Middle School TOC hosted by UK
2018 — KY/US
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Highland Park (MN) '12-'16.
AFFs must read a plan. NEG teams must either say the plan does something bad or is not topical.
I'm pretty bad for T against policy AFFs unless it's egregious. T is not automatically offense/defense. Terminal defense can beat T.
Yes judge kick.
Presumption goes to the side that advocates less change.
No “inserting” anything, you have to read it.
Conditionality is fine, within reason.
The best debates have lots of case debating, lots of author indicts, lots of re-highlighting the other team’s evidence, and lots of evidence comparison.
I like teams who care about the activity, cut a lot of cards, and know things about the world. If you show me that's you, you will do well. Conversely, acting like you don’t care or don’t want to be here is cringe and a good way to make me not care about what you’re saying.
I have taught Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum debate since 2011 on the Illinois High School circuit, including a state champion. I am open to theory arguments and am a squarely flow-based judge. I can handle 'moderate' speed, but not full out spreading especially if I haven't heard the argument before. I have a relatively high requirement for terminal impact arguments, but will certainly consider them.
Do NOT bring up victims of police brutality just for your intros or as an additional piece of evidence you immediately move on from. people's lives should not be used as a piece of 'gotcha' evidence or a card to win a judge. if you are ignoring people's humanity to win a round you are not doing this activity correctly.
40% presentation, 60% content. There MUST be refutation in every speech after the authorship. your job as the author/sponsor is to explain how the mechanisms of your legislation work, not just give the first aff speech-explain what your legislation does and how it solves the problems in the status quo. If you speak twice on the same bill I will drop you. If you refer to male presenting competitors as 'representative/senator' and female presenting competitors as 'Ms.' I will drop you. If you are aggressive in direct cross I will want to drop you. Please give me clear impacts and ask questions often. I also coach extemp, so I don't want to see you just reading a prewritten speech off your legal pad. I love good POs and I will rank you high for it!
I'm not going to time you. I'm not going to flow cross. As long as you're not an LD or Policy debater turned PF debater, I'll be fine with your speed (as long as your constructive is under 900 words you're probably fine). I need impacts and clear taglines. Organization is a huge thing for me. It is not my job to weigh the round for you, so you need to be doing impact calculus and giving me key voters all the way through. SIGNPOST. If you are rude in cross I will give you low speaks and I will want to drop you. If you run a K I will drop you. Also I do not flow the authors of your cards are so if you refer to cards by the author only I am not going to be able to find it on my ballot-give me a source name, a key word or phrase, something.
Part-time coach at the University of Kentucky, formerly debated at UK (graduated in 2020)
add me to the email chain: genevieveelise1028 at gmail dot com
I am really excited about this topic because of professional/personal interest and experience in nuclear weapons research. I think it's a great topic to have a back and forth about, and I also think the literature is deep and contains controversy. I will do my best to maintain neutrality when it comes to arguments, but it is worth knowing that I fall on the arms control/nonproliferation/disarmament side of things in my personal views. I believe I will likely be more persuaded than on other topics by the reasons that debating nuclear weapons policy is beneficial and that policy changes limiting nuclear weapons are a positive contribution to larger social movements.
I like for debate to be fun and will generally enjoy judging in debates where it is clear you are having a good time and doing what you're passionate about. Don't be afraid to let your personality show in how you debate - being funny or spicy in the CX are often times I enjoy the debate the most. I understand the amount of time and dedication it takes to do this activity seriously, so I will work very hard to make sure that I am evaluating your debate in a way that respects the hard work that you have put into the activity, and the time and energy you are using to be present at each tournament.
The more I reflect on how I judge, the more I think it is really important for debaters to provide instruction/guidance in their speeches about how to tie all of the different pieces of the debate together. 2NRs and 2ARs that do a lot of this, backed by quality evidence read in earlier speeches, will often find themselves winning, getting good speaker points, and being more satisfied with my decision and how I understood the overarching picture in the debate. I generally believe, in the 2NR and 2AR, reading cards should be an absolute last resort. I will almost always prefer 30 seconds of quality explanation and framing over a new, often mid at best, card.
I appreciate the accessibility benefits of online debate but do think it suffers from some quality deficit. If my camera is off during prep time, I have probably walked away for a number of reasons. I'll generally try to pop my camera back on when I get back to signal I have returned, and will also usually keep a headphone in to maintain awareness of when you stop prep. Just give me a sec to turn on my camera and get settled before you launch into an order or the speech.
I have an audio processing disorder, which makes it more challenging to flow due to the variety of ways that online debate affects clarity/feedback/etc - please take this into account and put in more effort to be clear on your transitions, tags, etc. It helps me to be able to see you talking, so if you are angled to be completely hidden by your laptop, I will likely be less of a precise flow than otherwise.
Please recall that while I cannot hear you when you are muted on zoom, I can still see you - things like talking for the entire 2AR, blatantly not flowing your opponents speeches, etc are still bad practice, even if you can technically do it.
Disad and case is awesome, more case analysis that is smart will be rewarded in points. I think smart and specific counterplans are cool. The more specific and in grounded in the literature your CP is, the less likely I am to care about theory. However, counterplans that just fiat that something bad doesn't happen, or counterplans that are generally questionable on premise, I sometimes find annoying and frustrating to judge.
Topicality (vs aff with a plan)
I think a limited topic is good and care immensely about the comparison of one version of the topic to another when it comes to T. If you cannot explain coherently what the difference between the two topics are, I am much less likely to care about your very abstract appeals to the notion of limits or ground.
K (vs aff with a plan)
I enjoy judging these debates. Being more specific about the topic is far better than some random backfile check about Baudrillard. You should explain your arguments clearly vs using buzz words because I will be much more likely to understand what you are trying to communicate.
The specificity of the link and explanation of the link and how it coheres with your broader theory about the world and interacts with the consequences of the plan are all things that strongly influence how much I am persuaded by the K. If you have a link to the action of the plan and clearly explain how the impact to that compares to the impacts of the affirmative, as well as having an alternative that resolves this impact, I am likely to vote for you. I find myself less often voting for the K in debates where the neg relies on a strong framework/prioritize rhetorical/discursive links path but would not preclude this entirely because the aff is often time pressured and poorly equipped to debate about framework and fiat.
In addition, I think it's important to resolve how I should weigh impacts in the later speeches - I find myself often concluding I should weigh the aff and its consequences but also weighing the discursive/ethical/structural impacts described by the neg but not getting a lot of instruction about how to compare those two things and decide which one to vote on. I think mitigating claims about total extinction impacts with impact defense and specific solvency take-outs would go a long way to changing how I vote in these debates.
I have found myself voting both ways in framework debates, but am usually persuaded by the benefits of clash, procedural fairness, etc. The more specific the aff is to the topic & good aff cards are things that most often lead to an aff ballot in these debates. The negative making a strong, coherent limits argument that includes arguments that appeal to clash while providing defense that proves the topic is compatible with the affs theory are things that most often lead to a neg ballot in these debates.
I think specific strategies against these affs are interesting and good (whether that be a da/k/pic) and will reward this specific research with speaker points. I generally think if something is in the 1AC I am likely to believe there is a link to your argument, and am very persuaded by strategies that utilize the cx to pin down specificities of the 1ac advocacy and then predicate the strategy off of that. If the aff is unwilling to speak specifically about the strategy of the advocacy, I generally tend to be more persuaded by framework.
