Jack Howe Memorial Tournament
2018 — Long Beach, CA/US
Parliamentary Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I competed in policy debate in high school and a year in NDT debate at Loyola Marymount University in the 1970's. That was usually fast, spread debating. I was an assistant debate coach at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California from 2017 to 2020, predominantly focused on Parli debate. Don't feel obligated to spread. Do speak clearly. I appreciate slow and intelligible tag-lines, repeated when appropriate. Signposting and off-time roadmaps are vital. I take notes on paper with a flow sheet, not a laptop computer, so I expect debaters to explain what contention they're on and where they're going.
I'm a courtroom lawyer, so I appreciate persuasive and logical advocacy, spoken well. At the California Attorney General's Office, I argued in the California Court of Appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the California Supreme Court. I admire the classic modes of persuasion - ethos, logos, and even pathos. I appreciate powerful persuasion, specific examples and citations, and an authentic appeal to what is just and equitable. It's possible to be incisive and analytical while also being genuine and moving. I've done jury trials - about 20 - and myriad hearings on motions, in civil litigation and on both sides of the criminal law world, so I'm especially grateful for an eloquent speech, with cogent analysis, clear inflection and minimal jargon. Be open to humor and some whimsy; debate doesn't have to be solemn.
If you suggest a weighing mechanism, then you should actually use it to weigh each side's arguments. I prefer probability to magnitude unless convinced otherwise. I love a true clash of cases and policies, argued creatively and persuasively. Emphasize the relative importance of particular arguments. It sounds obvious, but arguments, claims and debate theory should be warranted. You have the burden of persuasion on your claims, which also seems obvious but sometimes gets lost in the weeds. Someday you will be advocating in the real world, where people need, even want, to be convinced, where consequences are material, and where impacts are weighed. I'll be looking for you to weigh arguments and impacts.
Dropping an argument essentially means conceding the argument, but that's my default. I still would consider whether there was a warrant for the argument to begin with, and I'd listen to analysis about the argument's weight.
I'm open to Kritiks, but I prefer them to be logical, interesting, and well-explained.
I expect everyone to be respectful and courteous. Not only is that clearly the right way to be, it is also a preferable way of being convincing. Long after your competitive debate days are over, you still will be benefiting in countless ways from skills you learned and refined in debate. One of those skills is the ability to make or refute an argument with concise but passionate sophistication, disagreeing without being disagreeable. You can do it. And I look forward to hearing it!
Be kind. Have fun. Persuade!
English Teacher and Director of Forensics - Claremont High School, CA
20 years coaching forensics. I usually judge Parliamentary debate at tournaments.
In Parli debate I don't like being bogged down in meta debating. Nor do I appreciate frivolous claims of abuse. I always hope for a clean, fun and spirited debate. I trust in the framer's intent and believe the debaters should too! Logic, wit and style are rewarded.
In PF debate I certainly do not appreciate speed and believe debaters must choose positions carefully being thoughtful of the time constraints of the event. This is the peoples' debate and should be presented as such.
In LD debate I prefer a more traditional debate round with a Value + Value Criterion/Standard that center around philosophical discussions of competing moral imperatives. I understand the trend now is for LD Debaters to advocate plans. I don't know if this is good for the activity. There's already a debate format that exclusively deals with plan debate. LD is not one-person policy debate.
I can flow speed debate, but prefer that debate be an oratorical activity.
I enjoy Theory debates. I don't know that I always understand them. I do count on the debaters being able to clearly understand and articulate any theory arguments to me so that I can be comfortable with my vote. I prefer rounds to be centered on substance, but there is a place for theory. I usually default to reasonability, and don't prefer the competing interpretations model. It takes something egregious for me to vote on T.
I usually start at a 27.0 and work my way up or down from there. Usually you have to be rude or unprepared to dip below the 27.0.
I don't think it makes sense to operate a counterplan unless the Aff has presented a plan. If the Aff does go with a Plan debate, then a Counterplan is probably a good strategy. If not, then I don't understand how you can counter a plan that doesn't exist. If this is the debate you want to have, try Policy debate.
The biggest problem with these is that often debaters don't understand their own message / criticism / literature. I feel they are arguments to be run almost exclusively on the Negative, must have a clear link, and a stable alternative that is more substantial than "do nothing", "vote neg", or "examine our ontology/epistemology".
Politics / DAs:
I really enjoy Political discussions, but again, LD is probably the wrong format of debate for the "political implications" of the "plan" that result in impacts to the "status quo" to be discussed.
Background: I am a retired American Political Science professor with three years experience judging as a parent judge.
Judging Preferences: While I will entertain most arguments, I prefer rounds focused on substance. I look for plan clarity and an organized, strategic argument with the stock issues to be made explicit. If you make a theory argument, please give a detailed explanation for me and provide the standards, impacts, and how you advance the educational value. In non-policy debates, most of the above applies but also make sure your value criterion supports your value.
In communicating, please avoid jargon and don’t spread. If I am unable to understand you, I can’t judge your argument. Signposting is greatly appreciated as is a summary of voter issues in the last speech. Be professional and respectful. Speaker points given are generally between 27 and 30; below 27 suggests you’ve engaged in disrespectful communication, such as, racist, sexist, or homophobic language, bullying novices, etc. Have fun.
Sixth year parent judge for New Roads, which is my only debate experience. I am, however, familiar with argument as an attorney for more than 30 years with lots of trials, arbitrations, administrative hearings and oral arguments in appellate courts. You could say I argue for a living.
I am most familiar with Parli and LD. I’m old, with slow ears, so don’t spread. Speak clearly and enunciate. Theory, Kritik and other more technical forms of debate are fine, but only if you really explain your position. All too often the punch of these arguments is lost without a full, complete and thorough explanation truly supporting the point being made. Don’t rely on debate jargon or buzzwords. Likewise, explain why your proposed framework for how I should decide the round makes sense.
