being racist, sexist, homophobic etc etc)
28~28.4 - Some strategic errors but they weren't devastating
28.5~28.9 - Meh, average
29~29.3 - Definitely know what you're doing
29.4~29.9 - Your round vision and strategy was on point
30 - WOOO I SPY A WINNER
General School-Wide Conflicts
New Roads, Prospect, Washington
Off-time road maps PLEASE.
Tag-teaming is all good, but don’t be 'that kid' who tag teams the whole time. I'll be rather disgruntled and take it out on your speaks.
Speaks are more based on strategy than anything else. I think that speaker points are pretty bogus considering that style preferences are quite subjective.
Shadow extensions are awful.
I will more than likely be okay with my RFD being recorded for learning purposes. It's generally a more efficient alternative to repeating portions that you didn't manage to write down on your flow. Please ask before you record, I don't want being "on record" to deter other debaters from asking questions.
**Feel free to email with any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
or FB message me
I have no personal speech and debate competition experience. I began judging in early 2014; I have been involved in the community ever since and have attended/judged/run tournaments at a rate of 30 tournaments per year give or take. The onset of online in early 2020 has only pushed that number higher. I began coaching in 2016 starting in Congressional Debate and currently act as my program's Public Forum Coach.
General Expectations of Me (Things for You to Consider)
Consider me "flay" on average, "flow" on a good day. Here is a list of things NOT to expect from me:
- Don't make assumptions about my knowledge. Do not expect me to know the things you know. Always make the choice to explain things fully.
- Post-round me if you want, I don't care. If you want to post-round me, I'll sit there and take it. Don't think I'll change my mind though. All things that should influence my decision need to occur in the debate and if I didn’t catch it, that’s too bad.
- Regarding Disclosures/Decisions. Do not expect me to disclose in prelims unless the tournament explicitly tells me to. I will disclose all elim rounds unless explicitly told not to.
- Clarity > Speed. I flow on paper, meaning I most likely won't be looking at either competitor/team too often during the round. Please don't take that as a discouraging signal, I'm simply trying to keep up. This also means I flow more slowly than my digital counterparts, so there may be occasions that I miss something if you speak too quickly.
- Defense is not sticky. Coverage is important in debate; it allows for a sensible narrative to be established over the course of the round. Summary, not Rebuttal, is the setup for Final Focus.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
General Debate Philosophy
I am tech > truth by the slimmest of margins. I am here to identify a winner of a debate, not choose one. Will I fail at this? At times yes. But I believe that the participants in the round should be the sole factors in determining who wins and loses a debate. At its most extreme, I will vote (and have voted) for a competitor/team who lies IF AND ONLY IF those lies are not called out/identified by the opposing competitor/team. If I am to practice tabula rasa, then I must adopt this line of reasoning. Will I identify in my ballot that a lie was told? Absolutely.
Why take this hard line? Because debate is a space where we can practice an open exchange of information. This means it is also a space where we can practice calling out nonsense in a respectful manner. The conversations of world beyond will not be limited by time constraints or speaker order nor will there be an authority or ombudsman to determine what is truth. We must do that on our own. If you hear something false, investigate it. Bring it to my attention. Explain the falsehood. Take the time to set the record straight.
Public Forum / Lincoln Douglas Paradigm
Regarding speaker points:
I judge on the standard tabroom scale. 27.5 is average; 30 is the second coming manifested in speech form; and 22 and under is if you stabbed someone in the round. Everyone starts at a 27.5 and depending on how the round goes, that score will fluctuate. I expect clarity, fluidity, confidence and decorum in all speeches. Being able to convey those facets to me in your speech will boost your score; a lack in any will negatively affect speaker points. I judge harshly: 29+ scores are rare and 30 is a unicorn. DO NOT think you can eschew etiquette and good speaking ability simply due to the rationale that "this is debate and W's and L's are what matter."
Do not yell at your opponent(s) in cross. Avoid eye contact with them during cross as much as possible to keep the debate as civil as it can be. If it helps, look at me; at the very least, I won’t be antagonistic. I understand that debate can get heated and emotional; please utilize the appropriate coping mechanisms to ensure that proper decorum is upheld. Do not leave in the middle of round to go to the bathroom or any other reason outside of emergency, at which point alert me to that emergency.
Please signpost. I cannot stress this enough without using caps and larger font. If you do not signpost or provide some way for me to follow along your case/refutations, I will be lost and you will be in trouble. Not actual trouble, but debate trouble. You know what I mean.
In Public Forum, I default to Cost-Benefit Analysis unless a different FW is given. Net-Benefit and Risk-Benefit are also common FWs that I do not require explanation for. Broader FWs, like Lives and Econ, also do not require explanation. Anything else, give me some warranting.
In Lincoln Douglas, I need a Value and Value Criterion (or something equivalent to those two) in order to know how to weigh the round. Without them, I am unable to judge effectively because I have not been told what should be valued as most important. Please engage in Value Debates: FWs are the rules under which you win the debate, so make sure your rules and not your opponent's get used in order to swing the debate in your favor. Otherwise, find methods to win under your opponent's FW.
Do not take this to mean that if you win the FW debate, you win the round. That's the beauty of LD: there is no dominant value or value criterion, but there is persuasive interpretation and application of them.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
Regarding the decision (RFD):
I judge tabula rasa, or as close to it as possible. I walk in with no knowledge of the topic, just the basic learning I have gained through my public school education. I have a wide breadth of common knowledge, so I will not be requiring cards/evidence for things such as the strength of the US military or the percentage of volcanos that exist underwater. For matters that are strictly factual, I will rarely ask for evidence unless it is something I don’t know, in which case it may be presented in round regardless. What this means is that I am pledging to judge ONLY on what I hear in round. As difficult as this is, and as horrible as it feels to give W’s to teams whom I know didn’t deserve it based on my actual knowledge, that is the burden I uphold. This is the way I reduce my involvement in the round and is to me the best way for each team to have the greatest impact over their respective W or L.
A few exceptions to this rule:
- Regarding dropped points and extensions across flow: I flow ONLY what I hear; if points don’t get brought up, I don’t write them. A clear example would be a contention read in Constructive, having it dropped in Summary, and being revived in Final Focus. I will personally drop it should that occur; I will not need to be prompted to do so, although notification will give me a clearer picture on how well each team is paying attention. Therefore, it does not hurt to alert me. The reason why I do this is simple: if a point is important, it should be brought up consistently. If it is not discussed, I can only assume that it simply does not matter.
- Regarding extensions through ink: This phrase means that arguments were flowed through refutations without addressing the refutations or the full scope of the refutations. I imagine it being like words slamming into a brick wall, but one side thinks it's a fence with gaping holes and moves on with life. I will notice if this happens, especially if both sides are signposting. I will be more likely to drop the arguments if this is brought to my attention by your opponents. Never pretend an attack didn't happen. It will not go your way.
- Regarding links: I need things to just make sense. Do not use terrible links. If I’m listening to an argument and all I can think is “What?” then you have lost me. If using a link chain, link well with appropriate warrants. I will just not buy arguments at that point and this position will be further reinforced should an opposing team point out the lack of or poor quality of the link.
I do not flow cross-examination. It is your time for clarification and identifying clash. Should something arise from it, it is your job to bring it up in your/team’s next speech.
I'm not a big fan of theory/kritiks. If it comes up and it's warranted, make sure I know it. But most of the time, I won't be happy that it's happening. I advise against it.
Regarding RFD in Public Forum: I vote on well-defined and appropriately linked impacts. All impacts must be extended across the flow to be considered. If your Summary speaker drops an impact, I’m sorry but I will not consider it if brought up in Final Focus. What can influence which impacts I deem more important is Framework. I don’t vote off Framework, but it can determine key impacts which can force a decision.
