Jack Howe Memorial Tournament
2018 — Long Beach, CA/US
Lincoln-Douglas (TOC) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
My name is Tobiah, but I think that should be obvious based on the page as it is. If you get me as a judge, don't worry since things will probably be more casual than serious. I love debate, and while I wasn't consumed by it in high school, I was on my team for three years and competed regularly in LD, and dipped my toes in circuit every once in a while. That might be worrying for a few of you, but despite my lack of experience as a competitor I have a pretty good idea of how the circuit level works so feel free to go nuts.
CIRCUIT TECH & POSITIONS
Alright, so this is the part where you'll pay attention the most. I understand CPs and PICs, so go wild on them.
If you want to go for theory, be my guest, but you must make it abundantly clear what the violation is, because the last thing I want is someone to cheese their round off of what I frankly would consider a "dumb" reason, as unprofessional as that sounds. Give me a good reason why they violate the interpretation of the debate or situation please.
Frameworks are something I understand quite well, so if it's a bit off the wall make sure that it actually makes sense more than it is hard to counter.
Sign posting and off-time roadmaps are not only allowed but encouraged. Some people don't like off-time roadmaps, but I'd rather you not waste valuable speech time telling me where you're going.
I'm not great at following Ks, but if you want to run one, do so at your own risk. I'll try my best to follow along.
Pulling out cases with tricks isn't advised because I've never encountered it, and will probably get it less than your opponent does. But if you got the guts to give it a shot thinking I can understand, I won't stop you.
Spreading is fine, and I encourage you to go at whatever speed makes you the most comfortable. If you intend to spread you have to flash your case or risk me not being able to keep up. I've been able to keep up with fast speakers in the past, so just flash me or put me on the email chain and we should be good to go.
RULES & SPEAKER POINTS
I don't worship the rules, but I try to be aware of them.
If your opponent violates a rule, you should still mention it so I'm sure you know and we are following along. Ignoring your opponent when they say you violated a rule means that you concede unless it's exceedingly obvious that their claim is outrageous. I'll probably be able to tell, and watching your reaction when they make their claim will solidify my opinion on the matter. If you continue to violate rules assuming I'm not aware of them, don't expect great speaks, just saying.
Asking me preferences before a round is fine, just as long as your opponent is there.
I don't try to be harsh on speaks, but I think they are self-explanatory. They are a reflection on your performance during the round. Being rude to your opponent will also lose you speaks. "But that's not what they're for, though!" doesn't really matter to me. It might be unreasonable to you, but not showing your opponent respect, no matter how much beef you have with them, isn't cool.
Most importantly, I want everyone to have fun. If you pop in with hoodies and sandals, you do you. The last thing debate needs to be is stressful. Unless it's your bubble round, of course. Best of luck to all you competitors, and I look forward to getting to know you!
Debated at Loyola High School for 3 years
Any questions just send me an email email@example.com
I’ll vote on anything, you do you. I don’t care how you debate or how you speak (speed or slow) just do your thing and i’ll evaluate it (seriously read skep for 7 minutes if you want idc. I believe that if you can’t beat back stuff like death good or skep then you probably weren’t going to win anyway).
tech > truth
Flashing isn’t prep (unless you take longer than 30 seconds)
Clipping cards = autoloss :/ (I will not vote down a debater if they only skipped one or two words but once they start skipping phrases of 3+ words then I will consider that a clip)
Here's a couple of other general defaults but they can be changed if you justify something else:
1] Epistemic confidence
2] Neg presumption
3] Truth Testing
4] Aff should defend the res
5] Disclosure is a good practice
6] Ought implies a moral obligation
Specific Types of Arguments:
1. Normative Phil
This is usually what I read in LD so go for it. I’d love to see a good phil debate. Please actually engage in the other person’s framework though don't just read justifications for yours. Instead try doing a line by line of their framework.
I like some new and innovative phil so run any kind i’ll do my best to try to understand it.
Also skep/permissibility etc. are cool arguments go for it!
Line by lines of phil positions especially when they’re not super popular are pretty impressive (high speaks)
I enjoy theory especially when there's a great line by line. So if you plan on reading a theory shell or two please format it in shell form and engage on the line by line (that includes the great weighing between standards that i know you'll do!). Also if there's shells on both sides pls do weighing between the shells.
Defaults (they can be changed easily though, this assumes that neither debater said anything on these topics)
- Competing Interps
- Drop the debater
Also I think it’s important to understand that if theory is your thing go for it.If you’re reading a “frivolous” shell that’s fine just be able to do the work for it and you’ll get the W
I think what counts as tricks has expanded to include too much. Idk what people count as tricks anymore but I’ll seriously vote on anything if you’re reading a prioris though you probably want to justify truth testing. If you’re reading a bunch of spikes try to have them at least numbered and all together at the bottom of the case. Try to not pretend you don’t know what they’re talking about when they ask if there are an aprioris or skep triggers not a fan of that.
E.g. Debater 1: “Are there spikes in the 1ac?”
Debater 2: “What’s a spike”
Rarely ran these. I can still evaluate it though just make sure to do the weighing. I’ll add to this section as I determine what my defaults and preferences on these are.
I read Wilderson and cap mostly. There should probably be a specific link to the AC. Floating PICs are cool but I know that you know what a floating pic means so none of that “what’s a floating pic nonsense.” Dense/High Theory K stuff is rough for me to understand so make sure you explain it well and i’ll do my best.
K affs should defend the res if you plan on reading a performance be ready for T I find T very persuasive so at least try to be tangential to the resolution
Average will be around a 28.5. To get high speaks you just need to make strategic decisions, go for the right arguments, make the intuitive arguments, weigh it all. Oh and bring some skittles or coke and you’re golden :)
I am a parent judge. Please go slowly for case and refutations and don't use any circuit arguments. Only pref me for a lay round.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a policy debater at Niles North High School for 4 years, currently I'm a student at USC (not debating). I would say that about ~107% of my 2NRs in high school were politics and case, so that's my background.
Start the email chain as early as physically possible. I will punish your speaker points if you wait until the last second to send it out, unless you're breaking a new aff/advantage/etc
My preferred style of argumentation is sending out the email chain right now and starting on time or before start time.
Ways to increase your speaker points:
specific neg strategies, especially if you have specific links to the aff on the K
pronouncing Reuters correctly
sending out the email chain before the start time, the earlier the better
starting the round before the start time
Ways to decrease your speaker points:
the words "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat"
waiting until the last second to send out the email chain, in the thinking that this gives you any strategic advantage
"where in your evidence does it say..."
pronouncing reuters incorrectly
Biggest one: asking to send out a new doc without the cards the other team didn't read
(marked docs are OK)
asking to send out a doc with the overview/analytics
(interps and CP text is kosher)
"which evidence did you not read"
First and foremost you need to tell me on what grounds I should evaluate each piece of ev. I'll read all the evidence at the end of the round and if no one tells me what I should do with it then its much harder and so much less fun for me.
My default is that the only two reasons to reject the team are T and conditionality. It would be difficult to convince me otherwise.
The most important part of T are the case lists each side presents because that gives me a good vision of the topic each of you bring. Impacting your argument is especially important on T.
If you're aff and you've gotten this far without sending out the email chain, send it out now.
I did policy debate at UNLV for four years. I'm in my last semester of law school at UNLV. While I read everything except pomo in my career, I ended my career focusing on traditional policy arguments. I am open to all types of arguments. I'm a bit pursuaded by t/fw, but ultimately i think it comes down the debating done in the round.
K's - I think the only thing worth mentioning is that I have a high threshold for the explanation of the alt (how it solves, what it does, etc). I believe that the best k's are the ones that genuinely interact with the aff. Debate is a game of clash. I think the threshold for alt solvency has dropped far too much in the past couple of years.
Negative strategy – I believe in preserving maximum strategic and theoretical flexibility for negative teams. I don’t believe contradictions are a bad thing early in the debate, as long as the negative block and the 2nr is consistent. Edit: I think k perf con often justifies perm do the alt, especially when the framing on the k is a question of epistemology / scholarship
CPs—The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and I hold them to as high a standard as I do the affirmative plan. I do not think that a negative team should be afraid to CP in the 2NC (it is a constructive, aff gets a CX, and the risk of a straight turn in the 1AR should check any abuse). These 2NC counter plans could be used to make external impact turns or uniqueness takeouts go away.
T- I'm going to steal this from Matt Gomez because I agree with him:
IMPACT YOUR STANDARDS. Education, ground, and fairness are internal links. Decision-making, Advocacy, and research skills are impacts.
Affirmative team: Counter standards and tell me what affs they'd eliminate from the topic and why those affs are good.
Negative Team: What affs do they allow, why are they bad, what affs do you allow, why does that resolve their impacts.
DA's - DA's are awesome.
LD -- I really enjoy an in-depth value/vc debate. If you tell me to evaluate the debate a certain way and have offensive reasons for why that's good; i'll do it. I think it's strategic in framing out offense.
I feel like the best type of debaters to these things consistently:
a) Consistently compare evidence—“our evidence on X argument is better than theirs for the following reasons.” These reasons may include, but are not limited to qualifications, recency, history is on our side, more complete/better warrants, etc.
b) Saying things like, “even if you don’t believe that we are winning argument X, we still win the debate, because…”
c) Consistently engage in effective impact comparison
d) Remember that defensive arguments are still important
e) Be deep on offensive arguments. A few well developed arguments in the block are typically better than 7 or 8 shallowly developed arguments.
f) Are unafraid to make logical arguments forcefully, without necessarily using “cards” as evidence.
Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA | email@example.com
For speech document sharing, please use speechdrop.net.
I am diagnosed (and am on medication) with severe ADD. This means my ability to listen carefully and pick up everything you're saying will wane during the round. I would strongly suggest you have vocal variety and slow down, especially for what you want to make sure I get.
Jonah Feldman, friend and former coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments
I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument.
I am primarily interested in voting on high-quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low-quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...
How should this affect the way I debate?
1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending many different answers to an advantage or off-case argument, pick your spots and lock in.
2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained the important components and implications of winning that argument.
His full paradigm: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=6366
I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."
The affirmative probably should be topical.
I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.
I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.
Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.
Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.
Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.
Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.
Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.
- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think it is ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.
- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will likely not end up well for you.
- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.
Some considerations for you:
- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.
- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.
Updated for CPS 2018: This update is to mostly reflect how I've been judging rounds lately.
I debated for four years for Loyola high. I broke at multiple tournaments and had a 4-3 record at the TOC.
I am more familiar with policy arguments, philosophy, and theory, and am less familiar with kritiques. However, I am not really a fan of how most philosophy and theory debates are done today, and thus my familiarity does not always correspond to what arguments I vote on.
Specifically, I think that moral philosophy positions that involves tricks are doing a disservice to the literature. Further, theory debates are often frivolous, although what I may consider frivolous may be different than what others consider frivolous. Some examples of what I consider frivolous theory are the following: font-size theory, must spec status in speech theory, some spec shells, etc. My litmus test for frivolous theory might be the following: does the theory shell isolate an issue of fairness that has actual educational implications on the debate round?
Kritiques usually have good explanations attached to them, so I've voted on them in the past and will probably continue to vote on them in the future.
I evaluate the round via an offense/defense paradigm. Thus, I will vote for the debater who provides comparatively more offense back to the framework that has been won in the round, lest there are other issues (theory or kritiques) that precede this evaluation. Beyond this, I will try to evaluate the round in the most objective way possible. However, as all judges do, I have certain basic preferences that it would help to conform to.
First, when there is a clash on an issue or position, I tend to default to the more thorough and comprehensive explanation that makes sense to me. While technical drops are important, I don't think they automatically preclude good analysis. Strong weighing matters more to me than a dropped blippy argument on the flow.
Granted, this threshold only exists when there is clash on a position (and maybe sometimes across positions). If a position is totally conceded, or mostly conceded except for a couple of weaker arguments, my threshold for explanation and extensions becomes much lower (if totally conceded, it approaches zero).
Second, I flow CX, both because of theoretical implications of answers, and because I think your position is only as well warranted as your CX answers indicate. If I don't think there's a warrant after a particularly devastating CX on a position, you're going to have an uphill battle to convince me of the argument. (This is true only if the other debater brings up the flaws they pointed out in CX during a speech. CX by itself is not a rebuttal and thus cannot be the sole basis for my decision).
Third, I heavily favor debater's original analysis and arguments in later rebuttals (2NR and 2AR) as opposed to cards. While cards are good at setting up a position in constructive speeches, I heavily prefer debate styles that can go beyond cards with good explanations.
I default competing interpretations. I default no-RVI's. Topicality is a voter. All other issues must be justified by the debater.
I like numbered responses to arguments, and clear distinction between line-by-line analysis and overviews.
I will only vote on arguments that I have flowed. During rebuttals, I mostly flow from what you're saying, rather than from the speech doc, so adjust accordingly.
While debate is a game, it is an educational game that brings lots of enjoyment to many of our lives. Please treat other debaters and it with respect.
1. I believe the topic is a hypothesis that is to be tested by argument and analysis during the specific round in which I am assigned to critique. I focus, generally, on line-by-line analysis of the arguments and analysis generated by each team to determine which side did the proverbial "better job of debating." I typically render my decisions based on the positions taken in constructive arguments and advanced through rebuttals. I welcome and invite debaters to provide me with the frameworks and meta-analysis needed to render a decision, but, in the final analysis, I rely on the arguments on the flow and how they are developed in each round. I depend on evidence-based argument as a general rule, but am also open to analysis and strategic constructs which may arise in any particular round. The following may be helpful to in-round participants. I also welcome queries from the in-round participants so long as no attempt is being made to "pre-condition" my ballot.
2. T - When I debated in HS and College, T was "the last refuge of the damned." I have a very high bar for T because I think limiting the topic limits creativity in argument. Also, because I am a lawyer and not necessarily connected to the debate community I don't have the credibility to limit research outside of a debate coach's perogative. In the past, I have rarely balloted on T. I will, however, "pull the trigger" when T arguments are mishandled. With respect to extra-T, I tend to give a little more
"love" to such claims when linked to a specific violation.
3. Counterplans - I tend to be somewhat conservative with C-Plans. I tend to require that they be 1) non-topical, 2) competitive, and 3) provide some net benefit. I perfer that C-Plans are solvent with evidence independent of the affirmative. That being said, I have balloted for topical c-plans, and have balloted for net benefit c-plans. I have also balloted for partial c-plans (not completely solving the aff harm area).
4. K - Affs - I find critical affs interesting and will ballot when they carry the day. To defeat a critical aff, I tend to require specific evidence taking out the authors or positions advanced. As for Neg K, I am generally open to them but usually require some impact analysis - with evidence, please, that overcomes the affirmative.
5. DA - With respect to DA's, I need intrinsic and extrinsic links to some type of terminal impact to ballot. If the links are weak, you need to explain things to me in late rebuttals - althought it's never to early to start this process.
6. I do try to line up and compare analysis and argument at the end of the round to reach my decision, but the more help you give me, the more likely I will find in your favor.
7. The same holds true for LD and POFO debates that I witness.
If you have any more questions for me that I may have not answered on this page, please ask me before the round starts.
For email link chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current: Regional Coordinator for Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League (LAMDL)
Debated 4 years in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate league
Coach and Assistant Program Manager for Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League for 2 years
Currently attending CSULB (not actively debating)
- I don't appreciate being post rounded. If you don't agree with my RFD after multiple attempts of providing a sensible explanation, that's on you. I will tell you to be a better debater, gg. If you'd like, I'm open to exchanging emails so as to not stall future rounds.
- If you run a critical affirmative with multiple methods and theories that don't blend well together or create a performative contradiction, then expect some less than celebratory speaks.
- If neither the aff or neg have any clashing impacts in the round, then you're forcing me to vote aff because aff is a 'good idea'.
- If you're aff and you read multiple perms against a K and say "extend the perm/s" in the 2AC without further context, I'm going to be lost.
- I'm open to any argument so much as you can defend it and make a persuasive case to me. But really, just do what you do best. If you want to run a policy affirmative with heg good and nuclear war advantages, great! If you wanna run a critical affirmative that argues the topic is anti-black, heteronormative, colonialist, anthropoecentirc, capitalist, etc., that's cool too! Just have a fun debate!
- I'm pretty generous with speaker points, but that doesn't mean you don't have to earn them.
- If I feel I have to evaluate a piece of evidence, I'll call for it when the round ends.
- I don't count sending speech docs as prep time.
- I'm not typically persuaded by critical language critiques. Unless the neg has a very good impact analysis and comparison of what using certain phrases or words looks like compared to the aff's impacts, then it's not going to contribute to my decision calculus. However, I'll listen to your argument and flow it like I would any other.
For LD: I have a policy background, but these days I judge more LD rounds than I do policy. I'll pretty much treat your round as I would a policy round. The only thing I'll say is
1. Be clear - really slow your spreading down, especially your analytics
2. I don't like cheap tricks, but they do often win rounds if it is not contested by the opponent. However, just because I don't like it, this doesn't mean I won't vote for it.
I believe the case is important. That being said, if you don't have an impact, then why should i care about voting affirmative? Also, if you have nuclear scenarios in your affirmative, please don't just say "nuclear war is going to occur" and expect me to consider it as an argument. If you say exactly that, then you have a claim without a warrant. You have evidence, and you need to be able to explain those internal links. As for critical affirmatives, i believe the case should be able to respond to any or at least most off cases the negative presents which is to say it should have built-in answers. For example, if you have an affirmative that discusses anti-blackness, then your case should potentially be able to respond to many offs like FW, T, Cap, Anthro, Settlerism, or any other incantation of high theory, etc. Just make you use your case to its fullest is all i'm saying.
They're cool; the more specific of a link you have the better the round will go for you. Although, I might consider a DA that's obviously generic if the Aff doesn't respond properly. As for politics DA's, you better explain those internal links.
These are cool too; I've voted for CPs before and i'll probably vote on them again. I usually don't however, because they're used as a time skew and/or lack any substantive explanation.
Alright, so these arguments I'm not so thrilled about generally because when I see T being ran it's ran with generic blocks that don't really say anything, but just makes the neg sound like they're whining. So what if the aff is untopical? Why should I care if they explode the limits of the resolution? Why is this key to education? Why does that negatively impact the round? These are things that I hold a high threshold for and these are things that need to be explained in a way that will make me vote for you. But, I'm open to hearing it and considering it if you can run it persuasively. PLEASE slow down on your analytics a tiny bit.
Yeah, I'll consider it.
I'm down for a FW round. I like seeing a lot of clash between the typical standards offered by the neg vs those of critical affirmatives. So, do some comparison and impact analysis like what fairness means for the neg and what the terminal impact is for them and what fairness means for the affirmative and what the terminal impact might be for them. Compare impacts, weigh them against each other and convince me who has the better interpretation of debate. Also, if you're running FW don't just rely on overwhelming the affirmative with evidence. Remember, quality outweighs quantity and at the end of the round and that's what gets my ballot. Take the time to explain your evidence.