Over all I am looking for the most compelling argument. This can be several smaller points, or one or two very strong points. Most of all, always explain how your arguments relate to the topic in question.
Hello! I coach debate at Flintridge Prep and Westridge School.
I coach Parli, LD, Policy and Congress.
I competed in national circuit NPDA in college and I do a little Policy debate on occasion. I'm an African American studies / Comm major with a focus on colonialism and antiblackness and these studies influence the arguments I read and the discussions I have.
Please have fun, don't be rude, have the round you want.
this paradigm gets more specific as you go;
the first section is for prefs (ignore it if I'm in the PF pool, skip to the 2nd / 3rd section)
the second is just some specific debate stuff
the third is about sequencing and processing your arguments
email chain —-> KhamaniGCoaching@gmail.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stuff for Strikes/Prefs:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
debates about debate / pre-fiat: truth > tech
debates about warrants and information / post-fiat: tech > truth
t/fw: will vote on it but I've been labelled a K hack
Nebel T: boy, I don't get this and I'm too afraid to ask questions now, so pls explain what an up-ward tailed test is or we will both be lost
Theory threshold: pretty low to vote on, probably won't vote on shoes but I've voted on ***5 RVIs to date （ ´_ゝ`)
Critical Non T Affs: I love these, I've even been inspired to write specific positions by 2 debaters I've judged so I guess there's your spillover warrant -- pls have your fw answers and i'm super down to learn some new stuff!
"debatably" T/NonT Affs: really big fan, win your stuff
Tricks: pls don't thx ~~
Cheater CPs: love a smart CP debate. give me the net ben to the cp
High Phil: pls strike me ; I genuinely do not enjoy the process of linking offense to a FW in which two things feel very similar and struggle to eval these debates unless there is a comparative advantage / cp / k format. I will judge them if I have to, but its a debate I don't enjoy.
Args like Warming good / Recession good / death good; if warming is good bc it’s great for that one species of phytoplankton, tell me why that phytoplankton is key in comparison to the climate conditions of others; i.e., incremental warming is what's happening now, incrementalism is good) Same for like death good; it's gotta be like "we need to reorient how we see death" otherwise, you're gonna be in for a rough time
K v K debates: probably my preferred debate, as long as you explain what's going on, I'm here to let you run your round and evaluate it how you want me to. These are really fun debates for me to become engaged in and one I love watching.
Case Debate / Turns: yee these are cool
If you have specific questions about literature bases I’ve read or are familiar with; just send me an email and I’ll get back to you. If not, ask before the round and I’ll answer or just read it and explain it to me; so read the whole thing if you can, otherwise scan for the bold text for the “Reading My Paradigm during Prep Time,” version.
- I have a very low threshold on Theory. I’m likely to vote on potential abuse, but if it’s looking like you’re gonna go all in on T, proven abuse is probably the safer route. This means I love clash and will support it, however, if you make me vote on “must provide a written copy of the plantext,” (which I’m a huge fan of, by the way) unique standards will put you ahead. ———I default to reasonability on T but can be persuaded otherwise. So, please say otherwise and you won’t have a problem. ;)——I will not pick up your RVI on T. Sorry. Forcing the judge to vote for the AFF Bc they were topical isn’t a threshold I'd prefer to cross but warranted RVIs or ones you can justify, I'm pretty receptive to. ——- also, if you’re deliberately spreading someone out of a round, I’ll probably pick up their speed procedural, Golden turn, criticism, whatever. Bc I think that’s not cool. Inclusivity and access are important. If it’s egregious, I’ll drop you on sight. If both sides are spreading against my threshold for speed and I yell clear several times, I’ll either 1) drop the team that did it first or 2) presume Neg.
- I love the K debate. FW, Thesis (pls, like even if it’s quick just give me the breakdown), Links, Alt, Alt solvency. I’m receptive to framework, so if you’re answering framework pls don’t just tell me to crossapply things w/o giving me an explanation of how things work first. (Then say it :)) I dabbled in afropess, afrofuturism, cruel opt, performance. Just bc I read them doesn't mean ill backfill for your args, I still expect you to explain the context of how your args interact with the args // scenarios presented.
- Real big fans of Case debates and seeing people go for case negs in the 1nc is really compelling to watch.
- I love good clash from the Neg but I’m a sucker for PICs. It's just a fun debate to have. Pic teams should know how to defend their strat choices.
- I think turns are very underused, while also being very under-explained as to how they function in the debate space. Pls read uniqueness the other way and provide some analysis / warrant that proves that to be bidirectional, and if you can win your turns, I’ll vote on them. This is pretty specific to PF, as I've noticed teams will make turns on arguments and win them and not go for those turns or even interact with them, or teams will let people concede turns and not point out the offense on that sheet.
- There’s a really good chance I may have to intervene if you don’t tell me what I’m voting for in rebuttals - Parli x Policy x LD / summary or final focus (PF). Please collapse. I can't stress this enough. make a choice. Weigh your impact, prove the link to the impact and weigh that against their impacts. P L E A S E. smart concessions also are important. You don't need to win every single argument in the debate. But, tell me why the ones you're choosing to go for matter.
- Your rebuttal should write my RFD. Tell me about what impact scenario beats the other team’s. Give me framing and calculus. PLEASE. Whether it be the theory level or the link level or thesis level or alt solvency, whatever. Why are you winning this round? If you’re right, you’ll know it.
- Collapse. Don't go for every piece of offense in the debate; you're not winning all of it. Prioritize and weigh your way out. Which weigh? yeah dat way.
- Pls don’t make me judgekick a plan or theory shell. Tell me what to do with it, Bc you’ll be mad if I don’t vote on it. If you make a shadow extension from something said earlier that’s chill. In PF, I will not vote on things said in case that do not get extended in summary. Meaning, your debate may technically feel like it starts in Summary. That's fine.
