Jack Howe Memorial Tournament
2018 — Long Beach, CA/US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I debated 4 years in policy and pf at Saratoga High School
*I won't vote for an argument that doesn't have a warrant
*If it's important it should be in every speech (including key defense)
*Speed is fine, but slow down for taglines and citations. Don't use it exclude other debaters.
Threshold for theory is high, I'll vote on it if the abuse is egregious. Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)
I like arguments that lean into K's and are debated like a K. I think these types of arguments are better than traditional Kritiks for PF, but I will still evaluate a K if you read it in round and know exactly what you are doing.
I prefer debaters read cards in the constructive. Paraphrasing often leads to misconstruing - I will call for cards at the end if no warrants are given
My name is Milan Amritraj and I'm writing this paradigm specifically for the 2022 NPDL TOC.
By way of Parli experience, I was a 2 time California state semi-finalist while competing for Campbell Hall. To the extent that World Schools Debate is similar to parli, I was also a two year member of NSDA's Team USA and captained the team during my senior year of high school. For further general background, I competed in LD, Congress and a variety of extemporaneous speech events. I've also served as assistant coach of the Campbell Hall team since graduating high school in 2016.
My paradigm is not particularly complicated, and I really don't think it should be for Parli debate. This text is not exhaustive, so feel free to ask me any questions before the round starts if you'd like specific clarification. Below are the most important points.
I'm pretty open to any arguments, theory and K's included, so feel free to run whatever you'd like so long as its well articulated. That being said, I heavily value weighing and crystallization in the rebuttal speeches, so please do a good amount of work to help clarify how you think I should be weighing these different arguments. Otherwise you run the risk of me having to enter the debate to resolve any ambiguities.
Speed shouldn't be an issue. Clarity, however, might very well be. I'll call out clear if theres an issue, but please try to avoid making that happen.
Finally, please avoid any funny business with prep or evidence if those sorts of things come up in round. I have a zero tolerance policy for foul play.
Competed in Varsity PF in high school.
Tabula rasa style.
Decision based off of the flow, I am looking for clear, concise extensions that are warranted.
Do not extend through ink or try to extend dropped responses.
Make weighing on the voters clear for your own best interest.
Please consider the following if I’m assigned as your judge.
1. No spreading. Please do not speak so fast that a person, unversed in the topic, would not be able to understand you.
2. No jargon. Please do not solely rely on “debate lingo” to get your point across. Yes, it’s fine to say “causal fallacy” but please explain yourself.
3. Be professional. It’s important to find the line between being in control of your time or your position versus being rude or condescending.
4. Provide quality refutes. Absent a substantial misrepresentation of source material, I find source attacks to be rather unpersuasive. I value substantive refutations—turns, etc.
5. I'm passive. I will not time, independently ask to check cards, or import in any of my own knowledge. If you expect me to know something, you’d better tell me.
6. Open to clarifying my paradigm before the round begins. Feel free to ask away.
I have 5 years of debate experience. I did two years of policy and two years of public forum, and I now do British parliamentary at the University of Laverne. If you make me laugh or smile, I'll be more willing to give you better speaks, but don't fish for votes, make it natural.
I'm good with speed
If you're debating policy try to have some original thoughts, I think the activity becomes boring when all you do is read other people's stuff.
If you have any questions, my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a parent judge who has been judging for four years. However, I am lay. I tend to be a truth-over-tech judge.
Things I like:
- Please be polite.
- Weigh. It will make my job much easier if you weigh in summary and final focus.
- Good evidence. I tend to prefer the team who has more convincing evidence
Things I don't like:
- Speed. I will put my pen down if you are going to fast.
- Do not interrupt your partner or opponent during cross.
I'm a Lay judge please treat me as such
I debated in High School for all four years and qualed to TOC. I have experience in mainly PF, but on a number of occasions I debated circuit LD, holistically I'm more familiar with PF and the style in general. There are a few things I love to see in rounds and a few things that I hate to see. Otherwise, don't try to mold yourself too much to me as a judge, I just want to see a good debate.
Onto some of the things I love to see in rounds. Super intense crossfire is always fun, but I will not flow anything said unless you bring it up in a later speech, which I feel is pretty standard across most judging pools. Weigh your impacts, duh, but unless it's clearly warranted and you stress why it's important, it won't mean much to me. Remember I'm not the one researching this topic for weeks/months, clearly tell me why you won. I like jokes, make one and I might bump your speaker points up. Please don't come across as condescending or rude if you do that, your opponents probably don't deserve nor need that, and I don't want to watch it. I love a good offtime roadmap before rebuttal, summary, and ff. Please signpost to let me know where you are on my flow, this will greatly improve the chances of me fully comprehending your argument.
Now onto some of the general things I don't want to see in round. As a girl debater, and coming from a majority girl team, I faced a lot of sexism and heard countless stories about judges and fellow competitors participating in sexism in the round. I have no tolerance for seeing that. If you are a male/boy debater please be conscious of your actions throughout the round. Just because your voice is deeper and louder, does not give you permission to speak over anyone else in the room. It also does not make you a better speaker. Please be courteous and mindful and there should be no issue. The second thing I hate to see in rounds is rude behavior towards your opponent. Even if you think you are winning, win with grace and don't be a jerk. There's no need for that behavior and it could lose you speaker points, and potentially the round if it's severe enough. Please don't spread unless your taglines are clear. Like I said I did circuit LD and PF so I can flow it, but if I can't hear a tagline that looks poorly on you and the argument. I'm the judge you should want me to hear everything you have to say. The last thing is framework. I will not vote on a framework unless it is clearly extended through each speech. Don't just say the words cost-ben or utilitarianism, and expect me to perfectly fit that to your case. If you want it to impact the round, tell me why you win under it specifically to this round. But don't bring it up unless you actually want me to vote on it.
As of right now I'm judging at tournaments and attending college, but I really want to help give good feedback that could potentially help you in a later round. Feel free to ask me any questions you have before the round starts.
Yes, I would like to be included in the email chain: email@example.com
- BA in History from California State University, Northridge. My focus was on the Medieval and Early Modern Middle East.
- MA in Community-Engaged Education and Social Change from Claremont Graduate University. My research mainly focused on Settler Colonialism in education and how to use Critical Pedagogy to develop praxis.
Debating and Coaching background:
High School: Traditional LD with Granada Hills Charter
College: Policy with California State University, Northridge
Coaching: Traditional and Circuit LD at Granada Hills Charter (2016-2021), Public Forum at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (2017-2020). I mainly coached Traditional LD at Granada Hills Charter.
Debate Style: Since I did traditional LD in high school, almost all of my circuit knowledge comes from policy debate. I mostly read K's in Policy.
It's been a minute that I've judged TOC debate, so you might wanna limit how much jargon you use. Please take time to explain things clearly to me. I appreciate debaters who do this a lot!
- LARP > Plan v. K > K v. K > Phil/Theory > Tricks
- Please slow down for analytics. I can't follow your arguments if I can't understand them.
- Don't be rude.
- Don't be someone who advocates for discriminatory or harmful positions.
- I'm not omniscient. I greatly value quality over quantity. Take time to explain things to me, especially terms or concepts that would generally be considered inaccessible.
- Clarity is one of the most important things for me in a round.
- I used to be completely tech>truth, but tricks and friv theory are pushing me to a more techy truth approach.
- I usually see myself giving 28.5 on average. I tend to give one 30 out per year.
- I'm pessimistic about the future of debate mainly because competitors do not bother to explain anything to the judge and they treat the judge as if they're an idiot for not knowing something. Taking the time to break away from your script to explain something to me is something I look forward to.
- I'm generally fine with any T/FW arguments you decide to run as long as they're ethical. Warrant your interps and counterinterps well. I like to see good clash with T/FW. In other words, actually interact with your opponent's claims.
- Please articulate your links clearly.
- I'm not the most familiar with RVI args, so reading it in front of me might leave me wondering how to evaluate the argument.
- Theories I'm fairly familiar with: Critical Pedagogy, Settler Colonialism, Cap, Foucault.
- I like performance debate a lot, but sometimes it's hard for me to follow along with the link, so I'd appreciate it if the links are clearly articulated.