I usually am not persuaded by strategies that rely on the idea that we should destroy debate, or that extinction or death is good. I do not think there is much of a difference between "debating about death being good" and "advocating death being good" so if your strategy relies on a pivot resembling "well we don't think everyone should die but we should talk about death", it is not a good strategy to use in front of me.
I tend to lean towards conditionality being good, but would be persuaded otherwise in particularly egregious incidents.
It has come to my attention that I am what one might call a "points fairy". I will be working to adjust my points to more accurately reflect the scale I find most other judges follow.
I like when lots of quality evidence is read, and will often read your evidence at the conclusion of the debate (and if evidence is referenced in a cx, will usually try to find what you are referencing while it's being discussed). That being said, evidence is best paired with strong judge instruction in the rebuttals. There are instances when evidence is good enough to speak for itself, but in a debate where both sides read decent ev on an issue, I will often find myself voting for the team who tells me how and why their arguments matter more.
After hosting a bunch of tournaments in my time at UK, I am sympathetic to the pleas of tournament hosts and tabrooms. Please be on time, keep things efficient in debates, and clean up behind yourselves.
My facial expressions are likely unrelated to the things you are saying. In particular, I may come across low-energy. This doesn't mean that I am unhappy with the debate (although if I find your debating upbeat, engaging, and high-energy I will probably be a bit more likely to mirror that). Tournaments are a long-haul, I judge a lot of debates at each tournament (often every debate), and there seems to be increasingly little time afforded to restorative things like sleep or eating, so don't worry too much if I'm coming across a little sleepy.
Also, I sometimes just stare off into space when I'm typing - I'm still paying attention as long as I'm typing.
Policy Debate- I am a very flexible judge. I am willing to listen to anything as long as it is impacted well. I am open to K affs, but if it is not explained well enough I will vote you down. I would rather not call for cards, but I will if I have to. Another thing, I really want to hear impacts. I do not like debates that are like two ships passing by in the night. It turns into who I think did better, but as debaters you should write the ballot out for me. Please try to keep email chains and or flashing time to a decent time. If it takes too long I will start taking prep away unless, there are tech issues. Clipping cards is not okay with me, if I catch you clipping card I will vote you down. If you steal prep I will take away a lot of speaker points. Please be clear if you are spreading!
LD- My experience is mainly in policy debate. I don't mind how fast that you read, but make sure that you are reading loud and clearly. I also evaluate things based on the flow pretty much. Make sure things are extended and analyzed well. Also, make sure there is clash in the round! I cannot stand under views -_- There is no reason to have one because you spend so much time in it and never go back to it in the round. That analysis can be done somewhere else like in one of your other contentions or adding a whole new contention. Impact analysis is something that is very important to me! You should be writing my ballot for me and much as possible!
Phoenix Military Academy 16
University of Kentucky 20
I measure a debate based off of how well you interact with one another. Clash is important and if you’re not engaging you’re opponent you’re not debating. The more evidence comparison the better.
You should do your best to frame the debate round for me. Tell me how I should sign my ballot.
I don’t take time for flashing, and yes, put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Except consult and process CPs. These counterplans are infinitely regressive to the point where you can just say "Consult my neighbor then do the plan." If you want to go for one of these CPs you have to have pretty great cards saying why your specific process is detrimental to the success or failure of the aff. I will vote on it but very rarely.
The weirder they get the more explanation you’re going to have to give. I am accustomed to the more mainstream identity and anti-state Ks such as: Eco-fem, Neolib, Anthro, and Wilderson.
I will not kick an alt and use it as a DA toward the case. If you want to win on a K you have to win why the alternative is a better option than the aff.
I will most likely always grant you a link, but you have to properly contextualize it the aff.
Clash is important, and I’m docking your speaks if half of the 2NC is an overview.
Aff Ks are cool. You need to show me how your aff interacts with the neg as well.
If it follows the rez: cool
If it doesn't defend anything: cool
If it does defend things: cool
If it doesn’t follow the rez: You need explain why your model of debate is a better than the resolution. In other words, why should I evaluate your form of the debate? You also need a reason as to why it can’t be done under the resolution.
Usually not convincing
You have to go all in for me to vote on it, but keep in mind 17 DA’s are as shitty as 3 CPs/Ks
Clipping will be dealt with accordingly
Any hurtful comments referring to (but not limited to) gender, sexuality, or race is not going to be tolerated.
My name is Stephani not judge.
My pronouns are she/her.
Puns are highly encouraged. Here's my favorite: Why did the bicycle fall over? Because it was too tired! Hah Also Ill boost your speaker points if you reference My Hero Academia as I am currently obsessed with it.
If you have any questions or want more feedback about a round shoot me an email!
I spent 9 years as a debater at the college( Diablo Valley College and CSU Long Beach) and high school ( De La Salle HS, Concord, Ca) levels. I am now in my 10th year of coaching and my 9th year of judging. So I've heard almost every argument out there. I mostly competed in parli and policy, but I did some LD as well. I am ok with Kritiks, Counter Plans, and plans. I like good framework and value debate. I am cool with spreading but articulation is key!!! I am a flow judge so sign posting and organization is important. Please weigh impacts and give me voters. In LD make sure you link to a framework and a value and explain why you win under those guidelines. I prefer a more traditional LD debate and I defiantly prefer truth over tech.
Niles West High School '14
University of Kentucky '18
Chicago-Kent Law School '24
Northwestern University Coach '18-21
University of Kentucky Coach '22-23
Put me on the chain email@example.com
I decide debates by re-organizing my flow around the issues prioritized in the 2nr and 2ar, going back on my flow to chart the progression of the argument, reading the relevant evidence, then resolving that mini-debate. Tell me what I should care about in the final speeches. Use the earlier speeches to set up your final rebuttals.
I try not to consider personal biases when judging policy or k debates. Debates hinge on link, impact, and solvency questions that have to be argued whether its plan/cp, perm/alt, fw/advocacy.
I believe the most important skill a debater should have is the ability to do good comparative analysis.
I'll read evidence during and after the debate. Evidence quality influences my perception of the argument's strength. Bad evidence means there's a lower bar for answering the argument and vice versa.
When trying to resolve questions about how the world works, I defer to expert evidence introduced in the debate. When trying to resolve questions about how the debate in front of me should work, I defer to the arguments of the debaters.
The debates I enjoy the most are the ones where students demonstrate that they are active participants in the thinking through and construction of their arguments. Don't be on auto-pilot. Show me you know what's going on.
Have an appropriate level of respect for opponents and arguments.
I would strongly prefer not to judge debates about why death is good that may force an ethical debate about whether life is worth living.
K Affs: There is a place in debate for affirmatives that don't affirm the resolution. I will not vote for or against framework in these situations based on ideological preferences alone. I wish the activity had clearer rules for what we consider fair game in terms of links to negative offense/competitive advocacies against affs that don't affirm the resolution/read a plan text because I enjoy debates over specifics more than rehashed abstractions. But I am sympathetic to neg arguments about how the aff precluded those good debates from occurring, depending on what the aff defends in the 1AC.
T: I would prefer neg teams only go for topicality when the aff is very clearly attempting to skirt the core premises of the resolution. Going for silly T arguments against super core affirmatives is a waste of everyone's time. Having said that, T debates have the potential to be the most interesting and specific arguments in debate, so if you feel really good about the work you've put into developing your position I encourage you to go for it.
Theory: I feel similarly about theory. It's hard for me to take theory arguments seriously when they're not made in specific response to some seriously problematic practice that has occured in the debate at hand. Debate is supposed to be hard. People are way too quick to claim something made debate 'impossible'.
