Central Valley Bear Brawl
2017 — Spokane Valley, WA/US
LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello. I did policy debate in high school, and was decently competent at it.
For speaking, the biggest thing for me is to clearly differentiate your tags from your cards, especially for more complex arguments like most k's. I do not care about tag teaming. Be nice, debate is supposed to be enjoyable.
For particular arguments, I just have a few arguments I greatly dislike, so don't run them. Don't do anything clearly abhorrent, like racism good. I hate Malthus and overpopulation arguments. Don't read Baudrillard, I swear to god. Other than that, you can run the most stupid arguments for all I care, as long as you do it well.
For theory, I prefer it as an actual check against abuse for the most part. T in particular, if you want me to actually vote on it, as long as the aff didn't completely drop it, requires naming some actual abuse. I view framework as theory, so put it on a separate flow and feel free to use arguments like ground and fairness. I like framework.
In terms of kritikal affs, I came from a smaller school and didn't really have a k teacher, so to be honest I really don't have much experience with them. That is not to say you can't win on them, I just need it explained more and more work on framework and role of the ballot. If you choose to run a kritkal aff, just don't be too surprised if I miss something or fail to understand an argument.
Finally, just make sure you tell me clearly in the 2ar/2nr why I should vote for you, don't make me search for reasons. I like debate and judge because I want to, so don't make me regret it. Have fun!
MacLean Andrews—Gonzaga Prep
I debated policy in high school and NPDA/NPTE parli at Point Loma. I then coached NPDA/NPTE at PLNU. I am now the Director of Forensics at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, WA. I mostly coach and judge high school CX and LD now. I see debate as an academic game and that’s how I will judge the round. Please feel free to ask me any questions before the round or email me if you have questions while filling out pref sheets (first initial last name at gprep.com)
- 28-29.9 usually.
- I think there are critical implications to every speech act. Affirmative cases, topicalities, procedurals, kritiks, and performances can all be critically analyzed if the teams take the debate there. I am more than willing to listen to any type/kind of arguments but nothing will make me cringe more than a bad K debate. In the end it is up to the debaters in the round to tell me what framework I am to use to evaluate the round.
- I tend to see T through a competing interpretations framework unless told so otherwise. I used to say that I have a fairly high threshold for T but I am finding myself voting for it more and more. If it is the best strategy you have to win the round go for it.
- I am willing to listen to all theory arguments as long as a team can give me a reason to vote on the position. Theory positions should have a framework/interp, arguments for your position, and voters/impacts. Simply stating fairness or education as voting issues usually isn’t enough to win. Impact out why fairness or education or (insert voter) is important.
- I will default to Net Bens…but if you want to use an alternative weighing mechanism please explain and provide justification for it.
- I appreciate it when weighing is done in the speeches. The last thing you want is for me to have to weigh your arguments for you.
- Speed is great if clear.
- The round is for the debaters, do what you have to do to win. I will try to adapt to you instead of you adapting to me.
- Impact calc wins debates
- Debate should be fun.
I'm a coach focusing primarily on PF and LD. My preference is on a traditional style of LD with strong connections of contentions to your V/C. My ballot will normally go to whoever can show they best link up to the winning value in the round (hint: try to show me why you can achieve both).I'm ok with a fair amount of speed (8/10), but if you want your tag lines to make my flow keep them short or slow down a bit for them.
There is not a huge progressive focus on our circuit, so I'm not overly experienced with progressive LD styles, but I've judged a fair amount of CX and am not entirely closed off to the idea of progressive strategies. I'm not overly familiar with a lot of the theory arguments that are being run, so don't expect me to grasp your advanced esoteric theory arguments without explaining them well (please share cases with me if possible). Additionally, if you a re running CPs be sure you can prove uniqueness, or if running Ks they are not absurd. I want reasonable arguments, and the less reasonable they are, the easier they are to be taken down.
When judging an LD round there are a few things that I like to see. The first would be clash, to me clash is an important part of the debate and if you are not clashing then you probably are not winning. The second thing is road maps. You need to say where you are when making or addressing an argument. If I cannot tell where you are then what you say will not make it on my flow. Lastly, impacting everything is very important. Impacts are the most important part of the last few speeches in an LD round and usually the person that does impacts and impact analysis better is going to win that round.
1. I ask that your argument be specifically related to the resolution for me to consider it as a strong case. If your points, contentions, etc., could equally be applied to a hundred other resolutions, I will generally consider you to be running a generic argument and to not have done any specific research on the resolution at hand. Of course, you are welcome to run such general contentions; I am just less likely to see them as strong points if they're not specific to the resolution.
2. Likewise, you are welcome to speak too fast and get out of breath if you feel it will help you make your case. However, I don't have your notes and it's neither my job nor your opponent's job to decipher what you are saying. So, if I or your opponent can't make out what you're saying due to speed, that's on you. If you can combine speed and clarity, I'm fine, but I have found that combination is generally rare.
3. In LD, I would prefer to see contentions clearly tied back to values etc. as much as possible.
In short: keep contentions specific to the resolution at hand as much as possible, make clear the relation of contentions to values, and speak clearly.
Coach, Gig Harbor HS, Gig Harbor WA
Coached LD: 21 years
Coached CX: 17: years
Competed in LD: 4 years
Competed in NPDA: 2 years
Rounds judged 2016-17, LD: 10, CX: 1, PF 1
LD Paradigm: I have been competing in, judging and coaching Lincoln Douglas debate for over twenty years. I have seen a lot of changes, some good, some not so good. This is what you should know.