- I am really interested in identity K's, but I don't feel comfortable voting for debaters that don't identify with their K and simply use it as a tool to win. Otherwise, I'm all for hearing identity politics and performance.
- Please clearly establish your alt.
- I'm down for PIKs
- I believe TVA is a strong argument against K Aff's.
- If you are going to run something that is high theory: Zizek, Delueze & Guattari, Derrida, Baudrillard, Agamben, etc., please explain it to me like it's not high theory. In other words, explain it to me like I'm five.
- My only request here is that YOU do all of the link work for me. I will not fill in gaps for you.
- A conceded DA will usually never look good for you.
- Net Benefit, net benefit, net benefit
- Don't drop the perm. I would like to see actual interaction with the perm.
- I think condo, generally, is good, but I'm willing to evaluate a condo bad arg.
- I don't mind PICs
- I'm not a fan of frivolous theory by any means. (Highlighter, Brackets, Shoes, etc.)
- I believe that theory should be used as an actual check against abuse in round.
- I don't mind "X" argument bad arguments.
- Otherwise, explain theory clearly and simply to me.
-No, just no.
- Both sides, DO NOT drop the case.
- Aff, I think it's super important to hammer down on the fact that the case stands through. Too many debaters spend too much time on off cases and leave their case in a very vulnerable position.
- Responding to the case is a MUST. If you're a K debater, it's not mandatory for me but it will convince me to vote for you even more if you are able to pull direct rhetorical links from the AC.
- Please feel free to ask me any questions after I give my RFD.
- It's very possible that you do not agree with my, or any other judges', interpretations in a round you lost. This DOES NOT give you the right to yell at your judge or the competitor.
- If you have any other questions after the round, please feel free to email me.
- I'm generally okay with spreading, but I'd appreciate if slow down for analytics.
- Slow down for tags and authors.
- DO NOT spread if your opponent is not okay with spreading.
- I vote off of a general offense/defense paradigm and use cost/benefit framework. However, I am MORE THAN HAPPY to have another FW in round.
-I expect arguments to be extended through summary to final focus if you intend on winning off of them. I don't have specific preferences for PF besides these, so if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.
I am old. I have been coaching and judging for over 35 years. This means that much/most of my experience predates the existence of Public Forum. I competed primarily in Policy, Lincoln Douglas (in its first year of existence), and Extemp. I have coached Policy (in the Dark Ages), Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Congress, and assorted speech events.
Speed does not offend me. That said, I am OLD and have carpal tunnel syndrome, so my flow is sloooooow. I will not punish you with points if you are fast and clear, but there is a risk I may not get everything you want on my flow.
I do not like surprises, not even good surprises. I always peeked at my presents as a child. Arguments should be extended in the summary speech if you want to win on them in the final focus. I favor line by line until the final focus, which should crystalize the debate and provide clear impact calc.
I think topic wording is important and that it determines burdens. I like it when teams are explicit about what the topic wording demands. A kritik is just an argument. If you can explain how it affirms or negates the res, it's all good.
Plans and counterplans are not allowed. Don't blame me. I didn't make the rules. You chose this event, despite the rules. That said, I think it is fair (and even a good idea) to talk about how the resolution would be implemented (assuming it calls for action and is not simply a question of fact/value). One can do this by looking at real world, typical proposals for resolutional action. I also don't think that the affirmative should be stuck advocating the worst possible way to implement the resolutional policy.
Evidence is important. Cheating is bad. Read author and date cites. I will grudgingly allow paraphrased evidence, but the full text must be available and easily evaluable. By this I mean that it is not okay to paraphrase evidence and then, when asked to provide it, hand over a ten page document with no highlighting/underlining of the bits that you claim to be paraphrasing. If you cannot say, "this paraphrases these three lines of text in the original document," or something like that, I'm going to disregard this "evidence." Neither I nor your opponents should have to read through the entire document to assess whether your paraphrasing is accurate.
I hate crossfire, especially the Grand Cluster F*!k. Please don't yell or speak over each other. I recognize that this aspect of PF is conducive to chaos, and that you are not responsible for this design flaw. That said, I will punish you with speaker points if you make the crossfire worse than it has to be.
Argument > Style. This is debate. Style is reflected in speaker points.
3rd year of HS PF judging experience. I have judged at several local and away tournaments.
I do mind speed.
I disfavor jargon.
Provide a roadmap at the beginning of your speeches.
Avoid conclusory statements not supported by logic and evidence.
I prefer to let you monitor your own time so I can put my entire focus into the debate.
B.A. Political Science M.S.U.
J.D. Southwestern University School of Law
LL.M. (Taxation) Loyola Law School
CA Bar Member #212258
Good luck and have fun!
I am a lay judge. I will do my best to listen to all your arguments, so please be as clear as possible. Please do not speak too fast, or I will drop speaker points. I will not disclose, but I will leave feedback on the ballot.
Used to be an LD debater.
Paradigm is as follows -
Whether it is a value debate, or empirical or policy, I want clash. There will be no point in debating if I see no clash. There should be crystallization of evidence, because evidence simply being brought up is not enough. Explain to me why this evidence is important, because it's your job to connect the dot, not mine.
Make sure to link arguments back to case.
I have no personal speech and debate competition experience. I began judging in early 2014; I have been involved in the community ever since and have attended/judged/run tournaments at a rate of 30 tournaments per year give or take. The onset of online in early 2020 has only pushed that number higher. I began coaching in 2016 starting in Congressional Debate and currently act as my program's Public Forum Coach.
General Expectations of Me (Things for You to Consider)
Consider me "flay" on average, "flow" on a good day. Here is a list of things NOT to expect from me:
- Don't make assumptions about my knowledge. Do not expect me to know the things you know. Always make the choice to explain things fully.
- Post-round me if you want, I don't care. If you want to post-round me, I'll sit there and take it. Don't think I'll change my mind though. All things that should influence my decision need to occur in the debate and if I didn’t catch it, that’s too bad.
- Regarding Disclosures/Decisions. Do not expect me to disclose in prelims unless the tournament explicitly tells me to. I will disclose all elim rounds unless explicitly told not to.
- Clarity > Speed. I flow on paper, meaning I most likely won't be looking at either competitor/team too often during the round. Please don't take that as a discouraging signal, I'm simply trying to keep up. This also means I flow more slowly than my digital counterparts, so there may be occasions that I miss something if you speak too quickly.
- Defense is not sticky. Coverage is important in debate; it allows for a sensible narrative to be established over the course of the round. Summary, not Rebuttal, is the setup for Final Focus.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
General Debate Philosophy
I am tech > truth by the slimmest of margins. I am here to identify a winner of a debate, not choose one. Will I fail at this? At times yes. But I believe that the participants in the round should be the sole factors in determining who wins and loses a debate. At its most extreme, I will vote (and have voted) for a competitor/team who lies IF AND ONLY IF those lies are not called out/identified by the opposing competitor/team. If I am to practice tabula rasa, then I must adopt this line of reasoning. Will I identify in my ballot that a lie was told? Absolutely.
Why take this hard line? Because debate is a space where we can practice an open exchange of information. This means it is also a space where we can practice calling out nonsense in a respectful manner. The conversations of world beyond will not be limited by time constraints or speaker order nor will there be an authority or ombudsman to determine what is truth. We must do that on our own. If you hear something false, investigate it. Bring it to my attention. Explain the falsehood. Take the time to set the record straight.
Public Forum / Lincoln Douglas Paradigm
Regarding speaker points:
I judge on the standard tabroom scale. 27.5 is average; 30 is the second coming manifested in speech form; and 22 and under is if you stabbed someone in the round. Everyone starts at a 27.5 and depending on how the round goes, that score will fluctuate. I expect clarity, fluidity, confidence and decorum in all speeches. Being able to convey those facets to me in your speech will boost your score; a lack in any will negatively affect speaker points. I judge harshly: 29+ scores are rare and 30 is a unicorn. DO NOT think you can eschew etiquette and good speaking ability simply due to the rationale that "this is debate and W's and L's are what matter."
