2018 — Grapevine High School, TX/US
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I did high school policy debate for three years debating as a performance and kritik debater. I have 4 years experience judging a range of debate styles and arguments. I prefer performance and kritik but i am open to judging anything.
I prefer you that you spend time on framing the arguments in the debate at the top of your speech. I'm not a line by line heavy judge and judge based on Big issues. First, I evaluate the framework for the debate to determine which impacts I should prioritize. Second, I evaluate Impacts and determine which are more important based on the Framework. Third, I evaluate the Status Quo, Plan, Counter-plan, Kritik Alternative, based on which best solves for in round impacts.
If you want my ballot, check all those boxes and I will most likely vote for you over your opponent if they are missing those parts.
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4 Years of Policy at the Law Magnet - and 5 years at UTD
I've judged a decent amount of tournaments last year, mostly Dallas Circuit and TFA Tournaments, also TOC Tournaments in Dallas.
This year I've judged over 15 tournaments, mostly TOC tournaments online and local Dallas tournaments.
Just about anything goes, I'll pay attention, but the onus is on you to make sure I know what you're talking about, don't assume I know about your argument as much as you do. I mostly judge clash of civ debates but I love judging traditional policy debates and K v K debates.
Not as familiar with Kant, DNG, Tricks. Aff time skew is real tbh
**Online update: if my camera is off, i am not there**
I think debate is a game with educational benefits. I will listen to anything, but there are obviously some arguments that are more persuasive than others. i think this is most of what you're looking for:
1. arguments - For me to vote on an argument it must have a claim, warrant, and impact. A claim is an assertion of truth or opinion. A warrant is an analytical connection between data/grounds/evidence and your claim. An impact is the implication of that claim for how I should evaluate the debate. debate is competitive and adversarial, not cooperative. My bias is that debate strategies should be evidence-centric and, at a minimum, rooted in an academic discipline. My bias is that I do not want to consider anything prior to the reading of the 1AC when making my decision.
3. framework - arguments need to be impacted out beyond the word 'fairness' or 'education'. affirmatives do not need to read a plan to win in front of me. however, there should be some connection to the topic. fairness *can be* a terminal impact.
4. critiques - they should have links to the plan or have a coherent story in the context of the advantages. i am less inclined to vote neg for broad criticisms that arent contextualized to the affirmative. a link of omission is not a link. similarly, affirmatives lose debates a lot just because their 2ac is similarly generic and they have no defense of the actual assumptions of the affirmative.
5. counterplans - should likely have solvency advocates but its not a dealbreaker. slow down when explaining tricks in the 2nc.
6. theory - more teams should go for theory more often. negatives should be able to do whatever they want, but affirmatives need to be able to go for theory to keep them honest.
7. topicality - its an evidentiary issue that many people impact poorly. predictable limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. saying 'we lose the [insert argument]' isnt really an impact without an explanation of why that argument is good. good debates make comparative claims between aff/neg opportunities to win relative to fairness.
8. clipping - i sometimes read along with speeches if i think that you are clipping. i will prompt you if i think you are clipping and if i think you are still clipping i will vote against you even if the other team doesnt issue an ethics challenge.
9. 2nr/2ar - there are lots of moving parts in debate. if you disagree with how i approach debate or think about debate differently, you should start your speech with judge instruction that provides an order of operations or helps construct that ballot. teams too often speak in absolute certainties and then presume the other team is winning no degree of offense. that is false and you will win more debates if you can account for that in your speech.
10. keep track of your own time.
unapologetically stolen from brendan bankey's judge philosophy as an addendum because there is no reason to rewrite it:
---"Perm do the counterplan" and "perm do the alt" are claims that are often unaccompanied by warrants. I will not vote for these statements unless the aff explains why they are theoretically legitimate BEFORE the 2AR. I am most likely to vote for these arguments when the aff has 1) a clear model of counterplan/alternative competition AND 2) an explanation for where the
I would prefer that debaters engage arguments instead of finesse their way out of links. This is especially awful when it takes place in clash debates. If you assert your opponent's offense does not apply when it does I will lower your speaker points.
In that vein, it is my bias that if an affirmative team chooses not to say "USFG Should" in the 1AC that they are doing it for competitive reasons. It is, definitionally, self-serving. Self-serving does not mean the aff should lose [or that its bad necessarily], just that they should be more realistic about the function of their 1AC in a competitive activity. If the aff does not say "USFG Should" they are deliberately shifting the point of stasis to other issues that they believe should take priority. It is reciprocal, therefore, for the negative to use any portion of the 1AC as it's jumping off point.
I think that limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. Ground is an expression of the division of affirmative and negative strategies on any given topic. It is rarely an independent impact to T. I hate cross-examination questions about ground. I do not fault teams for being unhelpful to opponents that pose questions in cross-examination using the language of ground. People commonly ask questions about ground to demonstrate to the judge that the aff has not really thought out how their approach to the resolution fosters developed debates. A better, more precise question to ask would be: "What are the win conditions for the negative within your model of competition?"
old judge philosophy from that wikispace page that some folks dont realize has been down for years. none of this relevant but i dont want to delete it:
Me – I debated for both Cate Palczweski and Jacob Thompson. I was the ADoD at UNLV from 2010-2013. I was at Damien High School from 2013-2015. I was at KU from 2015-2018. I am now at College Prep.