- I process information visually and will keep as tight of a flow as possible, but 1 of 2 things happen; (a) ill catch a cite and miss part of the tag bc I’m struggling to spell the cite w/o prompts on how it’s spelled (b) I’m struggling to hear you and am looking very confused. Looking for ways you can help me? Great! a) resummarize a particular point in your own words; especially if you feel like the decision is gonna come down to that anyway, just so I have some version of it. b) don't just say your __ evidence covers this; it happens, we all do it, but it's difficult if I'm assuming I know what you're referring to, and am not certain.
- Pls be friendly. (We’ve All had to debate someone that we’ve had beef with and even if it gets rough, pls try to be civil with each other.) But on another note, I like a sassy debate but I love seeing two close friends hash out a tough round. That means pls be respectful. If you’re a guy shouting down a girl in cross ex Bc you think it’s “dominating” or any other form of machismo,” to put someone else down, I will tank your speaks and have a hard time voting for you and will drop you. Ask for pronouns, names, whatever. Also time yourself. I should be able to trust y'all.
- I’m a process flower; I unfortunately don’t have the ability to write what I hear as I hear it, but I will listen harder than anyone else in the room to appear to have the most neurotypical flow and write my brains processing of what you’ve said. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a fast debate or faster than normal or conversational or speech docs. As I’m expressive, you’ll learn exactly where you need to be, by my reactions. If I’m looking very confused and not writing, I have no idea what your offense is. If I’m confused and writing, I’m probably not sure where this is going, but I’m definitely following. If I’m smiling at you and nodding, It’s probably bc I’m enjoying your argument and your stylistic choices. If I’m staring at you and nodding with a tense face, it’s probably bc I’ve flowed your argument and understand it and am waiting for more offense or framing or weighing or for you to move on to the next argument.
- I’m super down to have a faster than normal debate. But I’m gonna ask that you slow for tags, send me a copy, and give a little pen time. (KhamaniGCoaching@gmail.com) That’s fine with me. Couple things tho, if I don’t have a copy of it in front of me and you’re full on spreading, I’m gonna miss things. I promise it. You can move fast, and if I were you, I’d watch me Bc I’m VERY FACIALLY EXPRESSIVE. You’ll know if I need you to slow a little.
- Partner to Partner comm is fine. Your partner is there. Team effort. Pls don’t control your partners speech time, nor will I flow what they say, you gotta say it. But yeah do your thing.
- Have fun and feel free to ask me any questions about things I should be comfortable with in your round, Bc remember, it’s your round. Break a leg.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~how I process information and weigh arguments and sequence them on my ballot ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
· I try to find the simplest ballot story - that means I will sequence argument evaluation as I deem appropriate. I believe lengthy ballot stories are more likely to be wrong, so I err heavily towards simple decisions. in practice, this means ignoring as much of the flow as is justified.
· I don't think argument interaction has to be explicitly flagged if it's clear that there is a contestation about truths. for example, if your thesis is "the sky does not exist", I would consider that to refute "the sky is blue". That being said, pls feel free to make my life easier by flagging things if you really want to make sure I don’t miss it or prioritize it.
- I evaluate kritiks with impact framing contextualized to the entire round, in particular the other side's impacts, whether that's through a role of the ballot, prior question framing, root cause claims, or meta-ethics etc. however, the impact framing must be interacted sufficiently with the relevant impacts on the flow, or it often ends up being a clunker that doesn't help me evaluate the round.
· If your argument is warranted such that I can explain why your argument is true and / or has the implication you say it does, I am willing to vote for it. if your argument doesn't make sense to me, I’m limited in my ability to vote for it. here are two examples:
o (1) if you didn't read a solvency mechanism on your advantage, and the other team states you don’t have a solvency mech, it becomes pretty irrelevant whether or not your uniqueness and impacts flow through because you functionally don't have a solvency mechanism.
o (2) even if you extend an argument that is cold conceded, 1) I need an impact that outweighs or comes before the more clash-oriented debate 2) I won't vote for it if I don't understand it. to be clear, there is a difference between my not understanding an argument because it lacks a logical step versus not understanding something because I lack some knowledge (about the world, about your literature, etc.). in the latter case, I will default to what you say as being true. in the former, I will not.
· I try to presume I know nothing but I’m not a tab judge. it's impossible for me to not use knowledge from outside the round - all rounds assume a common basis of knowledge e.g. that people stay dead once they die (vs reincarnation). here are two independently sufficient brightlines - if you contest something about the world which I have assumed, I will drop that assumption- skep triggers are the best example of this ("knowledge is impossible" -> ill need the application that bc knowledge is impossible, we must ___ or whatever your preferred framing is) ; I will also not rely on outside knowledge if the other team flags the lack of explanation and reads at least a counter-claim - e.g. "you haven't explained why nuclear war causes extinction, global fallout is only temporary"
· I have a moderately high threshold for requiring warrants. generally, all claims should have warrants - empirics, analytics, or testimonies qualify, and are considered stronger to weaker in that order. this is a deeply rooted paradigmatic view which can be adjusted, but only through truly persuasive arguments
· Uncontested claims are possibly true (nonzero). however, pointing out that an argument has no warrant is sufficient for terminal defense on that claim if you read a competing claim, because both claims would have equal strength of link based on the warrant which means I can't evaluate them. terminal defense just needs to establish zero comparative risk, not absolute risk
Edit log Starting as of 10/12/19:
- organizing specific parts of the paradigm (nothing evaluative) - 10/12/19
- Edit to traditional / philosophy section and K Aff section and organization to *attempt* to make this cleaner and not 6+ pages of my rambling - 2/17/20
- the pandemic broke me and I eval significantly different than I used to -- 2/17/21 (hey look a year from the date, shouts to berkeley for always reframing how I see debate)
Quick update for online: I will try to keep my camera on so you can see my reactions, but if my internet is slowing down and hurting the connection, I’ll switch to audio only. For debaters, just follow the tournament rules about camera usage, it doesn’t matter to me and I want you to be comfortable and successful. I will say clear or find another way to communicate that to you if need be. If at all possible, do an email chain or file share (and include your analytics!!) so we can see your speech doc/cards in case technology gets garbled during one of your speeches (and because email chains are good anyway). We’re all learning and adjusting to this new format together, so just communicate about any issues and we’ll figure it out. Your technology quality, clothes, or any other elements that are out of your control are equity issues, and they will never have a negative impact on my decision.