I love these arguments; I suppose my preference of style might favor you if you enjoy deploying Ks. My understanding of the philosophies and theories of authors read in debate travel beyond the bounds of this activity, but just make sure you are explaining your criticism coherently because I won't do the work for you, nor will I reward butchered arguments. So, to reiterate, if you read Baudrillard and you're talking about the seduction of the object or some other, explain it in a coherent manner. I don't care if you're running Bataille and you're trying to be unintelligible. Just remember, I have to understand what you're communicating to me (unless not knowing is a reason to vote you up lol) in order to evaluate your arguments. A good K debater will find killer links against the case and will use the case against itself to win the round.
*I personally shift back and forth on args focused on author indictments. For instance, I will agree on criticisms of high theory authors such as Heidegger, DnG, or Nietzsche. However, when I see these arguments deployed, it often sounds like the team that runs them is whining. SO, I will side with these ivory tower authors if you can convince me that even if Nietzsche is white and has never been oppressed, self-overcoming or whatever is probably a good idea and that not doing the aff is life affirming or whatever.
I love the creativity of these arguments, so if you run these go for it. However, don't just perform for the sake of performing or because 'it's cool'. Always use your performance as a way of turning your opponent's offensive arguments. Tell me how to evaluate the performance in contrast to the neg.
Let's have a good round.
TLDR; I believe that true tab judges don't exist, but I will listen to any argument and evaluate it within the context of the round. I debated policy and public forum in high school and did NPDA in college.
I competed in debate throughout middle school, high school, and college for a combined total of 8 years of competitive experience. I graduated from a small high school program where I primarily competed in policy and national circuit PF, including the TOC. In college, I competed in NPDA at California Lutheran University. I have done every style of debate at some point, so I am familiar with and ready to listen to anything. For my first year and a half of debate, I was relatively traditional (think politics DA every round), but I became increasingly progressive as my career progressed (i.e. I ran critical race theory on the PF circuit).
Kritiks: I'm familiar with the literature base of most and can comprehend anything. Structure is very important to me here because it is very easy to get bogged down in a poorly structured K debate. If you're reading something kritikal, please explain your K whether I know it or not. If you can't explain your K, I'm probably not going to be super compelled by it. I am a firm believer that debate should be accessible to everyone, which means that your poorly articulated BwO arguments will lose to me every time (especially if you can't answer questions about it). All that being said, I was the kid that read genealogical interrogations in PF, so I will be happy with just about anything.
CPs: AFF has to read a perm. It takes less time to say "perm: do both" than it will take your opponent to respond no matter their WPM. CPs should have solvency to be compelling.
Theory: I love a good theory debate, but make sure you have all parts of a shell and give me reasons why the T matters. If you're answering theory, I prefer line by line down the shell than a blanket response. I don't think RVIs are the best strategy against theory, but I am willing to listen to and vote on them if the teams feel it is necessary.
DAs: Before reading the DA you are considering, ask yourself "does this make sense?" If the answer is no, try again. As long as you can articulate uniqueness, links, internals, and impacts, the DA should make sense. I have heard and voted on some out there DAs, but my threshold for explanation remains high here.
Speaker Points: I think they are useless and generally exclusionary, but I will assign them as the tournament requires. 30 speaks theory takes 10 seconds... do with that what you will.
Everything else: Give me solid impacts and tell me why you're winning. Good impact calc is the fastest path to my ballot. I am fine with any speed and can flow whatever. I recognize that CX is binding, but I don't flow it, so say it in a speech if you want it on my flow.
My general philosophy is that debate should be accessible and equitable. That means a couple of things that could help or hurt you. For one, I am receptive to arguments with an impact in the debate space. It also means I am sensitive to things like gendered language, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I believe that you should not run an argument that you are not passionate about, and likewise that if you are passionate about something that you should run it no matter how strong your coach thinks it is.
If you have questions, please ask in round!
If I judged you and you have more questions for me that you didn't get to ask in round, email me at email@example.com. I will do my best to get back to you before your next tournament with anything that might help you, and I am happy to send you my flows if you think they will be helpful to you.
I debated for three years at Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks, CA. I currently am debating for the University of Southern California.
Fine with anything
Disads and Topicality - Offense/Defense paradigm. Lean towards reasonability on most T arguments.
Counter plans: Lean neg on counter plan theory if the counter plan is specific to the affirmative, and vice versa.
Critiques: Prefer critiques with a specific link to the plan action or a very specific link wall to their discourse or what not. For example an apocalyptic rhetoric critique with a link to warming discussions in classrooms or policy setting is much more persuasive than evidence written about commercials or media representations of warming (unless it's a link to a media article the affirmative read).
Critical affirmatives: The closer you are to the direction of the resolution the more likely I am to vote affirmative against framework. Affirmatives that claim to solve broader academic issues or civil problems are less persuasive than affirmatives about debate. I'm not particularly ideological about what the affirmative has to / should defend, but I'm equally open to framework and really enjoy judging framework debates.
So yeah as you can tell it has been a while so I have no clue what has changed in debate or even what the topic is so just keep that in mind when debating in front of me. Nothing about my judging has changed aside from that. Good luck have fun.
Stanford 2017 Update
A lot of people regard me as a speaker fairy however, over the years I have become a saltier person as I get older and less tolerant of current debate practices you will all see the speaker points I award will definitely reflect this fact and therefore if you are looking for a speaker fairy I am not your guy. If you have any problems with this
http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/001/209/784/5de.png . In all seriousness I have not judged that much this year so I am kind of rusty at flowing so please adapt if you want to win or get good speaks.
My judge philosophy is pretty simple I will vote on ANY argument so long as it is articulated well and is warranted. So long as that it is done there is no reason for me to just drop an argument I don't like.
Theory is just like any argument make sure to warrant it meaning an actual abuse story, warranting your interpretation, reasons why the standards are important, and why I vote on theory -why fairness, education, ect.. is important-
refer to the top
I will call up evidence if I need to
So sometimes people run really poorly warranted arguments and sometimes people also run really bad no warranted arguments please don't do these things it makes me sad if forced to I will have to do argument comparison myself if two arguments contradict but that won't do well for your speakers points. Granted different arguments require different level of warrants so all of this is rather subjective when I refer to my threshold on warrant analysis how you ought to compare these claims if if you don't do this then I will have to intervene which is bad.
People seem running this argument incorrectly -in my opinion- as some form of a hidden a priori at the risk of sounding very punny I will just let you know that one does not simply trigger skep if you want me to vote on skep the reasons why a meta-ethic provided in case will lead to skepticism if proven false -or some similar form of argumentation- need to be articulated and compared against alternative frameworks still standing in the round.
Getting the 30 -update since Harvard 2012-
Since many talented debaters can end up being screwed speaker point inflation and I have found myself judging at tournaments where cake is easily accessible I am going to sadly put an end to my previous paradigm of giving the 30 for chocolate cake or coffee instead I will simply award speakers points based off of strategic thinking and decision making if I find that your strategic choices were perfect than I can see no reason to not give you perfect speaks.
Edit Yale on speaks
I kind of have this reputation of being a speaker fairy -someone who just gives out high speaks willy nilly- but that was 2011 and before Fred a much nicer guy who seriously did not pay much mind to speaker inflation and didn't seem to adjust his speaks to prospective tournaments. Well I am afraid that I -2012 Fred- f@#%ing killed that guy here is a funny video to help you through the loss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDndS5N9tes ok that being said I am not a complete asshole I just don't give out 28-30s so please just debate well. Also I have been noticing that people tend to lie about their arguments in their last speech like as if I am not paying attention or something, this makes me want to dock your speaks now granted you might say "But 2012 Fred that seems kind of relevant and your perception of the round isn't perfect" I might say in return "If it was that blatant then you had it coming but I will let you explain yourself because well I don't like accusing people of things like that" either way I swear I am not a complete tool and generally don't give bad speaks unless the round was horrible if you ask me "Fred was I really that bad?" I will probably say "Oh hellz yeah" either way you can ask me. Now if you want specific ways to get good speaks from me I would suggest you pick good strategies and make good arguments and also I have noticed that when people make decisions easy for me and telling me specifically how to evaluate the round -and do this well obviously- I seem to give pretty good speaks just putting that out there. Also DON'T BE RUDE!!
I have noticed that other judges have included this and to be honest I thought they were pretty good to add to this
1. As most college students I am generally pretty tired please try and keep me awake
2. In the absence of any reason to prefer either debater -including presumption or permissibility- I will be forced to intervene for the most intuitive argument but I would rather not be forced to do this though
Edit since Yale 13'
Sometimes judges like myself don't understand arguments and ideally don't vote on them however I am sympathetic to how people want to try arguments that may take a little more explaining so if I don't understand an argument I will make it clear that I am in a state confusion by flipping over my ballot -since apparently I am not good at controlling my face- to give you the opportunity to go "oh shit Fred's confused I should take time explain an argument better". In fact if you need any sort of indication of anything or feedback just ask.
EDIT FOR THE END OF ALL TIME
In order to get a 30 in front of me you must have swag END OF STORY. If you ask me what swag is then you clearly don't have swag and will never be able to understand the true meaning of swag so it would be pointless for me to explain it to you. Thus if you ask me, you will bring great shame upon your family.
edit from Harvard 13'
I am currently watching House of Cards but have only watched up to episode 3 if you begin talking about this show and mention anything past this episode that spoils it for me I will dock your speaks and then harm you physically think I am joking? Try me
edit from Emory 13'
Often times debate rounds are won or loss earlier than many debaters might think if I make it obvious that I have already made my decision please stop if you misjudged whether that actually happened I will make that also obvious also I don't worry I don't dock speaks for you failing to do this I just would like to spend less time judging is that so wrong?
MUY IMPORTANTE: I become an incredibly crappy judge -no seriously- when I am tired and you'll know I am tired because I will complain about it constantly if you want me to judge well I suggest you get me some caffiene to prevent me from being stupid -no seriously- or at least check if I have caffiene otherwise I am not going to make much sense. If you see me on the brink of falling asleep please yell at me and throw things at me do whatever it takes because I deserve it.
I can follow speed so long as you are speaking clearly -which I will let you know if you are not by yelling clear- however if I can't understand it I can't vote on it
Any specific questions can be asked before the round or you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am the Director of Debate at Immaculate Heart High School. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list.
1. I will vote on nearly any argument that is well explained and compared to the arguments your opponent has made.
2. Accusing your opponent of an evidence ethics or clipping violation requires you to stake the debate on said allegation. If such an allegation is made, I will stop the debate, determine who I think is in the wrong, and vote against that person and give them the lowest speaker points allowed by the tournament.
3. I won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand or that I don’t have flowed. I have been involved in circuit LD for almost ten years now and consider myself very good at flowing, so if I missed an argument it is likely because you were incomprehensible.
4. I am a strong proponent of disclosure, and I consider failing to disclose/incorrect disclosure a voting issue, though I am growing weary of nit-picky disclosure arguments that I don’t think are being read in good faith.
5. For online debate, please keep a local recording of your speech so that you can continue your speech and share it with your opponent and me in the event of a disconnect.
6. Weighing arguments are not new even if introduced in the final rebuttal speech. The Affirmative should not be expected to weigh their advantage against five DAs before the Negative has collapsed.
7. You need to use CX to ask which cards were read and which were skipped.
Some thoughts of mine:
1. I dislike arguments about individual debaters' personal identities. Though I have voted for these arguments plenty of times, I think I would vote against them the majority of the time in an evenly matched debate.
2. I am increasingly disinterested in voting for topicality arguments about bare plurals or theory arguments suggesting that either debater should take a stance on some random thing. No topic is infinitely large and voting for these arguments discourages topic research. I do however enjoy substantive topicality debates about meaningful interpretive disagreements regarding terms of art used in the resolution.
3. “Jurisdiction” and “resolvability” standards for theory arguments make little sense to me. Unless you can point out a debate from 2013 that is still in progress because somebody read a case that lacked an explicit weighing mechanism, I will have a very low threshold for responses to these arguments.
4. I dislike critiques that rely exclusively on framework arguments to make the Aff irrelevant. The critique alternative is one of the debate arguments I'm most skeptical of. I think it is best understood as a “counter-idea” that avoids the problematic assumptions identified by the link arguments, but this also means that “alt solves” the case arguments are misguided because the alternative is not something that the Negative typically claims is fiated. If the Negative does claim that the alternative is fiated, then I think they should lose to a theory argument. With that said, I still vote on critiques plenty and will evaluate these debates as per your instructions.
5. Despite what you may have heard, I enjoy philosophy arguments quite a bit and have grown nostalgic for them as LD increasingly becomes indistinct from policy. What I dislike is when debaters try to fashion non-normative philosophy arguments about epistemology, metaphysics, or aesthetics into NCs that purport to justify a prescriptive standard. I find philosophy heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing side’s contention or advantage to be unpersuasive.
6. “Negate” is not a word that has been used in any resolution to date so frameworks that rely on a definition of this word will have close to no impact on my assessment of the debate.
I will choose from among the arguments presented to me. I pay close attention and keep an accurate flow of the debate. Both are important to me. Cross examination exchanges are important as well in shaping how I view arguments and debates. Consequently, I usually have thoughts about who won the debate immediately after its conclusion. Then my decision making process goes something like this: (1) who do I think won and why? (2) does that team think they won for this reason? (3) why does this team team think they won? (4) Are they correct? (5) why does the other team think they won? Are they correct? (6) who has the better claim to victory? (7) Decide. (8) what will be the losing teams complaint and what will I say? (9) Vote. 10. Deliver.
I vote for plans, counterplans, interpretations, performances, alternatives, permutations and presumption. You should be clear about what you are asking me to vote for. Know your plan, interpretation, etc. Know the other team's interpretation, permutation, etc. I usually start with a very narrow question to resolve a debate and they center around these issues. I usually ignore role of the ballot arguments except and unless it helps me resolve an otherwise irresolvable debate. I will usually just dismiss these arguments.
As a judge in a competitve academic activity I find that maintaining fairness is a paramount concern. Deciding these issues usually take precenden over other issues because as ther judge I am the only protection that eitther team has against unfair practices and these matters must be resolved immediately, in the round. Education is an important but secondary concern for me in my role as judge. It's a primary concern of mine as coach. You will notice that my decisions focus exclusively on who I voted for and why and rarely on what I think either team could do better or where either team or debaters came up short. I will talk about these things if asked, but I am primarly concerned with delivering a correct decision that resonably honors both team's expectations. A decision that is fair.
Card clipping: I have been convinced that this is an important thing. If you are caught card clipping in any debate that I am judging I will vote againtst you and give you 0 speaker points and ensure that you receive any and all of the proper punishment. However, anyone who accuses another debater of card clipping in any ddebate that I am judging will be held to an incredibly high burden of proof of clear and convincing evidence. That's something less than beyond a resonable doubt, but should still effectively deter anyone from making any weak accusations. I would much rather not have to decide this debate. Also, it would help me and you significantly if you included a materiality argument when making such an accusation. I.e. the other team clipped cards AND it's materially impacting the outcome of this debate. This is the equivalent of an in round abuse requirement.
Lastly, I do not vote for critiques of performances in front of white audiences. I am not a white audience. You must take note of this when you debate. Even if there are white people around, they don't matter to me as a judge (even on a panel).
Hey ya'll, I was a 3-year debater at LAMDL and captained my high school team and am now currently the policy and LD team coordinator and a rising junior at UCLA. I debated up to varsity so I'm very familiar with all the tricks, strategies, lingo when it comes to debate.
Email chain: email@example.com
Small things that will earn you some favorable opinions or extra speaks
-Be politically tactful on language use. Although I won't ding you if you curse or any of that sort, I do find it more entertaining and fun if you can piss off your opponent while remaining calm and kind to strategically manipulate them rather than yell and get mad. This also means that you should be very careful about using certain words that might trigger the opponent or allow them to utilize that as an offensive tool.
-Use as much tech lingo as you can. Point out when the opponent drops something or why the disad outweighs and turns the case or when there is a double bind, etc etc.
-Analogical arguments with outside references will earn you huge huge points. References through classical literature, strategic board games, video games, anime, historical examples, current events or even just bare and basic academics. It shows me how well versed and cultured you are and that's a part of showmanship.
-Scientific theories, mathematical references, experiments, philosophical thoughts, high academia examples will get you close to a 30 on your speaks and definitely make your argument stronger.
Big things that will lean the debate towards your favor and win you rounds
-I like a good framework debate. Really impact out why I should be voting for your side.
-If you're running high theory Kritik, you need to be prepared to be able to explain and convince me how the evidence supports your argument. A lot of the time when high theory Kritik is run, people fail to explain how the evidence can be interpreted in a certain way.
-I was a solid K debater so it will be favorable for Neg to run K and T BUT I am first and foremost a strategist debater. Which means I will treat debate as a game and you SHOULD pick and choose arguments that are more favorable to you and what the Aff has debated very very weakly one or if there is a possibility that the Disad can outweigh the case better than your link story on the K, I would much prefer if you went for DA and CP than K and T.
-K Affs must be prepared to debate theory and fw more heavily than their impact.
-I LOVE offensive strategies and arguments whether you're Aff or Neg. If you can make it seem like what the opponent advocates for causes more harms than it claims to solve for or causes the exact harms it claims to solve for + more (not just more harms than your advocacy) then it won't be as hard for me to decide on a winner.
-Would love to hear arguments that are radical, revolutionary, yet still realistic. They should be unique and interesting. Be creative! High speaks + wins if you're creative. Try to make me frame the round more differently than usual and think outside the box.
CX: I do not flow but I pay attention.
Flashing: I do not count it as prep unless it feels like you're taking advantage of it.
Time: Take your own time and opponents time, I do not time. If you don't know what your time is during prep or during the speech, I will be taking off points.
Hi, I'm a lay judge who you should assume, knows nothing about the topic. Please no spreading or circuit type arguments-- they will just fly over my head. Don't pref me unless you want a lay round.
I'm experienced in both circuit and lay debate. Spreading is fine for 1AC and 1NC, but don't spread as much during rebuttals and the last speech for aff. If you spread in your rebuttals and last speeches, don't worry about it, just send it to me in the email chain :) Really really really use your final speech for aff and final minutes of neg rebuttal to highlight the impacts & weigh.
Please send your cases to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You don't have to treat me super politely and like rly extra by trying to shake my hand etc. I honestly just don't care, I'll be judging your arguments, not you.
I do evaluate cross-ex in my decision for the round. This is your round, drag your opponent if you need to.
If you're going to use theories or K's, PLEASE EXPLAIN THEM THOROUGHLY. If I don't understand it, there's really just no way I can vote for you.