Cross-ex is rarely damning on any question. Stop saying that. if the person you are speaking over in cross-ex is your own partner who is also trying to answer the question, you may have a problem. a hilarious problem.
for the love of god can we stop having these moments in cross ex where we say "obviously debate doesnt leave this room when we say the government should do something" in a condescending tone. you sound ridiculous. no one thinks that. literally no one. this is like... the royalty of a straw-person argument.
I like solvency advocates that say what your plan says, impact comparisons, people that are having fun, and milkshakes. I flow. I vote on dropped arguments that I dont believe.
I increasingly find myself protecting negative teams because the 2AR explanation seems too new. So for all of you shady 2ARs out there, you need to hide your newness better. Or, you know, communicate with your partner so that they can help set up your argument(s).
Debate is a world of enthymemes where there is a lot of presumption on the part of community in relation to the meaning of the text that you choose to speak. It would be a mistake to not fully explain an argument because you think I "get it." Sometimes that may be the case, but that is by no means a universal truth. Play your game, but make sure I understand what game we are playing at the conclusion of the debate. E.g. If you thought an evidence comparison should have gone differently than my RFD, it is probably your fault. Debate is a communicative activity, so identifying how I should evaluate your evidence / their evidence is... important.
I think debate is a game. This probably makes me evaluate debate differently. I will listen to anything I guess. If you think an argument is bad, I would assume that you can easily defeat said argument. These are my thoughts, but keep in mind I will not just insert these things into the debate. That is your job. I have front loaded the philosophy with the things that you are most likely here to read. Without further ado:
Clipping - in many respects I think that prompts for clarity are interventionist. However, clipping is rampant, particularly during the 1AC. if I think that you are clipping, I will say clear. If it becomes a problem, I will prompt you with something to the effect of "read all of the highlighting." If I think that you are still clipping after this prompt, I will vote against you.
Buzzwords – stop it. If you cannot explain the argument, then that dog wont hunt. Also, I would really appreciate it if people would stop saying 'sure' prior to answering questions.
Critiques – An Aff will probably lose if they read generic answers and: don’t apply them to the criticism and don’t apply them to the affirmative. The more topic specific the K the better. The negative needs to win either that you 1) solve the aff 2) outweigh the aff [in those weird method v method debates] 3) have a framework or theory that makes the aff irrelevant. I dig the impact turn (imperialism good, Fox News) but also understand that these are probably more links to the critique. I find that lots of high end theory does not make sense when it is reduced to a blurb in the debate. method v method might be a top 5 worse argument in debate next to aspec.
"non-plan affs" – That word probably bastardizes your argument but I don't have a great alternate label that people can find in a quick search through judge philosophies. These are my predispositions. If you can address them, I'm all yours (but even if you don't, you should not worry. It seems to impact the debate less and less because you are answering generic blocks with specific arguments about your method.):
First, "role of the ballot" is over-used and rarely explained as a concept. Please do not assume that you will win just because you said it. Second, my understanding of the "policy debate good" literature means if I don't understand by your last speech, I will vote on a coherent framework argument. This is becoming less and less true because people are so afraid to say limits that they just say "you killed my decision-making" and decide thats sufficient for an impact. Third, these types of arguments typically mean the other team is forced to defend the community practices and not their own. At times I think this is a straw person argument, but I have become increasingly aware that this is not as artificial as I used to think. Fourth, teams tend to hilariously mishandle form arguments and generally lack a coherent strategy on the neg when answering these affs. Most of the time, every argument is a different way to say "you gotta have a plan." Even if the arguments sound distinct in the 1NC, they usually aren't by the 2NR. Rather than focusing on what you have prewritten, you should exploit these problems in the neg strategy. I end up voting for critical teams quite a bit because of this strategic problem even though i firmly believe in the pedagogical value of affirmatives being germane to the resolution.
Framework - "a discussion of the topic rather than a topical discussion" is not a good counter-interpretation. the limits disad is real.
Topicality – T is not genocidal unless the argument is dropped and that is an incredibly poor metaphor when trying to generate offense. I evaluate it like a disad so you should impact out arguments beyond words like "fairness" or "education". topicality is an evidentiary issue
Theory – You should go for theory because teams dont know how to answer it. The more counterplans there are, the more sympathetic I become to theory. that being said, its hard to be negative and the neg can do whatever they want. My threshold for theory other than conditionality is somewhat high as a reason to reject the team.
Disads - do people even read judge philosophies for this anymore? Don't bury me in cards. You may not like the outcome. Explanation of 1 really good card is better than 5 bad cards. The politics disad is a thing and so are other disads. i cut a lot of politics updates.
