National Speech and Debate Season Opener
2018 — Lexington, KY/US
Public Forum Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
"Back in my day, we only had two minutes to give our summaries!"
Hi I'm Allen and I'm an old third-year out who competed in PF all four years of high school (fun fact: I also competed in DI for three years). In my hey day, Ahana (my former partner) and I cleared at the TOC and a number of other cool nat circuit tournaments. Two years ago, I coached Dalton CY (best team on the circuit don't @ me) and Capitol Debate's travel team. I founded PF Videos and used to be a mod of /r/Debate. I'm no longer involved in debate, sans for judging occasionally.
Outside of debate, I'm a third-year at UChicago studying international political economy with a focus in East Asia, Southeast Europe, and U.S. foreign policy. I judged the NFU topic at Tradition in early November, but I'm not familiar with the "latest arguments" on this topic. I do have a strong academic and professional background in IR and U.S.-China relations. If you're citing international relations theory (anything like MAD or nuclear revolution theory or even realism), I'll probably be familiar with what you're talking about. Biggest issue I've seen on this topic is the lack of warranting, especially on deterrence arguments from the con.
For those of you who had me as a judge previously: I probably haven't changed much. I've probably become a better judge than I was last year because I'm not in deep with the community (i.e. I don't know the top teams on the circuit this year, I don't have hard opinions on how debaters should debate, and I don't personally know the topic arguments or lit, so I will have very few implicit biases walking into the round).
For those of you who haven't had me before, or want a refresher:
1. Tech > Truth. Most debate arguments are BS (we all know it) and I don't have a problem with smart high schoolers coming up with creative or original arguments. I've completely suspended my belief for this tournament.
2. I love argument comparison! This can take the form of (but does not exclude other methods of comparison) doing impact framing/meta weighing. Please don't forget about reading/extending internal links and terminal impacts.
3. My default beliefs for the round are:
a) second rebuttal should frontline
b) first summary should interact with defense to the extent that the second rebuttal frontlined (so, if the second rebuttal frontlines, the first summary should interact with that frontlining if they plan to go for anything from rebuttal in final focus); if second rebuttal doesn't frontline, the first speaking team can extend defense from rebuttal to final focus
c) no new arguments in final focus (unless the first final focus is answering something new in second summary)
d) the judge only calls for cards if their is a dispute over them or a debater tells me to call for them
e) the judge presumes for the first speaking team
But, debaters are always free to read theoretical justifications in the round to tell me otherwise!
4. If there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand.
5. I love fast debate, but have Auditory Processing Disorder, which means I sometimes don't immediately comprehend everything I hear during speech. Thus, I may ask for clarifying questions after your speech about a tag or warrant I didn't catch in your speech (I'm not intervening, I'm trying to do the best that I can to give you a fair round). Please give me (and your opponents) a speech doc if you go above 300 words per minute.
6. I start at a 29 for speaker points. Points go up for good strategic decision on the flow. Points go down for miscut cards, ghost/no extensions, and bad behavior in round.
If you haven't gathered, I'm a funny (I tell myself this) and sarcastic (other people tell me this) individual. The following is a joke:
I will give you +0.1 speaker points for every TableTote height setting used in round above the first. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this out. (this is a joke)
Automatic 30 for a Coke Zero (not a Coke Zero Sugar) or freshly made risotto (recipe below).
Allen's Signature Parmesan Risotto
-3.5 cups chicken broth
-3 cups water
-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 medium onion, finely diced or minced
-2 cups dry white wine
-2 cups Arborio rice
-1.5 cup Parmesan cheese
-Ground black pepper (white pepper, if you're feeling spunky)
-Penzy's Italian Herb Mix (which consists of oregano, basil, parsley, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)
1. Bring the broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan (I use a Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting after the broth reaches its boiling point. Keep on the backburner.
2. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides (DON'T BURN THE BUTTER), add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and translucent, about 9 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the grains are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the warm broth and, stirring frequently, simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry.
3. Add more of the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed, to keep the pan bottom from becoming dry; cook, stirring frequently (every 1 or 2 minutes), until the grains of the rice are cooked through but still somewhat firm in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the remaining wine. Season with the herbs, salt, pepper, and additional cheese, to taste (DON'T OVER-PEPPER! WHITE PEPPER IS ESPECIALLY STRONG).
Honestly, debaters focus too much on persuasion through auditory perception. I'd like for there to be a debate event where we use olfaction and gustation as tools for persuasion. However, PF isn't that event, and you probably weren't going to get the kitchen/utensils/wine necessary to make the risotto during a tournament. So, we're back to just debating. But you should try making this risotto! It's very good, and everyone in my residential house in college loves it (except when I over pepper/burn the butter).
I have judged a few PF tournaments in last 4 years. I prefer traditional styled debates at an average speed. The debate should involve polished presentation skills, good contrast in the arguments, and an emphasis on evidence. I value a good balance between presentation and content. Also, be respectful to your opponents and your partner!
PF PARADIGM (Updated 11/15/2020)
I have competed and coached public forum debate for over a decade.
I have debate experience in PF, Parli, and NFA LD.
1. PRE-FLOW BEFORE THE ROUND
2. Do not laugh at your opponents. Disrespect is not tolerated at all.
3. Paraphrased blips with no warrants. 5 pieces of evidence back to back in a case within 30 seconds of reading drives me nuts. I much prefer you all reading cards which have warrants instead of your paraphrasing. To me, warrants are very important. I do not default oppose paraphrasing but I have voted multiple times on paraphrasing theory when the argument is won.
4. Debaters not collapsing.
Second Half of the Debate
DO NOT expect me to do work for you. I only evaluate offensive arguments found in both the summary and final focus. Defense is not necessary to be extended in these speeches, but can help build a narrative.
Me Calling for Evidence
The exception to me "doing work" is if the debaters don't do the work for me. I.e. - if both teams tell me the other teams evidence is bad and I should call it without explaining why the evidence is bad, I will call both cards and make the determination on my own. If a debate is not resolved by the debaters I will resolve the debate using the evidence if there is no other way to resolve the round.
Speaker points are not largely determined by how pretty you sound. Rather, I use them as a reward for your talent as a critical thinker. Things I evaluated include but are not limited to - organization, pointing out logical inconstancies or double turns, articulating implications of impacts, etc.
PLEASE READ FULL CARDS - if you do not, I will hold you to a very high level of scrutiny and will likely call for more of your cards and evaluate them myself. I have seen too many teams lose debate rounds because debaters have misrepresented evidence that was never called for.
In PF, I am cool with speed and will be able to flow you if you read full cards. I have experience in debate with speaking speeds up to 500 wpm. However, if you are reading paraphrased cases with 10 pieces of evidence paraphrased in 30 seconds, I may not catch author name and year and I will likely tank that teams speaks. So, slow down for author names and tags. If you aren't reading full cards (then read full cards), but if you really choose may not want to go as fast.
ALSO - YOU CANNOT USE SPEED AS A TOOL OF EXCLUSION. If both teams want to go fast, go for it- I will be more than capable of following. However, if your opponent is excluded from the round because of your speed, I will vote against you if you do not slow down. If you feel as if you are being excluded from the round please say "speed" audibly while your opponent is speaking. If your opponent has said speed 2-3 times and you haven't slowed down, I will be very persuaded to drop you for your abuse of speed.
"DA's" And "Overviews" in the Rebuttal
I really dislike what PFers are calling "DA's" or overviews which are functionally a new contention. These arguments, absent a link to your opponents case, will not be evaluated. If you are going to make this style of argument I would love to hear it if you have a clear link to an argument offered by your opponent in their prior speech. I don't want to hear a new contention in first and/or especially second rebuttal and then have you tell me your impact comes first on time frame or something shady like that.
You must weigh to have a good chance of winning my ballot. That being said, if neither team weighs I will default to magnitude/big stick impacts. That being said, I can easily be persuaded otherwise. You just need to warrant why. Debaters always under-warrant the impact debate and take it for granted. For example, simply saying "my impact is more likely" is not enough of a warrant to persuade me. Carded weighing will likely give you the upper hand and probably a bump in speaks.
I am definitely ok listening to arguments that may not be intuitive (prolif good, warming good, etc.). However, I am not a fan of unreasonably stretching the scope of the resolution. For example, if the topic asks about increasing military spending, I don't think the Aff gets the right to pick one obscure program, such as nuclear submarines a professor in Europe thought about in the 90s if it hasn't been discussed as a legitimate policy suggestion. I am much more likely to vote on something ripped from the headlines. Thus, if the Aff reads evidence that says the military is short on funding but its main priority is increasing troop presence to fight ISIL, it is easy to make the logical assumption that if funding were increased that is what the government would do.
I think vague topics are bad in PF but we have our fair share of them. I don't think teams get to cherry pick facets of a topic and claim them as their "advocacy". For example, if the resolution is The USFG should prioritize welfare over transportation, I don't think the neg gets to say that we only defend revamping bike paths and bus routes and then ignore all other aspects of the topic. The Aff has every right to read an evidence based argument that increased spending would be used to improve airports which increases ozone deterioration even though you didn't talk about airport infrastructure in your con. In essence, in my eyes you don't get "advocacies". Rather, it is your job to be prepared to defend the whole of the resolution for whichever side you are on in PF.
If there is anything you don't see on here, feel free to ask me before the round :)
HIGH SCHOOL LD PARADIGM
I will not vote on explicitly oppressive arguments. No exceptions.
I look for the easiest route to the ballot. Definitely not a big fan of intervention. Speaks are based on quality of argument and organization, not the way you sound. I hate unwarranted spikes or theory preempts sprinkled in between cards. If you are making a new argument get a new sheet.
I default to a logical decision-making paradigm. As a result I prefer topic-centered debate but I am totally opened to warranted reasons as to why that is a bad metric for debate.
I think the link (or violation or mutual exclusivity, same concept different name) is the most important part of every position and debaters who get good speaker points and win regularly in front of me have robust discussions on the link.
I place a high value on quality evidence and think preparation is the cornerstone of the educational aspects of this activity. I think that extensions of evidence should be more than just blippy tag extensions. If you aren’t extending warrants, I am not going to find them in the evidence for you after the round.
Speed: I think clear speed improves debate. I am cool with any clear speed that isn’t being used to intentionally exclude your opponent or other judges on a panel. I will say that it seems like a lot of HS LD students rely on the email chain for judges to get their warrants: this practice will likely result in diminished speaker points and possibly a poor decision on my part. It is probably a good idea to slow down a bit on tags and make it clear when a tag starts and a card ends. Flying through blippy theory shells at 400 wpm just seems like a bad idea if you want me to flow it all.
Topicality: I assume it’s a voter but the neg needs to explain why and I will listen to reasons why it shouldn’t be, extra and fx are up for debate, abuse is just a marginally more persuasive standard, standards are reason to prefer an interp, I don’t like to vote on RVIs unless they are well warranted and even then the aff sneezing on the flow might be enough for me to ignore it. I will probably ignore jargon that is unwarranted like just saying reasonability or competing interps without explanations.
DAs: I will vote on linear and unique Das. I don’t believe a negative needs one to win a round. I am usually very skeptical of politics but still vote offence/defense paradigm on it.
Theory: Most specs are just defense to solvency for me. I definitely get they are a valuable part of a strategy for time and fairness reasons but I find them generally unpersuasive. I will vote on them though if mishandled by the affirmative(or negative) . All that said if you have a really interesting super spec procedural I’ll listen to it with an open mind. 5 off all procedurals will tank your speaks.I generally think there are ways to resolve theoretical objections that don’t necessitate a ballot on theory.
Ks: As with every other position I want the link to be specific and prefer the literature to be in the context of our topic. I think the necessity of framework depends on the nature of the alternative and the presented 1AC. I generally view links as a DA to the perm. I think you need a stable alt text.
Counterplans: I don’t think conditionality is a problem but you can read whatever against the CP. I don’t think you have to establish ME in the NC but I think it ends up being more persuasive if the AR concedes it. I prefer if they have an advocate, but not a deal breaker. You should have a stable CP text. Open to perm theory, same concept as other theory shells though.
Defense: I’m predisposed to believe it’s not a voting issue but if someone concedes some fwk that says it is I guess I would vote for it. This applies to answering neg positions as well.
Performance: I am totally fine with it, but again I think it’s important to explain how it relates to an affirmation or negation of the resolution. That being said, I am completely open to arguments about why resolution centered debate is bad.
A2 K/Performance AC/NC: ENGAGE. Just framing your way out the debate is super boring to me. Cut cards answering their method. If they give you links, use them.
(Paradigm largely stolen from Spencer Orlowski) -> we view debate similarly. I will make a more specific paradigm soon.
NFA LD PARADIGM
To be honest, aside from evaluating practice debates, I have never formally judged an NFA LD round at a tournament since graduating. That being said, I will try and give you my best insight into how I tend to evaluate debates if you have me at NFA. Please feel free to ask me any questions my paradigm does not answer for you before the round begins.
Topicality without carded interp
Super short cards with no warrants
Super long tags on policy Affs
Tags that don't use the rhetoric of the card (powertags)
Lack of Sign-Posting
I am cool with it so long as your opponent is. If I am unable to follow you due to delivery rate I will say speed. If you are unclear I will say clear. There is a difference. I expect a debater to audibly say clear or speed. I am not ok with speed being a tool of exclusion and will be persuaded if I see a clear abuse of speed. I am also not ok with debaters calling speed as a competitive tool when they can truly keep up and are debating at speeds as fast as, if not faster than their opponent.
Speaker points are not largely determined by how pretty you sound. Rather, I use them as a reward for your talent as a critical thinker. Things I evaluated include but are not limited to - organization, pointing out logical inconstancies or double turns, articulating implications of impacts, etc.
I probably will not be persuaded by theory positions that would be better articulated as solvency deficits to the Aff (i.e. - vagueness). That does not mean I will not vote on these positions, but it is an uphill battle to argue I should drop the debater when in reality it is just a solvency question. Other than that, I do believe that theory is meant to protect yourself and please use it as necessary. Obviously, proven abuse is preferable but if you persuade me that potential abuse should be a voter, then I will vote there. I am particularly persuaded on theory/T if you show me the abuse on clearly on each sheet. Please please please weigh the impacts of standards. Too often, theory/T debates do not resolve which standard is most important. Reminder - please card interps and number your violations clearly if there are multiple.
Don't really care about the structure of an Aff. If the Aff is not topical, it helps to provide justification in the 1AC as to why the Aff is not topical. This is not necessary, but I think it will make framework and T preempts much cleaner and easier for you.
Do your thing. I am persuaded by logical responses to DAs if they are true (i.e. Uniqueness overwhelms the link). If your link is not specific to the Aff, then please contextualize the Aff to your link after you read the link ev.
I have no on face rejection to any types of CPs or their respective status. That being said, I can definitely be persuaded why certain types of CPs should be excluded via a theory debate. I also don't think you need to solve every harm of the Aff.
Do your thing. Aff specific links are preferred. If you are reading generic or topic links, then please contextualize them to the Aff in the NC. I am cool with kicking the alt and using the link and impact as a linear DA to the case but that does open you up to the theory debate which I am not afraid to vote on.
I default to a comparative advantages frame work. If there is a 1% chance the Aff can solve, and the neg has no substantial harm to weigh against the Aff, I won't vote on solvency as a stock issue. I am not persuaded by lazy try-or-die arguments, but when done properly this framing is persuasive. Weigh, weigh, weigh. If you aren't reading extinction level impacts, that's fine. But please provide some framework/weighing mechanism if you take this approach.
HIGH SCHOOL LD/POLICY PARADIGM
I don't judge these events as much but I have experience in both. Ask me particular questions before round but here is a quick list of things you may want to know.
- Aff doesn't have to be topical if there is a good justification
- That doesn't mean I won't vote on FW or Theory
- I will vote on T - not a hack but I don't throw it out the window like some judges
- Speed Friendly
- K friendly but you will need to explain the lit in your own words to contextualize high theory to the Aff
- I prefer specific vs general links on the K debate (extra-speaks will likely follow if you have case specific links to your K)
- Weigh weigh weigh
*email@example.com for speech doc*
I debated for 4 years at Poly Prep and was relatively successful on the national circuit.
I now coach PF for Edgemont Jr/Sr HS in New York.
You know how you debate in front of a classic PF flow judge? Do that. (Weighing, Summary and final focus extensions, signposting, warrants etc.)
That said there are a few weird things about me.
0. I mostly decide debates on the link level. Links generate offense without impacts, impacts generate no offense without links. Teams that tell a compelling link story and clearly access their impact are incredibly likely to win my ballot. Extend an impact without a sufficient link at your own peril.
1. Don't run plans or advocacies unless you prove a large enough probability of the plan occuring to not make it not a plan but an advantage. (Read the Advocacies/Plans/Fiat section below).
2. Theory is important and cool, but only run it if it is justified.
3. Second summary has an obligation to extend defense, first summary does not.
4. I am not tab. My threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is. This can include incredibly dumb totally ridiculous impacts, link chains that make my head spin, or arguments that are straight up offensive.
5. I HATE THE TERM OFF TIME-ROADMAP. Saying that term lowers your speaks by .5 for every time you say it, just give the roadmap.
6. You should probably read dates. I don't think it justifies drop the debater but I think it justifies drop the arg/card.
7. I don't like independent offense in rebuttal, especially 2nd rebuttal. Case Turns/Prereqs/Weighing/Terminal Defense are fine, but new contention style offense is some real cheese. Speak faster and read it as a new contention in case as opposed to waiting until rebuttal to dump it on an unsuspecting opponent.