Regarding RFD in Lincoln Douglas: FW is essential to help me determine which impacts weigh more heavily in the round. Once the FW is determined, the voters are how well each side fulfills the FW and various impacts extending from that. This is similar to how I vote in PF, but with greater emphasis on competing FWs.
I am a paper flow judge; I do not flow on computer. I’m a dinosaur that way. This means if you go through points too quickly, there is a higher likelihood that I may miss things in my haste to write them down. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SPREAD OR SPEED READ. I do not care for it as I see it as a disrespectful form of communication, if even a form of communication at all. Nowhere in life, outside of progressive circuit debate and ad disclaimers, have I had to endure spreading. Regardless of its practical application within meta-debate, I believe it possesses little to no value elsewhere. If you see spreading as a means to an end, that end being recognized as a top debater, then you and I have very different perspectives regarding this activity. Communication is the one facet that will be constantly utilized in your life until the day you die. I would hope that one would train their abilities in a manner that best optimizes that skill for everyday use.
This section is meant for things that simply anger me beyond rational thought. Do not do them.
- No puns. No pun tagline, no pun arguments, no pun anything. No puns or I drop you.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
It's everyone's favorite time, to read the philosophy of the judge so they can bs their way to winning rounds.
My background is pretty baller. I did speech for 4 years of high school and was ranked in the state. I did debate for 2 years, mid lay level LD and parli. After I graduated, I started coaching at Chaminade College Prep. To my dismay, they were mostly a policy school. I cried for weeks about this.
I've been the assist head coach there for 2 and half years and now the head coach for the past year. Surprisingly, no one has died. I've now judged rounds of all debate events in California, at almost all levels, except Varsity Policy, because I'm not too masochistic.
Here are some general things, then you can look at event specific things below:
I try my best to not put my beliefs onto the flow. I don't mind any critical arguments, just realize most of you run them wrong/weak links. Don't do that. Be clear and articulate, explain to me how it impacts the round. Don't just say "Dumb judge, I win because of (fancy jargon word)" Explain why you win. If you're going to cross apply, explain how it cross applies. "Cross apply this to all of my contentions because in reality, I have no answers, but want to seem like I didn't drop everything on the flow"
Don't run K's with no clear link. If I feel you've run this K against every aff you've hit, not matter the topic, I won't be happy. Make the link very clear. This comes off as lazy to me.
Speed: I'm alright with speed. Usually by the rebuttal level, I'm fine. I'd say in policy try to go 70% your fastest. LD you can go 80% your fastest. I have yet to have an issue with speed in PF and parli, so don't worry. You'll want to go slower with me, mostly because I tend not to give any indication if I can't understand what you're saying because I'm trying so hard to understand what you're saying.
Also, when spreading, there is this thing called enunciating. Do that. I like that.
And in spreading, I know that tends to turn into yelling, try not to do that. As a speech a coach, I feel horrible for your vocal cords that your abusing and misusing. Also, no one likes to be yelled at for an hour.
There's no reason to be rude. I will tank your speaks if you're a jerk. Be passionate by all means, but making your opponent cry, or just being a "meanie face" will not make me like you. I will still give you the win in the round, if you won the round, but you can say bye bye speaker award, because your speaks are destroyed. Moral of this story: Win, but let your arguments win, being a jerk doesn't gain you ground on your arguments and it hurts your speaks for me. Being a meanie poo (I'm avoiding curse words, for if some reason my school I work at finds this) isn't educational and won't help you in the real world.
I generally enjoy rounds where the topic and cases are engaged. I'm more of a straight policy/LD person. However, trust me when I say, I'm totally fine with any arguments you want to run, just please make it follow a clear train of logic.
I'm cool with flex prep, if everyone agrees. In the prepared debate events, especially LD and policy, if your opponent is misrepresenting evidence, and you call that out, I love that.
Yo, LD, I like that event.Since it's LD, I'm a big fan of the values debate. Otherwise just go into policy.
If I'm judging a policy round, I'm already crying inside. Don't make those tears turn into a full out sob. Meaning, clearly explain everything, go slow on your tag lines. I won't time "flash" time towards prep, but don't go super slow.
I love parli. As a judge, I realize that you've only had 20 minutes of prep. For this reason, unless you cite where you are getting your information, I'll probably assume you're lying.
I'm definitely fine with any critical arguments you want to run. However, I'm not a huge fan of parli in which the topic is ignored entirely. If it's a poorly written topic, call that out, but don't refuse to debate it because you think it's poorly written. If we're getting a resolution on if we need to send aid to the Sahel region, I don't want the aff to come in an talk about how we need to stop oppression in America or an entirely different case for a resolution (unless there is a very clear link to the resolution) Again, if you feel the topic is horribly skewed, explain that in round, but I don't like when the aff comes in with a new topic, It just comes off as lazy and not willing to engage the debate and topic.
I've never had any issues with speed or anything in Public Forum. Basically, if you're in Public Forum, do you boo. PF you understand me and I love you for that public forum.
Also, because I'm fat, I'm receptive to receiving donuts, cheesecake and fettuccine Alfredo. It won't give you the win, but I'll give me something to cry into during the policy rounds.
My name is Alec Lenamond. I am a 5th year Applied Mathematics major at the University of California, San Diego. I graduated from Citrus Valley High School in 2014 and have years of experience in Lincoln Douglas Debate, both on a local and national level.
tl;dr: (1) Speed okay (provided inclusion in an email chain), (2) advise against Theory and K's, (3) default probability over magnitude, and (4) pls debate the topic instead of just reading weak link chains.
Speed: I'll start by saying I have not judged much over the last few years so don't complain if I miss important information if you are spreading. I'm not opposed to speed, but I think there can still be great substantive debate at a normal conversational pace. If you do wish to spread, I would appreciate being included in an email chain or have the case(s) flashed to me.
Paradigm: I always evaluate framework first, but you need not win the framework debate to get my ballot. I resolve framework and then see which contentions/arguments win under that framework, so it is entirely possible to win under your opponent’s standard. In most cases, losing the framework debate will likely put you at somewhat of a disadvantage on the ballot, but I think there's great strategic potential in dropping framework to go all in on contentions (especially if you're negating).
As far as voting issues are concerned, winning the framework debate is not a voting issue. It is absolutely necessary to address framework in the last speech, but only as a means to tell me how to evaluate your voting issues. In other words, do not expect my ballot just because you won the framework debate.
Preferences: I generally prefer consequentialism because substantial arguments are quantifiable, making it easier to compare and debate the impact of the resolution. I am not opposed to means-based frameworks, but I feel they substantially limit the scope of the debate and, more often than not, confuse the shit out of me because debaters can't properly articulate what it means.
Absent any discussion on probability vs magnitude, I will default to the most probable impact. However, I highly encourage debaters to engage in a probability vs magnitude debate if relevant to the debate.
As a side note, I was never well-trained in Theory, Topicality, or RVIs so I will never make a decision on that. Still call out abuse if it's apparent but don't use theory as a strategy to win the debate.
Though I have some experience with K debates, I would rather debaters avoid this strategy as a whole and actually debate the substance of the resolution. If you run a K, please do not spread since I am not well-versed in literature. I also have a high threshold for voting for the K. Be extremely articulate when it comes to (1) the link to the AC, (2) the impact from voting for the AC, and (3) why the K comes before the standard offered by the AC. Most times, when I vote against a K it's because (3) is unclear or underdeveloped.
Prep Time: I generally prefer to give both debaters as much time as necessary to prepare for speeches, so long as both debaters have an equal claim to preparation. If taking an extra minute of prep results in a better quality debate, by all means take your time. However, I will not allow you to utilize unused prep time as additional speaking time. Flex prep is okay.