Counterplans - should have solvency advocates and should exploit generic link chains in aff advantages. The idea that a counterplan needs a card specific to the aff is not a deal breaker. Affs should probably read CP texts... they often times fiat out of your solvency deficits. what happened to 2nc counterplans?
Case Debate - These should be a thing. Ideally, there should be more than just generic impact defense. Otherwise, you will probably lose to specificity. People should impact turn.... everything.
I'm a former policy debater, so I'm fine with speed as long as it's clear. I also appreciate clear taglines so I can get them down easily. I competed on both TFA and UIL circuits, so I'm okay with most arguments, but if you're going to read high theory, give me more explanation. I'm fine with open CX and all that providing the tournament allows it and both teams agree.
I don't really have preferences for certain arguments over others, but I do prefer specificity of evidence when possible, especially with definitions. If you don't give me voters, I have to default to a stock interpretation, so if you want me to weigh the round as a scholar or something else, make it clear and carry it through the debate, not just a one-off ROTB in the 2A/N.
If a team just reads 10 off, I don't expect the other team to do a line-by-line to win each of them. That being said, be thorough enough to cover any necessary major parts (impact, link, etc.). If a team just doesn't answer a well-developed DA or contention, it makes it difficult to ignore that concession without some kind of framing that ignores the dropped arg.
I did policy debate for 4 years at Hendrickson Highschool and graduated in 2018. I currently attend the University of Texas at Dallas. I ran mostly critical arguments in high school though I am comfortable with policy arguments.
Please put me on the email chain I'm firstname.lastname@example.org
Tl;dr – Please be clear with explanations and why your team has won the debate. I have a base understanding of all debate arguments but when it comes to the high-level nuances of a lot of arguments I am far less informed.
Speed is fine, though I will always value clarity over speed. Don’t be an asshole to others in round, being respectful is important. I understand things can get heated in debate rounds but it is obvious in my mind when the line has been crossed. Flashing/ Emailing don’t count as prep unless you take an inordinate amount of time doing so.
Unless you have a killer T argument I would avoid going for this in front of me as I’m only familiar with the broad strokes. I personally don't buy "setting a precedent" under most circumstances, so if you really want me to pull the trigger on this argument proving in round abuse is going to be necessary 9/10 times.
I'm cool with Disads, just try to be as clear and concise with the story of the DA as possible. Evidence comparison is good. Impact comparison is good.
If you're going to try to go for a kinda complex turn on a DA just try to explain it as much as possible to me as my lack of experience with DA's can make it a little difficult for me to keep up with stuff when it gets really fast.
I will be honest, counterplans are not my forte. I will vote for them, but the nitty gritty of things like counterplan theory are things I am not familiar with at all. If you’re gonna go for a complex counterplan strategy with like aff specific planks and all that good jam just be very clear on what the planks do and how they will solve the aff and avoid your DA impacts.
I for the most part love K debates, though that this doesn’t mean I will always vote for them. I have a pretty decent base knowledge of the majority of Kritiks, but when you get to the more complicated parts of stuff like Identity and Pomo kritiks it can get really easy to lose me. If you’re gonna go for a K like that just make sure you know your shit and can clearly explain it.
Link - Specific links to the aff are always good. It’s gonna be hard for me to vote if you just go hard on a link of omission or they use the state link. Also root cause =/= link. I really like it when you can explain for me exactly how the implementation of the aff increases whatever you’re talking about (capitalistic control, biopolitical control etc.)
Impact - Don’t forget the impact! I feel like a lot of K debaters (myself included) can tend to forget the impact of a kritik or tend to not cover it very much, but it’s important, especially if you want to kick your alternative. Impact analysis vs the aff’s impacts will get you far in my book. Especially make sure you can draw a line from how the mindset or structure the aff invests in will lead to material or tangible impacts (empirical examples are great here).
Alternative – If you’re gonna go for it make sure you can prove why it solves your link, and even better, how it can solve for the aff. If you’re gonna kick it, give me a reason why that should be allowed within your framework.
I've coached LASA since 2005. I judge ~100 debates per season on the high school circuit.
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If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
If you have little time before the debate, here’s all you need to know: do what you do best. I try to be as unbiased as possible and I will defer to your analysis. As long as you are clear, go as fast as you want.
Most judges give appalling decisions. Here's where I will try to be better than them:
- They intervene, even when they claim they won't. Perhaps "tech over truth" doesn't mean what it used to. I will attempt to adjudicate and reach a decision purely on only the words you say. If that's insufficient to reach a decision either way--and it often isn't--I will add the minimum work necessary to come to a decision. The more work I have to do, the wider the range of uncertainty for you and the lower your speaks go.
- They aren't listening carefully. They're mentally checked out, flowing off the speech doc, distracted by social media, or have half their headphones off and are taking selfies during the 1AR. I will attempt to flow every single detail of your speeches. I will probably take notes during CX if I think it could affect my decision. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve a judge who works hard as well.
