Middle School TOC hosted by UK
2018 — KY/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
University of Kentucky 2018/Assistant Debate Coach for UK 2018-2019
Northwestern Law 2022
email@example.com - put this one on the chain for high school debate
firstname.lastname@example.org - put this one and the above on the chain for college debate. Label the subject line as: Tournament - Round # - Aff Team vs Neg Team
*UPDATE For UK Tournament 2021*
I have been removed from the debate community since 2019. I have never participated or judged a virtual debate prior to this tournament. Take that as you will, but make sure to place an emphasis on clarity.
I find that while judging, if the debaters can isolate and clearly articulate the nexus questions of the round, it becomes easier to judge, regardless of any predilections. While I try to adopt the ideology of a 'tabula rasa' I find that it is not entirely successful. Some arguments can be more persuasive to me than others, and I will try my best to avoid any intervention on my part, and I feel that you as a debater should do what you feel is best. If you have good cards to substantiate your args that goes a long way and matters for me. Explain how you want me to evaluate the debate.
I like T when it is debated well. That means good impact analysis, good explanations of standards and how I should evaluate each team's vision of the topic.
Theory: I resolve these debates much like topicality. The impact level needs to be clearly articulated, especially by the affirmative if you want my ballot. I feel that counter interpretations are largely self serving (not a reason to not make one) and that interpretations on theory debates are much more persuasive when your offense is centered around your interpretation, which I feel has become largely lacking (ex. teams read the same conditionality block regardless if they have read one or four conditional options). I believe strongly in technical debating, but a conceded blimpy theoretical objection won't be a reason to reject the team. Rather, I will just reject the argument if the theoretical objection is well argued and explained. This is because most of these scenarios are where the theory "arguments" are not arguments. See ex. vague alternatives are a voting issue.
I think K affs tend to lose more of these debates when they adopt a middle ground perspective in which they try to do something with the topic but not affirm the entirety of the resolution. It makes it easier in my mind for neg teams to win that the resolution is compatible with the aff's offense and that resolutional debates are good as the aff is already half of the way there. I think teams are more successful at impact turning framework, and making reasons why only the aff's model of debate is beneficial.
I prefer these debates to clash about what model of debate is best, to conduct impact comparison, and to tell me what matters and how to evaluate certain arguments. Debate it like a t debate with violations, standards, and impacts.
Love them. The more specific to the aff the better and helps drive competition.
There is zero risk of a disad, and it happens. I feel that the impact level of disadvantages (as well as advantages) are way to often the focus of the debate, and I find that debates about a solid link defense/turn or internal link defense can win a round more often than other things.
With that being said, I feel that a disadvantage with a lot of explanation of how it accesses case, why I should prefer it, and why it comes first are persuasive, but I don't feel that its an automatic negative ballot if the 1AR just drops them because they sat on another argument on the flow. The status squo I feel has become a debate that is less willing to be had and I think that a good case/disad debate can be very strategic at times.
Make the debate about the aff, and contextualize it, or I think it is easier for the aff to win a perm. Doing this doesn't necessarily mean reading new aff specific cards, but it does mean doing the work to contextualize your generic 1nc args to the specifics of the aff.
I am not entirely well versed in a very broad scope of the literature, but as long as you aren't too out there and can explain it I should be fine. You should be well versed enough in the literature to explain your argument to those not in the lit base, just like you should be able to explain a complex counter plan to someone who hasn't done the research on it.
If I'm in the judge pool or I am about to judge your debate and forgot to post my updated paradigm, email me and I'll upload it.
My complete philosophy/paradigm/preferences for policy debate is over 3,600 words long, but the bottom line is I'm a techy policy guy that likes A) real policy solutions, B) details about the solution you choose to advocate, and C) a substantive nuanced discussion of the real world costs, benefits, and trade-offs of the same.
Email chain: email@example.com –always
Bored? Well there's an answer to that too. https://play2048.co/
Updated February 23rd, 2018
Hi! Congratulations on finding it all the way here. I'm glad you probably care at least a tiny bit about winning, but you're most likely going to have to do more than just the bare minimum of getting by to win in front of me.
I'm a former NYU debater and former president of the NYU policy team. My experience in policy debate has been 4 years of college debate, 3 years of which were open, and I'm coming up on 2 years of coaching now across college, high school, and currently middle school. I currently work for Success Academy Midtown West in New York City and I coach their middle school debate program full time.
As a debater, I did just about every form and style of debate (everything from 6 min of politics DAs in the block to performance args with narratives and/or poetry), but I honestly do not have a particular preference for arguments anywhere on the spectrum. As a judge, I view my role primarily as an evaluator of the arguments presented before me in the round. If you decide for whatever reason (consciously or unconsciously) that it's not in your best interest to frame the round for me, I'll default first to the flows and if you've messed those up too much, then my secondary default is to vote for the side that has done the best debating overall by some fun arbitrary standard I'll invent for you and if neither side did a particularly great job debating according to that standard, I'll vote for the side that bored me the least.
T: Yup, it’s a voting issue, and it's an a priori one so just go ahead and answer it however you want, but at least answer it. Counter-interps are probably definitely a good idea if you’re aff, but you can convince me otherwise if that's not the path you want to take in answering it. I'll gladly entertain any T arguments, but I expect a full warranted out standards and impact debate coming off the violation. Small tricky affs are small and tricky, so if T is your generic go to, take the time to explain how they untopical and why that has significance for the round don't just cry that they're unfair for 5 minutes because all that will do is just make me very sad and I'll be wishing that we were having a different debate than the one we're having.
Disads: Turns case arguments are great - do them. Note, I'm generally pretty generous with allowing links on DAs to affs until they're contested. Neg, be tight on your internal link story. If your explanation of the DA doesn't make sense to me, I'm not going to pull the trigger on it if the aff is winning a reasonable part of their case. Also, if it’s a particularly bad DA, aff’s don’t need evidence to answer it just their common sense.
Kritiks: I like these. I like these a lot. They're pretty neat and let you do a lot of fun tricks. However, to go for these, I think you need a clear explanation of how the K functions, and you still need to do impact calculus. There has to be at least one clear link articulated consistently from the block to the 2nr. If you don’t understand the K, I probably won’t understand your articulation of it either.
Framework: Specificity is important for the negative. Point out exactly how we should frame the debate, why that’s a good idea, and any in round abuse. Don’t neglect the line by line in these debates. Role of the ballot args are nice when they meet the following criteria: they're consistent, make sense, and are carried through the round.
Counterplans: These need to have a well-articulated net benefit. Other than that, anything goes.
I will typically not judge kick the CP or the K alt. Just do the basic work of kicking out of these if you're not going for one, never assume I'll do work for you that favors you.
Debate is supposed to be both fun and educational. Enjoy your round, and try to make it fun for everyone in the room.
I really enjoy clever jokes and entertaining CXs.
Debated at Kentucky ‘16-‘19.
AFFs must be topical. NEG teams must either say the plan does something bad or is not topical.
I know almost nothing about antitrust, so do not rely on me having an enormous amount of prior knowledge on topic stuff.
Conditionality is fine.
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.
Yes put me on the email chain: Risha[dot]X[dot]Bhattacharjee[at]gmail[dot]com and I prefer this to pocketbox although you do you. I'd appreciate it if after the last corresponding rebuttal each side puts together a doc of all relevant cards and sends it to me even before I ask but no worries if you forget.
Philosophy last updated December 2016 (goal is to include trends I've noticed in my judging and also new opinions I've noticed myself start developing as I judge a lot, although some of these opinions haven't necessarily played out in my judging yet).
TLDR: I don't really care what you do. I am most familiar with "policy" arguments and do research in high school and college more on the "policy"-side of things, but I judge a lot of different types of arguments, so my familiarity with those is growing quickly.
My own background: I debated at Coppell High School in Dallas for 4 years and then the University of Texas for 5 years, and am now coaching at Georgia State University and Wayzata High School. This will be my third year of judging college debate and eighth year judging high school debate. I typically judge a LOT of debate rounds every year. I was a 1A/2N for most of college, and most of my 2NRs were counterplan/politics or framework. I did debate for UT/in D3, so I had my fair share of “K-debates". I found myself personally going a bit more “left” (with a particular interest in arguments about gender) in my last year of debate, but that was more in terms of opinion and not actually argumentative choices, and I still ended my career going for mostly "policy" arguments. I have generally viewed debate as a game, but can understand why others do not see it that way, and am open to alternate views of the activity.
Top-level: You should do what you do best, and I'll reciprocate by trying my best to approach the debate with an open mind. I really don't care what kind/type of arguments you choose to make. I find that teams have much more success when their judge adaptation involves accounting for specific things a judge might think about a certain argument, instead of just choosing to make a different argument altogether. Do what you do best. The only caveat is you should not say things like "racism/sexism good".
I think that racism and sexism (and other forms of exclusion) are problems in the debate community, but am uncertain as to what I think is the best way to combat forms of exclusion. I do think that debaters are required by the nature of the activity to contest arguments that their opponents make, and that there is value in that contestation. That being said, I think certain things are uncontestable - like I said above, impact turning a form of exclusion is not going to fly. I also dislike it when people try to dispute claims about debate as an activity being racist, sexist, ableist, etc. At this point, I honestly think it's violent to say a certain form of exclusion does not exist in debate, esp to people whose identity forces them to face that exclusion on a daily basis. That is different than, for example, contesting the claim that requiring a topical plan furthers those forms of exclusion.
I’ll ask to be included in any email chains, but I will not open the speech docs in most situations until the debate is over, because imo reading along lessens the impact that good communication would otherwise have on my decision.
I generally don’t think it counts as prep when someone is saving a speech doc to a jump drive, etc.
Pet peeves: “Always already” and “debate space” - i.e. redundancy.
Card Clipping: Like I said above, I won’t open speech docs before/during a speech. So it’s impossible for me to follow along as a debater is reading. That’s just something to keep in mind if you want to call out another team for clipping cards. So, make sure there’s video if you want to make an accusation. I do think that card-clipping is absolutely unacceptable, and if an accusation is made, I will immediately stop the debate to resolve the dispute. If an individual is determined to have clipped cards, they will receive zero speaker points and the team will get an automatic loss. If it is determined that card-clipping did not occur, then I will assign speaker points based on what has happened in the debate so far, and assign the loss to the team who made the accusation. Purposefully being unclear just to get through a card faster is not much different from clipping cards. Since I obviously cannot decide intent, if you are unclear/it is hard to tell if you read a certain part of a card, I will err on the side of you did not.
I appreciate it when people tell me at the top of their last rebuttals what an RFD for them would look like.
I will not yell clear if I cannot understand you (I think that's just as interventionist as a judge yelling "smarter" and I do not share the same views as Dallas Perkins on that subject). So don't assume I'll let you know if I can't understand you....although the lack of typing should probably tip you off.
On a somewhat similar note, if I look confused, it is probably tech related or possibly just how my face usually looks. I rarely (knowingly) react physically when unconvinced by an argument.
Asking a team what cards were or were not read in a speech doc is either cross-x time or prep time, unless their speech doc is egregiously terribad (a standard to be somewhat arbitrarily determined by me).
(Please note that this next thing is really not a big deal, I'm just letting you know in case it helps, but I don't expect any one to adapt in any way to this). -I don't really try to line things up from speech-to-speech while flowing. This is really just how things play out because of the kinds of debate I tend to judge. On that note, in almost any possible situation, no matter what you say, I will almost certainly just flow a speech on a specific argument straight down. Just to be clear, I will obviously still separate off case positions and 1ac pages onto separate pages. But if you're like "I'm going to start with the perm and then this thing and then blah" or whatever else, I'll probably ignore you. You can still say it for the purpose of the other team or your partner or out of spite etc., but just know that I will keep flowing straight down because roadmaps seem to be more like New Year's resolutions than actual truth.
Links are not case arguments. Neither are random framework args. In a K or framework debate, please please please save us all the trouble and just read the links on the same page as the actual arg. I like case arguments but I like being honest about not having specific case args even more. I recognize that there are ways to interact with the aff that do not involve a case debate in the traditional sense. That's fine. What's less fine and substantially more annoying is arbitrarily splitting the K debate (or FW debate) onto two different flows which inevitably become combined in the last rebuttals and create more work for all us.
It is rarely successful in front of me for your only answer to a fully-developed arg by the other team to be that they don't have a card to back it up. By all means point this out if true, but also please substantively answer what is now a fully developed analytic (i.e. still an argument).
Lastly, please be respectful to your partner and your opponents. I don’t like excessively rude people and my speaker points will reflect that. I do enjoy snark if it's intelligent and furthers an argument and isn't just aimed solely at making fun of your opponent. It annoys me when people speak during their opponents' speeches in a way that is loud and/or makes it difficult to hear the speaker (or seems like it would bother the speaker), and is perhaps the only time I audibly intervene during a round (to shush the offender(s)).