K: When the neg is going for a kritik, I find the framework debating from both sides largely unnecessary. The easiest and most common way I end up resolving framework debates is to allow the aff to weigh their advantages and the neg to weigh their kritik. You'd be better served spending time on the link/impact/alt.
CP: When judging process counterplans, I'm most interested in whether there are cards a) tying the counterplan to the resolution b) tying the net benefit to the plan. This is what usually pushes me aff or neg on theory and perm arguments.
DA: I usually think the link is the most important part of an argument
Whitney Young ‘15
University of Kentucky ‘19
Cornell Law '23
Former WY and UK coach; Officially not coaching anymore and just in debate till my job starts. This means that I have less topic knowledge than normal and you should not assume I know what your aff is or will know what those acronyms you just threw out stand for. When in doubt, invest more time in explaining your argument.
Add me to the email chain- Jacindarivas@gmail.com
My name is Jacinda (Juh-sin-duh) so call me that instead of judge.
I will reward smart teams that can effectively and efficiently communicate their arguments to me. Engaging with your opponent, having a well-thought out strategy, and demonstrating that you’re doing consistent, hard work is what this activity is about.
Please be nice. I am not very responsive to raising voices/yelling.
No one ENJOYS clash debates but I end up judging quite a few. I really do believe that affs should have a tie to the topic and should be in the direction of the topic. I am not the judge for an aff that has a couple cards that say a theory and then pretend to say something about the topic. I also believe that debate is an inherently good activity so indicting the entirety of the activity we participate in is not great for me. I think this matters a lot for the way some teams answer framework so be cognizant of this. The only thing that my ballot decides is the winner.
Links should be causal, specific and about the plan. They NEED to be contextualized to what the aff actually did. I have too often judged debates where a team presents a theory of the world but have not explained what the aff has done to implicate that. Explanation is key. That applies to all Ks cause if you are just spitting jargon at me and the other team, you aren’t gonna have a good time. I am not persuaded by arguments that the aff just doesn’t get fiat.
Love them. Obviously better the more specific to the aff they are. I default to judge kick unless expressly informed not to.
There can be zero risk of a DA
Conditionality is good.
You can insert a re-highlighting of a card- you shouldn’t have to waste time re-reading a card if they suck at research
Ethics violations (ex. Clipping, a card being cut in the middle of the paragraph, etc.) should just have the debate staked on it. It is a bad form of education and should be rejected. No point in drawing it out.
Further questions- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
CX @ Newton High School 2012 - 2016
NFA LD @ WKU 2016 - 2020
Coach @ Ridge 2018 - 2021
To me, debate at its core is a game of strategy and persuasion. I have some personal predispositions that are difficult to sway me from (offense/defense paradigm, death is bad) and a few hard commitments (speech times will be followed, no audience participation, arguments are true if they are dropped, etc.). Most of my other preferences only matter when core pieces of the round have been unresolved by the debaters themselves.
In an ideal world:
- The AFF would read a plan text making some demand for action from the US federal government
- The NEG would primarily read PoliSci/Economic focused Ks with very specific links to the case that demonstrate a mastery of the resolution and mechanisms of the topic
- Topicality would contain lots of topic evidence and not be used as a strategic out from substance when the NEG loses in the rebuttal
- Plan texts would be much more specific than minimal policy shorthand
- Every round would include re-highlighting of opponents evidence, qualification disputes, evidence that cites and disputes opposing evidence/authors
- Every card would be from a peer reviewed journal/site (not relevant if it's politics)
- Evidence would be based on claims about the material reality we live in rather than moralism or personal anecdotes
- "Framework Affirmatives" would have more substantive responses to DAs than cards about complexity, causality, or structural violence
You can pref me above "no plan no win" judges, but probably a bit below judges who have no true preference.
There are few examples of terminal defense, such as a card that says the agenda politics bill already passed. There are a lot more examples of mitigating the relative probability of something so low that I don't care so much about it.
I am sympathetic to specification arguments that are rooted evidence which addresses the consequences of how the plan is written. I am not very sympathetic to specification theory arguments.
Speaks are rewarded based on good strategy, clever argumentation, persuasiveness, time allocation, quality research, slick CXs, and not saying things that are egregiously offensive. Speaker point begging is likely to get you a 25.
NFA-LD Disclosure: Your speaker points will never be higher than a 27 if you are not fully disclosed on both the AFF and the NEG. This does not include arguments you have never broken of course.
Hey y'all, I'm Claire (she/her/hers). I'm an assistant for NFA-LD debate at Lafayette College. I previously coached LD & CX for Ridge HS (NJ), and at Western Kentucky University. I competed successfully in NFA-LD (1-person policy) & limited preps @ WKU, and in a multitude of formats for Blaine HS (MN). I hold a B.A. in Communication Studies.
I consider my self as tab as possible, and familiar with the conventions of all debate events beside PF. I spend nearly all of my time in the world of NFA-LD, though I still like to keep up with HS debate as much as is reasonable.
Treat others as you would want them to treat you. Stand up for yourself and others when others violate that expectation. I'll do the same. Forensics should be accessible and comfortable.
Performance skills matter and boost speaks/determine ranks, but of course it's different what that looks like in each event. Speed is fine, but be cognizant of your opponent, other judges, and which event you are actually competing in (Policy is policy, local LD is not circuit LD, and congress & extemp require public address skills). If you can't/don't want to stand, go for it.
Strategic execution (tech) always comes first, but any page can only be won with superior warrant analysis (truth) under an offense/defense paradigm. After that, weigh everything. Weigh dropped arguments, don't just extend them. While clearly dropped arguments can be devastating, if it's simply a poorly constructed argument then it probably won't factor heavily for me.
Don't advocate for fascist, racist, sexually violent, ableist, or otherwise bigoted arguments. I don't want to hear death good, skep, or religion. Other than that, you do you - Mearsheimer to Moten, I'll listen - but it's still your prerogative to properly articulate your argument. T/Theory is fine.
I read/went for the following most often (in order): big advantages & topic DAs, politics, impacts turns, T/Theory, advantage & agent CPs, post-structuralism, cap, a range of environment literature. I'm academically experienced (in order of depth) on semiotics, discourse theory, normative ethics, Marxist theory, post-structuralism, and existentialism. I pursue a personal reading interest in IR theory, criminal justice, environmental issues, and the milieu of national politics.
Event specific -
Specificity of plan text and quality of solvency evidence matter to me. If the neg ultimately defends the status quo but doesn't have good case args, it's likely the neg will lose. It's surprising I have to say these things, but it happens more often than one might expect.
Kritikal and Performance affs are fine, topical or not. This does not imply I won't vote on framework if won by the neg. That, however, does not imply i automatically vote neg on framework every time. I hold the advocacy to the same scrutiny I would for a plan.
I enjoy framing & weighing out of the 1AC.
I most often see DA debate as a question of who controls the direction of the link offense. Obviously weighing is a must, but I put a lot of stock into this - that or impact turns. Solely defensive strategies, even with impact framing tend to be non-persuasive. Some terminal defense exists (like bill already passed, etc.) - definitely an exception.
I went for politics A LOT, and really enjoy these debates.
I'm open to most strategies.
It's pretty uncommon for me to vote on condo bad. I'm more open to positions like PICs or States bad.
Presumption doesn't necessarily flip to the aff - specifically if the 2NR has good case arguments with DA/Turns.
CP solvency/text should be at least as detailed than the 1AC's, if not more. That said, the CP doesn't necessarily need to solve 100% - whether on probability or scope, if CP has a high risk of solving the most of the aff that can be sufficient if the DA/Turns outweigh.