Do not yell at your opponent(s) in cross. Avoid eye contact with them during cross as much as possible to keep the debate as civil as it can be. If it helps, look at me; at the very least, I won’t be antagonistic. I understand that debate can get heated and emotional; please utilize the appropriate coping mechanisms to ensure that proper decorum is upheld. Do not leave in the middle of round to go to the bathroom or any other reason outside of emergency, at which point alert me to that emergency.
Please signpost. I cannot stress this enough without using caps and larger font. If you do not signpost or provide some way for me to follow along your case/refutations, I will be lost and you will be in trouble. Not actual trouble, but debate trouble. You know what I mean.
In Public Forum, I default to Cost-Benefit Analysis unless a different FW is given. Net-Benefit and Risk-Benefit are also common FWs that I do not require explanation for. Broader FWs, like Lives and Econ, also do not require explanation. Anything else, give me some warranting.
In Lincoln Douglas, I need a Value and Value Criterion (or something equivalent to those two) in order to know how to weigh the round. Without them, I am unable to judge effectively because I have not been told what should be valued as most important. Please engage in Value Debates: FWs are the rules under which you win the debate, so make sure your rules and not your opponent's get used in order to swing the debate in your favor. Otherwise, find methods to win under your opponent's FW.
Do not take this to mean that if you win the FW debate, you win the round. That's the beauty of LD: there is no dominant value or value criterion, but there is persuasive interpretation and application of them.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
Regarding the decision (RFD):
I judge tabula rasa, or as close to it as possible. I walk in with no knowledge of the topic, just the basic learning I have gained through my public school education. I have a wide breadth of common knowledge, so I will not be requiring cards/evidence for things such as the strength of the US military or the percentage of volcanos that exist underwater. For matters that are strictly factual, I will rarely ask for evidence unless it is something I don’t know, in which case it may be presented in round regardless. What this means is that I am pledging to judge ONLY on what I hear in round. As difficult as this is, and as horrible as it feels to give W’s to teams whom I know didn’t deserve it based on my actual knowledge, that is the burden I uphold. This is the way I reduce my involvement in the round and is to me the best way for each team to have the greatest impact over their respective W or L.
A few exceptions to this rule:
- Regarding dropped points and extensions across flow: I flow ONLY what I hear; if points don’t get brought up, I don’t write them. A clear example would be a contention read in Constructive, having it dropped in Summary, and being revived in Final Focus. I will personally drop it should that occur; I will not need to be prompted to do so, although notification will give me a clearer picture on how well each team is paying attention. Therefore, it does not hurt to alert me. The reason why I do this is simple: if a point is important, it should be brought up consistently. If it is not discussed, I can only assume that it simply does not matter.
- Regarding extensions through ink: This phrase means that arguments were flowed through refutations without addressing the refutations or the full scope of the refutations. I imagine it being like words slamming into a brick wall, but one side thinks it's a fence with gaping holes and moves on with life. I will notice if this happens, especially if both sides are signposting. I will be more likely to drop the arguments if this is brought to my attention by your opponents. Never pretend an attack didn't happen. It will not go your way.
- Regarding links: I need things to just make sense. Do not use terrible links. If I’m listening to an argument and all I can think is “What?” then you have lost me. If using a link chain, link well with appropriate warrants. I will just not buy arguments at that point and this position will be further reinforced should an opposing team point out the lack of or poor quality of the link.
I do not flow cross-examination. It is your time for clarification and identifying clash. Should something arise from it, it is your job to bring it up in your/team’s next speech.
I'm not a big fan of theory/kritiks. If it comes up and it's warranted, make sure I know it. But most of the time, I won't be happy that it's happening. I advise against it.
Regarding RFD in Public Forum: I vote on well-defined and appropriately linked impacts. All impacts must be extended across the flow to be considered. If your Summary speaker drops an impact, I’m sorry but I will not consider it if brought up in Final Focus. What can influence which impacts I deem more important is Framework. I don’t vote off Framework, but it can determine key impacts which can force a decision.
Regarding RFD in Lincoln Douglas: FW is essential to help me determine which impacts weigh more heavily in the round. Once the FW is determined, the voters are how well each side fulfills the FW and various impacts extending from that. This is similar to how I vote in PF, but with greater emphasis on competing FWs.
I am a paper flow judge; I do not flow on computer. I’m a dinosaur that way. This means if you go through points too quickly, there is a higher likelihood that I may miss things in my haste to write them down. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SPREAD OR SPEED READ. I do not care for it as I see it as a disrespectful form of communication, if even a form of communication at all. Nowhere in life, outside of progressive circuit debate and ad disclaimers, have I had to endure spreading. Regardless of its practical application within meta-debate, I believe it possesses little to no value elsewhere. If you see spreading as a means to an end, that end being recognized as a top debater, then you and I have very different perspectives regarding this activity. Communication is the one facet that will be constantly utilized in your life until the day you die. I would hope that one would train their abilities in a manner that best optimizes that skill for everyday use.
This section is meant for things that simply anger me beyond rational thought. Do not do them.
- No puns. No pun tagline, no pun arguments, no pun anything. No puns or I drop you.
Should other things arise, I will add them to this list at that time.
- Substance and quality of argument outweighs style of argumentation.
- Provide a clear thesis for which you are contending and make sure that you accomplish it in such a rate of delivery that can be followed.
- Strong development of IMPACTS, appropriate evidence, proper linkage are all assets in round.
- Healthy clash is encouraged so that each posited argument clearly claims its unique ground. Vigorous clash is welcomed as long as it is with clear respect for one's opponents.
- In the end, give me a clear route to giving you a winning ballot.
- This is ONLY MY SECOND YEAR Speech and Debate coach. I am still learning and adjusting. I have judged in Public Forum, Congress and Lincoln Douglas debates at district tournaments, state tournaments and national tournaments.
I judge based on the flow. Solid clash and preponderance of evidence is what really does It for me. Dropped arguments and unaddressed points are usually the deciding factors of my rounds but they need to be pointed out to be considered. A priori arguments and Kritiks usually don't work in PoFo so please don't stray from the topic just to derail the conversation. Spreading is frowned upon, but speak at whatever pace you want. If I cannot understand you I will let you know.
I'd like to start out by stating that I used to have a paradigm and now it appears to have fled. Please know that that paradigm was much better and more comprehensive than this paradigm, but this will have to do for now. Don't let this paradigm be a reflection on me as a person.
Rate- As long as you enunciate and I can understand you, have at it.
Content- Some philosophy and broad application is fine, but your arguments should be grounded in real life context and specifics.
I'm a teacher-coach, in that order. Your content and the flow matters but so does your clarity, organization, tone, and decorum. If both teams have sensational arguments and it's close I have no problem giving the win to who I think are the better speakers.
Consider myself a flay judge. The RFD is going to read more like a narrative and less like you won at argument Tetris.
Please have fun. I promise I will or, at the very least, if it's late and we're worn out, I'm still going to look like I'm having fun, and I'm going to do the best I can to give you something to work with and a clear reason for my decision.
Public Forum Paradigm
Defense needs to be in summary. If it's not in summary, I'm less likely to consider it in final focus.
Time allocation is also super important. There needs to be a balance between explaining the link chain of your arguments and terminalizing impacts.
Don't be offensive.
THEORY/THE ONLY SUBSTANTIVE DEBATE - This is my bread and butter. If I were able to pick and choose how every debate would go that I judged or competed in, it would just be layers and layers of theory on top of each other. On a base level I believe that theory is a question of rules that are malleable, completely made up and debatable. This means that I am willing to listen to and vote on a lot of generally agreed upon "bad theory" that is debated well.
When reading fresh new and exciting theory I expect a concise interpretation, a clean violation and a distinct link to the ballot through things that should be prioritized in debate/life. If those 'things' are not fairness and education I'll likely need an explanation as to why I should care about this other priority as well.
Some hurdles (biases) for debaters to overcome when having theory rounds in front of me: (1) I tend to defend against theory than it is to read theory, (2) I find conditionality to be good and healthy for the types of debates that I want to see, (3) disclosure theory does more harm for debate (by dropping teams that didn't know about disclosing) than any good it does, (4) I weigh theory on the interpretation not its tagline (this means debaters should wait to hear the interpretation before they start writing answers that miss a poorly written OR nuanced interpretation), (5) there isn't a number or threshold for too many theory positions in a round aside from speed and clarity, (6) RVIs are not worth the breadth just sit down, (7) you're either going for theory or you aren't, I am heavily bothered by debaters that say the sentence, "and if you aren't buying the theory here's this disad."