TLDR I am absolutely willing to consider and vote on any clear and convincing argument that happens in the round, I want you to weigh impacts and layer the round for me explicitly, and I like it when you're funny and interesting and when you’re having fun and are interested in the debate. I want you to have the round that you want to have—I vote exclusively based on the flow.
If you care about bio: I’m a coach from Oregon (which has a very traditional circuit) but I also have a lot of experience judging and coaching progressive debate on the national circuit, so I can judge either type of round. I’ve qualified students in multiple events to TOC, NSDA Nats, NDCA, has many State Championship winners, and I’m the former President of the National Parliamentary Debate League. See below for the long version, and if you have specific questions that I don't already cover below, feel free to ask them before the round. I love debate, and I’m happy to get to judge your round!
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: elizahaas7(at)gmail(dot)com
Pronouns: she/her/hers. Feel free to share your pronouns before the round if you’re comfortable doing so.
I vote on flow. I believe strongly that judges should be as non-interventionist as possible in their RFDs, so I will only flow arguments that you actually make in your debates; I won't intervene to draw connections or links for you or fill in an argument that I know from outside the round but that you don't cover or apply adequately. That’s for you to do as the debater--and on that note, if you want me to extend or turn something, tell me why I should, etc. This can be very brief, but it needs to be clear. I prefer depth over breadth. Super blippy arguments won't weigh heavily, as I want to see you develop, extend, and impact your arguments rather than just throw a bunch of crap at your opponent and hope something sticks. I love when you know your case and the topic lit well, since that often makes the difference. If you have the most amazing constructive in the world but then are unable to defend, explicate, and/or break it down well in CX and rebuttals, it will be pretty tough for you if your opponent capitalizes on your lack of knowledge/understanding even a little bit.
I’m pretty standard when it comes to types of argumentation. I've voted for just about every type of case; it's about what happens in round and I don’t think it’s my right as a judge to tell you how to debate. Any of the below defaults are easy to overcome if you run what you want to run, but run it well.
However, if you decide to let me default to my personal preferences, here they are. Feel free to ask me if there's something I don't cover or you're not sure how it would apply to a particular debate form, since they’re probably most targeted to circuit LD:
Have some balance between philosophy and policy (in LD) and between empirics and quality analytics (in every debate form). I like it when your arguments clash, not just your cards, so make sure to connect your cards to your theoretical arguments or the big picture in terms of the debate. I like to see debates about the actual topic (however you decide to interpret that topic in that round, and I do give a lot of leeway here) rather than generic theory debates that have only the most tenuous connections to the topic.
For theory or T debates, they should be clear, warranted, and hopefully interesting, otherwise I'm not a huge fan, although I get their strategic value. In my perfect world, theory debates would happen only when there is real abuse and/or when you can make interesting/unique theory arguments. Not at all a fan of bad, frivolous theory. No set position on RVIs; it depends on the round, but I do think they can be a good check on bad theory. All that being said, I have voted for theory... a lot, so don't be scared if it's your thing. It's just not usually my favorite thing.
Framework debates: I usually find framework debates really interesting (whether they’re couched as role of the ballot arguments, standards, V/C debates, burdens, etc.), especially if they’re called for in that specific round. Obviously, if you spend a lot of time in a round on framework, be sure to tie it back to FW when you impact out important points in rebuttals. I dislike long strings of shaky link chains that end up in nuclear war, especially if those are your only impacts. If the only impact to your argument is extinction with some super sketchy links/impact cards, I have a hard time buying that link chain over a well-articulated and nicely put together link chain that ends in a smaller, but more believable and realistically significant impact.
Parli (and PF) specific framework note: unless teams argue for a different weighing mechanism, I will default to net bens/CBA as the weighing mechanism in Parli and PF, since that’s usually how debaters are weighing the round. Tie your impacts back to your framework.
Ks can be awesome or terrible depending on how they're run. I'm very open to critical affs and ks on neg, as a general rule, but there is a gulf between good and bad critical positions. I tend to absolutely love (love, love) ones that are well-explained and not super broad--if there isn't a clear link to the resolution and/or a specific position your opponent takes, I’ll have a harder time buying it. Run your Ks if you know them well and if they really apply to the round (interact with your opponent's case/the res), not just if you think they'll confuse your opponent or because your teammate gave you a k to read that you don’t really understand. Please don't run your uber-generic Cap Ks with crappy or generic links/cards just because you can't think of something else to run. That makes me sad because it's a wasted opportunity for an awesome critical discussion. Alts should be clear; they matter. Of course for me, alts can be theoretical/discourse-based rather than policy-based or whatnot; they just need to be clear and compelling. When Ks are good, they're probably my favorite type of argument; when their links and/or alts are sketchy or nonexistant, I don't love them. Same basic comments apply for critical affs.
For funkier performance Ks/affs, narratives and the like, go for them if that's what you want to run. Just make sure 1) to tell me how they should work and be weighed in the round and 2) that your opponent has some way(s) to access your ROB. Ideally the 2nd part should be clear in the constructive, but you at least need to make it clear when they CX you about it. If not, I think that's a pretty obvious opportunity for your opponent to run theory on you.