- Don’t extend through ink. If a team has made responses whether offensive or defensive they must be addressed if you want to go for the argument. NB: you should respond to ALL offensive responses put on your case regardless if you want to go for the argument.
- Collapse. Evaluating a hundred different arguments at the end of the round is frustrating and annoying, please boil it down to 1-4 points.
- Speech cohesion. All your speeches should resemble the others. I should be able to reasonably expect what is coming in the next speech from the previous speech. This is incredibly important especially in summary and final focus. It is so important in fact that I will not evaluate things that are not said in both the summary and final focus.
- Weighing. This is the key to my ballot. Tell me what arguments matter the most and why they do. If one team does this and the other team doesn’t 99/100 times I will vote for the team that did. The best teams will give me an overarching weighing mechanism and will tell me why their weighing mechanism is better than their opponents. NB: The earlier in the round this appears the better off you will be.
- Warrants. An argument without a warrant will not be evaluated. Even if a professor from MIT conducts the best study ever, you need to be able to explain logically why that study is true, without just reverting to “Because Dr. Blah Blah Blah said so.”
- Analysis vs. Evidence. Your speeches should have a reasonable balance of both evidence and analysis. Great logic is just as important as great evidence. Don’t just spew evidence or weak analysis at me and expect me to buy it. Tell me why the evidence applies and why your logic takes out an argument.
- Framework. I will default to a utilitarian calculus unless told to do otherwise. Please be prepared to warrant why the other framework should be used within the round.
- Turns. If you want me to vote off of a turn, I should hear about it in both the summary and final focus. I will not extend a turn as a reason to vote for you. (Unextended turns still count as ink, just not offense)
- Speed. Any speed you speak at should be fine as long as you are clear. Don't speak faster than this rebuttal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg83oD0s3NU&feature=youtu.be&t=1253
- Advocacies/Plans/Fiat. I grant teams the weakest fiat you can imagine. The aff is allowed to say that the action done in the resolution is passed through congress or whatever governing body we are discussing. That is it. This means that you cannot fiat out of political conditions (i.e. CUTGO, elite influence, etc.) or say that the resolution means we will increase infrastructure spending by building 20th century community learning facilities in the middle of Utah. If you want to access plans and still win my ballot, you must prove a rock solid probability of the advocacy occurring in the real world.. (Note the following is just a guideline, other forms of proving the following are ok as long as they actually successfully prove what they say will occur.) In an ideal world that means 3 things. First, you prove that there is a growing need for such action (i.e. If you want to run that we should build infrastructure in the form of low-income housing, you need to prove that we actually need more houses.). Second, you prove that the plan is politically likely (Bipartisan support doesn't mean anything, I want a bill on the house floor). Finally, you need to prove some sort of historical precedent for your action. If you are missing the first burden and it's pointed out, I will not by the argument on face. A lack in either of the latter 2 can be made up by strengthening the other. Of course, you can get around ALL of this by not reading any advocacies and just talking about things that are fundamentally inherent to the resolution.
- Squirrley Arguments. To a point being squirrely is ok, often times very good. I will never drop an argument on face but as an argument gets more extravagant my threshold for responses goes down. i.e. if on reparations you read an argument that reparations commodify the suffering of African Americans, you are a-ok. If you read an argument that says that The USFG should not take any action regarding African Americans because the people in the USFG are all secretly lizard people, the other team needs to do very little work for me to not evaluate it. A simple "WTF is this contention?" might suffice in rebuttal. NB: You will be able to tell if I think an argument is stupid.
- Defense Extensions. Some defense needs to be extended in both summary and final focus, such as a rebuttal overview that takes out an entire case. Pieces of defense such as uniqueness responses that are never responded to in summary may be extended from rebuttal to final focus to take out an argument that your opponents are collapsing on. NB: I am less likely to buy a terminally defensive extension from rebuttal to final focus if you are speaking second because I believe that it is the first speaker's job to do that in second summary and your opponent does not have an extra speech to address it.
- Signposting/Roadmaps. Signposting is necessary, roadmaps are nice. Just tell me what issues you are going to go over and when.
- Theory. Theory is the best way to check abuse in debate and is necessary to make sure unfair strategies are not tolerated. As a result of this I am a huge fan of theory in PF rounds but am not a fan of in using it as a way to just garner a cheap win off of a less experienced opponent. To avoid this, make sure there is a crystal clear violation that is explicitly checked for. It does not need to be presented as the classic "A is the interpretation, B is the violation, etc." but it does need to be clearly labeled as a shell. If theory is read in a round and there is a clear violation, it is where I will vote.
I give speaker points on both how fluid and convincing you are and how well you do on the flow. I will only give 30s to debaters that do both effectively. If you get below a 26 you probably did something unethical or offensive.
I may call for evidence in a few situations.
- One team tells me to.
- I can not make a decision within the round without evaluating a piece of evidence.
- I notice there is an inconsistency in how the evidence is used throughout the course of the debate and it is relevant to my decision. i.e. A piece of evidence changes from a card that identifies a problem to a magical catch-all solvency card.
- I have good reason to believe you miscut a card.
I encourage teams to ask questions about my RFD after the round and for teams to come and find me after the round is over for extra feedback. As long as you are courteous and respectful I will be happy to discuss the round with you.
I don't really understand K and Theory but if you warrant it and you convince me you get my ballot.
Warrant your weighing / evidence comparison
Don't need an off time roadmap, just tell me where on the flow you're starting and signpost from there.
If you miss something your opponent read in their case while flowing if they were going too fast or were unclear at some point, I encourage you to ask to see their case during prep time / crossfire.
Extensions need a warrant and an impact. When I say impact, I default to impacts about humans. If your terminal impact is killing 1000 fish, do better or tell me why this impact is important. An impact to an increase in climate change is not terminal, but telling me how many people are affected by climate change is.
Second Rebuttal should respond to all offense, including turns from first rebuttal. If the second rebuttal misses a turn from first rebuttal, that turn is conceded, and the only thing the second speaking team can do is outweigh the turn if it is extended in the first summary.
Second Summary should have defense. I got you first summary don't worry about it UNLESS the other team is trying to frontline everything in rebuttal, then your first summary better have defense.
Loren Bendall, Chagrin Falls High School
I am the parent of a debater. Although I am not currently practicing, I am an attorney who specialized in contracts and tax litigation. I have judged PF tournaments for two years.
I am not wild about speed. I will follow your points and sub-points and keep track of whether they are refuted; however, I think that excessively fast talking can diminish the persuasiveness of the underlying arguments.
Generally, I will decide the round based on who makes the most persuasive arguments, not who makes the most arguments. I am not a flow judge, but I will take notes and track all arguments to determine whether they were persuasively rebutted. I value the quality and impact of the argument over the quantity of arguments raised. If an argument has an impact, and it is not rebutted, you risk losing the round.
I think evidence is important as long as it is impactful; however, I can also be persuaded by logic, especially in rebuttal. I find that prolonged evidence battles are rarely necessary or persuasive. Arguments should be extended throughout the round.
I will consider new arguments raised in grand crossfire but not final focus.
I enjoy a lively crossfire within reason. I find trading off questions and answers to be much more persuasive than prolonged speeches. Time between sides should be divided somewhat evenly.
If I determine, based on the arguments, that a contention is a plan, that contention will be dropped.
Good luck and have fun.
I am a relatively inexperienced speech judge but have plenty of experience in forensics. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Stating something that contradicts what your opponents have said isn't debating; it's disagreeing. AKA implicate your responses and don't repeatedly extend through ink.
I look for the path of least resistance when I'm deciding a round.
If you misrepresent evidence, I will drop you.
Theory: Generally, I don't think theory belongs in PF debate. I think PF is unique in the sense that accessibility is an integral part of the activity and in my opinion the speed at which debaters often have to speak and the evidence cited in theory shells are simply not accessible to the public at large. That being said, I understand the value of theory with respect to protecting competitors from abuses in round and out of respect for all debaters and arguments alike I will listen and flow theory and evaluate it in the round. I've even voted for a team who ran it once. All I'll say is the only thing worse than running theory is doing it badly. If you don't know what you're doing and you don't actually have a deep understanding of the theory that you're running and how it operates within a debate round, I wouldn't recommend that you run it in front of me. Lastly, if you're going to run theory you should know that I really value upholding the standard that you run in and out of rounds and across all topics.
Debated in PF during all four years of HS for Bronx Science, dabbled in Policy for a year at Emory. Coached for 3+ years.
Judged various forms of debate since 2013.
Please add me the to email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I typically read a lot of news, and you can expect me to be on top of major current events. I also have a fairly broad knowledge base, and will usually know at the very least some background about a debate topic. That being said, I am not a debate coach, I do not prepare or help prepare cases on the debate topics, and I do not do any specialised research or read any briefs to acquaint myself with a topic I am going to judge. Do not expect me to know specific details, acronyms, jargon, or sources related to a topic unless you tell me about them/what they are. This is especially true in the earlier rounds at a tournament. If you're using names or acronyms you had never heard of before researching the topic, and would probably never learn otherwise, tell me what they mean the first time you use them.
The same thing goes for the background literature behind any K or other non-traditional arguments you make. I know very little abstract philosophy beyond the basics of deontological ethics vs utilitarianism. I tend to dislike Ks, but I'll keep an open mind to any argument and try to judge it on its merits. To do that, I'll probably need you to really explain the theory behind your K, rather than just name dropping a famous philosopher or one of their theories. If you don't, there's a good chance I'll have no idea what you're talking about. That won't end well for you.
Competitive Experience: Two years of high school public forum. Two years of collegiate experience in various types of debate and speech events.
Judging Experience: Since 2016 for Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas, plus various types of speech
I try to be Tabula Rasa, within reason. If you want me to know a specific piece of information, tell me. If you want me to weigh the round a certain way, tell me. If your opponent tells me what they think I need to know, and how to weigh the round, and you don't, they're going to have a distinct advantage.
Organize your speeches well, and please signpost and give clear tags as you go. It makes it easier for me to give you the credit you deserve for your arguments. If I don't know where to put something on my flow, it might get left out, or I might miss part of it while deciding where to flow it. Even if I do end up writing it down, it will probably be in the wrong place. I can't emphasize this enough: if I can't find something on my flow, then it didn't happen.
Every argument needs a link and an impact, and I prefer for these to be as clear as possible. Occasionally I see contentions without impacts, but more often than not, I see missing links. If your opponent shows me that you don't have a link, that point falls, period. If your opponent doesn't have a link, make this abundantly clear.
Clash with your opponent's case. The more you clash, the easier it is for me to see the strengths of your case and the flaws of your opponent's. If you just end up repeating your case, you're not giving me any new reasons to vote for your side or against your opponent's.
It should go without saying, but Lincoln Douglas is NOT one on one Policy debate, and Public Forum is NOT Policy-lite. If you want to debate policy style, I won't hold that against you. Policy is a valuable style of debate that stands on its own merits. Just don't do it when you're signed up to compete in LD or PF and I'm your judge.
Decorum - Be polite, be courteous, and be a decent human being. Poor decorum typically won't affect my decision on the ballot, but it will affect your speaker points. As long as you attack your opponent's arguments, and not them as people, we should be fine.
Evidence - Evidence is a powerful tool. We are not all experts on every topic, but evidence allows the experts to weigh in to separate truth from fiction. It can strengthen your arguments, and every case should have at least some. But evidence does not replace basic logic. It does not replace the need to provide links. The better you understand your evidence, and that of your opponents, the stronger your position. I also prefer quality over quantity: don't try to overwhelm me or your opponent with evidence, use it to further develop your position.
Speed - I'm not a fan of spreading. If you do end up going too fast for me to flow, I'll put my pen down, cross my arms, and look unhappy. It should be pretty obvious. Once you slow down, I'll start flowing again. If this happens, and you fix it, then no harm, no foul. If you don't slow down, then I won't flow a word you say, and you'll get terrible speaker points. My body language will be clear. Listen to it.
Be clear, be logical, be polite, give a well-structured case, don't spread, tell me what I need to know, and clash with your opponents.
I believe that public forum was designed to have a "john or sally doe" off the street come in and be a judge. That means that speaking clearly is absolutely essential. If I cannot understand you, I cannot weigh what you say. I also believe that clarity is important. Finally, I am a firm believer in decorum, that is, showing respect to your opponent. In this age of political polarization and uncompromising politics, I believe listening to your opponent and showing a willingness to give credence to your opponents arguments is one of the best lessons of public forum debate.
Experience: Currently an Engineering Student at UK. Did debate throughout high school and went to some national tournaments but I haven't judged since the last UK season opener.
Preferences: Debate how you want. Since I haven't been too involved with the debate community, it would be nice if you went at a slower pace. I really would like summary to start condensing the round, especially since y'all have 3 minutes now. Feel free to ask me more specific questions before round. If you're reading my paradigm and want to ask questions in-case you want to strike me, just message me on facebook (Brendon Bultman).
I would say I'm pretty flay at this point.
I am a parent judge.
-Speed is not ok
-Convince me, i like pretty speaking.
**tl;dr read the bold. I like starting on time/early if possible.
For background, I debated PF 4 years at Newton South and it's my 4th year coaching at Nueva. I feel like it's best if you probably treat me like a flay leaning tech judge? If you have issues with any parts of my paradigm I'm happy to discuss and/or potentially change some preferences for the round. The later in the day it gets, the more tired I get, so if I'm grumpy it's not you, it's me.
---Most normal tech things apply: here are more unique thoughts
Tech~Truth: I will buy anything that at least kinda makes sense as your arguments get more extreme/factually incorrect. I will need more work from you to win it and less work from opponents to lose it.
You need cards, but more importantly warrants; I will buy a strong analytic over a unwarranted card. Extend internal links (logical warranting) in addition to overall links/impacts otherwise I won't want to vote on it (99% of the time this is the reason I squirrel in out rounds). This isn’t Pokémon, I don’t want to hear why your card beats their card.
Please do not signpost by cards (ideally, number voters and use contention tags)
- Speaking: Speed is fine short of spreading. Speaks are based on speaking and content, I will bump if you pull off a cool strategy in round well. Don't be a bully, don't let yourself be bullied. I might not be looking/flowing during cross but I'm listening, make jokes and stuff, have fun :)
- Theory/Progressive args: Run at your own risk, I'm not an expert but know the basics. I tend to think theory disadvantages new debaters so I'll probably only vote on it if: y'all all are down for it pre-round (and my level of judging lol) and/or there's actual discrimination happening and/or it's drop the arg not the debater
- Weighing: "Strength of link," "urgency," and "clarity of impact" mean nothing unless you warrant and implicate them. I think you should consider thinking of weighing less with buzzwords and more by literally thinking about why one is more important than explaining it (truth is convincing).
- Evidence: Don't lie. Even if it’s an accidental miscut, drop it. Find cards within a couple minutes or I'll ask you to drop them. I'll call cards if you tell me to, but won't do it on my own unless a card is both important and sketchy - if it is bad, I won't consider it regardless of whether your opponents called it or not.
- Be sensitive and respectful: Co-opting issues for a strat is not ok - care about the issue, have a productive debate. Consider if you need a content/trigger warning + spare contention. These issues are real and affect the people around you, possibly including me and those in your round and I will not hesitate to vote you down and drop speaks if something is up. That being said, let me determine that: please don't make "they don't care enough" args.
Last thoughts: I generally don’t presume and instead just lower my link/round standards til someone meets them. Let your parents watch your rounds! They've earned it. And remember to eat!
Email: email@example.com. Please feel free to reach out for any concern, round/not round related.
I debated for 5 years so I can handle tech speed etc. Personally, I've never found paradigms very useful. My best advice would be to just debate the way you're most accustomed to and you'll probably be most likely to win by ballot anyway. But, if you want the specifics of my preferences, read below:
Things I like:
- logical analysis
- smart analytics + evidence always beat evidence. blipping a bunch of evidence is not very strategic / convincing.
- Front-lining in second rebuttal
- Given the new summary times, it would make 1st FF basically impossible if you waited until 2nd Summary to do all of your frontlines for 3 min. I can't force you to frontline in 2nd rebuttal but frontlines you wait longer to make will be given less weight, and I will have a lower bar for what counts as a good response in the 1FF
- You do don't need to rely on buzzwords like "probability" and "timeframe" just make sure to spend time directly comparing offense
Things I don’t like:
- New contentions read in 2nd rebuttal
- They’re abusive, given that summary is only 2 min. They’re also usually fairly bad arguments but only strategic because they’re tough to respond to so late. These are usually disguised as “offensive overviews” or “Disads”. I will be very hesitant to vote on these.
- This also means if you read a tiny turn in 2nd rebuttal and blow it up in 2nd FF I will be much less inclined to vote on it.
- Theory / K / progressive arguments
- I will evaluate them, but I have a low bar for what counts as a good response to these arguments. Also I never properly learned about these arguments so if the round devolves into a theory round I’ll (probably) make a bad decision.
- A kind of vague category which includes things like trying to reexplain arguments to me as you hand me evidence, being rude in CX, or stealing prep time while you call for cards.
Hi. I coach both middle and high school PFD and Congressional Debate as a volunteer. I was a policy debater.
I am a policy analyst and an editor.
Clash, persuade, funnel. I don’t mind observations, but don’t give me a ten-pointer and apply it to every argument. I do flow. Be CLEAR. Please follow the flow in your speech and sign post for me. If I am flipping pages to find where you are, it is generally not good for you. Please give me a framework- it doesn't necessarily have to be in case, but make it known soon so your narrative throughout the round can fulfill it.