I flow but please remember that it's your responsibility to tell me what to extend across the flow, if your opponent has dropped any arguments etc. I will probably notice, but if you don't mention it, my hands are tied. Also, I flow on my laptop so if you see me typing, I'm not texting lol
Don't make any racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic etc. arguments or comments
If both debaters want me to disclose, I'm happy to do so. I am also happy to provide feedback and other pointers if desired. If not, this won't affect your speaker points/decision of the round. I will also let you know your speaker points if desired.
I debated for four years at Olathe Northwest and one year at Kansas State. I was previously an assistant coach at Blue Valley North (2014-2018 and 2021-2022), a lab leader at the Jayhawk Debate Institute (2018), and an assistant coach at Peninsula (2019-2021). I am now a patent lawyer based in Kansas City.
- I prefer policy-oriented debates, but I'm not terribly picky and will listen to most arguments as long as you can justify them.
- I don't pretend to be truly tabula rasa, as I believe that setting some ground rules (namely, that the affirmative team should defend the resolution and that the negative team should disprove the desirability of the affirmative) is a necessary prerequisite to meaningful, fair debate.
- Logic > tech > truth
- I'm far more willing vote for a smart analytical argument than a shallow extension of a card. Evidence should be read for the purpose of backing up your arguments -- not the other way around.
- On a similar note, my least favorite type of debate is the "card war". Don't just read cards -- make arguments.
- The technical aspect of debate is important to me. I'm generally willing to assign substantial risk to dropped arguments, but you still have to extend those arguments and their respective warrant(s).
- I love cross-x. If your cross-x is well thought out and used to generate arguments and understandings that are useful in speeches for important parts of the debate, my happiness and your speaker points will increase. [Credit to Nick Miller for most of the preceding sentence.]
- I enjoy a good joke (and occasionally a bad one).
The affirmative team must affirm the resolution in order to win the debate, and I believe that maximizing fairness and education (generally in that order) is good for debate. "The plan is reasonably topical" is not an argument unless the negative's interpretation is patently absurd; the neg's standards/voters are reasons why the aff is not reasonably topical. T is never an RVI. Conditionality is fine unless abused in an egregious fashion; for example, if your 1NC strat consist of 3 Ks and 4 CPs (I've seen it), you should probably go home and rethink your life.
I am not especially well versed in high-theory critical literature, so do what you can to avoid burying me in jargon. I am probably persuaded by permutations more often than the average judge, and I tend to be skeptical of alts that seem utopian and/or impossible. I'm not a fan of 2NRs that go for "epistemology first" as a way to remove all substantive clash from the debate. Additionally, I tend not to think that my ballot has any particular "role" besides choosing who wins/loses the debate. "Role of the ballot" arguments should be articulated as impact framework, and they require actual standards/warrants -- not just the assertion that "The role of the ballot is [to vote for exactly what our aff/K does]." I am extremely skeptical of the idea that an isolated use of gendered/ableist language is reason enough for a team to lose a debate round. Please avoid reading from dead French philosophers if at all possible.
Debates judged (NATO topic): 0
Debates judged (career): 337
Here are the things that matter:
I did not debate as a student.
I have judged and coached PF and LD for 8 years.
I don’t lean towards any style of debate, just convince me why I should vote for you and you can win.
My favorite philosophy is Utilitarianism... just sayin’
*Flow everything, especially feedback.
*Always signpost and provide road maps. Slow down when reading tags and authors. I want to understand what you are saying and organize it; help me out.
*DO NOT steal prep time. I will subtract stolen prep from your time remaining and it will count against your speaker points. When you or your opponent are not running prep time pencils must be down and do not play with your laptop. I give a reasonable amount of time to send files which I do not count as prep. If you are having trouble uploading or sending let both myself and your opponent know. Be fair and courteous to your opponent.
*If you spread and I cannot understand you, I will not be able to fully comprehend your argument. Start slower and work into your spreading so I can adapt to how your sprea.
*Voters - from the beginning of the debate you should be telling me how to frame my vote. What does my vote do and why is your definition of it to be preferred.
Evidence - Use and extend your evidence, but don't just blanket extend all your cards.
Impacts and solvency are key for me. I enjoy real world impact arguments, as rare as they may be. You need to really make me believe you are changing something for the better and tell me exactly how much and why I should vote for you over your opponent.
Topicality arguments must be well explained or run when there are clear violations; explanation must be concise and valid.
I love a respectful CX. If your case is good you will want to educate your opponent and myself about what your case does well. Disrespectful or rude CX will be given less weight.
If the questioner moves on to another question reasonably DO NOT just speak louder to take up cx time. You would probably find it uncool as well if done to you.
Don't make claims if you're the one asking, form a question and ask it. CX is not a time to be making arguments; save that for your speeches. CX gives me a good idea of how knowledgeable you are of your case.
Ask questions with a final end goal in mind.
Overall: Don't panic, just breathe and you will be fine. I look forward to see everyone debate.
ykamath [at] usc [dot] edu
can't judge: Wichita East, Loyola
Any questions please ask don't assume
Wichita East '15
4 years HS policy, currently coaching Loyola policy
1. Flashing is not prep.
2. Cross-x will be flowed. You will be held to what you say in cross-x.
3. Clipping cards, reading ahead in speech docs, falsifying evidence, all auto-losses.
4. Please disclose.
5. Stand/sit/dance/jog I don't care. Just look at me when you are speaking.
6. Arguments need warrants. No warrants = not an argument.
7. Please add me to the email chain, pocket box, hand me the flash drive, etc.
I will try my best not to intervene in a debate. Execute whatever strategy you are best at, and do it well. I will listen and evaluate almost every argument tabula rasa.
Here are my argument preferences:
Neg- Case list, impacts to your standards, and topical version of the aff are all very persuasive.
Aff- Reasonability is not as a persuasive as a robust defense of your great counter-interpretation and disads to their interp.
Neg- Explain the alt well. The link and impact story is usually what the neg is superb at, but if you don't explain the alt well, what the hell am I voting for? 2NC/1NR tricks are great if executed properly.
Aff- Impact turns, disads to the alt, and permutations are persuasive.
Neg- Happy with most, not a fan of process cps or generic word pics, but I will still vote for them if executed properly.
Aff- Solvency deficit, and defense to the net benefit (whatever page it is on), are very persuasive.
Neg- Turns case, and impact framing are very persuasive.
Aff- You must have offense on this page. With hard technical debating, I do believe in a possible 0 % risk of the disad.
Neg- Case turns, and case specific defense are very persuasive. A ton of generic impact defense not so much.
Aff- Your answers to case args should be fantastic, no excuses for a poor performance on something for which you have had unlimited prep.
Mostly lean neg, again interp and counter-interps are key.
2 condo is fine, 3 is still okay, 4 and my threshold for an aff theory arg will be very low.
Aff- This is fine. Please explain what voting aff means, what you have to win for me to vote aff.
Neg- Answer the case. T (content guidelines) not framework (performance guidelines), impact turns, and criticisms are very persuasive.
High speaker points:
1. Great strategic moves. Technical strength will serve you well.
2. Humor. Only if you are funny.
3. Great case debate.
4. Number/letter arguments.
5. Great evidence.
Low speaker points:
1. Not clear. Can't stand this. Hurts me, your partner, the other team, and the quality of the debate at the whole.
2. Really stupid arguments. If you have to ask if it meets the really stupid threshold then don't read it.
Don't be rude or obnoxious. In debate and in life.
PF & Parli coach for Nueva
- Use your agency to make this safe space and non-hostile to all debaters & judges
- non-interventionist until the point where something aggressively problematic is said (read: problematic: articulating sexist, racist, ableist, classist, queerphobic, anything that is oppressive or entrenches/legitimates structural violence in-round)
- tech over truth
- please time yourselves and your opponent: I don't like numbers and I certainly don't like keeping track of them when y'all use them for prep, if you ask me how much time you have left I most probably won't know
- if you finish your speech and have extra time at the end, please do not take that time to "go over my own case again" - I recommend weighing if you want to finish your speech time, or alternatively, just end your speech early
- I guess I expect debaters to ask POI's, but I won't punish you for not asking them in your speaker scores
- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speakers are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.
- I do my best to protect the flow, but articulate points of order anyway
- recently I've heard rounds that include two minutes of an "overview/framework" explaining why tech debate/using "technical terms" in debate is bad - I find this irritating, so it would probably be in your best interest to not run that, although it's not an automatic loss for you, it simply irks me
- feel free to ask questions within "protected time" - it's the debater's prerogative whether or not they accept the POI, but I don't mind debaters asking and answering questions within
- I like uniqueness, I like link chains, I like impact scenarios! These things make for substantive, educational debates!
- I don't call for cards unless you tell me to; telling me "the ev is sketchy" or "i encourage you to call for the card" isn't telling me to call for the card. tell me "call for the card" - picking and choosing cards based on what I believe is credible or not is sus and seems interventionist
- I don't flow cross fire but it works well to serve how much you know the topic. regardless, if you want anything from crossfire on my flow, reference it in-speech.
- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speaker points are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.
- if you want me to evaluate anything in your final focus make sure it's also in your summary, save for of course frontlines by second-speaking teams - continuity is key
- in terms of rebuttal I guess I expect the second speaking team to frontline, but of course this is your debate round and I'm not in charge of any decisions you make
- hello greetings defense is sticky
- please please please please please WEIGH: tell me why the args you win actually matter in terms of scope, prob, mag, strength of link, clarity of impact, yadda yadda
Other than that please ask me questions as you will, I should vote off of whatever you tell me to vote off of given I understand it. If I don't understand it, I'll probably unknowingly furrow my eyebrows as I'm flowing. Blippy extensions may not be enough for me - at the end of the day if you win the round because of x, explain x consistently and cleanly so there's not a chance for me to miss it.
email me at email@example.com with any questions or comments or if you feel otherwise uncomfortable asking in person
Currently debating at Fullerton College, my coaches being Jeanette Rodriguez and Toni Nielson.
Western National Novice Policy Debate Champion 2018
I prefer true policy debates, meaning CP and DA debates. Feel free to run a T or K, but case debates are choice.
If you are going to spread, do so CLEARLY! I do not want your word vomit, so I may ask you to slow down if you are spreading in an undecipherable fashion.
I ask that you respect everyone in the room. We are here to debate, not to be rude or insult others. Speaker points will be deducted if you don't listen to this.
I flow well, but I ask that you somehow make it obvious that you are reading a tag and author. No, "next" is not adequate. Suggestions: pronounce the tag and author louder than the rest of the speech, slow down when reading the tag and author, or both!
I want roadmaps before each speech. Please stick to these roadmaps as best you can.
Evidence Matters!! Please use and extend your evidence. Arguments that are just read and never talked about are really confusing and you've wasted your time if you're reading evidence you're not using.
If Aff case is dropped will vote Neg, If aff doesn't solve anything will vote Neg
Prefer the aff use examples to extend their impacts and solvency. You need to really make me believe you are changing something for the better. The easier it is for me to vote for your side the better.
I do lean Aff for T
T is not my favorite but if you are running it the violations and explanation must be valid.
Theory - Lean Negative
CX (I flow it)
I love a good CX, even if it gets a little heated but DON'T attack your opponent during CX
Don't make Claims if you're the one asking, form a question and ask it. CX is not a time to be making arguments, save that for your speeches. CX gives me a good idea of how informed you are so answer carefully.
As a final note, framing is also important. I want to know how to view the round and why you should win.
Harut Kejejyan ( firstname.lastname@example.org) - add me to the email chain.
Highschool Debate - Bravo Medical Magnet High School for 2 years: LAMDL Alumni
College Debate - Fullerton College - 2 Years
Currently Debating for CAL State Fullerton
HealthCare Topic - Bernie Sanders Counterfactual
Executive Power - D&G
Space - Techno-Ableism Aff
I am currently majoring in Communication Studies and Sociology.
29.5 - 30 - One of the best speakers at the Tournament. Most likely going to be in Elims.
29 - 29.4 - Very good speaker, clear, and easy to flow. Unique arguments.
28- 29 - Good Speaker, Needs Improvement on Tech Debate, I will highlight what I believe you need to do Improve on during RFD
< 28 - I usually refrain from giving anything below a 28 unless you have done/said something problematic (ie. Card Clipping,
Paradigm Last Updated 9/19/2020 - Jack Howe
Prefer Spreading to be clear and understandable, I will tell you to slow down if you become unclear (Clarity First)
If you have any problems during the debate PLEASE! Notify Me so we can resolve the issue. If at any point in the debate you feel uncomfortable once again bring it to my attention, Debate rounds should be a safe space where ideas can be discussed openly without judgment. Respect! Comes first, if you are rude or inconsiderate on more than one occasion I will deduct speaker points, you don't have to be rude to get your point across.
Evidence Matters!!! God please use and extend your evidence, arguments that are just read and never talked about are really confusing, and frankly, you wasted your time if you're reading evidence you're not using.
I love a good CX, even if it gets a little heated but DONT attack your opponent during CX
Overall: I love a good debate! The round should be a place where you give everything you got because if you don't your arguments will suffer. I want to see you express everything you been prepping for. Don't panic just breathe and you'll be fine the worst that can happen is you lose, even you win in some sense. Can't wait to see everyone debate.
P.S: Have some emotion when you're reading the evidence, makes a big difference.
Updates for 2023
I have not judged during the 2022-23 season so may be out of practice and unaware of new arguments.
Please be thoughtful about class, race and gender dynamics happening during the debate. My threshhold for abusive behavior in the debate space lowers every year and I become more and more willing to vote on theory in all formats. If I see abuse against an inexperiened team that doesn't know how to run theory, I will drop you all the same and spend my rfd time teaching them how to run theory.
My flowing will only be as good as your sign-posting, tagging and articulation. I am not a fan of the pf cases that read like an oratory and are impossible to flow. I expect teams to extend tags, evidence and warrants. Offense is not sticky. I won't flow dropped arguments in later speeches so you don't need to tell me. I also expect teams to follow NSDA evidence rules.
I am open to theory arguments in PF as I see it as one of the only effective mechanisms for addressing some of the ills of pf. You should have a proper theory shell though.
Let's all be nice and generous and kind. I believe good PF debate should be a relaxed exchange of ideas as opposed to suppressed (or not) rage.
Don't give speeches during crossfire. I like a crossfire that is clarifying and illuminates areas of dispute. To that end, I prefer that everybody be super chill. Yelling, berating, and asking obviously abusive questions are all good ways to tank your speaks. You will never impress me by out-aggressing your opponent during CX.
I'm not a fan of blippy debate and tend to vote on the arguments that are fleshed out, well evidenced and that provide a clear path to the ballot. I personally think the emphasis on weighing overlooks the need to have a clear link with good warranting and strong evidence. I'm not entirely tech > truth because I can't always bring myself to vote on technical arguments that are not fleshed out enough to be plausible.
I think the second rebuttal should respond to turns but I'm okay with other responses coming in summary. I see defense as sticky. I like to see teams collapse and don't love the style of debate where final focus is an exact rerun of summary --would rather see that the debate has progressed or that your weighing and warranting has advanced b/c of clash.
For LD and Policy
****Disclosure on the Wiki is encouraged. Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com ****
I can handle a fair amount of speed but haven't judged LD/Policy in a year so you may lose me if you are super fast. It helps me a lot if you make it clear when you are ending a card. I will say "clear" if I can't understand and "slow down" if I can't keep up.
I am open to different styles including LARP and K debate. Slow down for theory shells and K alts, especially if they are novel. I am much more likely to vote for an argument that has been well explained. I am less technical in the sense that arguments that do not have a clear story with warrants won't always win a round even if they got under-covered.
I am not a fan of silly theory arg's but they still need to be responded to. I will do RVI's in LD but I don't love them.
I am pretty familiar with a lot of the K literature and it is difficult for me to vote for debaters who use it so badly that it is nonsensical.
I like both traditional and progressive debate. I really want students to engage directly with the arguments, their underlying assumptions and areas of clash with the opponent. It is hard to be convinced by an argument you don't understand.
I'm open to role of the ballot/framing issues when weighing structural violence impacts.
Email chains are a tangible improvement to debate. RLarsen at desidancenetwork dot org. You can read my entire paradigm for bolded passages, as you would a card. Pronouns are he/him/”Judge”. The affirmative should have speech doc ready to be emailed by round start time. Please keep a local copy of speech recordings. In the event of a 30-second tech blip, recordings will be reviewed; no speeches will be redone, barring tournament policy. Debaters have the right to reserve CX start until receipt of marked speech doc.
(Long Version is for procrastinating non-debate work)
(Pre-round Prep/Deadline Preffing): If you're a student doing your own prefs, you're best off reading the next two paragraphs and skimming my voting record. If you're a coach, you likely already know where to pref me.
Debate is a group of people engaging in performances. The nature of those debate performances (including my role as a judge) is settled by the competitors in the round with arguments. My default as a policy judge is to believe that those performances regard policymaking and that plans (/counterplans/alts/advocacies) create worlds with real impacts I should calculate via fiat as the plan is executed. As an LD judge, I think the round is about pursuing philosophical reasons to affirm or negate the resolution, and impacting through the lens of the criterial structure. Any successful movement away from the default paradigm typically entails explaining why I, the judge, should interpret your speech time differently. Most people succeed in shifting my defaults, and would consider me a “tabula rasa” judge. Nearly all of my LD rounds look like solo Policy these days. I’m expressive while judging, and you should take advantage of that, and look for cues. It is my belief that students are owed an explanation of the decision and that the judge is accountable to their evaluation of the round.
Clash happens through the lens of the ballot. The nature of how the ballot is to be considered is the framework flow, and that means that arguments like Kritiks might engage with T/Theory in some rounds and not others. This means I will vote for your take on burning down civil society in one round and vote you down on T in the next. I listen to about 20 rounds/week, so my strong preference is for good argumentation, not specific strategies. More at the top of the long version below.Strategy Notes:
Negatives are currently going for too much in the 2NR, while dropping case. Affirmatives are currently spending too much time extending case while dropping world of the perm articulations.
Perms: I give the benefit of the doubt to the intuitive status of the permutation. I’m happy to vote against my intuition, but you need to lead me there (more below).
Tricks: If you go for this, impact the tricks out, as you would a dropped card. Slow down for the key line(s) in rebuttal speeches. Eye contact makes this strategy sustainable. Yes, Tricks rounds have '19-'20 ballots from me. No, they should not be your first move.
Disclosure the Argument is great! Drop the debater on disclosure is unimpressive. Read it as an implication to round offense, or you're better off spending time on basically any other sheet.