- They give poorly-reasoned decisions that rely on gut instincts and ignore arguments made in the 2NR/2AR. I will probably take my sweet time making and writing my decision. I will try to be as thorough and transparent as possible. If I intervene anywhere, I will explain why I had to intervene and how you could've prevented that intervention. If I didn't catch or evaluate an argument, I will explain why you under-explained or failed to extend it. I will try to anticipate your questions and preemptively answer them in my decision.
- They reconstruct the debate and try to find the most creative and convoluted path to a ballot. I guess they're trying to prove they're smart? These decisions are detestable because they take the debate away from the hands of the debaters. If there are multiple paths to victory for both teams, I will take what I think is the shortest path and explain why I think it's the shortest path, and you can influence my decision by explaining why you control the shortest path. But, I'm not going to use my decision to attempt to prove I'm more clever than the participants of the debate.
- I’m not a professional debate coach or even a teacher. I work as a finance analyst in the IT sector and I volunteer as a debate coach on evenings and weekends. I don’t teach at debate camp and my topic knowledge comes primarily from judging debates. My finance background means that, when left to my own devices, I err towards precision, logic, data, and concrete examples. However, I can be convinced otherwise in any particular debate, especially when it’s not challenged by the other team.
- Tech over truth in most instances. I will stick to my flow and minimize intervention as much as possible. I firmly believe that debates should be left to the debaters. I rarely make facial expressions because I don’t want my personal reactions to affect how a debate plays out. I will maintain a flow, even if you ask me not to. However, tech over truth has its limits. An argument must have sufficient explanation for it to matter to me, even if it’s dropped. You need a warrant and impact, not just a claim.
- Evidence comparison is under-utilized and is very important to me in close debates. I often call for evidence, but I’m much more likely to call for a card if it’s extended by author or cite.
- I don’t judge or coach at the college level, which means I’m usually a year or two behind the latest argument trends that are first broken in college and eventually trickle down to high school. If you’re reading something that’s close to the cutting edge of debate arguments, you’ll need to explain it clearly. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear new arguments. On the contrary, a big reason why I continue coaching debate is because I enjoy listening to and learning about new arguments that challenge my existing ways of thinking.
- Please mark your own cards. No one is marking them for you.
- If I feel that you are deliberately evading answering a question or have straight up lied, and the question is important to the outcome of the debate, I will stop the timer and ask you to answer the question. Example: if you read condo bad, the neg asks in CX whether you read condo bad, and you say no, I’ll ask if you want me to cross-out condo on my flow.
- Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
- When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
- When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
- Over the years, “tech over truth” has led me to vote neg on some untruthful T violations. If you’re neg and you’ve done a lot of research and are ready to throw down on a very technical and carded T debate, I’m a good judge for you.
- I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
- Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
- The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
- Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
- I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
- Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
- I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
- I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
- Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
- I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
- I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
- Presumption is in the direction of less change. If left to my own devices, I will probably conclude that most counterplans that are not explicitly PICs are a larger change than the aff.
- I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
- I believe that in most cases, the link is more important for determining the direction of risk than uniqueness. The exceptions are when the uniqueness can be definitively determined rather than probabilistic.
- Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
- I actually enjoy listening to a good theory debate, but these seem to be exceedingly rare. I think I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. You're unlikely to win that a single intrinsic permutation is a round-winning voter, even if the other team drops it, unless you are investing significant time in explaining why it should be an independent voting issue.
- I think that I lean affirmative compared to the rest of the judging community on the legitimacy of counterplans. In my mind, a counterplan that is wholly plan-inclusive (consultation, condition, delay, etc.) is theoretically questionable. The legitimacy of agent counterplans, whether domestic or international, is also contestable. I think the negative has the right to read multiple planks to a counterplan, but reading each plank conditionally is theoretically suspect.
- I usually take a long time to decide, and give lengthy decisions. LASA debaters have benefitted from the generosity of judges, coaches, and lab leaders who used their decisions to teach and trade ideas, not just pick a winner and get a paycheck. Debaters from schools with limited/no coaching, the same schools needed to prevent the decline in policy debate numbers, greatly benefit from judging feedback. I encourage you to ask questions and engage in respectful dialogue with me. However, post-round hostility will be met with hostility. I've been providing free coaching and judging since before you were birthed into the world. If I think you're being rude or condescending to me or your opponents, I will enthusiastically knock you back down to Earth.
- I don't want a card doc. If you send one, I will ignore it. Card docs are an opportunity for debaters to insert cards they didn't read, didn't extend, or re-highlight. They're also an excuse for lazy judges to compensate for a poor flow by reconstructing the debate after the fact. If your debating was disorganized and you need a card doc to return some semblance of organization, I'd rather adjudicate the disorganized debate and then tell you it was disorganized.
Debated for Winston Churchill (tx) 2014- 2018
Debate for UT Austin from 2018 – 2021
Currently Coaching for Winston Churchill.