I enjoy good K debates the same as any other strategy. As a judge I end up seeing this debate a lot, and have no real preferences for or against any given strand of literature or in-round execution.
I'm most familiar with literature stemming from the continental branch of philosophy. Some of my personal favorite authors include Baudrillard, Bookchin, Butler, Deleuze, Debord, Foucault, Luxembourg, Marx, Morton, & Zizek. That said, the majority of K debates I judge tend to be questions of identity and security (respectively) - which I also enjoy. I feel comfortable evaluating most anything.
I don't think the neg must absolutely go for/win the alternative, so long as the neg has good framing. Really, though, the neg should always be winning framing.
I generally find pure theory to be unpersuasive as an aff response. Perms are usually the best route, so are researched defenses of contemporary policy-making.
I've been finding lately that really close K debates have come down to who better presents empirical examples of the link and alt to contextualize theoretical warrants.
I particularly enjoy good topicality debates. I default to competing interps & jurisdiction voters.
I like theory debate so long as it relates to a Plan/CP/Alt/RoB text, or another theory text (a good RVI is rare but persuasive). In other words, ASPEC is cool - bracket theory is meh. Strike me if you're going to complain about your opponent's attire.
I'm neutral when it comes to FW debates - I'll vote for performance/sans-plan K affs as much as I vote for Framework. I generally place a high value on arguments over the academic & personal value of one's scholarship. Fairness is important, but I see these debates as ultimately a question of who wins (in the context of the round) that their educational/pedagogical praxis is preferable.
Clear & specific wording of interpretations is critical. Same with contextualized violations. If you're going to go for it, make it clean.
Great 2NRs/2ARs go all-in, and put voting issues at the top of the speech.
I don't like abstract reasonability arguments - my likeliness to vote for reasonability is entirely based on either the strength of a legitimate I-meet or the counter-interp's ability to resolve a substantial portion of the neg standards.
Outside of framework, I generally think fairness comes first.
Please use speechdrop. Prep stops when everything is put in your document. Don't steal prep.
Flex prep is fine.
CX is binding. I pay attention to CX. Excellent CX will boost your speaks.
Always weigh everything. Excellent weighing will boost your speaks.
Always collapse the debate. Excellent collapses will boost your speaks.
If the round is left unresolved, I will intervene and do my own comparison. I will be as fair as I can do each side and will let you know if this happens.
I'll always disclose unless told otherwise. More than happy to answer questions.
Bonus speaks for 'Good' Anarchism, DeDev, & Extraterrestrials arguments.
HS LD --
You can really just check my CX paradigm for most of my substantive preferences. Here are some event specific thoughts:
>Please justify your framework.
>I have a low threshold for 1AR/2AR extensions given the time, but warrants are still a must. I hate tag fights more than anything. 2AR impact weighing is fine.
>spending ~2:00 extending the aff card-by-card will likely lose you the round and tank your speaks. Part of the game is parsimony and efficiency. Have an overview for a page and do line-by-line.
>I will evaluate and occasionally vote on 1AR theory, but the stupider the argument, the less likely I am to vote on it. Things like CP theory, and RVIs against super abusive T/Theory NCs are infinitely better than, say "pre- or post-fiat, but not both" or "my opponent is wearing a tie". Even when 1ar theory is good (rare), there's usually not enough time to develop and win.
> The 1NC should have framework comparison - waiting until the NR rarely pays off. 2NR impact weighing is fine.
> Please collapse in the NR - don't go for everything. Winning/high speaks NRs usually go all in on T/Theory or the K, or go for case and/or CP with a DA. Leaving yourself multiple outs is smart, but this should be done in reference to whatever you go for ('case or CP' or 'turns or DA') - not wildly extending everything in the NC.
>80% of my rounds end up being Policy-making or K debates, and I don't have any event specific thoughts here. K framing work should be done in the NC, though this seems obvious.
>'Phil' debate: I think ethics debates are super fun, and really enjoy the literature. I will evaluate these debates, though I have two thoughts: (1) Just because it's LD doesn't mean I have to/will automatically default to ethical theory over policy-making or the K (2) extending 5-second blips you label 'a prioris' without warrants and spewing jargon without explanation is not a winning strategy - understand your ethic and interact it.
> Again, T/Theory is fine, but the dumber the argument, the less likely I am to vote on it. I enjoy actual T debates over words in the res, and theory debates over writing of the plan (ASPEC, Vagueness, etc.). I can't stand 'formal dress theory' or 'bracket theory' - do some prep and make real arguments.
> I'm slightly more likely to vote on condo bad in LD than CX. Same thing with reasonability - though this is all relative.
Do your thing - I'm super tab, keep a good flow, and am fairly well read. I've invested a lot of time into this style of the event as a coach and really enjoy it. I don't have many thoughts here - I'd check my tl:dr section for general debate things.
> Please justify your framework - it's shocking the proportion of debaters who don't or do so poorly.
> Warrant and weigh - the earlier the better.
> Don't take excessive prep for early speeches (NC/1AR).
> If you want to kick framework and go for case, go for it. These debates are often the most fun.
I have been competing in debate for six years. I competed in Policy Debate in highschool and then competed in Parli debate in college. I currently compete with Concordia University Irvine. I have been coaching policy, parli, and LD at the middle and highschool level for two years now.
I am arguably most comfortable with a policy style of debate, since I’ve done so much of it in both policy and parli. That being said, if you’re not introducing a plan, doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the debate just as much. If you are introducing a plan, I really wanna make sure you have specific solvency for the plan; don’t just say you’re going to do x thing and then not tell me exactly what that thing does. If you’re passing a bill, give me a summary of what the bill does. As far as counterplans go, I'm fine with any of them. I like PICs. I think that the negative always has the right to introduce a counterplan, as long as it's competitive.
I really enjoy value debates. But if you’re going to defend a value, you better know REALLY well what that value means. I don’t want to hear you defend deontology and then not know how deontology functions through your contentions and what it means in the framing of the round.
The tl;dr: I’m good with the K but give me a bit of background on the author you’re reading.
I don’t enjoy the kritik when I’m competing, but I enjoy judging them. I have a lot of experience in kiritical debate and I’ve read a lot of authors and seen a lot of Ks, so I’d like to think I’m pretty well versed. Authors I’ve read that I’d say I’m very comfortable with: Foucault, Baudrillard, hooks, Marx, and Tickner. I’ve read a lot of feminist lit so I’m pretty comfortable with any sort of fem K, and I’ve read a handful of other miscellaneous books as well. That being said, if you’re defending a certain author, be sure to know that author backwards and forwards and be able to explain it to me if I look confused. Approach me like a judge that is good on the K and I’ll keep up, but my non-verbals will tell you if I’m lost. If I’m shaking my head, my head is cocked to the side, or I look confused, please clarify what your thesis is – I haven’t read every book ever and for a lot of Ks I’ll need at least a bit of background. Also, please explain how the alt solves – I don’t care if your alt is political or not, just give me clear solvency for whatever it is.
The tl;dr: I love theory and will vote on it if you give me a good reason to.