"Policy" vs "Policy"
-High school: I do a TON of high school topic research (along with already having done a ton because of last year's college topic) so generally speaking I know what's up. In the past I've judged a lot of clash and left-left debates in high school, but this year I've found myself judging quite a bit more of policy debates as well.
-College: I don't judge many policy debates in college, although this year I've judged a few relatively speaking. I've done a fair bit of research on the topic and almost all of it is more "policy" oriented research. I would like to judge some more "policy" debates but whatevs not my job (or desire) to dictate what people say in front of me, and I certainly do not have anything against debate arguments that do not involve both teams agreeing from the get-go that the discussion should be oriented around the results of USFG-enacted restrictions on ghg emissions.
Topicality: I love a good T debate. Don’t really care what the topicality argument is. If the interpretation is something "silly," then the aff should be able to beat it without help via me giving the interp less weight. That being said, I often think that good explanations of reasonability are often persuasive. The aff will probably lose if they don’t read a counter-interpretation. I also am generally not convinced by most precedence arguments, or arguments about an aff being read all year means that it’s topical. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what the rest of the community thinks about whether or not an aff is topical. Obviously if a precedence arg is conceded I'll evaluate it, but just know that the aff won't have to do much to beat it.
(High school specific: this topic is obviously terribly huge and also lacking good definitions for neg interps - perhaps a useful thing to note about me is that I think of T "definitions" as another standard for a T interp, albeit a rather important one, but I don't think having a definition exactly backing up your interpretation is as absolutely necessary as many seem to think. Sometimes I think the bigger problem with the more obvious or better (in some ways) interps for 'engagement' is their tendency to run into brightline problems).
Theory: I generally default to reject the argument not the team for most theory arguments other than conditionality bad, and have noticed in my judging that it is difficult to convince me otherwise.
Gut-check, I probably think that conditionality is good, 50-state fiat is bad, and international fiat is bad. But I also almost exclusively went for the states counterplan on the energy topic and the Turkey CP on the democracy assistance topic, so I can definitely be convinced by the other side. Trump probably also makes the states counterplan a more important/necessary discussion on the college topic now. Conditionality bad is probably harder to win in front of me, but I'm sure it's doable. Something that is important for me in counterplan competition debates is the question of literature/solvency advocates. The more evidence the neg has about their counterplan in comparison to the aff, the better off they are for the theory debate. That being said, counterplans that result in the aff are probably not competitive.
Disads: I went for them a lot (especially politics) and enjoy these debates (topic disads>politics obviously). Comparative impact calculus and turns case arguments are always ideal.
The risk of a disad can sometimes be so low that it should effectively be rendered zero for the purpose of making decisions. The existence of a counterplan in the debate obviously affects this calculus.
Counterplans: I like them. I like counterplans that are cut from aff articles. I like smart, specific PICs, depending on competition issues and how much evidence there is in context of the aff. See theory blurb above for more details, but would like to reiterate as said above that counterplans that result in the aff are probably not competitive.
If the 2NR doesn’t say anything, I will not revert to the status quo.
Case debates: Obviously always appreciated. I think that zero risk of an aff can very much be a thing, and something that neg teams are often too hesistant to go for. Sometimes affs just doesn't make sense and/or are lying about what their evidence says. Don't be afraid to call them out. I'm not a huge fan of giving affs leeway just because certain things irl (like Trump's win) make it harder to solve while being topical. A good example for college folks is I also disliked judges giving affs an extra benefit of the doubt on the democracy assistance topic because the affs were all terribad and clearly didn't do anything (as may be fairly obvious, I was a 2N on this topic lol).
Criticisms versus Any Kinds of Args:
Criticisms: I explained my general proclivities above, but, things that are important for winning kritiks in front of me include: reducing the risk of the aff (how you go about doing this is up to you), having a clear explanation of what the alt is, and contextualizing link arguments in terms of the aff. Against race args especially, people seem to love going for some version of "only a risk we're better than the squo" and so it is useful for me as a judge if the contextualized link arguments include either an opportunity cost argument or a reason why that's a bad burden to have to meet (i.e. maybe presumption should stop flipping aff in these instances for whatever reason).
I think that role of the ballot claims are almost always not a real argument. They’re self-serving, arbitrary, and just a fancy way of saying that a certain impact should come first. The only role of the ballot imo is just to vote for the better debating.
Performance: Most of my general stuff above also address my thoughts on this. Like I said, you do you. I did go for framework a lot in college, and at the beginning, it was because I really "believed" it. At the end of my career, and now, I see a lot of benefits in having a topic, but I also see a lot of reasons for why the way the topic is constructed and the way that debates occur, can be problematic. But just to be clear – when I debated, I viewed debate as a game. But I respect the fact that this isn’t how everyone approaches debate, and can be convinced that as a judge, I should also not view debate as a game.
"Policy" Affs vs K's
As much as it saddens me to admit, I think (slash hope) we are all aware that I unfortunately do not have the power to actually enact federal government policy if I sign the ballot aff (as cool as that would be). So generally speaking, in front of me, neg teams should stop pointing this out like it's a big deal and if they do, affs should stop being jetti-mind tricked by it.
I have never found an argument more silly (this is slight hyperbole but it makes me cranky) than the blanket statement that "discourse (or reps or whatever) doesn't shape reality", both because that just seems patently untrue (at least as a blanket claim) and also incredibly ironic to say in a communication activity of all things. There are much more nuanced ways of making a similar argument, i.e. perhaps keep in mind that on the aff you don't have to win that discourse/reps/whatever NEVER affect policymaking.
On a similar note to the above, I find almost all framework debates useless. Aff framework arguments on a theoretical level (we get to weigh our aff bc fairness or education etc) are meh to me - even if you win these arguments, that doesn't resolve the substantive arguments the neg will (hopefully) be making about why their links shape the way the aff's policy happens, which in turn affects the aff's ability to get to the impact they so dearly want to weigh, etc. Also everytime I hear "moots 8/9 minutes of the 1AC" I think "so what?". Seems like if the neg wins a link and an impact and those things moot your 1AC, then you should have picked a better 8/9 minutes of things to say. Much more useful than a theoretical fw debate is answering those link arguments on a substantive level and explaining why your offense still applies even if you don't get to weigh your impacts. Also I will probably never decide the neg doesn't "get" their K unless its a warranted argument made and somehow fully conceded by the other team in all the speeches or something. Tbh I appreciate it when affs don't ever try to forward the argument that the neg shouldn't get their k.
On a similar note, I think aff's often should get access to more of their offense than they realize even if the neg wins their "framework", and are often tricked into thinking otherwise.
Judge choice is not an argument. Even when technically conceded by the neg team, there are usually 82930281390 other things said by them in the debate that implicitly answer it, and it's a safe bet that I'll do the "work" (is it even work?) for them.
K's vs K Affs
Dear gawd "method debates" are not a thing. Neg teams say "no perms because it's a method debate!" and all I hear is "maybe if we just arbitrarily call what is clearly still a K alt something different, we can jetti-mind trick Risha into thinking we no longer have to actually answer arguments and can, without any real justification, win that affs don't get perms anymore." This doesn't mean I am just unconvinced by the arg that certain affs should not get permutations - I certainly think there are persuasive, debateable reasons for why affs that choose not to fall under the bounds of the resolution should not - so it just means that "it's a method debate" is not something I consider to be a justification for the claim that affs don't get perms.
Framework Debates vs K Affs
I judge a lot of these, so this is the longest section of my philosophy.
Imo non-fairness impacts are better than fairness impacts against affs that talk about various types of oppression in relation to the debaters' own identities - I think it usually hurts to allow these affs to read their impact turns to fairness and thus focus the debate on what was basically the core aff arg to begin with (and thus also likely their best offense). I do find fairness a much better impact against more high theory-ish affs (or ones that talk about oppression but less in relation to debate/personal identity) than the more social justice-y ones but I don't really have many thoughts on fairness as compared to other impacts against the more high theory-ish affs.
Sort of related to my last point - I don't get this whole procedural vs structural fairness distinction people keep trying to make. Or rather, I get it, but imo it seems like a distinction without a difference, at least how I've heard it explained. Like sure there are different types of fairness and one maybe slightly more controllable than the other but the terminal impact to both (people quit, fun, other args for why ruining the activity matters) seems to be the same so esp when debating an aff talking about a type of oppression esp in relation to debate, the attempt to make a distinction seems not useful and also kind of the point of the impact turns/inevitability arguments the aff usually makes.
2ARs for K affs against framework rarely have success in front of me if a counter-interp is not extended. I find that solely going for impact turns often devolves into having to defend basically that all clash is bad, and in an activity that (presumably, until proven otherwise really) seems to depend on clash in some form, that usually ends up a difficult position to defend. (This applies less to affs that are an impact turn to debate good from the get go, by which I mean the more high theory-ish affs that say the whole thing is bad, and not other affs that usually critique specific parts of it.)
I've found that people are often bad at explaining why debate is good and useful against high theory affs, esp the ones that explicitly say debate (the whole thing and not just like certain specific aspects) is bad/useless. I spend a great deal of my time doing things related to this activity, and I'd like to think it's not completely a waste, so it shouldn't be hard to convince me that debate has some value, yet I have found myself voting for the argument that it does not in the past. Negs need to make sure they tell me what that value(s) of debate is/could be, etc. when pushed by the aff. Or even just pointing out that while isolating certain values of debate is difficult, the fact that we all clearly spend some time doing the activity means something, etc.
Truth testing has not been an argument with much success in front of me. By truth testing, I mean what people generally seem to say in front of me, which is some version of: if the aff is unpredictable and the neg wins they could not (or should not) have prepared for it, then since it could not be tested I should assume everything the aff says about the aff is false. Generally speaking when a team spends minutes of each speech explaining an aff and the explanation makes sense to me, I'm not just going to decide that the neg perhaps not having answers means all the plausible/convincing things the aff said are wholesale not true. To me this argument is really no different than saying new affs should also be presumed untrue if the neg isn't ready for one and thus the aff couldn't be tested, and that I think is generally considered to be a not-great arg by most people. I find truth-testing more persuasive when the impact is some version of the argument that it's key to searching for the best method to resist things, like the aff's impact(s).
In a similar vein to my last point, a counter-interp for affs in these debates should be clearly explained - this means telling me what it is supposed to solve vs not, so this includes making sure it's clear why it doesn't link to your own offense. On a basic level, counter-interp explanations should include a description of the role of the neg in debates and (in most situations) also how you still allow for clash. Neg teams should point out when affs fail to do so, or do so unconvincingly (i.e. explain why the counter-interp doesn't actually solve any of your impacts and/or why it links to their offense).
It makes zero sense to me when neg teams try to have squirrely interps to try and get out of aff offense when those interps involve basically saying the aff is beholden to meeting certain parts of the resolution but not others (seems to be kind of arbitrary and unpredictable and a great justification for the aff choosing to pick a different part of the resolution to not meet).
Affs should clearly explain the internal link between the neg's intepretation and their impact turns. Notice I said interpretation, and not just explain why *framework* causes the impact turns, i.e. be specific to the neg's interpretation instead of making generalizing claims about framework debates.
There have been many times the aff almost completely concedes the neg's topical version of the aff and it doesn't help the neg in any way. This is not to say that I hate topical versions of the aff lol, and PLEASE affs do not take this to mean you can just not answer them bc I'm sure that now that this is my philosophy, I will vote on a conceded tva the very next time I judge framework, but negs should try to understand the point of the aff a little more. Basically, if your tva and explanation of it against all affs that discuss race issues is the exact same, then it's probably not a great tva, at least for me.
I rarely find it convincing when neg teams try to go for the Lundberg card as a reason for why the aff's interp causes extinction or why the neg's interp solves it, due to having never heard a plausible causal internal link chain between a framework interp and extinction. I'm honestly pretty convinced that I will never hear one. This is like my version of all the philosophies that say something along the lines of "stop saying framework is genocide". Which btw is true but not something I've found necessary to include in my philosophy although I guess I kind of have now.
Yes, please, to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Varsity Debater at Liberty University - 2N
~ DO YOU - seriously. If you have to adjust your style to debate in front of me, that implicates a very real and very large problem within the debate community. I was taught by a pretty large squad with a variety of debate backgrounds and I will genuinely attempt to vote off the flow.
~ Tech over truth but framing influences tech. You can win line by line and absolutely take the L on a poorly handled framing argument that a good 2N/2A cross-applies in their final speech. K teams, the best tech is truth - there's nothing harder to beat than a K team with a plethora of examples.