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If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
TLDR: Debate the way you debate best, focus on impact comparison on all levels of the debate, and give me a clear ballot story in the last two speeches. I prefer debates over hypothetical enactment of a policy. My favorite rounds are high-level topicality debates against a plan.
· Do not try to over adapt to me. I’d rather listen to a CP/Politics debate, but I would much rather listen to what you debate best.
· Tech > Truth – Debates should be left to the debaters, so I will try to revert to my flow as much as possible. This isn’t to say you need to repeat the same answer to 5 args. You should group or cross-apply your answers. I will try my best to place arguments w because where they apply because expecting you to crossapply all the arguments that are relevant is unrealistic, but the cleaner you make my flow the better your chances are of picking up my ballot.
· Evidence comparison – ev comparison is under-utilized and is very important in deciding close debates. Evidence carries great weight in most debates. Evidence is the only thing that gives credibility to the arguments of a high schooler. In critical debates, I am far more willing to allow for uncarded arguments. You SHOULD still read cards that define your theory and explains the alternative else you don’t have the foundation to make uncarded args.
· Mark your own cards
· In LD Debates – I use moral hedging/modesty – I don’t think that a framework is a preclusive impact filter. Rather, I view it as a weighing mechanism.
· * Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
· * I don’t view TVA’s as counterplans. They don’t need to have specific texts of a 1AC – your job isn’t to write a 1AC, but to prove that another plan can meet the negs interp and resolve some of their offense. However, better TVAs are often more specific bc you can no link their generic answer to TVAs. The neg needs to provide either topic areas or specific plans that meet your interp and access some of their education/fairness disads. The affirmative shouldn’t read a case neg against the TVA bc it is not supposed to be impenetrable. The aff responses should be about the effective solvency of that TVA to the your offense.
· * When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
· * When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
§ I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
§ Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
§ The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
§ Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
§ I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
§ Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
§ I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
§ I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
§ Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
§ I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
§ I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
§ Presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a CP.
§ I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
§ Uniqueness is important, but I will default to “link controls the direction of the disad” unless told otherwise and conceded by the other team.
§ Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
· * I default on drop the argument – I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. This means don’t read generic “drop debater on theory.” You need to articulate a sufficiently offense reason to vote for your shell then articulate how rejecting the team resolves that offense.
· * Potential abuse can be a voter, but I am far less persuaded by potential abuse on theory as compared to T.
· * I am really persuaded by reasonability (remember reasonability is a debate about the counterinterp) on theory – I find a lot of the “bad” and “frivolous” shells essentially have no disads to the counterinterp. For example, It might be true that disclosing open source vs just cites can lead to more educational debates, BUT this does not mean that the debates we have under sending cites is uneducaitonal. A marginal improvement in education is unlikely to be enough to gain by ballot.
For email chains and any questions, my email is email@example.com
Speaking Style (Speed, Quantity) - I like fast debate. Speed is fine as long as you are clear and loud. I will be vocal if you are not. A large quantity of quality arguments is great. Supplementing a large number of quality arguments with efficient grouping and cross-application is even better.
Theory - Theory arguments should be well impacted/warranted. I treat blippy/non-warranted/3 second theory arguments as non-arguments. My threshold for voting on a punishment voter ("reject the team") is higher than a "reject the argument, not the team" impacted argument. I'm open to a wide variety of argument types as long as you can justify them as theoretically valuable.
Topicality - My topicality threshold is established by the combination of answers.
Good aff defense + no aff offense + solid defense of reasonability = higher threshold/harder to win for the neg.
Good aff defense + no aff offense + neg wins competing interps = low threshold/easy to win for the neg.
Counterplans - counterplan types (from more acceptable to more illegit): advantage CPs, textually/functionally competitive PICs, agent CPs, textually but not functionally competitive PICs (ex. most word pics), plan contingent counterplans (consult, quid pro quo, delay)
Disadvantages - Impact calculus is important. Especially comparison of different impact filters (ex. probability outweighs magnitude) and contextual warrants based on the specific scenarios in question. Not just advantage vs disadvantage but also weighing different sub-components of the debate is helpful (uniqueness vs direction of the link, our link turn outweighs their link, etc).
Kritiks - My default framework is to assess whether the aff has affirmed the desirability of a topical plan. If you want to set up an alternative framework, I'm open to it as long as you win it on the line-by-line. I most often vote aff vs a kritik on a combination of case leverage + perm. It is wise to spend time specifically describing the world of the permutation in a way that resolves possible negative offense while identifying/impacting the perm's net benefit.
I most often vote neg for a kritik when the neg has done three things:
1. effectively neutralized the aff's ability to weigh their case,
2. there is clear offense against the perm, and
3. the neg has done a great job of doing specific link/alternative work as well as contextualizing the impact debate to the aff they are debating against.
Performance/Projects - I’ve voted both for and against no plan affs. When I’ve voted against no plan affs on framework, the neg team won that theory outweighed education impacts and the neg neutralized the offense for the aff’s interpretation.