I'm also totally good with judging a traditional LD/Parli/Policy/PF round if that's what you're good at--I do a lot of that at my local tournaments. If so, I'll look at internal consistency of argumentation more than I would in a progressive debate (esp. on the Neg side).
I'm fine with speed; it's poor enunciation or very quiet spreading that is tough. I'll ask you to clear if I need to. If I say "clear," "loud," or “slow” more than twice, it won't affect my decision, but it will affect your speaks. Just be really, really clear; I've never actually had to say "slow," but "clear" and "loud" have reared their ugly heads more than once. If you’re going very quickly on something that’s easy for me to understand, just make sure you have strong articulation. If you can, slow down on tags, card tags, tricky philosophy, and important analytics--at the very least, hammer them hard with vocal emphasis. My perfect speed would probably be an 8 or 9 out of 10 if you’re very clear. That being said, it can only help you to slow down for something you really need me to understand--please slow or repeat plan/CP text, role of the ballot, theory interp, or anything else that is just crazy important to make sure I get your exact wording, especially if I don't have your case in front of me.
Don’t spread another debater out of the round. Please. If your opponent is new to the circuit, please try to make a round they can engage in.
I love humor, fire, and a pretty high level of sassiness in a debate, but don’t go out of your way to be an absolutely ridiculous ass. If you make me chuckle, you'll get at least an extra half speaker point because I think it’s a real skill to be able to inject humor into serious situations and passionate disagreements.
I love CX (in LD and Policy)/CF (in PF) and good POIs (in Parli), so it bugs me when debaters use long-winded questions or answers as a tactic to waste time during CX or when they completely refuse to engage with questions or let their opponent answer any questions. On that note, I'm good with flex prep; keep CXing to your heart's desire--I'll start your prep time once the official CX period is over if you choose to keep it going. CX is binding, but you have to actually extend arguments or capitalize on errors/concessions from CX in later speeches for them to matter much.
If I'm judging you in Parli and you refuse to take any POIs, I'll probably suspect that it means you can't defend your case against questions. Everyone has "a lot to get through," so you should probably take some POIs.
Weird quirk: I usually flow card tags rather than author names the first time I hear them, so try to give me the tag instead of or in addition to the cite (especially the first few times the card comes up in CX/rebuttal speeches or when it's early in the resolution and I might not have heard that author much). It's just a quirk with the way I listen in rounds--I tend to only write the author's name after a few times hearing it but flow the card tag the first time since the argument often matters more in my flow as a judge than the name itself does. (So it's easiest for me to follow if, when you bring it up in later speeches or CX, you say "the Blahblah 16 card about yadda yadda yadda" rather than just "the Blahblah 16 card.") I'll still be able to follow you, but I find it on my flow quicker if I get the basic card tag/contents.
Final Approach to RFD:
I try to judge the round as the debaters want me to judge it. In terms of layering, unless you tell me to layer the debate in another way, I'll go with standard defaults: theory and T come first (no set preference on which, so tell me how I should layer them), then Ks, then other offs, then case--but case does matter! Like anything else for me, layering defaults can be easily overcome if you argue for another order in-round. Weigh impacts and the round for me, ideally explicitly tied to the winning or agreed-upon framework--don't leave it up to me or your opponent to weigh it for you. I never, ever want to intervene, so make sure to weigh so that I don't have to. Give me some voters if you have time, but don’t give me twelve of them. See above for details or ask questions before the round if you have something specific that I haven't covered. Have fun and go hard!
Additional note if I'm judging you in PF or Parli:
- PF: Please don't spend half of crossfire asking "Do you have a card for x?" Uggh. This is a super bad trend/habit I've noticed. That question won't gain you any offense; try a more targeted form of questioning specific warrants. I vote on flow, so try to do the work to cover both sides of the flow in your speeches, even though the PF times make that rough.
- Parli: Whether it’s Oregon- or California-style, you still need warrants for your claims; they'll just look a little different and less card-centric than they would in a prepared debate form. I'm not 100% tabula rasa in the sense that I won't weigh obviously untrue claims/warrants that you've pulled out of your butts if the other team responds to them at all. I think most judges are like that and not truly tab, but I think it's worth saying anyways. I'll try to remember to knock for protected time where that’s the rule, but you're ultimately in charge of timing that if it's open level. Bonus points if you run a good K that's not a cap K.
I'm a clean slate judge, which means that I vote based off what in argued in round and avoid judge interference as much as possible. For example, if your opponent says that "Clinton won the 2016 election" and gives me sound reasoning, it's your job to tell me why that's wrong or else it stays on the flow.
Which brings me to VOTERS. I only vote on what is fully extended to the final speech. Please make sure you do both LINK ANALYSIS and IMPACT CALC to tell me why you link into benefits and why those arguments matter. I love hearing likelihood, magnitude, irreversibility and time frame arguments in final speeches. ALWAYS remember, if you lay FRAMEWORK you must connect how your winning to that framework.
Make it easy on me when I flow. If I can't get it on the flow, then I can't really vote on it. Organization is key, if you SIGNPOST well it makes flowing and voting on your arguments so much easier. With that being said, spread if you really want to but I'll be honest I do have a hard time following it when you go full speed, so like stick to 50-70% (sorry, I didn't do policy).
Here's my background (for all you who are trying to determine if I'm lay or flow judge):
- 3 years HS debate, 1 year college
- Mainly Parliamentary Debate (first speaker) but also IX, IMP, PF, and Congress.
- 2x State Qualifier
End of the day, run whatever you want (pretty comfy with T, explain more on K) but have a REASON AND AMPLE EXPLANATION FOR EVERYTHING YOU ARGUE. Please don't waste time with arguments you know are only there to waste your opponents time and prove to me why your arguments, and later voters, matter. Remember, I'm clean slate judge so literally I will only weigh impacts that you tell me (so if you tell me your opponents cause global warming, if you don't tell me why that matters, then I won't assume that global warming is bad or that I know the effects of global warming). Work for the ballot.