I was always a theory debater. I think it can be the fastest and best way to win the round for both sides. I will definitely take into consideration any theory coming out of any speech as long as there’s a substantiated reason for it. But if you’re going to run theory, make sure you have a clear interp and competitive standards. I’ve seen and run pretty much every type of theory imaginable so I understand when there’s a reason for it and will have a pretty low threshold if you defend it well – I’ve run theory in the last speech of the round based on what someone did in the speech before me, so I’m willing to vote on something like that – but if you’re gonna go for it, go for it. Collapse to theory or I won’t buy it. I have run RVIs before and I don’t see them as abusive as long as you give a good defense for why this is a situation when I should vote on an RVI. Don’t just tell me “they ran theory so they should lose,” explain how that situation specifically is an abusive use of theory and why that warrants me dropping them. I love condo debates but I don’t necessarily think that condo is good or bad; I vote for the team that makes the better argument on that. As far as speed procedurals go, run them if you think it’s warranted but if you’re gonna run a speed procedural, you better have called clear at least 3 times and the other team has not slowed down. Basically, as long as you give me substantiated abuse on theory I’ll vote on it but if you give me a reasonable explanation of why you’re not being abusive I’m just as likely to vote for you.
IF YOU RUN A K OR PROCEDURAL ABOUT ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR, ie TRIGGER WARNINGS BEING ABUSED, I WILL STOP THE ROUND TO MAKE SURE ALL THE DEBATERS FEEL SAFE AND ARE WILLING TO CONTINUE. I don’t want to make anyone feel like they are unsafe when they are debating, so PLEASE bring that to my attention and I will do what I can to make you feel safe.
Things I want to see:
The tl;dr: Clash, impacts, and good impact analysis.
If someone argues something and you drop it; it’s unrefuted offense for the other team and I will consider that in my decision. But I won’t always catch every dropped argument so if you see it, call it out. But make sure you’re directly clashing with your opponents’ points. I like seeing good clash in the round and I’d rather see ya’ll collapse to one argument that has good clash on both sides then to see you stick to your blocks and have the round be like two ships passing in the night.
I also realllllllly want to see good impacts. Explain to me why your arguments matter. If you don’t give me a way to evaluate your arguments against what the other team is saying then that leaves me with a ton of responsibility at the end of the round and I’ll pick the argument I like better. I don’t care how big or small your impact is, just tell me why it matters.
I also really want to see impact analysis at the end of the round. Weigh your impacts on probability, timeframe, magnitude, and probability. I need you to compare your impacts to the other side’s a tell me why I should vote for you (and I much prefer to see that then voting issues since the impacts are what matters).
Be nice. People call me a point fairy and I typically am but I have no problem dropping your speaks if you’re rude in round. I have no tolerance for abusive behavior in round and if you’re a total jerk I’ll drop you.
Speed is fine; I can keep up as long as the other team can, and if I can’t I’ll call clear. And if you're a debater and someone is going too fast for you, please call clear or slow - I won't evaluate an argument about speed unless you attempt to get the other team to slow down first.
If you’re reading an argument about sexual assault, violence, or anything similar, please give a content warning at the beginning of the round so everyone is prepared.
I think debate is a game and I vote for the team that does the best debating, so I try not to have hard and fast opinions on debate. The round is what you make it and I’ll adapt to that unless extenuating circumstances force me to otherwise. Good luck!
Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
*I don't look at docs during the debate, if it isn't on my flow, I'm not evaluating it*
**prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'**
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. The most enjoyable rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy. You are likely better off doing what you do and making minor tweaks to sell it to me rather than making radical changes to your argumentation/strategy to do something you think I would enjoy.
-Clash Debates: No strong ideological debate dispositions, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. I think there is value in K debate and think that value comes from expanding knowledge of literature bases and how they interact with the resolution. I generally find myself unpersuaded by affs that 'negate the resolution' and find them to not have the most persuasive answers to framework.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.
-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow/decision. This is almost always an issue of clarity and not speed and has only gotten worse during/post virtual debate.
-Inserting evidence/CP text/perms:you have to say the words for me to consider it an argument
-Permutation/Link Analysis: I am becoming increasingly bored in K debates. I think this is almost entirely due to the fact that K debate has stagnated to the point where the negative neither has a specific link to the aff nor articulates/explains what the link to the aff is beyond a 3-year-old link block written by someone else. I think most K links in high school debate are more often links to the status quo/links of omission and I find affirmatives that push the kritik about lack of links/alts inability to solve set themselves up successfully to win the permutation. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses is something that strategically helps the negative team when it comes to contextualizing what the aff is/does. I also see an increasingly high amount of negative kritiks that don't have a link to the aff plan/method and instead are just FYIs about XYZ thing. I think that affirmative teams are missing out by not challenging these links.
FOR LD PREFS (may be useful-ish for policy folks)
All of the below thoughts are likely still true, but it should be noted that it has been about 5 years since I've regularly judged high-level LD debates and my thoughts on some things have likely changed a bit. The hope is that this gives you some insight into how I'm feeling during the round at hand.
1) Go slow. What I really mean is be clear, but everyone thinks they are much more clear than they are so I'll just say go 75% of what you normally would.
2) I do not open the speech doc during the debate. If I miss an argument/think I miss an argument then it just isn't on my flow. I won't be checking the doc to make sure I have everything, that is your job as debaters. This also means:
3) Pen time. If you're going to read 10 blippy theory arguments back-to-back or spit out 5 different perms in a row, I'm not going get them all on my flow, you have to give judges time between args to catch it all. I'll be honest, if you're going to read 10 blippy theory args/spikes, I'm already having a bad time
4) Inserting CP texts, Perm texts, evidence/re-highlighting is a no for me. If it is not read aloud, it isn't in the debate
5) If you're using your Phil/Value/Criterion as much more than a framing mechanism for impacts, I'm not the best judge for you (read phil tricks/justifications to not answer neg offense). I'll try my best, but I often find myself struggling to find a reason why the aff/neg case has offense to vote on
6) Same is true for debaters who rely on 'tricks'/bad theory arguments, but even more so. If you're asking yourself "is this a bad theory argument?" it probably is. Things such as "evaluate the debate after the 1AR" or "aff must read counter-solvency" can be answered with a vigorous thumbs down.
7) I think speaker point inflation has gotten out of control but for those who care, this is a rough guess at my speaker point range28.4-28.5average;28.6-28.7 should clear;28.8-28.9 pretty good but some strategic blunders; 29+you were very good, only minor mistakes
Former coach for GMU, former debater at Liberty University, 7 years debating experience overall, NDT 2x, 2019 1st round, 2019 CEDA Top Speaker, and have judged all the tingz. After doing both policy and performance debate, I have learned that the most important thing for me is to create a space for myself and the arguments I want to read. Even though I think this is an educational and competitive activity that pays the bills (#schmoney), I still think it should be fun! That being said, my hope is that you will run what you are passionate about! If that's the Econ DA, Anti-blackness K, Fem K, or USFG, then let's get it! DO YOU BOO! This also means that yes debate is a game, but its full of real people and real consequences so we should keep that in mind as we play.
The above thoughts are still true, but thought it's probably time to update this thing in the case people actually read it. The biggest update is making sure y'all know that I want to be a puppet. I don't want to do more work than I have to, I don't want to have to read your evidence, I don't want to have to find pieces across the flow to make my decision, and I just don't want to intervene. So, please stop card dumping and just explain the warrants you have, please give me a clear ballot you want me to repeat back to you, and please talk about you really cool concepts in relation to the other team's arguments and not just as rants (even though they are really smart rants).
Now, that that's been said, I've found myself mostly in the back of the room of either KvK or clash debates, with the very rare appearance of a policy v policy round (minus novice and so my rant on theory doesn't apply to them), it may help to unpack my thoughts based on type of round.