Things that can be a big deal/great tiebreaker for resolving high clash/card war areas of the flow:
- subpointing your warrants/tiebreaking arguments when you are extending,
- weighing qualifications (if you make it an explicit issue),
- comparing warrants/data/methodology,
- establishing criteria I should use to evaluate evidence quality,
- weighing the relative value of different criteria/arguments for evidence quality (ex. recency vs preponderance/quantity of evidence)
If you do none of the above and your opponent does not either, I will be reading lots of evidence and the losing team is going to think that my decision involved a high level of intervention. They will be correct.
"Hit the Hits"
Be sure and be able to delineate harms and DA's W/ the status quo.
Then, show how those harms are endemic to the status quo and will not change sans USFG legislation
Topicality is minor to me in the AFF
Tell us why these harms are significant
Finally, delineate how your plan is solvent.
No counterplan is necessary, but is allowed.
Topicality is more important in the NEG case
Prove that the AFF plan is harmful, has inherent DA's, and will not work.
Speak at a fast pace, but slowly enough that you can be understood.
I took a break from debate before COVID and judged zero virtual rounds, so I'm admittedly a bit rusty and haven't heard spreading in a while. I debated in college at Texas. First year out of college.
I used to be a speaker point fairy. I don't know if I still am, but I might be easily impressed for a while since I've been gone. Or maybe I'll give a team that should've been top speakers a 28.2 because I'm harder to impress.
Don't take me or yourself too seriously. I love debate and I hope you do too. That being said, my hands don't work as well as they used to, so I can't flow as fast as I would like. I'd recommend slowing down to somewhere between 50-70% speed for tag lines and analytics. I'd aim for the lower speeds in the instances of short tags and standards especially.
I flow CX. You can use flex prep if you'd like, but no one is obligated to answer you and I won't flow these conversations.
I tend to give short RFDs. I'd rather y'all ask me about what y'all consider to be important after I give my thoughts regarding the round. It seems much more productive to me than going over every minute detail that occurred in the 2ish hours of the round.
I would love to tell you to debate however you want and that I will do my best to avoid my personal biases, but given that it is impossible to be truly objective: I'm a middle of the road judge that leans K and would prefer to judge KvK debates if possible. I think Capitalism is bad. I think debate is a game, but that it has real world implications. I respect any team that is willing to find a link and go for a DA against a K aff. Impact turn debates are fun to judge, and I love dedev. CP+DA strats are cool, especially if you can find a devastating Plan minus PIC with a good net benefit.
I've started reading evidence a bit more after debates, but it's still not my default. I'd rather y'all do that work for me.
The case debate and the link debate go hand in hand; you should definitely read quotes from aff evidence that proves your link or disproves the plan/advocacy.
Rebuttals on Framework and T should include at least a 30 second explanation of what debate looks like under your interp. The questions I will ask myself at the end of the debate are: What kinds of debates will we be having? What arguments are important? Why should I prefer this area of analysis to the other teams? You can make your life easier by answering these for me. T IS ABOUT LIMITS. I consider the distinction between T and Framework to be content versus form. T says the content of the aff doesn't meet the burden of discussing the action of the resolution, but Framework says the way the aff is presented is bad. I consider T to be the stronger argument, and I'm not automatically convinced that the aff should lose because they didn't defend "USfg should," rather I think the aff should discuss the content of the resolution and provide creative interpretations of the wording using mechanisms that are consistent in the literature. In other words, have a defense of why not using the USfg is good, and why your model of debate still provides adequate clash. The TVA and SSD are defensive arguments btw. I will ABSOLUTELY vote for sedition good.
In case this tells you anything about how I think about debate, judges I would pref well include:
That being said, do you, but tell me what you think is important and why I should think its important. If you want to debate, I am happy to judge you.
Form > Content.
Truth > Tech, but don't forget the line by line, I have a tough time dealing with embedded clash.
Quality > Quantity.
Clarity > Speed. I need to be able to hear you over any external noise/music.
I don't reward buzzwords. Assume I don't know your lit base.
Debate should be accessible.
Condo is probably good within reason unless your advocacies contradict.
Updated - Fall 2020
Number of years judging: 12
For the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to be on the email chain, but I am not going to “read-along” during constructives. I may reference particular cards during cross-ex if they are being discussed, and I will probably read cards that are important or being contested in the final rebuttals. But it’s the job of the debaters to explain, contextualize, and impact the warrants in any piece of evidence. I will always try to frame my decision based on the explanations on the flow (or lack thereof).
Like every judge I look for smart, well-reasoned arguments. I’ll admit a certain proclivity for critical argumentation, but it isn’t an exclusive preference (I think there’s something valuable to be said about “policy as performance”). Most of what I have to say can be applied to whatever approach debaters choose to take in the round. Do what you’re good at, and I will do my best to render a careful, well thought-out decision.
I view every speech in the debate as a rhetorical artifact. Teams can generate clash over questions of an argument’s substance, its theoretical legitimacy, or its intrinsic philosophical or ideological commitments.