Topical Version of the Aff (TVA): Gotta read them, gotta answer them. Most of the rounds I vote for T are from a dropped interp or dropped TVA
RVIs =/= Impact Turns: My patience for abusive theory underviews is fading. Quickly
Independent Voters: explain to me why the voter stands apart from the flow and comes first. Debaters are not consistently executing this successfully in front of me, so consider my threshold higher than average
No Risk: I do vote on no risk of the aff/plan doesn't solve. Terminal defense is still a thing
If you expect me to evaluate charts/graphics in your speech doc, give me time during the speech to read any graphics. It will otherwise only be a tie-breaker in evidence analysis
Uplayering: layers of debate often interact with each other; that they exist in separate worlds is not very compelling. Sequencing why I should analyze argument implications before others is the best way to win the layers debate.Previous Season Notes:
While I recognize there's no obligation to share your analytics, the practice serves a good pedagogical benefit for those who process information in different ways. This is even more relevant for online debate. I will begin awarding +.3 speaker points for those speeches including all/nearly all analytics in the speech doc AND that are organized in a coherent manner.
2019-2020 Aff Speaks: 28.801 Neg Speaks: 28.809; Aff Ballots 114 Neg Ballots: 108
222 rounds judged for the '19-'20 season, mixed LD and Policy
Coached students to qualification for 2020 TOC in LD and Policy
(good luck, get snacks)
I recognize that this is no longer a viable read between rounds. Because I continue to receive positive feedback for its detail, it will be kept up, but I do not have any expectation that you will memorize this for my rounds. Bold text is likely worth its time, though.
Long Version (Procrastinating Other Work/Season Preffing):
Role of the Ballot:
Framework debaters: if you think the debate space should be predictable and fair, you should articulate what education/fairness/pick-your-voter means to the activity and why the ballot of this particular round matters.
K debaters: if you think rhetoric and its shaping matters more than the policy impacts of the 1AC, you should articulate your world of the alt/advocacy/pick-your-impact in a way that allows me to sign the ballot for you.
Performance debaters: if you think the debate space is for social movements/resistance/pick-your-story, you should explain why your performance relates to the ballot and is something I should vote for. Ideal performance cases explain topic links or provide reasons they actively choose not to be topical.
Everybody else: you get the idea. Clash happens through the lens of the ballot. The nature of how the ballot is to be considered is the framework flow, and that means that arguments like Kritiks might engage with T/Theory in some rounds and not others. This means I will vote for your take on burning down civil society in one round and vote you down on T in the next.
The world is unfair. Fairness is still probably a good thing. We get education from winning, and from losing. Some topics are poorly written and ground issues might not be the fault of your opponent. For debaters pursuing excellence, traditional voters aren’t the end of the conversation. Argument context can be everything. Tech speak, fairness is an internal link more than it is an impact.
“Two ships passing in the night” is something we hear in approximately 143% of RFDs, and it’s almost always the most efficient way to sad faces, frustration, and post rounding. RESOLVE this by finding points of clash, demonstrating that your claims engage with the claims of your opponent in a way that is beneficial for you. Clash shows that you are aware that your opponent has ground, and your following that with an explanation of why that ground couldn’t possibly earn my ballot is very persuasive. A round without clash is a round left to the judge, and you don’t want to leave any argument, big or small, up to the discretion of the judge.
The preventable argument issue that most often shows up on my ballot is how the permutation functions. I give the benefit of the doubt to the intuitive status of the permutation. For example, I think it’s very easy to imagine a world where two separate policy actions are taken. I think it’s very hard to imagine a world in which Civil Society is ended and the 1AC still solves its harms through implementation. The former gets preference for the permutation making sense. The latter gets preference for exclusivity making sense. I’m happy to vote against my intuition, but you need to lead me there.
I flow on paper, because as a wise teacher (Paul Johnson) once (/often) told me: “Paper doesn’t crash.” This means I will NOT:
Flow your overview verbatim
Flow your underview verbatim
Flow your tags verbatim
But I WILL:
Follow the speech doc for author name spelling
Have no issues jumping around sheets as long as you signpost as you go
Still always appreciate another run through the order (if you don’t have the order, or you change it up, that’s O.K. Again, just sign post clearly)
Write in multiple colors (for individual speakers and notes)
Typically respond to body language/speech patterns and give you cues to what should be happening more or what should be happening less (furrowed brow + no writing usually means bad news bears. No writing, in general, means bad news bears)
I will keep the speech doc open on my computer, because it seems like a good idea to live the round as closely to the competitors’ experience as possible. However, it is YOUR job as a debater to COMMUNICATE to me the most important parts of your speech. 9 times out of 10 this means:
SLOW DOWN to emphasize big picture ideas that you use to contextualize multiple parts of the round. Let me know that you know it’s important. That level of awareness is persuasive.
TELL A STORY of the debate round. Are you winning? (the answer is almost always “yes”) Why are you winning? What are your winning arguments? Why do they demolish your opponent’s arguments into a thousand pieces of rubble that couldn’t win a ballot if you were unable to deliver any additional arguments?
WEIGH IMPACTS. Time frame/magnitude/probability. These are all great words that win debate rounds. There are other great words that also win rounds.
PRIORITIZE (TRIAGE) arguments. You don’t need to win all the arguments to win the debate. If you go for all the arguments, you will often lose a debate you could have won.
New Affs Bad may be persuasive, but not to me. Breaking new affs is the divine right of the affirmative.
I’m still hearing this debated occasionally, but cross ex is binding. I flow it/take notes.
Flex Prep is alive and well in my rounds. You have an opportunity to ask further questions, but not a clear obligation to answer them. I also think it’s pretty fair that prep time can be used to just… prep.
If you ask me to call for evidence, you probably didn’t do a sufficient job presenting your cards during the round.
Rhetorical questions seem very clever as they’re conceived, but are rarely persuasive. Your opponent will not provide a damning answer, and your time would have been better spent working to make positive claims.
I tend to like policy arguments and performance more than philosophy-heavy kritiks because Ks often lose their grounding to the real world (and, it follows, the ballot). Policy arguments are claiming the real world is happening in the speeches of the round, and performance debate has had to justify its own existence for as long as it has existed, which makes it more practiced at role of the ballot. If you love your K and you think it’s the winning move, go for it! Just make sure to still find clash. Related: “reject” alts almost always feel like they’re missing something. Almost like a team without a quarterback, a musical without leads, a stage without performers.
Good links >>> more links
Good evidence >>>>> more evidence
Many definition interpretations are bad. Good definitions win [T] rounds.
Many framework card interpretations are bad. Every debater is better off reading the cards in the entirety at some point during their infinite prep, in order to better understand author intent.
My threshold for accepting politics disads as persuasive feels higher than the community average. I think it’s because probability is underrated in most politics disads.
Anything I believe is open to negotiation within the context of debate, but general truths have a much lower standard of proof (i.e. Debater 1 says “we are currently in Mexico.” Debater 2 counters “Pero estamos en Estados Unidos.” I consider the truth contest over at this point). The more specialized the knowledge, the higher the standard of proof.
Technical parts of the flow (T & Theory come to mind) can be really fast. I mentioned above that I’m writing by hand. You are always better off with -50% the number of arguments with +50% presentation and explanation to the remaining claims. Yes, I have your speech doc. No, I’m not doing your job for you. Communicate the arguments to me.
Debaters are made better by knowing how arguments evolve. There’s a reason a permutation is a “test of competition” (see: plan plus). Knowing the roots and growth of arguments will make you better at clash will make you better at debate will make you better at winning real, actual ballots.
My default is always to give an RFD, and to start that RFD with my decision. This will typically be followed by the winning argument(s). Ideally, the RFD should look suspiciously like the final rebuttal speech of the winning team.
I apologize for this paradigm becoming unreasonable in length.
Advice I give frequently enough to consume space on this infinitely long page that is now my paradigm:
Ships passing in the night/Clash wins rounds (see above)
Thanksgiving standard: if you can't explain why this argument is important to your Grandma during Thanksgiving dinner conversation, you probably need to keep reading the literature until you can contextualize to the real world. There's also a really good chance it won't win you the round.
At least try to live the advocacy you endorse. If you think coalition-building is the move, you shouldn’t be exclusionary without clear justification, and possibly not even then. The debate space is better for inclusion efforts.
It’s always to your advantage to use cross ex/prep to understand opposing arguments. Don’t realize after a rebuttal speech that your strategy was based on an incomplete understanding of your opponent(s) and their case.
It’s almost always worth your time to take a small amount of prep to sit back, breathe, and consider how you’re going to explain this round to your coach, debate-knowledgeable legal guardian, or friend-who-doesn’t-like-debate-but-supports-you-in-your-endeavors-because-they’re-a-good-friend. It’s an exercise that will tell you what’s important and help clear the clutter of speed, terminology, and tech.
This is also a good test for seeing if you can explain all the arguments using small words. I think the fanciest words I use in this paradigm are “verbatim” and “temporal proximity”. If you can’t explain your arguments in a simple, efficient manner, you need to keep reading.
It’s also almost always worth your time to take a moment, a sip of water, and a breath to collect yourself before a speech. Do this without excess and every judge you compete in front of will appreciate the generated composure and confidence in your ensuing speech.
Don’t start that speech with a million words a minute. Build to it. Double plus ungood habit if you forgot to check that everyone was ready for you to begin speaking.
I have never, not even once, in a decade+ of debate, heard a judge complain that author names were spoken too slowly.
Don’t take 5 minutes to flash a speech or to sort together a speech doc after you’re “done” prepping.
Your speech and prep time is yours to do with as you wish. Play music, talk loudly, play spades.
Opponent prep time is theirs to do with as they wish. That means you don’t get to play music intrusively (read: use headphones), talk intrusively, play spades intrusively, you get where this is going. This is one of the areas I think speaker points is very much at judge discretion.
If it’s not a speech and it’s not cross ex and neither team is running prep, you should not be prepping. Stealing prep is another area that I think leaves speaker points very much to judge discretion.
Don’t set sound alarms to the time you keep for your opponent’s speeches. Nobody ever, ever wants to hear the timer of the opponent go off before the speaker’s. I will keep time in 99% of debates, and if you’re wrong and cutting into their speech time, you’re losing speaker points.
I’m almost always down to give notes between rounds/after tournaments/via email on your performance in debate. Temporal proximity works in your favor (read: my memory has never been A1).
There are few things I love in this good life more than hearing a constructive speech that takes a new interpretation of an old idea and expands how I see the world. Writing your own arguments makes the time you invest in debate more worthwhile.
Spend some time teaching debate to others. Most things worth learning are worth teaching, and the act of teaching will give you an excellent perspective to arguments that have staying power in the community.
Lincoln-Douglas Debaters: A priori arguments can win rounds, but I’d rather see a debate where you win on substance than on a single line that your opponent dropped/misunderstood. If you’re going for a dropped analytic, impact it out in the 2R, as you would any other dropped card.
I feel like the rounds that end up being primarily the criterial debate typically indicate that the debaters could have done more to apply their arguments to the lens of their opponent’s criterion.
This space is for you. We don’t hold debate tournaments so that judges can sign ballots. You don’t spend hours/years preparing arguments and developing this skill because you just really want Tab Staffers to have something to do on the weekends. Mountains of money aren’t shifted so that we can enjoy the sweet, sweet pizza at the lunch hour. We’re here so that you can debate. Performance is about communicated intent, and debate is no exception. You can take anything out of that experience, but articulating your purpose walking into the round, even if only to yourself, will make you more persuasive.
Closing note: I typically think dialogue is the best way to educate, and that my role (at a bare minimum) is to educate the competitors following the round, through the lens of my decision and its reasoning. I will typically write a short Tabroom ballot and give as extensive a verbal RFD as scheduling permits/the students have asked all the questions they desire. The short version of this paradigm caused me physical pain, so that should indicate my willingness to engage in decision-making/pedagogical practices.
4 years high school LD/Extemp/PF
3 years college policy/parli/public
Coaching/teaching debate since 2009-ish
Writing Arguments by Allegory since 2013
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.
La Costa Canyon '16
UCSB '20 (English and Philosophy)
I debated in LD for 4 years at La Costa Canyon High School (aka Leucadia Independent), and have judged 3-5 circuit tournaments per year since I've been in college.
1 - phil
2 - K
3 - tricks and larp
4 - theory/T
Debate in the style you feel most comfortable, however I prefer philosophy and high theory oriented rounds. I was a very positional debater and prefer grander framework debates to very technical ones. I can keep up with tech and speed, but at a certain point blazing through analytics in the 1ar will work against you.
I will vote for any argument that you can fully impact back to a ballot. Every round I will vote using the same mechanism. I will determine what the most viable framework/standard is and vote for whoever has more offense under that framework. If the debate lacks any discussion of framework I will decide based on what standard seems most relevant to the impacts each debater has gone for; this is usually some sort of consequentialism. Essentially, I default against epistemic modesty and evaluate the round according to whatever mechanisms for voting are presented. Of course, this means that if you win arguments for epistemic modesty I will adjudicate the round under that standard, but it will likely be messy.
Director of Forensics, Cal State Northridge
Email speech documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any other inquires should go to email@example.com
A. Judging/Coaching History
- Over 19 years of experience judging/coaching competitive debate events; less experience with speech and individual events (5 years)
- Worked with students of all ages: elementary (MSPDP), middle school (MSPDP), high school (policy, LD, public forum), and college (NDT/CEDA, NFA-LD, NPDA, IPDA, CPFL)
B. General Philosophy
1. Do you thing! This activity should center the stylistic proclivities of students, not judges. Full stop. My academic background has taught me reasonable arguments come in a variety of forms, styles, and mediums. I've coached and judged a wide range of styles from very traditional (e.g. topicality, disads, cps, and case), critical (e.g. post-structural/modern/colonial theory), to very non-traditional (e.g. performative/identity/method debate). There are things I like and dislike about every style I've encountered. Do what you do and I'll do my best to keep up.
2. "Inside Baseball" Sucks. These days I mostly judge college policy and high school LD. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge.
C. Pedagogical/Competitive Points of Emphasis
1. Importance of Formal Evidence (i.e. "cards"). I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments where technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
2. Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder One of things that makes policy and LD debate (and perhaps public forum) a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who spend their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that it's laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
3. The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Debate. The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multiple. Asserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
4. Theory Debates (i.e. Debates about Debate Itself) I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 28.
My name is Alec Lenamond. I am a 5th year Applied Mathematics major at the University of California, San Diego. I graduated from Citrus Valley High School in 2014 and have years of experience in Lincoln Douglas Debate, both on a local and national level.
tl;dr: (1) Speed okay (provided inclusion in an email chain), (2) advise against Theory and K's, (3) default probability over magnitude, and (4) pls debate the topic instead of just reading weak link chains.
Speed: I'll start by saying I have not judged much over the last few years so don't complain if I miss important information if you are spreading. I'm not opposed to speed, but I think there can still be great substantive debate at a normal conversational pace. If you do wish to spread, I would appreciate being included in an email chain or have the case(s) flashed to me.
Paradigm: I always evaluate framework first, but you need not win the framework debate to get my ballot. I resolve framework and then see which contentions/arguments win under that framework, so it is entirely possible to win under your opponent’s standard. In most cases, losing the framework debate will likely put you at somewhat of a disadvantage on the ballot, but I think there's great strategic potential in dropping framework to go all in on contentions (especially if you're negating).
As far as voting issues are concerned, winning the framework debate is not a voting issue. It is absolutely necessary to address framework in the last speech, but only as a means to tell me how to evaluate your voting issues. In other words, do not expect my ballot just because you won the framework debate.
Preferences: I generally prefer consequentialism because substantial arguments are quantifiable, making it easier to compare and debate the impact of the resolution. I am not opposed to means-based frameworks, but I feel they substantially limit the scope of the debate and, more often than not, confuse the shit out of me because debaters can't properly articulate what it means.
Absent any discussion on probability vs magnitude, I will default to the most probable impact. However, I highly encourage debaters to engage in a probability vs magnitude debate if relevant to the debate.
As a side note, I was never well-trained in Theory, Topicality, or RVIs so I will never make a decision on that. Still call out abuse if it's apparent but don't use theory as a strategy to win the debate.
Though I have some experience with K debates, I would rather debaters avoid this strategy as a whole and actually debate the substance of the resolution. If you run a K, please do not spread since I am not well-versed in literature. I also have a high threshold for voting for the K. Be extremely articulate when it comes to (1) the link to the AC, (2) the impact from voting for the AC, and (3) why the K comes before the standard offered by the AC. Most times, when I vote against a K it's because (3) is unclear or underdeveloped.
Prep Time: I generally prefer to give both debaters as much time as necessary to prepare for speeches, so long as both debaters have an equal claim to preparation. If taking an extra minute of prep results in a better quality debate, by all means take your time. However, I will not allow you to utilize unused prep time as additional speaking time. Flex prep is okay.
Evidence: I reserve the right to call for evidence after the round. I will only call for evidence if (a) it is significant in decision-making for the round or (b) if there is a dispute over what the evidence says. I will not call for evidence if I believe it to be falsified or misrepresentative of the author’s true intentions, as that is the debaters’ jobs to identify in the debate.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on any other issue before/after the debate!
The best way to win a debate in front of me is to go straight for case. I think neg teams have ample opportunity to win on DAs and CPs. I also think it's entirely possible to win on straight case turns and a DA.
I'm fine with lower level theory args, I think T is necessary in some instances for the neg but not necessary for every round. When it comes to kritiks, I'm familiar with some of the literature and/or the arguments that are commonly run but I'm not the best judge to run these arguments in front of. That being said, I have voted them up but if you're going to run one you'll have to meet me halfway and make sure you're explaining your arguments fully rather than assuming I'll fill in the blanks for you.
The easiest way to tank your speaker points fast is to be rude to your opponents, please maintain a level of respect for one another in the round.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for rebuttals with overviews and clear direction as to where you want me to vote, this is the easiest to reduce intervention when it comes to my vote and raise speaks at the same time.
I do not prefer speed because I believe that debate should be clear and open to all. I am okay with counter plans and Disads as long as you explain them well. In addition I am okay with critics as long as you have other arguments which have a clear impact. I love framework debate because it tells me what I should weigh the debate on. I recommend candidates to link all arguments back to framework and do lots of impact calculus. I can follow easily but please do not speak too fast to just complete your write up.
February 2023 update:
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I haven't debated since March 2018, and I'm not very familiar with this topic at all. I'm no stranger to policy debate, just know I don't know acronyms.
Best tip I can give you for my ballot is to explain your arguments to me like I am 5, I'm not as fast as I use to be. The more clear you are, the better I'll understand your argument and the more likely I may vote for you. A lot of times I miss things on the flow because I'm just not catching up to the first couple speech docs until at least around the 1NR. So just realize what's more important! Finishing your card or making sure I even caught it in the first place?
P.S. I like jokes.
I am a 2nd generation Laotian American male with ADHD, my parents are refugee's from the Vietnam war. Former policy debater for Weber State 2016-2018, I grew up in a middle class home around Salt Lake City, Utah and I love a good joke. (Seriously, extra speaker points opportunity here folks).
I currently study aerospace engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, so I love space related stuff. I also participate in street dance in my spare time.
High school: 2 years.
Started with PF, went to the WSDI 2015 (Lab leaders: MIke Bausch, Jazmine Pickens, and Sam Allen). After my first year debating, started doing open Policy my senior year @Copper Hills High School under Scott Odekirk.