I can flow. No problem with speed. I can and do vote on T and solvency. Not a big fan of kritiks but I'll listen if you provide a legit framework. See myself as a policy maker.
Former coach at Washington HS and New Roads School. Circuit Parli debater at Prospect (2013-17). Former BP debater at USC.
I will vote for mostly anything as long as you explain it well. Please give content warnings pre-roadmap so that strat changes can be made accordingly. Deliberately misgendering a competitor in the round will result in an auto-loss and a not so pleasant conversation with me and a member of tournament staff. As a judge, I’ll vote for the single team that has the clearest path to the ballot. While warranted extensions can be helpful in terms of voting, I very much dislike when teams rely on "extend ___ uniqueness/argument". Chances are, there aren't as many "conceded" arguments as you think there are - don't be lazy on the line-by-line. My default on dropped arguments is that they are true and I will evaluate them as such. If you have questions on presumption, message me. I want it to be easy to vote, so do that for me. Debate is a game (unfortunately?) and as such, everyone is reading arguments in order to either increase and/or secure their chances of a W. Therefore, I find it hard to be convinced that any particular argument ought be banned or norm ought be forgone (e.g., banning the use of back files, shaming speed, disallowing Ks). That DOES NOT mean that I believe that we should abandon common human decency and practices of kindness.
I will call clear if I have to, but speed generally isn’t a problem. That being said, if your opponents are not able to compete with your speed, I expect that you will adjust accordingly. Please do not read Speed Theory if you are not going to give your opponents the opportunity to slow down (by calling 'slow' or 'clear') in previous speeches. I find it difficult to identify a bright line between conversational, fast and very fast speaking and unless you tell me where the bright line is, therefore it is incredibly difficult for me to evaluate Speed Theory. Keep tag-lines slow just for the sake of me keeping a clean flow. The more signposting you do, the faster I can flow.
I’m down for them as long as they have a link and they aren't being read purely to deny your opponents equitable access to the debate space. Parli generally has larger K frameworks than policy, so I’m down with that default. Please avoid making generalizations about society. In the same vein, I'm inclined to vote against root cause claims without warrants. I think the aff has the ability to leverage the 1AC/plan as offense versus the alt. I find that the debates that are most engaging/convincing, are ones where kritikal teams engage with case and where case teams engage with the criticism.
K affs are all good in policy, but are sketch in parli unless they have a policy alt. If you feel so inclined to read a kritikal affirmative, I expect that you will disclose within 10 minutes of prep. I never read performance Ks, but am down to listen to them. I’ll flow as well as I can, but be ready to explain how you give the neg ground. Very low threshold on offense against truth testing framework. The lit-bases that I am reasonably well-read on include cap, whiteness, neolib, fem and setcol.
Framework debates are my jam.
I am a firm believer that good case/theory debates are more valuable than bad K debates so don't be cheaty just because you have a backfile.
Make sure to explain how the CP functions in the 1NC. I am not a stickler on CPs being ME so have fun with that. If you choose to read a perm (in most cases, you should), I'd prefer you read a perm text and an explanation for how the permutation has solvency/functions. "Perm, do both" is not a perm text. I am very unlikely to vote on a Delay CP because I have yet to hear a good justification for why delay resolves the harms in squo better than the plan and doesn't bite the DA(s).
Default to competing interps and no RVIs, and theory coming first. I don’t need articulated abuse to vote on theory, but if it is there, point it out and your speaks will go up. If you are going for theory, you better actually go for it. I probably won’t vote on it if it is 30 seconds in the 2NR/AR. That being said, I really don't expect you to go for every theory arg you read. High threshold for PICs bad and Condo bad. I will not vote for Ks Bad if it is used as an out from actually engaging with critical positions. I also find that generalizing that all Ks are bad does very little to improve the quality of the debate space. If you choose to read a generalized Ks Bar argument, I will need warranting for why the argument you are attempting to mitigate is specifically exclusionary to your team in the round.
I'm going to be completely honest and say that tricks go completely over my head. That's not to say they are bad arguments or ineffective but rather that they are often inadequately explained and I fail to find a way to evaluate how they interact with other args on the flow. Riley Shahar is a much better judge for such args.
Generally default to probability over magnitude unless you give me a reason otherwise. Weighing is your job, not mine. I need clear impact scenarios to vote for an argument.
Speaker Points -- I will vote on 30 speaks theory
25 - Please take a moment to rethink what you are about to say (P.S stop being racist, sexist, homophobic etc etc)
28~28.4 - Some strategic errors but they weren't devastating
28.5~28.9 - Meh, average
29~29.3 - Definitely know what you're doing
29.4~29.9 - Your round vision and strategy was on point
30 - WOOO I SPY A WINNER
General School-Wide Conflicts
New Roads, Prospect, Washington
Off-time road maps PLEASE.
Tag-teaming is all good, but don’t be 'that kid' who tag teams the whole time. I'll be rather disgruntled and take it out on your speaks.
Speaks are more based on strategy than anything else. I think that speaker points are pretty bogus considering that style preferences are quite subjective.
Shadow extensions are awful.
I will more than likely be okay with my RFD being recorded for learning purposes. It's generally a more efficient alternative to repeating portions that you didn't manage to write down on your flow. Please ask before you record, I don't want being "on record" to deter other debaters from asking questions.
**Feel free to email with any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
or FB message me
for IE’s I wish to be entertained.