I think spin control is extremely important in debate rounds and compelling explanations will certainly be rewarded. And while quantity and quality are also not exclusive I would definitely prefer less cards and more story in any given debate as the round progresses. I also like seeing the major issues in the debate compartmentalized and key arguments flagged.
As for the standard array of arguments, there's nothing I can really say that you shouldn't already know. I like strong internal link stories and nuanced impact comparisons. I really don't care for "risk of link means you vote Aff/Neg" arguments on sketchy positions; if I don't get it I'm not voting for it. My standard for competition is that it’s the Negative’s job to prove why rejecting the Aff is necessary which means more than just presenting an alternative or methodology that solves better – I think this is the best way to preserve clash in these kinds of debates. Please be sure to explain your position and its relation to the other arguments in the round.
KRITIK LINKS ARE STILL IMPORTANT. Don’t assume you’ll always have one, and don’t over-rely on extending a “theory of power” at the top of the flow. Both of these are and should be mutually reinforcing. This is especially important for the way I evaluate permutations. Theories of power should also be explained deliberately and with an intent to persuade.
I think the topic is important and I appreciate teams that find new and creative approaches to the resolution, but that doesn’t mean you have to read a plan text or defend the USFG. Framework is debatable (my judging record on this question is probably 50/50). A lot of this depends on the skills of the debaters in the room. This should not come as a surprise, but the people who are better at debating tend to win my framework ballot. Take your arguments to the next level, and you'll be in a much stronger position.
Two other things that are worth noting: 1) I flow on paper…probably doesn’t mean anything, but it might mean something to you. 2) I think there is a difference between intensity and jackassery. Please be mindful of this.
The name listed is Journey Sais because she signed up for the tournament on her account, but my paradigm is here
I'm Dustin I debated policy debate back in high school then did parli at Texas Tech University. Now I'm a coordinator for my step daughter who does policy debate and teaches me a lot of what is new and current. I even follow the twitter debate meme accounts!
I would say I'm a STOCKS/gamesmaker judge. Now when I say that I mean who makes me laugh the most during the round will win, or who I see has the most fun will really weigh a lot in speaker points.
Speed: WOAH THERE COWBOY, is too much for me, I'm sorry, but I won't be able to keep up with what you say if it's too fast. I want you to persuade me and make me vote for you, keep me engaged and don't loose me through the debate. I will get bored fast if you aren't communicating to me too, I want to be apart of the debate.
AFF: Like I said I'm a stocks/gamesplayer judge. This doesn't mean you have to have plan planks, I'm not that stocks, but I do like a good inherency debate here and there. I'm okay with soft left aff's as well I find them interesting especially on this topic, but hard right aff's are probably where I'm going to agree with.
K AFF: I think they're cool to listen to, but they are confusing and I'm not a big fan of this new era of debate. If you choose to run one in front of me at least speak slow and explain to me your method. Telling me a bunch of buzzwords isn't going to give you more ethos.
Topicality: I think it's a good argument if it's true and the aff isn't topical and you can tell me what ground you loose, and go for the right impact I will vote for you.
Disads: I like listening to well blocked out disads. Tell me a story, they work like an advantage on the aff, but people tend to not debate it that way. I don't care too much about a generic link, I understand that sometimes you just have them but try to make it tied to the aff in some way, and argue why this years topic in reality would trigger the impact
Counter plans: I like them just not PICS don't make your CP into a pic, those are really abusive to the aff and it gives me nothing to vote on. If you run a CP please have a net benefit so I have something to weigh as well with the plan text you offer me.
K: Same reasoning with the K aff's here. Not a huge fan, and I'll admit it it's because I don't understand them too well, and until then I just won't be comfortable voting on them. However, explain your alt, the method and i'll be fine with that.
FW: I like framework it's a good argument against K aff's
I know I'm probably not the judge you want, but it's good to be good at judge adaptation. That's what I tell my debaters. If you're nice and have a good time in the round that's all I could ask for. Make me laugh you know that would be nice too if you did that in your speech. Just have fun - I know debate can be stressful!
Copied and Pasted from my judge philosophy wiki page.
Director of Debate at Pace Academy
15 years judging and coaching high school debate. First at Damien High School then at Greenhill. Generally only judge a handful of college rounds a year.
Zero rounds on the current college topic in 2020.
Coached at the University of Wyoming 2004-2005.
I have decided to incentivize reading strategies that involve talking about the specifics of the affirmative case. Too many high school teams find a terrible agent or process cp and use politics as a crutch. Too many high school teams pull out their old, generic, k's and read them regardless of the aff. As an incentive to get away from this practice I will give any 2N that goes for a case-only strategy an extra point. If this means someone who would have earned a 29 ends up with a 30, then so be it. I would rather encourage a proliferation of higher speaker points, then a proliferation of bad, generic arguments. If you have to ask what a case strategy involves, then you probably aren't going to read one. I'm not talking about reading some case defense and going for a disad, or a counterplan that solves most of the aff. I'm talking about making a majority of the debate a case debate -- and that case debate continuing into the 2NR.