Evidence: I reserve the right to call for evidence after the round. I will only call for evidence if (a) it is significant in decision-making for the round or (b) if there is a dispute over what the evidence says. I will not call for evidence if I believe it to be falsified or misrepresentative of the author’s true intentions, as that is the debaters’ jobs to identify in the debate.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on any other issue before/after the debate!
judged ld/pf before but haven't judged in the past couple years. try not to spread and ill flow, have fun!
Debated policy for 3 years at Westwood HS
more DA CP style CX debater than K so take that as you will...
Ill vote for pretty much anything if you can make me understand it
T: default to competing interps. Neg should provide pretty good examples of real or potential abuse but its not 100% necessarcy
DA: probably my favorite type of arguement. Like to hear really good impact calc. If you go for this in the 2NR have good case takeouts or a sick CP
CP: like 'em. Not that great on super technical techincality CP's but I like to hear them and how they kinda "cheat" the aff. Not much to say here
K: here is where i would say im weakest. I have pretty minimal knowledge of most critical literature besides very generics like Cap Security and other core generics. I do not know much about identity so if that is the kind of debate you are going for I might not be your best judge. I have no biases against these arguements I just don't know much so I might not be the proper judge for these rounds. Again, I will vote for anything as long as you explain it to me
Framework: Debate can be anything if you argue for it. I don't really think affs need to have a plan, but they should have some form of stable advocacy. What that actually is can change from round to round. Saying "no plan is cheating and unfair" aint gonna really get you far
Other: if they drop something you dont have to reread the tag and the whole card to extend it. Quick warrant and move on. Speed is fine as long as you are clear. Prep ends when you are done editing the doc. If you take to long i will start to count it for flashing. I know computer stuff happens, happenend to me all the time. I am pretty lenient on it, but I still don't want to judge all day.
Ask any specific questions before the round. GLHF
I am best friends with Sai Pathuri.
Look at Varun Reddy Judgewiki
As a judge, i definitely don't expect to be your first choice, but if i am your judge this is what you should look out for.
I understand fundamentally what LD is about and would not consider myself a "traditional" judge. That being said, here are some things that currently hold me back from being your usual flow judge:
I have little to no experience in LD, and am very new to debate itself. I do understand arguments such as the K, CP, Plan, theory and T debate. What i don't have a complete grasp on is how each individual argument works together and interacts. Meaning I don't necessarily have a complete hold on which layers come first, and so on. This means that it is your job as the debater to very thoroughly and thoughtfully explain the important arguments within the round. I do not ask that you go what is considered "lay slow", rather that you speak clearly and keep it to a more moderate pace. I don't mind having to say clear. If your strategy revolves around the K coming before theory, just give me a good explanation of it. If your opponent is reading something sketchy tell me, and tell me why their argument isn't valid. Don't expect me to assume anything with a few exceptions.
Evidence ethic violations: These are more tricky because I am new, but if one is made, make sure you are willing to pitch the round on it. I will make a decision based off of this.
I will default to Competing Interps, its less work for me and less judge intervention
Ultimately, it is up to the debaters to make things very clear.
I want to stress how important it is, for a beginner judge that you do a little bit more work explaining arguments that may already be assumed. I know that you have to do some explanation with a better judge, just think of me as somebody that you have to do a bit more work with.
Also on Trix debate: It is very likely that if your opponent doesn't understand your trix, then neither do I, so that is important.
I would highly suggest not running anything TO advanced as I am less and less likely to get it until i learn a little bit more.
That being said, i will do my best to be "tabula rasa". I will vote on anything as long as it isn't to offensive (this also means that if you don't do a good job clarifying why you won and they did, I probably won't vote for you). I will try to change my paradigms as i learn more.
Link for Judge Philosophies wikispaces.
Affiliations/Judging conflicts: Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough
I debated for four years at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, qualifying to TOC thrice. I now coach for Marlborough.
If you have questions, email me at email@example.com
I like hearing well-developed, supported, smart arguments. This can include philosophy, t or theory, Ks, plans, CPs, DAs, etc. Form doesn't matter a huge amount to me. Just steer clear of my landmines and make good arguments: your speaks and win record will show it.
Flashing/emailing is on prep time.
Traditional Policy stuff: yes
Theory: yes if there’s real abuse.
Philosophy (almost all sorts): yes
Do I say clear? Yes.
How many times? Until you get clear or it becomes clear that you're ignoring me.
Mandatory scary stuff:
Landmines: The following things are not ok in debate. I WILL INSTANTLY DROP YOU FOR:
-Religious/theistic arguments *I don't think very many (if any) other judges hold this prohibition, so I want to emphasize that I do hold it, and I will hold you to it.*
-moral skepticism (unless the topic specifically mandates it, like the Nov-Dec 2011. I'll specifically note it at the top of my paradigm if one of these comes up.)
-presumption (if you tell me I should ignore substance to vote on presumption. I might presume if there is legitimately no offense but I will do everything in my power not to.)
-any argument that is “triggered” in a later speech. If you defend it, you must say so in your first speech
-biting the bullet on something atrocious like genocide, rape, mass murder, etc. (That is, openly acknowledging that your framework would not condemn something like this. Simply arguing that your opponent’s framework can’t condemn genocide will not be a reason to drop them.)
-an a priori (these are arguments that say that the resolution is true or false for linguistic/semantic reasons and don't link to a framework. Despite debaters' best efforts to hide them, a prioris are pretty easily visible.)
-blatantly lying in cx
In general, be honest. I won’t instantly drop you for anything not on this list, but if you pull tricks or are generally sketchy I will be pissed. My stance on this is pretty similar to Chris Theis’.
The following arguments I will not listen to, but will not drop you for the sole reason that you ran one of them (you can still win elsewhere on the flow). I will not vote on:
-any argument that is not normative, like ought implies can or ought means logical consequence.
-theory arguments against an interp in the AC are counterinterpretations/defense only
Things I dislike but will vote on if you win them by a wide margin (either they're conceded or you crush):
-Competing interps requires a counterinterpretation.
-Affirmative “ethics” choice (When the aff gets to pick the standard/value criterion – distinct from AFC as run in policy, which I am ok with)
-Meta-theory comes before “regular” theory. OK to run a “meta-theory” shell and weigh impacts, but I don’t believe that meta-theory exists differently than theory. One sentence in a theory voter will not convince me otherwise.
-Anything that would have me take an actual action other than judging. (It takes a really good reason to make me not be lazy. I might vote for the position and ignore the action anyway.)
And a bunch of theory shells fall into this category too. If you run one of these shells, I will be skeptical and probably find the most stock responses persuasive. I'll vote on it, but you'll have to do lots of work and win it by a lot:
-Must run/not run framework
-Must run/not run plan/counterplan (inc. plans bad)
-Must run/not run kritik (noticing a theme?)
-Must run/not run DAs, etc.
-Can't have both pre- and post-fiat impacts
-Can't make link/impact turns (yes, people actually run this shell)
-Negatively worded interps bad ("Must have positively worded interp" for the formalists)
-Neg must defend the converse
Since the Judge Philosophies wiki page has been deactivated.
I am a junior at California State University Long Beach and I debated LD for four years at La Reina High School. I will listen and vote on nearly any argument with certain exceptions i.e. racism, sexism, etc. good. If you choose to run theory, I will be happier if it is warranted, but a well-done frivolous theory debate can be fun to judge. I read a lot of critical arguments in high school so feel free to run them eg-Anti-blackness, feminism, etc. Policy-style debate is fine too. Finally, spreading wise, I have not heard spreading in a while so if you could start slow and build up speed that would be great.
Add me to the email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email me any questions regarding my decision. On the Subject line, please provide the name of the tournament, your team code, and the round number.
Bravo Medical Magnet HS (2010-2013)
UC Irvine (2013-14): 2014 NDT Qualifier and 2014 CEDA Octafinals
My ideal debate has
a) well-researched positions that are communicated clearly, concisely and are easily flowable, and
b) direct refutation of arguments that can be visualized on the flow.