~ Organization and explanation are key. Warrants, warrants, warrants. Keep the flows neat and it's easier for me to vote. Don't go for too many links.
~ Evidence matters -particularly between two policy teams. But a strong, unanswered, warranted analysis can, like I said, flip the ballot. At the end of the debate, if the embedded clash is strong, I'll err on the side of whoever reads the best (most recent and most detailed) piece of evidence for that argument.
~ Speed-Reading is Fine - final speeches should be a combination of both big picture at the top/bottom and line by line
~ Extensions - Shallow extensions like "Extend my case from the last speech" are not extensions. If you want me to evaluate it, explain it. If it goes conceded, do a light explanation of why it takes out/comes before the NEG's arguments. All arguments need to be claim + warrant + impact. That includes extensions.
~ Ballot Trends - After judging for a bit, I noticed that in close clash rounds I err affirmative *regardless of whether the affirmative is a critical-style affirmative or a policy-style affirmative.* Fair warning—don't make it close; neg, handle your framing.
- Things I love: a good counterplan, a strong case debate, a clear DA, small and technical 1ACs, impact turns.
- On the aff, I always read small, technical affirmatives so I'm perfectly fine with your questionably-topical 1AC. Just be ready to defend it.
- If you read more than 3 conditional advocacies, it's probably easier to persuade me you're doing something abusive than in other rounds. I'm pretty neutral in terms of how I view theory - if you do something "abusive" but can defend it on the line by line than you do you (especially with PICS).
- 2AR framing should explain to me why my ballot starts with the AFF's impacts then go from there.
Versus K Teams
- If you're going for the perm, go for the perm. (You should also almost always go for the perm)
- "Util outweighs" is not an argument. Give me warrants and contextualization. You can't just win your aff you also have to beat the K. Best place to start is the Alternative debate.
- I ran and will vote on Framework but I am not emotionally attached to framework as an argument. If you don't explain to me why framework is a pre-req to the knowledge production of the round you will lose. If you don't engage the affirmative, you will lose. Framework is best won when coupled with an intense case debate - do your research.
On the AFF:
- go for the impact turns versus framework. "We meet" might be a fair, even true, argument but 9/10 times the impact turn is harder to beat and more persuasive.
- fairness makes the most sense to me as an internal link to education. That being said, you should explain how every facet of the debate space ties back to how and what we learn - this is the strength of the K.
- Great K teams beat policy teams on the framing and drop that framing down into the tech in the rebuttals. Framing is how I interpret the flow - you should do that line by line reinterpretation for me through the lens of the K.
- Against a K, go for exclusion arguments against the alternative as a justification for the permutation. Perm you do you, we do us.
On the neg:
- Most K teams I have debated/judged aren't the best at convincing me not to weigh the aff. I don't even think you have to win "don't weigh the aff" so much as "this is how you weigh the aff." That's the framing debate and should be prioritized.
- Ontology arguments are most persuasive to me when coupled with an abundance of historical examples. Truth is the best tech.
- The more particular the links, the better. The specifics of how the aff makes x link worse should be fleshed-out thoroughly in the block.
- Treat the perm like a counterplan - explain what solvency deficits it has, what the impacts to those solvency deficits are, and try to garner external offense to the permutation.
- I'm an English major who spends most of my time reading, writing, and researching critical theory. That being said, I find myself genuinely irritated when debaters attempt to mash together authors who would fundamentally disagree on how the world and violence operates. If you know the backgrounds of theorists and theories well enough, you can absolutely hash that out on the perm debate as a reason why the AFF doesn't capture the alternative.
CX: it's binding and I'll flow it/pay aggressive attention to it. CX is my favorite speech - take advantage of it and save time.
1. I will absolutely raise your speaks if you make me laugh. Sidenote: I love bad puns.
2. Lower your speaks with: card clipping, stealing prep, being racist, sexist, ableist, or overtly offensive in rhetoric or actions, making CX a shouting match.
Judge Background: Debater at Liberty University
2 years of college policy debate - both 2N/2A
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I have no particular lit preference though I am most familiar with policy arguments. It's fine if you read a K, but you have to explain. I don't understand it I won't flow it. You have to win a link to the aff for me to vote for a K.
Remember organization and explanation - warranted analytics are tied with evidence in terms of importance
Speed reading is fine but you need to be clear.
A good analytic can go a long way.
Extensions - Shallow extensions like "Extend my case from the last speech" are not extensions. If you want me to evaluate it, explain it. Anything that goes unaddressed has been functionally conceded.
Debate what you want, give reasons for it.
I'm not up to date with this year's topic so don't assume I'll know your aff.
University of Kentucky ‘20
add me to the email chain: genevieveelise1028 at gmail dot com
Currently a part time coach at the University of Kentucky. I know very little about the topic so please take that into account.
I don't like it. That is obviously not your fault, but to help be 5% slower and 50% clearer than you might usually be. I find it more difficult to flow when I can't see you talk as easily as an in-person debate, so you should take that into account and really adjust accordingly.
I am frustrated by the number of teams who have given orders, started speeches, etc without checking to make sure I am there. I am trying my best by keeping my camera on & only turning it off when I leave the room, and occasionally I even leave the camera on when I leave the room to make it particularly obvious that I am not present (even though I *really* don't like leaving you staring at my room) and people are still doing this. I know online debate is hard, but please! make sure I am here! I want to hear what you have to say!
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.
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.
I judge K's as I would any other argument - I think they need to have a clearly explained link, internal link, impact, and alternative. I default to being a policymaker unless I am convinced I should do something else. 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 be much more likely to understand what you are trying to communicate.
I have found myself voting both ways in framework debates, but am usually persuaded by the benefits of clash, procedural fairness, etc. However, I think I find myself voting aff most often when the aff has a well articulated impact turn to the resolution that beats the topical version of the aff. I generally find that if you defend that the direction of the resolution is a good idea, having a very concrete defense of why defending the resolution itself is bad is going to be the crucial focal point of the debate. Clash is a terminal impact.
Misc Quirks/Things that could impact points:
I think conditionality is good. I very much believe proliferation is bad (whether or not it might occur due to the plan is a different question!).
Be efficient about your time: don't waste time between ending prep and giving a speech
Time your own speech and prep
My facial expressions are likely unrelated to the things you are saying.
Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Claiming you said words you did not say is an L.
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 > 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. Where that line is is entirely up to me.
***I will fill this in or UD this when needed – I’m learning about my judging as the year progresses***
- Let me preface this w/ saying the 2019-2020 year (Space topic) is my first year out from debating, so do as you will with that.
- Yeah add me to the chain…Please don’t use my old email that some of you know—use this one: firstname.lastname@example.org
- ***I seek to judge the round that occurred in front of me & to not only give feedback, but to also learn from you all [because you’re valid & you work hard on your arguments]. Every judge should come into a round with the openness to listen to the debaters b/c it isn’t their career #iSaidWhatiSaid. But if you saying something racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist or problematic to anyone, then it’s a no-go. Other than that, DO YOU because you can’t let NO haters stop you from doing what you want in your career and that’s on period.***
- I’m a graduate student at Baylor. I debated four years at Liberty starting as a novice until my senior year where I ended my career as a 2x NDT octafinalist, CEDA quarterfinalist, & a first-round recipient. I did policy my novice year & more critical stuff my last three years. 1A/2N.
- Here’s how I would pref me if I was still debating (1: good – 4: eh).
Kritiks (identity politics): 1
Kritiks (high theory tingz): 4
Policy (Soft left): 2/3
Policy (Heg): ¾
- If you’re reading this before the round & you just need the basics: Big picture stories are my jam (i.e.- here’s the main story and how the aff implicates xyz OR how the aff does xyz bad thing). I LOVE ballot framing (i.e.- what we here for?). Condensed debates are always more nuanced (i.e.- sitting on a particular arg). I typically work backwards (i.e.- I evaluate the debate from the 2ar/2nr and circle what’s important/key args…So if it is important in the 1NC/1AC- make sure you have it in the 2NR/2AR). Don’t assume I know your lango on the K or the latest updates on the DA (i.e.- *insert big words* without explaining b/c you assume I know it won’t be the best thing to do). Last thing, have fun & be petty (not rude) – I know debate sometimes forces people to take everything so seriously all the time, but I promise it’s SO much better if you just doing you & having a good time!
Here’s the tea on your particular args:
· I actually love a good disad debate! I think that a good link wall in the block is killer & it puts the aff in tougher positions.
· I think empirics that prove the story-line of the DA is SO helpful & slept on. (i.e.- this happened previously when X, which resulted in Y, but the distinction now is Z).
· To make these debates more juicy, I do think that there needs to be more impact distinction and framing than typical (i.e.- if y’all are both going for war scenarios, I need you to tell me more about why your scenario comes first or is more probable).
· Ehhhh, if counterplans are you’re thing, I think you need to make sure you’re highlighting a few things for me: why it competes, (if there are) what parts of the aff do you do, & explaining the nuances/planks(if any) of the CP. I think having an overview that is precise & slowing down on that portion would be very beneficial if you’re going for the CP.
· Internal NBs are good, tbh (obvi external ones are as well). Just make sure you explain how the CP avoids said NB.
· If you’re going for/answering theory args, slow down! If you think you’re going to win a theory argument that was 5 seconds of speeding through your block, then lololol no.
Kritik (Identity based args) aff/neg-
· If this is your thing, do you! These debates are best when you isolate an understanding of how power operates in a simplistic way.
· If you’re going for “it’s a question of orientation” or “what we do in the face of X” – I’m good for you, but don’t shy away from explaining why that orientation is important, along with why the aff is necessary.
· I just think making sure you explain your stories interaction with the power you claim puts you in a better position—along with a way to navigate and/or solve said issue.
Kritik (POMO, etc) aff/neg-
· High theory? Make it low. I understand that some of y’all are deep-deep-deep in the archives with whatever lit base you come from, but remember that we aren’t. If you can’t explain to me in translation what you’re saying in the most basic form possible, then I may not be the best for you.
· Make applications, please. The way I can process something that is complex is by making sure I understand it in conjunction to said example.
· Mmm, yeah just explain everything v. simple & you’ll be fine.
Kritik (Security, Cap)-
· These are both viable options that I think are strategic. I think most policy-sided teams get so used to the DA debate that they don’t do well on explaining the theory of cap. I think a little more time on this in relation to the aff will do y’all justice.
· I do think that having/making contextualized links will make it more useful for you in the long run. (i.e.- having an identity ptx link, but then utilizing that in the block to explain how the aff manifest said link *we know they are this b/c the 1ac/2ac said….which means that…)
· **[THIS APPLIES TO ALL THE KRITIKS PORTION THOUGH] Make sure if you’re going for the alternative, you explain how that alt is able to overcome the links you’ve made. (If you can’t articulate why the alt solves the link, then you’re in a rough spot).
· No, they aren’t the same. But it is up to you to explain the difference to me.
· So one of the things that I clearly wait/listen for in the 2NR is a clear interpretation extension. In my career, I found that for critical debaters its always an uphill battle versus FW & they have to explain everything so thoroughly – but somehow fw/t debaters can win on these arguments b/c “we know what they meant” or “its clear what their interp is”…yeah, no! If it ain’t there & the aff points it out, then that’s not good for you. I do think T can be done and done good versus critical debaters (think Michigan GW or Harvard CM/MS), but I think mediocrity shouldn’t be tolerated.
· Fairness is an impact.
· Insofar as T goes, make sure you have definitions that are clearly extrapolating what your interpretation would justify/mean.
· TVA’s are poppin’—so yes, have some.
· I also think you should contextualize everything to the particular aff and CONTEST THE AFF on some level, please.
· Slow down on them, please. I’m not going to get all 17 points in twenty seconds if you blazing through them.
· Can be strategic for final speeches, but time needs to be allocated there earlier if that will be your option in final speeches.
· Read your blocks, but also answer their particular theory arg about why what you did/do is bad.
If something is unclear or you want to ask me a question about a particular argument, email me! I enjoy talking about how we think about debate. Have fun!
Coach for SA Harlem North Central. Approach to policy debate is stock issues and policymaker. Don't mind spreading but prefer e-disclosure for rapid readers. Prefer a few well-developed arguments rather than many shallow arguments. Prefer resolution of substantive issues over communication. I will vote on Topicality if Aff fails to properly respond. CPs and generic DAs acceptable. Debate theory arguments acceptable. Don't love conditional neg positions but will vote if done correctly. K's are acceptable but want links to stock issues to still prevail, don't want case to go completely ignored by the Neg. I have not found a performative compelling enough to vote on. Will ALMOST ALWAYS vote against problematic language; 100% of the time when opposition team makes it a voting issues.