K v K (jv/open):
There seems to be a lack of explanation burden for affs and alts recently. As a result, it normally ends up hurting the aff on presumption because the neg can kick the alt but the aff can't kick the aff. A few recommendations -
For the aff, make sure you know what your aff does and that you can explain the i/l to resolve your impacts. It really isn't enough to use words within your method to explain your method because it becomes circular logic very quickly. The second is to find ways to make it harder for the negative to kick out of the alt or have less burden to prove solvency than you do.
For the neg, take advantage if the aff has a lack of explanation. You should be pressing them to explain every impact in the aff even if they don't flag it as the big impact. I am very persuaded by presumption when its read offensively so make the aff do their job.
Other comments for k v k include the permutation debate. A lot of neg teams make the argument about no perms in a method debate and the only reason I am persuaded by that is 1ars never answer it and the 2ar answer is so new and lacks depth. As a result, aff's should probably have a better prepared answer and then I would be more open to your perm.
I vote on who wins the round which means one round I may vote on fmwk against a k aff, the next on the k aff. Each round is different so please, innovate! Even with the same argument, you should be searching for ways to re-articulate arguments. Seeing the same 1nc/2n/1nr read off same blocks is not a good look and this is speaking to both sides policy and k.
In these debates, I normally end up siding with tech over truth insofar as it has let me do the least amount of judge intervention. I want to be very clear about what I mean by this, truth normally requires me to read cards for people which if you're not explaining cards I don't want to do the work for you, which is why I say I tend to lean towards clash. I'm saying this to reassure K teams that tech > truth is not automatically a bad thing for you. Ultimately, the best debaters find a good balance between tech and truth, but again I'm a puppet so if you want me to lean a certain way, tell me to do so and why I should.
Policy v Policy (jv/open):
Again, I am rarely in these but the few I have been in tend to come down to the most random theory arguments and I have to be honest - condo is not bad. Whenever I hear condo read in front of me, it just feels like policy teams whining cause I'm like - this is literally the ground you want when you read fmwk, but now its abusive? 5 off is abusive? 3 off is abusive? I meaaaaan ... it just ain't clicking for me because its mostly teams who are absolutely losing other flows because the other team is better and theory is your hail mary. But that means I reward you for avoiding the fight? ok... That being said, people will continue to read condo and I get that - I don't want neg to read this and be like "bri says condo isn't bad in paradigm therfore I don't have to do a lot of work" - no. Please answer it accordingly. What I'm saying is I do not want to vote for condo so neg please don't create a world in which I end up voting for condo - close that door for the aff and I will forever appreciate you.
The only theory arg I find persuasive is perf con - because it means reading a k with something that contradicts makes you a fake radical. Do with that what you will.
End of update.
Now I know some debaters still like to worry about what the person in the back of the room thinks so I'll break down some key points.
-I used to say spreading is fine, but in the era of online debate, folks be more unclear than usual. Spread at your own risk because if you don't pace yourself, then it may not get on my flow.
-Explanation > reading more cards
-Organization is key. Even if the other team is messy, it puts you in a better position to clear things up for the judge so line by line can help
-I'm a very expressive person so look at my face cause my visual cues might help you out (and I oop...)
-More people should pref Tyler Wiseman.
-At the end of the debate, be sure to tell me why I should vote for you; if you don't, then you can't get big mad when I don't ... periodt
I love running the K and the moment I was able to get into critical literature in my debate career, I dived right in. That being said, two important conclusions: One, I understand the foundations of most literature bases so feel free to run them if that is the style of argumentation you prefer.
Two, I have a larger threshold for the K because I expect you to explain the link story and the alternative with warrants so don't assume that just because I know the theory means you don't have to put in the work for the ballot. Links should be contextualized to the aff - please don't restate your tags and author, but pull lines from 1ac/2ac. I would also warn against just running a K because you think I'm only a K debater. Again, DO YOU BOO! If your heart is in the K, go for it! If its not, don't force yourself.
I love performative links not personal attacks so if you are unsure what that line is, talk to your coaches or email me before you dive in. With performative links, just make sure to give a warranted analysis as to why I should vote on it and what the impact is.
Love them! I do prefer K aff's to be in the direction of the topic or make some attempt to include a discussion of the resolution, but if you are not, then at least give me a warranted explanation as to why you have chosen that route. For those that are in the topic of the resolution, have a clear impact and solvency story. Many times, debaters will get so caught up in the negative arguments that they lose sight of what is important...their aff! So make sure to keep a story line going throughout the entirety of the debate.
When you get into FMWk/T debates, be sure to extend and explain your counter-interpretation. What is your model and why is it good? That plus impact turns = a pretty easy ballot from me.
It's a strategy that is read against K aff's, it's a strategy I have won against, a strategy I have lost to, a strategy I have voted on and against. My personal outlook - debate is a game but it has real impacts that can help or harm certain individuals. While it is a competitive strategy, I do not think it is an excuse to not engage the affirmative because most of the time, your lack of engagement is what the aff will use to link turn the performance of reading fmwk (hint hint to K debaters reading this).
PSA - fairness is not an impact... at best, its an internal link to education. That being said, unless the aff has no justification for their aff, then you will have a 2% of getting my ballot by reading fairness. I find it most compelling when you prove in round abuse so be on the lookout and don't miss opportunities if you really down for that fairness life. I like the impact of education a lot more because it has better spill over claims. I also don't think you need a role of the ballot because I think fmwk is a counter RoB, but you should probably indicate that. Don't be shifty with your interp, but I believe a capable 2N will be able to accurately counter the 2AC shift and reframe the debate through the same interp in the 1nc. Please have a TVA! No, it does not need to solve the entirety of the aff because that is neg ground, but it should be able to solve the main impacts they go for. Lastly, defend your model of debate and explain why it would be better for the debate community writ large. If you are only focusing on the one round, then explain why that is better.
I don't have a preference meaning I am open to all types of CPs. What I do ask is that you have a net benefit and explain how your CP solves the aff. It's also nice if your CP is competitive...
I'm down for some good old throw downs on the DA flow, but make sure you have a clear and warranted link story and awesome impact calc for ya girl.
I think theory is procedural just make sure you explain very clearly and slowly what the violation is and why that matters...if you are going to go for theory, I expect the 2n or 2a to spend a good amount of time on it which means not just 30 sec or 1 min.
Policy Affs vs K:
Engage the K! Too many times policy teams just write over the K with their fmwk thinking that is the only work they have to do but it's just like debating a DA or CP. Do the link work and the more specific answers you have to the alt, the better position you are in. Don't just say Perm DB or Perm aff then alt, but really explain what that means and looks like in the world of the aff. I think you do need fmwk to get to weigh your aff but that is all the fmwk will get you which means don't forget to extend your aff and the impact story. A really good way to engage the K is to prove how the plan not only outweighs but resolves the specific impacts.
I think cross-ex is a really good place to assert your arguments and point out key flaws in the other team's arguments. This means you should take advantage of the time to really prove to me why the entire speech they just gave don't matter. While I think cross-ex is binding, you still have to bring it into a speech to explain why that moment was so important and the impact of it.
Dartmouth, TAS, Interlake. He/him.
Add me: ant981228 at gmail dot com
College people, add: debatedocs at googlegroups dot com
Please include the tournament, round, and teams debating in the subject line of the email.
Key Things to Know
I will flow and vote based on the things you said. NEGs can say whatever but the more it says the plan is bad the better. Conditionality and judge kick are good. AFFs should be T and are likely to lose if they aren't. If you say death good you lose. If you ask for a 30 you will get a 25.
I STRONGLY prefer that all cameras be on whenever anyone in the debate is speaking, but I understand if internet or other considerations prevent this.