I mostly ran straight up arguments, played around with Marx and Bleiker near the latter half of the year.
College: 2 years.
I did decent in open, only ever making it to quarter finals at CSUN my freshman year. Won finals in JV a couple times. My mentors were: Ryan Wash, Omar Guevara , Ryan Cheek, and Liz Dela Cruz.
Mostly did Marx, disability, and model minority k debate.
I'm fine with speed, but my ADHD does make it a bit harder for me to catch phrases. So if your spreading is really high pitch and quiet, my best advice is to speak up and slow down maybe 5% every time I say "clear"
Flex prep is fine.
Prep ends once you finish sending your speech docs.
Talking to your partner and reorganizing documents count as prep.
I love a good straight up policy debate. That was my strong suit in high school. So straight up debate is fine.
I ran a lot of critical arguments in college like Marx, model minority, disability, etc. So K debate is fine for me as well.
However, the only K's I'm not the best for high theory ones. I don't know anything about Baudrillard, Berlant, Lacan, Nietzche, etc. At best, I only know surface level information about them. So unless you can argue your K and explain it to me like I'm a 5 year old, you might be better off going with a different strat.
I know what it's like to have a bad judge and so my goal when it comes to giving an RFD is as as follows:
- When it comes to dropped arguments, I default to the burden of rejoinder meaning dropped arguments are considered true. The only exception being that you have claimed why some dropped arguments won't matter in context to what you are already winning. HOWEVER I tend to be more of a truth over tech type of judge. So if there was a 30 second theory blip in the neg block the 1NR dropped, unless the violation is super obvious I probably won't buy it.
- If the 1AR clearly dropped something, then it's up to the negative to protect the 2NR from any new arguments in the 2AR, otherwise I end up buying unfair arguments. (Unless they are outrageously new).
- If both teams have consistently clashed on the same argument that sways my decision one way or the other, then I depend on my own knowledge of the argument as well as how nuanced each teams arguments were.
- I'm not a very lazy judge, I like to give detailed reasons as to why I voted, which means that going for dropped framing arguments or ROB's doesn't always mean I'll default to that frame. Of course this is only a problem if you are only saying "Extend the ROB, they dropped it." If you are saying "Extend the ROB, vote for the team that ____ this is important because __" THEN you are in a much better place.
-Impact calc! Who outweighs?
-If the perm debate wasn't dropped, then did the aff give a good explanation of it? Or did the neg prove the links were big enough disads to it?
- I like to say that I'm more of a Truth>Tech type of judge, but I've mostly judged low tier rounds so I've practically only ended up voting on dropped arguments. But in better rounds I do believe I tend to be more of a truth judge.
I usually vote aff when:
- It makes sense to me what the aff does
- I buy the permutation
- I buy the aff outweighs any negative offense
- I don't buy the negative's link work
- I don't buy that the CP/K solves the aff
I usually vote neg when:
- I buy the links AND that the impacts outweigh the aff
- I buy the alt solves the K
- I buy the alt solves the aff
- I don't think the aff actually does anything
- I buy the aff is untopical and should thus lose because they make debate/their own impacts worse.
- I just simply buy that the aff is bad
Fairness and Education are usually the terminal impacts for these arguments, make sure you're making good internal link scenarios as to why debates around the USFG and/or resolution are important in debate in context to fairness and education. Too many times have I seen teams get up and say "Kritiks are bad and so you should lose." when it's much more nuanced than that!
ALSO! Make sure you make a TVA and try to prove any loss of ground, limits, etc.
I'm not super techy, so how I usually end up voting on T/FW flows is if:
-There was a good RTP on the interp
-If I believe that there was a viable way for the aff to be topical that would still solve the aff
-If the impacts to FW/T outweigh the aff enough to the point to where the aff doesn't need to be solved by the TVA (AKA who has better offense on the flow!)
90% of my debate career, I was the 2A/1N, and in that time I've learned much about what it takes to get an AFF ballot.
The 1AC can be anything, as long as it makes an argument. What I mean by this is that I'm okay with any argument you run. Hard policy affs, soft left policy affs, poems, no advocacy statement. As long as by the 2AC I know what the aff does or is trying to do, you should be fine.
Impact calc and internal link scenarios are a must for me to understand as to why I'm giving an affirmative ballot.
I know it's obvious, but make sure it competes with the aff! That means if the aff is "Courts mandate sex-ed" then a courts CP wouldn't work!
In order to win with this arg, you have to make sure you have strong net benefits and good answers to any permutations or solvency deficit arguments.
As for the aff, you need to explain why the perm makes sense.
DA's need a good solid link and a good explanation as to how the impact happens! I personally love the politics DA, it tends to be the most fresh and detailed DA and just makes for some really smart arguments that are fun to listen to!
Some of my favorite rounds in high school always came down to impact calc when the 2NR went for a disad. I don't enough of that these days!
Aff, it's always good to handle the link debate well. But ultimately, it always comes down to impact calc. Remember that!
*heads up! I know absolutely nothing about high theory arguments. So if you're going for Baudrillard, Berlant, etc, You need a very clear overview as to what exactly the bad thing the aff did in context to your theory and why that theory makes sense!
The arguments I am most familiar of are: Ableism, Fem K's, Critical Race theory (Including: Antiblackness, Model Minority, Settler Colonialism, and Chicano Studies), Marxism, and Queer theory. However, my favorite argument to run as aff and neg were kritiks of debate itself including: The resolution, Burden of rejoinder, portable skills, etc.
Make sure you have a good link to the aff! Too many times do I see Cap debaters read "Class before race" without any historical explanation of the aff.
I strongly believe that any negative k can be articulated as a Disad to the aff if the alt debate ends up becoming a wash.
Speaking of the alt debate, make sure you're explaining what it does and why the links or even how the alt works mean the permutation cannot solve.
Impact calc is a must otherwise I don't know why the aff is bad!
Condo debates are meh. Unless you make it interesting by putting a critical argument based spin on it like "White people shouldn't be allowed to be conditional as that's a form of fluid whiteness" or "Condo is good as fluid whiteness is inevitable and we should be prepared to handle it". That's just one example.
I think perf con is totally viable to go for however. If a team reads a cap k with a econ da, call that out!
When it comes to arguments like Aspec or Ospec, I tend to think they are a bit silly but if mishandled I'll vote on it.
My favorite kinds of rounds are ones where everyone is joking around. I like good jokes and puns, a lot of debates get boring really fast so they help me stay engaged with the round. But don't make fun of your opponents to the point it seems disrespectful.
Examples of jokes I like:
2AR Pirates aff vs. Framework:
"They went for we steal ground, of course we steal. WE'RE PIRATES."
2AC overview for an energy aff:
"The plan is based off of policies proposed by FERC which means the plan is FERCalicious."
Name: Sarah Osuna
I competed in LD on the Local and National Circuits for Citrus Valley High School in Redlands, CA from 2011-2015. I coached debate there a bit my senior year of high school too. I was fairly successful in high school, I have won and broken at multiple tournaments. I debated nationally and internationally for the University of La Verne from 2015-2019. I now do some private coaching, judging, and I go to the George Washington University pursuing my Masters.
TL;DR: Evaluate your impacts and do the work for me. Justify all arguments and explain to me how they work in the round. With sophisticated argumentation, make sure you understand the arguments you are running.
I evaluate things the way you tell me to in round. I do not want to have to do the work for you, please tell me how your arguments work against your opponents, and what they mean in the round. If there are no voting issues/standards for evaluating the debate, I default to examining who won which arguments and whether that means anything important. Debaters- tell me what you've won, why you've won it and how that means you've won the round.
Also- try not to be an asshole. I understand that a certain level of attitude and snark is enjoyable in round. I will not discredit women debaters for having attitude, because I feel like this activity holds a double standard- i.e. what is considered perceptualy dominant for men is considered being bitchy for women. That being said, do no be mean or rude to your opponent. When debating a novice or someone which you are clearly better than, there is a way to clearly win the debate without degrading your opponent. If you are an asshole, it does not mean you'll lose, but your speaks will suffer.
When running stock issues, know the nuances and implications of the stock issues you're running. Its one thing to say that you're running the universal maxim, and another to understand how this functions in the round. The same is true for Util. That being said, I love innovative framework and standards. Think outside the box. I'm pretty open to anything you want to value as long as you can justify it. Valuing Justice because it's just, or the right thing to do is not the same as justification. Additionally, I'm not inclined to buy values of morality, without heavy justification as to why this should be valued. Please compare your framework to your opponents, and explain why you've won. Absent that, I will compare frameworks on my own and evaluate impacts based on the framework I've deemed better. So tell me why you've won your framework, or I'll evaluate it in a way you may not like.
link them back to your framework. Tell me what they mean inside the context of the round. Know the limits, brinks, and scope of your impacts. If you don't impact I'm not going to do it for you.
I enjoy good theory. However, I see a lot of really bad theory. I generally tend to view theory as slightly whiny and a way to play a game rather than actually engage in an argument, value, and logic based debate. That being said, please make theory debates (should you choose to engage in them) clear and impact out voting issues. saying "voters- education- drop the debater" is not sufficient. I've seen a lot of 'small school' theory lately. I find it interesting, but also needs to be well warranted.
I like them. explain the link, brink and the alt, and again, tell me how it works in the round. A lot of times when questioned on the functionality of a K, many debaters do not know how it works. Do not run a K if you do not fully understand it, or if you did not write it yourself. It will be obvious.
Run them, explain links clearly to the DAs, as well as inherency as to why your opponent links into them.
I'm fine with speed (albeit, i have been out of the national circuit for a while), as long as you're clear. If you're not, I'll yell clear once. If you're still not clear, I'll yell slow once. Then I put my pen down. It's on you to make sure I get your arguments down.
saying "extend the (insert piece of evidence or argument)" and a brief description of said argument is enough to extend on the flow. However, just because an argument is extended does not mean it is impacted.
I am a big fan of voting issues, you can have as many as you want (I have run 25 in the 2AR and won on all of them) but please make sure they are actual issues in the round. FRAMEWORK IS NOT A VOTER. it is a way in which to view arguments and impacts.
Utilize it the way you need to- I do not let unused prep flow into speaking time. Flex prep is okay
I reserve the right in calling for evidence after the round. I will do so if a) there is a substantial dispute over what the evidence says or b) it is significant in making a decision for the round. I will not call for evidence if i believe it to be falsified/misrepresentative. It is your job to call that out in the debate.
30- you are quite posssibly the best speaker I have ever seen.
29-29.9 - very excellent speaker, you deserve the top speaker award at this tournament
28-28.9- you are a great speaker, you deserve a speaker award at this tournament
27-27.9 -you are an average speaker
26-26.9 - below average speaking, difficult to understand, ect
25-25.9 - clearly disinterested in the round, or unable to make valuable contribution in a round, gave up when the round was difficult
below a 25- you did something obviously offensive in round.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me before the round starts! Good luck!
UPDATE FOR TPDSA MENTORS: I will dock speaker points if you aren't flowing. Mentors, please set a good example for the kids! Even a simple flow on one sheet of paper is enough.
Email chain: email@example.com
- Currently based in Taiwan and coaching debate for the ADL.
- Debated in college at the University of Kansas, 2017-2022 (Healthcare, Executive Authority, Space, Alliances, Antitrust). I majored in math and minored in Russian if that matters.
- Debated in high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest, 2013-2017 (Latin America, Oceans, Surveillance, China).
- If I can tell that you are not even trying to flow (eg you never take out a piece of paper the entire debate, you stand up to give your 2NC with just your laptop and no paper) your speaks are capped at 27.
- Please don't call me "judge." It's tacky. My name is Lily. Note that this does not apply to saying "the role of the judge."
- Cross-x isn't "closed," nobody ever "closed" it... BUT each debater should be a primary participant in 2 cross-xes if your goal is to avoid speaker point penalties.
- I would prefer to not judge death/suffering/extinction good arguments or arguments about something that happened outside the debate.
- I might give you a 30 if I think you're the best debater at the tournament.
- Swearing makes me cringe.
- Don't just say words for no reason - not in cross-x and certainly not in speeches.
- If you are asking questions like "was x read?" a timer should be running. Flowing is part of getting good speaker points.
- The word "nuclear" is not pronounced "nuke-yoo-ler." If you say this it makes you sound like George Bush.
- Shady disclosure practices are a scourge on the activity.
- I judge a lot of clash debates. I'm more likely to vote aff on impact turns than most policy judges, but I do see a lot of value in the preservation of competition. Procedural fairness can be an impact but it takes a lot of work to explain it as such. Sometimes a clash impact is a cleaner kill.
- TVAs don't have to solve the whole aff. I like TVAs with solvency advocates. I think it's beneficial when the 2NC lays out some examples of neg strategies that could be read against the TVA, and why those strategies produce educational debates.
Topicality vs policy affs:
- Speaker point boost if your 2NC has a grammar argument (conditional on the argument making sense of course).
- If you're aff and going for reasonability, "race to the bottom" isn't a catch-all. Make arguments about debatability.
- Case lists are good.
- The presence of other negative positions is not defense to a ground argument. The aff being disclosed is not defense to a limits argument. This also goes for T-USFG.
- When people refer to counterplans by saying the letters "CP" out loud it makes me wish I were dead.
- As a human I think counterplans that advocate immediate, indefinite, non-plan action by the USFG are legit, but as a judge I'm chaotic neutral on all theory questions.
- Conditionality- again, chaotic neutral. I'll give you a speaker point boost if you can tell me how many 2NRs are possible given the number of counterplan planks in the 1NC.
- Read them
- Politics DAs are fun. Make arguments about the math behind polls.
- I feel like I have a higher threshold for Ks on the neg than some. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hack and I will vote for your K if you do the better debating, but I don't harbor any illusions about the meaning of my ballot.
- I dislike lazy link debating immensely, primarily because it makes my life harder. Affs hoping to capitalize on this REALLY ought to include a perm/link defense in the 2AR. Obviously, if you want to concede the link and agree to throw down on the impact turn that's cool too.
- Explain how the alt solves the links and why the perm doesn't.
- Affs should explain why mooting the 1AC means that the neg's framework is anti-educational. Negs should explain why the links justify mooting the aff.
- Case outweighs 2ARs can be very persuasive. The neg can beat this with discrete impacts to specific links+impact framing+framework.
- Speaker point penalty if the 1AR drops fiat is illusory - the answer doesn't even have to be explicit, but at the very least your framework extension needs an education impact.
- If there is no net benefit to a counterplan, presumption flips aff automatically. If you want the debate evaluated differently, make an argument about why.
- I do not think permutations are cheating.
- An argument is a claim and a warrant. If you say something that does not contain a warrant, I will not necessarily vote on it even if it's dropped. In the interest of preventing judge intervention, please say things that have warrants.
- Most neg theory arguments I've watched would go away instantly if affs said "counter interpretation: we have to be topical."
- RVIs are not very persuasive in my opinion. Being topical is never an independent reason to vote affirmative. The fact that a counterplan is conditional is never offense for the negative.
- Tech over truth. Debate is a game.
- Evidence changes need to be efficient.
- Framing is key.
- Theory is probably my favorite argument (I will vote on well warranted RVIs).
- I default util.
- Don't run skep.
- I want speech docs if you are spreading. Articulate analytics clearly.
- If there are multiple layers of debate, I necessitate weighing analysis as to which comes first and why.
- Do not just state "risk of offense so we win." Do the comparative analysis for me.
- Please be ethical with you evidence.
- If I don't catch something, that is on you.
- Clarify all acronyms.
- You do not need to extend terminal defense.
- Second rebuttal should cover first rebuttal b/c why not. You will have an enormous advantage in doing this and it will also make the round way easier (I won't hold it against you if you don't though).
- I prefer legitimately substantive debates in pf. My threshold for squirrely theory and ks in pf specifically is extremely low.
- I want at the bare minimum author's last names and the year. I may call for further qualification if there is a card to card comparison.
- Paraphrasing theory is welcome but it needs to be properly run (shell format).
- First summary does not need to extend defense on args that second rebuttal did not respond to. However, if the second rebuttal did respond to it, first summary needs to address it.
- Second speaking summary should extend all defense and offense.
- All of your offense that you go for in ff needs to be in summary.
- Weigh and collapse. Don't go for everything. Collapse on your most offensive args/turns and tell me why you win and your opponent does not (i.e. voters).
Paths to My Ballot:
- If there is no weighing at the end of the round, I will be forced to do the weighing analysis myself and then I might make a decision that you don't agree with. JUST do the weighing analysis--give me offensive reasons as to why you are clearly winning and why your opponent is evidently losing.
- Cleanly extended offense is key to winning.
- I reserve the right to use my judgment as I see fit.
-I don't understand tricks/framework NCs anymore (I'm too old) so don't run them.
- Obviously I won't have the same topic knowledge so clarify acronyms.
- Warrants are ultra-important. I need a warrant for any claim.
- These are my favorite types of debates. Offense/defense analysis is really important along with a lot of weighing. Plan/CP text should be explicitly stated.
-Any intelligible kritik with strong links to the plan, legit impacts, and a good alt is a viable strat in my book. Just explain the thesis of the k in like 1-2 sentences before jumping into the k. Make sure to emphasize how the aff links and I should be good.
- Unfortunately, if I don't understand the k and you make no attempt imo to clarify, I won't vote for you.
- You will win my ballot if you can explain to me how your advocacy operates and how I should evaluate it.
Add me to the email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email me any questions regarding my decision. On the Subject line, please provide the name of the tournament, your team code, and the round number.
Bravo Medical Magnet HS (2010-2013)
UC Irvine (2013-14): 2014 NDT Qualifier and 2014 CEDA Octafinals
My ideal debate has
a) well-researched positions that are communicated clearly, concisely and are easily flowable, and
b) direct refutation of arguments that can be visualized on the flow.
Line-by-line refutation is most preferred. Grouping arguments is acceptable if you identify what premise they all share that you are refuting.
The literature bases I’m most familiar with are around afropessimism, settler colonialism, capitalism, whiteness, biopolitics, semiotics, and (some) psychoanalysis.
Prerequisites to earning the Ballot:
1.) Be Clear: This is a communication activity. You are persuading the judge. I'm slightly hard of hearing, so if I can't understand you, I'll say "CLEAR". I will repeat only twice per debater. Lack of clarity will reduce speaker points and will make it difficult to flow and genuinely understand the argument. This rule is most important during OVERVIEWS and ANALYTICS.
SLOW DOWN for Plan texts, Counterplan texts, Advocacy texts, Permutation texts, and PIC/PIK texts. If I have to look at the speech document for the TEXT, I will remove half a speaker point. This is a speech activity. If it weren't, we would only need to share word documents over email and we wouldn't need to be physically present at tournaments.
Speaking for/over your partner (or puppeteering them) will reduce both of your speaks. Debaters should be able to speak for themselves in a speech activity.