TOC PF Paradigm
Name: Alexa Kathol
School Affiliation: Liberty University
Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 3
Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 2
Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 0
Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 3
Speed of Delivery: Any is fine as long as you're clear.
Format of Summary Speeches: I like line by line and big picture
Role of the Final Focus: convince me to vote for you
You should extend Arguments into later speeches
For Topicality, Plans, and Kritiks see below
Flowing: I will flow all your speeches matching up answered args
I think Argumentation is important as this is a debate activity but I also appreciate good persuasion. I think both are essential for a winning ballot.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? YES
If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? In your 1st speech, I understand that you have a prewritten script, but it will gain you extra points to refute some of the main points mentioned in your opponent's first speech. However, I will not penalize you for NOT doing so and you can each refute each other's each side's 2nd speech.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No, if these points have been touched on throughout the round I will evaluate it, but if it's totally out of left field, I won't vote on it since the other side won't get a chance to refute it.
- Debated policy 4 years in HS for BVSW
- Debated policy 1 year for Liberty University
- Debated PFD 2 years in HS
Things I like
- I want to be included on the email chain. Be clear and slow down (especially on tags). If I can’t catch what you’re saying, it won’t get flowed. If I don’t catch the tag, I try to make up a tag based on the warrants of the card you’re reading. But, if I can’t understand what you’re saying in the card it won’t get flowed either
- Explanation is key, especially throughout rebuttals. I am super unfamiliar with this topic and tend to not vote on things that don’t make sense to me.
- Be organized, especially on the flow. Easier flowing gives you an easier win.
- Tell me why I should vote for you. If you leave doors open, both you and I will end up frustrated.
- I prefer plan texts, but college debate has made me appreciate non-traditional affs. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means on the lit, but I have a general knowledge. That being said, it’s important to me that things are clearly articulated
- When I’m aff I hate cheating CP’s, when I’m neg, I love them lol. Feel free to run CPs. Just make sure they’re well explained. And try not to be too abusive. But, if the aff doesn’t call you out on your abuse, then more power to ya
- I tend to lean more aff on stupid process or consult CPs, but I appreciate a good PIC
- Even though in the real world PTX disads make less than no sense, I was (and still am) a huge policy hack. Again, explanation is key. Topic DA’s are also encouraged. Disads, in general, are good. Make sure you have a solid link though. I am persuaded by aff’s no link and link turn args
- Impact calc is awesome! I also love turns case/solves case args too. They’re usually dropped by the aff and make it an easy way to vote neg
- I’m most familiar with policy leaning K’s like cap or biopower. But I have (unfortunately) had my runs in’s with just about every K you can imagine. The hardest part to win is the alt. I have never heard a good/meaningful/logical explanation of an alt. I am super persuaded by affs that say vague alts bad. I’ve lost to psychoanalysis and the death K before, so I feel sympathetic towards aff’s answers. That being said though, I usually lean tech over truth, so a dropped argument is a true argument for the most part. You don’t have to be dissuaded from going for a K, just realize I have a high threshold for voting on it.
- On FW, I think that aff should be weighed against the K, so the alt needs to have a clear competitive advantage over the aff.
- I love a good T debate. A lot of teams run it as a time suck, which to me is just a wasted sheet of paper. If an aff is blatantly topical, or if it’s the heart of the topic, there needs to be a good explanation and specific examples why the aff is particularly abusive.
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!
Add me to your e-mail chain at email@example.com
Tips: Make sure that you are speaking loud and clear. I am not going to chase you down to understand what you are saying, so make both of our lives easier by following this direction.
I do not prefer to vote on topicality, but I will do so if the aff can not clearly state how they are on topic.
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!
Debated for Liberty University.
Current: University of Florida
Yes email chain: email@example.com
TLDR: Do not feel the need to adapt to my preferences I will do my best to judge fairly. Be persuasive and tell me why arguments are important. Dropped arguments are true arguments, but you need to still explain them and why they matter.
Slow down on analytics people can only write/type so fast, so slow down if you want me to flow it all. Same applies for theory arguments.
I do not have a concrete method for assigning speaker points. That being said things that help are: clarity, volume (not a big fan of barely being able to hear someone), cross ex (good questions/good answers), and strategic decisions.
K: Have a specific link to plan action/reps/epistemology makes it a lot easier to win instead of generic state links- those are cool and all, but at least contextualize it. Many times bad link debating is done so that the link explanation could have been read against any affirmative on any topic. Those are bad ways of explaining a link and it should be articulated in context of the round that is being had. That can take a variety of forms such as reading through the other team's evidence and pulling quotes that prove your link argument or the logic of the link. It could also take the form of using the answers that other teams provide in cross ex. Each link should have it's own unique impact and it would behoove you to explain how the link turns the case.
Framing for these debates is essential and direction is key for what to prioritize. It's nice to win the alternative, but I don't think it's necessary. IF you are not going for the alternative make it clear otherwise I will evaluate the perm and whether the alt can overcome the instances of the links.
CP: A good CP and DA combo is a solid option for the 2NR. I also enjoy well thought out PIC's. CP's don't necessarily need evidence, but it is preferred (solvency advocate theory is probably a good arg against this).
Maybe it's just me, but after a team spreads through the planks and card for a CP I am still somewhat unsure what it does. Explanation is important in terms of explaining how it solves and why it is different from the affirmative.
DA: Explain it well and it's interaction with the case. You need to do the analysis of why it outweighs the case or turns it. Do comparative evidence analysis and provide reasons why their evidence is not as warranted or does not really answer the DA and tell me why your evidence is better. That does not mean "our ev post dates by 3 days so it's better", but rather "our evidence analyzes long term trends through X method that provides a predictive claim, and their's is an opinion article".
T: Not really a big T expert, so explanation is key.
Generally I believe that over limiting is better than under limiting due to in depth research providing better education. Provide a coherent view of what the topic would look like without the limit that you set on it versus what the affirmative justifies when you are impacting out the T debate. That could include a case list that they justify that explodes research burdens or specific ground loss. You do not have to win in round abuse. Just impact it out well and you should be good.
Analyze the other teams evidence and make smart args against it. I think that is specifically true in the context of things like T subs (some ev makes claims of what substantial is not, but does not set a standard for what is substantial).
Framework: Strategic and I vote on it. However, I think that there are a few different ways to do it that are less offensive / more strategic. Top level winning that debate is a game probably means that fairness is an impact, but that work needs to be done. If education is the impact you are going for there must be good reasons why policy education is desirable or better than critical education. I think it is less strategic to make arguments like "our education spills over and we can one day do _____ to change the system"... that relies on a notion of spill over from policy education. If that is true, why then does that spillover not apply to the affirmative and their method/epistemology?
Theory: Dropped theory arguments are pretty easy to vote on, so don't drop them. Provide a reason why the abuse outweighs any other possible impact and make it a big deal. Just don't blaze through it and expect to win even if it was dropped.
-Policy AFF's: Tell a coherent story and do good impact calculus. Often times teams forget to do that and it's a super important part of the last rebuttals. If you are reading a hard right AFF I find it is better to just stick with it and go for util/death outweighs. I really do think it's more strategic against the criticism to go hard right.
-K AFF's: I think there is a great value to critical affirmatives. Just be prepared for the framework debate and explain why your model of debate is better or have disads to their model. I find it very helpful when critical affirmative provide examples and have in depth historical knowledge about their theory. In addition, providing examples of things the aff could do or would do helps to materialize some of the theory that can make it easier to grasp especially if it is not a literature base I am familiar with.
I typically find that most teams are not ready to defend the entirety of their aff, so if you are negative against a K aff I think that a well developed PIK argument and some case arguments are rather strategic.
There is no single way to my ballot and there are often a variety of strategies that can work in the debate. Be smart and strategic... I often find that the debates I enjoy the most are guided by bold choices from the debaters.
Be nice to other debaters. That doesn't mean you can't be witty or funny just be respectful of others. I think debate is a great activity to make new friends and to enjoy yourself. There is no need to take yourself and other people too seriously, creating a fun environment to debate in makes debates 100% more enjoyable. Jokes are also appreciated. On second thought... maybe don't.
I am a former High School and College Policy Debater.
Clean, and organized flow, and a well thought out strategy/Aff's.
I'm fine with all off case arguments. However, I am not going to do the work for you. It is your job to articulate arguments, what I should do with them, and the overall implications/risk/impact analysis.
Personal Debate History- I am in my late years of collegiate debate i have spent a year at Liberty University debating, 2 years at GMU, and all 4 years of high school in debate. I have participated in speech events, LD, PF, Congress, and Policy. I am a kritikal debater normally going 1 off in my negative strategies in college. The literature areas i have experience in are capitalism, Neolib, Biopower, Securitization, semiotics, psychoanalysis, and others. I am a 2n.
- You should assume that I am not up on the literature you have read. You should not expect me to know every acronym or all the latest developments in your DA scenario, nor should you assume that I understand all of the jargon in your K. Err on the side of ,at least, briefly explaining a concept before jumping into the intricacies of your argument.
- Defense can win debates and I have no problem pulling the trigger on presumption. I can be compelled that there is 0% risk of solvency to an affirmative case, or that there is no internal link within a DA. "There's a 1% chance that we're good for the world" is not a sufficient justification unless you provide a reason for why the opposing team's defensive argument is false or simply mitigates your claim (rather than taking it out terminally).
- I have a tendency to be somewhat expressive. If I find something stupid happening within a debate, I will likely face-palm, and/or shake my head; if I didn't understand you, I will give you a quizzical look. You should look up occasionally and take hints from the visual cues that I am sending. I won't make verbal interjections within a debate unless you're being unclear in which case i will say clear twice
- There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude. Don't cross it. If you don't know the difference, just watch for how I react
Some specific concerns:
Topicality-- I default to competing interpretations . To make these debates even close to enjoyable for me this requires an explicit list of what specific cases your interpretation permits and why this is beneficial for the activity. As for "Kritiks of T": I tend not to view these as RVIs, but instead as counter-standards that privilege an alternate debate curriculum that is more important than traditional conceptions. Negatives that plan on defending T against these criticisms should not only maintain that the 1AC does not meet what they view as fair and educational debate, but also need to go into a more specific discussion that impacts why their vision of a fair and educational debate is good and why the negative's alternate curriculum is worse in comparison.
Theory-- pretty similar to T debates but the one difference is that I will default to "reject the argument, not the team" unless given a reason otherwise. I have been known to go for cheapshots, but these require fulfilling a high standard of execution (a fully warranted and impacted explanation of your cheapshot, and closing the doors on any cross-applications the aff can make from other flows). Stylistically speaking, slowing down in these debates will help me put more ink on your side of the flow--otherwise I may miss a part of your argument that you find important. Additionally, a well-thought out interpretation and 3 warranted arguments regarding why a particular practice in debate is bad is significantly stronger than a blippy, generic re-hashing of a 10-point block.
Straight-up Strategies-- My favorite strategies often involve more than one or more of the following: a good t spec debate , topic specific DA(s), the one off strategy whether it be framework or the k, and a solid amount of time allocated to case turns/defense.
K and Performance Strategies-- I enjoy philosophy and have spent a significant chunk of my free time reading/understanding K and performance arguments. My familiarity with this style of debating makes it a double-edged sword. I will be very impressed if you command significant knowledge about the theory at hand and are able to apply them to the case through examples from popular culture or empirical/historical situations. On the other hand, if you fail to explain basic theoretical ideas within the scope of the K or fail to engage particular points of contention presented by the affirmative, I will be thoroughly unimpressed. Similarly, when opposing a K or performance, I am much more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that not only substantively engage the K but thoroughly defend why your theorization of politics and interaction with the social should be preferred, rather than a generic 50 point survey of claims that are made by positivist thinkers. This is not to say that generic "greatest hits" style arguments have no value, but they certainly need to be backed up with a defense of the conceptual framing of your 1AC (eg, if the negative wins that the kritik turns the case or a no v2l claim, I'm not sure what "predictions good" or "cede the political" does for the affirmative). In terms of a theory/framework debate, I am much less likely to be persuaded by generic "wrong forum" claims but will be more likely to be compelled by arguments pointing to abusive sections of the specific K that is being run (eg, the nature of the alt).
Other notes - please for gods sake slow down on your analytics on theory and t flows. The reason behind this is two fold.
1. I don't ever run these arguments so I'm not as likely to be able to fill in gaps if i miss something.
2. rushing through these issues makes it seem like this is a time trade off and not an investment to win, thus i will be thoroughly less persuaded by the arg and hold a much higher threshold if you do in fact get to go for it.