If my camera is off, assume I am away from my computer and don't start talking. If you start your speech while I am away from my computer you do not get to restart. That is on you.
Here is how to successfully adjust to the online setting:
1. Inflect more when you are talking.
2. Put your face in frame. Ideally, make it so you can see the judge.
3. Get a microphone, put it close to your face, talk into it, make sure there is an unobstructed line between it and your mouth.
4. Talk one at a time.
Tech determines truth unless it's death good. If you tell me to embrace death because life is bad I will vote against you even if you do not go for the argument. More broadly, all else being equal, I strongly prefer to solve problems without resorting to violence or force if possible.
Otherwise, unless my role as a judge is changed, I will attempt to make the least interventionary decision. This means:
1. I will identify the most important issues in the debate, decide them first based on the debating, then work outward.
2. What is conceded is absolutely true, but will only have the implications that you say it has. Unless something is explicitly said, conceded, and extended, or is an obvious and necessary corollary of something that is said, conceded, and extended, I will attempt to resolve it, rather than assuming it.
3. I will intervene if there is no non-interventionary decision.
4. I will attempt to minimize the scope of my intervention by simplifying the decision-making process. I would prefer to decide fewer issues. If an issue seems hard to resolve without intervening, I will prioritize evaluating ballots that don't require resolving that issue. Example: a DA is heavily and messily contested, and may be straight turned, but the case would outweigh the DA even if the DA was 100% NEG. I will likely not attempt to resolve the DA page. In complex debates, it would help you to instruct me on how I should do this, or instruct me not to do this if you would prefer that I resolve the debate a different way. You can also stop this from happening by debating in ways that don't require intervention to evaluate.
I am aware that this procedure can influence my assessment of substance. Given infinite decision time, I would not do this. However, decision times are shrinking. Post-round time is limited; minutes spent resolving complex or under-debated issues that are not outcome-determinative trade off with the quality of my assessment of issues that are. I believe this process net reduces error costs.
I have voted NEG 53% of the time.
I often vote quickly. This does not necessarily mean the debate was lopsided or bad; more likely, it is a sign that the teams clearly communicated the relationships between their arguments, allowing me to perform evaluations as the debate is happening. If I take a long time that means I was unable to do this, either because there was significant complexity in the debate or because communication was poor.
The following are my inclinations - if you don't like them you can change them.
The agenda DA is not a serious argument, but can be a strategic one.
"Framing pages" where you say "DAs are bad" are bad.
CP'ing in offense is underrated.
If no one says anything I will assume I can judge kick. It is very hard to use theory to stop me from thinking about the status quo. Nothing but conditionality is a voting issue. Pretty NEG on most theory, except fiating out of your own straight turned offense.
Competition is usually more impactful than theory. Theory arguments that logically presume you have won a competition argument ("CPs that steal the AFF are a voting issue" assumes you have demonstrated that the CP has stolen the AFF, which is a competition argument. "CPs that are not functionally and textually competitive are a voting issue"... come on, what are we doing here) are a waste of time. Just win the competition argument.
Functional competition + explaining what your plan does + definitions + reasons to prefer your definitions >>>>> anything involving the concept of textual competition. Textual competition is mind poison that corrupts any competition model it touches.
If I can't explain what a CP does and how it accomplishes whatever the NEG says it does, I am unlikely to vote for it. You can avoid this by writing a meaningful CP text AND explaining it in the speech.
I like judging good T debates. I really don't like judging bad ones. What sets these apart is specific application of broad offense to interpretations and impact debating that is specific to internal links, grounded in a vivid vision for debates under your topic.
I do not think the intrinsic value of being "factually correct" about your T argument is very high.
Many parts of a T argument can be enhanced with cards - e.g. link to limits, claims of AFF/NEG bias in the literature, predictability via prodicts/indicts.
Argue by analogy and comparison to other AFFs, especially in CX.
Ks / Planless AFFs
OK for specific Ks on the NEG, bad for random backfile slop, bad for K AFFs, death good = L.
If your K is secretly a DA, refer to the DA section. If your K is not a DA then yes, you need framework and you need an alternative. Whatever issue your framework says should determine the round should be what your link, impact, and ALT are about.
I do not judge many debates involving nontraditional AFFs. The biggest hurdles to voting AFF for me are usually: 1) why can't the AFF be read on the NEG, 2) why is the AFF's offense inherent to resolutional debate or to voting NEG on framework instead of some avoidable examples, and 3) how do I reconcile the AFF's vision of debate or the topic with debate's inherently (even if not exclusively) competitive nature.
I am open to different understandings of what it means for things to compete if there is no plan. However, "no plan, no perms" is nonsense.
The only effect of my ballot is to decide the winner.
Strong strategy, being fun/engaging to watch, being smart, being classy, being clear = higher speaks.
Making wrong strategic choices, being underprepared or ignorant about substance, making CXs annoying/pointless, making bad arguments, being needlessly mean, being a mumbler... = lower speaks.
I do not view speaker points as divorced from substance.
My points are slightly below average.
Asking for a 30 will yield a 25.
Ethics and Conduct
If the tabroom tells me to do something, it is not up for debate. I will do that thing. The rest is what I will do if left to my own devices.
Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Alternative remedies short of an automatic loss could be more responsive or proportional to the harm: scratching the argument AND evidence, scratching only the evidence and treating the argument as if it is made analytically, assuming an author is absolutely unqualified, requiring the team to produce the full text of articles in question, requiring the violating team to establish a paper trail authenticating other important evidence and presuming unauthenticated evidence to be fabricated, requiring a team to produce the full text of every article in the debate and presuming unauthenticated evidence to be fabricated, reducing speaker points, informing the team's coaches after the fact. They MAY be a reason to reject the team, but I will not treat them as such by default.
Clipping - claiming you read words from evidence that you did not read - is different, and a voting issue. It is a form of dishonesty that irreparably distorts teams' speech times, which affects every other issue in the debate, and which opponents are uniquely poorly positioned to police. If you are inexperienced or appear to have clipped by mistake, I will be lenient. Otherwise, it is non-negotiable.
Thoughts on stopping the debate early:
1. This is an exceptional measure to be avoided if possible.
2. Once the debate stops because of an ethics challenge, my first step is to consult the tabroom and do whatever they say.
3. Unless expressly instructed otherwise by the tabroom, the debate will not resume once stopped. The winner and loser will be determined solely by the ethics challenge.
4. An accusing team can stop the debate at any time. They win if they are correct, present compelling evidence that they are correct, and I agree that the conduct justifies a penalty loss. The winner will receive 28.5 and 28.6. Losers who have personally committed an ethics violation receive the lowest points allowed. Losers who have not personally committed an ethics violation - either due to an unsuccessful accusation, or because the partner committed the violation - receive a 27 and 27.1.
5. An accused team can stop the debate, even if the accusing team does not wish to do so, if the accusation concerns the fundamental academic integrity of the accused. This is a very high bar.
6. An accusing team may ask me if I believe certain conduct justifies a penalty loss without stopping the debate. I will take judge prep to answer. This answer is not an invitation to negotiate and obviously doesn't bind the tabroom.
7. I will proactively end the debate for clipping. I will not do this for other evidence ethics or academic integrity issues.
8. Basically none of this applies to novice or JV, where I will resolve the dispute as quickly and narrowly as possible with the aim of maximizing the number of speeches that can happen.
Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator outweighs my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. You should give this line a wide berth.