2.) Complete the argument: A complete argument contains a claim, warrant, and evidence. An incomplete argument will be flowed for reference but ultimately will not be evaluated. If an argument is completed in a constructive, I will evaluate it. If it is completed in a rebuttal, it is a new argument and I will not evaluate it.
3.) Explain Key Theories/Concepts: Assume I am a lay judge who only knows how to flow. Do not assume that my familiarity with certain literature bases will allow you to skip over explaining key philosophical, economic, or political concepts and chains of logic. Doing so risks skipping warrants, which means you've made an incomplete argument that I will not evaluate. Returning to the first prerequisite of clarity, if you are not clear I might not completely understand the concepts you explained. Then, your warrants and analytics might be absent on my flow. Don't let that happen.
Also, DO NOT use abbreviations or acronyms until you have spelled them out for me. Do not leave me to guess. I might not flow it.
4.) Tell me who I am: Role of the Judge. Dictate to me how I ought to view the round--as a policymaker, a critic, an educator, a revolutionary, etc. Otherwise, my default position is to evaluate the round as a policy-maker. I have spent too much time post-round thinking about how to weigh impacts and advocacies that clash and are both well-researched. Do not leave me at the end of the round with my biases.
5.) Tell me what the ballot does: Role of the Ballot. Dictate to me what the purpose of the ballot ought to be: for example, does it simply go to the team that did the better debating or does it change the structure of debate or the debate community? Moreover, what the ballot ought to do/be depends on what DEBATE should be about. In short, delineate your model of debate (what debate should be about) and defend why we should affirm that model of debate.
6.) Tech over Truth: I will only evaluate what is said in the round not what I know outside the round. Prioritizing truth claims relies on judge intervention which nullifies the argumentation within the round and the purpose of the activity. Prioritizing tech minimizes judge intervention because the argumentation in the round determines the ballot.
Aff/Neg Roles: The affirmative must change the status quo via fiat or performance. The 1AC must make the status quo net better. The negative must prove the affirmative either DOES NOT change the status quo or makes the status quo net worse. Sounds too basic but is a fundamental theoretical issue about the model of debate that debaters gloss over with statements like "we only need to prove the aff is a good/bad idea".
I find myself wanting to vote Neg on presumption in debates in which the Aff does not meet the burden of changing the status quo or does not provide a counter-interpretation to "changing the status quo". To clarify, I won't vote on presumption if the argument is not made.
I believe the neg should have the status quo as an option, only if the neg makes this argument. Unless the debate becomes a method vs method debate, the focus of the debate is the 1AC's effects on the status quo.
Framework: Tell me why I ought to prefer your model of the debate. The more comparative the standards and impact debate, the better. For example, tell me whose scholarship/pedagogy should be preferred with clear disads to the other team’s education claims. As a judge, I do not take a position on the structural fairness vs procedural fairness debate, except that fairness (structural or procedural) should be explained as an impact in and of itself. Otherwise, I am likely to interpret fairness as an internal link to an impact waiting to be articulated.
Topicality/Theory: Will vote on it but my threshold is high because in the debates I've judged, abuse in-round is not clearly articulated (or that it's potentially abusive) or it is unclear what kind of ground the aff destroyed or the extent to which the negative was unable to generate substantial clash or the aff killed education on topic literature. If neg definitively proves in-round abuse, I'll vote on T.
Topical versions of the Aff are extremely persuasive because they prove that the 1AC's content is non-competitive with topicality, which means that being un-topical is not uniquely key to access 1AC offense. Neg doesn't have to prove solvency; only that the content and performance of the 1AC is not competitive with affirming the resolution.
Disadvantages: I’m not always familiar with abbreviations so please explain them at least once. For politics debates, I like case-specific specific links. If you only have generic links available, contextualize the links to the warrants and evidence of the 1AC or the warrants and premises you have elicited from the cross-ex of the 1AC. Returning to the third issue of explanation, explain the economic and political concepts that prove the disad.
Counterplans: Slow down substantially so I could catch the full CP text instead of relying on CX to clarify for me or waiting throughout the debate for the text to be fleshed out. Solve for your net benefits, don't link to them. I don’t dislike any specific CP. Agent, consult, delay CPs...I could vote on them.
Plan-Inclusive Counterplans/Kritiks: May or may not be abusive. I will consider voting on it if neg proves textual and functional competition. If aff does not impact a lack of such competition, then the PIC is legitimate. Provide an impact to "Mooting the 1AC". Provide defense for this impact.
Kritiks: Do not depend on tag-lines and buzzwords for explanatory power. Be well-read on your literature base. If I recognize that you mischaracterize, oversimplify, or misunderstand the thesis of the K, your speaks will decrease.
Starting point debates/Root Cause debates: I evaluate these debates just like a framework debate: competing models of structural analysis. Thus, I compare standards/net benefits. If your analysis has a wider scope, why is that good? If it has a narrower scope, why is that good? If your starting point historically precedes the other team's starting point, why does that mean I should prefer your starting point. I ask these questions because these are the questions I am left with at the end of the debate. Dictate to me the criteria for comparing starting points. Without it, you are asking me to intervene with my own analysis. Don't do that.
Alternatives: By the 1NR, it should be clear how the alt solves. Whether this is via fiat or via scholarship (epistemological/ontological model) should be established BY THE BLOCK.
If something happens in-round and one team argues that the other's performance/language/etc is problematic in some form, explain how the significance of this issue outweighs the rest of the debate (i.e. why should I pay attention to this before analyzing the debate itself)--which means engaging in the framework debate.
If this is a new argument in the rebuttals, you have a higher threshold for proving why this outweighs the rest of the debate or why I should/can moot the 1AC.
Debate ought to encourage safety, fairness, and education.
Everyone should feel as safe and comfortable as the community can make itself to be, even though safety and comfort are effects of power and are not equitably distributed.
Debaters should be able to substantially engage with the topic and each other. Please disclose arguments and evidence properly. Please share enough with the other team before the round so they can understand and at least attempt to make arguments.
Everyone should be able to learn from the activity, win or lose.
The team that violates any of these tenets will be denied the ballot.
Scott Phillips- for email chains please use iblamebricker@gmail in policy, and email@example.com for LD
Coach@ Harvard Westlake/Dartmouth
If you would like to increase your chances of getting my ballot dramatically here are a list of things your opponents are most likely not doing that you can take advantage of
-go for theory
-Listen to what the other team is saying and give a speech that demonstrates that you did by answering all of their arguments correctly and in the order in which they were presented . Do not read a collection of non responsive blocks in random order.
-read qualified, recent, high quality evidence that is highlighted to make grammatical and conceptual sense. Call out people who do not. Read evidence appropriately, not unnecessarily/repetitively.
-Know what your evidence says- if your 2NC OV is "LOL THEY DROPPED X" and you did not read a card that even mentions X let alone explains it you are doing things wrong. Teams who call out such shenanigans will be rewarded.
-make smart, complete analytic arguments. Especially about: link threshold, "sufficiency" of solvency, Kritiks, analytic CPs.
Economic decline causes war- not an argument
Economic decline causes war: diversionary theory- still not an argument
Economic decline causes war: diversionary theory is statistically proven and shows politicians try to regain popularity lost due to poor economic conditions by starting conflicts and triggering rally around the flag effects- this is about the bare minimum
This is particularly true for 2ACs on the case. A smart analytic about an internal link is almost always better than impact defense in the genre of "disease/warming only kills 4 billion people"
-Resolve arguments- do not just explain your side, explain why it responds to/defeats the other side. Don't just say "our impact is fast" , explain why theirs is slow and why timeframe outweighs whatever criteria your opponents impact is best at. This is particularly important in debates where each side reads 10 impacts and the only other "debate" going on is impact defense.
-Debate FW strategically, and specifically. The way people argue "weigh the case" vs "its scholarship" is not a debate, its a plea for judges to intervene on the side they personally agree with. I am willing to completely ignore what the other team said if you win your FW makes it go away, the way 99% of people debate FW today does not do this/is a waste of time. If you go for "weigh the case" vs links to the plan it will hurt your points because you are demonstrating you either do not understand framework or did not listen to your opponents, neither of which proves you did the better debating. Similarly, if you say "scholarship" as shorthand for "you link you lose" but never actually explain what is problematic about the aff "scholarship" that would hurt your points.
-Know what you are talking about. I have heard some explanations of how different aspects of the law would work this year that upon researching/asking lawyers turn out to be wildly off base/backwards. A lot of this relates to "creative" interpretations of evidence. If you are going for court clog you should know/be able to explain, or barring that have cards explaining, how the court system works. I do my best to not let this influence evaluation of arguments, but if you say "there are 11 supreme court justices" and the other side calls you on it this would damage your credibility.
Online debate update
-i will have camera on or off if debaters prefer-feel free to express your preference
-I am using a desktop computer (for tabroom/to see your doc, I'm flowing on paper) without a webcam and using Zoom etc on a tablet sitting next to me. This means I'm rarely looking "at" the camera
-my headset is wireless, I may get up and move around during CX/prep but I can hear even if I'm not on camera
My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case
Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know
1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.
2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.
3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.
4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance
A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.
B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer
C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans
D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.
5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.
6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)
7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.
8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.
9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.
10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.
Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:
1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.
2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.
3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them
4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.
5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.
6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.
1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.
2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.
3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.
What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.
What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.
Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.
Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.
You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.
Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.
Is Fem IR beatable?
What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.
If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?
A note on jumping:
I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.
Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.
A note on quality:
I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points
Put me on the chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org
I did policy debate at Washburn Rural High School (2013-17) and the University of Southern California (2017-21). I also previously coached LD at the Marlborough School (2018-21).
Update as of 2022
I am no longer actively involved in debate. If I'm judging you, please assume its the first debate I've judged on the topic.
Your burden is to make it make sense -- I am pretty neutral on whatever "it" is. Choose a strategy (early) and write the ballot for me. The earlier you do it, the better.
Please go like 70% of your fastest speed if you're reading blocks in rebuttals. If you want it to show up in my decision, I need to be able to type it.
I'm more tech>truth in policy, but that may differ in other activities depending on the context (and framing of the debate). That said -- not a fan of args that only win if dropped. Don't just throw args at the wall to see what sticks. Thoughtful strategy and creative argumentation are the way to good speaks.
Cards dumps as substitution for deeper analysis is bad. Use evidence for warrants, not claims. If your highlighting is just a repeat of the tag, you might as well not have read the card.
I will not vote for moral blackmail -- this applies to “vote for me or else I have to quit” and similar. If you have a concern like this, talk to your opponent/coaches/me outside of the round, but please do not make my ballot the arbiter of that decision (!!!)
Always 1%----------------------------X----------0% Risk a Thing
Stone Faced------------------------X------------Reacts to your args
K vs Policy
Vote to affirm me------------------------------X Vote to affirm my argument
Link of omission-------------------------X-----Omit this argument
Not our Baudrillard----------------------------X Yes your Baudrillard
Ks don't have to link to the plan, the aff gets to be weighed. Again, consequences matter to me.
K Affs v Framework usually comes down to who wins what the purpose of debate is.
Nebel T---------------------------------X------------Pragmatic Interps
Short Policy Debate-X------------------------------Different Type of Debate
I refuse to vote for theory I subjectively believe to be frivolous regardless of the line by line, but speeches can alter my views on what is frivolous. Yes 1AR theory.
- Reading your blocks monotone at 100% speed
- "Do you disclose speaks"
- Bad/miscut/misrepresented evidence :(
- Tagging cards "extinction" and nothing else :(
- Asking for cards or combining speech docs and saying its not prep????
- Asking what cards were read when no cards were marked
- Google docs :(
One Last Thing
If there is something/someone that you feel unsafe around, I am more than happy to assist you in finding the resources necessary to remedy the problem, but I ask they do not become a central component in the debate. That's not to say your concerns are not welcome or invalid, but I'd rather pursue a solution rather than give you a ballot and move on with my day.
Policy Debater at CSU Fullerton 2 years (2009-11)
High Debate Coach for 3 years (2010-2013)
Debate Judge for 10 years (2010-present)
High School Math and Physics Teacher ( 2018- present)
Email chain: email@example.com
Short version: I want to see and hear what you are good at doing. You pick your style and convince me that you know what they are talking about.
Brief recap of what general debater think of me;
A lot of people have pegged me as a certain kind of judge—crazy, in other words. While I may be crazy in the head, I don’t think that I judge rounds in a particularly different way than other judges. I, like other judges, VOTE for which team did the better DEBATING. How I come to this conclusion is much the same as other critics: I allow myself to be PERSUADED by the rhetorical force of one or another team’s ARGUMENT. You need to win an argument and a reason why that argument means that I should vote for you. Feel free to choose whatever type of argument you prefer. Virtually everything in the round is up for debate in front of me. But I will also be hesitant to vote on arguments that fly in the face of reality.
Some fine details;
(1) Kritik: Don’t assume that I have read and/or understood your author. If the argument isn’t in the text of the card, then you need to make sure that it is comprehensible in your analysis or explanation of the card. Also, remember that the evidence is not the argument by itself.
(2)How I flow: I believe in the debate. That is, I flow it, and I believe it occurs. However, I don’t even try to line everything up in the debate—I just flow from the top down on each sheet of paper (Excel spreadsheet). Know your argument and give detail on it, your analysis, spin, and articulation are all important and I follow that as much.
(3)Policy debate is like chess. Debate at a reasonable pace for yourself so that you don’t forget or drop arguments. Clash with the other team, debate is not in a vacuum. Debate with a lack of clash makes it harder to judge because I feel like have to intervention and connect the dot myself. Lastly, like in chess, you can’t win with all your pieces. You will have to lose some pieces, know what you are losing and wining in a sophisticated way.
(4) Value and meaning isn’t implied. You need to frame “Framework” how I view arguments and what I value. Tell me how you want me to see the round and why that is important over the way your opponent views.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):
Question: Can I read an aff without a plan?
Answer: Sure but do you really want to have a framework debate over policy implementation?
Question: I hear you’re a K guy and like K, I normally run DisAd and CP so do I need to pull out my K?
Answer. PLEASE DON’T. The worst thing you can do is run an argument that doesn’t fit your style and strengths. If you are a straight up, line by line, politic disad kind of debater then go for it. I don’t vote for the K anymore than I do the DisAd. A good argument with articulation and explanation will do you more than running something that you can’t explain.
Question: Is it true that you never vote on Theory or Topically?
Answer: I did the math, I have voted for theory or topically maybe 2.5% of the time since I started judging, that is like 4 out of 170 rounds. While it’s a hard sell because I lend toward looking at real in round abuse.
I would like to be on the email chain, my email is jpscoggin at gmail.com
I am the coach of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I also own and operate Premier Debate along with Bob Overing. I coach Nevin Gera. I prefer a nuanced util debate to anything else.
In general, I am not a fan of frivolous theory or non-topical Ks.
High speaker points are awarded for exceptional creativity and margin of victory.
I am fine with speed as long as it is comprehensible.
If you are not comfortable disclosing to your opponent at the flip or after pairings are released it is likely in your best interest to strike me. If the tournament has a rule about when that should occur I will defer to that, if not 10 minutes after the pairing is released seems reasonable to me.
Compiling is prep. Prep ends when the email is sent or the flash drive is removed from your computer.
I am very interested in seeing clash in the debate. I prefer that you present your case and refute the other side.
I do not mind you running counter-plans, theories, kritiks, or anything else that you like. The only thing that I ask is that you let me know what you are doing.
I also want you to sign post what you are doing so that I can follow your case.
If you are refuting your opponent's argument, then I would like for you to point out what your opponent said and then tell me your point of view.
I want you to be very specific with all of your points and refutals. If you are vague, I will not know what you are saying and, therefore, not consider that argument.
In a nutshell, I want to see a good clean, logical presentation and no underhanded tactics.
Very excited to judge world schools. I've judged it a few times over the past couple of years (because I'm usually in LD and Policy land). I did it in high school as well.
The biggest thing I want to see in rounds is impacting and weighing. Don't just recap the argument for me, tell me what happens and why it is important. Otherwise, you should be just fine!
I've been mostly judging/working with WSD this year so my ability to flow spreading is honestly terrible. I can handle above conversation speed but past that you run the risk of me missing things. All my preferences on arguments are the same but the way you deliver has to change.
I'd love to be on the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm the current assistant coach at Coppell High School where I also have the lovely opportunity to teach Speech & Debate to great students. I did LD, Policy, and Worlds in High School (Newark Science '15) and a bit of Policy while I was in college (Stanford '19). I'm by no means "old" but I've been around long enough to appreciate different types of debate arguments at this point. As long as you're having fun, I can feel it and will probably have fun listening to you, too!
Pref shortcut for those of you who like those:
Theory (if it's your PRIMARY strat - otherwise I can be preffed higher): 3
Credentials that people seem to care about: senior (BA + MA candidate) at Stanford, Director of LD at the Victory Briefs Institute, did LD, policy, and worlds schools debate in high school, won/got to late elims in all of those events, double qualled to TOC in LD and Policy. Did well my freshman year in college in CX but didn't pursue it much after that. Now I coach and judge a bunch.
LD + Policy
Literally read whatever you want. If I don't like what you've read, I'll dock your speaks but I won't really intervene in the debate. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round. Don't make arguments that can translate to marginalized folks not mattering (this will cloud my judgement and make me upset). Otherwise have fun and enjoy the activity for the 45 or 90 mins we're spending together! More info on specific things below:
I get this. The role of the ballots/framing is really helpful for me and usually where I look first.
I understand this. If reading against a K team I'd encourage you to make argument about how fairness/education relates to the theory of power/epistemology of the K. Would make all of our lives better and more interesting.
I also understand this. But don't abuse the privilege. I am not a friv theory fan so don't read it if you can (or else I might miss things as you blip through things).
I understand this too. Slow down when the cards are shorter so I catch the tags.
I don't default to anything necessarily however I do know my experiences and understandings of debate were shaped by me coming from a low income school that specialized in traditional and critical debate. I've been around as a student and a coach (I think) long enough to know my defaults are subject to change and its the debaters' job to make it clear why theory comes first or case can be weighed against the K or RVIs are good or the K can be leveraged against theory. I learn so much from you all every time I judge. Teach me. Lead me to the ballot. This is a collaborative space so even if I have the power of the ballot, I still need you to tell me things. Otherwise, you might get a decision that was outside of your control and that's never fun.
On that note, let it be known that if you're white and/or a non-black POC reading afropessimism or black nihilism, you won't get higher than a 28.5 from me. The more it sounds like you did this specifically for me and don't know the literature, the lower your speaks will go. If you win the argument, I will give you the round though so either a) go for it if this is something you actually care about and know you know it well or b) let it go and surprise me in other ways. If you have a problem with this, I'd love to hear your reasons why but it probably won't change my mind. I can also refer other authors you can read to the best of my ability if I'm up to it that day.