Line-by-line refutation is most preferred. Grouping arguments is acceptable if you identify what premise they all share that you are refuting.
The literature bases I’m most familiar with are around afropessimism, settler colonialism, capitalism, whiteness, biopolitics, semiotics, and (some) psychoanalysis.
Prerequisites to earning the Ballot:
1.) Be Clear: This is a communication activity. You are persuading the judge. I'm slightly hard of hearing, so if I can't understand you, I'll say "CLEAR". I will repeat only twice per debater. Lack of clarity will reduce speaker points and will make it difficult to flow and genuinely understand the argument. This rule is most important during OVERVIEWS and ANALYTICS.
SLOW DOWN for Plan texts, Counterplan texts, Advocacy texts, Permutation texts, and PIC/PIK texts. If I have to look at the speech document for the TEXT, I will remove half a speaker point. This is a speech activity. If it weren't, we would only need to share word documents over email and we wouldn't need to be physically present at tournaments.
Speaking for/over your partner (or puppeteering them) will reduce both of your speaks. Debaters should be able to speak for themselves in a speech activity.
2.) Complete the argument: A complete argument contains a claim, warrant, and evidence. An incomplete argument will be flowed for reference but ultimately will not be evaluated. If an argument is completed in a constructive, I will evaluate it. If it is completed in a rebuttal, it is a new argument and I will not evaluate it.
3.) Explain Key Theories/Concepts: Assume I am a lay judge who only knows how to flow. Do not assume that my familiarity with certain literature bases will allow you to skip over explaining key philosophical, economic, or political concepts and chains of logic. Doing so risks skipping warrants, which means you've made an incomplete argument that I will not evaluate. Returning to the first prerequisite of clarity, if you are not clear I might not completely understand the concepts you explained. Then, your warrants and analytics might be absent on my flow. Don't let that happen.
Also, DO NOT use abbreviations or acronyms until you have spelled them out for me. Do not leave me to guess. I might not flow it.
4.) Tell me who I am: Role of the Judge. Dictate to me how I ought to view the round--as a policymaker, a critic, an educator, a revolutionary, etc. Otherwise, my default position is to evaluate the round as a policy-maker. I have spent too much time post-round thinking about how to weigh impacts and advocacies that clash and are both well-researched. Do not leave me at the end of the round with my biases.
5.) Tell me what the ballot does: Role of the Ballot. Dictate to me what the purpose of the ballot ought to be: for example, does it simply go to the team that did the better debating or does it change the structure of debate or the debate community? Moreover, what the ballot ought to do/be depends on what DEBATE should be about. In short, delineate your model of debate (what debate should be about) and defend why we should affirm that model of debate.
6.) Tech over Truth: I will only evaluate what is said in the round not what I know outside the round. Prioritizing truth claims relies on judge intervention which nullifies the argumentation within the round and the purpose of the activity. Prioritizing tech minimizes judge intervention because the argumentation in the round determines the ballot.
Aff/Neg Roles: The affirmative must change the status quo via fiat or performance. The 1AC must make the status quo net better. The negative must prove the affirmative either DOES NOT change the status quo or makes the status quo net worse. Sounds too basic but is a fundamental theoretical issue about the model of debate that debaters gloss over with statements like "we only need to prove the aff is a good/bad idea".
I find myself wanting to vote Neg on presumption in debates in which the Aff does not meet the burden of changing the status quo or does not provide a counter-interpretation to "changing the status quo". To clarify, I won't vote on presumption if the argument is not made.
I believe the neg should have the status quo as an option, only if the neg makes this argument. Unless the debate becomes a method vs method debate, the focus of the debate is the 1AC's effects on the status quo.
Framework: Tell me why I ought to prefer your model of the debate. The more comparative the standards and impact debate, the better. For example, tell me whose scholarship/pedagogy should be preferred with clear disads to the other team’s education claims. As a judge, I do not take a position on the structural fairness vs procedural fairness debate, except that fairness (structural or procedural) should be explained as an impact in and of itself. Otherwise, I am likely to interpret fairness as an internal link to an impact waiting to be articulated.
Topicality/Theory: Will vote on it but my threshold is high because in the debates I've judged, abuse in-round is not clearly articulated (or that it's potentially abusive) or it is unclear what kind of ground the aff destroyed or the extent to which the negative was unable to generate substantial clash or the aff killed education on topic literature. If neg definitively proves in-round abuse, I'll vote on T.
Topical versions of the Aff are extremely persuasive because they prove that the 1AC's content is non-competitive with topicality, which means that being un-topical is not uniquely key to access 1AC offense. Neg doesn't have to prove solvency; only that the content and performance of the 1AC is not competitive with affirming the resolution.
Disadvantages: I’m not always familiar with abbreviations so please explain them at least once. For politics debates, I like case-specific specific links. If you only have generic links available, contextualize the links to the warrants and evidence of the 1AC or the warrants and premises you have elicited from the cross-ex of the 1AC. Returning to the third issue of explanation, explain the economic and political concepts that prove the disad.
Counterplans: Slow down substantially so I could catch the full CP text instead of relying on CX to clarify for me or waiting throughout the debate for the text to be fleshed out. Solve for your net benefits, don't link to them. I don’t dislike any specific CP. Agent, consult, delay CPs...I could vote on them.
Plan-Inclusive Counterplans/Kritiks: May or may not be abusive. I will consider voting on it if neg proves textual and functional competition. If aff does not impact a lack of such competition, then the PIC is legitimate. Provide an impact to "Mooting the 1AC". Provide defense for this impact.
Kritiks: Do not depend on tag-lines and buzzwords for explanatory power. Be well-read on your literature base. If I recognize that you mischaracterize, oversimplify, or misunderstand the thesis of the K, your speaks will decrease.
Starting point debates/Root Cause debates: I evaluate these debates just like a framework debate: competing models of structural analysis. Thus, I compare standards/net benefits. If your analysis has a wider scope, why is that good? If it has a narrower scope, why is that good? If your starting point historically precedes the other team's starting point, why does that mean I should prefer your starting point. I ask these questions because these are the questions I am left with at the end of the debate. Dictate to me the criteria for comparing starting points. Without it, you are asking me to intervene with my own analysis. Don't do that.
Alternatives: By the 1NR, it should be clear how the alt solves. Whether this is via fiat or via scholarship (epistemological/ontological model) should be established BY THE BLOCK.
If something happens in-round and one team argues that the other's performance/language/etc is problematic in some form, explain how the significance of this issue outweighs the rest of the debate (i.e. why should I pay attention to this before analyzing the debate itself)--which means engaging in the framework debate.
If this is a new argument in the rebuttals, you have a higher threshold for proving why this outweighs the rest of the debate or why I should/can moot the 1AC.
Debate ought to encourage safety, fairness, and education.
Everyone should feel as safe and comfortable as the community can make itself to be, even though safety and comfort are effects of power and are not equitably distributed.
Debaters should be able to substantially engage with the topic and each other. Please disclose arguments and evidence properly. Please share enough with the other team before the round so they can understand and at least attempt to make arguments.
Everyone should be able to learn from the activity, win or lose.
The team that violates any of these tenets will be denied the ballot.
HS: Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science School
College: University of California, Santa Cruz
Debated as policy debater in high school with LAMDL
Made it to Semi-finals during Pepperdine Invitational
Judged the Berkley invitational a couple times
Judged during LAMDL's USC summer debate institute
I strongly believe debate serves as a platform for learning and growth. Moreover, it is a shared space where knowledge and thoughts are shared in the room and thus racial change occurs through thought.
What I'm into:
Safe, respectful and passionate debates.
Innovative and radical ways to prove your point.
Going off topic.
Stretching time (for example: if you have nothing left to say during cx just end the time, same with repeating the same cards/tags during your own speech. It's cool if you're reiterating your partners tags if it helps your magnitude but dont spend too much time unless you feel it's REALLY necessary.)