I will evaluate the round based on the framework provided by the debaters. The affirmative needs to establish a framework (usually a value and criterion) and then show why, based on the framework, the resolution is true. The negative should either show why the resolution is not true under that framework or provide a competing framework which negates. My stock paradigm is what most people now call truth testing: the aff's burden is to prove the resolution true and the negatives is to prove it false. I will default to this absent another paradigm being established in the round. If both debaters agree that I should evaluate as a policymaker, I am able to do that and will. If you both put me in some other mode, that is reasonable as well. If there is an argument, however, between truth testing and another way of looking at the round the higher burden of proof will be on the debater attempting the shift away from truth testing.
As far as specific arguments go.
1. I find topicality arguments generally do not apply in Lincoln Douglas debate. If the affirmative is not dealing with the resolution, then they are not meeting their burden to prove the resolution true. This is the issue, not artificial education or abuse standards. I have voted on T in the past, but I think there are more logical ways to approach these arguments if the aff is affirming the entire resolution. In a round where the affirmative runs a plan, T becomes more relevant.
2. I find the vast majority of theory arguments to be very poorly run bastardizations of policy theory that do not really apply to LD. I especially hate AFC, and must/must not run plans, or arguments of this nature.
3. I have a strong, strong, bias against debaters using theory shells as their main offensive weapon in rounds when the other debater is running stock, predictable cases. I am open to theory arguments against abusive positions, but I want you to debate the resolution, not how we should debate.
4. You need to keep sight of the big picture. Impact individual arguments back to framework.
Finally, I am a flow judge. I will vote on the arguments. That said, I prefer to see debaters keep speeds reasonable, especially in the constructives. You don’t have to be conversational, but I want to be able to make out individual words and get what you are saying. It is especially important to slow down a little bit when reading lists of framework or theory arguments that are not followed by cards. I will tell you if you are unclear. Please adjust your speed accordingly. I will not keep repeating myself and will eventually just stop flowing.
I have not judged very much CX lately, but I still do coach it and judge it occasionally. I used to consider myself a policy maker, but I am probably open enough to critical arguments that this is not completely accurate anymore. At the same time, I am not Tab. I don't think any judge truly is. I do enter the room with some knowledge of the world and I have a bias toward arguments that are true and backed by logic.
1. I will evaluate the round by comparing impacts unless you convince me to do otherwise.
2. I am very open to K's that provide real alternatives and but much less likely to vote on a K that provides no real alt.
3. If you make post-modern K arguments at warp speed and don't explain them to me, do not expect me to do the work for you.
4. I tend to vote on abuse stories on T more than competing interpretations.
5. I really hate theory debates. Please try to avoid them unless the other team leaves you no choice.
6. The way to win my ballot is to employ a logical, coherent strategy and provide solid comparison of your position to your opponents.
I am able to flow fairly quickly, but I don't judge enough to keep up with the fastest teams. If I tell you to be clear or slow down please listen.
I have been debating and judging for 8 years mostly in Washington state and the occasional national circuit tournament. For the most part there isn't much in LD and PF that can be done to surprise me. That being said I try not to hold any debaters to real specifics I want to see in the round. I will try my best to adapt to you and flow whatever arguments that you give. There are few key things I do believe though:
1. I don't inherently take issue with the more progressive and performative arguments that have become a part of LD, but I will be honest in saying they tend to be a tough sell for me. I find that the farther a debater strays from the resolution, the harder I find it to give you the ballot.
2. Speed is fine, I don't really care how fast you talk as long as you have clear tags to flow. If it's just jumbled garbage buried in speed then I probably won't flow it and it probably won't help you.
3. If you have abusive framework and your opponent makes any real effort to call you on it, I will side with them. That being said, if you want to run theory arguments to answer your opponent's framework, you need to really focus on it to win on it. I won't give you the ballot if you just by briefly calling abuse and then moving on.
4. Definitions debates are boring to watch, and I'd much rather see you debate the resolution not specific wording in the resolution. If you do it I'll understand, but just be super disappointed.
5. LD can become frustrating to judge when very little time is spent arguing your contentions, and you all in on the value/resolution debate. I'm a big fan of seeing contentions used to support your value/criterion. Don't just leave it all behind.
6. Make sure your impacts in your contentions have actual magnitude or I won't actually have something to vote on.
7. I usually give speaker points between 26-29, and be civil during CX. Being the angriest person in the room doesn't make you the smartest.
8. Flashing, prep, technology, etc... Honestly watching rounds run long because of flashing, or because your computer isn't working how you anticipate it, is quite frustrating. It's what makes tournaments fall behind. I believe if you want take advantage of the convenience of having a laptop in round, you are responsible to understand that you need to be prepared for things like internet filters and keeping your battery charged. That being said, as long as you handle things efficiently that is fine, but I won't hesitate to run time on you if I think things are becoming problematic. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I've lost my patience over laptop shenanigans over the years.
I have judged several students in both policy and LD debate in the past, as well as IE events. I am looking for the student who most effectively shows with convincing logic and good evidence that their value and criterion is superior to their opponent's. I highly value debaters who can articulate graciously and who are able to show the impact of their value with regard to the resolution.
I consider myself a traditionalist. Lincoln-Douglas debate was created for a reason. The intent of debate is to facilitate communication, therefore use of speed should not be the emphasis in this activity. A good litmus test is the following...would Abraham Lincoln have used spread during his debate with Stephen Douglas? No? Then you probably shouldn't either. Exchange of ideas, discussion of which value is superior, respect and civility should be of paramount importance. Analysis and organization is extremely important. The debater in front of me should explain why their analysis is superior and why their value defeats the opposition.