Read your interpretation slower and repeat it twice. I will not vote on theory that I do not have one clear and stable interpretation for. Also just read it slowly because I don't want to miss out on the substance of the rounds I really want to hear.
Theory positions have differing layers of severity that adjust how I get to prioritize them when writing the ballot. This means that I want to hear arguments that suggest plan plus counterplans are justified when the AFF isn't topical or that MG theory is a bigger offense than topicality etc. Many of my ballots have been decided by simple arguments that change the priority of certain theory over others.
SPEED - Speed is a tool just like written notes and a timer in debate that allow us to more efficiently discuss topics whether that be on a scale of breadth or depth. Efficiency requires a bunch of elements such as: both teams being able to respond to all or group most of the arguments in a meaningful way and being able to hear and write the arguments effectively.
To newer debaters who have stumbled into a paradigm, during the other team's speech you are free to use the words "slow" and "clear" if you feel as though you cannot keep up in the round. If the other team does not acknowledge your request, you should make it an argument that you should win the round because the other team has not accommodated basic requests for an efficient debate.
CRITICISMS - My interest in criticisms has waned over the years. It could just be a difference in debate meta between when I competed and now but I find many of the critical arguments run in front of me to be either constructed or read in a way that I have difficulty understanding. I don't vote on criticisms with alternatives that are incomprehensible, poorly explained or use words that mean nothing and aren't explained (the first point of your alt solvency should probably clear up these points if your alt is a mess).
I have a very difficult time weighing identity politics impacts in rounds.
Collapse - Please collapse.
Hi! I’m Ruby of Westridge BM writing this for my dad. Jack Howe will be his first time judging, so if you treat him like your average lay judge who doesn’t know much about UNCLOS or debate, you should be good. He knows a little bit from me talking, but don’t expect him to know much jargon. I tried to tell him he can’t just choose who speaks prettier, so hopefully he will listen and write notes (not flow) but no promises :(
I prefer that debaters clearly state their contentions. I prefer that debaters not interrupt the other debaters unless they are asking a legitimate question. I prefer that the debaters focus on the arguments of the case on not technicalities. I do not need the debaters to explain to me how I must decide.
Debate doesn’t matter. Human rights atrocities happen no matter how I vote. We can only change what happens in a round, not in US foreign/domestic policy.
Coach for La Salle Pasadena. Coaching for 6 years @ local, circuit, TOC/NSDA Nats level.
Speed is fine (because debate doesn’t matter), but if it's not great, I'll let you know and say 'clear'. Don't spread--it's not a way to pick up my ballot (again, debate doesn’t matter). Threshold: 270 words, give or take.
New Summary/Prep rules: Spend 2 minutes on summary, then that third minute on weighing. Final focus--start with that weighing that your 1st speaker ended on, then do the extensions. Summary=collapse. Spend that newly acquired 3d minute of summary providing a comparative impact calc or link weighing or whatever, but explaining how you outweigh. Don't use summary as a 2nd/additional rebuttal, if you can help it. If you want me to consider your arguments in Final Focus, I need to have heard them extended through the Summary. Final focus should be mostly comparative weighing. I will vote for the team that recognizes their own arg in its relevance to their opponents'.
I have a soft spot for Kritiks (because debate is problematic), so you can try it out, but if your Kritik ends up doing more harm than good (taking advantage of a Kritik to pick up a ballot without truly interacting with the literature of the Kritik or understanding each party's participation in oppressive systems, etc. will annoy me), I'll not consider it and possibly intervene against you.
If I don't get something on the flow, it's because you didn't emphasize it enough. I'll weigh what's on my flow, and that's the best I can do.
Re: postrounding--I don't find it educational. In fact, as a woman in debate who has her decisions and presence questioned at nearly every intersection in this activity, I find that getting postrounded by debaters just makes the space hostile and exhausting. So if you find yourself disguising your anger at losing the round as "just asking questions about the flow/round to get better," or worse, trying to embarrass and discredit your judge or your opponents, I'll tank your speaks after the round is over. If you have questions (rather than a desire to regain some power that you lost in dropping the round), come see me outside the round and we can talk.
When in doubt, ask. Or strike me. Either works.
I mostly end up judging PuFo, so my paradigm is for that.
Judging style: Team
I like civility in the room. Be respectful and gain respect.
You don't need to change your style of speaking for me, I can follow fast speech, if I miss something, I do ask for cards mentioned.
Don't use too much technical stuff, if you do - explain it in short. Otherwise the argument will be lost on me. I have a daughter who does policy and LD and she has explained me what it is and how to evaluate it. Feel free to run it with me.
I give a lot of weight to impacts and mostly award points based on that.
Do not bring in a controversial topic in the debate unless it is absolutely necessary (eg: terrorism, 9/11, etc)
I do take notes so don't try to pull fast ones, chances are I will catch it (Not all the time though)
I like off time roadmap. Helps me be organized.
Judging style: Individual Speaker:
I award points based on how you speak, and how you conduct yourself in cross. If you are blatantly rude, offensive, racist, sexist, etc, you will be marked down to the lowest.
Let your opponent complete their thought in cross before interrupting.
Do not try to shake hands.
If you need any clarity on paradigms, more than welcome to ask me before debate on a 1-1 basis or anyways.
My pronouns are he/they. While I have high school debate experience, I should be considered a relatively lay judge.
I really rely on the flow to determine which arguments are still alive at the end of the round and how much weight those arguments have. That said, I'm only okay at flowing, so I'll need you to really signpost each argument. My experience is with Parli debate so any lingo outside that realm, and any argumentative structure outside of "tagline, warrant, link, impact" will be unfamiliar to me. I'm very receptive to weighing impacts/comparing worlds.
I think a lot can go/is wrong with the speaker points system, so speaker points will be first and foremost awarded along the lines of argumentative clarity. Sophisticated language and especially fluid articulation is largely irrelevant for me.
I'm open to disagreements on framework but wary of cheap, complex, overwhelming/intimidating framework arguments to win the round rather than clarify the debate for the sake of a more educational outcome. So, if you're gonna run a framework argument, use extremely accessible language. Someone with no debate experience should be able to understand what you think is problematic about your opponent's interpretation and why agreeing with you makes the round more fair for everyone involved. Additionally, unless your opponents' framework has shut you out of the debate almost entirely, your argument on framework should seamlessly transition to your actual case. I generally don't want to give someone the win because of a framework argument alone.
You can run theory/Ks/whatever, but, as is the case above, I need you to make it easy for me to understand. Theory is fun, but if it isn't clear already, I am quite receptive to arguments about the inaccessibility of theory (and typically more so than I am to counter-theory), mostly because I myself often don't understand it very well! Additionally, and this should go without saying but it's worth writing, if the theory/K/etc you run is grounded in or propagates a hateful ideology, it is highly unlikely you will win the round.
If you have any clarifying questions about my paradigm, or about the rules and procedures of the round, feel free to ask! I'll try to answer as best I can :)
email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I generally take a tabula rasa approach to judging. However, having experience as a former debater, I will not evaluate arguments that are blatantly incorrect or offensive. I will normally disclose but If you want a good oral critique, then be willing to get roasted.
In the round:
- I need impact calculus with comparative analysis in the final speeches, otherwise I’ll be forced to evaluate your arguments myself which will likely not be as favorable for you.
- Don’t extend through ink.
- I only weigh arguments in the final focus if they were also in your summary.
- Don’t go for everything past the rebuttal. Employ strategic issue selection and tell me what the important voters are and why you are winning them.
- I’m fine with most arguments but if you choose to go progressive (kritiks, theory, etc.) do it right, don’t butcher it, and stick to the procedurals.
- Framework is not an essential part of public forum. That being said if you choose to read a framework, utilize it because I will vote off it.
- I’ll give extra speaks for a tastefully savage remark. This is NOT an invitation to be rude which I have no tolerance for.
- When it comes to your rate of delivery, I’m fine with whatever but be sure not to sacrifice clarity for speed.