Last thing, please make sure I can understand you! I understand spreading but some of y'all think judges are robots. I don't look at speech docs during the round (and try not to after the round unless I really need to) so keep that in mind when you spread. Pay attention to see if I'm flowing. I'll make sure to say clear if I can't understand you. I'll appreciate it a lot if you keep this in mind and boost your speaks!
Please add me to email chain: Email: email@example.com
I am a lay judge. Go a little bit slower than you would usually just to make sure I get everything on the flow.
email chain/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background info: I debated LD for 4 years at DuPont Manual and graduated in 2016. I coach independents and go to USC.
I keep a thorough flow of the round (not the speech doc), and I will do my best to judge solely off of it. Layer the debate and tell me which layers come first. I will listen to any argument, but I will dock speaks or drop you if you’re being blatantly offensive. In and out of round, we should be as empathetic and inclusive as possible.
I like some sort of framework to evaluate the round. I don't care what kind. If you’re running obscure philosophy, don’t assume I have background in it. I do like phil rounds, so don't hesitate to run it!
I am definitely more persuaded by affirmatives that advance an answer to the resolution. Negatives need to have very specific links to the affirmative. Explain the alt and why it solves for its impacts well. If you're against a legitimate k about social issues, you should engage the k. I will not be persuaded if you solely run theory/T on it. Performance k’s are cool.
Default competing interps, no RVIs, drop argument. If you go for reasonability, tell me how to evaluate what is reasonable. If there are multiple shells, weigh between them. Ask me before the round about particular shells if you want. PLEASE DO NOT RUN FRIVOLOUS THEORY OR TRICKS
- Flashing isn't prep
- High speaks come from good strategy and if I think you should break.
- Impact calc is very important
- Please don't hesitate to collapse the round
- If you're going against an opponent in which you are by far the more experienced debater, be helpful and considerate. Win the round kindly!
- Females, I shouldn't have to say this, but I full-heartedly support your aggression.
- Permissibility and presumption are not persuasive.
- I think debate is a game to an extent, but I do think it is a place for fostering meaningful discourse and change.
Immaculate Heart '18
University of Southern California '22
Conflicts: Immaculate Heart High School, Brentwood High School
I primarily debated traditional/flay LD for all four years of high school. I am a 3x qualifier to the CA State Tournament and a 2x qualifier to the NSDA National Tournament. I placed 8th at Nationals in Lincoln Douglas. I DO have some experience debating on the circuit but I (by no means) am a full-fledged expert.
My range will most likely be 27-29. 27 needing improvement and 29 being great. 30 being you are wonderful and one of the greatest speakers I have ever heard. If you're being rude/offensive/awful/problematic in a round, I will give you low speaks — be kind!
Speed is fine. I didn't spread too often when I debated, but I can try to keep up. Share everything you will be reading with me (please). If you're incoherent, I will say clear. If you're too in the moment and refusing to adjust, I will be sad and either I'll make a pleading facial expression or I'll stop flowing.
I am not super technical. Given that, I want you to clearly explain and outline plans, CPs, DAs and so on. I am not the most experienced when it comes to more critical positions, but don't let this dissuade you from running them. This just means that you need to be clear and coherent when doing so. When it comes to theory, I understand it, but I have admittedly little experience when it comes to running it. But I'm a smart and logical person — so just explain things well. Performance debate is something I know nothing about.
All this being said, I think that tech is cool and whatnot, but I also like to think there's still some value in being able to clearly convince me of your arguments. You do you — but adapt or shift in the way you see fit.
-Yes, put me on the chain: email@example.com
-Coach at The Kinkaid School
-Coach at Dartmouth College, 2018-present
-Lab leader, University of Michigan 7-Week, 2016-present
-Assistant Director of Debate, Harvard-Westlake School, 2018-2022
I debated at the University of Central Oklahoma for 4 years and graduated in 2018.
-LD skip down to the bottom.
-No judge will ever like all of the arguments you make, but I will always attempt to evaluate them fairly. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to positions from every angle, so I try to be one of those judges. I have coached strictly policy teams, strictly K teams, and everything in between because I enjoy all aspects of the game. Debate should be fun and you should debate in the way that makes it valuable for you, not me. My predispositions about debate are not so much ideological as much as they are systematic, i.e. I don't care which set of arguments you go for, but I believe every argument must have a claim, warrant, impact, and a distinct application. Tech and truth both matter. Evidence quality matters a lot to me. Stop reading cards that don't have a complete sentence and get off my lawn. I strive to be as non-interventionist as possible. Impact framing/judge instruction will get you far. The predispositions I have listed below are my general heuristics I use when making a decision, but I will ultimately vote for the team who wins their argument, even if it strays from these conventions. I appreciate debaters who do their thing and do it well.
-Don't base your strategy off of your (probably incorrect) assumptions about my own debate career.
-For everyone: Stop being afraid of debate. Cowardice is annoying. Don't run away from controversy just because you don't like linking to things. If you don't like defending arguments, or explaining what your argument actually means, please consider joining the marching band.
-I am growing increasingly annoyed at teams who try to proliferate as many incomplete arguments as possible in the 1NC. If your strategy is to read 5 disads in the 1NC that are missing UQ, or internal links, I will give the aff almost infinite leeway in the 1AR to answer your inevitable sandbagging. I would much rather see well-highlighted, complete positions than the poor excuse of neg arguments that I'm seeing lately. No one likes cards that could be read as fortune cookies.
-I don't mind being post-rounded or being asked a lot of questions. I did plenty of post-rounding as a debater and I recognize it doesn't always stem from anger or disrespect. That being said, don't be a butthead. I appreciate passionate debaters who care about their arguments and I am always willing to meet you halfway in the RFD.
-I'm grumpy, but I promise I care a lot.
-Camera policy: I would strongly prefer that we all keep our cameras on during the debate, but I obviously recognize the very real and valid reasons for not having your camera on. I will never penalize you for turning your camera off, but if you can turn it on, let's try. I will always keep my camera on while judging.
-Tech glitches: it is your responsibility to record your speeches as a failsafe. I encourage you to record your speeches on your phone/laptop in the event of a tech glitch. If a glitch happens, we will try to resolve it as quickly as possible, and I will follow the tournament's guidelines.
-Slow down a bit in the era of e-sports debate. I'll reward you for it with points. No, you don't have to speak at a turtle's pace, but maybe we don't need to read 10-off?
Topicality: Everyone needs to have evidence that has the intent to define whatever word/phrase is being contested. Evidence that offhandedly mentions how one rando decided to define 'substantial CJR' doesn't cut the mustard. *Predictable* limits outweighs limits merely for the sake of limits.
Framework: I vote for framework and I vote against it. I judge a lot of "clash" debates and I'm probably even in terms of my voting record. In my ideal world, affs would defend a clear, controversial advocacy that has predictable neg ground against it, but I understand that debate isn't about me. Affs should have a counter interpretation/model of debate they think is desirable. I am less likely to vote aff solely on impact turns because I really need to know what the aff's 'vision of debate' looks like compared to the neg. I understand that going HAM on impact turns is sometimes more strategic, so if that's really your style you should stick to it, but you must contextualize those impact turns to whatever DAs the neg is going for and do comparative impact work. I find myself voting neg a lot just by virtue of the aff never doing impact calculus. Unpersuaded by the argument that topical versions should have to solve literally everything ever in a 9 minute speech. Judge instruction is extremely important: please tell me what to evaluate first, what matters more, etc. I'm fine with any 'flavor' of framework- procedural fairness, clash, movement lawyering, etc. Do your thing. The neg needs to explain how the TVAs access the aff's general theory/scholarship, what those affs look like, and how it (could) resolve the aff's impact turns.
Critical affirmatives (no plan): Beyond what I have said about framework, there are a few things you can do to ensure we're on the same page. First, I need you to answer the question of "but what do you doooo tho?!" even though that question seems obsolete. I don't need a 5 minute overview explaining every part of the aff. I really just need to know what I am voting for and why that thing is good, which seems simple, but in many debates I am left wondering what I'm supposed to vote for. Second, I am often persuaded by presumption if the neg invests a decent amount of time into going for it properly. To counter this, make sure you do the minimum of answering the BWDYDT?! question above, and perhaps give me a different way of thinking about presumption as it applies to critical affirmatives. Third, you need to have a solid relationship to/critique of the resolution. If you read 9 minutes of structural claims about the world and say virtually nothing about the resolutional mechanism, we're not going to be on the same page.
Disads: I will reiterate an important component: do not hand me a stack of cards at the end of a debate that do not have complete sentences. I would rather read 5, solid, well-highlighted UQ cards than 10 poopy cards that say "it'll pass but it's clooooose!" without ever highlighting anything beyond that sentence. Uniqueness controls the direction of uniqueness and the link controls the direction of the link- not sure why that's controversial.
Counterplans: My only predisposition is that I tend to think conditionality is probably good, in most circumstances. Some teams try to get away with murder, though. Yes, I have voted on 'condo bad'. I lean neg when the CP is based in the literature and there's a reasonable solvency advocate. I lean aff when the CP meets neither of those conditions. When the neg does not have a solvency advocate for their 567 analytic planks, I am persuaded by smart aff arguments about enforcement, implementation, circumvention, etc. Judge kick: will only judge kick if told to do so, assuming the aff hasn't made any theoretical objections.
-For everyone, please focus on argument development and application in these debates rather than reading 15 backfile cards that all say the same thing.
-Stop with the mega overviews. I am not one who will particularly like the style of 6 minute overviews, and then answering the line by line with "ya that was the overview"-- just say those things on the line by line!
-Really hate it when the first question of 1AC CX is, "why vote aff?"
-1 card Ks in the 1NC can sufficiently be responded to with a thumbs down + fart noise. No, but seriously.
-If your strategy involves going for some version of "all debate is bad, this activity is meaningless and only produces bad people" please consider who your audience is. Of course you can make arguments about flaws in specific debate practices, but you should also recognize that the "debate is irredeemable" position is a tough sell to someone who has dedicated her life to the activity and tries to make it better.
-Floating PIKs: if the neg makes a PIK that clearly ~floats~ and it's flagged as such, it's up to the aff to call it out. I won't do the theory work for you. If you can't identify it/flush it out in CX, you deserve to lose.
-Examples are incredibly helpful in these debates, especially when making structural claims about the world.
-If you clip, you will lose the round and receive 0 speaker points. I will vote against you for clipping EVEN IF the other team does not call you on it. I know what clipping is and feel 100% comfortable calling it. Mark your cards and have a marked copy available.
-If you cite or cut a card improperly, I evaluate these issues on a sliding scale. For example, a novice accidentally reading a card that doesn't have a complete citation is obviously different from a senior varsity debater cutting a card in the middle of a sentence or paragraph. Unethical evidence practices can be reasons to reject the team and/or a reason to reject the evidence itself, depending on the unique situation. I have no problem voting against you for shady practices. I will happily stop the round and vote against the cheater.
-Shady disclosure practices result in you catching the L. Stop being a coward.
-If I say "clear" more than two times I will stop flowing. I say clear more than most judges because debaters are getting away with murder in terms of clarity.
-If you are a jerk to novices or inexperienced debaters your max for speaker points is a hot 25.
-Biggest pet peeve: debaters being unnecessarily difficult in cross-ex. This includes asking absurdly vague/irrelevant questions and debaters refusing to answer questions. This also includes cutting people off, and giving excessively drawn out answers to questions that can be answered efficiently. Please recognize that cross-ex is a mutual part of the debate.
-Be respectful to each other, which includes your partner. Pettiness/sarcasm is appreciated, but recognize there is a line and you shouldn't cross it. You should never, ever make any jokes about someone else's appearance or how they sound.
-If there are any access requirements, just let me know.
-At no point will I allow outside participation in the round.
-Hot take: I strongly believe the community is beginning to use arguments about trigger warnings in counterproductive ways. Trigger warnings are not designed to be used whenever someone says the words "gender violence" or when a team describes some form of structural violence. I find deployments of trigger warnings in these situations to be disingenuous and harmful. This is not to say that you can never make arguments about trigger/content warnings (sometimes they definitely make sense), but I urge you to consider whether or not the content in question actually requires such warning.
Updated September 2020 to reflect efficiency and a few changes.
Tldr; I come from an exclusively policy background. I had zero experience in LD before I started coaching HW. This means everything you do is largely filtered through my experience in policy debate, and I have outlined my thoughts on those arguments in the above sections. This is why I am a horrible judge for LD shenanigans and will not tolerate them. So many acceptable LD arguments would be nonstarters in policy, and I will not vote for incomprehensible arguments just because other judges will. I don't say this to disparage someone's preferred form of debate, but I really can't vote for arguments that do not pass the 'makes sense' test. I care deeply about the educational aspects of debate, and will always try to help you improve. However, I am going to hold the line when ridiculous arguments are involved. See the FAQ below to determine if you should pref me.
Q: I read a bunch of tricks/meta-theory/a prioris/paradoxes, should I pref you?
A: No thank you.
Q: I read phil, should I pref you?
A: I'm not ideologically opposed to phil arguments like I am with tricks. I do not judge many phil debates because most of the time tricks are involved, but I don't have anything against philosophical positions.
Q: I really like Nebel T, should I pref you?
A: No, you shouldn't. I'm sure he's a nice and smart guy, but cutting evidence from debate blogs is such a meme. If you'd like to make a similar argument, just find non-Nebel articles and you'll be fine. This applies to most debate coach evidence read in LD. To be clear, you can read T:whole rez in front of me, just not Nebel cards.
Q: I like to make theory arguments like 'must spec status' or 'must include round reports for every debate' or 'new affs bad,' should I pref you?
A: Not if those arguments are your idea of a round-winning strategy. Can you throw them in the 1NC/1AR? Sure, that's fine. Will I be persuaded by new affs bad? No.
Q: Will you ever vote for an RVI?
A: Nope. Never. I don't flow them.
Q: Will you vote for any theory arguments?
A: Of course. I am good for more policy-oriented theory arguments like condo good/bad, PICs good/bad, process CPs good/bad, etc.
Q: Will you vote for Ks?
A: Of course. Love em. See policy section.
Any other questions can be asked before the round or email me.
Debated for CSU Fullerton. 4-time NDT Qualifier. CEDA Octafinalist.
B.A. in Philosophy; working on M.A. in Communication.
Coach(ed): Policy Debate for CSU Fullerton & University High School, & Lincoln Douglas for CL Education
1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.
2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.
3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.
4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.
5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die.
6. Theory: Inround abuse > potential abuse.
7. Debate is a simulation inside a bigger simulation.
TOPICALITY: As far as I am concerned, there is no resolution until the negative teams reads Topicality. The negative must win that their interpretation resolves their voters, while also proving abuse. The affirmative either has to win a no link we meet, a counterinterp followed up with a we meet, or just straight offense against the negative interpretation. I am more likely to vote on inround abuse over potential abuse. If you go for inround abuse, list out the lost potential for neg ground and why that resolves the voters. If you go for potential abuse, explain what precedents they set.
FRAMEWORK: When the negative runs framework, specify how you orient Fairness & Education. If your FW is about education, then explain why the affirmative is unable to access their own pedagogy, and why your framework resolves their pedagogy better and/or presents a better alternative pedagogy. If your FW is about fairness, explain why the affirmative method is unable to solve their own impacts absent a fair debate, and why your framework precedes Aff impacts and/or is an external impact.
DISADVANTAGES: Start with impact calculation by either outweighing and/or turning the case. Uniqueness sets up the timeframe, links set up probability, and the impact sets up the magnitude.
COUNTERPLANS: Specify how the CP solves the case, a DA, an independent net benefit, or just plain theory. Any net benefit to the CP can constitute as offense against the Permutation.
CASE: Case debate works best when there is comparative analysis of the evidence and a thorough dissection of the aff evidence. Sign post whether you are making terminal defense arguments or case turns.
KRITIKS: Framing is key since a Kritik is basically a Linear Disad with an Alt. When creating links, specify whether they are links to the Aff form and/or content. Links to the form should argue why inround discourse matters more than fiat education, and how the alternative provides a competing pedagogy. Links to the content should argue how the alternative provides the necessary material solutions to resolving the neg and aff impacts. If you’re a nihilist and Neg on Presumption is your game, then like, sure.
PLANS WITH EXTINCTION IMPACTS: If you successfully win your internal link story for your impact, then prioritize solvency so that you can weigh your impacts against any external impacts. Against other extinction level impacts, make sure to either win your probability and timeframe, or win sufficient amount of defense against the negs extinction level offense. Against structural violence impacts, explain why proximate cause is preferable over root cause, why extinction comes before value to life, and defend the epistemological, pedagogical, and ethical foundations of your affirmative. i might be an "extinction good" hack.
PLANS WITH STRUCTURAL IMPACTS: If you are facing extinction level disadvantages, then it is key that you win your value to life framing, probability/timeframe, and no link & impact defense to help substantiate why you outweigh. If you are facing a kritik, this will likely turn into a method debate about the ethics of engaging with dominant institutions, and why your method best pedagogically and materially effectuates social change.
As a 2A that ran K Affs, the main focus of my research was answering T/FW, and cutting answers to Ks. I have run Intersectionality, Postmodernism, Decolonization, & Afropessimism. Having fallen down that rabbit hole, I have become generally versed in (policy debate's version of) philosophy.
K AFF WITH A PLAN TEXT: Make sure to explain why the rhetoric of the plan is necessary to solve the impacts of the aff. Either the plan is fiated, leading a consequence that is philosophically consistent with the advantage, or the plan is only rhetorical, leading to an effective use of inround discourse (such as satire). The key question is, why was saying “United States Federal Government,” necessary, because it is likely that most kritikal teams will hone their energy into getting state links.
K BEING AFFS: Everything is bad. These affs incorporate structural analysis to diagnosis how oppression manifests metaphysically, materially, ideologically, and/or discursively, "We know the problem, and we have a solution." This includes Marxism, Settler Colonialism, & Afropessimism affs. Frame how the aff impact is a root cause to the negative impacts, generate offense against the alternative, and show how the perm necessitates the aff as a prior question.
K BECOMING AFFS: Truth is bad. These affs point to complex differences that destabilize the underlying metanarratives of truth and power, "We problematize the way we think about problems." This includes Postmodern, Intersectionality, & Performance affs. Adapt to turning the negative links into offense for the aff. Short story being, if you're just here to say truth is bad, then you're relying on your opponent to make truth claims before you can start generating offense.
I participated in speech (3 years) and LD debate (1 year) for three years for Granada Hills Charter High School (TCFL). I am currently a sophomore policy debater at USC.
Overall, be very clear. Act as if you’re explaining something to a sixth grader. Guide me through your arguments.
I enjoy policy affs since I personally run those. Feel free to run K affs, but please do make an effort to convince me and help me understand why I should vote for it, as I am not familiar with K's. This goes for K’s in general as well; don't just reject the aff, but also explain what the alt can accomplish.