As I noted above, the intent of debate is to facilitate communication. Speakers need to remember, and this is extremely important, that communication is not only about speaking, but it is also about listening. I have seen it happen more times than I can count, that your opponent will give you information to flip against them in the round, and that flip is not utilized. The tough part is identifying that information. Do not be constrained by what is obvious, meaning do not be afraid to ask "what if". Lateral thinking therefore, is incredibly important to consider.
Further, I consider myself a pragmatist. Originally, Lincoln-Douglas debate was designed as a values-oriented platform. This has evolved into a policy-values hybrid so while I will look at a round from a purely values perspective, the values and values criteria have become more of a means/end assertion. The use of real world links and impacts should support your decision. If you are able to demonstrate why your real world analysis/evidence supports your values/values criteria and you set that parameter up front, I will strongly consider that as a voter. I would however note the following:: the links to your impacts are absolutely critical to establish in the round. Off time roadmaps are also important. Organization is absolutely critical. It is your responsibility to tell me where you are on the flow.
Impact calculus is one of the major concepts I will weigh in your round. That is an incredibly huge point to remember where I am concerned as a judge. However, it is important to consider the nature of the impact. This is where the aforementioned links come into play. For example, if you are running climate change, both speakers need to consider the issue not just from a national perspective, but a global perspective. Think VERY carefully about what I just communicated. Of further note, since LD has become a hybrid, I buy off on solvency being an issue as a means to justify the resolution. Those of you who have had me before as a judge know why that statement alone can determine an entire round. In short, back to the point on the "what if" issue I broached earlier, that would be a very good place to start.
I also look at framework. If you are going to run something out of the norm...i.e. counterplan, Rights Malthus, general breakdown of society, etc., you need to make sure your links are airtight, otherwise I will not consider your impact. The two would operate separate of each other if there is no link.
I started my involvement in LD in 1982, I also debated policy from 1980 to 1982, competed in speech from 1980 to 1984, and competed at the college level in the CEDA format in 1985 and from 1988 to 1990, and have been judging since 2014 in the Spokane, WA area. I also judged policy in the Chicago, IL area in the early 1990"s.
A couple of administrative notes. Eye contact is really important if for no other reason, to see how much time you have left. One of my biggest pet peeves is cutting off your opponent during CX. I have no problem annotating that you did so on your ballot so your coach can discuss the matter with you after the tournament. Civility and decorum are important, and I can surmise several of you have had this happen to you. I also do not have a problem with you timing yourself or sharing evidence, provided it does not detract from the overall use of time in the round.
Finally, it is extremely important to remember....this activity can be fun and it will help you in ways you can't even imagine later down the road. Everyone at this tournament, whether they are coaches, judges, your peers, etc...started as a novice. Bad rounds happen. They are a part of the landscape that is debate. This teaches an important life lesson. How do you bounce back from adversity? How do you apply what you have learned to make things better next time?
Finally, remember that the case/argumentation you start off with at the beginning of the semester, will not be what you end up with at the end, provided you do a self assessment at the end of each round. Ask yourself what was supposed to happen. What did happen? What three things went well for you. What three things happened to you that are opportunities for improvement. If you are consistently applying these criteria, and using your coaches/opponents/peers as resources, by default your weaknesses will get shored up. Incidentally, this is a really good life skill as well and can be applied in the real world. Good luck to you going forward!
I am a flow judge who will judge a round based on how what you tell me to put down on the flow (i.e. what you say in the round). If the flow shows that the debate was about even I will go on to judge the round based off of the arguments made and how well they were refuted by both sides. I am open to all kinds of style when it comes to LD, whether it be progressive or conservative; while I would prefer conservative I won't count going progressive against you as long as it isn't too crazy. I am okay with spreading but it can't be full-on policy spreading and it has to be clear and concise. Also, in terms of judging based off of what was on the flow and the arguments themselves, first among equals in terms of what is being talked about should be the value and criterion, otherwise the debate turns into a version of policy or public forum depending on your style. I will reiterate this in round, but make sure to talk about your value and criterion, I...CAN...NOT...STRESS...THIS...ENOUGH! If I look at the flow and I see that your opponent has talked about his value and criterion and how they are better than yours and so on and so forth, and I see that you didn't do that, you probably aren't gonna win the debate. By that I mean you have a 99% chance of not winning the debate. Best of luck to all tomorrow, can't wait to see ya there!
P.S. I have done all forms of debate and I did debate for 4 years in high school, so i know what I am doing and I do have experience.
Experience: 3 years of policy, one year of Congress lol. Four years out.
Speed: I’m fine with speed (rusty so bear with me), but if you don’t slow down for the tags and authors I will most likely have trouble flowing your evidence.
If you're going to be racist/sexist/ableist/etc. please save everyone the pain and just concede the round at the start.
Topicality – I have a very high threshold for topicality. Unless there is obvious abuse, I find it difficult to vote neg on T. That being said, if the aff does not handle topicality well, then I have no problem voting neg. I don't really buy RVIs.
Kritiks – Okay with Ks, I've run cap, fem, and orientalism, so I'm relatively familiar with the terminology. Otherwise, you need strong analysis/OVERVIEWS for me to really understand. If you use jargon without defining it, I may not understand what you're arguing.
Framework – Bottom line, I need you to tell me why to accept/reject FW, and how that affects my evaluation of the round. Without framework/without clash on competing frameworks, I default impact calc.
Counterplans – If you’ve got a net benefit and prove competition, I vote for the CP.
Theory – I usually won’t view theory as a reason to vote down a team; I will more likely reject an argument. You have to prove actual abuse (unless it's dropped).