I WILL NOT VOTE ON REJECTIONS OF SCHOOLS OR SPECIFIC DEBATERS
the above does not mean i wont vote a team down for bad rhetoric, offensive acts or speech, or making the space physically unsafe. What this means is that this must become a problem in the round i am judging, must be made a disadvantage or reason to reject a team in that round, and be well impacted on why this is bad for the community as a whole to follow the precedent of the actions i would be rejecting. I will not and i repeat i will not just vote for args like Dan is bad for debate he does x y or z outside of round, or vote against Dan he goes to x school which is bad for debate.
Judges who i aspire to juddge like / places to look if im missing something - Rakeem Robinson, Lindsey Shook, Ben Hagwood, and Brad Boman
I do wish to be on all email chains - my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
speaker point scale
29-30 - Not college - your'e doing things at a collegiate level - collegiate level - youre teaching me about debate
28.5 - 29 you're above what i expected out of a round based on your peers at a given tournament
28-28.5 your'e performing on average as well as your peers at your tournament
27.5 - 28 - you've made a mistake which makes you seem like a weaker debater than where your skills are / you were rude and or disrespectful
27-27.5 - you need to improve your debate skills to be able to compete at your current division at this tournament
sub 27 - you were inappropriate
Niles West High School '14
University of Kentucky '18
Coach at Northwestern University
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.
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 we had clearer rules for what we considered 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 occuring, depending on what the aff defends in the 1ac.
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.
I feel similarly about theory. It's hard for me to take theory arguments seriously when they're not in response to some seriously problematic practice. Debate is supposed to be hard. People are way too quick to claim something made debate 'impossible'.
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.
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.
I usually think the link is the most important part of an argument
My background is in progressive politics and nonprofit work. #tugatmyheartstrings
Former debate coach, current history teacher. Familiar in policy, congressional, and parli. Have also judged PF and LD.
As a judge, I’m looking forward to hearing your arguments, not watching theatrics. Debate decorum is important to me; meaning: stand up when you speak, speak loud and clear, spread if you must but enunciate, and most importantly be respectful to all persons in the room. I am fine with open cross-x so long as all debaters agree to it.
I enjoy CP's and DisAds for a Neg.
T: I don't usually make my decision on this unless there is very little else to decide upon. But pull it out if you want, I DEF have decided rounds solely on T before. But if you are using T AND a CP AND DisAds, that's nonsense bc you have lost no ground. Always debate strategically AND wisely.
Kritiks: Make sure it links or I won't vote for it. Know your lit. Bc if it is evident that you don't know it, I can't vote for you.
Watch me. If I am not flowing, it is probably because:
1) I have decided that particular issue is a non-voter
2) I can't follow you
3) I have already made up my mind because of an egregious error
Good luck, debaters!
Assistant Debate Coach - Niles North
Former Niles West and MSU debater
Late elims of multiple National Circuit tournaments + TOC - Senior Year
Paradigm Update re: Kritiks - 11/28/16
I feel it necessary to be a bit more specific with regards to kritik debates. I have absolutely no issues with kritiks in general - I think they're an absolute necessity for a comprehensive analysis of any policy/topic. However, I do take issue with how kritiks are deployed these days. In a lot of debates I see a striking lack of specific link analysis, along with an absence of turns case arguments based on those links. You should ask yourself this question before any speech which includes extending a kritik: Could I give this speech against any aff, or is my speech/links/overview specific to the aff at hand (and its particular impacts and advantages)? I'm not sure what happened over the past 2 or 3 years, but people need to get back into tailoring their kriticisms to the specific aff being debated. Ask yourself this as well: why not be more specific? Specificity is the best way to take your kritik debating to the next level.
^ You won't be penalized in any way for not doing this - just a thought. ^
I'm very open-minded when it comes to debate, by which I mean that I will listen to any argument and evaluate it as long as it is explained and impacted throughout the round. Do not take this statement as an indication that I don't know anything about debate - I just don't see the value in specifying how I perceive each component of each type of argument.
That being said, I do have some specific argumentative preferences and thoughts on the current direction of policy debate. I truly believe in the importance of stasis in debate rounds, and while I would never mandate that any team has to read a straight-up USFG policy aff with a plan text I do believe in the importance of being somewhat connected to the topic. When I say connected to the topic I don't mean, to provide a broad and somewhat extreme example, "we said the word 'China' or 'engagement' during our 1AC" but rather a concerted and concise effort at increasing relevant education for the topic with whatever distinct mechanism you choose. Once you decide to go down that road (i.e. advocacy statement etc.) I think the discussion should then revolve around whether or not the mechanism of the aff sheds new light on the typical USFG approach and its impact on the government and whether or not the education that the aff brings to the table is relevant and can be negated based on this relevance. I find the approach of acting as if we can just completely sidestep the government and its bad practices very problematic - the government is here to stay and it unquestionably plays a large role in shaping society and oppression, and thus you can feel free to not advocate a policy action through the USFG but you'd better justify that approach.
*This is not to say that you should feel uncomfortable reading these kinds of arguments in front of me*
On the Framework side of the debate: I don't understand the disdain that now exists for Framework as an argument. The only explanation I have is that people are just bad at running Framework. If run correctly, I think Framework debate creates some of the most fruitful and beneficial debates possible for this activity. Framework is properly argued as a critique of Methodology, not some sort of abstract Topicality argument. Any Framework extension should devote a large amount of time to a Topical version of the Aff, and your impacts and turns case analysis should be based around the aff's deviation from said topical version of the aff.
I participated in four years of policy debate in high school and I debated four years at Western Kentucky University.
I am open to anything and I try to be as tab as possible. Just use warrants in your argumentation, even if it is theory. If an argument has absolutely no warrant and is just a claim, there is a chance I still won't vote on it even if it is 100% conceded. That is to say, if you just say conditionality is bad because of fairness and education, that is a series of claims without warrants, and thus is unpersuasive even if the other team doesn't address it. However, if a poorly warranted claim goes conceded, then I will not necessarily adjudicate the strength of the warrant as it is the other team's obligation to defeat this warrant, and as such I will take the warrant as true unless it is unintelligible or utterly absurd. I will default as a policymaker if you don't put me in a competing paradigm.
When adjudicating competing claims, it is my hope that debaters will engage in evidence comparison. However, if two contradictory claims are made, and no one weighs the strength of the internal warrants of the evidence, then I will likely call for the evidence to adjudicate which claim is more strongly warranted (assuming the argument may be part of my reason for decision). Same goes with topicality. I am 50/50 in voting for topicality, and I default competing interpretations.
If you are running critical/performance arguments, please be familiar with the argument and able to intellectually defend it. My personal preference when I debate is usually policy-oriented discussions and my personal bias is that switch-side policy debate is good, but I don't let this inform my decision in the round. At the same time, I think that non-traditional forms of debate are an important component of the community and have an important message to broadcast, and as such, I have voted for performance affs in the past.
The following is a preference and not a requirement. It is common for me to judge teams running non-traditional forms of arguments and personally be unfamiliar with the literature base. Thus, it is probably in your interest to ask if I'm familiar with a non-traditional argument prior to the round unless you plan to explain it extensively in the round. An argument is inherently less persuasive when the messenger also does not fully understand it, and the debate is probably less educational for everyone involved as a result. In general, I think you should be familiar with any argument you read before you deploy it in-round, but I've found this is more frequently an issue when high school debaters deploy the critical literature base. If I don't think you are familiar with your argument, I won't hold it against you in my RFD (although it will inform my speaker points), but it will probably influence whether you are able to effectively deploy the argument on the flow, where I will vote.
Finally, you should tell me explicitly how the RFD should be written if you win so I can understand your vision of the round. If you do not have ballot directing language, I will use my own judgment to write the RFD, so it is in your interest to write the RFD for me.
Robbie Quinn, coach at Montgomery Bell Academy, mucho judging on this topic, which is the one with ASPEC, Consult NATO, and the Death K.
I have no prejudices toward any argument type. I do have prejudices to people who don't have fun. You have to have fun. I'm a librarian, so at the very least you can have fun making fun of that.
I determine which way to evaluate any argument based on who most convinces me of the superiority of a certain way to evaluate it.
I like humor, stories, and creative uses of historical examples. Cross-ex is very important to me and I watch it closely. I think it sways my thinking on key issues. What judge won't admit to actively monitoring who seems to be winning? Cross-ex, to me, is a powerful barometer of that.
Things I've been telling debaters lately that make me feel like I am incredibly awesome but are really just things that everybody knows that I rephrased into something snappy and I'm taking credit for:
1. Don't unnecessarily cut people off in CX. The best CX questions are the ones they can't answer well even if they had all 3 minutes to speak.
2. Be a guardian of good debate. Yes, debate's a changing network of ideas and people, and winning a debate on bad arguments isn't a crime punishable by death. But I reward debaters who seek to win on good arguments. I love good debates. I don't like making "easy" decisions to vote on bad arguments, even though I often do.
3. The most sensible kritik alternatives to me are the ones that defend the idea of a critical-political resistance to the assumptions of the plan and how that idea works in real-world situations. Even if an alternative isn't as cleanly recognizable or linear as the passage and enforcement of a piece of legislation, that doesn't mean that it can't be something concrete. I watch so many bad kritik debates that are bad because both sides never give the alternative any sensible role in the debate. I will reward debaters that give up on gimmicky and irrelevant defenses and attacks of kritik alternatives.
Reasons why my judging might mimic the real world:
1. I might be consciously and unconsciously swayed against your arguments if you're a mean person. Humans are good judges of sincerity.
2. I appreciate style. Rhetorical style and the style of your presence. There's a big difference between going-through-the-motions and having presence in a debate.
3. I like endorsing and praising passionate debaters. Lots of people who articulate that "this debate and the discourse in it matter" don't really energize their discourse to make me feel that. On the other hand, lots of people who don't think that "this debate round matters" often sway my thinking because they speak with urgency. I love listening to debates. If you want to speak, I want to hear you.
Me and cards: I'm very particular about which cards I call for after the debate. If there's been evidence comparison/indicts by one side but not the other, that's usually reason for me not to ask for either side's evidence on that question since one team did not engage the evidence clash.
email for email chain (I would prefer to not be on the email chain... if I need evidence I will get it after the round): firstname.lastname@example.org
currently teach and coach debate at Saint Mary's Hall in San Antonio.
high school 4 years cx/ld debate at laredo, tx united
college: 3 years policy at the university of texas at san antonio
coaching: 2 years coaching policy at the university of texas at san antonio, coached nine years as director of debate for reagan high school in san antonio, tx. 1.5 years as the director of speech and debate at San Marcos High School, 2.5 years as director of speech and debate at James Madison High School.
former writer/ researcher for wisecrack: this does not help you.
***note: please don't call me Matt or Matthew, it is jarring and distracts me. If you must refer to me by name please call me reichle [rike-lee].
(updated sections are marked with a *)
Please consider the medium and slow down a bit/ be more purposeful or aware of clarity--the added noises of a house (animals, small children, sirens, etc.) make it a bit harder for me to hear sometimes.
Please try to not talk over one another in cross-examination: it hurts my head.
I proclaim, that I am making a concerted effort to be "in the round" at all times from here on out (I suppose this is my jerry maguire manifesto/ mission statement moment) . I understand the amount of time that everyone puts in this activity and I am going to make a serious effort to concentrate as hard as possible on each debate round that I am lucky enough to judge. I am going to approach each round with the same enthusiasm, vigor, and responsibility that I afford members of a writing group--and as such I am going to treat the post round discussion with the same level of respect.
Ultimately debate is about the debaters, not about the ways in which I can inject my spirit back into the debate format. That being said there are a few things that you might want to know about me.
I debated for four years in the mid-to-late nineties in high school and three years at UTSA. I have debated ‘policy’ debates in several different formats. Because I ended my career on the ‘left’ of the debate spectrum is in no way an automatic endorsement for all out wackiness devoid of any content. That is not saying that I don’t enjoy the ‘critical’ turn in debate—quite the opposite, I like nothing better than a debate that effectively joins form in content.
*I prefer explanation and examples in debates, these make sense to me. The more depth and explanation the better.
*strategy is also something that I reward. I would like to know that you have either thought about your particular strategy in terms of winning the debate round--and I don't mind knowing that you accident-ed your way into a perfect 2nr/ar choice. Either way: the story of the round is important to me and I would like to know how the individual parts of a round fit together (how you understand them). I think this is part of effective communication and it's just helpful for me in case I am missing something. Illumination brought to me (by you) seems to be the crux of getting a decision that is favorable (to you) with me in the back of the room.
*I flow. I may not flow like you, but I keep a flow because my memory isn’t the best and because at some point I was trained to… it just kind of helps me. But I flow in a way that helps me arrange my thoughts and helps me to keep what is said in the debate limited to what is actually spoken by the debaters. I flow the entire round (including as much of the the text of the evidence as I can get) unless I know a piece of evidence that you are reading. That being said… If I can’t understand you (because of lack of clarity) I can’t flow you. also, some differentiation between tag, card, and the next piece of evidence would be great.