Hello, I am a parent of an LD debater. I have three years of experience judging both circuit and traditional styles of debates (more so traditional). I have a few basic preferences:
Speed/Speaks: Although I understand most debate issues, I still need you to go slow. I don't really care if you sound nice or go super slow, but try to avoid spreading. If you talk faster than conversational, that is okay. Do not use a bunch of heavy jargon, because even though I can probably understand how arguments break down and interact, saying uniqueness overwhelms the link without an explanation will lose me. In terms of speaks, I think I am similar to most LD judges on the circuit. This is how I break that down:
28.8-29.0-good (probably break)
29.1-29.3-great (definitely break, maybe bid)
29.4+: will be competitive to win tournament
LARP: This is the debate I am most familiar with. DA's, CP's and all of that is fine with me. Just don't use super complicated jargon, but just explain what things mean. For example, instead of saying perm do both, say perm the CP and plan are not mutually exclusive, so the aff can defend doing both. Stuff like that.
T/Theory: Fine I guess. I'm okay with judging it, but once again, don't use jargon. Just explain T like you would to any parent judge.
Phil: This is fine. I require more explanation than most judges for a lot of phil arguments, but I will probably be willing to vote on them, although I tend to lean towards util and other consequentialist frameworks.
K: Big time no. I don't understand most of them, and I will not vote on them. By that same logic, the aff must be topical and defend a policy action within the resolution. Spec is fine, but just defend government action.
Note: Disclosure is good. Disclose on the wiki. If someone reads disclosure theory and there is a real violation, I will probably be willing to vote on it. That being said, new affs not being disclosed are fine, and I don't really care about Open Source. I will also not be disclosing the decision in the round, so you can probably ask me, but I will say I won't disclose. That being said, debate is a game. Have fun, be entertaining if you can, and be respectful so everyone is included :)
TLDR: Been doing this for quite a while. 7 years total in forensics. 7 years doing Interp/Platforms/Limited Prep. 3 years doing collegiate Debate, specifically all of the areas listed prior as well as Parli Debate and IPDA Debate.
Debate: My views on debate are very straight forward. I believe that debate is both academic and a game. It is first a basis of argumentation and speech, and secondly an avenue for competition. What this means is, I fully understand the ways how debate has evolved over time to become this great source of competition, however I find it necessary to to respect its academic roots, so please try your best to make well educated arguments and analysis in round, rather than running a bunch of asinine arguments because you think you can win on them. With all that being said, lets go into some specifics.
Speed: I am okay with speed most of the time. As a collegiate parliamentary debater, I as well as many of the individuals I compete with go rather fast. With that being said, I do believe that speed has a huge trade off. Sure, you can get out more arguments when you speak fast, however the quality and depth of those arguments can suffer. Furthermore, speaking fast often times has an adverse affect on your speaking ability and clarity. To put it simply, Clarity> Speed, everyday. Next, I am a Hard of Hearing individual, so if you are speaking fast and mumbling, I probably cannot understand you, and will call you to clear. If that happens its probably a key sign to either slow down or enunciate.
T: Yes, do it, love it. *okay hand sign emoji*
Kritik: Kirtiks can be awesome... if done right. Please make sure you understand the arguments you are trying to run. I will be the first person to call you out if you try to read some neolib argument you don't actually understand.
Timing: Please time yourselves.
Partner Communication: Sure, don't puppet your partner, and don't be loud and distracting while your opponent is speaking.
I am a parent Judge, however do not mistake that for being ignorant of the debate community. This is the second year judging debate and I graduated from CSU Long Beach with a degree in communications.
Be respectful. If someone asks to see your evidence give it to them.
Please be clear! Talk as fast as you want, but I need to be able to understand what you are saying. I won't flow what I don't understand.
Framework and impact calc are key! Give me a clear way to evaluate the round. Do not leave me without a mechanism to judge.
Explain your warrants. Give me a play-by-play of the scenario and always state your reasons WHY.
Kritiks are fine, run them all you want, but make sure you understand the material you're reading. Make sure they are warrented. This needs to be done well. If a kritik is being run I expect you very knowledgeable about the topic. I need a clear idea of what I'm voting for.
I am new to the game. Impress me.
Been judging speech and debate competitions for about 7 years. I'm a theatre teacher, so I tend to gravitate towards IEs. I'm pretty lay when it comes to debate. I've judged enough over the years so that I can follow along with fast speaking, but not with spreading. I really really love it when arguments are clear, contentions are loudly numbered, and definitions are offered to me if the topic has to do with international relations or foreign policies. Be nice to each other.
I have 8 years of experience as a competitor and 4 as a judge. My main events are NPDA, IPDA, and BP for debate. I have done speech as well but my focus has always been debate. I don't have specific guidelines for how I expect you to debate I am fine with anything as long as it falls within the rules. The one thing I will say if you are going to run something specific make sure you know what your doing and it's with purpose. I am fine with people running k's and t's as long as it serves a purpose in the round. I don't like when people run them just for the sake of running it. I am okay with spreading if both sides are okay with it. It's your job as the debater to show/tell me how you won. You need to do the work I won't flow things or make the connections between arguments if you are not telling me it. Always be kind to your opponents. If you have any specific questions feel to ask before the round starts.
I am a parent judge; this is my second year of judging high school debate and I previously judged two years of middle school debate. I am a financial economist and have provided expert testimony in federal, state, bankruptcy, and tax court over the last twenty years. I also worked for several years for an international law firm as an in-house expert. I have taught economics, finance, and law and economics at SUNY Stonybrook, University of Southern California, and the NY Institute of Finance.
I do not have particular knowledge of technical debate. I am analytically minded and, given my background, very familiar with the back and forth of rebuttal and response. Please be organized and speak clearly. I will judge based on what I can follow in your arguments. Logical argument, credible and relevant evidence, and meaningfulness (why should I care?) are most important to me. A couple of well-developed and articulated points is better than many relatively incoherent points.
I competed all four years of high school in all debate events except LD. I have a lot of experience with Parli and Congress but the most in PuFo. During my senior year of debate I qualified for the National Speech & Debate Tournament in PuFo where my team and I made it to Double-Octo Finals in World Schools Debate. Now, I'm the Assistant Coach for San Dieguito Academy and on the Palomar Speech and Debate team.