Tl;dr – I don’t like judging debates that are super heavily evidence based. I need good analysis and argumentation in your own words why you should win the debate. USE OVERVIEWS!!! Also I'm rusty so bear with me.
@ Varsity CX (and really every team tbh): I really want to understand all of your super kritikal and advanced arguments, but honestly sometimes I struggle. So if you want me to evaluate your case accurately, you've gotta have some pretty sick overviews by your second constructive or you've probably lost me.
I am a first-year judge who will be looking for moderate speed and clear argumentation (avoid debate jargon please). Throughout the round, the debator should explain to me why their arguments are sound, why their arguments are superior to their opponent's arguments, and how each argument achieves the value criterion. At the end of the round, I will vote for the debator who more persuasively explains the above
I am just doing this so that I won't get fined.
I did LD all four years of high school, competed at the state and national level and have judged novice, JV, and open LD in the past years.
Well constructed and easy to follow cases are important; sign posting and clear tag lines make flow easy. Please have a value and criterion that you apply throughout the round; I feel that they are staples of this format. If the round becomes a wash, I will default neg, especially if aff is not able to give clear impacts during their final speech.
I can follow mild spreading as long as the words are discernible. I will give one warning for clarity or speed before I start deducting speaker points.
Feel free to ask questions or voice concerns before round.
I coach at Eagle High School in Idaho. Our team participates in CX, LD and PF. I hold no preferences regarding the style of LD ran in the round. However, I do possess certain preferences about debate in general as well as what I expect for specific styles of LD.
In all rounds, clarity is crucial. I do not oppose introducing lots of arguments, but I need to comprehend what a debater is advocating. Articulation—especially on tags—is essential. Regardless of the number of arguments introduced in the round, I expect debaters to sign post and respond line-by-line on the flow. The only exception to this falls in rebuttals when I expect clear voters for why I should prefer one position over another; I still want debaters to address significant points from the line-by-line as they summarize the flow. I strongly dislike interventionists who make arguments on the ballot for the debaters to make their RFD; even more disconcerting are rounds in which the debaters force me to become an interventionist because they do not provide impact calculus. If I spend a lot of time filling out the ballot after the round, I probably am deciding how I should weigh the impacts while attempting to intervene as little as possible.
With traditional LD, I do not like cases which give the appearance of a value/criterion approach but actually provide a plan (criterion) and solvency (value). If debaters prefer policy style cases they should run them rather than masking them in a traditional case. I expect the criterion to provide a weighing mechanism to analyze which of two values/actions/positions proves superior. Thus, debaters should weigh all arguments introduced in the round and provide me with impact calculus so that I know which of the two positions I should prefer. If topicality becomes an issue, I expect the negative to follow a CX approach (counter interpretation, violation, standards and voters).
I do not hold preconceived notions on the structure to which a progressive case should adhere, but I do expect debaters to demonstrate a strong understanding of them (especially during cross-examination). Any critical cases or kritiks need a clear link to the resolution and a clear story so I can actually follow your position. (I realize that a plethora of pressing issues prove worthy of discussion, but I come to the round expecting to actually learn about the topic.) I tend to vote more on post fiat implications and impacts—because it permits me to weigh both debaters’ arguments—but understand that some circumstances call for pre-fiat or theory implications. I will vote on such kritiks or theory arguments, but I will hold them to a very high standard if it means that by accepting them I must exclude weighing both debaters’ impacts to reach my decision.
I welcome questions before the round for clarification.
I have judged at a couple tournaments; I look for a moderate speed and clear argument (avoid debate jargon please). Throughout the round, the debater should explain to me why their arguments are sound, why their arguments are superior to their opponent's arguments, and how each argument achieves the value by meeting the standard given by the value criterion. At the end of the round, I will vote for the debater who more persuasively explains the above.
I've (recently) done four years of HS LD, so don't worry about jargon.
Main points you'll care about: spread as fast as you want, as long as it's clear for both your judge (that's me) and your opponent. Signpost, articulate your taglines, and everything will work out. Clash is good, T, Ks, etc. are fine as long as you don't drop the rest of the round. I place more emphasis on framework than contention level, unless you give me a good reason not to, but that's on you.
I think (?) you aren't technically supposed to use CPs in LD, but we both know there are ways to get around that. Be nice about it, don't drop everything else, do it well, and it should be fine. Please link your contentions to your framework, specify your impacts, etc. and have a good round. Try to focus on analysis instead of burying the flow in evidence.
On flowing: unless you specify that you really, desperately want me to flow by cards, and give impacts that aren't 'oh, but they dropped it', I flow by contention tagline and impact.
If this doesn't make sense, please ask!
tl;dr I like framework, I don't want to need to read your case because I can't understand you. Try for analysis, and I really like things being linked to the framework. I care more about impacts than meaningless extension.
I am a first-year judge who will be looking for moderate speed and clear argumentation (avoid debate jargon please). Throughout the round, the debater should explain to me why their arguments are sound, why their arguments are superior to their opponent's arguments, and how each argument achieves the value by meeting the standard given by the value criterion. At the end of the round, I will vote for the debater who more persuasively explains the above.
I focus on the particular Values being presented, applied and defended. I expect all arguments to be responded to. I'm interested in the clash of ideas on cross-ex and rebuttal. Clear and effective communication is appreciated.
I did PF for three years in HS and have judged LD regularly for the past couple years. Ideally, I would love to listen to your fancy shmancy K's, topicality, theory etc. but I'm gonna be honest, it'll probably go over my head. If you can dumb it down enough for me to thoroughly understand it, then I'll vote you up. Please just don't rely on that that if you want to go for it. I don't care about speed - spread as fast as you like. Just make sure you slow down for tags!!!! If I don't catch/hear your main points, I will be lost and you'll be wasting your time.