I do have some troubles with evidence in PFD. It is generally cut to be conclusionary. Know the author, know why they are a better source than your opponent's evidence, know WHY they said what they said AND PLEASE TELL ME. That can be the BEST argument in the round.
After having judged quite a few national circuit rounds, there have been a few teams that go too fast. They spit out a number of poor arguments and win because the other team can't cover them all and the dumpers cherry pick and pull. I get it all down, but I don't necessarily grok all the arguments...mostly because they are a skeleton of an argument. Honestly, this makes me sad. At that point, it is not about persuasion and argumentation. And the thing is, these rounds had 4 smart people in them. They could have made great arguments. They chose to overwhelm rather than outwit.
Summary speech is REALLY important. It is the chance to play chess- very strategic. In Final Focus, tell me why your voters win the day. Shore up your warrants and weigh those impacts. I do enjoy some panache and humor.
Finally, don't be a jerk a.k.a. a contemptibly obnoxious person. In cross, lay your cards down. Being evasive makes me unhappy. If your opponent keeps asking and you keep evading, I will not let you win the argument you are hiding for later.
You are amazing for getting up early on a weekend to throw words at me. :)
My debating experience is national circuit LD, but before it went to spreading. I have a basic understanding of PF, but may not follow you if you're going fast and using a lot of jargon. I like to hear clearly reasoned and articulated arguments from respectful opponents. This will be especially important in the online format. Slow down and make your best case rather than going fast and ticking through every argument / card. Obviously, I'm not saying drop contentions on purpose. But distill your reasoning into a coherent, persuasive speech rather than a laundry list of points.
Hi I am Malcolm. I am now the Debate coach for Edgemont HS, Swarthmore College, and an assistant coach with Nueva.
I think debates should be fun and I enjoy when debaters engage their opponents arguments in good faith. I can flow things very fast and would like to be on the email chain if you make one! firstname.lastname@example.org . In general, I try to flow primarily by listening rather than following along on the doc, but do not let me slow you down. DO let your opponents slow you down respect clears from them more than from me.
PF Paradigm (updated for UK Season Opener 2023):
in brief: I've been judging a while now and will do my best to evaluate the debate based only what is explained in the round during speech time (this is what ends up on my flow). I really enjoy creative argumentation, do what makes you happy in debate.
I am happy to evaluate kritiks. In general I think more literary arguments are a good thing. I am ok with theory. I will vote on any convincingly won position. Please give reasons why these arguments should be round winning.
I think debates are best when debaters focus on fewer arguments in order to delve more deeply into those arguments. It is always more strategic to make fewer arguments with more reasoning.
calling for evidence in a PF round is *USUALLY* a waste of everyone's time, especially if you do so one at a time and try to showboat your reaction to it.
Parli Paradigm updated for 2023 NPDL TOC
Hi! I am new-ish to judging high school parli, but have lots and lots of college (apda) judging and competing experience. Open to all kinds of arguments, but unlikely to understand format norms / arguments based thereupon. Err on the side of overexplaining your arguments and the way they interact with things in the debate
Be creative ! Feel free to ask any questions before the round.
I really enjoy judging policy, I am happy to evaluate any sort of argument.
Do add me to the email chain: email@example.com
My favorite thing about CX is the creativity y'all have with arguments and strategies!
I aim for tab rasa. I often fall short, and am happy to answer more specific questions.
If you have more specific questions, ask me before the round or shoot me an email.
LD. I really like judging LD! paradigm is basically same as for CX, fewer specific thoughts because it's yet to come up.
philosophy debate is good and I really like evaluating critical positions in LD.
Tricks: I am not your judge.
PFD coach, 5 yrs.
Weigh well and give me effective and concrete impact calculus. Ultimately I like a good clear collapse in the FF. Don't try to go for everything.
I can appreciate passion and humor, but please do not be rude. This will result in lower speaker points.
Second rebuttal should of course respond to first rebuttal.
Evidence does not argue for itself. This is true in case and throughout the round. Citing a card in rebuttal without explaining the link, or however you use using it for a refutation, is not adequate. Memorizing cards is not true argumentation.
I really appreciate well organized speeches.
Now that we've got longer summaries, be sure yours does good offense and defense. You have time. Summary should not be a second rebuttal though...if you don't give me offense there, I can't carry any more for you throughout the round.
CONGRESS PARADIGM IS BELOW THIS PF Paradigm
ALMOST EVERY ROUND I HAVE JUDGED IN THE LAST 8 YEARS WOULD HAVE BENEFITTED FROM 50% FEWER ARGUMENTS, AND 100% MORE ANALYSIS OF THOSE 50% FEWER ARGUMENTS. A Narrative, a Story carries so much more persuasively through a round than the summary speaker saying "we are going for Contention 2".
I am NOT a fan of speed, nor speed/spread. Please don't make me think I'm in a Policy Round!
I don't need "Off-time roadmaps", I just want to know where you are starting.
Claim/warrant/evidence/impact is NOT a debate cliche; It is an Argumentative necessity! A label and a blip card is not a developed argument!
Unless NUCLEAR WINTER OR NUCLEAR EXTINCTION HAS ALREADY OCCURED, DON'T BOTHER TO IMPACT OUT TO IT.
SAVE K'S FOR POLICY ROUNDS; RUN THEORY AT YOUR OWN RISK- I start from ma place that it is fake and abusive in PF and you are just trying for a cheap win against an unprepared team. I come to judge debates about the topic of the moment.
YOU MIGHT be able to convince me of your sincerity if you can show me that you run it in every round and are President of the local "Advocacy for that Cause" Club.
Don't just tell me that you win an argument, show me WHY you win it and what significance that has in the round.
Please NARROW the debate and WEIGH arguments in Summary and Final Focus. If you want the argument in Final Focus, be sure it was in the summary.
There is a difference between "passionate advocacy" and anger. Audio tape some of your rounds and decide if you are doing one or the other when someone says you are "aggressive".
NSDA evidence rules require authors' last name and THE DATE (minimum) so you must AT LEAST do that if you want me to accept the evidence as "legally presented". If one team notes that the other has not supplied dates, it will then become an actual issue in the round. Speaker points are at stake.
In close rounds I want to be persuaded and I may just LISTEN to both Final Focus speeches, checking off things that are extended on my flow.
I am NOT impressed by smugness, smiling sympathetically at the "stupidity" of your opponent's argument, vigorous head shaking in support of your partner's argument or opposition to your opponents'. Speaker points are DEFINITELY in play here!
1: The first thing I am looking for in every speech is ORGANIZATION AND CLARITY. 2. The second thing I am looking for is CLASH; references to other speakers & their arguments
3. The third thing I am looking for is ADVOCACY, supported by EVIDENCE
IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS A SPEAKING EVENT, NOT A READING EVENT! I WILL NOT GIVE EVEN A "BRILLIANT" SPEECH A "6" IF IT IS READ OFF A PREPARED SHEET/TUCKED INTO THE PAD OR WRITTEN ON THE PAD ITSELF; AND, FOR CERTAIN IF IT IS READ OFF OF A COMPUTER OR TABLET.
I value a good story and humor, but Clarity and Clash are most important.
Questioning and answering factors into overall placement in the Session.
Yes, I will evaluate and include the PO, but it is NOT an automatic advancement to the next level; that has gotten a bit silly.
Background: 4 years of NFA-LD for Western Kentucky University (one-person policy). 2 years of PF & 2 years of policy at Oakwood High School. Coached various teams and worked at summer debate camps.
Policy Debate Paradigm
1. I don't like RVIs. I can't imagine ever voting on one.
2. I don't like procedural arguments other than T. I will vote on one if it is dropped, but if there's ink on it, it seems unlikely (but, not impossible) for you to win on such an argument. For example, I saw a vagueness argument where a team had carded reasons why a team must defend an actor and agent when passing drone policy. The implication was presumption heavy. I think this argument had much more merit than a generic vagueness back file.
3. I don't like semantics-based T arguments. For example, curtail does not mean remove. I think your T arguments should have implications for your debatability of the topic.
4. I don't love theory in general. I see the strategic value of layering up, but I think it's often domeless. Troll theory and tricks are a non-starter for me.
5. I like disclosure. You should disclose your Aff and Neg on the Wiki. I will probably dock your speaker points unless you have a reason you don't disclose (i.e., a novice who's never heard of the wiki or solely running identity-based arguments that you will share with anyone via email but are uncomfortable with posting to your name online). I will vote on disclosure theory.
6. Speed is usually ONLY a voter in JV and novice. In those divisions, you are trying to get a feel for debate, not moot your opponent's ability to learn. Otherwise, in varsity it's only a voting issue if you have a disability you've shared with your opponent or another legitimate reason.
General Thoughts on Judging:
I have outlined my biases, I typically try to judge on the flow. But, if you make a ridiculous claim, your opponent can likely debunk it even without evidence (i.e., if someone says that Canada is not part of North America).
Flowing/Speed: I do not flow while reading the speech document. I flow through listening to you debate. I might open it during cross-x or prep if I am interested in reading your evidence. While I am comfortable with any speed (especially on card text), clarity on tags and analytics can only help you improve my flow. I will give verbal indications if I cannot understand you.
Evidence: I like good evidence from a quality source. I will not factor evidence into my decision unless I
1. Am told to by the other team.
2. I cannot decide the debate otherwise.
It might not be purposeful, but it will be hard for me, even if in-round evaluation is not made, to evaluate a econ impact defense card from the NYT in 2007 over a 2022 econ impact card from an economics professor conducting quantitative analysis.
Defense Evaluation: I think defense is rarely terminal, but it can be. For example, if you're reading a politics DA about passing a bill that's already been passed, terminal defense is proving the bill passed.
Thoughts on Arguments:
You should mostly do what you like best. I try to evaluate based on the flow.
Aff: engage with the topic.
That does not mean you must endorse the topic, just that you should be topic-relevant. I'm likely implicitly biased against critical affs, particularly those that don't seem to have much of an impact (i.e., I think some obscure phil Aff is less persuasive than an identity-based Aff). I have no ideological opposition to critical Affs, however, I do often internally question their predictability (suggesting, predictability is a persuasive neg argument).
In general, I like big-stick Affs that have quality-evidence.
Case Debate: I love it. Do it more. Teams undervalue case debate.
DAs. I love them. I am often skeptical of politics DAs, but I'll evaluate them fairly.
CPs. I love them. I like pics, condo CPs, etc. Delay and Consult are probably cheating, especially delay. In this case, read theory to test the validity of the CPs.
Ks. I like them. But, they should be clearly explained and topic relevant. I mainly read topic Ks, the basics like cap, and Baudrillard (I know, I'm the worst).
T. Great. Test if the Aff is T. I think carded violations are significantly more persuasive than analytic violations. But, I understand if you're hitting an obscure, new Aff, you won't have a carded violation.
Theory. Meh in general. But, if you can implicate it, then I suppose it makes sense. I prefer drop the argument. For example, if you prove a perm is severance, they shouldn't be allowed to go for that perm, they shouldn't just lose the debate.
One condo bad is a non-starter.
However, I do understand that theory is sometimes the best out and can be impacted well to the debatability of the round. For example, if your opponent reads 27 analytical condo CPs, it might be a good idea to read some theory argument (though, you can probably easily defeat 27 unwarranted CPs). I won't even flow horrible, meme theory arguments. You can ask me my opinion on the theory argument before the round if you are unsure (for example, multi-condo bad is something I'll flow; dress code theory is not).
Overall, I'm probably best in this order:
1. Policy stuff.
2. K stuff.
But, good luck and have fun! Let me know if you have additional questions.
I evaluate progressive LD the same as policy. However, I will try to be more open to theory because I know that time constraints make LD more difficult. Feel free to ask me questions about this before the round. I still don't like meme theory.
I'm okay with any speed. But, I've noticed LD debaters tend to maintain the same speed on tags, analytics, and card text. Please slow down or get louder on tags and analytics so I can differentiate them. On theory shells please slow down a bit so I can write down each internal-link since I will not backflow.
I guess I just vote on the flow. I prefer line-by-lines to condensed voting issues. It's easier for me to evaluate. I'm more willing to entertain non-traditionally structured arguments (i.e., asserting and implicating someone is not topical vs the standard carded interp, violation, standards, voters).
Traditional vs Progressive Rounds:
I find this difficult to determine a clear stance on. I understand the judges who think progressive LDers should adapt to traditional debaters, but I also think it's weird to tell people not to debate their best. I think progressive debaters should flash documents and slow down significantly on tags and analytics, but go full speed on card text. I think you should be kind and not belligerent when the traditional debater is asking questions. I will boost your speaker points if you adapt a little bit, but I won't dock them if you run progressive arguments. Just be kind, I was a freshman in policy debate and it's tough facing opponents who understand policy debate. You probably don't need to pull out your critical Aff when facing a novice who's only done traditional debate (I think it's fair to though if you're ONLY reading this critical Aff in every round i.e., certain anti-Blackness debaters dedicated to educating the community on structural racism).
You should debate this round knowing I have the most experience judging and debating policy. I will evaluate the round on the flow. You can read what you'd like.
A couple thoughts:
- You should flash documents. I will dock your speaks if you don't. If you decide not to (which I dislike as a norm), you get 30 seconds to find a card before it's prep time.
- I like disclosure. I understand the wiki is new, but you should inform your opponents before the round what you are reading. I'll boost your speaks if you do this in front of me.
- I like full cards. I think paraphrasing is a good skill, but full cards are the most true to the source.
- I think you should have all cards available, formatted correctly, and cited properly. I have no desire to read through your pdf.
i begged you
If you do not have an off case position, I will forget your off-time roadmap. Please tell me in your speech what argument you are addressing.
Read whatever (non-offensive/egregiously untrue) argument you want; I try to be flexible.
I will not evaluate theory arguments presented in the ABCD interp violation blah blah format. If you want to explain your theory argument in the (relatively) conversational language that you present all your other arguments in, then I will listen. https://www.vbriefly.com/2021/04/15/equity-in-public-forum-debate-a-critique-of-theory/
I reserve the right to be more persuaded by a team.
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously worked as the ADOD at North Broward Prep. Debated at Indiana University and Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, IN. I’m usually coaching or assisting with some program on the side – so I’ll have a decent understanding of topic literature. I also worked as a political research consultant and have a public policy degree, so tend to follow the wonkish debates pretty well.
Top of the paradigm is for Policy, with PF and LD afterward.
Debate is primarily a competition. It’s one that teaches us many values and influences how we develop as people, but is still a game with a winner and a loser at its core. That central truth produces debate’s best and worst outcomes. It can result in thorough, well-researched debates that delve into the nuances of a specific issue. Or it can produce scattershot 57-off strategies that rely on mistakes to have a chance of victory. I’ll evaluate both debates all the same, but enjoy one a whole lot more. That same truth can also make us view competitors with respect and admiration for their commitment to the activity. Or it can make us view them as our opposition, to be steamrolled and reduced to nothing whenever possible. I’ll evaluate the content of the arguments all the same if you’re rude and unkind to your competitors, but you’ll enjoy your speaker points a whole lot less.
No argument is ‘too bad’ to win in front of me. If it’s truly so egregious, it’s the burden of the opposing team to explain why in the debate. I try hard not to intervene and inject personal biases, but I do still have them and they influence the decisions I make. That being said – I’m still an educator at the end of the day, and debate is an activity for students in an academic setting. If you are actively hostile and bigoted during the round towards your opponents or a group of people, you will lose for that reason.
It's not too hard to get high speaks in front of me. Have a clear strategy, execute it well, and make the debate enjoyable for all involved.
I prefer critiques to include research about the topic, but it’s not required. Clear impact turns to the core negative standards on framework are vital – spewing nebulous and blippy arguments titled things like ‘Plasticity DA’ to T in the 2ac is terminally unpersuasive. If you’re not contextualizing your impact turns as direct answers to fairness, clash, etc. you’re in a hole from the start. Ideally, you will also present a straightforward and well explained vision of debate and develop reasons why it can preserve a limited argumentative venue.
I’m more persuaded by presumption arguments vs. K affs than most judges. 2AR’s tend to mishandle offensive, cruel optimism-style arguments and get themselves into trouble.
You need to explain how the aff’s C/I explodes limits and to what extent, same as you would against a policy affirmative when going for T. What style affirmative does it allow for? Why is it bad for debate, and how bad?
When I vote affirmative it’s usually because of a sequencing claim about dropped case arguments or an unclear response to the aff’s impact turns to framework impacts.
When I vote negative it’s usually because you win fairness is a priori and the only thing the ballot can resolve, that a limited model of debate internal link turns aff impacts through improved research/iterative testing, or that the Aff’s scholarship is included in your model.
iS fAirNesS aN inTernAL LiNK oR iMpaCT? Both. I don't care.
Not a fan of heavy theory debates, but I’ve judged quite a few. Definitely lean neg on conditionality – but willing to vote for it if competently extended and technically won by the affirmative. As a 2a, process counterplans were not my favorite argument in debate, and I tend to lean aff on competition arguments here. That being said, the topic is massive and there’s a ridiculous amount of affirmative ground – which does make me sympathetic to neg claims about their centrality + importance. Still not afraid to vote neg quickly and easily if you’re ahead on the technical aspects in this portion of debate.