I'm what you can consider a "Policymaker" judge (comparing both AFF and NEG ads and disads to choose the best policy) but I still would like to see a heavy emphasis on rhetoric and delivery and less of an emphasis on the more "gamey" aspects of Speech and Debate. I think that Speech and Debate should be an educational activity so while I understand that spreading might have started to become more popular in events other than Policy, I much prefer delivery which I can understand and that I think is persuasive. Other than that, don't worry about offending me. So long as you aren't giggling at your opponent as they're giving their speech (which I have seen before) then you should be fine. Also, my partner and I were rather aggressive debaters but understand that there's a difference between an aggressive debater and being offensive.
But most importantly... have fun!
Coach at New Roads School, Santa Monica, CA (2016-Present). MSPDP coach for a couple of years prior to New Roads.
Keep in mind the spirit and purpose of this activity during round. Effective communication and politeness goes a long way. Being rude to another team will result in lower speaker points. Sexist, racist, xenophobic, etc rhetoric will not be tolerated and will also result in lower speaker points. If you have to wonder, chances are your evidence, etc may fit the bill. Then don't use it!
A notch below spreading is most enjoyable, but I’ll flow any speed.
I will try to keep my own experience and knowledge outside of the round. If an argument does not make sense, and is dropped, it may be considered a less significant argument because it just isn't convincing.
A clear framework is important because it dictates how I will judge a round. Make sure the framework is presented clearly and then remind me how you won.
Use of theory is great, but make it very clear how it relates to your argument. Don't simply read a pre-prepared statement and expect for me to make the connections while reviewing my flow.
I will almost always default to probability over magnitude unless a strong rationale convinces me to do otherwise.
Are determined by clarity of speeches, ability to respond to opponents during POIs, and general considerations of ethos and pathos.
As someone relatively new to the judging scene, my preferences are not complex and they are very easy to meet. I dislike an excessive display of debate mechanics - spreading, theory, and using obscure jargon, for example. I want to be able to understand the round! On the other hand, if you can establish arguments that are clear, concise and rooted in the real world, and you can convince me that your arguments' impacts are more important than your opponents', then you will most likely win the round. In the end, though, the best way to win my vote will be to try your best, using reasoning and logic to build up your points and attack your opponents' points.
I was a successful policy debater in high school and at UC Berkeley. After law school I became a public defender specializing in death penalty trials, and then was appointed to the Superior Court, where I hear advocates every day. In 2014, I founded the New Roads School debate team and coached parli for six years. Recently I have worked with the Claremont Colleges Debate Union.
I prefer the most reasonable argument to the most extreme. As a ‘policy maker’ I weigh impacts and I am ‘Tabula Rasa’ in that I am an open-minded skeptic.
Tabula Rasa assumes a conventional understanding of the status quo which does not require warrants because these neutral assumptions appropriately narrow the scope of discussion. Any claims supporting or refuting a case must be supported by warrants whether on not the judge has knowledge. Each side has the burden of persuasion on claims they assert.
Use of debate theory in argumentation and employment of kritiks is theoretically sound and can be interesting but these devices circumvent the resolution and tend to turn debates into sophistry. They also tend to be poorly warranted. I could vote for a kritik or meta-argument but only if very well warranted. Theory addresses norms, not rules, so I am open-minded, but I also would consider abuse a reverse voting issue. I prefer reasonable case debate with impact calculus.
I don't mind speed but don’t forget to be persuasive, not to mention 'loud and clear.' When your words become inaudible they won’t make it to my flowsheet and the beauty of your argument will be sacrificed to the ugliness of its delivery.
Tag teaming doesn't bother me, but I only flow the speaker and try to ingore the teammate.
On my ballot, dropping is a concession, but not equivalent to proof if the original warrant was insufficient. Also, the weight remains arguable. Regardless of points of order I protect the flow.
Persuasion is an important aspect of debate. Sometimes this seems lost when debaters focus on technical aspects. Merely asserting a valid refutation or rejoinder does not necessarily win an argument on my flowsheet. You must clinch your argument in the rebuttal explaining the significance of your argument and its result in evaluating the resolution. Debate is not just about being right, but about persuading people you are right. Though I vote exclusively on the flow, there is a subjective aspect to what is persuasive, which is true for any judge, even if they say “tech over truth.” For me, what is persuasive would tend to be a reasonable weighing of human impacts.
I’m looking for a debate that is educational, preparing advocates for the real world. Rapid delivery of complex argumentation and the logical gymnastics of theory do have some educational benefits, but so does development of the persuasive character of speech. The best debaters join these skills, using theory only to support their position and not for its own sake. Debate is not a ‘speech event’, because it is judged on the flow of argumentation, but without persuasive speaking, debate becomes an esoteric and inaccessible academic activity. Its greatest value to you is learning to advocate in the real world to make the world a better place. I look forward to hearing your debate and helping guide you toward your own goals as an advocate.
Counter plans allowed if the tournament allows.
For reference, I am currently a college student and I did parliamentary debate for 4 years in high school, with bit of speech on the side. When it comes to judging, I value clearly structured arguments with sound logic the most. Well organized arguments only make it easier for everyone in the round to follow along and whoever can best uphold the criterion of the round with the strongest impacts will win my ballot. Remember to link your arguments to the criterion and please do not merely restate all of your points in the last speech. Presentation is important, but it will not be the sole factor upon which I decide my ballot. I will only flow what is said in the round and I will not infer anything from what you say. In other words, if you want me to take something into consideration for judging, literally spell it out for me. If I notice a fallacy or a dropped argument, I will not factor that into my judging unless it is pointed out. I'm open to all types of arguments, EXCEPT for kritiks. If you run a kritik, you will lose the round. Moreover, pathos arguments are the weakest form of appeal for me personally, so I don't recommend running a highly emotional argument where pathos is the main focus.