I need education impacts to justify going against fiat, I do not believe that neg can go against Fiat without this.
So I guess since this is an online debate now this kinda stuff would probably be more often read (if you are reading this during prep super don't worry unless I'm told to not give paradigms in online debates)
I did LD for four years so I definitely get the format, I definitely get at least the base level debate style of value-value criterion debate, so def don't worry on the point of making sure I'm lost or worrying about me not understanding how to flow those kinds of arguments.
However, I found myself (and still find myself, as it turns out) extremely more into contention level debates and will almost never vote off of value value criterion debate solely unless there is no possible way for the winning framework to go the other way (which to me is extremely difficult to do). Because of this, I find myself increasingly more compelled towards contention level debate and feel that this does better for clash and for overall productiveness of debate in that in general I feel that philosophical value debate gets pretty vague when focused on for more than a small (but important, mind you!) portion of the flow.
At the end of the day what I look at for end of round decisions are solid contention level debate and flowing those contentions through whichever value won the round (and I am totally fine with flowing through the opponents value, if it works better it works better, or if you have just that solid of contention level debate than you might still win even if you hard dropped your own value).
TLDR: Think of me as a PF judge that understands and goes with value and value criterion debate.
My history in debate is composed of almost entirely of public forum, so as a judge I'll be looking for a few things in particular. That is, that the winner of the round will be the debater who argues impact, as well as define who is being impacted. For example, what does an impact of a loss of 70,000 trees in Western Washington have on the environment, government, development, etc. Secondly, that disputes in definitions be resolved early in the round, in order to more properly analyze the implications of following contentions. Lastly, I am an English major so I have a particular acute-ness to what is being argued specifically. I will pay special attention to what the logic in your contentions argue as they relate to your impact. Also, please don't hesitate to ask my any clarifying questions about may paradigm before the round. I wish you all the best and I look forward to judging your upcoming round!
I am a first year judge who is looking for clear argumentation at a conversational pace. Debaters should avoid jargon and instead focus on convincing me why their arguments are sound and why each argument achieves the value through the value criterion. Lastly, I am looking for the debaters to clearly explain why each argument is important/superior and why they've won the round.
I am a traditional LD judge. A Value and Criterion centered debate is what I’m looking for. Progressive styling will be allowed as long as you verify with your opponent pre-round. The flow matters; explain why your arguements mean more to the round as it’s happening.
I debated for Central Valley High School and Gonzaga University. I've done many forms of debate, but I primarily have experience with LD, PB, and policy. Generally, I'm familiar with philosophical, critical, and policy style arguments. Debate is an important place for educational autonomy, so you can run the arguments you prefer and I'll do my best to adapt. I will not vote for debaters who intentionally try to exclude their opponent from genuine participation in the round. Additionally, I don't like frivolous theory arguments, so you need to make strong impact arguments if you decide to make them. If you have more specific questions feel free to ask.
I was a competitor on my high school debate team for all 4 years of my high school career. I have competed in and broke in LD, PF, and Congress. I also won the SPAR tournament my senior year at Foley.
When judging LD, I appreciate a lot of clash- especially with values. Remember that your value is what you are upholding in the round. So, with that being said, really center your final focus around this. I do not accept bad attitudes in round. Be confident and respectful.
With Public Forum, please try to have your arguments be organized and logic based and support your claims with evidence. I really value numbers, statistics, and expert's opinions in round. Hypothetical situations are looked past, because usually PuFo has topics that have historical or current relevancy. Also, watch for expository "did you know" questions. Drives me nuts.
No definitions debates. Please.
The most important thing is clarity and communication skills. I look for strong evidence with a strong link to your contentions. I like analytical analysis to go with your evidence. I do not like critical arguments or any jargon. Please be respectful and enjoy your round.
I did LD in WA and on the national circuit for 4 years. I also did speech and debate at the college level for 3 years. That being said I am very familiar with 90% of arguments run in round and can follow roughly all of them.
I see debate as a game, and you are in there to win. To that end, I advise you to use everything you can to win each round. Please keep it within the bounds of reality, and do not be abusive to the other debaters.
Speed is fine, and if/when I get lost I will ask you to slow down, or clear.
Again, any types of arguments are acceptable as long as they are fair. Plans, Ks, Disads, Theory (I use a standard of reasonability given my lack of leeway for abusive positions) etc. Deep phil is fine. If you want to win the round you need to have some offense on the flow, and you should do a decent job of working with the standard (Value Criterion) that the offense is being weighed through. Value debates are typically trivial, but if there is some reason as to why you need to use it to win, feel free. Definitions also don't make much of a difference unless they are going to be targeted by a T shell.
If you have any questions you can ask me before the round begins and I will be happy to answer.
I am a former debater who is looking for clear and convincing argumentation at a moderate pace of delivery. I am looking for the debaters to link all arguments to the value and value criterion and to explain the overall impact of each argument. I am also am looking for clear voting issues in their final rebuttal.
I was an LD debater for 4 years so I'm big on impacts/ value/ criterion. I follow the flow and see where impacts were made/ arguments were dropped. I can handle speed pretty well as long as your main arguments are clear and strong. Non-trad arguments have to be well explained but I will buy them if they are.
If you are in a rush please skim the bolded text for what is relavent to you, the not-bold text that follow is just the longer clarifying explanation for those that might want more details.
firstname.lastname@example.org is my contact email for any other questions or if you need to add me to a potential link chain
Competed and learned all debate styles in high school.