Make sure to extend your case. I understand it is difficult to deal with both off and on case arguments, but be strategic and use your case as an offense. The negative should not ignore case either; make sure to address on case arguments as well.
T’s and Framework debates are fine as well, but please be very clear in your argument and impacts.
I'm not a fan of Theory arguments; I don't think they're as productive.
Tech > Truth
Be clear in what you say. Tell me clearly how I should be voting; list the reasons. Be polite. I understand the stress of being in round and debating, but there is no need to be overly aggressive. Feel free to spice up rounds with jokes (memes, puns, League of Legends references), but please be appropriate. Please do not make any arguments that may be racist, xenophobic, etc. Ad hominem arguments are not good either.
Because of my speech background, speaking clearly and delivering speeches are very important for me to understand your arguments and to show your knowledge of the topic and your ability to effectively debate.
Misc. Debate Information
Please include me in the email chain using: firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not considering emailing or flashing to be part of prep time, but please do not break this trust. If you are having technical difficulties, let me know. Be transparent.
Road maps are extremely helpful in guiding my flows and decision. Overviews are fine as well, and please clarify if it is on the line by line. Framing is important as well, especially in LD.
Tag teaming in cross x is perfectly fine, but make sure you’re not talking over your partner. Understand that it is their cross x and act accordingly; invite your partner to speak if you need help.
After rounds, I will disclose my decision, but not speaker points. I will also do my best to give constructive criticism. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Just have fun! Debate is a space for us to learn both about the topic and about ourselves. Just relax and do your best.
Hey! I’m Ananta (she/her/hers), and I debated for 4 years in LD at Scarsdale High School, serving as captain my senior year. I have taught at NSD during the 2018 & 2019 summers & TDC during 2019, 2020, and 2021. I just graduated from UCLA where I majored in Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology and minored in Musicology. Go Bruins!
Greenhill 2022 Update: Hello Hello - I am now literally a college graduate, so debate has become a distant memory for me. I literally have not judged in over a year. Keeping that in mind, please slow downnn A LOT, explain everything to me in a beautiful ballot story in your later speeches, and remember that I have not kept up with recent metas at ALL, so if you want to do something new and novel, go for it - v exciting - but please take time to make sure you have caught me up too as I promise you, I will not be able to respond and evaluate effectively otherwise. Thanks so much - good luck with the season everyone!
Stanford 2021 Update: Hi all! I hope everyone is holding up well. This tournament is my first time judging since last summer and my first tournament judging in the online format. While I still hold all my previous beliefs, I definitely would need you all be to a bit slower, emphasize clarity, writing ballot stories, and I'm sure everything will go great. Enjoy & stay safe! :)
WIN Debate Tournament 2020 Update: Hello! I am super excited to be part of this tourney and to support women in debate. I just wanted to say that while I hold all my beliefs and can still competently evaluate rounds, I have not thought about debate in 4 months, and I would implore you to keep that in mind when I judge you, but again, I am super excited, and I am always down to help out/teach/give advice if anyone wants some - just send me an email. Have fun! Stay Safe! Social Distance!
Harvard Westlake 2020 Update: I still hold most if not all of past beliefs. I do, however, ask that if you do get me as a judge at HWL this weekend, a) go for what you are best at because I am a bit sick of people just reading theory in front of me because I read it a bunch and doing it poorly. I can evaluate and like evaluating everything equally at this point, b) be SUPER clear - my flowing and hearing abilities are not what they used to be (thanks to genetics, headphones, and being a bit removed from the activity) so I would really appreciate it, c) explicitly extend, and d) have fun! Thank you :)
The short of it: The majority of my debates during high school revolved around theory, tricks (mostly theoretical tricks) framework, and kritiks, but that doesn’t mean I am unable to evaluate other forms of debate, I’ll just have a bit less background knowledge and experience resolving them so you’ll have to do more explanation. I am open to voting on pretty much any argument as long as it has a warrant that is clearly articulated. Please go for all your nontopical K affs, frivolous theory, and tricks but you still have to win them technically like any other argument.
Feel free to reach out about any questions you might have about my paradigm or in general about debate - I am always down to help out, give reading or drill recs, and be a resource!
Email (yes, put me on the chain, I am a terrible flower): email@example.com
Conflicts: Scarsdale, LHP
Now, onto specifics:
I love this type of debate and towards the end of my career, I went for theory pretty much every round. I find these debates to be so much fun, engaging, and I am most comfortable evaluating these types of debates. I default to drop the debater, competing interps and no RVI, but that's only if no other argument is made on either side for an alternate paradigm. Also, unless specified in a speech, I don’t think I-meets trigger the RVI, but I am definitely willing to vote on it if you tell me why I should. Also, please weigh really explicitly between shells, standards, etc. Theory debates get super messy and blippy really easily, and I want to be able to evaluate correctly.
These are another type of argument that I am quite familiar with as I read quite a few cap Ks and Deleuze Ks in my time. I will probably know most of the common K literature so you don’t need to be that worried about me not knowing it. I think a good K debate consists of a lot of specific weighing as to why your advocacy is better in this instance. K debate can easily become an oppression Olympics, so I would be cognizant of that when you read Ks.
A good framework debate will make me smile as it’s a dying art, but a part of debate that I found totally educational and will probably be able to evaluate. I read a lot of Agonism, Kant, & Butler as a debater. I am familiar with most philosophers even pomo and all, but if you want to read for example, some super non canon frameworks such as Baudrillard, please understand that you will have to take sometime explaining it to me in your speeches so that I will feel comfortable and be able to vote on it.
I was decently tricky as a debater and read a good amount of truth testing, NIBs, a prioris, etc. If tricks debate is executed well, I will be impressed, thrilled, and give high speaks. I debated a lot of Good Samaritan paradox and Rodl but never really read it so just make sure you explain why these are offense for you, why they outweigh, etc. I am not the best flower in the world so just be sure to really articulate blips clearly and if something super important happens like the concession of an a priori, to slow down a bit and make sure I have it. Side note: I will not dock speaks for winning on the a priori as I think that’s a legit strategy, but it would be a lot better if you had other sources of offense too.
This type of debate is the type that I am least familiar with but after being on the West Coast for the last year, I definitely think I know what's up, the common Util tips and tricks, and don't mind judging them. I taught and evaluated it a bunch at camp too so I definitely think I have a stronger basis in it than I did as a debater, but I never really larped after half way through my sophomore year. That being said, if you want to larp in front of me, go for it as I can competently evaluate these types of debate given that you WEIGH (cannot emphasize this enough) and differentiate between your weighing I.e. meta weighing - tell me if magnitude or time frame is more important and why, articulate your impacts I.e. extinction vs whatever, and are clear in your ballot story.
Other Important Notes:
1. I presume AFF if there is no offense left in the round and no other presumption argument is presented to me - gotta correct for that side bias.
2. If you are rude or offensive in ANY way, I will be annoyed or not just angry, stop the round, tank your speaks, give you a stern lecture, tell your coach, and drop you. Just don’t make debate what it shouldn’t be and enjoy the activity PLEASE. Also, be nice to novices, you don't have to not spread or change your strategies too much, just be kind and understanding because you were once a novice too and we should encourage everyone to enjoy and partake in the activity! I probably will lower speaks if you are being absolutely ridiculous and rude to a novice.
3. I think trigger warnings are probably a good norm in debate, but if you don’t read them, I won’t have a problem or really pay it much attention unless a) your opponent is having a problem with it or b) your opponent reads arguments as to why you should be dropped for not reading them - I will vote on those.
4. I am willing to vote on disclosure theory, and I don’t really have strong opinions on it - you do you! I think it can be really strategic, but I also think reading disclosure against a small school debater who doesn’t even know what the wiki is is a bad practice. While I will vote on it, I’ll probably be irritated, and your speaks will probably reflect that annoyance.
5. I will not vote on racism, sexism, oppression, etc. good - I’ll just ignore it when I evaluate offense and do some part of what I said I would do in the 2 point of this section. I also don't think it has to be justified that one of the above isms is an bad impact.
6. I am slightly peeved by blips such as "evaluate the debate after the AC" or something along those lines. While I will vote on these types of arguments, they do make me cringe A LOT and your speaks will suffer a bit if this is what you end up winning on.
7. Update based on some arguments I have heard recently: If something is "condo" and you kick it, I think the whole argument including framing, the advocacy, etc. goes away - it's like that part of the flow never happened. Unless you explicitly explain to me why I still can/should look to that flow as an argument in the round even if it was kicked, I don't think I can vote on it because I do not think that is what condo means. I am willing to vote on these types of arguments, I just think I need a pretty coherent why its true.
8. I don't think compiling docs needs to be done during prep unless it gets super unreasonable/seems sketch, then I'll ask you to use prep to do the rest.
I'm probably a speaks fairy! I reward people for being entertaining and creative with their strategies as well as for good execution in the round. Most importantly just have fun and don’t take debate too seriously. I loved debate a lot when I did it and hopefully you do too :) I will award higher speaker points if you make a clever and NOT offensive joke (if you are offensive, you can refer to the 2nd point in the section above). I'm a pretty easy going person. Let’s just make debate less toxic, more fun, and super educational. You are free to ask me questions about debate, UCLA, life, etc.
I really like a properly ran cap K. Down with capitalism!!
Feel free to run anything in front of me, but I would ~prefer~ that you not run frivolous theory.
I believe disclosure is very good unless you give me a reason to believe otherwise.
Topical puns in you speech will increase the speaker points you get.
I have previous LD and PF and Policy experience but I was not a tricks debater.
I won't vote on the K if the alt is unclear - same goes for policy advocacies. Clear solvency please.
firstname.lastname@example.org for questions
Debated at Downtown Magnets High School for 4 years
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
TLDR: Open to any argument. Spreading OK. Don't be sexist/racist/homophobic etc.
Updates for TOC
- I don't like tricks
- For phil, I need it to be really clear. I don't understand unexplained abstract philosophies, even if it's Kant. Impact comparison still matters
- Phil + Tricks = :(
- Perms are encouraged against the Kritik, many debaters in LD don't perm them and idk why
- Quality > Quantity
- Spreading is fine, but be clear
- Don't clip cards, if there is evidence of clipping I will end the round and give a win to the other team
- Flashing/emailing isn't prep but please don't take forever
- If you're reading theory slow down a bit, and tell me if you want it on a new sheet
- Dropped arguments are true arguments, but they still have to be impacted out
- I'll weigh a performance the same as evidence, I will flow it too
- Debate is whatever you tell me it is (If the negative reads framework and claims debate is a game..and the aff has no response..then it's a game)
- I have read arguments like death good, I think these are legitimate arguments. Don't shy away from running weird things in front of me. As long as you aren't racist/sexist/homophobic you're fine.
Traditional Affs: I like comprehensive, well-thought-out advantages compared to 7 advantages that all end in nuke war or something. Make sure you give me some type of framing in the 1AC so that I know how I should weigh the aff vs the negs off case, and always use your framing against their off case (please).
Kritikal Affs: I won't vote on it just because you read it. The most important thing for me is an explanation of how the affirmative relates to the topic and how the particular survival strategy/method/epistemology/etc is important for debate. If there is no connection to the topic, I will not shy away from pulling the trigger on T. Kritikal affs that connect to your identity are cool too, but don't make it seem like you're using the oppression of x group for a ballot. If I don't know what the aff does, I'm not voting for it. An advocacy statement of some sort is probably good here.
Performance: The most important thing about performances is that they should be used as arguments. If the 1AC has a performance of some sort, the 2AC should use that performance offensively. If the performance gets lost, I'll probably be skeptical of the 2AR bringing it back up. For the negative, you should press them on the performance in some way. Arguments about performances being bad for debate are legit, but make sure they have an actual argument behind them. For example, "this isn't theatre, this is debate" is not a good answer to a performance.
Kritikal Affs vs the K: The aff should always perm the kritik. There's a good chance that your theories aren't 100% mutually exclusive. I don't buy the "this is a method debate so no perms" argument, but if it goes conceded coming out of a 1AR/2AR then I will evaluate it. The aff should also explain why the perm is necessary and why the negative's theory alone fails. For the negative, you should be winning a strong link to the affirmative and a reason why the alternative is mutually exclusive to the advocacy.
Framework vs the K aff: I'm not biased towards the affirmative in these debates (despite my history of running kritikal arguments). I do think framework is valuable, and seeing people debate the way they believe debate should be is always fun. If there is no TVA I'm more sympathetic to voting aff, but if there's no answer to the TVA I'm definitely voting neg. Fairness is an okay standard but I prefer arguments along the lines of truth testing, stasis args, and deliberation. Tailoring your framework to have benefits like grassroots activism and legalism good arguments are also persuasive. Framework is a definitely a viable strategy in front of me against a kritikal affirmative, but make sure there are also arguments that engage the case. For the aff, "They are excluding us" isn't really an answer to framework (please don't make this argument), but proving why their frameowork is sexist/racist/homophobic/etc. is good offense against the framework. I prefer affirmatives to defend their model of debate. Why should we be able to talk about things only tangentially related to the topic? Why is posing a hypothetical policy implementation bad for debate? These are questions I'll probably be thinking of as the 2AC answers the framework flow. Disads to their model are good leverage, but make sure to answer every standard on the flow. Also, counter interps are nice.
Kritiks: For Kritiks please have multiple clear links to the affirmative. A generic link that you have can always be contextualized to the aff, so try to contextualize each link to the affirmative. A specific link should also be contextualized against the affirmative. Please explain what your alternative is and have a framing that doesn't contradict the alternative. I find that the key arguments to a criticism are usuallly framing/framework, link, impact, alternative, permutation. If a team concedes a framing, I'm most likely voting for the other team. For example, if the Aff reads framing about how specific scenario analysis is good for policy making and broad structural criticisms are bad, I would say they are ahead of the K debate (given that the negative concedes their framing). I'm also okay with teams kicking the alternative and going for the links as case turns, but you must tell me to kick it. I won't kick it for you. Also, "fiat is illusory" isn't really a winning argument. Also, please explain the K. Even if I heard your criticism before, a shallow explanation of the K won't help you win the flow.
Disadvantages: For DAs, I prefer specific links. Internal links are appreciated, but not necessary. Recent DAs are probably better than older ones, make sure the uniqueness and answers to uniqueness are recent for these debates. I think the uniqueness can overwhelm the link in some cases, and I am open to impact turning if you persuade me (nuke war good? Sure why not). Disadvantages should have impact calculus and turn the case in some way. The affirmative should explain why the disadvantage uniqueness overwhelms the link, why there's no link, no impact, etc. Make sure to spend time to make arguments on the disadvantage because if it's undercovered then I'll probably vote for it. Impact framing/calculus is really important, especially when the disadvantage has an impact of a higher magnitude (like war, or extinction) compared to the affirmative. Explain why your impact is more significant than the Affirmative's impact.
Counter plans/Advocacy: Make sure the counter plan has a net benefit, and tell me what the net benefit is. Advantage CPs are also cool. Consult CPs are legit. If there is a link to the DA and the CP clearly avoids that link, I'll probably vote neg on the counterplan. For Kritikal affs I enjoy counter advocacy debates, still explain the net benefit though. I'm not particularly fond of counterplan theory, but I will vote for it if I feel it's a winning argument.
Topicality: I think T is a good strategy, especially if the aff is blatantly not topical. If the aff seems topical, I will probably err aff on reasonability. Both sides should explain and compare interpretations and standards. Standards should be impacted out, basically explain why it's important that they aren't topical. The Aff needs a counter interpretation, without one I vote neg on T (unless it's kicked).
Theory: I will vote for it. Just make sure you slow down a lot cause I want to catch what you're saying in the standards. 1AR/2AR with only Condo is viable, but if you're just repeating your standards then I'd say don't. I don't really lean aff or neg when it comes to condo/dispo debates, but I will say that for these debates both teams need to have a clear interpretation that makes sense. The aff should probably say 1 or 2 condo worlds, while the neg should probably argue their specific number of conditional worlds that they read as a counter interpretation. I lean neg on CP theory, I generally think the negative gets anything outside of the affirmative. It's up for debate if a PIC/PIK constitutes being outside of the aff.
Speaker Points: Speaker awards make this activity a little less shitty so I will try to give high speaks.
As a debater: 4 years HS debate in Missouri, 4 years NDT-CEDA debate at the University of Georgia
Since then: coached at the University of Southern California (NDT-CEDA), coached at the University of Wyoming (NDT-CEDA), worked full-time at the Chicago UDL
Now: Math teacher and debate coach at Solorio HS in the Chicago UDL
College Email Chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
HS Email Chains, please use: email@example.com
1. Clarity > speed: Clarity helps everyone. Please slow down for online debate. You should not speak as fast as you did in person. Much like video is transmitted through frames rather than continuous like in real life, sound is transmitted through tiny segments. These segments are not engineered for spreading.
2. Neg positions: I find myself voting more often on the "top part" of any neg position. Explain how the plan causes the DA, how the CP solves the case (and how it works!), and how the K links to the aff and how the world of the alt functions. Similarly, I prefer CPs with solvency advocates (and without a single card they are probably unpredictable). I love when the K or DA turns the case and solves X impact. If you don't explain the link to the case and how you get to the impact, it doesn't matter if you're winning impact calculus.
3. K affs: Despite my tendency to read plans as a debater, if you win the warrants of why it needs to be part of debate/debate topic, then I'll vote on it. As a coach and judge, I read far more critical literature now than I did as a debater. My extensive voting history is on here. Do with that what you will.
4. Warrants: Don't highlight to a point where your card has no warrants. Extend warrants, not just tags. If you keep referring to a specific piece of evidence or say "read this card," I will hold you to what it says, good or bad. Hopefully it makes the claims you tell me it does.
1. Don't be rude in cross-x. If your opponent is not answering your questions well in cross-x either they are trying to be obnoxious or you are not asking good questions. Too often, it's the latter.
2. Questions about what your opponent read belong in cross-x or prep time. You should be flowing.
3. While we are waiting for speech docs to appear in our inboxes, I will often fill this time with random conversation for 3 reasons:
i. To prevent prep stealing,
ii. To get a baseline of everyone's speaking voice to appropriately assign speaker points and to appropriately yell "clear" (if you have a speech impediment, accent, or other reason for a lack of clarity to my ears, understanding your baseline helps me give fair speaker points),
iii. To make debate rounds less hostile.
High School LD Specific:
Values: I competed in a very traditional form of LD in high school (as well as nearly every speech and debate event that existed back then). I view values and value criterions similarly to framing arguments in policy debate. If you win how I should evaluate the debate and that you do the best job of winning under that interpretation, then I'll happily vote for you.
Ballot Writing: LD speeches are short, but doing a little bit of "ballot writing" (what you want me to say in my reason for decision) would go a long way.
Public Forum Specific:
I strongly believe that Public Forum should be a public forum. This is not the format for spreading or policy debate jargon. My policy background as a judge does not negate the purpose of public forum.