Poorly executed DA's, K's, and Theory (along with this, I cannot tolerate nihilistic, racism good, or patriarchy good turns).
Being a rude debater (especially during cx)
Reading tags for the sake of winning the argument without expanding on its importance.
Whining (I consider most T's whining, unless you really prove that the opposing team is not topical. I will not vote on potential abuse).
Aff: The affirmative should always be topical. Please don't start off the debate talking about narwhals and end up talking about kittens. Although if you do go with "non topical" affs make sure you make it clear in the first speech. Preferably offensive-defense arguments.
T/Framework: Like mentioned before, I see T as a last resort. Unless you really feel passionately about your topicality definition or the debate was totally unfair. I respect and enjoy good counter interpretations.
CP's: Enjoy a well constructed counterplan where your perm makes the world better. However, I will only pay attention to this if presented by or before the 1nr.
DA's: Disadvantages are great if well explained. Please don't just read the tags. The more taylored the DA the better the debate will be.
K's/ Theory: I am familiar with fem ir, environmental, and biopower kritiques/ theories. Make sure you engage your opponents argument and execute your theory before just jumping into your pedagogy. Take us all there through explanations and examples. These arguments require time to develop so don't bring up if not planning to develop it into something greater.
Rebuttals: Please frame the debate for me. Tell me which way I should vote and convince me on impotance, magnitude and timeframe of your argument. Do not read new tags! If you have a particular argument you want me to focus on tell me WHY its important, dont just say "extend." I dislike extending without knowing the importance of it or why I am extending it.
CX: I flow cross examinations. Treat this time as a speech. Don't half ass it or give half assed answers. Full ass it if you're going there. Don't be afraid to point out each others argumentative flaws. If you want to use some of the cx time to finish/start a speech I will allow that.
Speaker Points: I am very lenient and lax on speaker awards as long as I can understand you clearly and you aren't being rude to anyone in the room. I understand and remember the joy of having good speaker points. Just remember YOU ARE NOT A ROBOT!
I am a shapeshifting chupacabra.
Got my B.A. in Politics and Art.
Currently work for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Please add me to the chain, my email is email@example.com
Policy from 2014-2021 for Downtown Magnets High School/LAMDL and Cal State Fullerton. Teaching and judging debate since 2017.
thoughts on how I decide
> I live for when debaters take the presentation of their arguments seriously. I am good for speaker points if you: get off your blocks more, have ethos moments, dig into evidence, give your offense/args snappy names, don't spread at top speed, give an overview, be organized, speak directly to me, etc.
> Read what you want, however you want, I don't care. I'll take any strategically applied argument into serious consideration for the ballot. However, don't rely on speed, quantity of arguments, or techy/blippy arguments. I'm good with speed but I am not the fastest flower so keeping up can be difficult for me, please take that into consideration.
> My decisions are usually based on a combo of meeting your burdens as aff/neg and controlling the big picture of the round. Most of the time this will come down to telling me how I should frame and weigh impacts. I need clash, comparisons, and warrants for that otherwise I'll decide myself what impacts matter the most.
> General: perms, links, solvency, and impacts need to be clear about how we get from point A to point B, don't lose sight of your warrants. - Policy v K: read a TVA. I don't think K's are unfair but I may be convinced for a round. I'm not interested in you solving for the K, I’m persuaded by models that center policy/education for the purpose of doing good in the direction of the K. How can T/FW/debate be used for the intents and purposes of the K? the more you answer this question and leverage your response against inevitable impact turns, the better off you'll be.
> To make both our lives easier, have moments where you break down the debate and explain to me what is happening and straight up tell me why you win. for example, tell me what you're winning and what your opponent is losing, etc. i'm not saying write the ballot for me but thats also exactly what I'm saying. I am very receptive to this.
Policy Debater at CSU Fullerton 2 years (2009-11)
High Debate Coach for 3 years (2010-2013)
Debate Judge for 10 years (2010-present)
High School Math and Physics Teacher ( 2018- present)
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Short version: I want to see and hear what you are good at doing. You pick your style and convince me that you know what they are talking about.
Brief recap of what general debater think of me;
A lot of people have pegged me as a certain kind of judge—crazy, in other words. While I may be crazy in the head, I don’t think that I judge rounds in a particularly different way than other judges. I, like other judges, VOTE for which team did the better DEBATING. How I come to this conclusion is much the same as other critics: I allow myself to be PERSUADED by the rhetorical force of one or another team’s ARGUMENT. You need to win an argument and a reason why that argument means that I should vote for you. Feel free to choose whatever type of argument you prefer. Virtually everything in the round is up for debate in front of me. But I will also be hesitant to vote on arguments that fly in the face of reality.
Some fine details;
(1) Kritik: Don’t assume that I have read and/or understood your author. If the argument isn’t in the text of the card, then you need to make sure that it is comprehensible in your analysis or explanation of the card. Also, remember that the evidence is not the argument by itself.
(2)How I flow: I believe in the debate. That is, I flow it, and I believe it occurs. However, I don’t even try to line everything up in the debate—I just flow from the top down on each sheet of paper (Excel spreadsheet). Know your argument and give detail on it, your analysis, spin, and articulation are all important and I follow that as much.
(3)Policy debate is like chess. Debate at a reasonable pace for yourself so that you don’t forget or drop arguments. Clash with the other team, debate is not in a vacuum. Debate with a lack of clash makes it harder to judge because I feel like have to intervention and connect the dot myself. Lastly, like in chess, you can’t win with all your pieces. You will have to lose some pieces, know what you are losing and wining in a sophisticated way.
(4) Value and meaning isn’t implied. You need to frame “Framework” how I view arguments and what I value. Tell me how you want me to see the round and why that is important over the way your opponent views.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):
Question: Can I read an aff without a plan?
Answer: Sure but do you really want to have a framework debate over policy implementation?
Question: I hear you’re a K guy and like K, I normally run DisAd and CP so do I need to pull out my K?
Answer. PLEASE DON’T. The worst thing you can do is run an argument that doesn’t fit your style and strengths. If you are a straight up, line by line, politic disad kind of debater then go for it. I don’t vote for the K anymore than I do the DisAd. A good argument with articulation and explanation will do you more than running something that you can’t explain.
Question: Is it true that you never vote on Theory or Topically?
Answer: I did the math, I have voted for theory or topically maybe 2.5% of the time since I started judging, that is like 4 out of 170 rounds. While it’s a hard sell because I lend toward looking at real in round abuse.
I would like to be on the email chain, my email is jpscoggin at gmail.com
I am the coach of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I also own and operate Premier Debate along with Bob Overing. I coach Nevin Gera. I prefer a nuanced util debate to anything else.
In general, I am not a fan of frivolous theory or non-topical Ks.
High speaker points are awarded for exceptional creativity and margin of victory.
I am fine with speed as long as it is comprehensible.
If you are not comfortable disclosing to your opponent at the flip or after pairings are released it is likely in your best interest to strike me. If the tournament has a rule about when that should occur I will defer to that, if not 10 minutes after the pairing is released seems reasonable to me.
Compiling is prep. Prep ends when the email is sent or the flash drive is removed from your computer.
I am very interested in seeing clash in the debate. I prefer that you present your case and refute the other side.
I do not mind you running counter-plans, theories, kritiks, or anything else that you like. The only thing that I ask is that you let me know what you are doing.
I also want you to sign post what you are doing so that I can follow your case.
If you are refuting your opponent's argument, then I would like for you to point out what your opponent said and then tell me your point of view.
I want you to be very specific with all of your points and refutals. If you are vague, I will not know what you are saying and, therefore, not consider that argument.
In a nutshell, I want to see a good clean, logical presentation and no underhanded tactics.
email chain/questions: email@example.com
Background info: I debated LD for 4 years at DuPont Manual and graduated in 2016. I coach independents and go to USC.