Topicality—I don't know why teams don't go for topicality more... it is a viable strategy (when done well in most rounds). In high school I went for T in the 2NR every round. In college I went for T (seriously) no times in the 2NR. While I give Aff’s lenience on reasonability—there is something hot about a block that just rolls with topicality.
*Counterplans/ disads. Sure. Why not. Win net benefits. Answer the perm. Make it competitive. Win your framework (if an alternate framework for evaluation is proposed by the aff). more and more i find the quality of the evidence read for most cp and da's to be shaky at best--not that there isn't great evidence on political capital and the role of popularity in certain aspects of the political economy as it pertains to pending legislation... i just find more and more that this evidence is either written by some rand-o with a blog or is great evidence that is under-hi-lighted. please read good evidence, not evidence that can be written by one of my children on the cartoon network forums section.
Performance/ The K/ the Crazy/Whatever you want to call it: Do what you have to do get your point across. If you need me to do something (see the way I flow) let me know—I will comply willingly. Just warrant your argument somehow. As before, this is in no way a full on endorsement of ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness. Win your framework/ impacts and you should have no problem. Please help me out with the role of the ballot. Please.
*theory: I need to flow. I can not flow a theory debate where the shell is read at the speed of a piece of evidence--tag line speed at the fastest for theory, please. Also if you have no differentiation between tag speed and card speed (good for you) but people are only pretending to flow what you are saying.
*paperless issues: prep time is up when the speaker's jump drive is out of their computer/ when you are ready to email your cards (not continue to write blocks as you 'send' your email). Completely understandable if you send the other team a few more cards than you are going to read but please do not jump the other team an entire file or seventy cards in random order. Learn to send evidence to a speech document.
It becomes harder every year for me to think of a way to encapsulate how I view debate in a way that somehow gives a useful suggestion to debaters. It seems that each philosophy follows a formula--assure everyone that you were a good debater up to and including past experience, make sure they know that you are either open or receptive to all types of argumentation while still harboring resentment to anything progressive and different from what is deemed acceptable by personal debate standards, which is then followed by a list of ways the judge hopes everyone debates.
While the formula will apply to some extent I would like to say that i am in every way honest when I say this: do what you do best and read the arguments that you prefer in the style that you prefer in front of me. Do this and I say unto you that it will do less harm than running around in circles in round for the sake of a paradigm. Be the debater that you are, not who you think I want you to be.
That being said; this is who I assume you should be: kind. Be kind to your opponent and avoid shadiness and we’ll have no problems. There is probably a list that defines shadiness but it follows the same rule as inappropriateness: if you have to ask if something is shady--it is.
have fun. have a nice year.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I'm a hijabi queer, nonbinary, disabled law student. Don't change your debate style too much for me - debate what you know and I'll vote what's on the flow. If you read a K alternative that doesn't involve me (specifically antiblackness Ks), that will not harm your chances of winning. I've seen young debaters stumble and try to make me feel included because they worry I won't like their K because I'm white and not included. You have all the right in the world to look at me and say "judge, this isn't for you it's ours."
At the end of the debate it will come down to impact calculus (framing) and warrants. Please have fun - debate is only worthwhile if we are having fun and learning. Don't take it too seriously, we are all still learning and growing.
Top of the 2AR/2NR should be: "this is why you vote aff/neg" and then give me a list
I was a queer disabled debater at Liberty University. I've run and won on everything from extinction from Trump civil war to rhetoric being a pre-fiat voter. I'll vote on any argument regardless of my personal beliefs BUT YOU MUST GIVE ME WARRANTS. Do not pref me if you are going to be rude or say offensive things. I will dock your speaks. I will call you out on it during the RFD. Do pref me if you read Ks and want to use performative/rhetoric links. Also pref me if you want a ballot on the flow.
Don't just tell me something was conceded - tell me why that is important to the debate.
IMPACT CALC IMPACT CALC IMPACT CALC
Read your NTAs, your soft-left affs, and your hard-right affs. Tell me why your framing is important. Be creative.
Case - stick to your case, don't let the negative make you forget your aff
CP/K - perms and solvency deficits are good
I do love Ks but I also like a good DA. As long as you can explain to me how it functions and interacts with case, I will consider it.
DA - you need a clear articulation of the link to the plan (and for econ, please explain using not just the fancy words and acronyms)
CP - please be competitive, you need to solve at least parts of the aff and you need a clear net benefit
K - you need to link to the plan (or else you become a non-unique DA) and be able to explain the alt in your own words.
Generic Theory Stuff:
T - I have a high threshold for T. you MUST prove abuse IN ROUND to win this argument. you must have all the parts of the T violation.
Other Theory args - just because an arg is dropped doesn't mean I will vote on it, you still must do the work and explain to me why it is a voter. I will not vote on "they dropped 50 state fiat so vote aff" you MUST have warrants.
I WILL VOTE ON REVERSE THEORY VOTERS If you feel their T argument is exclusionary, tell me and prove it. If you feel them reading 5 theory args is a time skew, tell me and prove it.
CX: remember you are convincing me, not your opponent, look at me. These make great ethos moments. Use this strategically, get links for your DA or K, show the abuse for T violations, prove they are perf-con, you get the idea
Speaker Points: give me warrants and ethos and it will be reflected here.
27: You did something really wrong - whether racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic - and we will be talking about it during the RFD
28: You are basically making my expectations, you are doing well but could be doing better.
29: You are killing it. Good ethos is granted to get you here and so will fleshed out warrants
30: Wow. Just wow. There was a moment during a speech or CX where you blew me away.
Whitney Young ‘15
University of Kentucky ‘19
Cornell Law '23 and coaching UK
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.
Slow down a bit - remember we are debating online
I'm pretty expressive when I'm judging so I would look up every once in a while to know how I feel about particular arguments.
First things first- Everyone is always so angry and doesn’t want to be in these debates. No one ENJOYS clash debates. Please be nicer. Substance wise, 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.
Random Policy Things
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
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite
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
I debated at Liberty University and currently a grad student at James Madison. I won a speaker award as a novice in highschool, so you can say I am pretty experienced in debate. Also, Octo-Finals of the NDT.
I view debate as a forum to critically test and challenge approaches to change the world for the better. I prefer in depth debate with developed material that you look like you have a grasp of. I will always work hard to evaluate correctly and with little intervention, especially if you are putting in hard work debating.
Learning debate from within the Liberty tradition I began by running conventional policy arguments with a proclivity to go for whatever K was in the round. However, during my final 3 years my partner and I did not defend the resolution and our 1nc looked very similar to our 1ac. Personally, I’m a believer and coach for advocating liberatory and conscious debate practices. However, there will certainly be a gap at times between my personal preferences and practices and what I vote on. I’m not going to judge from a biased perspective against policy arguments, and although tabula rasa is impossible I will try to evaluate the arguments presented with limited interference.
In terms of arguments, I am not the best judge in the back of a room in a policy throw-down type debate. That said, if I do end up in the back of your room, please slow down when explaining the scenarios and just unpack for me. In terms of K on K debate, I am fine. In terms of Clash, I prefer to judge those types of debate.
FRAMEWORK (when run by the neg):
I think that negatives have the ability to and should engage with affirmatives that don’t defend a normative implementation of a plan. Even if the aff doesn’t defend the resolution there are still many substantive things that they will defend that provide ample ground. Although this ground might not be as predictable as your interpretation on FW calls for, it is still predictable enough to meet the threshold that you should be prepared for it.
Having said that, I think I’m one of those few sick individuals that will actually enjoy listening to framework debates as long as they are well developed on both sides. Granted, I will most likely be a harder sell than most, but I don’t think this should dissuade you from going for it if you think it is your best option. You will need to make inroads to the aff’s arguments by articulating ways traditional debate solves for their impacts. If you lose the impact turn to politics you will not win FW debates. You need to make arguments to the effect of traditional policy debate being key to a better form of politics and articulate net benefits to your interpretation from this. I think that the type of education we foster in debate far outweighs the preservation of the game in the strictest sense. That is to say that fairness claims alone are not the way to persuade me on FW. You should instead use claims of fairness to hedge against the impacts from the aff.
However, the main substance of FW debates (for both sides) should be about the competing benefits to the type of education and scholarship different traditions lead to.
For affirmatives concerning framework strategies, your greatest offense will be specific to your particular argument. I will be more easily persuaded if your aff is connected to the topic. I don’t appreciate aff’s that are written that hide their purpose or are exclusively constructed to impact turn FW. While I prefer some kind of relationship to the topic, I don’t think it is necessary. However, you do lose the ability to make an important strategic argument that other plan-less aff’s should employ, which is that your aff is important to topic education. More developed, this argument should be that your aff is necessary to topic education and that without it the debate ground that is left leads to bad forms of scholarship. That is to say that you aff is essentially topical. This argument is both inherently offensive and also provides the ability to make defensive claims against the neg’s offense.
This is the type of debate that I am most familiar with and have the largest literature base with (I was a philosophy major). However, messy and poor K debates are probably the worst. The key to winning this kind of debate is making the general link and alternative cards as specific as possible to the aff. I am not saying that the key is reading the most specific evidence (although this would be nice, however most of our authors here don’t write in the context of every affirmative), but that you need to find ways to apply the generic concepts to the specifics of the aff. Without this it is easier to be persuaded by the perm.
Teams are responsible for the discourse and performances in which then engage in given the context of the world we are situated in as well as the argument style the team engages in.
Aff’s have a wide range of arguments they can deploy, and are probably best sticking with the ones they are most comfortable with while doing a good job showing how they relate to the critique.
Concerning the perm, it is usually not enough work to simply show how the two different advocacies could work together. At this point it becomes easy to vote on the alternative as a purer form of advocacy without the risk of links. Aff’s should articulate net benefits to the perm to hedge against residual links and different DA’s to the perm itself. Case should be one of these net benefits, but aff’s need to watch out for indicts to foundational assumptions (concerning methodology, epistemology, ontology etc.) behind your impact claims.
Concerning framework: when was the last time a relatively moderate judge decided that the neg shouldn’t be able to run their K? The answer is probably a long time ago. The majority of these debates are compromised in the 1ar by allowing the K given that the aff gets to weigh their impacts after a lot of wasted time by both teams. I can hardly think of a situation where I would be persuaded to only evaluate the plan verses the status quo or a competitive policy option that excluded the alternative. However, I can envision certain ways that this debate goes down that convinces me to discount the impacts of the aff. In general, however, most of debate is illusory (somewhat unfortunately) and these framework questions are about what type of education is more important. If you chose to run framework with you aff you should keep these things in mind concerning your interpretation for debate.
PERFORMANCE or project verses a similar style:
These debates are some of the most important and essential ones for our community, particularly as more and more teams are participating in this form of advocacy. We need to debate and judge in light of this fact. These are also some of the most difficult debates to have. There are several reasons for this, one of the most poignant being the personal nature of these debates combined with the close relationships that most people amongst this insular community have with one another. We need to realize the value in these opportunities and the importance of preserving the pureness of our goals for the debate community. That might mean in some situations that conceding and having a conversation might be the best use of a particular debate space, and in others debating between different competing methodologies is a correct rout to go. In either case we need to realize and cherish common goals. In light of this it isn’t a bad thing to agree with large portions of your opponent’s speeches or even advocacy. Instead of reproducing the gaming paradigm of traditional debate, where competition is valued over advocacy and winning over ethics, we should instead choose to celebrate the areas of alignment we find. Conceding every round where this happens, however, is not a good idea either. This would send a message to the debate community that debate dies under this framework. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possible time and place for it though.
When both teams largely agree on certain foundational framework questions efficacious debate can still happen. While making distinctions between advocacies and methodologies is essential for this kind of a debate, you should probably not manipulate and create links that are artificial. Distinctions that are made out of an in depth knowledge of the issues are far more beneficial and consistent. Traditional debate might look at these kinds of rounds as two ships passing in the night, but I think there can be a different metaphor – one where the teams are two ships starting at the recognition that the resolution and the debate community is flawed and that the round can be decided upon which team provides a better methodology and performance to get their ship further in the direction of what we should be as a community and culturally aware individuals.
I am undecided as to whether the aff should be allowed a perm and this should probably be debated out. However, I think that the aff should always have the ability to point out when a negative advocacy is the same as theirs.
THEORY / T:
Any bias I have towards theory will probably result in placing a burden on the team that reads the violation to prove that it should result in a voting issue. However, I don’t like shady stuff done only to be obnoxiously strategic. Don’t do it.
One thing that I definitely do not like is when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. This will usually call into question the solvency of the critique if the aff takes advantage of this.
