Jack Howe Memorial Tournament
2018 — Long Beach, CA/US
World Schools Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
A little about me:
Currently coaching: Sage Hill School 2021-Present
Past Coaching: Diamond Ranch HS 2015-2020
I also tab more tournaments, but I keep up with my team so I can follow many of the trends in all events.
I prefer all of my speakers to make sure that any contentions, plans or the like are clear and always link back to the topic at hand. You're free to run theory or K at your peril. I've heard great rounds on Afro-pessimism and bad rounds on it. I've loved a round full of theory and hated rounds full of theory. All depends on how it's done, and what the point of it is.
If creating an email chain - please include me: debate.foster @ gmail.
I am a social studies teacher, so I can't unknow the rules of American government or economics. Don't attempt to stay something that is factually inaccurate that you would know in your classes.
Be respectful of all parties in the room - your opponent(s), your partner (if applicable) and the judge. Hurtful language is in not something I tolerate. Pronouns in your names are an added plus.
Speaking clearly, even if fast, is fine, but spreading can be difficult to understand, especially through two computers. I will say "Clear" if I need to. In an online format, please slow down for the first minute if possible. I haven't had to listen to spreading with online debate.
For LD, I don't mind counterplans and theory discussions as long as they are germane to the topic and as long as they don't result in debating the rules of debate rather than the topic itself. In the last year most of my LD rounds have not been at TOC bid tournaments, but that doesn't mean I can't follow most arguments, but be patient as I adjust.
Truth > tech.
*It's work to make me vote on extinction or nuclear war as a terminal impact in any debate. That link chain needs to be solid if you're doing to expect me to believe it.*
In PF, make sure that you explain your terminal impacts and tell me why I should weight your impacts vs your opponents' impacts.
WSD - I have been around enough tournaments to know what I should hear and I will notice if you're not doing it well. Thinking global always. Models should always be well explained and match the focus on the round. Fiat is a tricky thing in the event now but use it as you see fit.
I realized my old paradigm had a bunch of outdated stuff. This is an update. As of January 2020, I've squirreled in 15-20% of outrounds.
Everybody in the round should be able to watch back a recording of the round and be able to understand what was going on. In other words, don't intentionally run arguments that your opponents won't understand. Debate as a whole may be never able to reconcile issues of access and elitism, but you as an individual debater can try not to actively perpetuate it.
I've watched just about every national debate final round in the NSDA's vault and a fair number of TOC outrounds in CX, LD, and PF. I understand PF pretty well.
Cross-examination should be used to clarify your narrative of the round and clean up any misconceptions about each other's arguments. A hyper-confrontational cross-ex is a waste of time and I'll tune it out.
If you're going to spread anything, I need to be on the email chain. I will assume that the sounds coming from your mouth symbolize the words in that document.
If you're talking fast but not spread-level, slow down for the stuff you really want me to flow. Emphasize it. Sometimes you're reading some card details and all that matters is a sentence or so. If you're leaving out some details, it's up to your opponent to make it clear and show why it matters.
If given the choice between something fast and something slow, I like something slow, but only if it's structured and still follows the basic tenets of debate (references to framework, uniqueness-link-impact, etc.). Some folks have confused 'slow' for 'speak pretty instead of having warrants.'
Make things really obvious. I don't know the material as well as you. You're really likely to lose my ballot when you thought you were winning if you assume that I know as much about the source material as you.
Be careful of powertagging. I called for a couple of crucial cards every round at TOC. Just about every card I called for was powertagged. When I didn't give that misrepresented evidence the weight the debaters hoped for, it often was determinative of my final decision.
When it comes to case debate, I'm biased towards voting for marginal net benefits and against high-magnitude, low-probability arguments. If explaining the link story to my non-debate colleagues would likely raise some eyebrows--if it doesn't pass the 'smell test'--you might not want to run it in front of me. That doesn't mean kick ALL nuke war impacts...just make a rock-solid link story so I'm at least convinced of its MODERATE probability.
I'm somewhat familiar with Kritiks that deal with antiblackness, feminism, capitalism, queer theory, biopower, and securitization. If a Kritik doesn't persuade me of its solvency, I have a very hard time voting for it.
I'm not a completely blank-slate judge. If something is glaringly incorrect, it's not like I'll ignore the argument entirely, but I'll probably do some subconscious work to diminish its weight in the round. I am more likely to intervene in a theory-level debate than a case-level debate. I wouldn't call myself tech over truth. At the same time, I don't know if a capital-T 'truth' is out there and I don't expect that my internal understanding of what's 'true' is the same as yours, so I can't confidently say I'm 'truth over tech.' Both matter.
Tell me where I should be flowing at all times. If you don't tell me, I mess up. I like subpoints but I've found that a lot of mid-level debaters will start out referencing subpoints and then just start...like, saying words...in the back half of the round.
Don't tell me to cross-reference different points without doing your own work and telling me how the arguments interact.
Defense is normally sticky. Offense normally needs to be extended. I am unlikely to vote on an argument if it wasn't in the last set of speeches in the round, but never say never. If things are confusing enough, who knows what I'll do? I'm a loose cannon with an axe to grind and nothing to lose.
I believe in the "affirmative burden of proof" in LD and Parli. The AFF gets the privilege of having the last word, so they had better prove the resolution true by the end of the round. If debaters argue to a draw, then I tend to "default NEG." This is not true in PF.
For a while, my speaker points were just based on rhetorical presence and fluency. Now, I find it difficult to disregard your strategic choices when calculating speaker points. I think that I'm still more sensitive to rudeness and disproportionate indignation than some other judges on the circuit.