I keep a thorough flow of the round (not the speech doc), and I will do my best to judge solely off of it. Layer the debate and tell me which layers come first. I will listen to any argument, but I will dock speaks or drop you if you’re being blatantly offensive. In and out of round, we should be as empathetic and inclusive as possible.
I like some sort of framework to evaluate the round. I don't care what kind. If you’re running obscure philosophy, don’t assume I have background in it. I do like phil rounds, so don't hesitate to run it!
I am definitely more persuaded by affirmatives that advance an answer to the resolution. Negatives need to have very specific links to the affirmative. Explain the alt and why it solves for its impacts well. If you're against a legitimate k about social issues, you should engage the k. I will not be persuaded if you solely run theory/T on it. Performance k’s are cool.
Default competing interps, no RVIs, drop argument. If you go for reasonability, tell me how to evaluate what is reasonable. If there are multiple shells, weigh between them. Ask me before the round about particular shells if you want. PLEASE DO NOT RUN FRIVOLOUS THEORY OR TRICKS
- Flashing isn't prep
- High speaks come from good strategy and if I think you should break.
- Impact calc is very important
- Please don't hesitate to collapse the round
- If you're going against an opponent in which you are by far the more experienced debater, be helpful and considerate. Win the round kindly!
- Females, I shouldn't have to say this, but I full-heartedly support your aggression.
- Permissibility and presumption are not persuasive.
- I think debate is a game to an extent, but I do think it is a place for fostering meaningful discourse and change.
Last Updated: 2/24/21
I would like to be on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
***I will be very upset about cards sent in the body of an email instead of a document***
***This Paradigm is written with with the idea that I will be judging policy debates, if this isn't a policy debate take what applies to you and ignore everything that doesn't***
*Overall Ideas that I have about debate*
I like all styles of debate.
I believe that debate is a fun game we play.
Why we play the game is different for everyone.
I believe that everyone should have fun playing it.
This is especially true for novice debate. I think sometimes we forget we all had a first day.
What this means is that I will make it a priority to keep the spaces I'm involved in safe.
I will acknowledge the material implications of some bodies in certain spaces, so I will not police the debate space or conform to respectability politics of ANY tournament.
I will try my best to make this space accessible for you. Let me know what I can do (this can include an email before the round).
Technical debate is good debate.
A true argument can beat a bunch of silly arguments.
An Argument is a claim with a warrant. I will only flow claims with warrants.
I will not listen to impact turns of oppression. I will stop the round and leave. Your speaker points will reflect this.
Don't use slurs outside of your social location. I will stop the round and leave. Your speaker points will reflect this.
I don't want to judge a debate based off of what happened outside of the round. It becomes really awkward for everyone. And I can't adequately attest these truth claims. Just don't do it. Please.
I flow on paper- due to technology sound transfer and audio processing I ask that you go slower than your fastest pace. 80% of your normal speed should be good. If I don't flow it, it doesn't count so don't try to argue with me on what you did/didn't say.
Spreading is a strategy used to create Layers to an argument in a small amount of time. If you are just fast without adding dimension to your argument then you are dong it wrong and should stop.
I am very expressive, you can tell if I like your argument or if you are winning an argument.
I understand adapting to judges, but from personal experience you can win in front of any critic doing what you do best.
I am open to adjusting my judging style/practice in nearly anyway that is asked of me.
I will not be offended if you ask me about my familiarity with topic specific acronyms/specific arguments. PLEASE DO SO. I want to know what you're talking about.
AFF: You should be "topical", what that means is up for debate. Does that mean in the direction of the topic? Does that mean USFG action? IDK you tell me. But criticizing the "norms" of debate without relation to the topic is iffy for me and in my opinion a negative argument. If you have a justification for it go ahead because I will be evaluating the debate based off my flow anyway, but I am sympathetic to T/Framework Arguments. But don't be discouraged I have read/do read/coach teams to read "non-topical" affirmatives and understand the strategic choice behind doing so. That non-topical affirmative MUST do something (re: differ from the status quo).
The status quo is always an option. Please don't forget the art of case debate. This goes beyond just impact defense. Don't be afraid for a good Impact Turn debate I'm all for a warming good, econ decline good, bio D loss good, ect debate.
I wholeheartedly believe that you can say the state can do a particular policy action, and that single instance is good for x amount of people, without defending the other terrible things the state has done. Example, Welfare is probably a good thing. Yes there is problems with who gets it, but a world with out it is probably worse. I also believe that wiki disclosures is good defense against predictability claims. I also believe that some teams don't even make an attempt at engagement and some framework shells are written with the intent to never have k debates exist. That's probably a bad thing to defend. Don't let that be you. Nonetheless, T debates are dope. I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise. It will never be a reverse voter. It will never be genocide. You have to have a TVA. Your standards need to be impacted out or else they are just internal links and idk what to do with that. I will not vote on potential abuse. I want to see the blood on the flow. Where did they make the game unfair for you. I think the more specific the evidence/examples the better.
Impact framing and comparisons are major key. I'm cool with Generics DA's as long as your links are baller, but the more unique the DA the better. I believe in a 1% risk of a link. I also believe in a 0% risk of an impact. Explanation is key here. Im more willing to vote on a good story with fewer cards than me drowning in cards and trying to put together a story myself. also please tag your card 7 words or more. "more ev" is not an argument and i will not evaluate it.
I'm all for a good counterplan. 2nc counterplans are cool. 2nc amendments are cool. For me to vote on a CP you need to be super good on the case debate and differentiating the perm. Be clear on the CP text so I can flow it and also establish competition and better evaluate the argument. The states counter plan is definitely a legitimate strategy and should be protected at all cost.
I'm most familiar with argumentation in critical race theory, gender and sexuality args and identity/performance based arguments but this doesn't mean I won't listen to what you have to say if those things aren't your jazz. Reading is Fundamental. I read a lot so I will most likely know what you are talking about. I expect college debaters to also be well read. My patience increases with hs debaters learning about different arguments, none the less you should still be reading. I cannot stress this enough. Reading is imperative. My hs kids have taken a liking to old french dudes so I have tried by best as an educator to familiarize myself with that field of literature to be a better coach. I will give you that same respect as an adjudicator if I don't understand your criticism. I believe engagement and contextualizing your theory with your opponents arguments gets you a long way. Explain what the alt does. I think far too often this explanation is missing from the debate. I don't believe in just voting on links (I say this, but as I think about it you can go for links as disads to the case...idk convince me). You have to find a way to resolve those for me. Also "root cause" arguments are not links, they are just alt solvency evidence.
I don't believe in Fem IR criticisms, I don’t believe in satire performances, I’m not a fan of girl boss feminist narratives, and I have a problem with “debate bad” arguments.
Don't read theory args as a time skew. The aff gets a perm unless you say why. Conditionality: The neg can do whatever they want as long as the positions don't contradict (nothing more than 5 off please), and they make a decision in the 2nr. I will not judge kick for you. You need to make a decision. Not here for cheap shots. I really don't want to have to judge a theory debate but I understand abuse and am willing to vote on it. If you plan on going for a theory argument, a substantial amount of time needs to be spent on it in the rebuttal. SPEC arguments are the worst thing to happen to debate and I will buy anything the 2a says if its remotely responsive. As said before, I don't like performative contradictions. This also just applies to the rounds that i'm in. I don't care that the person reading framework against you also reads a k aff. It's a game. they picked a strategy that's going to win them the game.
Is binding. Is a speech. I'll write notes during this time. Please Answer questions. Don't be sketchy, I'll know it. Don't be afraid to point out if your opponents are being sketchy.
Do not Fabricate evidence. It's inexcusable. Do not clip cards. its inexcusable.