Theory debates that rely on me to fill-in arguments where you have just said random technical debate jargon - nonstarter. You should slow down on your theory analytics as well – I often find myself missing nuance when it’s extended by reading blocks as fast as possible.
*** Public Forum Debate ***
I competed in Indiana in high school, and very much understand the frustrations of losing debates on new arguments, evidence spin, ‘I just don’t believe you,’ etc. in front of lay judges. I’ll try my hardest to purely evaluate the debate off of the flow, which means giving equal weight and consideration to arguments that are not traditionally made in Public Forum. I think judges should approach debate with an open mind, and be ready to listen to students who put just as much effort and thought into their non-traditional strategies as other teams have.
Indicating an openness to theoretical and critical arguments does not mean that you should necessarily try reading these arguments in front of me for the first time. I find myself judging very poorly executed strategies in these lanes pretty often, and the speaker points reflect it. Please stick with what you’ve been practicing, as this is the best way to win my ballot. Trying to punk another team on theory if you never go for it will usually not work out well for you.
Competing in policy for 4 years in college has left me with many, somewhat negative, opinions on the pedagogical quality of argumentation in PF. Research is often not presented to me in a clear and digestible way (read: cards), and I’ve been handed a 20+ page PDF as the ‘source’ for an argument too many times to count. Saying ‘nuclear war doesn’t happen, MAD checks that’s Ferguson,’ and then handing me a piece of evidence with 2 minutes of highlighted text will not go your way. I won’t read deep into evidence that has not been explained and warranted during the debate, as I think that leads to pretty sizable judge intervention and more arbitrary decisions than one that remains flow-centric.
I’m a big advocate of disclosure in PF. The best debates are ones where one team has a thoroughly prepared strategies against a case, and the other team really knows the ins and outs of their own contentions. I’m not sympathetic at all to arguments about prep-outs – I’m terminally convinced that they’re good. I’m not convinced by arguments about how they hurt small schools – I competed at a very tiny college program that ONLY survived because of the wiki. I’m not sympathetic to arguments about people ‘stealing research,’ because it’s obviously not ‘stealing’ and lazy debaters that download wiki cases usually get beaten because they don’t know the nuances of the arguments they’re reading. If you disclose on the wiki, you will get a slight speaker bump. If you disclose pre-round, same deal. Note: this does not mean that disclosure theory is an auto-win by any means. You will have to technically execute it and win that disclosure is good during the debate – I won’t copy and paste my paradigm into the ballot.
Nitpicky other thoughts that may be helpful:
· Don’t take forever finding your evidence – especially if it’s in your own case. If it drags on too long (3-4 minutes) I will begin to run prep time. There’s clearly a reasonable window of time in which you can find a piece of evidence you claimed to have literally just read. If you can’t find it, you probably didn’t actually cut/read it.
· Don’t ever go back to your own case in first rebuttal just to ‘build it up some more.’ I will not be flowing if you are not making new arguments, and it’s a complete waste of time to rebuild a case they have not yet answered. There are some exceptions to this if you have framing arguments or whatnot – but 99% of the time you should just be answering your opponent’s case. To me, it reads as a clear sign that someone is a relative beginner in Public Forum when this occurs.
· Second rebuttal should frontline their case.
· Summary should include defensive and dropped arguments, but time should be allocated according to the other teams’ coverage.
· Impact framing arguments that are simply ‘X issue is not discussed enough, so prioritize it’ are not convincing to me in the slightest. You need to have a clear and offensive reason why not prioritizing your impact filter is bad, not just say that it’s important and people never give it notice. Ask yourself this question: what is the impact of your framing being ignored?
· Warrants beat tagline extensions of cards 99% of the time.
None of the above are ‘rules’ for how to go about earning my ballot. You could violate any one of the above and still win, but it’s likely only going to happen if your opponent is making major mistakes. Lastly, I think that topic knowledge wins just as many debates as a cleverly constructed case does. You should try your best to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on any given PF topic, because you’ll usually have what it takes to flexibly respond to unpredicted arguments and embarrass your opponents in cross.
**** Lincoln Douglas ****
Not gonna lie - much of the current state of this activity annoys me. An overreliance on missed tricks, opponents misunderstanding nonsensical K's, and underdevelopment of most arguments in the round seem to be how the LD rounds I judge go. I guess I'm a great judge for the activity since I flow and can keep up with speed pretty easily, but your speaks are going to suffer if what I described above is your primary strategy in the debate.
I prefer smart, nuanced arguments that are developed well throughout the debate, not 7-off with 4 theory shells sprinkled throughout the speech. Very open to and aware of most K literature - but be cautious of reading multiple K's or a K + DA strategy that contain clearly contradictory arguments. I'm not a big fan of perf con in LD, since I think the limited time window in the 1ar makes it pretty abusive for the aff to actually grapple with.
I'm not going to be familiar with the super in-the-weeds K or theory argument that is only a thing in LD. I come from Policy/PF world, and you should debate with this in mind.
Speaker point scale:
29.5+ - You’re debating like you’re already in the final round, and you deserve top speaker at this tournament.
29-29.5 – Debating like a quarterfinalist.
28.5 – 29 – Solid bubble/doubles team
28-28.5 – Debating like you should be around .500 or slightly below
27.5-28 – Serious room for improvement
Below 27.5 – You were disrespectful to the extreme or cheated. Probably around here if you just give up as well.
I am a volunteer parent judge with experience in the Wilson Wyatt Debate League and the Kentucky Debate League.
I look for strong arguments, contentions, supported by logic and facts. Quality and clarity are more important than quantity with respect to factual support. I look for strong rebuttals and lively exchanges. Strong command of the issue and preparedness are readily apparent.
I am a university science professor and have judged on local PDF circuits for the last five years, and also several national tournaments. I look for data-driven, evidence-based arguments that are grounded in reality, not hyper-speculative or overly contrived.
I do not mind rapid speech, as long as words are well articulated and not delivered in an evenly paced monotone. Emphasizing key points through a change in pace or intonation can ensure that I understand your case structure and am drawn to your most important evidence ... in other words, make your strongest evidence and cards clear.
I will look for the winning team to develop and defend its own case at least as strongly as it tries to negate the opposing team's arguments. During cross-fire, exerting control over the pace and direction of questioning is fine, but rude, intimidating, or overly aggressive behavior will not earn speaker points.
In arriving at a final decision, I will always value well-researched arguments over rhetoric and diatribe.
Let's start by saying this - I'm a wild card judge at times. There is no one thing that wins the round for me, and there's no one thing that loses it. I evaluate each debate on its own merit and set of circumstances. If you must know something that remotely looks like a paradigm/philosophy, though, here goes...
Although I am a coach, I still believe that public forum is an event intended for the layman. Throwing around fancy phraseology that shows me you've been to prestigious debate camps and have a diverse set of experiences on the national circuit doesn't impress me as much as you might like - it all boils down to effective argumentation and refutation. Framework/weighing mechanisms are extremely helpful. Otherwise, you've got a trigger-happy judge like me trying to determine standards upon which to evaluate the round, and you know as well as I do that people can be foolish doodyheads. Lead the horse to water, and it will drink on its own. Don't lead the horse to water, and it may gallop around everything but the water.
I'm getting off track. Not unlike a horse.
I can comprehend just fine in terms of speed, but don't spread because you think introducing eighteen different contentions will win you the round. It won't. "They dropped my really obscure point about the squirrel population and the environment - you're gonna flow that to us." No, I'm not. Just because an opponent doesn't address subpoint 3c of contention 2a doesn't mean they lose the round - that's tactics and strategy, and while it can assist you, it will very rarely be my RFD.
I do flow, but it will look like a deranged person's flow - I got thrown into debate by my own high school coach at the last second without any prep, so I made it up as I went along ("fake it 'til you make it," after all). Hopefully you won't notice it on Zoom.
Oh, and this whole notion of pre-flow? Yeah, that's definitely a thing - it's called prep time. If I, as the judge, am ready to go? You are ready to go as well. Do not ask me to wait on you beyond a minute or two - that won't start you off on the right foot.
Civil crossfires, please. This is where my pen drops the most; I interpret speaking over one another as rude and inconsiderate. I don't see that as much with virtual crossfires (#thanksalotcorona), but I thought I would mention it.
I can't do the pen twirly thing. I've tried, and I just don't have the coordination.
Hope that provides you some level of understanding of the claptrap that is my mind.
Please don't make me judge policy.
4 years of PF at duPont Manual in Louisville, KY.
3 years of NFA-LD/LP at Western Kentucky University.
(1) Speed good.
(2) Do what you do best – I’ll do my best to adapt.
(3) Prefer fast policy-style rounds.
(4) No objections to judging the K – just less experienced.
(5) Great debate minds that heavily influenced the way I view/judge this activity: Chad Meadows, Anthony Survance, Claire Rung & Alex Rivera.
Long(ish) Version (will become more detailed as I judge more NFA rounds) –
It’s your round – I’m just here to evaluate it. Debate how you’re most comfortable. I’ll do my best to evaluate whatever’s in front of me.
I have not researched the endless wars topic.
I dislike evidence from random news outlets. Flex your author qualifications in front of me.
I like big affs that directly engage a large portion of the topic. I dislike small affs that use their tangential relation to the topic to no-link all neg ground.
Lean neg on most issues related to conditionality. Multiple condo CPs is fine if you can win the condo flow.
Not a fan of five-card DAs that take forever to get to the point.
I default drop the debater on disclosure (put your stuff on the wiki!) – drop the arg on every other theory argument. Feel free to convince me otherwise.
T is a voter. What’s “topical” is up for debate!
Don’t waste your time on RVIs in front of me.
I didn’t debate the K much, but feel free to read it. Alt solvency is really important to me. Wouldn’t suggest kicking the alt and going for the K as a DA to the aff in the 2N in front of me.
I am an assistant coach at The Potomac School, and previously was the Director of Forensics at Des Moines Roosevelt. If you have any questions about Public Forum, Extemp, Congress, or Interp events, come chat! Otherwise you can feel free to email me at: email@example.com for any questions about events, the activity, or rounds I've judged.
I'm a flow judge that wants to be told how to feel. Ultimately, Public Forum is supposed to be persuasive--a 'winning' flow is not inherently persuasive. My speaker points are generally reflective of how easy I think you make my decisions.
Things to Remember…
0. The Debate Space: R E L A X. Have some fun. Breathe a little. Sit where you want, talk in the direction you want, live your BEST lives in my rounds. I'm not here to tell you what that looks like!
1. Framework: Cost/benefit unless otherwise determined.
2. Extensions: Links and impacts NEED to be in summary to be evaluated in final focus. Please don't just extend through ink--make an attempt to tell me why your arguments are comparatively more important than whatever they're saying.
3. Evidence: If you're bad at paraphrasing and do it anyway, that's a reasonable voter. See section on theory. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. I also prefer authors AND dates. I will not call for evidence unless suggested to in round.
4. Cross: If it's not in a speech it's not on my flow. HOWEVER: I want to pay attention to cross. Give me something to pay attention to. Just because I'm not flowing cross doesn't make it irrelevant--it's up to you to do something with the time.
5. Narrative: Narrow the 2nd half of the round down with how your case presents a cohesive story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. I like comparative analysis.
6. Theory: If an abuse happens, theory shells are an effective check. I think my role as an educator is to listen to the arguments as presented and make an evaluation based on what is argued.
Disclosure is good for debate. I think paraphrasing is good for public forum, but my opinion doesn't determine how I evaluate the paraphrasing shell. This is just to suggest that no one should feel intimidated by a paraphrasing shell in a round I am judging--make substantive responses in the line-by-line and it's ultimately just another argument I evaluate tabula rasa.
7. Critical positions: I'll evaluate Ks, but if you are speaking for someone else I need a good reason not to cap your speaks at 28.5.
8. Tech >< Truth: Make the arguments you want to make. If they aren't supported with SOME evidence my threshold for evaluating answers to them is, however, low.
9. Sign Post/Road Maps: Please.
**Do NOT give me blippy/underdeveloped extensions/arguments. I don’t know authors of evidence so go beyond that when talking about your evidence/arguments in round. I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that with some humor and panache.**
I am a parent judge, and I have judged for more than 3 years on the national circuit.
- Speak clearly at a conversational pace
- Have logical and well-explained arguments
- Avoid debate jargon
- Signpost clearly
- No Ks, Theory, etc.
- Be professional and civil
- Cross: I may not take notes but I pay attention
I was a varsity policy debater in high school and am an experienced parent judge. I have judged over 40 varsity public forum rounds including the 2019 IHSA State Debate Championship and the 2019 National Speech and Debate Tournament. A few paradigms:
- I am a flow judge. I expect that debaters will extend evidence properly throughout the round. Any new evidence introduced in Final Focus will be disregarded.
- I am fine with speed. However, if I cannot understand your speech, I will not flow it. If you spread, you will lose!
- I will not flow Crossfire, but many rounds are won or lost here. If you have "won" in Crossfire, mention it in a later speech and it will be noted.
- I strongly encourage all debaters to weigh their impacts towards the end of the round. Success here will likely win you my ballot.
Best of luck!
I am a lay parent judge of Acton-Boxborough, with a son who has done debate for the past 3 years.
My ability to understand fast speeches and write quickly is limited; please make sure you are able to effectively get your point across in a manner where I can understand things.
More importantly, when comparing arguments, while you might give a couple of reasons your argument is better than your opponent, at the same time your opponent will also do the same. Please tell me the reasons why I should believe your comparisons over their comparisons, but do so well enough all throughout round so it is easy to remember. Do this same thing with your response and tell me why your response to their case or the response you do when you defend your own case matter more than theirs. In the end, whoever does this effectively is the one that wins, as the debaters are the ones that provide the logic and reasoning for the arguments.
Keep debates clean, no yelling in crossfires
1X HS State Champion in PF
2x College State Champion
3X National college out-round participant
I'm a tab judge, within reason. If you say it, I'll flow it. I find often that I am inclined to enjoy framework debates. I will take Topicality arguments and Kritiks, but make sure you justify them and that they are properly formulated. I'm not a huge fan of speed, but can flow it and am fine with it as long as your opponent is.
PF & Parli coach for Nueva
- Use your agency to make this safe space and non-hostile to all debaters & judges
- non-interventionist until the point where something aggressively problematic is said (read: problematic: articulating sexist, racist, ableist, classist, queerphobic, anything that is oppressive or entrenches/legitimates structural violence in-round)
- tech over truth
- please time yourselves and your opponent: I don't like numbers and I certainly don't like keeping track of them when y'all use them for prep, if you ask me how much time you have left I most probably won't know
- if you finish your speech and have extra time at the end, please do not take that time to "go over my own case again" - I recommend weighing if you want to finish your speech time, or alternatively, just end your speech early
- I guess I expect debaters to ask POI's, but I won't punish you for not asking them in your speaker scores
- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speakers are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.
- I do my best to protect the flow, but articulate points of order anyway
- recently I've heard rounds that include two minutes of an "overview/framework" explaining why tech debate/using "technical terms" in debate is bad - I find this irritating, so it would probably be in your best interest to not run that, although it's not an automatic loss for you, it simply irks me
- feel free to ask questions within "protected time" - it's the debater's prerogative whether or not they accept the POI, but I don't mind debaters asking and answering questions within
- I like uniqueness, I like link chains, I like impact scenarios! These things make for substantive, educational debates!
- I don't call for cards unless you tell me to; telling me "the ev is sketchy" or "i encourage you to call for the card" isn't telling me to call for the card. tell me "call for the card" - picking and choosing cards based on what I believe is credible or not is sus and seems interventionist
- I don't flow cross fire but it works well to serve how much you know the topic. regardless, if you want anything from crossfire on my flow, reference it in-speech.
- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speaker points are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.
- if you want me to evaluate anything in your final focus make sure it's also in your summary, save for of course frontlines by second-speaking teams - continuity is key
- in terms of rebuttal I guess I expect the second speaking team to frontline, but of course this is your debate round and I'm not in charge of any decisions you make
- hello greetings defense is sticky
- please please please please please WEIGH: tell me why the args you win actually matter in terms of scope, prob, mag, strength of link, clarity of impact, yadda yadda
Other than that please ask me questions as you will, I should vote off of whatever you tell me to vote off of given I understand it. If I don't understand it, I'll probably unknowingly furrow my eyebrows as I'm flowing. Blippy extensions may not be enough for me - at the end of the day if you win the round because of x, explain x consistently and cleanly so there's not a chance for me to miss it.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments or if you feel otherwise uncomfortable asking in person
I prefer clear, concise, easy to follow debates. Make it clear why I should vote for you. Avoid dropping arguments. Stay respectful to your competitor. I have been judging since 2008 but still prefer to be thought of as a lay judge and treated as such. Help me, help you.
Prefer debaters to speak clearly at a normal speed.
I am a parent judge with four years of experience in judging Public Forum. Never competed Public Forum or any other Forensic activities, but as a parent judge I always read some review articles about the topics, therefore I do have some background knowledge in things that you are talking about and enjoy watching the debate.
I prefer clear and not too fast speech, so I can catch up the words and meaning of your talk.
I use following criteria when I judge a round:
Were the arguments intelligent? Your response to the arguments
The discrediting to the opposition’s response
The debaters back up their assertions with logical thinking and evidence when needed
Fair in interpretation of the resolution and one another’s statements?
Who is advancing the most significant arguments in the round?
I don’t weight much on the speed of speech, believe less words with sound arguments are much better than too much words which have to be delivered with fast speech.