- I don’t flow cross so don’t get upset if I’m not writing while you and your opponent compete to talk over each other. This means that if you want me to account for an argument, you need to bring it up in a speech.
Hello debate enthusiasts,
Iam a parent judge who enjoys watching public forum debate. For the benefit of the community, I would like to use this passion and turn it into service as a debate judge.
Regarding speaking preferences, clarity is very mportant to me. I dislike spreading and prefer a more moderate pace.
Also, I value thoughtful and insightful debates with emphasis on impacts and command over topic literature.
In my book of judging, logic is as important as evidence.
Wishing good luck to all the competitors at the tournament!
**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.
I've assistant coached for 13 years mainly as an IE coach.
In terms of debate the school I have judged many rounds of Public Forum, Parli, and LD.
I know how to flow, but depending on the round I may not vote solely on flow. As in: An opponent dropping an argument that makes no sense... is still an argument that makes no sense.
I understand most debate jargon, but if you are going to run something really off the wall you may want to take some extra time to explain it.
If you aren't saying anything important I won't flow. If I am lost, I won't flow. If you aren't clear in speaking, I won't flow. I hate spreading with the passion of 1000 burning fiery suns.
I did IEs in high school, so to me the essential part of speech and debate is learning the ability to communicate. So make sure you explain things clearly and concisely. I feel that louder/faster doesn't always equal smarter.
I really like strong (but respectful) clash in crossfire and cross-ex. Really dig into the arguments and show me you know what is going on!
Voters and voting issues in your finals speech are key to me inside of whatever framework you have set up. For LD this includes your value and criterion as well as your opponent's.
These events are my jam. :)
I was a college Value debater.
I prefer for teams to sign post their arguments. Dropped arguments are bad. Too many and you might lose the round.
I can handle pretty fast talking but not crazy fast.
Currently an IP lawyer. If i am judging, it is because i owe someone a favor.
Ill say "what" if i didnt hear/understand what you said
a decade worth of national circuit experience. former national competitor. former top 10 PF coach. Ill disclosed if you want. time yourselves.
Love a good theory debate but i love a good debate on the merits (blame the pfer in me) i wont blame you for striking me lmao
*Varsity Speaks I changed my paradigm to include this last season mid-tournament and I'm keeping it this season. Boost in speaker points when you compliment your partner in-speech - the more fun or earnest, the higher the speaks boost :) I've found this gives some much needed levity in tense rounds.
*Online: Please go slower online. I'll let you know if you cut out. I'll try on my end to be as fair as possible within the limits of keeping the round reasonably on time. If the tournament has a forfeit policy, I'll go by those.
Background: 3 years of college super trad policy (stock issues/basic T & CPs) & some parli. I coach PF, primarily middle school/novice and a handful of younger varsity teams. She/her.
Firm on paraphrasing bad. I used to reward teams for the bare minimum of reading cut cards but then debaters would bold-faced lie and I would become the clown emoji in real time. I'm open to hearing arguments that penalize paraphrasing, whether it's treating them as analytics that I shouldn't prefer over your read cards or I should drop the team that paraphrases entirely.
Disclosure is good because evidence ethics in PF are bad, but I probably won't vote for disclosure theory. I'm more likely to reward you in speaks for doing it (ex. sharing speech docs) than punish a team for not.
“Defense is sticky.” No it isn’t.
As a result, frontline whatever you want to go for in summary in second rebuttal - first summaries, call it out if not.
If you take longer than a minute to exchange a card you just read, it starts coming out of your prep. I don't believe in the trend of judges I've seen that get upset at the team asking for cards rather than the team that can't produce the cards they just read. It's your stuff, you either have it or don't.
If it's in final focus, it better be in summary.
Collapsing, grouping, and implicating = good, underrated, easy path to my ballot! Dumping as many blippy, unwarranted responses as you can = overrated, not fun, will probably annoy me.
Messy debates make me sad. I think cleaner debates collapse earlier rather than later.
I'm super into strategic concessions. "It's okay that they win this, because we win here instead and that matters more bc..."
I have a soft spot for framing. I'm most interested when the opposing team links in (ex. team A runs "prioritize extinction," team B replies, "yes, and that's us,"), but I'll definitely listen to "prioritize x instead" args, too. Just warrant, compare, etc.
Other "progressive pf" - I have minimal experience judging it. I'm not saying you can't run these debates or I'm unwilling to listen to them, but I'm saying be aware and slow down if I'm the one evaluating it. Update: So far this season, I've voted down trigger warning theory and voted for paraphrasing theory.
I'll accept new weighing in final focus but I don't think it's strategic - you should probably start in summary to increase my chances of voting off of it.
All else fails, I will 1) look at the weighing, then 2), evaluate the line-by-line to see if I give you reasonable access to those impacts to begin with. Your opponents would have to really slip up somewhere to win the weighing but lose the round, but it's not impossible. I get really sad if the line-by-line is so convoluted that I only vote on the weighing - give me a clean place to vote. I'll be happy if you do the extra work to tell me why your weighing mechanism is better than theirs (I should prefer scope over mag because x, etc).
I’m a better judge for you if you're more trad/LARP. The more "progressive," the more you should either A) strike me if possible, or B) explain it to me slowly and simply - I’m open to hearing it if you’re willing to adjust how you argue it. Send a speech doc and assume I'm not as well-read as you on the topic literature.
If it's before 9am, assume I learned what debate was 10 minutes ago.
Open/varsity - time yourselves. Keep each other honest, but don't be the prep police.
On speed generally - I can do "fast" PF just fine, but if it's anything that resembles spreading in another event, I'm not your best bet.
Content warnings should be read for graphic content. Have an anonymous opt-out.
Have warrants. Compare warrants. Tell me why your args matter/what to do with them.
Don't post-round. Debaters should especially think about who you choose to post-round on a panel when decisions echo one another.
Having a sense of humor and being friendly/accommodating toward your opponents is the easiest way to get good speaks from me. Be kind, have fun, laugh a little (but not at anyone's expense!!), and I'll have no problem giving you top speaks.
If I smile, you did something right. If I nod, I'm following what you say. I will absolutely tilt my head and make a face if you lost me or you're treading on thin ice on believability of whatever you're saying. If I just look generally unhappy - that's just my default face. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Please keep things slow and understandable.
I evaluate arguments based on quality, so have strong warrants (reasoning) and impact out your statements. If there is something that you believe is important/crucial to the round, I expect you to emphasize it and convince me why it should make the basis of my decision.
Please be respectful during Cross-Fire. You don't get extra points or credibility for being rude.
Current:PhD student @Rice
Past: Mountain House '18, UCLA '22,
Debate stock**, do flay LD. No spreading. Actually try to talk persuasively, not just at 300 wpm. I am not that fast anymore, I do not coach, and I don't even read the topics. You have been warned.
** I like fun arguments still and can get quite bored of stock. If you run zanier things, just take the time to explain better.
Efficiency, strategic collapsing, weighing >>> generic card dump
I did PF and believe debate is a game meant to be done with some flair. i’ve judged lots of ld, pf and parli (circuit, trad, whatever) at this point, can handle speed (hit me with your best shot), but I’m also older and don’t spread in my daily life. By the way, the faster you go, the more you should enunciate... People are getting worse and worse at spreading... If you can do LARP, please do LARP. If you don't LARP, procedural arguments are also good (I love T debate), theory is fine, just be clean on the flow and your extensions.. Be mindful that I am not super familiar with it. K's are okay, heed the warnings in bold below.I won't vote on any argument I don't understand; my threshold for voting on something convoluted that you spread at me is much higher. That being said, if you explain a creative, strategic argument well and carefully --> more speaks and my ballot. Entertain me, and you will be rewarded.
"The easiest way to win my ballot is to follow these three rules. Pick an issue and defend against responses constructively with more than just a re-assertion of your argument. Weigh the link against other links and the impact against other impacts. Use this issue to tell a clear story that leaves me confident when I vote."
I study engineering, so I like to consider myself an engineer/scientist in training. if a card is important to my decision, I call for it. If I find that you misrepresented it, put it out of context, whatever, I won't consider it and will tank your speaks. That being said, clever indicts against your opponents' evidence, or knowing their evidence better than they do will majorly help your speaks. Show that mastery of the topic in cross and in your speeches.