Challenges of card clipping will result in stopping the debate if material evidence is provided that proves beyond a reasonable doubt in my mind that card clipping has occurred. the offending team will receive a loss and the offending speaker will receive 0 speaker points. however if i conclude that the speaker is not guilty of clipping cards the challenging team will receive a loss and both challenging speakers will receive 0 speaker points.
***clipping cards is not a slurring of words or clack of clarity***
I'm from the school of thought that everybody in the round should have access to all evidence read in the debate. Denial to share citations or disclose is a b!+ch move. Prepared debate is good debate. Don't get this confused with breaking new, that's all fine.
MY TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME AND THE ONLY TIME THAT MATTERS. I don't count flashing or emailing as prep. Flex prep is not a thing(you cannot use cross-x as prep or time to give another speech). Speak in your assigned time slots (interpret this vaguely. It just means 1 constructive and 1 rebuttal. idc the order) unless for some performative or ethical reason that you can't (For example, if both debaters speak during the 1AC cool. There was a reason for it. Probably performative. In the rebuttal to continue the performance? Cool. Have a debater take over the line by line? Not Cool. This is a clear shift in the competitive aspect and nature of the game. Unless for some reason a debater disappears/goes missing...why would this happen? idk, but unusual things happen all the time)
Clarification questions during prep is okay. But don't try to make "a point". If you happen to be a team on the receiving end of someone trying to tear down your argument during prep, please refuse to answer.
I'll hook everyone up with speaks #PointFairy. I never want to be the reason debaters don’t break so I might over compensate, but who cares y’all are doing all the rigorous work the least I can do is help in the speaker point end.
I understand the joy of speaker awards and I will do my best to help y'all out.
I evaluate speaks of by delivery>argument choice. the team with the better Argument choice will most likely win win the round.
You'll get a 30 if you are just baller, or make me laugh uncontrollably. (I enjoy witty jokes, and I'm a big sports fan if that helps you come up with material)
+0.3 for every KD joke
(I haven't made up my mind if I will put a cap on jokes or not, so be a comedian at the risk of knowing you might not be rewarded for all the jokes)
I'll use this as a tool to teach young people how to advocate for themselves. after the round tell me what speaks you think you deserve(realistically) and I might agree with you.
when making analytical arguments I would advise going for the easiest pen to paper phrasing
if you send me your flow after the round I will up your speaks(HS ONLY)
How I make my Decisions:
I use the burden of rejoinder frame to structure how I evaluate debates.
I hold a strict line with new arguments in the rebuttals so a majority of my time will be lining up arguments.
In clash debates the easiest framing for me is what's most educational and best for the community.
I dislike students who try to post round. This has only happened to me twice. None the less I will not tolerate it. I am also willing to admit that I am wrong. But that will not change my decision. If the understanding that I get form your argument happens in a post round and not in a debate, I cannot reward you for communicating your point late in the game. This is a communication activity and if something didn't reach my flow like how you intended there isn't much I can do but listen and process to the best of my ability. If you think I made the wrong decision that's fine and you are completely entitled to feel that way. It does not change the fact that you loss.
Mics/Things you might wanna know about me:
I am Black and Queer.
When I debated I was trained to "Defend the walls" later in my career I became a "k-debater"
You all can call me Jada you don't have to say judge
I was a 2n
I'm a Dog Mom
I have a real pet peeve with what is considered violence in debate
You can insert re highlighting- you don't have to reread the card
If you wanna talk about college debate I'm here(I debated for UNLV) or I can get you in touch with someone from a program you are interested in.
Quotes from People in The Community about me:
"Super smart and a great person all around" Allego Wang
"Incredibly intelligent + really good at explaining difficult concepts" Ali saffieddine
"Their ability to compartmentalize argumentation and overall communication skills are ones I've always aspired to have and continue to grow from simple conversations I have with them. Jada's ability to empathize with students and find the grammar to communicate in ways to accommodate students needs and comprehension skills is one of the many talented characteristics they have. They will really be personal to you and your needs, with flares of individual organic wisdom they've learned over the years. They will not just lecture you. They will help you on your path to education/understanding difficult literature bases by shining light at your strengths and guiding you to find solutions to your weaknesses. Legit, Jada is one of the most influential person I've been blessed to come across" Yumasie Hellebuick
"You're the 50 cent of this community" -Chris Randall
"Jada is the love of my life" - Caitlin Walrath
"I told ppl to pref u just cuz you’re not afraid to stare a k team down and say “yea I voted on nuke war outweighs” with a smile ¯\_(ãƒ„)_/¯" -Ari Davidson
"Jada makes the best memes" JV Soccer Captain and my Teammate Dan Bannister
These are my jams at the moment do with that what you will:
1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)
2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)
2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)
2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)
2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)
General Preferences and Decision Calculus
I no longer handle top speed very well, so it would be better if you went at about 70% of your fastest.
I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.
I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.
Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.
I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.
Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.
I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.
I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.
I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.
Tricks and Triggers
Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.
Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs
The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.
I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.
I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.
To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.
The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.
My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.
It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.
I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:
30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.
29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.
28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.
27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.
26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.
25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors
Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.
Rude or Unethical Actions
I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.
A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.
To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.
I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.
Tldr; Debate is first and foremost an educational experience that needs to be accessible and accommodating to all.
General Preferences: Email chain me at email@example.com before you give your speech please and thank you. I’m fine with flex prep as long as everyone else in the room is cool with it. Speed is fine but debate is still an activity about communicating so please for the love of all that is holy, enunciate and differentiate your tone. Also slow down on analytics ESPECIALLY if they aren’t on the doc. If you just give me 7 minutes of monotone spread I will not be happy. I am doing my best but I can only type so fast. Most importantly, debate is a learning experience first and foremost, I don’t appreciate anyone taking away learning opportunities just for a win. Let me know if you have specific questions on this paradigm, debate, or just life in general before the round starts! Good luck and debate well.
T: - new and improved! Legitimate theory is always cool, friv theory is cool with me as long as it doesn’t take away from anyone’s learning. This means I’m not down for frivolous theory against a kid who has never once encountered theory, that’s not cool. Topicality/framework against K’s, particularly debate space K’s, is really iffy to vote on for me, I will 100% always prefer that you actually engage the meat of the K. Topicality and framework against pretty much anything else is cool with me, but again my threshold for voting on it is pretty high if it’s against anything other than a topical version of the aff. In general, I tend towards standards of accessible education, competing interpretations, and portable skills.
K’s: - love a good k still!! Specific links are always very important; I LOVE a great link story! Perms of K’s need to be very well explained and I need to walk away knowing what the perm world would look like pretty clearly. This means that if you’re deciding between 3 perms with no explanation and 1 really good, well-explained perm, you should always go for the one perm response in front of me. I love a good K aff, but be ready to defend it on the framework and the body level of the K. Debate space K’s will always come before T, all other types of K’s I’m willing to hear debate about which comes first but I tend towards K unless there’s some really great accessible education claims out of the T.
CPs: - nice!!! But please give really good solvency advocates, especially on PICs. Down for PICs, but also down for PIC theory. Get creative with perms but, like with K perms, you need to give me a brief explanation of what the perm world would look like if you want me to vote on it.
DAs: Down, specific link chains are really important to me, as are specific link beginnings. I’m over the ‘any international change will lead to nuke war’ arguments, but I’m very down for specific analysis on why a particular action triggers the DA. The more chains in the link, the less likely I am to buy that the DA turns case.
Framing: In general, utilitarianism and philosophy are kind of fake arguments and I’ll tend to vote on K responses to those arguments, but I do still enjoy a good phil v. phil debate and can follow most phil as long as it’s clearly articulated outside of case.