I don’t think that I have a bias concerning reasonability or competing interpretations, but I will probably default to competing interpretations until the aff is shown to be reasonable and from there it is up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS / DA’s:
I am probably liberal concerning counter plan theory, and aside from the question over conditionality most other theory arguments are probably reasons to reject the cp. Aside from traditional theory answers, showing why a certain CP is justified given the specific aff is a good response.
PICS that are specific to the aff are great, however word pics should probably just be articulated as links to the K.
Uniqueness controls the link only if a particular side definitively wins it.
I generally evaluate from an offense / defense standpoint, but it doesn’t mean anything if the CP links less than the plan does to a DA if the CP still meets the threshold for triggering the link. In that world there isn’t greater offense to the CP.
Ultimately, do not let any of this sway you from debating how you prefer. Doing what you think you are best at will probably be your greatest option. If any of this is unclear or you have questions that I have not address below please feel free to ask me before a round. Have fun, debate confidently, and be genuine.
Also, be nice to your opponents. It's not cool to be mean and talking down to your opponents can honestly hurt them both emotionally and physically, and just sets a bad example for younger debaters to adopt those practices. Sometimes, being nice to your opponents/judges, even when you feel they don't deserve it, can be the wisest choice in that moment. And if you gotta be a jerk, you can just yell at me instead.
Northside College Prep '16 - University of Kentucky '20
I like being on e-mail chains! email@example.com
I will always 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 respectful to both your partner and your opponents and give it your best!
I like them a lot. There is such a thing as zero risk of a disad and there can be no link. Do impact calculus, have a clear link to the affirmative. Quality evidence is appreciated, though it's not the only thing! Being able to communicate what your ev says and why your ev matters is key!
Conditionality is good.
I am okay for critical strategies. However, I didn’t debate these so make sure to explain your authors to me. Affirmatives that do little engagement with the critique alternative are likely to lose. Critiques that do little engagement with the affirmative itself are likely to lose. Explain your links in the context of the AFF and your AFF in the context of the alternative. The perm is not always the best strategy and that is okay.
I am willing to vote either way on framework. I should be able to tell that you know and understand what the affirmative is if you are reading it. Framework is best when it engages with the methodology of the AFF and questions the state’s role in activism. I like topic education arguments.
Terrell Tayloradd me to doc chains: terrell taylor at gmail dot com. No punctuation, no space, no frills.
Debated at Mary Washington from 2007-2011
Debate is an intellectual activity where two positions are weighed against each other. A part of this is making clear what your position is (plan, cp, alt, advocacy, status quo etc.) and how it measures up against the other team’s position. Arguments consist of a claim (the point you want to make), warrant (a reason to believe it), and an impact (reason why it matters/way it functions within the debate). Evidence is useful when trying to provide warrants, but is ultimately not necessary for me to evaluate an argument. Debates get competitive and heated, but staying polite and friendly and remembering that the name of the game is fun at the end of the day makes for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Disads/Case and Advantages
These arguments should be stressed in terms of a coherent story of what the world looks like in terms of the status quo, affirmative plan or alternative option. These positions should be attacked from a variety points including the link and internal link chain, impact and uniqueness level. When it comes to link turning, my default thought is that uniqueness determines the direction; if you have an alternative understanding that is particular to a scenario, be sure to explain why it is that the direction of the link should be emphasized or what have you. Impacts should be compared not only in terms of timeframe, probability and magnitude, but in terms of how these issues interact in a world where both impact scenarios take places (the popular "even if.." phrase comes to mind here). Also, keep in mind that I have not kept up with the trends in disads and such within the topic, so explaining specifics, acronyms and otherwise is useful for me. I prefer hearing case specific scenarios as opposed to generic politics and similar positions. This does not mean I will not vote for it or will dock your speaker points, just a preference.
Counterplans and Counterplan Theory
Counterplans should be functionally competitive; textual competition doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me (see later section on theory). I think that perms can be advocated, but am more than willing to hear reasons why they shouldn’t be and why that is a bad way to frame debates. When it comes to agent counterplans, I tend to think that topic specific education should trump generic presidential powers or judicial independence debates. Consult and condition cps just make the logician inside my head painfully confused (not sure why a reason to talk to X country is also a reason why the plan is bad). International fiat is suspect to me, and I tend to think that limiting the discussion to US policy (including its international relevance) is a good thing.
All of this being said, I am open to voting for any of the above arguments. These are merely my general theoretical leanings, and I will certainly flow, listen to, and evaluate arguments from the other side.
I haven’t seen many debates on this topic, so if a debate comes down to T, don’t be surprised if you see me googling to find the resolution to check the words. In general I think Topicality is important for two reasons. One is the general reason that most people think it’s good, being that we need to be prepared/have set limits and parameters for debate. The second is that I think each year presents an opportunity to gain in depth education on an issue, even if it's not a policy perspective of that issue. I feel that competing interpretations is generally the default for T, but I am open to defenses of reasonability and in fact, think that there are cases where this is the best means of evaluation. Standards should be impacted in terms of education and fairness, and the debate should come down to the best internal links between the standards and these terminal values. If you are the type to critique T, your critique needs to come down to these terms (education and fairness). RVIs don’t make sense to me. If you want to take the challenge of trying to make one make sense, be my guest, but it’s an uphill battle.
As mentioned, I am not wedded to any particular frame or “rulebook” for debate. Part of the beauty of debate to me is that debaters get to be both the players and referee. As such, I enjoy theory and think that such discussions can be fruitful. The flipside to this is that most theory debates devolve into tagline debating, shallow and repetitive arguments, and a race to see who can spit their block the fastest. These debates are 1) hard to flow and 2) not really a test or display of your ability so much as a test of your team’s theory block writer. I reward argumentation that is clear, comprehensible and complete in terms of theory debates, and urge debaters to these opportunities seriously.
I’ve laid out most of my theoretical dispositions in the counterplan section. Conditionality to me is like siracha sauce: a little bit heats up the debate, too much ruins it. I don’t know why three or four counterplans or alternatives along with the status quo is key to negative flex or good debating (one is good, two is ok). Also, if you want to use a status other than conditional or unconditional, (like the imaginary “dispo”) you should be ready to explain what that means. Again, I think that it is okay to advocate permutations as positions in the debate.
In terms of alternate frameworks for the debate (i.e. anything other than policy making) I’m honest when I say I’m not extraordinarily experienced in these areas as I’d like to be. I’ve seen a decent few of these debates and think that they provide some nuance to an otherwise stale activity. That being said (and this is true for all theory positions) you should try and weigh the educational and competitive equity benefits of your position versus the other teams proposed framework the debate. I debated for a squad that saw framework as a strategic and straightforward approach to most alternative forms of debate, so those arguments make sense to me. On the other hand, especially when it comes to arguments concerning structural issues in society/debate, if argued well, and with relevance to the topic in some way, I am willing to listen and evaluate.
Critical arguments (Kritiks/K-affs)
Much of what I just said applies here as well. I had the most success/felt most comfortable debating with these types of arguments as a debater (I did, however, spend most of my career debating with “straight-up” affs and disads that claimed nuclear war advantages). I studied English and Philosophy in undergrad and am pursuing a MA in English with a focus on critical theory, so there’s a decent chance that my interests and background might lean more towards a topic oriented critique than a politics Da.
I will avoid following the trend of listing the genres of critiques and critical literature with which I am familiar with the belief that it shouldn't matter. Running critiques shouldn't be about maintaining a secret club of people who "get it" (which often in debates, is construed to be a club consisting of the critique friendly judge and the team running the argument, often excluding the other team for not being "savy"). In other words, Whether I've read a great deal of the authors in your critique or not, should not give you the green light to skimp on the explanation and analysis of the critique. These debates are often about making the connections between what the authors and literature are saying and the position of the other team, and hence put a great burden on the debater to elucidate those connections. A shared appreciation or research interest between a team and a judge does not absolve you of that burden, in my opinion.
I agree with many recent top tier collegiate debaters (Kevin Kallmyer, Gabe Murillo, etc.) that the difference between policy and critical arguments is overstated. An important piece of reading critical arguments with me in the back of the room is explaining what your arguments mean within the context of the aff/da. If you read a no value to life impact, what about the affs framing makes it so that the people involved see their lives differently; if the critiqued impact is a merely constructed threat, reveal to me the holes in the construction and explain how the construction came to be. Doing that level of analysis (with any argument, critical or policy) is crucial in terms of weighing and relating your arguments to the other teams, and engaging in a form of education that is actually worthwhile. This probably entails removing your hypergeneric topic link and replacing with analysis as to the links that are within the evidence (and therefore, the assumptions, rhetoric, methodology, so and so forth) of your opponents. In terms of vague alts and framework, I have mixed feelings. The utopian fiat involved in most alts is probably abusive, but there is something to be said for making the claim that these arguments are vital to thorough education. On the framework question, gateway issue is probably a poor way to go. I don’t understand why the fact that your K has an impact means that you get to suck up the entire debate on this one issue. Instead, a framing that opens the door to multiple ways of critiquing and evaluating arguments (both on the aff and the neg, or in other words, doesn’t hold the aff as a punching bag) is preferable.
I didn’t do a whole lot of handling with this genre of argument, but have debated semi-frequently and enjoy the critical aspects of these arguments. I think that there is a difference between the type of critical debater that reads a couple of disads along with a K and case args, and a team that reads a indictment of the topic or reads narratives for nine minutes. If you read a poem, sing, recite a story or anything of that nature, I will be more interested in observing your performance than trying to flow or dictate it on my flow (my reasoning for this is that, unlike a speech organized for the purpose of tracking argument development and responses, I don't think flowing a poem or song really generates an understanding of the performance). More importantly, framing should be a priority; give me a reason why I should look at the debate through a certain lens, and explain why given that framing you have done something either worth affirming your advocacy. I think that these types of debates, especially if related to the topic, can be fruitful and worthwhile. Performance affirmatives should try to find some in road to the topic. If your argument is pervasive and deep enough to talk about, I generally think it probably has a systemic implication for the resolution in some way, even if that doesn’t manifest as a topical plan or even agreeing with the resolution.
For teams going against performance strategies, Framework based arguments are options in front of me. A good way to frame this argument is in terms of what is the best method to produce debates that create the most useful form of education, as opposed to just reading it like a procedural argument. I do think it is important to engage the substantive portion of their arguments as well, (there are always multiple dimensions to arguments of these forms) even if it happens to be a critical objection to their performance or method. Many policy based strategies often want to avoid having to engage with the details involved, and in doing so often fail to rigorously challenge the arguments made in the debate.
Good luck, and have fun. I spent a great deal of my debate career stressing out and losing sleep, instead of experiencing the challenge and fun of the activity; Enjoy your time in the activity above everything else.
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
NU, GBN, ADL
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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 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. Unbelievable that this happens but checking if your judge is present before talking is pretty much the lowest possible bar.
I will probably 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.
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.
Here is how to successfully adjust to the online setting:
1. Inflect more when you are talking
2. Put your face in frame
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 your argument is an affront to obvious reality or 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 equal, I strongly prefer to solve problems without resorting to violence or force, and my voting record reflects this.
Otherwise, unless my role as a judge is changed, I will attempt to write the least interventionary ballot. This means:
1. What is conceded is absolutely true, but will only have the implications that you say it has. I will not assume what is not obvious. For example, I will not cross apply arguments from one flow to another, will not assume impact D applies to impacts you didn't say it applies to, will not assume a CP solves something you didn't say it solves, etc.
2. I will intervene if there is no non-interventionary decision.
3. I am looking for ways to simplify my decision-making process. I would prefer to decide fewer issues instead of more. If something seems really hard to resolve without intervening, I will likely try to see if I can vote without resolving that thing.
For whatever reason the stats say I really like the NEG.
The following are my inclinations - if you don't like them you can change them.
The best DAs clash with the AFF. The bar for getting me to care about fake politics arguments is high.
I care about the DA turning the case a lot.
"Framing pages" where you say "DAs are bad" are bad.
CP'ing in offense is underrated.
I appreciate strategic plan vagueness but teams are starting to go too far. At a minimum it should be possible to line up your plan with your solvency evidence and it should be relatively clear that the plan does what your evidence wants rather than something else.
If your plan just says "reform X" or "regulate Y"... you should probably lose on inherency if X has been reformed or Y has been regulated.
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.
Competition is better than theory against process things. Theory arguments that logically presume you have won a competition argument are a waste of time - just win the competition argument and you will be fine.
Functional competition + definitions + reasons to prefer your definitions >>>>> textual competition.
Pretty NEG on most theory, except fiating out of your own straight turned offense.
I might reject a vague CP because it lacks a solvency advocate to remedy the AFF's inability to discover more details about the CP's mechanism before the 2AC. Depends on the case.