Tech >> truth, I can vote on anything and everything, and I don't believe in any form of judge intervention whatsoever. That doesn't mean you should run terrible -ism arguments, just that you can and I will consider it in my decision like any other position. However, my threshold for your opponent to call you out on it and drop it is much, much lower (because these arguments are always objectionable under normative ethics frameworks, and you have to do extra work to prove otherwise, I default normative ethics if there's no FW clash here).
for judging LD/Policy/Parli: **HATE FRIV THEORY and tricks, NOT SUPER FAMILIAR WITH KRITIKAL POSITIONS except very neolib, biopolitics, and especially, THE FEM K. If you run a K, explain it well. I've definitely gotten slower (I'm 5 years out and I no longer coach), so don't spread so quickly that you start foaming at the mouth. I can handle 300-500 wpm (this is different from online debate comfort levels, read that section). Stock issues, case, LARP, love science centered cases --> good. Don't bite each other in cross/flex.
If you run friv theory despite my warnings, and the round becomes a friv theory/trix wash of a massive shitshow on both sides, I will drop the team/debater that read the first shell. Consider yourself warned. ~~
If I stop flowing or put my pen down, you're either going too fast, or you're wasting your time by saying what you are saying, so you should switch strats immediately.
I hate frivolous theory & RVIs, so I have a much higher threshold for voting on it. I prefer case debate, but if you don't wanna do that, that's your call.
It's become clear to me that over the online format, spread is just much more unintelligible than usual. Slow down. Speed is just you compensating for inefficiency, and I'm more receptive to efficiency than anything else. If you are efficient and stay below / around 250 wpm, I will boost your speaker points by a lot. Thank you for adapting to the format.
I'm also a lot more receptive to ableism, speed K args that are triggered by shitty spread in the online format. this is an actual issue and problem that I think matters given the circumstances... Haven't heard a good shell for this, but if you run it, I will like it.
I think first speaking teams are structurally disadvantaged in PF (first summary is arguably the hardest speech to give), so if there is no offense generated in the round, absolute wash, then I default to the first speaking team.
Please weigh. Probability, Scope, and Magnitude. Impact Calculus is good. Weighing needs to start in the summary speech, maybe even the second constructive. In general, good debaters tend to be very good at weighing. Comparative statements are also good: "Even if they win [arg tag], if we win [arg tag], you vote us up because [....]"
NSDA has given summary speeches another minute.. 2nd summary better have defense, both summaries better have comparative weighing. I have a MUCH LOWER tolerance for ships passing in the night now.
Give me a roadmap, and follow it. Signpost frequently. Card by card extensions are good, and please have good warranting. 2nd summary better have defense. Don't be a jerk in x-fire.
On evidence, if a particular card is very important to my decision, I will call for it. If you misrepresented it, then I won't consider the offense/defense it generated on your side. Evidence ethics are terrible in PF. If a team tells me to call for a card, I will call for it. If all your cards seem to be terrible, I'll tank your speaks.
ONLINE PF SPECIFIC PREFS:
PF usually doesn't have emailchains, but since audio can be faulty, people can cut out for a second, please send me and your opponents the case, cut cards should be attached in a separate document (assuming you paraphrased). This saves everyone time when cards are asked to be seen during prep anyway, and I think it's a net good for education + accessibility.
I debated 4 years in policy and pf at Saratoga High School.
Most of this paradigm is stolen from my high school debate partner (love u ayush <3) so please feel free to ask questions before the round
*I won't vote for an argument that doesn't have a warrant
*If it's important it should be in every speech (including key defense)
*Speed is fine, but slow down for taglines and citations. Don't use it exclude other debaters. It's been some time since I've had to flow particularly fast debating, so please start slower and ramp up if you plan on going very fast. I'll shout clear if I need to
*I probably have a higher threshold for case extensions than other PF judges. I require a full extensions of links, warrants and impacts to vote on an argument
*DO NOT take advantage of or commodify the suffering of marginalized groups to win rounds !!!
-I'm fine with evaluating theory, but would definitely prefer to judge a substance debate
-Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)
-I like kritikal arguments, but the worst rounds are those that contain badly run Ks, so please do not run a K if you are unsure about how to do so
-Ks don't necessarily need an alt
-Don't assume I know your literature and please explain thoroughly, especially if your K is not particularly common (ie cap, biopower, security etc.)
-Default to K comes before theory (unless justified otherwise)
-I prefer debaters read evidence straight from cards. Paraphrasing often leads to misconstruing
-I will only call for cards if told to, and I'll be unhappy if things don't line up
-Pls read authors and years
I am a former debate coach and debate tab staffer at many regional and circuit-level tournaments in California. I competed in student congress and have actively coached congress, speech (e.g., oratory or platform events), LD, and public forum debate. I competed from 2006 to 2008, coached from 2008 to 2013, and tabbed from 2011 to 2022. My specialty is in tabbing and evaluating TOC-level congressional debate rounds.
Outside of speech and debate, I have my PhD in Social Psychology. I focus on group identities and how it affects our thoughts and behaviors. Between that and my other professional experiences, my view of speech and debate has now become focused on the communication of information and logical arguments for an audience.
Here is how this has affected my perspectives of debate rounds:
- Do not actively harm anyone else in the debate round. Personal attacks, ad hominem arguments, or similar actions detract from the speech and debate experience. If you engage in any behavior that actively harms yourself or a competitor, I will give the win to your opponent and immediately let tab staff know of your behavior.
Think about what you plan to say or do before you say and do it. This can often lead to a better round and less potential for unintentional outcomes from a round. This can also help identify biases within ourselves and each other that affect what we do and do not perceive or how our words and actions can affect others. I am trying to learn how my biases influence how I see the world, and I hope you take time to do so as well.
- Any argument that you want to run that does not actively harm yourself or your opponent works for me. This includes traditional and progressive arguments. Importantly, any argument that you want to run is fine with me if you can explain the argument in simple English. Tell me why your argument is relevant and matters in the round, and I will evaluate it. Arguments filled with excessive jargon without an attempt to explain it in simple English will likely be ignored.
- Debate is inherently an activity based on value judgements. Arguments that focus on an empiric as the take-home point (e.g., we save x more lives than our opponents or save x more money than our opponents) do not inherently have value by itself. You need to tell me why your evidence and analysis matters (e.g., overall, our side allows us to achieve something we value or avoid something that we do not value). Tell me what matters, and tell me why I should weigh it above your opponents' case. On average, I will value plausible evidence more than implausible examples. As an aside, extinction arguments will usually be ignored and excluded from my flow if it is irrelevant to the topic.
- It is up to you to convince me as a judge that your evidence is (1) valid and (2) relevant to the round. Sensationalist or inflammatory arguments or evidence that do not add to the overall logic or arguments of the round will be ignored completely (e.g., they will not make my flow sheet). It is your responsibility to ensure that your argument is (a) not sensationalist, (b) not inflammatory, and (c) relevant to the round
- I do not support the game theory of spreading, or the idea of running so many arguments that it is impossible to counteract all arguments in a specific round. Communication matters. Speed is okay but spreading is strongly discouraged.
- Most debates focus on a specific topic or point. Although it is a tactic to focus on a specific aspect of the debate, concede that point after much of the round has passed, and then state “I concede the point that we spent much of the round that we discussed while still winning on the rest of my case that my opponent has overlooked,” I find that to be a very cheap debate tactic that does not have much real world applicability. If you and your opponent explicitly or implicitly focus on a specific point or area of contention within a round, I will decide my ballot based on that point or contention.
- Specific to LD: I need a value. Morality is not a value, as groups define what it means to be moral (Ellemers et al., 2013). I need to know a specific value that you think I should promote or prefer in the round.
- Specific to Congressional Debate: You may have noticed that I said I competed in student congress but evaluate congressional debate rounds in my introduction. That is intentional. Congressional debate has grown into a multifaceted event with nuanced arguments regarding policy and societal proposals and implications. Assume that my rankings is based on diversity of skills (e.g., can you give multiple types of speeches), essentialism within the round (e.g., what was your holistic effect within the round, or how would the round be different if you were not in the round), and quality of novel arguments and argument advancement during debate on a topic.