Don’t have preference on the format of Summary Speeches, and evaluate argument over style.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, their arguments have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches. If a team is second speaking, I prefer that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech.
Don’t vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus.
I am a parent judge so speak at a reasonable pace, if you are too fast I won’t be able to keep up. Extend important arguments and articulate your points clearly. Be respectful to the other team. You will see my decision on tabroom.
I am an assistant coach of PF Debate at Charlotte Latin, and a junior at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I did PF debate for 4 years at Pinecrest High school in North Carolina. I am an Aries
My preferences are straightforward, although I would like to emphasize two points:
First, summary and final focus should be linked. More specifically, voting issues in final focus must be in summary as well.
Second, key-points of crossfire should be brought up again later in a speech. I will only write down CX concessions if they are in a speech.
My paradigm boils down to four points:
1. Please provide me with a framework/weighing mechanism for the round.
2. Do not spread. I will put my pen down if you're going too quickly for me to understand.
3. Tag your points and subpoints––as a judge, I like to be able to strike through these points as the other team tackles them, or else to draw them through several speeches. That way, it's very clear who won and who lost, and little is left up to my own biases/personal paradigm.
4. Be nice to each other :)
So I’m probably one of the most lay judges your going find.
Dont talk too fast or I will just stop listening as I cannot keep up.
Make sure to explain your arguments in your case don’t just cite cards
Also tell me why your arguments are more important than theirs and make sure to tell me why you are winning in final focus.
Maintain the same narrative throughout the round
i do not understand any debate terminology so if you are going to use it explain it to me.
Chris McDonald (He/Him) - email@example.com
Use the above email for any email chains during the round.
Head Coach Eagan High School in Minnesota
While I mainly have coached and judged Policy Debate for the past 35 years I do judge my fair share of LD and Public Forum Debate Rounds.
Policy Debate - Please know that while I used to judge a lot of rounds throughout the season in policy debate it has been 5 years since I judged more than just a handful of policy rounds. I do work with my school's varsity policy team.
My philosophy has pretty much remained consistent throughout my career. I consider policy debate to be a test of policy based ideas between two teams. How those teams approach the topic and frame the debate is entirely up to them. Below are a few things to know about me on some specifics but please know my primary objective is for us to have an enjoyable round of debate.
Delivery Speed - Since it has been a few years for me since last judging lots of policy debate my ability to listen to really fast debate has faded. Please keep it to a slightly slower speed of delivery especially using the online platforms. I will let you know if you are unclear or going too fast by verbally indicating such during your speech. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being oratory speed and 10 being approaching the sound barrier (only joking here) I would place myself as a 7 these days.
Topicality - I enjoy a good topicality debate but have found that over the years teams are taking too many shortcuts with the initial development of the topicality violation. I prefer topicality to have a clear definition, a clearly developed violation, standards for evaluating the violation and reasons why it is a voting issue. For the affirmative side you really need to engage with the topicality violation and provide a counter interpretation that supports your interpretation of the resolution. Topicality is distinct from framework.
Framework - I also enjoy evaluating a debate when framework is clearly articulated and argued by both the affirmative and negative sides. Framework is focused around how you would like me to evaluate the arguments in the round. Do you prefer a consequentialist framework, a deontological framework, etc..
Critiques - I am fine with critical approaches by the negative and the affirmative sides. For the affirmative please keep in mind that you will need to defend your critical affirmative as either a topical representation of criminal justice reform or why it is important for us to debate your affirmative even if it isn't necessarily within the boundaries of the topic.
Flow - Please label all arguments and positions clearly throughout the debate. Signposting has become a lost art. Debaters doing an effective job of signposting and labeling will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
Disadvantages - Please be certain to articulate your links clearly and having clear internal links helps a great deal.
Counter plans - I think counter plans are an essential tool for negative teams. Please note that I am not a big fan of multiple conditional counter plans. Running a couple of well developed counter plans is better than running 4 or 5 underdeveloped counter plans. Counter plans should have a text to compete against the affirmative plan text.
Theory - General theory in debate rounds like conditionality and that are fine but have rarely been round winners without a lot of time devoted to why theory should be considered over substance.
If you have any questions please let me know and I will happily answer those questions.
1. I am not a fan of theory as it plays out in LD debate rounds. Most of the theory that is argued is pretty meaningless when it comes to the topics at hand. I will only consider topicality if the affirmative is presenting a plan text in the round. I ask that the debaters debate the topic as it is written and not as they would like it to be.
2. Beyond my dislike for theory you are free to pretty much debate the round as you see fit. Please keep your speed to a level where you are clear especially considering buffering time with online platforms you should probably slow down from what you think you are capable of during in-person debates.
3. Evidence should be shared using an email chain. Please include me at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. If you have specific questions please ask. I will disclose at the end of the round but I will also respect the tournaments schedule and work to keep it on time.
1. Evidence is very important to me. I prefer direct quotation of evidence over paraphrasing but understand that paraphrasing is allowed in PF. Please make note of the new NSDA rule regarding paraphrasing. Source Citations: make sure that you present enough of a source citation that I should have no problem locating the evidence you present in the round. This would include the author or periodical name and date at a minimum. So we are clear Harvard in 2014 is not a source citation. Harvard is a really great University but has, to my knowledge never written a word without the assistance of some human that attends or works at Harvard.
2. There is to be no game playing with regards to evidence sharing during or after the round. If you are asked for evidence by your opponents you must produce it in a timely manner or I will discount the evidence and only treat the argument as an unsubstantiated assertion on your part. Even if it means handing over one of your laptops you must provide evidence for inspection by the other team so that they may evaluate it and respond to the evidence in subsequent speeches.
3. Prep Time - you are only provided with 3 minutes of prep time. Please use it wisely. I will only give a little latitude with regards to untimed evidence sharing or organizing your flows, but please be efficient and quick about it.
4. Argument choices are completely up to the debaters. I prefer a good substantive debate with clear clash and that the debaters compare and weigh the arguments they feel are important for their side to prevail as the debate comes into focus but the substance of those arguments is completely within the control of the teams debating.
5. Please respect your opponents and treat everyone involved in the debate round with the utmost respect. Speaker points will be effected by any rude behavior on the part of a debater.
6. I will disclose and discuss my decision at the end of the round so long as there is time and the tournament stays on schedule.
7. Finally, please remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.
Chad Meadows (he/him)
If you have interest in college debate, and would be interested in hearing about very expansive scholarship opportunities please contact me. Our program competes in two policy formats and travels to at least 4 tournaments a semester. Most of our nationally competitive students have close to zero cost of attendance because of debate specific financial support.
College: I’ve been the head argument coach and/or Director of Debate for Western Kentucky University for a little over a decade. WKU primarily competes in NFA-LD, a shorter policy format. This season (2023) we are adding CEDA/NDT tournaments to our schedule.
High School: I’ve been an Assistant Coach, and primarily judge, for the Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia for several years. In this capacity I’ve judged at high school tournaments in both Policy Debate and Public Forum.
I feel comfortable evaluating the range of debates in modern policy debate (no plan affirmatives, policy, and kritik) though I am the most confident in policy rounds. My research interests tend toward more political science/international affairs/economics, though I’ve become well read in some critical areas in tandem with my students’ interests (anti-blackness/afropessimism in particular) in addition I have some cursory knowledge of the standard kritik arguments in debate, but no one would mistake me for a philosophy enthusiast. On the nuclear weapons topic, almost all of my research has been on the policy side.
I have few preferences with regard to content, but view some argumentative trends with skepticism: Counterplans that result in the plan (consult and many process counterplans), Agent counterplans, voting negative any procedural concern that isn’t topicality, reject the team counterplan theory that isn’t conditionality, some versions of politics DAs that rely on defining the process of fiat, arguments that rely on voting against the representations of the affirmative without voting against the result of the plan.
I feel very uncomfortable evaluating events that have happened outside of the debate round, especially in the CEDA/NDT community where I have limited knowledge of the context regarding community trends.
I have little experience evaluating debates with some strategies that would only be acceptable in a 2-person policy debate context - 2ac add-ons, 2nc counterplanning, 2ac intrinsicness tests on DA, etc. I’m not opposed to these strategies, and understand their strategic purpose, but I have limited exposure.
I tend to read more cards following the debate than most. That’s both because I’m curious, and I tend to find that debaters are informing their discussion given the evidence cited in the round, and I understand their arguments better having read the cards myself.
I give less credibility to arguments that appear unsupported by academic literature, even if the in round execution on those arguments is solid. I certainly support creativity and am open to a wide variety of arguments, but my natural disposition sides with excellent debate on arguments that are well represented in the topic literature.
To decide challenging debates I generally use two strategies: 1) write a decision for both sides and determine which reflects the in-round debating as opposed to my own intuition, and 2) list the relevant meta-issues in the round (realism vs liberal internationalism, debate is a game vs. debate should spill out, etc.) and list the supporting arguments each side highlighted for each argument and attempt to make sense of who debated the best on the issues that appear to matter most for resolving the decision.
I try to explain why I sided with the winner on each important issue, and go through each argument extended in the final rebuttal for the losing team and explain why I wasn’t persuaded by that argument.
Baseline expectations: introduce evidence using directly quoted sections of articles not paraphrasing, disclose arguments you plan to read in debates.
Argument preferences: no hard and fast rules, but I prefer debates that most closely resemble the academic and professional controversy posed by the topic. Debate about debate, while important in many contexts, is not the argument I'm most interested in adjudicating.
Style preferences: Argumentation not speaking style will make up the bulk of my decision making and feedback, my reflections on debate are informed by detailed note taking of the speeches, speeches should focus their time on clashing with their opponents' arguments.
Current Coach -- Marist School (2011-present)
Lab Leader -- National Debate Forum (2015-present), Emory University (2016), Dartmouth College (2014-2015), University of Georgia (2012-2015)
Former Coach -- Fayette County (2006-2011), Wheeler (2008-2009)
Former Debater -- Fayette County (2002-2006)
Last Updated -- 2/12/2012 for the 2022 Postseason (no major updates, just being more specific on items)
I am a high school teacher who believes in the power that speech and debate provides students. There is not another activity that provides the benefits that this activity does. I am involved in topic wording with the NSDA and argument development and strategy discussion with Marist, so you can expect I am coming into the room as an informed participant about the topic. As your judge, it is my job to give you the best experience possible in that round. I will work as hard in giving you that experience as I expect you are working to win the debate. I think online debate is amazing and would not be bothered if we never returned to in-person competitions again. For online debate to work, everyone should have their cameras on and be cordial with other understanding that there can be technical issues in a round.
What does a good debate look like?
In my opinion, a good debate features two well-researched teams who clash around a central thesis of the topic. Teams can demonstrate this through a variety of ways in a debate such as the use of evidence, smart questioning in cross examination and strategical thinking through the use of casing and rebuttals. In good debates, each speech answers the one that precedes it (with the second constructive being the exception in public forum). Good debates are fun for all those involved including the judge(s).
The best debates are typically smaller in nature as they can resolve key parts of the debate. The proliferation of large constructives have hindered many second halves as they decrease the amount of time students can interact with specific parts of arguments and even worse leaving judges to sort things out themselves and increasing intervention.
What role does theory play in good debates?
I've always said I prefer substance over theory. That being said, I do know theory has its place in debate rounds and I do have strong opinions on many violations. I will do my best to evaluate theory as pragmatically as possible by weighing the offense under each interpretation. For a crash course in my beliefs of theory - disclosure is good, open source is an unnecessary standard for high school public forum teams until a minimum standard of disclosure is established, paraphrasing is bad, round reports is frivolous, content warnings for graphic representations is required, content warnings over non-graphic representations is debatable.
All of this being said, I don't view myself as an autostrike for teams that don't disclose or paraphrase. However, I've judged enough this year to tell you if you are one of those teams and happen to debate someone with thoughts similar to mine, you should be prepared with answers.
How do "progressive" arguments work in good debates?
Like I said above, arguments work best when they are in the context of the critical thesis of the topic. Thus, if you are reading the same cards in your framing contention from the Septober topic that have zero connections to the current topic, I think you are starting a up-hill battle for yourselves. I have not been entirely persuaded with the "pre-fiat" implications I have seen this year - if those pre-fiat implications were contextualized with topic literature, that would be different.
My major gripe with progressive debates this year has been a lack of clash. Saying "structural violence comes first" doesn't automatically mean it does or that you win. These are debatable arguments, please debate them. I am also finding that sometimes the lack of clash isn't a problem of unprepared debaters, but rather there isn't enough time to resolve major issues in the literature. At a minimum, your evidence that is making progressive type claims in the debate should never be paraphrased and should be well warranted. I have found myself struggling to flow framing contentions that include four completely different arguments that should take 1.5 minutes to read that PF debaters are reading in 20-30 seconds (Read: your crisis politics cards should be more than one line).
How should evidence exchange work?
Evidence exchange in public forum is broken. At the beginning of COVID, I found myself thinking cases sent after the speech in order to protect flowing. However, my view on this has shifted. A lot of debates I found myself judging last season had evidence delays after case. At this point, constructives should be sent immediately prior to speeches. (If you paraphrase, you should send your narrative version with the cut cards in order). At this stage in the game, I don't think rebuttal evidence should be emailed before but I imagine that view will shift with time as well. When you send evidence to the email chain, I prefer a cut card with a proper citation and highlighting to indicate what was read. Cards with no formatting or just links are as a good as analytics.
For what its worth, whenever I return to in-person tournaments, I do expect email chains to continue.
What effects speaker points?
I am trying to increase my baseline for points as I've found I'm typically below average. Instead of starting at a 28, I will try to start at a 28.5 for debaters and move accordingly. Argument selection, strategy choices and smart crossfires are the best way to earn more points with me. You're probably not going to get a 30 but have a good debate with smart strategy choices, and you should get a 29+.
This only applies to tournaments that use a 0.1 metric -- tournaments that are using half points are bad.
I'm the current Head Speech and Debate Coach at Dublin Jerome High School. I competed in PF all four years of high school and finished 9th at NSDA's my senior year
1. you don't need to extend defense in 1st summary if it's not front-lined in 2nd rebuttal.
2. you should definitely be front-lining in second rebuttal. at the very least, you've gotta answer the turns.
3. use off-time roadmaps (at least tell me where you're starting).
4. nothing from any cross is going to be on my flow whatsoever. if you want something said in cross to be on my flow, say it in the subsequent speech.
5. i'm pretty iffy on theory and k's. i like the ideas and motivations behind many of them, but i do not feel very confident that i'll be able to evaluate them in a technically correct way.
6. please keep paraphrasing to a minimum. ideally you're not doing it at all. reading authors and dates is probably beneficial for everyone in the round.
in general, in any round, i'm looking to vote on the cleanest, clearest offense that's well-warranted, defended and weighed at the link and impact level. smart evidence indicts (esp. to academic studies) can get you high speaks. ask questions if you have them.
**UPDATED FOR TOC**
Assistant Coach for Fairmont Preparatory Academy
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from the University of La Verne '18
University of La Verne 2014 Performance Scholarship Recipient for Speech & Debate
Competitive collegiate British Parliamentary style debater 2014 - 2018
Attended over 25 tournaments nationally & internationally: The Oxford IV 2017, WUDC Mexico 2018, CMUDE Chile 2018, USUDC Anchorage 2015, USUDC Atlanta 2016, USUDC Stanford 2018, Pan-AmericanUDC Atlanta 2018, etc.
Titles: 2017 U.S. National Debate Championship Winner (BP Debate), Spanish World's Debate Championship 2018 Finalist (CMUDE Chile 2018)
Bonita High School, Fairmont Preparatory Academy, University of La Verne (Spanish BP)
PF Paradigm 2018-2019 Season:
**UPDATED FOR TOC**
"Prep time for the requesting team will not start until evidence has been handed over to the debater requesting said cards. Teams may prep during this evidence request time, this should encourage teams to have their evidence ready and available to present immediately. Judges should discourage teams from attempting to “game the system” if evidence requests become overly burdensome or create excessive delays in the debate." - TOC rules. [KNOW THE RULES KIDDOS]
EXPLAIN UNIQUENESS. If you can't explain/link out to why something actually changes on the AFF, it's going to put you at a huge disadvantage.
CARDS. CARDS. CARDS. I know this topic isn't the crowd favorite, but this is TOC, you *especially* need to have evidence for what you run. Don't make assertions or say "it just logically makes sense" when someone asks where your evidence is in round. Have a card or you don't get access to your impact.
- I'm a flow judge at heart. I do not like spreading, if you spread: it won't win you any favor in the round and it is better for you to slow down and explain your contentions at a normal pace. Don't read theory.
- If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary; everything said in final focus should have at least been mentioned in summary. Please know the difference between a team dropping a point/not engaging with a contention and a team whose response you simply did not like. Disliking a team's response to your case does not equate dropping or not refuting it.
- I don't flow crossfire but I DO listen and it can factor into my decision sometimes. However: anything super important coming out of crossfire that you want me to flow should be in one of your speeches.
- Productive crossfire: if you spend 3 minutes talking over one another/constantly interrupting/being unnecessarily rude, etc: it's a waste of time for you and will make me annoyed. I lower speaker points for this.
- I enjoy off time roadmaps so I know where you are at on the flow.
- What I want to see: flushed out link chains & arguments that have realistic impacts. I vote for teams that are closest to the truth. Truth > Tech in most circumstances. Exaggerations and half-truths will be factored into my decisions; I defer to the teams with the most realistic and honest impact when there is tie.