Competed at NFL(now known as NSDA) Nationals in Congressional Speaking.
Was a high school assistant coach for 3 years. (Currently an unaffiliated judge)
Currently pursuing Bachelor degrees in: Communication, Early Childhood Development, and Psychology.
I do not flow cross-examination period. Meaning only the words spoken in a speech are noted on paper for my decision of the winner. I do listen though so, if you want a notable answer marked in my decision bring it up in your speech so it is on my flow(otherwise it 'didn't happen').
Speed - is no problem. If online I need camera on while spreading though- I have a much harder time keeping up with a case if I cannot read your lips while you're talking if you cannot have your camera on for any reason please slow down your speaking slightly and make sure to emphasize your tags. Standard SpReading rules: Slow for Tagline, Author, Date of evidence. Sign post occasionally. I will say "Clear" if I no long understand you.
I strongly encourage you time yourself. I keep Official Time- but I am not very good at providing time signals while I am also flowing. . If you run out of time I allow approx 4 second grace periods to finish your sentence before I'll have to cut you off. In questioning periods if time runs out with a question unanswered I would prefer a quick answer.
If you make personal attacks on your opponent's character, your speaker points will suffer significantly. It is rare but occassionally if you are too rude and lacking in decorum you can loose a round from that alone. (We all make mistakes, malicious intent vs a slip up is very obvious.)
I believe it is your debate round so you, the debater, determine the direction of the debate. I will listen to any type or style of arguments you want to run, simply explain why that is the most important thing to be looked towards in the round. I say I will listen but that does not mean you win just because your argument is unique. Whoever wins is whoever best explains and supports their claims, and refutes your opponents claims.
Tabula Rasa as much as I can be- knowing i have my own biases and experience that I try to leave at the door but isn't entirely possible. Primarily with emphasis on Flow. I weigh what you present and unless you are clearly and blatantly perpetuating obvious falsehoods I simply look at the facts presented on my flow, if something isn't on my flow it didn't happen in the debate.
Every claim needs a warrant and justification of relevance.
I will leave my political opinions at the door and do not reference them. I don't care what party the current acting president or house leader is, you will refer to them by the office they hold and no other. Don't assume that because you think I believe something personally that I will need less supporting evidence for your claims.
In Lincoln-Douglas I have a slight preferential bias towards more traditional style and format. I will absolutely still listen to progressive styles, you must simply continue to warrant and justify all claims.
I think values and morality ultimately are the core of LD and debates of value are vital to a good LD debate.
I try to use the Value and and Value-Criterion as the primary weighing mechanisms for decision-making in the round. I would really like to see a focus on the value and value-criterion debate but not just how your value clashes with your opponents, I would like to see V and VC incorporated throughout the flow and relating to your contentions as well as how your's should be given more weight than your opponent's.
If you opt to utilize a Standard instead then you must explicitly explain why you chose a Standard over a Value and Value-Criterion and the relevancy of that, all other incorporation into the debate applies the same as what I want to see for V and VC.
If you are running progressive: your evidence needs to be relevant, if I could read your case in 2 months on a different resolution and nothing would need to change then your case will have much less ground to stand on in my eyes.
In Public-Forum the round is generally yours to do with as you please.
Courtesy to your opponents is vital. Being as 4 people can get very heated on topics quite easily I will not put up with disrespectful, rude, or threatening behavior in anyway. PF Cross-fire is the most common place in the debate sphere I consider if a team should loose on decorum, remember you are still talking to other humans that have to go back to their lives after this round ends, loosing civility is not worth maybe winning a round and if I'm judging you probably wouldn't end up winning anyways.
I love Voters at the end please- it helps show what you as debaters believe to be most important in that round.
If no RA, framework, or definitions are provided by either side I will loosely judge the round assuming the most common Webster definitions of terms and utilize a Cost-Benefit Analysis approach of who most accurately addressed and supported their claims in relevance to resolution question and demand, but student defined frameworks(within reason obviously) are my first preference weighing mechanism for the round.
In Congress I am a seasoned Parlimentarian, I've held Parli as multiple state level tournaments in both Idaho and Washington, I look to Roberts rules and NSDA standards. I prefer that POs use audible time signals such as knocking or make a timer accessible and easy to see for the speaker.
In Policy I have the least experience. I have not dealt with Policy style debate much in quite a few years so I am not especially up to date.
I can listen to spreading but I have been hearing LD spreading primarily so consider slowing down a titch - especially on taglines.
Please do not do Performative Affs. I think they are very cool but often, for me, lead to just having more trouble tracking the debate thus harming you in the long run.
Don't expect me to just know your cards and arguments. You have to explain and justify your arguments. If you just say a tag and move on then you aren't willing to work for my vote and likely won't receive it.
I know most concepts within policy but am very lacking on the jargon that coincide so quickly throwing out a few jargon words will lose me.
I debated public forum for 4 years at Gonzaga Prep. I currently coach Public Forum and have judged Public Forum and LD.
Please cover the flow and dropping a significant contention will make it hard for you to win. If your opponent dropped an argument don't say, "they dropped it" emphasize why it matters and why that alone should allow you to win. With that being said in your own case if a contention is not working leave it alone and do not waste your time on it.
Anything short of spreading I should be ok with. If you go too fast I will yell at you to go slower and simply adjust and you will be fine.
I appreciate good plans and counter plans when done effective. In Public Forum I will rarely vote against someone's use of a "Point of advocacy" unless it is clearly over the top. Put simply saying something is a counter plan and leaving at that will almost never win that point for you.