- I rank presiding officers and know how to evaluate them based on 2 years of being a presiding officer and 14 years of evaluating student congress and congressional debate rounds.
- All things being equal, I rank students lowly who only give crystallization speeches within the round. The goal of congressional debate is to advance discussion on a topic. There are many ways to do so (e.g., sponsorship, early-cycle extension speeches, summary and late-cycle extension speeches, and crystallization speeches). All speeches have value, but I prefer students who show diversity in their speech types when possible. When diversity is not possible, I need to know how your speech extends an argument above and beyond summarizing what was previously discussed. Often, crystallization speeches summarize events without extending discussions. In rounds where it is possible for all speakers to give two speeches, I rate students who choose to only give crystallization speeches lower.
Overall, I hope you have fun, communicate clearly, use valid and relevant evidence effectively, and be respectful of yourselves, your opponents, and the community. We all showed up because this is something that we enjoy. Treat others with the respect you hope to be treated with, and I will do my best to treat everyone with respect throughout the round.
HS (4 years) Speech/Congress/Parli/PF. College (1 year). Speech coach (5+ years). Worked with multiple flow debate programs. Debate is fun!
Debate provides students an opportunity to be passionate advocates on any given topic by means of using clear communication. Utilize unforgettable rhetoric, teach me something new, and always play by the rules. Most importantly, make sure to be extremely respectful of one another!
MY JUDGING CRITERIA:
I am heavy on flow. I love responsiveness and crystalization. Make it easy for me to follow you.
Jargon: I’d prefer students not use it for purposes of clarity. I’m sure audience members, your judge, and your opponents would appreciate this as well. One of the main ways to receive good speaker points from me is to always treat each other with respect.
Value: You should always link your arguments to value. Otherwise, your arguments don’t have as much weight from my view. If you can also demonstrate how your arguments work under your opponent's value, that’s a bonus.
I appreciate off-time roadmaps. I don’t mind “spreading” (fast speaking), but make sure to slow down and enunciate tags and citations. Also, if I find the entirety of your speech to be filled with unnecessary diction, I will frown. Why? Word economy. Lastly, you will note that I stop flowing as soon as the following occurs: information previously stated is being brought up once more, I cannot understand the speaker or your argument is not making sense to me.
Theory: Not a huge fan of T. If you decide to run theory in your case, do know that I will always make my decision based off of what I feel is most important in debate; the educational experience. I avoid making a decision based off of my own personal beliefs or experiences.
If you decide to run a Kritik (should the tournament allow it) I would appreciate your case most if it still acknowledges the round. Stressing a K without continuing to be a part of the entire debate is too dull. Not only should you be clear as towards why the other team is diminishing the value of the debate by means of what they are communicating, but you should also demonstrate that you care about the entirety of the debate.
Throughout the debate, you should aim for pinpointing weak arguments and fallacies. Make it easy for me to flow arguments and be specific. Refer to the flow when covering your opponent's case in rebuttals. More specifically, you should cover all sub-points mentioned in each contention.
- Often times, competitors do not cover an entire contention and generally cover an argument - no. Simplify the process of me disregarding an argument entirely. In rebuttal speeches, cover something that has not been covered before. Do not present old news to the table.
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: 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 BA 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 see this as an analogue to a lot of previous econ topics. Like UBI there might be a lot of link debates. If I have two competing economic warrants (moral hazard will happen because x and won't happen because y) I need to know why your warrant is more intuitive or true. By definition that's hard to do analytically so I think the best way to resolve economic debates is empirics. Compare studies, methodologies, sources. Break the clash on why your evidence is better. Remember post-dating works much better when you explain why their evidence is outdated vs just saying it's less recent.
I think it's silly that judges don't own up to having federal student loans. I voted basically 50/50 at Mineapple at the topic despite having them so no bias either way. I will never intervene but just know it hurts my soul when I hear "the SAVE plan isn't even live until next year" when I'm literally in the SAVE program right now lol. Y'all are cutting a lot of extinction cards and don't even know the basics of IDR, PSLF, and SAVE...
I consider myself tech>truth but constantly lament 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. I am very amicable to non-trad framing of impacts but you need to extend the warrants and evidence.
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 contentions 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 I am ruminating on 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. See thoughts below on that. 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 in speechs and raise your phone. Don't interrupt or use loud timers.
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.
I am a Public Forum coach. I like to see teams who are polite and respectful to their opponents, especially during crossfires. Definitely include weighing and impact calculus in your final focus, don’t leave it up to me.
I graduated high school in 2012, and I debated both policy and public forum on the national circuit with College Prep in Oakland, CA. Been judging on and off since,
- I try not to ask for evidence after the round, but I will if i think it’s necesssry or if you ask me to. PF evidence standards are terrible and need to be improved, and if I read something that is obviously powertagged, I will not evaluate it.
- Speaking of evidence, make sure to explain the warrants in your ev when there is clash. “My card says 3%, yours says 2%” is not an argument. Neither is “but mine is newer!!!”.
- PF is getting more tech. I get that. I’m not mad at it. But if you speak fast for no reason and you sound like sh!t, your speaks will suffer. If you use debate words incorrectly, I’ll be mad.
- I give obvious clues about how I feel. If I’m frowning, I don’t like what you’re saying. If I’m not writing anything down that means I can’t understand you or I don’t care to notate what you are saying. There’s probably a reason for that. Don’t be surprised later on.
- Make sure you do some good crystallization & weighing in the final focus. Don’t go for everything and do some actual impact calc / comparison. I feel like a lot of PF debates these days have too many arguments in them for their own good. There just isn’t enough time in the speeches, and if I have to do weighing myself, you might find that I disagree with your unspoken impact calc. You’ll be a sad panda if that happens.
- don’t be a dbag. If you are, prefer humor over obvious personal attacks.
- I don’t have strict rules about new args in grand cross q or final snaq. They may or may not be evaluated, depending on how relevant to the debate I think they are or how obvious they are given previous args. 9/10 times they probably won’t. Explain why they should or shouldn’t be if you’re worried about that kind of thing.
- frontlining isn’t required. You should still probably do it.
- extending defense in the summary isn’t required. You should still probably do it.
- usually, the role of the ballot is pretty obvious, per the wording of the res. Most PF resolutions are worded to assume the adoption of some policy proposal by some actor. If you think it isn’t that way, debate it in round or ask about my (usually immutable) interp. If you’re reading critical args that require a different than obvious interpretation of the res / obvious role of ballot, I expect you to explain that in round.
- plz bring flow paper without lines and some extra pens. I forgot mine in the hotel room. V sorry. May or may not give you back your pen(s)
I’m a strictly flow/technical style of Lincoln Douglass judge!
I vote based on the linkage of impacts through the framework given in the round, and what arguments are most heavily weighed through the prevailing framework structure.
i decide who wins each argument/framework based on clash ie which debater either better responds to a given argument and/or then successfully outweighs the opposing debaters arguments.
i do no intervene. Meaning I vote purely based on the information given by the debaters in the round and I will only make decisions based on my flow. With that said it is up to the debaters to make their arguments clear to me on my flow and I allow spreading of all sorts but many students do not articulate which is not the judges problem, it is always on the debater to make sure their information is being presented clearly!
Also I do not accept most forms of theory outside of apri ori, framework, and burden structures since most other forms of theory require judging “voters” which are a form of judge intervention. I will not decide the winner of a round or an argument based on my own personal interpretation of the “rules of debate”. That would be a subjective decision id be making to accept certain arguments over others, and that would be completely unfair to the debaters who prepared the topic.
ill always answer any questions debaters have about my preferences before the round so do not be afraid to ask!
I am now old; so old, and so tired.
Please just have a nice little case debate.
Arguments have to be in summary and final focus;
Err silly and down to earth over mean;
And meet NSDA rules for evidence or strike me.
Also - I've gone back to flowin on paper. Signpost or it didn't happen. And consider slowing down a little for my tired old ears.
I believe that speech and debate serves as a way to learn effective communication skills in addition to argumentation and research skills. If you are talking so fast that communication is lost then you have done the event a disservice. If I can’t hear it I can’t flow it. Just having more evidence doesn’t mean that you have won the round. Impact analysis is imperative to any case. DON'T SPREAD!!!