- Properly complete/extend your links in summary and final focus
- Weighing mechanisms :) Explain why I should defer to your side: cost benefit analysis, scope, magnitude, probability, etc. I am in huge favor of clearly explained impacts. Pre-empt this in summary, be sure to do this in final focus.
- Comparatively weigh the round. Engage with the other side and their impacts and explain why I still should defer to your side.
- What I do not want to see: 1) abuse or misuse your evidence: I will pull cards if I need to. 2) spreading 3) Unproductive crossfire: allow the other side to speak, be respectful, only interrupt if absolutely necessary. Speaker points will reflect how you treat others in round. 4) Theory. In my opinion, this should only be run if the other side is truly being abusive and you HAVE to thoroughly explain it. 5) Disrespectful Post-Rounding: If you have a question, cool. I am happy to explain my thinking calculus. But do not interrupt me while I am giving an RFD or tell me I'm wrong. You're allowed to disagree, but do so respectfully. :)
ALSO: I have a very serious face when I judge, it is not that I hate you or what you are saying: it is just my face :) If y'all have any questions about anything, feel free to ask before the round!
Lastly: I know it's TOC and y'all have a lot on the line, but don't forget to breathe & enjoy the ride. I know it's corny and cliché, but don't forget to have fun.
please add me to the email chain
New Paradigm 2/19/23
Top level thoughts
I have voted on pretty much everything. I prefer depth and clash to running from debate. Engaging will be rewarded.
Don’t be a jerk to your opponent or me. We are all giving up lots of free time to be here. I won't vote on oppressive arguments.
I think preparation is the cornerstone of the value this activity offers. You shouldn’t rely on theory to avoid reading.
I don't think it’s possible to be tab, but I try not to intervene. Arguments must have a warrant or they aren’t an argument. This applies to all debate styles. (Ex. "6-7-4-6-3" is not a full argument)
I shouldn’t have to have background on your argument to understand it. I have read and seen a lot, but that will be irrelevant to my decision. I won’t fill in gaps for you.
I think most debates are way closer and more subjective than people give them credit for.
Collapsing is a good idea generally.
I will not flow off the doc. That is cheating.
Don’t let my preferences determine your strategy. I’m here for you! Don't over adapt to me.
General thoughts on arguments
Ks: My favorite literature. I have a fair bit of experience with most lit bases commonly read and I really enjoy clash of civ and k v ks debates. I wish I saw more K v K debates. I dislike long overviews and super generic links. I think critical literature is great, but I think you should at least attempt to tie it to the topic if possible. Spec advantage links are great. I will vote on non-T affs and I will vote on T. Usually that ends on the TVA flow.
Policy Args: I have the most experience evaluating these arguments (I debated them for 8 years). I think comparing evidence and links is more important than generic impact weighing. Turns are OP, and I will vote on smart analytics. I only really read evidence if debaters don’t give me a good mechanism to avoid it. I tend to default to offense/defense paradigm, but I’m open to whatever framing you want to read.
Frameworks: I find phil frameworks interesting and fun. I wish these debates were a bit deeper and used actual phil warrants instead of just extending tricky drops. I think LD is a really great opportunity to get into normative ethics.
Theory – I find frivolous theory a bit annoying (despite what my pf teams might have you believe), but I flow these debates pretty thoroughly and evaluate them pretty objectively. I will accept intuitive responses even if they are light on proper terminology. (i.e not explicitly saying the word counter-interp)
Tricks – Lots of different tricks that I view differently. Things like determinism and skep are better than mis-defining words or 15 spikes. I find good apriories interesting. I have a fairly low bar for intuitive responses. I will probably not vote on “evaluate after x speech”. If I cant flow it I wont vote on it. Hiding one-line paradoxes in tiny text after cards is obviously a waste of everyone's time
2nd rebuttal should collapse and frontline
If it takes you longer than a min to produce evidence, it doesn't exist. I think you should just send all cards before you read them.
If I think you inappropriately paraphrased, I will ignore evidence. Read cards to avoid me thinking your paraphrasing is bad.
Use email chains. Send cases and cards before you start your speech. Stop wasting everyone's time with outdated norms
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PF PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)
If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary; if it's in summary, it should be in rebuttal,. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.
NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I am giving up on getting people to indicate qualifications out loud, but I am very concerned about evidence standards in PF (improving, but still not good). I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton" as a citation. Know who your authors are; know what their articles say; know their warrants.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about a nebulosity called "The Economy." Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase? When I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. I'm also receptive to well-developed framework arguments that may direct me to some different decision calculus.
Teams don't get to decide that they want to skip grand cross (or any other part of the round).
I am happy to vote on well warranted theory arguments (or well warranted responses) and am receptive to Kritikal arguments in PF.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PARLI PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments, and most recent NPDI tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. Redundant, blippy theory goo is irritating. I have a fairly high threshold for deciding that an argument is abusive. Once upon a time people though I was a topicality hack, and I am still more willing to pull the trigger on that argument than on other theoretical considerations. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary.
I was trained in formats where the judge can be counted on to ignore new arguments in late speeches, so I am sometimes annoyed by POOs, especially when they resemble psychological warfare.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?
When I operate inside a world of fiat, I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. "Fiat is an illusion" is not exactly breaking news; you definitely don't have to debate in that world. I'm receptive to "the role of the ballot is intellectual endorsement of xxx" and other pre/not-fiat world considerations.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA LD PARADIGM
For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a debater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.
I co-coached a strong south Florida team and have judged PF for 2 years going on 3. I have coached my team to many victories and have a lot of experience on how PF works. I am a medical professional who has a love of beagles and is in the process of opening a beagle rescue. I flow on my laptop and take note of cross. If I look confused I probably am, take note of that.
I am considerably lay but my two kids (debated for 2 years going on 3 and 1 year going on 2) have taught me a lot on the topics and the general PF debate style alone. Most of my preferences are based on them (in general)
I am not one to make a quick vote on lives. In order for me to consider it on my flow, I need to hear a two world analysis between the sides and weighing along with it.
1. I am okay with speaking speed but warn me before you start. If you are doing spreading, be prepared to give me a copy of your case. I can keep up for the most part but will not penalize your for you speed.
2. I do not disclose in round (unless mandated by the tournament) but will give generous feedback if asked about the round. I know the topics to a degree due to previous judging but as a debater it is your job to convince me. I will not vote off of previous knowledge.
3. I do ask that all crossfire be for the purposing of furthering case not combative only. Issues in cross need to be mentioned in a speech for me to evaluate them. Dominance in cross, especially in grand cross, does not mean cutting off your opponents.
4. You have a five (5) second grace period past speeches and anything said after that will not be taken into consideration. When it comes to cross, as long as the question is asked before the time, an answer is permitted.
Tournaments judged + many more...
Blue Key (2017 & 2018)
Blake (2017 & 2018)
Sunvite (2018 & 2019)
The Tradition at Cypress
Harvard (2018 & 2019)
Nova Titan 2018, TOC 2018, UK Season Opener, and many more (locals and such)
If you have specific questions that aren't answered here, please don't hesitate to ask.
*If you can logically work in how you save a beagles life in one of your speeches, you can have guaranteed 29 speaks. Does NOT need to be extended throughout the round*
(See top of paradigm for my reasoning to the above statement)
1. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not worry about making me like you. I'm here to judge your debating, not your personality. Ask me as many questions as you want about my paradigm before the round (I want to do everything I can to ensure my rfd does not come as a surprise to anyone), and I'm more than happy to discuss my rfd in length after the round (I won't get offended if you try to convince me I made a bad decision).
2. I have much experience in flow PF debate and some experience in flow Parli, so I'd like to believe that I will do a good job voting tabula rasa, off the flow, and I'm open to (and capable of properly evaluating) progressive and/or technical arguments. That said, I am new to judging, so idk keep that in mind I guess.
3. I have a very low tolerance for new arguments in late speeches. That means it's probably in your interest to, for example, frontline turns in second rebuttal, because I will tend to side against you for sandbagging. As far as extensions go, please try to at least mention every part of your link chain and the impact–even if it's conceded! Losing because you only spent three seconds on a conceded winning argument is no fun.
4. I will get grumpy if you're misconstruing evidence. I might even go as far as calling for a card without being asked to if it's central to a winning argument and I notice that what the card says has changed to dodge responses. If your evidence doesn't say what you say it does, I'll take it off the flow. If you're being really abusive, I might drop you. Also: please include the qual and date for your evidence, that's a big pet peeve of mine.
5. Framework/weighing is your friend!!
6. Defense doesn't need to be in first summary if it wasn't addressed in second rebuttal. All offense needs to be in both late speeches.
7. I presume first-speaking team unless told otherwise.
Please put me on the speech thread! Thank you.
Titles: Director of Debate at Samford University (AL).
Assistant Coach at The Altamont School (AL).
I’m not the smartest human. You’re maybe/likely smarter than me. Please do not assume I know anything you are talking about. And I would honestly love to learn some new things in a debate about arguments you researched.
Debaters are guilty until proven innocent of clipping cards. I follow along in speech docs. I believe it is judges job to police clipping and it is unfair to make debaters alone check it. I will likely say clear though, it's nothing personal.
I keep a running clock and "read along" with speech docs to prevent clipping. At the end of the round, I find myself most comfortable voting for a team that has the best synthesis between good ethos, good tech/execution, and good evidence. I will not vote on better evidence if the other team out debates you, but I assign a heavy emphasis on quality evidence when evaluating competing arguments, especially offensive positions.
Alabama Law School: 2015-2018. While in the legal world, I clerked for EPA Region 4, two Federal Judges, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and Alabama Attorney General Environmental/Consumer Protection Prosecution Division.
Wake Forest University: 2011-2015. Top Speaker at ADA Nationals my Junior Year. 2x NDT First-Round Bid at Wake Forest. 2x NDT Octofinalist. 2x Kentucky Round Robin. Dartmouth Round Robin. Pittsburgh Round Robin.
Mountain Brook High School: 2007-2011. 3x TOC Qualifier. 2011 Winner of Emory's Barkley Forum in Policy Debate. Greenhill and Harvard Round Robin. Third Place at NSDA Nationals in 2011. Seventh Place NSDA Nationals 2010. Winner of Woodward JV Nationals.
Tl;dr: Offense/defense, the algorithm, cards are currency, did I mention offense. UQ determines link unless otherwise said. Very willing to pull the trigger on T/theory.
Flow: Most debaters should make analytics off their flows, especially in digital debate. Conversely, if you include analytics on your speech doc but I do not find you clear but I recognize where you are on your speech doc, I will not consider them arguments. Death to digital debate. I will say clear though, don't worry.
Condo: 3 against a basic/big stick aff is about my ceiling. 3 contradictory condo and I can easily be persuaded to vote on condo. For new affs, I think at most 5 condo is permissive. Anymore and I think you risk losing on theory. I do not like dispo as a counter-interp. I am a much bigger fan of a CI is non-contradictory conditional options as a CI.
CP Theory: If the 2AC straight turns your disad, no amount of theory will justify a 2NC CP out of/around the straight turned DA. 2NC CP's vs addons are different and chill/encouraged. Generic Process/ Conditions/ consult CPs cause me to lean aff on theory/perm, unless you have a fire solvency advocate specific to their plan text which can prove its predictable and important for that area of debate. But I’m persuaded that a generic/predictable aff posted on the wiki can win a theory debate/perm do CP against a generic process/ conditions/ consult CPs. This is especially true with any Con Con CP. Con Con is the worst.
I hate judge kick. Do you want me to flow for you too? Maybe compose your speech doc while you're at it? I don't give the affirmative random permutations. Don't make me kick your trash counterplan for you.
T: My "favorite" standards are predictable limits (debatability) and real-world context (literature/education). I think a topicality interp that has both of those standards I will err on. Evidence that is both inclusive and exclusive is the gold standard. I tend to be more moderate with reasonability. I am not in the cult of limits. I err aff if I believe your interpretation is "reasonable" and that the negative did not prove you made debate impossible even if their interpretation is slightly better.
Framework: I lean very heavily neg on FW v K affs. Debate is an educational game we play on the weekend with friends. I think the affirmative has the burden of proof to defend the resolution and the negative has the burden of rejoinder to disprove the affirmative. Fairness is an impact and intrinsically good. Yes debate is structurally unfair (the world is), no I do not think that means there is no impact to making it more unfair. I do not believe the ballot has material power to change the means of production/structures and thinking it does may even be problematic. I think switch-side debate is pedagogically valuable and one round does not a referendum on an individual's subjectivity. I think a good topical version of the affirmative is the best argument on FW. The role of the judge is to vote for the team who does the better debating.
Kritikal Debate: I view most modern kritikal debate similarly to how I view generic stale process CP's/ Con Con CP's in how they are deployed and how I lean against them in most theory or substantive debate issue in an equal debate. I vote for K teams that are best able to identify what offense that voting for them solves, whether that be through FIAT or non-FIAT means, that voting for the other team does not solve. I also think the modern critique has potentially been co-opted by larger and wealthier programs which undermines its revolutionary promise and may even go so far as to further contribute to resource inequities for smaller programs in debate.
PS- Please do not read global warming good. Global warming is real and will kill us all. And I am particularly persuaded by the argument that introducing these arguments in debate is unethical for spreading propaganda and should be deterred by rejecting the team. I'm way more persuaded by inevitability and alt cause args.
I am largely engaged with college policy debate levels of debate. I will flow every word you say. Speed is a weapon in debate. LD is often one big K debate which is fine in LD but I err towards util/consequentialism FW's. I can be persuaded pre-fiat impacts are extra-topical and can be rejected as such (likely not a reason to reject the team). But I do love me a good ol' fashioned value premise throw down from time to time, I must admit. It is the premise.
I'm increasingly frustrated with the liminal space public forum operates in. I'm so happy to see the progress made in terms of substance and clash, but am frustrated at the lack of norms that should accompany these progressive improvements. Here are my thoughts when judging a PF debate:
- Public Forum, if you're looking for your paraphrasing theory gatekeeper, you've found them. I will vote on paraphrasing bad theory ONLY IF the you read properly cited and highlighted cards that are sent out prior to your speech. Please dear god people, let's stop this spreading "Reuters '19" and "Forbes '19" non-sense. Atleast policy has to read long cards, that's WHY they have to spread. Paraphrasing makes debate impossible for both debaters and judge to genuinely test the veracity of evidence sources. This is an increasingly important issue too in our modern age of disinformation, fake news, and propaganda. Let's all work together to continue the progress being made in PF.
- I DO NOT CONSIDER URL/ARTICLES EVIDENCE. if you have to google/search for an article after I call for a card I will not evaluate the evidence and will treat it as an analytic. A CARD HAS TO BE CUT. There has to be some norm to reward actual research and preperation.
- I do not want to be a "policy judge" in PF. Please do not unload the canon and spread at 110%. If you want to do that, just come to policy debate and I'll be happy to judge it. I feel like my experience in policy debate/another debaters experience asymmetrical tilts the debate in a way that is unfair to debaters who do not have policy experience or experience spreading. You can make a ton of arguments while still going at 60-70% of your top speed. How do I plan to enforce this? I'm not entirely sure. It will definitely be reflected in speaks and will feel empathetic to the other team, but past that I'm not entirely sure. I have judged enough PF rounds now where debaters come in and spread that I feel like I am unfairly skewing the debate in one teams favor. Please do not make me feel like this! If you wanna spread, do policy/come do policy for me at Samford.
- Disclosure norm. I'm a BIG advocate of open source/wiki, but I'm not entirely sure I'm willing to vote down a small local school who maybe didn't know there was a wiki against a big school reading disclosure theory "to help small schools." It almost seems counter-productive. I think it can be an easy win if the other team drops it, or if its two big schools debating, I could consider it. But I literally judged a round where a team from a the reigning TOC policy champion school read disclosure theory against a small rural school with no coach and said it would help small programs. I'm not the biggest fan there.
If you've made it this far---
I've always loved the movie Ratatouille, specifically the end speech of Anton Ego. I find it appropriate to the role of a debate judge:
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: 'Anyone can cook.' But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."
A great debater can come from anywhere! Bring me something new and fresh!
While I would technically be considered otherwise, I would appreciate it if you consider me a lay-judge. This means that I would highly appreciate it if you avoid spreading at all costs (I can only type so fast), make explicit links (I will evaluate based on what's on my flow), and attempt to be as pragmatic as possible. I rarely vote on the K, but I will entertain the idea if it is warranted and supported.
I am a flow judge.
Weighing is important, make sure to explain why your point is more impactful than theirs.
If you want something in your final focus make sure to include it in your summary.
I handle speed okay, just don't spread.
I try to interfere as little as possible, and the best way to make your case is weighing. However, debate is an art, not a science, and just because you win the flow doesn’t mean you’ll win the round 100% of the time.
Debate Theory usually plays poorly-run at your own risk. At this level, presentation and delivery should be strong; clash is often the differentiator in my rounds. I’m fine with a little speed, but I won’t flow anything that’s TOO fast. Probably 225 words per minute is an upper limit. At this pace I strongly encourage the presenter to emphasize key points.
Additionally: Warrant extensions are crucial. Give me a strong argument and apply your warrants through the round.
Obviously practice good evidence ethics. I will call cards if necessary and judge how they fit the round. Feel free to keep your own time. Don’t be rude or disrespectful- we’re here to have fun. I’m happy to provide more insight at the beginning of the round.