I'm a 50/50 for lay-flow. I write down what you have to say, but I also like to just listen to the arguments you will make. My daughter is a junior who has bidded for TOC in PF, so I know about the debate space a bit. Please do not spread and make it easy for me to understand what you have to say. I enjoy congress a lot so make the round fun but make arguments that make sense. Also, please don't get aggressive, especially when it comes to questions, so I will mark you off. Remember, debate is supposed to be fun and educational.
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.
Head Coach Bakersfield High School
Policy Debate Experience
4 years HS policy debate 1992-1996
3 time College NDT qualifier 2000-2002 CSU, Bakersfield
Policy and LD Judging Philosophies below
Policy Judging Philosophy
Tech vs. Truth
Truth is often determined in round by the argumetns presented so I guess I lean toward technique that has well explained arguments. Blippy arguments are rarely persuasive and often easily grouped and defeated.
Please don't use the restroom right before your speech and expect it not to take your preptime.
Prep time can be used before or after CX.
Flashing docs is not considered prep time, unless you "realize" you need something that requires prep.
Evidence vs Analysis (The lost Art of Argumentation)
Good analysis beats bad evidence most of the time. My HS Coach was fond of saying, "Debate with your brains not with your briefs." That being said, good evidence with good analysis is best.
I prefer Affirmatives that defend a topical policy action, preferably with a plan. The topical case can be big impact, systemic impact or critical in nature. I can be persuaded that other ways of debating are worthwhile, but the burden of proof falls heavily on the AFF without a plan as to how they actually affirm the resolution, not just an identity or issue unrelated to the Nationally chosen topic.
I have no problem voting for performance AFFs that are well debated. I do not care at all for Adhom. attacks.
I dislike blip theory debates. I do like theory debates that are developed, well articulated, and impacted. I have no problem voting on theory. Just make it good theory.
Counterplans, DAs, Kritiks, Case Debates, and Topicality are all fine. The more specific the evidence/links the more likely you will get weight for your arguments.
Be ready and able to defend your Neg Strategy. 2NR should make strategic decisions and no go for everything.
LD Judging Philosophy
Speed/Clarity: I debated Policy at the national level in college so speed is fine. Let me clarify, clear speed is fine. I determine your clarity. So I will say clearer twice, then slower, then stop flowing if you fail to adjust. If you do "speed" drills but not "clarity" drills, you probably should speak slower.
Strategies: I really just want to see a clash of ideas. Arguments that avoid a directly clash can be persuasive but rarely get high speaker points. Preferably, an actual debate about values and value criterions is preferred. The move toward LD becoming individual policy debate is interesting...not decided if it is beneficial. If you debate policy style, you need to be clear why that is to be preferred and how it stays germane to the Resolution.
The Topic: I like LD cases that embrace the value question of the resolution head on and develop their position. If you run a policy it should be germane to the topic and ought to be a reasonably predictable case for competitive equity. This can be debated out in the round.
If you have questions of me, just ask. I'm not perfect. I'm getting older. You know the topic better than me. So, teach me your position and you have a better chance of winning. If you just read a lot without analysis, you let me be the learner with a poor teacher and who knows what I may think...?
Be Polite and enjoy the debate.
1. Offense-defense, but can be persuaded by reasonability in theory debates. I don't believe in "zero risk" or "terminal defense" and don't vote on presumption.
2. Substantive questions are resolved probabilistically--only theoretical questions (e.g. is the perm severance, does the aff meet the interp) are resolved "yes/no," and will be done so with some unease, forced upon me by the logic of debate.
3. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true."
1. Conditionality bad is an uphill battle. I think it's good, and will be more convinced by the negative's arguments. I also don't think the number of advocacies really matters. Unless it was completely dropped, the winning 2AR on condo in front of me is one that explains why the way the negative's arguments were run together limited the ability of the aff to have offense on any sheet of paper.
2. I think of myself as aff-leaning in a lot of counterplan theory debates, but usually find myself giving the neg the counterplan anyway, generally because the aff fails to make the true arguments of why it was bad.
1. I don't think I evaluate these differently than anyone else, really. Perhaps the one exception is that I don't believe that the affirmative needs to "win" uniqueness for a link turn to be offense. If uniqueness really shielded a link turn that much, it would also overwhelm the link. In general, I probably give more weight to the link and less weight to uniqueness.
2. On politics, I will probably ignore "intrinsicness" or "fiat solves the link" arguments, unless badly mishandled (like dropped through two speeches). Note: this doesn't apply to riders or horsetrading or other disads that assume voting aff means voting for something beyond the aff plan. Then it's winnable.
1. I like kritiks, provided two things are true: 1--there is a link. 2--the thesis of the K indicts the truth of the aff. If the K relies on framework to make the aff irrelevant, I start to like it a lot less (role of the ballot = roll of the eyes). I'm similarly annoyed by aff framework arguments against the K. The K itself answers any argument for why policymaking is all that matters (provided there's a link). I feel negative teams should explain why the affirmative advantages rest upon the assumptions they critique, and that the aff should defend those assumptions.
2. I think I'm less technical than some judges in evaluating K debates. Something another judge might care about, like dropping "fiat is illusory," probably matters less to me (fiat is illusory specifically matters 0%). I also won't be as technical in evaluating theory on the perm as I would be in a counterplan debate (e.g. perm do both isn't severance just because the alt said "rejection" somewhere--the perm still includes the aff). The perm debate for me is really just the link turn debate. Generally, unless the aff impact turns the K, the link debate is everything.
3. If it's a critique of "fiat" and not the aff, read something else. If it's not clear from #1, I'm looking at the link first. Please--link work not framework. K debating is case debating.
1. I'm *slightly* better for the aff now that aff teams are generally impact-turning the neg's model of debate. I almost always voted neg when they instead went for talking about their aff is important and thought their counter-interp somehow solved anything. Of course, there's now only like 3-4 schools that take me and don't read a plan. So I'm spared the debates where it's done particularly poorly.
2. A lot of things can be impacts to T, but fairness is probably best.
3. It would be nice if people read K affs with plans more, but I guess there's always LD. Honestly debating politics and util isn't that hard--bad disads are easier to criticize than fairness and truth.
Versus the K:
1. If it's a team's generic K against K teams, the aff is in pretty great shape here unless they forget to perm. I've yet to see a K aff that wasn't also a critique of cap, etc. If it's an on-point critique of the aff, then that's a beautiful thing only made beautiful because it's so rare. If the neg concedes everything the aff says and argues their methodology is better and no perms, they can probably predict how that's going to go. If the aff doesn't get a perm, there's no reason the neg would have to have a link.
Topicality versus plan affs:
1. I used to enjoy these debates. It seems like I'm voting on T less often than I used to, but I also feel like I'm seeing T debated well less often. I enjoy it when the 2NC takes T and it's well-developed and it feels like a solid option out of the block. What I enjoy less is when it isn't but the 2NR goes for it as a hail mary and the whole debate occurs in the last two speeches.
2. Teams overestimate the importance of "reasonability." Winning reasonability shifts the burden to the negative--it doesn't mean that any risk of defense on means the T sheet of paper is thrown away. It generally only changes who wins in a debate where the aff's counter-interp solves for most of the neg offense but doesn't have good offense against the neg's interp. The reasonability debate does seem slightly more important on CJR given that the neg's interp often doesn't solve for much. But the aff is still better off developing offense in the 1AR.
1. I've been judging LD less, but I still have LD students, so my familarity with the topic will be greater than what is reflected in my judging history.
2. Everything in the policy section applies. This includes the part about substantive arguments being resolved probablistically, my dislike of relying on framework to preclude arguments, and not voting on defense or presumption. If this radically affects your ability to read the arguments you like to read, you know what to do.
3. If I haven't judged you or your debaters in a while, I think I vote on theory less often than I did say three years ago (and I might have already been on that side of the spectrum by LD standards, but I'm not sure). I've still never voted on an RVI so that hasn't changed.
4. The 1AR can skip the part of the speech where they "extend offense" and just start with the actual 1AR.