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.
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. I am unlikely to care about a cardless T 2NC.
Argue by analogy and comparison to other affs, especially in CX.
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 your framework says is most important should be the same as what your link, impact, and alternative are about. Not doing this will cause perm losses.
AFF - if you beat the NEG's framework you will probably win. The best way to do this is to explain why the way of thinking about the world that the NEG is proposing is bad.
I do not judge many framework 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.
The only effect of my ballot is to decide the winner.
I think my points are slightly below average.
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.
Other arg stuff
Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Don't see why any of that would be an auto-VI in a world where paraphrasing with footnotes or excerpting poetry is commonplace and accepted.
Clipping - claiming you read words from evidence that you did not read - is an L.
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.
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.
I will evaluate any argument, except for any argument that is derogative, racist, sexist,
or ableist so with that being said it won’t be strategic for you to run
“Racism is good” in front of me. I have ran critical arguments and understand most of
them but please don’t assume that since I know it I will vote on, I ONLY VOTE ON
WHAT I FLOW. I feel if you go for any procedurals arguments such as( T, Framework,
Theory) I will need to hear some abusive story, and some VOTING ISSUE, and if you
run Topicality I need to hear a topical version of the aff and what I should I prefer such
as Competing interps or reasonability. Also, with traditional policy arguments I think
these debates are really evidence based and should also be articulated well. So I’m
generally an open judge just please articulate all arguments with a claim and warrant
and some weighing will be nice.
I'm a 7th year debater at Walter Payton College Prep. I did 3 years of middle school debate, and I have continued that career into my high school life. While I have fallen down the dark path that is kritikal debate, I like to think of myself as fairly flex. I flatter myself in thinking that I can judge most rounds, whether the focus is policy or critical theory, but this is irrelevant, because I am a person who believes that all debaters should do what they do best. I will never vote for an argument that is not sufficiently explained or impacted- even though I have a wealth of topic knowledge, do not assume that I will do any work for you. It is your responsibility as debaters to explain your positions to me in an articulate and reasonable fashion. Here's the breakdown:
When it comes down to disads, my first step is to look for all the pieces. I will not vote on a disad that is lacking uniqueness, link, impact, or coherent internal link structure. I often find debaters over-zealous when it comes to impact calculus, but very weak in regards to internal link explanation. Impact calc has its place, but alone it will not win you the round.
Of the numerous disad options every debater has, I tend to favor specific scenarios and links- don't expect me to vote on a disad that is not tailored to the aff read in that round beyond "U.S. education funding tanks the economy." This is the issue I take in regards to most politics disads- I don't buy that all education funding triggers the links to your midterms elections disad.
A kritik is like music to my ears when done well. Like a disad, I expect every part to be well warranted and explained: link(s), framework, alternative, impact, and internal links. If you're going to kick out of the alternative in the 2nr, you had better be doing an incredible job on the framework and link flows.
In terms of specific content, I tend to be selective in my preferences. While I am capable of adjudicating any kritik, I have preferences. Identity Ks, the Cap K, Security K, topic specific Ks like Pan and Vukovich- I enjoy all of these and am willing to judge them in context. However, with Ks such as Baudrillard, Bataille, D&G, and other postmodernist ideologues, my enjoyment ebbs and you might find me mildly irritated. This doesn't mean you can't read these Ks in front of me, it just means that you have to incorporate a robust explanation that might otherwise not be required.
In terms of links, I feel much the same as with disads- the more specific the link, the more likely I am to vote for the K. Links of omission are not links, and if you go for them in the 2nr, I will vote on the permutation. Same applies to "masking links" and other window dressed links of omission.
In general, my threshold for voting on topicality is fairly high. I think that there are numerous checks to ground loss in any debate- pre-round prep, wikis, core topic affs- if you want me to vote on topicality you have to provide me with an example of actual in-round abuse. Also required is a list of topical affs, specific responses to the counter-interpretation, and a reasonable interpretation. Squirrelly interpretations are just as bad as squirrelly affs.
I enjoy counterplans- I think that there are numerous political alternatives to most plans that resolve the advantages better than the aff itself. However, I also believe that counterplans should have solvency advocates, which is a necessary check to preventing "cheaty" counterplans such as consult counterplans and word pics. If you want to go for these, go ahead, but you have to be ready for counterplan theory.
Most of what I said about T applies to theory. You must prove in round abuse! My threshold for voting on theory is very high unless the abuse in question has caused irreparable damage to the debate. If your reason to reject on counterplan theory is that "x justifies permutation," I am more likely to vote for you than if your reason to reject is to disqualify the opposing team.
On the side of the affirmative, much of my kritiks section applies to this, with one main addition- I believe that all k affs need a solvency advocate specific to the resolution. It is not enough to have resolution-grounded uniqueness- this way under limits the topic and makes stasis impossible. Being a slightly k-leaning debater, I give a little bit more weight to "conventionally discouraged" arguments such as the permutation on framework, but you have to do an exceptional explanation job if you want to go for them in the 2ar.
On the side of the negative, I think that there are numerous strategies that you can employ to win rounds. Framework is a given, but I also enjoy less conventional arguments such as the University K and word pics. Because of the cheaty nature of k affs, it is almost impossible for the affirmative to read counterplan theory, which gives the negative a massive (and often under-utilsed) advantage.
Post-rounding is a pet peeve: I love it when people ask me questions, but when it verges on harassment, that's where I draw the line.
Overall, what I look for in debates is for young, intelligent minds to do what they do best and push the envelope through complex and interpretive analysis of political issues- if you do this, you are on the road to success.
4 years of policy debate at MBA in Nashville, TN; Class of 2016
Current Junior at Vanderbilt University studying Political Science and Medicine, Health and Society
keeping old paradigm at the bottom b/c why not
add firstname.lastname@example.org please
Here's what's important:
I will communicate with you with head nods, eye contact, etc if I like what you're doing or not so pay attention during round
Evidence quality - especially for DAs and terrible counterplans
- I will assign 0 risk of a DA etc if evidence is bad, but team HAS TO SAY IT
- if you compare evidence I will like you
Debate is a speaking activity
- look me in the eye
- Speak clearly
- don't you dare double breathe
- have good posture, don't slouch
- be nice to teammate and opponent or else...
- most of the time people have no idea what they're saying, if you do, you better explain it to me if you want to win
- focus on the links... please
- i'm not your judge for high theory because I hate it
- you probably can read a plan text and be topical....... do I need to say more? Topical version of aff is a winner for me if explained well
- i'll absolutely vote on condo bad - I went for the argument a lot senior year, that being said I expect you to know what you're saying
- Impact work is extremely important
- you NEED a counterinterpretation for any good theory argument, if you use it and explain how your c/I takes care of their offense or at least mitigates it, you've gone a long way
- I know nothing about this topic so be clear with acronyms, stuff
- my parents are immigrants and I was born in the usa
- I dated internationally and know how hard it is to come here
1. Is there prep for flashing?????!?!?!?
No, no there is not. I debated during paperless. And if there are problems, I understand. Please just don't abuse the time or take too long, because the tournament has to keep going.
2. Tagteam cross ex??
3. Do you have any prefs!?!?!?!
If you read this philosophy, you will be rewarded in front of me. If you do things I do not like, then you will lose points in front of me.
I have been out of debate for 2 years, and I do not know anything about the Education topic. Please, explain what your acronyms mean and help me out with complex education law. The more you help me out the more speaks you get.
I will start your speaks at an average of 29.0. This is higher than most judges? Why? Because I think people should be rewarded for what I consider to be good debate. This also means that I will take points away more liberally.
What I like:
- Did you know that helping your partner when they need it, being nice and greeting people around you, giving paper to your opponents when they don't have any (YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY KIDS DO THIS) is not only nice in terms of etiquette but also goes a long way to being a good human being? Be one.
Good posture and speaking clarity
- Debate is supposed to be persuasive. I want people to set good examples of what debate can look like. If you read any comments section of a debate video on youtube, policy debate looks like a joke. Don't make debate a joke.
- Stand up straight.
- Make eye contact.
- Speak up.
- Work on your voice tone (avoid too nasally, whiny, too much bass, graty, too loud etc.). You should ideally be a pleasure to listen to argumentatively and aesthetically. If you have a voice problem, let me know before the round.
Thus, things that will lose you points:
Essentially, the opposite of a lot of the things I mentioned.
- DOUBLE BREATHING - this is a plague, and I would like it to stop. You can get the same amount of air required if you single breathe. Please look up breathing tutorials on youtube to fix this. If you usually double breathe, and you tell me before the round that you will try to work on it but are not perfect, then you get a pass. Triple breathing is insta 28 or less.
- The debate "hunch over with timer or mouse held between my two hands as I move it vigorously back and forth as I gasp for air."
- Being a jerk. There's a difference between being assertive and being mean. I know; there were people on my team that crossed the line. You'll probably get a 26, and you can say goodbye to speaker awards.
- If you are racist or sexist in any intentional way, I will make sure your coach knows and you know.
I have lots of experience with "normal" ks, capitalism, neolib, colonialism, etc.
When you get to high theory (Bathai, Deloser, etc.), the best way to win in front of me is to not read it! If you have to read it, then be self-aware enough that your stuff is bulls****. If you communicate this self-awareness to me then I will actually give you a shot.
I debated always a policy aff, but I definitely will vote on kritiks and critical arguments.
I really like alt explanation. What does the world of the alt look like? Do the aff's impacts get solved? Is it a movement or in round? Why does that matter? That's the most important part of the kritik for me.
This tells you how to beat the K too. Weigh your aff vs. the alt. Tell me what advantages you have that the alt can't possibly solve or solve fast enough for your timeframe. This is always the k's weakest part, but if it is strong it usually gives the neg a big advantage in my book.
The framework is important, and I have won my fair share of round on epistemology comes first or kappeler 95 meaning that alt doesn't even matter, but please please focus on the alt.
Also - more links! Specific links are ALWAYS good.
Also, I like plans. Newsflash, no one outside of debate really cares about what goes on inside a debate. Realize that your "influence over the debate community" is a very small amount over an extremely small, insulated group of people. I am very persuaded by arguments saying that other forums are much more effective for spreading news about something. I've participated in a partial BLM march and the Womens' March. If you care, do something in real life. Debate is not real life. Debate can be your home, and that's great. But so can your local political party, if you want public speaking. So can your counselor's office, if you need someone to listen to. The only thing unique about debate is that you get to "win" something. Life isn't about winning; it's about doing good in the world. Do good the right way, and don't let anyone or yourself delude you into thinking that you couldn't do it better somewhere else.
- That said, if you are so woke and so persuasive that I cannot help but vote for you, then you probably get 30s and win.
- Otherwise, I WILL vote for K affs, I just want to let you know that smart framework debaters will probably win. If you can crush FW as the aff in front of me, then you deserve the win.
#1, slow down on theory and you will win more rounds. Slowing it down shows the judge that you're not afraid of the other team hearing your arguments and believe it or not also lets me write them down.
As a senior, I went for Condo bad 25-50% of my aff rounds. This means I am more likely to vote for condo if you do it well, but if you do it badly then you don't stand a chance.
In general, if you provide solid counter interpretation debate on condo, that's where your starting point should be. If you read a 3 second "condo is bad strat skew time skew impact is education" blurb in the 2AC, you will lose speaker points because you are wasting my time. Neg, if you are in front of me ,and they do this, and you say "THEIR CONDO BAD ARG SUCKS," that's insta 29.5. But if they do it right and you mess up, don't blame me when your speaks drop.
If you want to go for other theory arguments, I will be much more likely persuaded if you give a counter interpretation. IE, if you say 50-state fiat bad, then your c/i could be Neg gets only federal ground with regards to government action. That's not a perfect c/i, but if you can stand your ground, defend it, and the opponent doesn't give one, your point of reference will be the only place to debate from and you're more likely to win in front of me.
Don't give me the "they didn't touch this in the X speech give them 0 arguments ever and for ever against this!" I will allow "new" args as long as they are in the spirit of what has already been said. Obviously, there is a limit, and don't abuse this or I won't consider an arg at all.
Death good and extinction good are nonstarters. Don't go there. That includes racism good, genocide good....
Saying "you guys" is not a reason to vote down a team. If they apologize, leave it alone.
Evidence! Some judges almost don't care to read your evidence at all. If one of your opponent's cards doesn't say something, or is contradictory, FLAG IT! Say - LOOK AT BROWN 15, IT CONTRADICTS...... I will vote down entire disads purely based off of evidence.** I lost too many debates on stupid links that literally say nothing and are just tagged to say something. That said, you have to call it out. I will still read ev, but I won't weigh it as high as if the debater points out a flaw.