I've been out of debate for about a decade. That means I'm a bit slow, and, while everything is slowly coming back to me, it is in your best interest to keep this bit of information in mind. Be loud and clear or you risk losing me. Do what you're comfortable with, and I'll do my best to accommodate you, but, especially with regard to T and theory (debates on which I never much cared for anyway) my muscles are somewhat atrophied. If given the choice between a debate about the practical implications of public policy and one concerning the underlying epistemological assumptions of the plan, I will usually opt for the second option. My academic background is in critical human geography and my upbringing in the field is highly tied to various strains of social theory (particularly, numerous critical understandings of race, sex/gender, and other axes of social exclusion). With that said, since returning to debate I find myself voting against the K with a fair amount of regularity. Don't pretend to be something you're not. If you're into a more traditional understanding of policy debate then live your truth. I actually really enjoy watching big clash of civilization debates. I love to watch the 2AC spend a lot of time impact turning the K. I think it's fun. I don't necessarily 'hate' traditional policy debate, I just happen to think that our seemingly collective fantasy regarding the existence of the internal link to the politics disad is boring. Entertain me. Go crazy. Be evil. Just be able to defend that strategy. If you really feel like you MUST include framework as a part of your strategy against K teams, my preference is for less of a focus on debate theory and more of a substantive defense of policy making.
To be continued...
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union.
NSDA PF Topic Committee Member/Writer: If you have any ideas, topic areas, or resolutions in mind for next season please send them to my email below.
Coaching Experience: Director of Debate at Fairmont Prep 2018-Current, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas include Buddhism, comparative religion, conlaw, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & legal history. AP Macroeconomics Teacher too so don't make econ args up.
2023 Winter Data Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 651 rounds since 2014 with a 53% Pro and 47% Con vote balance. There may be a slight subconscious Aff bias it seems. My guess is that I may subconsciously give more weight to changing the status quo as that's the core motivator of debate but no statistically meaningful issues are present.
Website: I love reading non-fiction, especially features. Check out my free website Rusk Reads for good article recs.
I am very familiar with the Septober topic. Already judged 30+ rounds between camp and early season tourney. Probably have read over 1000 pages on topic let. In particular, I would recommend reading The Polar Pivot (22). Great way to get background on the topic. Don't try to fudge the facts. I won't intervene but I will be mad and sad.
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but also when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot. I have recently become more sensitive to poor extensions in the back half. Please have UQ where necessary, links, internal links, and impacts. Weighing introduced earlier the better. Weighing is your means to minimize intervention.
Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
Don't be a DocBot: I love that you're prepared and have enumerated overviews, blocks, and frontlines. I love heavy evidence and dense debates with a lot of moving parts. But if it sounds like you're just reading a doc without specific or explicit implications to your opponent's contention you are not contributing anything meaningful to the round. Tell me why your responses interact. If they are reading an arg about the environment and just read an A2 Environment Non-Unique without explaining why your evidence or warranting is better then this debate will suffer.
I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. But in the coup of the century, I have been converted to the position that disclosure theory and para theory is a viable path to the ballot if you win your interp. I do have questions after the summer doxxing of judges and debaters whether certain interps of disc are viable and am interested to see how that can be explored in a theory round. I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic-specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can on disc and paraphrasing theory.
What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic].
I don't like to time because it slows my flow in fast rounds but please flag overtime responses or raise your phone. Don't interrupt.
Ramblings on Trigger Warning Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
Northside College Prep '16 - University of Kentucky '20
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Quick judge notes for Marist Ivy:
- Please keep track of your own prep
- Please do not start speaking/giving a roadmap unless my camera is turned on
- Please be as quick with tech as possible - I will deduct from your prep time if this becomes unreasonable as I want to be respectful of the folks running the tournament
- No tag team CX - I really prefer to hear individual 1 v 1 CX clash and this helps me determine speaker points more easily
- Unless this is a reasonable ask, if you care about where a team marked their cards/what cards they did or did not read, then please be diligent about flowing that yourself - I have a very strong preference towards not sending out marked copies of speech docs when there were only one or two marked cards
- have fun n be yourself < 3
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.
Co-Director: Milpitas High Speech and Debate
Myers Park, Charlotte N.C.
(85-88) 3 years Policy, LD and Congress. Double Ruby (back when it was harder to get) and TOC competitor in LD.
2 Diamond Coach (pretentious, I know)
Email Chain so I know when to start prep: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer 87: American U Institute. 2 weeks LD and congress under Dale Mccall and Harold Keller, and 2 more weeks in a mid level Policy lab.
St. Johns Xavierian, Shrewsbury, Mass
88~93 consultant, judge and chaperone
Summer 89 American U Coaches institute (Debate)
Milpitas High, Milpitas CA
Side note/pet peeve: It is pronounced NUUUUUU-CLEEEEEEE-ERRRRRRRRR (sorry this annoys the heck outta me, like nails on the blackboard)
ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.
If you put conditions on your opponent getting access to your evidence I will put conditions on counting it in my RFD. Evidence should be provided any time asked between speeches, or asked for during cx and provided between speeches. Failure to produce the card in context may result in having no access to that card on my flow/decision.
Part of what you should know about any of the events
13-14 NSDA tournament Operations manual
All events, It is a mark of the competitors skill to adapt to the judge, not demand that they should adapt to you. Do not get into a definitional fight without being armed with a definition..... TAG TEAM CX? *NOT A FAN* if you want to give me the impression your partner doesn't know what they are talking about, sure, go ahead, Diss your partner. Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX (where applicable) and in all events with only exception in PF grand.
ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE"****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card means card wins.
P.S.: there is no official grace period in PF. If you start a card or an analytic before time, then finish it. No arguments STARTED after time will be on my flow.
While I was not able to compete in public forum (It did not exist yet), the squad I coach does primarily POFO. Its unlikely that any resolution will call for a real plan as POFO tends to be propositions of fact instead of value or policy.
I am UNLIKELY to vote for a K, and I don't even vote for K in policy. Moderate speed is fine, but to my knowledge, this format was meant to be more persuasive. USE EVIDENCE and make sure you have Tags and Cites. I want a neat flow (it will never happen, but I still want it)
I WANT FRAMEWORK or I will adjudicate the round, since you didn't (Framework NOT introduced in the 1st 4 speeches will NOT be entertained, as it is a new argument. I FLOW LIKE POLICY with respect to DROPPED ARGUMENTS (if a speech goes by I will likely consider the arg dropped... this means YES I believe the 4th speaker in the round SHOULD cover both flows..)
Remember, Pofo was there to counteract speed in Circuit LD, and LD was created to counter speed, so fast is ok, but tier 3 policy spread is probably not.
ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" READ IN ROUND ) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.
PLANS IN PF
If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible. EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.
If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.
ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.
If your plan is super vague, you MIGHT not get to claim your advantages. Saying you "increase" by merely reading the text of the resolution is NOT A PLAN. Claiming what the plan says in cx is NOT reading a plan. Stop being sloppy.
I *TRY* to be Tabula Rasa (and fail a lot of the time especially on theory, Ks and RVI/fairness whines)
I trained when it was stock issues, mandatory funding plan spikes (My god, the amount of times I abused the grace commission in my funding plank), and who won the most nuclear wars in the round.
Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX (where applicable) and in all events with only exception in PF grand.
Please don't diss my event.
Glassification of toxic/nuclear wastes, and Chloramines on the H2O topic
Legalize pot on the Ag topic
CTBT on the Latin America topic.
In many years I have never voted neg on K (in CX), mainly because I have never seen an impact (even when it was run in POFO as an Aff).(Ironic given my LD background)
I will freely vote on Topicality if it is run properly (but not always XT), and have no problem buying jurisdiction......
I HAVE finally gotten to judge Hypo-testing round (it was fun and hilarious).
One of my students heard from a friend in Texas that they are now doing skits and non topical/personal experiece affs, feel free, BUT DON'T EXPECT ME TO VOTE FOR IT.
I will vote on good perms both ways (see what I said above about XT)
SPREAD: I was a tier B- speed person in the south. I can flow A level spread *IF* you enunciate. slow down momentarily on CITES and TAGS and blow through the card (BUT I WILL RE TAG YOUR SUBPOINTS if your card does not match the tag!!!!!!)
If you have any slurred speech, have a high pitched voice, a deep southern or NY/Jersey drawl, or just are incapable of enunciating, and still insist on going too fast for your voice, I will quit flowing and make stuff up based on what I think I hear.
I do not ask for ev unless there is an evidentiary challenge, so if you claim the card said something and I tagged it differently because YOU slurred too much on the card or mis-tagged it, that's your fault, not mine.
I WILL JUDGE NSDA RULES!!!! I am NOT tabula rasa on some theory, or on plans. Plans are against the rules of the event as I learned it and I tend to be an iconoclast on this point. LD was supposed to be a check on policy spread, and I backlash, if you have to gasp or your voice went up two octaves then see below... Topicality FX-T and XT are cool on both sides but most other theory boils down to WHAAAAAAHHHH I don't want to debate their AFF so I will try to bs some arguments.
-CIRCUIT LD REFER to policy prefs above in relation to non topical and performance affs, I will TRY to sometimes eval a plan, but I wish they would create a new event for circuit LD as it is rarely values debate.
- I LOVE PHILOSOPHY so if you want to confuse your opponent who doesn't know the difference between Kant, Maslow and Rawls, dazzle away :-).
Clear VP and VC (or if you call it framework fine, but it is stupid to tell someone with a framework they don't have a VC and vice versa, its all semantics) are important but MORE IMPORTANT is WHY IS YOURS BETTER *OR* WHY DO YOU MEET THEIRS TOO and better (Permute)
IF YOU TRY TO Tier A policy spread, or solo policy debate, you have probably already lost UNLESS your opponent is a novice. Not because I can't follow you, but because THIS EVENT IS NOT THE PLACE FOR IT!!! However there are several people who can talk CLEARLY and FAST that can easily dominate LD, If you cannot be CLEAR and FAST play it safe and be CLEAR and SLOW. Speaker points are awarded on speaking, not who wins the argument....
Sub-pointing is still a good idea, do not just do broad overviews. plans and counter-plans need not apply as LD is usually revolving around the word OUGHT!!!! Good luck claiming Implementation FIAT on a moral obligation. I might interrupt if you need to be louder, but its YOUR job to occasionally look at the judge to see signals to whether or not they are flowing, so I will be signalling that, by looking at you funny or closing my eyes, or in worst case leaning back in my chair and visibly ignoring you until you stop ignoring the judge and fix the problem. I will just be making up new tags for the cards I missed tags for by actually listening to the cards, and as the average debater mis-tags cards to say what they want them to, this is not advisable.
PLANS IN LD
If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible.
EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.
If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.
I repeat, Speed = Bad in LD, and I will not entertain a counter-plan in LD If you want to argue Counterplans and Plans, get a partner and go to a policy tournament.
GOOD LUCK and dangit, MAKE *ME* HAVE FUN hahahahahah
*Last updated 11/7/19*
Schools Attended: Boca '16, FSU '20
Teams Coaching/Coached: Capitol, Boca
Competitive History: 4 years of PF in high school, 2 years of JV policy and 2 years of NPDA and Civic Debate in college
Public Forum Paradigm:
TL;DR: You do you.
1) Tech > Truth. If you have strong warrants and links and can argue well, I'll vote off of anything. Dropped arguments are presumed true arguments. I'm open to anything as long as you do your job to construct the argument properly.
2) The first speaking team in the round needs to make sure that all offense that you want me to vote on must be in the summary and final focus. Defense in the rebuttal does not need to be extended, I will buy it as long as your opponents don't respond and it is extended in the final focus. The second speaking team needs to respond to turns in rebuttal and extend all offense and defense you want me to vote on in BOTH the summary and the final focus.
3) If you start weighing arguments in rebuttal or summary it will make your arguments a lot more convincing. Easiest way to my ballot is to warrant your weighing and tell me why your arguments are the most important and why they mean you win the round.
4) I don't vote on anything that wasn't brought up in final focus.
Frameworks need clear warrants and reasons to prefer. Make sure to contextualize how the framework functions with the rest of the arguments in the round.
I will listen to any theory arguments as long as a real abuse is present. Don't just use theory as a cheap way to win, give me strong warrants and label the shell clearly and it will be a voter if the violation is clear. Also, if you're going to ask me to reject the team you better give me a really good reason.
If you are running theory, such as disclosure theory, and you want it to be a voter, you need to bring it up for a fair amount of time.
I was primarily a K debater when I competed in policy in college, so I am familiar with how they function in round. However, I don't know all the different K lit out there so make sure you can clearly explain and contextualize.
Offense v. Defense:
I find myself voting for a risk of offense more often than I vote on defense. If you have really strong terminal impact defense or link defense, I can still be persuaded to vote neg on presumption.
I hate being in a position where I have to do work to vote for a team. Tell me why your argument is better/more important than your opponents and why that means I should vote for you. Strength of link and/or impact calc is encouraged and appreciated.
I will only call for cards if it is necessary for me to resolve a point of clash or when a team tells me to.
- If I find you offensive/rude I will drop your speaks relative to the severity of the offense.
- I take everything into consideration when giving speaks.
- The easier you make my decision, the more likely you are to get high speaks.
- I'm fine with speed, but if you're going to spread send out speech docs.
- Keep your own time.
- I will disclose if the tournament allows me, and feel free to ask me any questions after my RFD.
- I only vote off of things brought up in speeches.
Bottom line: Debate is supposed to be fun! Run what you want just run it well.
If you have any questions email me at email@example.com or ask me before the round.
I debated for four years in Public Forum on the national circuit for Flanagan in South Florida. I'm currently a junior at Duke University. This isn't fully comprehensive of my preferences as a judge.
Things I like:
- Consistency between the summary and the final focus. These two speeches should be very similar in that they re-iterate the same points that you think win the round for you.
- Weighing. You're probably not going to win every single argument in the round, so I want to give me tangible reasons as to why the argument you should win the round based on is more important than your opponents'. Beyond just regular magnitude, scope probability, I really like teams who get more creative with their weighing (ex: Strength of Link, Clarity of Impact, etc). Good weighing will usually win you my ballot and give you a speaker point boost.
- Frontlining in 2nd rebuttal. The 2nd rebuttal should answer all offense, including turns.
Things I don't like:
- Speed. I spoke relatively fast when I debated but hated it. I can generally flow speed but anything close to spreading shuts me off. You can usually get the same quantity of arguments out by just improving your word economy instead of picking up your speed.
- Theory. I definitely think theory and other types of critical arguments have a place in this activity, but only in certain, very limited circumstances (ie read theory when there is clear, substantial abuse in the round). You don't need to read full shells or anything for me, I'm totally fine with paragraph theory.
- Making absurd arguments. This event tests your ability to gain and disseminate knowledge and that needs to be done with integrity. If part of what makes debate an activity is discerning between misrepresentations and realities of the world and communicating them to the general public (in a forum), then I reserve the right to disregard silly arguments that blatantly misrepresent how the world works in my attempt to tell who has done the better debating. For example, impacting strictly to GDP growth as a good thing would be an argument I could not evaluate (ask me in person for why this absolutely makes no sense).
Going for TRUTH is not as incompatible with the TECH as you'd like to think. It's harmful to think they're unequivocally at odds.
PF Paradigm: I am an experienced PF judge on the national circuit. I judge primarily on impacts. You need to give a clear link story backed up with logic and evidence. Framework is important. Weighing is very important. It is better to acknowledge that your opponent may be winning a certain argument and explain how the impacts you are winning outweigh than it is to ignore that argument made by your opponent. Don't extend through ink. If your opponent attacks your argument you need to respond to that attack and not just repeat your original argument. I don't mind rapid conversational speed - especially while reading evidence, but no spreading. I will keep a good flow and judge primarily off the flow, but let's keep PF as an event where persuasive speaking style, logic, evidence, and refutation are all important. Also let's keep PF distinct from national circuit LD and national circuit policy - let's avoid kritiks, disads, plans, counterplans and theory arguments.
LD Paradigm: I am an experienced LD judge. I do prefer traditional style LD. I am, however, OK with plans and counter-plans and I am OK with theory arguments concerning analysis of burdens. I am not a fan of Kritiks. I will try to be open to evaluate arguments presented in the round, but I do prefer that the debate be largely about the resolution instead of largely centered on theory. I am OK with fast conversational speed and I am OK with evidence being read a little faster than fast conversational as long as tag lines and analysis are not faster than fast conversational. I do believe that V / VC are required, but I don't believe that the V / VC are voting issues in and of themselves. That is, even if you convince me that your V / VC is superior (more important, better linked to the resolution) than your opponent's V / VC that is not enough for me to vote for you. You still need to prove that your case better upholds your V / VC than your opponent's case does. To win, you may do one of three things: (1) Prove that your V / VC is superior to your opponent's AND that your case better upholds that V / VC than your opponent's case does, OR (2) Accept your opponent's V / VC and prove that your case better upholds their V/VC than their case does. OR (3) Win an "even-if" combination of (1) and (2).
CX Paradigm: I am an experienced LD and PF judge (nationally and locally). I have judged policy debate at a number of tournaments over the years - including the final round of the NSDA national tournament in 2015. However, I am more experienced in PF and LD than I am in policy. I can handle speed significantly faster than the final round of NSDA nationals, but not at super-fast speed. (Evidence can be read fast if you slow down for tag lines and for analysis.) Topicality arguments are fine. I am not a fan of kirtiks or critical affs.
Round Preference: Public Forum should be respected as Public Forum. Do not run a complicated Policy or Parliamentary round simulating a lawyer-judge scenario when you should be running a simple round simulating a lawyer-jury scenario.