Do not be afraid to use other tricky framework or tricky arguments because I love those when done effectively. It is not enough to simply say your opponents framework is abusive but rather explain why. I like both statistical and the use of logic in a case. When these are put together effectively that to me is the best case.
Aggression in CX will never hurt you as long as you're not over the top and rude.
Debate should have emotion and nothing is worst than having to sit through bland speech after bland speech. Debate like you believe what you are talking about.
Voters: Voters will almost always decide the round for me. I love debaters who crystalize the round throughout. The last speech should be primarily focused on giving good voters. THE BIGGEST THING I LOOK FOR IS ROUND CRYSTALLIZATION!
Please do not ask me if you can time yourselves. You are welcome to and I do not care.
Speaker points are stupid and arbitrary but typically I stick to the following scale. Most good debates will fall into the 27-29 category.
30: Best Speaker at tourney
28-29: Very Good
Below 24: Major things to work on for the level of competition you are in
Hey there friend,
My experience in debate consists of three years of PF and a few LD tournaments, just for the lolz.
I have been judging largely open LD since 2016.
My PF background means that:
1. Impacts are #1 to me and always will be. Impacts need to be maintained throughout the round. I will buy any impact that is well-warranted and weighed.
2. Contentional debate is very important to me
My LD background means that:
1. I can handle speed but would advice against spreading. Slow DOWN on tags and vital info
2. I love theoretical and critical arguments and will attempt to follow any (well-run) argument that is thrown at me. My limited experience in LD, however, means that I may need further explanation than more experienced LD debaters. I am open to ANY arguments, PF brain just means progressive arguments don't come as easily to me.
I am and will be til death a flow judge- this means that dropped arguments flow through and become conceded in the round. Please don't drop your arguments and try to pick them up later. Please don't assume I will flow an argument through until you tell me to and IMPACT that argument as well! If both sides drop an argument its dead to me :-)
Over all, I value polite and professional debates with lots of clash and thats about it. Ask me in round !!
LD Coach 10 years.
If I am your judge, please put me on your email chain. My email is, email@example.com, prefer Aff to be topical. I prefer a traditional Value/Criterion debate. I like clear signposting, that opponents refer to when refuting each other. I also require evidence to uphold your warrants and link to your personal analysis. All affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win, value/criterion. The negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently.
When I see a traditional debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks, really matters in my weighing of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. There are very few arguments I would actually consider apriori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins the framework, whichever one they decide to go for. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear topicality link with warrents and weighted impacts, which are the best route for my ballot.
I will listen to a Kritik but you must link it to the debate in the room, related to the resolution in some way, for me to more likely to vote for it. I am biased toward topicality.
I hold theory to higher bar. I will most likely vote reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given a clearly phrased justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation and it is insufficiently contested, there is a better chance that I will vote for a competing interpretation. You will need to emphasize this by slowing down, if you are spreading, slow down, speak a little louder, or tell me “this is paramount, flow this”.
Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is high. I prefer engagement and clash with your opponent. If I feel like negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 2+ independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a "think tank" to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory, and gives direct examples from Neg, I'll probably vote Affirmative. Common sense counts. You do not need a card to tell me that the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
Progressive Debates: I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate.
I do not flow cross examination. If there are any concessions in CX, you need to point them out in your next speech, for me to weigh them.
I'm fine with flex prep. I think debaters should be respectful and polite, and not look at each other. Cross examination concessions are binding, if your opponent calls them out in their next speech.
If I do not understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28. You will lose speaker points if your actions are disrespectful to either myself or to your opponent. I believe in decorum and will vote you down if you are rude or condescending toward your opponent. I do not flow “super spreading”. I need to understand what you are saying, so that I can flow it. I will say “slow” and “clear” once. If there is no discernable change, I will not bother to repeat myself. If you respond, slow down, then speed up again, I will say “slow” and/or “clear” again. For my ballot, clarity over quantity. Word economy over quantity. I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, cadence, the entire debate.
If something is factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, do not expect to win it as an argument.
Please give me articulate voters at the end of the NR and 2AR.
I disclose if it is the tournament norm.
If you are unclear about my paradigm, please ask before the round begins.
Public Forum Paradigm
RESPECT and DECORUM
1. Show respect to your opponent. No shouting down. Just a "thank you" to stop their answer. When finished with answer, ask your opponent "Do you have a question?" Please ask direct questions. Also, advocate for yourself, do not let your opponent "walk all over you in Crossfire".
2. Do not be sexist/racist/transphobic/homophobic/etc.... in round. Respect all humans.
I expect PF to be a contention level debate. There may be a weighing mechanism like "cost-benefit analysis" that will help show why your side has won the debate on magnitude. (Some call this a framework)
I like signposting of all of your contentions. Please use short taglines for your contentions. If you have long contentions, I really like them broken down into segments, A, B, C, etc. I appreciate you signposting your direct refutations of your opponents contentions.
I like direct clash.
All evidence used in your constructed cases should be readily available to your opponent, upon request. If you slow down the debate looking for evidence that is in your constructed case, that will weigh against you when I am deciding my ballot.
I do not give automatic losses for dropped contentions or not extending every argument. I let the debaters decide the important contentions by what they decide to debate.
In your summary speech, please let me know specifically why your opponents are loosing the debate.
In your final focus speech, please let me know specifically why you are winning the debate.
3 years HS LD w/ sporadic participation in PF/congress as well at Pasco High School
1 year college Ethics Bowl with Whitworth University
Some judging, primarily in LD.