Being professional in the round will earn you higher speaking points. Yelling or being disrespectful will result in low speaks.
LD: I am okay with K's and counterplans.
Please make sure that all you have evidence you use in the round. If your opponent asks for it please provide it promptly. I will only ask to see it if there is an issue raised.
Congressional Debate Paradigm
Intro: This year is the start of my 8th year as a parent judge. I have judged every Debate event and most Speech events, but I have the most experience with PF, Congress, Impromptu, Extemp, and LD. Of these, Congress is my favorite!
- be professional and courteous to others at all times
- play the part, and enjoy it
- speak in a way that allows me to understand you - not too fast, and assume that I don't know abbreviations and "lingo" related to the legislation
How I judge/rank/assign points:
- quality of speech and quality of answers to questions: relevant, moves the debate, concise, original, organized, logical, supports your position or refutes the opposing position, demonstrates knowledge of the legislation, reliable evidence, persuasive
- delivery: mostly extemporaneous, poised, confident, mostly correct sentence structure & grammar, clear transitions with signposting
- use of time: use all, or at least the majority, of the time allotted for your speech
- demeanor: respectful, professional, personable & memorable (you need to make yourself stand out from the others), be an active participant
Have fun and impress me!!
I am a current freshman at USC. I did PuFo for all 4 years in high school so I'd say I can follow a round pretty well. I was competitive in the circuit, qualifying to TOC and Nats.
I'm more of a tech over truth judge. If you didn't rebut some outlandish contention, I won't automatically strike it from my flow. Don't make me do the work for you. With that said, make sure to tell me why to prioritize your impacts over your opponents. I'll probably guide off util unless someone gives me reasons not to.
PLEASE SIGN POST! It makes my life a whole lot easier, and it will make your lives easier if you tell me exactly where you are with whatever you are saying. With term of extensions, please don't just tell me to extend random cards without explaining which argument it goes with so I can accurately make out your link chain.
Because I'm a PF debater, I don't appreciate spreading and will probably be unable to understand you. I mostly like to flow on paper, as you will probably see me do in rounds, and I can only write so fast so enunciate and emphasize your tag lines clearly if you speak faster.
I want to see you guys respecting your opponents while addressing their claims in a sophisticated, civil manner. With that said, have fun! Debate can be frustrating but it was a great experience for me so you all should try your best to enjoy it while you can.
Sidenote: If any of you have questions about college, debate, or anything else, don't hesitate to ask me. :)
I have had four years of experience in judging Speech and Debate events but I still consider myself a novice at times. For debates, I weigh the arguments you presents as if I knew nothing about the topic and I like clearly stated arguments and not spreading. If you speak too fast and I do not understand or unable to follow what is being said, then you and your partner may have a less chance of me choosing your side. I also want debates to be conducted in a civil manner.
i did PF in high school (2014-18) and coached for ~2 years after. as a warning, i have not thought about debate in the past 2 years (i only think about kpop), i don't have topic knowledge, and am not comfy with technical/theory-ish things in PF. please treat me like a flay judge! i like seeing lots of impact calc, meta/weighing throughout the round along w/ a clean narrative — doing all of these well will mean i give u high speaks (29+). i will lower speaker points for teams that are mean :(
btw u can wear whatever u want in rounds. having to wear a suit for online tournaments is basically child abuse. more importantly, i hope you are having a good day!!!
Not coaching anymore, but still running tournaments and judging. Last night I realized that my paradigm was showing up for the CHSSA State Tournament and the NSDA Last Chance Qualifier, and I am judging Congress at both. Do not apply the things below to Congress, with the exception of signposting. Congress is completely different, and I have expectations of decorum, professionalism, knowledge of proper procedures, and efficiency in showing what you can do. Your rank depends on polished speeches, concise questions, knowledgeable responses to the questions you are asked, and demonstrating that you are better at those things than other people in the room. Things like crystallization speeches are awesome if you know what you're doing. We're at higher level tournaments, so I'm optimistic that you probably know what you're doing. Clash is wonderful, as always, but it needs to happen within the realm of Congressional decorum. Not the lack of decorum that many politicians have shifted to, but genuine people coming together to try and make something happen for the greater good. That leads to people being civilized to one another. Keep it classy, Congress!
You must signpost. That will help me follow your arguments better than any roadmap. I'm looking for solid argumentation, with assertions, reasoning, evidence, and impacts.
Below is some 2015 nonsense, for sure. Written for policy so please don't try to apply it to everything. Some is still true, but let's all have a hearty laugh. Since last updated, I finally earned a Diamond with the NSDA. I still work for the same program, and have expanded my knowledge a great deal. I still love speech. I love Congress more than ever. I was elected VP of Debate and Congress for my league, and have been on the Board of Directors for the California High School Speech Association for the last five years. See the large gaps in judging? I only judge at a couple tournaments a year because I'm helping run the rest. I like rules and procedure. I stopped liking 99.99% of your kritiks. I actually want to hear that you did research on your topic. Don't try to drag circuit policy practices into other events. They are different for a reason. I still flow non-standard. I still think about your mom's hair and car commercials because I am still easily distracted. I still dislike bad roadmapping and pretentious windbags. The later in the day it is, the more likely I am to start squirreling. But wonder if that really is bad, because squirrels are simultaneously awesome and terrifying. Distracted!
I am currently the assistant coach for the Claremont High School team in Claremont California. My area of expertise is speech, but that doesn’t deter me from being active in judging debate. Before I started coaching anything, I was judging policy. I have judged all forms of debate over the last three years, including at State and Nationals. I frequently judge prelim and elim rounds at West-coast invitationals, including Stanford, Fullerton, Cal Lutheran, and La Costa Canyon.
My philosophy on debate is fairly simple: I want a round that is educational. I try not to limit what debaters will try in a round. Just do it well, and you can win my vote. Make sure you understand what you are trying to do. If you are being slaughtered in cross examination because someone else wrote your case and you don’t understand it, you probably aren’t winning the round. That said, I do like some good clash.
I flow in a non-standard manner. It works for me. Speed is okay, as long as you are loud and clear. If you aren’t, I will let you know.
Because I don’t spend all of my time in the debate rooms, some of the terminology slips my mind. You are already saying thousands of words to me. Please just add a couple more to make sure I am completely following your terms, abbreviations, and acronyms. If you are talking about fiat, please don’t allow me to get distracted thinking about car commercials. Perms are that thing your mom did to her hair in the 80s, right? Keep me focused on your tactics and what you are really trying to do in the round.
I am operating under the idea that you have done a lot of research to write your cases. I haven’t done as much topic research. Please educate me on your topic, and don’t leave blanks for me to assume things. I won’t. I will sit there hoping the opponents will call each other out on holes in the case, and maybe write about it on my ballot after the round. My job as the Judge is to only be influenced by the things that are said in the round, not by what I know from my education and experience.
I really hate people stealing prep under the guise of “off time roadmaps”. I believe they are one of the reasons tournaments run late. Please be concise in the time you have been allotted for your speech. If there are other judges in the room and they want a roadmap, please be brief with your “off time”. Signposting is preferred. Longwinded RFDs are the other reason tournaments fall behind. If we are at the point where the tournament is allowing us to take the time to give a RFD, I will probably only have a couple solid reasons for why I voted the way I did. If I have more, someone has really messed something up.
Don’t be rude to your opponent. You are better than that. But sarcasm is heartwarming.
Warrants should be clearly tied to your contentions and weighing outcomes. My final decisions are often made based on whether I buy your links connection to your weighing outcomes. I don't weigh theory arguments very heavily. I believe you should be debating, not attempting to undermine someone's arguments through technical or formatting issues in his or her case. However, I do want you to adhere to rules, specifically no new evidence introduced in second rebuttal. .
Stylistically, I don't like spreading. You can speak quickly, but if I miss something, I'm not going to try and find it later. Be polite during cross. Especially, online; if you talk at the same time, I can't hear either of you.
I always provide feedback, so don't hesitate to ask.
Overall, I want you all to have a good time and learn through the process. Therefore, insulting the other team (ad hominem arguments) are a particular turn-off for me. So if you use one, it will be at your own peril. Keep it clean and friendly and have a good time!!