IN THE ONLINE REALM OF SPEECH AND DEBATE - SLOW DOWN.
I am a flow judge.
I have a few things you should keep in mind:
I evaluate the rounds based on the framework provided by debaters.
When extending evidence, extend the warrant not just the author (because sometimes I don't write down the tag and just the warrant).
I do not flow crossfires. If you make an argument in crossfire or your opponent concedes an argument in crossfire, you must say it in a speech in order for me to count it.
**Although I am a flow judge, I reserve the right to forfeit my flow (and vote like a lay judge) if competitors are offensive, bullying, or just unnecessarily rude.
4 years debating for Stuy, 4 years coaching for Poly Prep
i flow (unfortunately)
- slow, please
- i don't know how to evaluate k's, theory, etc. (if there is an egregious abuse, i'm down to have a discussion or bring it higher up)
- no patience for cards getting called every five seconds-- just do some warranting :)
pretend i'm lay and have fun. i believe in you.
(30s if you win w/o reading evidence)
I started judging PF in 2016. Prior to that I judged middle school parli for 5 years.
I was a policy debater in high school and college 30 years ago, so I am comfortable flowing, can deal with real speed etc. For context, I have never heard a PF debater spread faster than I can flow. Ha! However, I am not deep on any on any technical aspects of PF---still learning :-)
Some pointers on me:
1.) Please signpost. I like to flow so I am annoyed when you do not signpost.
2.) I like evidence so I will sometimes ask to see it after the round. Don't over-represent what it says as that undermines your credibility. However, this does not mean that I don't value analysis. The best strategy involves excellent analysis backed by strong evidence.
3.) No new arguments in Final Focus.
4.) As I am a civilian judge, you should assume I know very little about the topic, i.e. what a college educated adult would know from 10 minutes of NYT reading per day. The only exception to this is business/technology as I work at a tech company on the business side. You should assume I am deep on those issues.
5.) I am lazy. I won't do anything that you don't instruct me to do. If you assume that I will connect things without you explicitly saying so, you do so at your peril.
6.) Humor is important. You get bonus points for having a sense of humor. I am kind so it counts even if you just try to have a sense of humor and aren't actually funny :-)
On a personal note, debate is the only thing I learned in high school that I have used at work every day for the past 25+ years. So great to see all of you competing!
For WKU -
The last policy rounds I was in was around 2015 for context. I do err neg on most theory positions though agent counterplans do phase me. Other than that, the big division when it comes to other arguments I don't really have much of a stance on.
Affs at the end of the day I do believe need to show some semblance of change/beneficial action
Debate is good as a whole
Individual actions I don't think I have jurisdiction to act as judge over.
Who am I?
Assistant Director of Debate, The Blake School MN - 2014 to present
Co-Director, Public Forum Boot Camp(Check our website here) MN - 2021 to present
Assistant Debate Coach, Blaine High School - 2013 to 2014
This year marks my 14th in the activity, which is wild. I end up spending a lot of my time these days thinking not just about how arguments work, but also considering what I want the activity to look like. Personally, I believe that circuit Public Forum is in a transition period much the same that other events have experienced and the position that both judges and coaches play is more important than ever. That being said, I do think both groups need to remember that their years in high school are over now and that their role in the activity, both in and out of round, is as an educator first. If this is anyway controversial to you, I’d kindly ask you to re-examine why you are here.
Yes, this activity is a game, but your behavior and the way in which you participate in it have effects that will outlast your time in it. You should not only treat the people in this activity with the same levels of respect that you would want for yourself, but you should also consider the ways through which you’ve chosen in-round strategies, articulation of those strategies, and how the ways in which you conduct yourself out of round can be thought of as positive or negative. Just because something is easy and might result in competitive success does not make it right.
Prior to the round
Please add my personal email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to the chain. The second one is for organizational purposes and allows me to be able to conduct redos with students and talk about rounds after they happen.
The start time listed on ballots/schedules is when a round should begin, not that everyone should arrive there. I will do my best to arrive prior to that, and I assume competitors will too. Even if I am not there for it, you should feel free to complete the flip and send out an email chain.
The first speaking team should initiate the chain, with the subject line reading some version of “Tournament Name, Round Number - 1st Speaking Team(Aff or Neg) vs 2nd Speaking Team(Aff or neg)” I do not care what you wear(as long as it’s appropriate for school) or if you stand or sit. I have zero qualms about music being played, poetry being read, or non-typical arguments being made.
I will be personally timing rounds since plenty of varsity level debaters no longer know how clocks work. There is no grace period, there are no concluding thoughts. When the timer goes off, your speech or question/answer is over. Beyond that, there are a few things I will no longer budge on:
You must read from cut cards the first time evidence is introduced into a round. The experiment with paraphrasing in a debate event was an interesting one, but the activity has shown itself to be unable to self-police what is and what is not academically dishonest representations of evidence. Comparisons to the work researchers and professors do in their professional life I think is laughable. Some of the shoddy evidence work I’ve seen be passed off in this activity would have you fired in those contexts, whereas here it will probably get you in late elimination rounds.
The inability to produce a piece of evidence when asked for it will end the round immediately. Taking more than thirty seconds to produce the evidence is unacceptable as that shows me you didn’t read from it to begin with.
Arguments that are racist, sexist, transphobic, etc. will end the round immediately in an L and as few speaker points as Tab allows me to give out.
Questions about what was and wasn’t read in round that are not claims of clipping are signs of a skill issue and won’t hold up rounds. If you want to ask questions outside of cross, run your own prep. A team saying “cut card here” or whatever to mark the docs they’ve sent you is your sign to do so. If you feel personally slighted by the idea that you should flow better and waste less time in the round, please reconsider your approach to preparing for competitions that require you to do so.
Defense is not “sticky.” If you want something to count in the round, it needs to be included in your team’s prior speech. The idea that a first speaking team can go “Ah, hah! You forgot about our trap card” in the final focus after not extending it in summary is ridiculous and makes a joke out of the event.
These are not set in stone, and have changed over time. Running contrary to me on these positions isn’t a big issue and I can be persuaded in the context of the round.
Tech vs truth
To me, the activity has weirdly defined what “technical” debate is in a way that I believe undermines the value of the activity. Arguments being true if dropped is only as valid as the original construction of the argument. Am I opposed to big stick impacts? Absolutely not, I think they’re worth engaging in and worth making policy decisions around. But, for example, if you cannot answer questions regarding what is the motivation for conflict, who would originally engage in the escalation ladder, or how the decision to launch a nuclear weapon is conducted, your argument was not valid to begin with. Asking me to close my eyes and just check the box after essentially saying “yadda yadda, nuclear winter” is as ridiculous as doing the opposite after hearing “MAD checks” with no explanation.
Teams I think are being rewarded far too often for reading too many contentions in the constructive that are missing internal links. I am more than just sympathetic to the idea that calling this out amounts to terminal defense at this point. If they haven’t formed a coherent argument to begin with, teams shouldn’t be able to masquerade like they have one.
There isn’t a magical number of contentions that is either good or bad to determine whether this is an issue or not. The benefit of being a faster team is the ability to actually get more full arguments out in the round, but that isn’t an advantage if you’re essentially reading two sentences of a card and calling it good.
In PF debate only, I default to a position of reasonability. I think the theory debates in this activity, as they’ve been happening, are terribly uninteresting and are mostly binary choices.
Is disclosure good? Yes
Is paraphrasing bad? Yes
Distinctions beyond these I don’t think are particularly valuable. Going for cheapshots on specifics I think is an okay starting position for me to say this is a waste of time and not worth voting for. That being said, I feel like a lot of teams do mis-disclose in PF by just throwing up huge unedited blocks of texts in their open source section. Proper disclosure includes the tags that are in case and at least the first and last three words of a card that you’ve read. To say you open source disclose requires highlighting of the words you have actually read in round.
That being said, answers that amount to whining aren’t great. Teams that have PF theory read against them frequently respond in ways that mostly sound like they’re confused/aghast that someone would question their integrity as debaters and at the end of the day that’s not an argument. Teams should do more to articulate what specific calls to do x y or z actually do for the activity, rather than worrying about what they’re feeling. If your coach requires you to do policy “x” then they should give you reasons to defend policy “x.” If you’re consistently losing to arguments about what norms in the activity should look like, that’s a talk you should have with your coach/program advisor about accepting them or creating better answers.
These are hands down the worst thing that PF debate has come up with. If something in round arises to the issue of student safety, then I hope(and maybe this is misplaced) that a judge would intervene prior to a debater saying “do something.” If something is just a dumb argument, or a dumb way to have an argument be developed, then it’s either a theory issue or a competitor needs to get better at making an argument against it.
The idea that these one-off sentences somehow protect students or make the activity more aware of issues is insane. Most things I’ve heard called an IVI are misconstruing what a student has said, are a rules violation that need to be determined by tab, or are just an incomplete argument.
Overall, I’m sympathetic to these arguments made in any event, but I think that the PF version of them so far has left me underwhelmed. I am much better for things like cap, security, fem IR, afro-pess and the like than I am for anything coming from a pomo tradition/understanding. Survival strategies focused on identity issues that require voting one way or the other depending on a student’s identification/orientation I think are bad for debate as a competitive activity.
Kritiks should require some sort of link to either the resolution(since PF doesn’t have plans really), or something the aff has done argumentatively or with their rhetoric. The nonexistence of a link means a team has decided to rant for their speech time, and not included a reason why I should care.
Rejection alternatives are okay(Zizek and others were common when I was in debate for context) but teams reliant on “discourse” and other vague notions should probably strike me. If I do not know what voting for a team does, I am uncomfortable to do so and will actively seek out ways to avoid it.
Dr. Rachel Williams
I teach Public Forum debate and public speaking at Global Academic Commons.
In a Public Forum debate, I look for strong arguments supported with strong evidence presented in a clear manner.
I would define a strong argument as one that relates to the resolution at hand, is well-organized, and clearly states your position, using solid logic and reasoning. Quality, well-explained arguments will trump a mere quantity. Debaters should use quoted evidence to support your claims, and well-chosen, relevant evidence will strengthen, though not replace, arguments.
Effective persuasion requires credible, unbiased, strong supporting evidence. In your speeches, this includes proper citation of any evidence used, and this must include source name and date. You should use direct quotations of your evidence and must have it available when asked.
Clear communication is a consideration. I will weigh arguments only to the extent that they are clearly explained, and will discount arguments that are too fast, too garbled, or too jargon-laden to be understood.
I debated PF all through high school, coached all through college, and am now coaching at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland. My role in the round is to interpret the world you aim to create, and to that end you should tell me explicitly what it is you are trying to do. I stick to the flow as well as I can.
common question answers:
1. Anything that needs to be on the ballot, needs to be in Final Focus, and anything in final needs to be in summary.
2. The first speaking team should be predicting the offense in first summary that needs to be responded to, and putting defense on it then. This ALSO means that the second speaking team has to frontline in the rebuttal. Any arguments/defense that are not in the First Summary are dropped, and any arguments that are not frontlined in the second rebuttal are dropped.
3. Summary to Final Focus consistency is key, especially in terms of the relevance of arguments, if something is going to be a huge deal, it should be so in both speeches. You're better off using your new 3 minute summary to make your link and impact extensions cleaner than you are packing it full of args.
4. I will call for cards that I think are important, and I will throw them out if they are bad or misrepresented, regardless of if they are challenged in the round. sometimes when two arguments are clashing with little to no analysis, this is the only way to settle it.
As a note, I am pretty hard on evidence, especially as sharing docs is becoming more popular. If you are making an argument, and the evidence is explicitly making a different argument, I won't be able to flow your arg.
Speed is fine, but spreading isn't. I'll evaluate critical arguments if they have a solid link, but they have to link to the topic y'all, so they basically have to be a critical disad.
I evaluate theory if it's needed, but I'm really skeptical of how often that is.
Feel free to ask for anything else you need to know.
You should pre-flow before the start time of the round, that will help your speaks!
"Last changed 13 December 2020 12:13 PM EST" - Tabroom 2020
In evaluating a debate round, there is the choice of evaluating strength of the arguments vs evaluating debate techniques. Of course one could argue that better techniques lead to stronger arguments, so they are pretty closely related. However, sometimes good techniques are deployed precisely to disguise a shaky argument. I vote based on strength of arguments as they transpire in the round.
I realize that given modern technology whatever case a team is running, pretty soon it is known to the entire circuit and every team starts running similar arguments. How do you judge when almost all teams on pro (or con) run similar arguments without being prejudiced towards one side? My focus is on how well a team responds and counter responds to opponent's arguments and counter arguments.
The following are some ways you can strengthen your case.
A) Logical link. Establish clear link(s) for your argument that opponent could not effectively overturn. Please note that merely saying there is a link between A and B or A implies B is not enough. It is up to you to establish and explain the strength of the link, based on logic, scientific theory, statistical inference or common sense. Offer clear logical explanation why opponent's links are weak.
B) Evidence. All pieces of evidence are not equal. It is up to you to explain why your evidence is strong and supportive of whatever you claim, and why your opponent' evidence is weak and non-supportive of whatever they claim. Evidence without clear explanation and context is not effective evidence.
C) Impact. You should weight impact whenever possible. I like numbers but will take them with a grain of salt, especially when you refer to large numbers of lives or huge sums of money, until you explain their plausibility. The better you explain how you arrive at the numbers and in general the better you explain the plausibility of your predicted impact, the more favorable your argument would look to me.
D) Abundant words and last words do not win the round by themselves. However, repetition does help me remember things so please feel free to repeat your key points (don't overdo it), especially in Summary and Final Focus.
More info from earlier version:
I have been judging Public Forum debate for a few years. I have a background in economics. Consider me a rigorous lay judge if that makes sense to you. Some general principles I vote on:
1. Soundness of your logic. If your logic is not clear, your evidence is likely not being used correctly.
2. Evidence. We are not talking about laws of nature. Social outcomes are rarely inevitable just because they seem logical, at least not along a predicted path. Good evidence makes their occurrences seem more likely or reasonable. Please cite your evidence clearly: who said what where and when. Explain how the evidence supports your argument.
3. Weighting impacts. To weight impacts, it often seems like you need to compare apples with oranges. It is your job to find criteria that help me compare apples with oranges. As an example, if you convince me we should only care about sweetness and nutrition of these fruits and oranges are both sweeter and more nutritious than apples, then I will accept that oranges are better than apples. Look hard for common characteristics of different impacts.
Style. It is hard for me to appreciate style if your logic is flawed or your evidence is misused. Having said that, doing somethings right will help you get more speaker points:
a. Be polite. Don’t shout. Don’t try to shut the other team down.
b. Keep your time and opponents’ time well.
c. Keep your cool and remain calm.
d. Humor can be a powerful argument…at the right moment.
Doing the opposite of a, b, c will reduce your speaker points.
I did PF and International Extemp for four years for Miramonte High School both on my local circuit and on the national circuit. If my paradigm doesn't cover something, please feel free to message me on Facebook, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or ask me before the round.
IF YOU SAY THINGS THAT ARE SEXIST, RACIST, ABLEIST, HOMOPHOBIC, TRANSPHOBIC, EXTREMELY RUDE, ETC. I WILL DROP YOU AND GIVE YOU THE LOWEST POSSIBLE SPEAKS. If some form of abuse or violence occurs in round and I don't immediately react, please feel free to FB PM me or email me email@example.com. [I say this because as a cis het woman, I may not be able to pick up on certain types of violence and I believe debaters should determine their level of safety and/or comfort
- You should read trigger warnings if you have the slightest inclination your argument could trigger someone
- use people's pronouns or gender neutral language in the case pronouns aren't disclosed
- Signpost. Please. If I don't know where you are I'll have a really hard time following you.
- I'm not a fan of offensive overviews in second rebuttal
- If you're speaking second, you should frontline first rebuttal. At the very least, you should respond to turns. I find making new responses to turns in second summary abusive
- Be nice
- Preflow before the round (I will be really annoyed if you don't, especially if you're flight 2)
- I don't flow cross so if something really incredible happens make sure you tell me in the next speech.
- If you need accommodations, I am happy to accommodate you. Feel free to FB message me before the round, come up to me privately, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
- Summary and FF should mirror each other
- Defense that is frontlined in second rebuttal needs to be responded to first summary now (it always should've been), but defense that is unresponded to doesn't need to be extended into first summary. First summary should frontline turns
- Make sure you extend both warrants and impacts
- If you don't adequately weigh, I will do my own weighing and things might get a little wonky if I do that. On that note, please, please, please weigh! Judging becomes so much harder when you don't.
Feel free to go pretty fast as long as you enunciate well. That being said, please speak at a pace at which your opponents can understand you. If your opponents obviously can't understand you (regardless of whether or not they yell clear) your speaks will likely take a hit. I'll yell clear if I really need to. But even if I don't, pick up on non-verbal cues that I can't follow you (not writing, looking confused, etc.).
I will call for evidence if: 1) you tell me to, 2) the evidence is key to my decision
I did not do policy or LD in high school and I do not consider myself a technical debater in the slightest. I quite honestly do not really understand theory or Ks, but if some form of abuse occurs in round or you feel unsafe, please feel free to use these forms of argumentation. Just explain your argument well. But PLEASE try to save theory/ K's for when it's absolutely necessary (hint: probably don't read disclosure theory). This does not mean I will not vote on theory or a K.
Overall, I'm here for a fun time and I hope you have a good time too!