Basically, I'm not a lay judge, but I'm also not an expert. I'm going to flow your arguments and weigh your impacts like a person who generally knows what they're doing. You'll be happy to know that I'm not anybody's mom.Paradigm: Speed:
I did LD in high school. You don't have enough time to make all of the arguments you want to make. I get it. I have been unable to flow the absolute fastest talkers I've ever seen, but most people don't talk so fast that I can't follow. Blah blah blah have good clarity, slow down for tags, all of that nonsense that you've heard from a million judges. If I can't understand you I'll say "clear" to let you know that I'm not getting it. If I see you make an effort to fix it and I still can't understand you I'll say "clear" again. After that you're on your own.Theory:
Please for the love of god if you're going to read theory make sure that two things happen:
1. There is actual abuse in the round. Like sorry but I don't want to hear theory in every round. That's just really boring to me. I think that theory is an important check against excessive gamesmanship/bad faith/general obnoxiousness but it loses some of its charm when somebody basically just whines about their opponent being better at debate and then calls it unfair.
2. Slow down and be very, very clear. My experience with debate is in a. Ethics Bowl where there is no progressive argumentation whatsoever and b. in a region where judges often refuse to vote for any sort of progressive argumentation. I have learned theory on my own because I think it's important to know as a debate judge, but my experience with it is certainly much more rudimentary than yours. Explain your theory argument to me like I'm five and we won't have a problem.Topicality:
Sure, why not?Kritik:
Probably don't. I'm not unwilling to evaluate kritiks as some sort of principled stand against fun, I just genuinely don't understand them well enough to evaluate them effectively. If you run a kritik in front of me you're not going to automatically lose points, but you're going to be swimming upstream to acquire them.Timing:
If you're reading this right now before you go into the room and you don't have a timer, try and borrow one. I prefer for debaters to cross time to save me some effort. I'm really, really bad at giving time signals and flowing at the same time. This is more for your benefit than mine.Random Crap: What follows is a list of random bits of information that you might find helpful in determining how to debate in front of me.
-If you're going to talk about a specific ethical principle, I want you to actually understand it. Too many LDers (high school me included) do the bare minimum work to learn about philosophy. I did college ethics bowl and as such was forced to actually learn some philosophy. If the Categorical Imperative is improperly fleshed out and shoehorned into your case in a way that doesn't make sense, I'm likely to notice.
-Be nice. For the love of god, be nice. Yes, I'm sure you're good at debate. Yes, your opponent might not be as good. That does not give you license to be uncivil. I have voted down the more technically skilled debater/team for being rude before and I'll do it again.
If you have questions about stuff that I didn't cover here I really want you to ask me before the round. This paradigm is a work in progress and I'm sure that I'm leaving stuff out.
Debated both LD and policy for 4 years; judged high school LD and policy on the east coast while in college. I am familiar with the resolution.
Your offense has to link. Engage with your opponent as much as possible — don’t just try to overwhelm them with a lot of insubstantial arguments. I am unsympathetic to strange or nontopical positions, so frivolous theory and/or “universal link” K’s probably won’t get you anywhere.
It is the debater’s job to point out issues in the round. If you tell me that X is more important than Y, X is more important than Y, unless your opponent contradicts that. I should not have to weigh arguments for you.
1. Speed: Fine. I debated policy, so spreading isn’t a problem. If I can’t understand you, I will stop flowing. The faster you are, however, the clearer you need to be.
2. Extensions: Depends on the speech. I don’t need to hear the entire card again, but I want to hear the implication of the extension — tell me why your extension is relevant and what it means for your opponent. Sheer quantity of extensions isn’t going to win you the debate.
3. Unwarranted args: Please substantiate your arguments. But it’s your opponent’s job to point out factual errors, not mine. What I believe is irrelevant to the decision I make.
4. Cards: in my mind, good analysis trumps a card more often than not. Don’t take this to mean I don’t appreciate cards for some types of arguments — if you’re making a point on correlation or statistics, I want to see evidence for it. I also appreciate analytic interaction with cards: logical argument beats a lack of a card. I won’t call for cards under most circumstances.
5. Ad hominem or debater-specific arguments (e.g., "Vote against the Aff/Neg because they are X," especially where X makes reference to the debater's race, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, and/or religion): Don't do it -- I will vote against and give poor speaks solely on that ground alone.
Comfortable with it. Link your offense to your criterion. I know most typical LD frameworks.
I’m sympathetic to topicality claims. I’m prepared to vote on legitimate abuse, but it’s a high risk/high reward strategy. If your theory comes off as frivolous, and especially if your opponent calls you on that, you’re not getting the ballot.
I like Ks, but keep it topical. I don’t like universal links. Your kritik has to be strong and your alt should be specific. Give me reasons to believe that you are solving a topical issue.
Fine, but spec is a potential issue if the plan is too narrow. And, while I am generally open to any well-reasoned argumentive strategy or position, I am sympathetic to "PICs bad/abusive" claims.
I prefer a clear, evidenced-based debate.
Don't let my experience fool you into thinking I like fast, jargony debates.
Use an email chain - include me (firstname.lastname@example.org) on it, and be honest about the evidence. Paraphrasing is one of my biggest pet peeves. (Post-rounding and making me wait for endless exchanges of evidence are the others).
I will leave my camera on, so you can see me. You can trust you have my full attention, and if connectivity issues affect any of the speeches, I'll audibly interrupt you and stop the timer till connections improve (within reason, of course).
If the timer is stopped, no one is prepping.
Avoid talking over each other online -it makes it impossible for your judges to hear either of you.
Don't be rude or condescending. You can be authoritative while also being polite.
Mountain Brook Schools Director of Speech and Debate 2013 - current
Mountain Brook High School debate coach 2012-2013
Thompson High School policy debater 1991-1995