I have extensive experience as a Public Forum debate competitor and judge, however my first LD round today will be my first LD round ever. I am okay with reasonable speed (but not spreading). I will do my best to judge the round fairly, however it will largely be based on the flow and impact weighing. Write my ballot for me, tell me throughout the round why your team has won and your arguments are better. If you don't do that, I will have to make the analysis for you.
No, you don't have to have a plan.
Yes, kritiks are fine. But you better be able to explain your theory (especially high theory) well and do specific link work.
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.
Last updated October 1 2023
I am currently a policy and PF coach at Taipei American School. My previous affiliations include Fulbright Taiwan, the University of Wyoming, Apple Valley High School, The Harker School, the University of Oklahoma, and Bartlesville High School.
Email for the chain: lwzhou10 at gmail.com
If I am judging you online, I am almost certainly doing so while it is night in Taipei, which means I am probably extremely tired.
Stolen from Matt Liu: "Feb 2022 update: If your highlighting is incoherent gibberish, you will earn the speaker points of someone who said incoherent gibberish. The more of your highlighting that is incoherent, the more of your speech will be incoherent, and the less points you will earn. To earn speaker points, you must communicate coherent ideas."
I debated for OU back in the day but you shouldn't read too much into that—I wasn't ever particularly good or invested when I was competing. I lean more towards the policy side than the K side and I'm probably going to be unfamiliar with a lot of the ins-and-outs of most kritiks, although I will do my best to fairly evaluate the debate as it happens.
1. I tend to think the role of the aff is to demonstrate that the benefits of a topical plan outweigh its costs and that the role of the neg is to demonstrate that the costs and/or opportunity costs of the aff's plan outweigh its benefits.
2. I find variations of "fairness bad" or "logic/reasoning bad," to be incredibly difficult to win given that I think those are fundamental presuppositions of debate itself. Similarly, I find procedural fairness impacts to be the best 2NRs on T/Framework.
3. Conditionality seems obviously good, but I'm not opposed to a 2AR on condo. Most other theory arguments seem like reasons to reject the argument, not the team. I lean towards reasonability. Most counterplan issues seem best resolved at the level of competition, not theory.
4. Warrant depth is good. Argument comparison is good. Both together—even better.
5. Give judge instruction—tell me how to evaluate the debate.
None of these biases are locked in—in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.
I care that you debate the topic in a way that reflects serious engagement with the relevant scholarly literature. I would also prefer to judge debates that do not contain references to arcane debate norms or jargon.
Additionally, I expect that your evidence abides by NSDA rules as outlined in the NSDA Evidence Guide. If I find evidence that does not conform to these guidelines, I will minimally disregard that piece of evidence and maximally vote against you.
I do not believe that either team has any obligation to "frontline" in second rebuttal, but my preferences on this are malleable. If "frontlining" is the agreed upon norm, I expect that the second speaking team also devote time to rebuttals in the constructive speeches.
The idea of defense being "sticky" seems illogical to me.
I find it extremely difficult to vote for arguments that lack resolutional basis (e.g., most theory or procedural arguments, some kritikal arguments, etc.). I find trends to evade debate over the topic to be anathema to my beliefs about what Public Forum debate ought to look like.
There is also a strong trend towards under-developing arguments in an activity that already operates with compressed speech times. I also strongly dislike the practice of spamming one-line quotes with no context (or warrant) from a dozen sources in a single speech. I will reward teams generously if they invest in a few well-warranted arguments which they spend time meaningfully weighing compared to if they continue to shotgun arguments with little regard for their plausibility or quality.
Update: Exchanging evidence in a manner consistent with the NSDA's rules on evidence exchange has become a painfully slow process. Please simply set up an email chain or use an online file sharing service in order to quickly facilitate the exchange of relevant evidence. Calling for individual pieces of evidence appears to me as nothing more than prep stealing.
I've judged over 1000 LD and policy rounds from novice locals to TOC elims. I am not particularly partial to a style in which you debate the topic, e.g. philosophical, kritikal, traditional, etc., but I do care that you debate the topic. Frivolous theory or kritiks that shift the question of the debate start a few steps behind for me.
Ideological stances that might influence prefs:
1. Fairness and logic are good—args to the contrary are self-defeating.
2. The aff should defend the topic; the neg should disprove the aff—I've voted against framework/for Ks a decent amount too but it's just a tougher route to take in front of me.
3. Some tricks are fine, most stretch the definition of what counts as an argument—anything that relies almost entirely on your opponent dropping it probably isn't even worth making in front of me.
4. I think Nebel T is true, but tech > truth.
5. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but it's not that hard to defend condo good; most other counterplan issues are best resolved at the level of competition, not theory.
6. I'm inclined to think that everything other than conditionality and T should be a reason to reject the arg. Most other theoretical objections aren't particularly persuasive to me.
7. I'm generally against sandbagging both in the 1NC and 1AR. I would rather the 1NC read 1 less off case position in favor of more developed case analysis, impact calc, or fully complete arguments. I would rather the 1AR make 1 less theory argument in favor of actually explaining what the words "perm do both" mean. How much "new-ness" is allowed in the 2NR or 2AR is obviously contextual but the default is that it's determined by how new your opponent was.
8. Ev ethics are important—I'll default to the NSDA Evidence Guide.
9. I'd prefer not to read your cards—I'd rather you explain them to me.
None of these biases are locked in—in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy. I'm not sure I have strong opinions about much else. Like most other judges, I like evidence quality, impact calculus, and strategic choices. Like most other judges, I dislike cheating, unclarity, and impropriety.
I will NOT hesitate drop anyone who spreads or engages in debate practices that would not be persuasive or understandable to a reasonable person—this is not negotiable. Please do not see my policy background or circuit LD experience as an invitation to make this round uninteresting for everyone involved.
1. Please time yourselves. Using a phone is fine.
2. Yes, off-time roadmaps are good.
3. Offense (why you win) is superior to defense (why you don't lose). I'm much more interested in the former; don't spend so much time on the latter.
4. The criterion/framework is not a voting issue. If you say it is, I'll make a big sad face :(.
5. I prefer more principled and philosophical arguments in debate. If the debate does become a question about the consequences of adopting some policy, I prefer empirical studies and examples over random predictions without evidence.
6. I prefer voting issues to be given as they arise on the flow, not in a discrete section at the end of rebuttal speeches.
7. You do not need to ask me to use your prep time (although I will keep track of time myself).
8. You can read my longer LD paradigm at the bottom for a more detailed view at my decision-making process.
9. You MUST follow the NSDA Evidence Rules (High School Manual here, shorter version here). I care deeply about evidentiary ethics in an academic event and I will not hesitate to punish to the full extent allowed by the rules up to, and including, voting against you.
10. I hate evasion. Direct clash with your opponent's central points is preferred.
11. I will keep a rigorous flow, time all speeches, and not hesitate to enforce those time limits.
My debate experience is primarily in LD, policy, and PF. I do not consider myself well-versed in all the intricacies or nuances of WSD strategy and norms. My only strong preference is that want to see well-developed and warranted arguments. I would prefer fewer, better developed arguments over more, less-developed arguments.
Online Procedural Concerns
1. Follow tournament procedure regarding online competition best practices.
2. Record your speeches locally. If you cut out and don't have a local backup, that's a you problem.
3. Keep your camera on when you speak, I don't care if it's on otherwise. Only exception is if there are tech or internet issues---keeping the camera off for the entirety of the debate otherwise is a good way to lose speaker points.
4. I'll keep my camera off for prep time, but I'll verbally indicate I'm ready before each speech and turn on the camera for your speeches. If you don't hear me say I'm ready and see my camera on, don't start.
5. Yes, I'll say clear and stuff for online rounds.