You'll notice "specificity good" throughout my philosophy. I will give higher points to those teams that engage in more specific strategies, then those that go for more generic ones. This doesnt mean that I hate the k -- on the contrary, I wouldn't mind hearing a debate on a k, but it needs to be ABOUT THE AFF. The genero security k doesnt apply to the South Korean Prostitutes aff, the Cap k doesnt apply to the South Korea Off-Shore Balancing aff - and you arent likely to convince me otherwise. But if you have an argument ABOUT the affirmative --especially a specific k that has yet to be read, then you will be rewarded if I am judging you.
I have judged high-level college and high school debates for the last 14 years. That should answer a few questions that you are thinking about asking: yes, speed is fine, no, lack of clarity is not. Yes, reading the k is ok, no, reading a bunch of junk that doesn't apply to the topic, and failing to explain why it does is not.
The single most important piece of information I can give you about me as a judge is that I cut a lot of cards -- you should ALWAYS appeal to my interest in the literature and to protect the integrity of that literature. Specific is ALWAYS better than generic, and smart strategies that are well researched should ALWAYS win out over generic, lazy arguments. Even if you dont win debates where you execute specifics, you will be rewarded.
Although my tendencies in general are much more to the right than the rest of the community, I have voted on the k many times since I started judging, and am generally willing to listen to whatever argument the debaters want to make. Having said that, there are a few caveats:
1. I don't read a lot of critical literature; so using a lot of terms or references that only someone who reads a lot of critical literature would understand isn’t going to get you very far. If I don’t understand your arguments, chances are pretty good you aren’t going to win the debate, no matter how persuasive you sound. This goes for the aff too explain your argument, don’t assume I know what you are talking about.
2. You are much better off reading critical arguments on the negative then on the affirmative. I tend to believe that the affirmative has to defend a position that is at least somewhat predictable, and relates to the topic in a way that makes sense. If they don’t, I am very sympathetic to topicality and framework-type arguments. This doesn’t mean you can’t win a debate with a non-traditional affirmative in front of me, but it does mean that it is going to be much harder, and that you are going to have to take topicality and framework arguments seriously. To me, predictability and fairness are more important than stretching the boundaries of debate, and the topic. If your affirmative defends a predictable interpretation of the topic, you are welcome to read any critical arguments you want to defend that interpretation, with the above stipulations.
3. I would much rather watch a disad/counterplan/case debate than some other alternative.
In general, I love a good politics debate - but - specific counterplans and case arguments are THE BEST strategies. I like to hear new innovative disads, but I have read enough of the literature on this year’s topic that I would be able to follow any deep debate on any of the big generic disads as well.
As far as theory goes, I probably defer negative a bit more in theory debates than affirmative. That probably has to do with the fact that I like very well thought-out negative strategies that utilize PICS and specific disads and case arguments. As such, I would much rather see an affirmative team impact turn the net benefits to a counterplan then to go for theory (although I realize this is not always possible). I really believe that the boundaries of the topic are formed in T debates at the beginning of the year, therefore I am much less willing to vote on a topicality argument against one of the mainstream affirmatives later on in the year than I am at the first few tournaments. I’m not going to outline all of the affs that I think are mainstream, but chances are pretty good if there are more than a few teams across the country reading the affirmative, I’m probably going to err aff in a close T debate.
One last thing, if you really want to get high points in front of me, a deep warming debate is the way to go. I would be willing to wager that I have dug further into the warming literature than just about anybody in the country, and I love to hear warming debates. I realize by this point most teams have very specific strategies to most of the affirmatives on the topic, but if you are wondering what advantage to read, or whether or not to delve into the warming debate on the negative, it would be very rewarding to do so in front of me -- at the very least you will get some feedback that will help you in future debates.
Ok, I lied, one more thing. Ultimately I believe that debate is a game. I believe that debaters should have fun while debating. I realize that certain debates get heated, however do your best not to be mean to your partner, and to the other team. There are very few things I hate more than judging a debate where the teams are jerks to each other. Finally, although I understand the strategic value to impact turning the alternative to kritiks and disads (and would encourage it in most instances), there are a few arguments I am unwilling to listen to those include: sexism good, racism good, genocide good, and rape good. If you are considering reading one of those arguments, don’t. You are just going to piss me off.
Debated for 4 years at Moore High School, and going into my third year of college debate at the University of Oklahoma.
Do whatever. It's come to this point where my paradigm is too many words and has no bearing on how I evaluate rounds. I'll give you a detailed 'roadmap' if you prefer.
My pronouns are they/them.
The following things below were written in March at 3 AM. This'll probably be confusing for you as it is for me, so defer to the words I said above.
Speed: I'm cool with it... given that clarity is always better than speed. This being said, you should emphasize certain words in your taglines and analytics to not only give you ethos, but establish certain things I should look for in your arguments. This being said, I would much rather you slow down on your taglines and distinguish them from your cards. Train effect for bonus speaks.
Kritiks: I've spent most of my debate career reading these arguments in a one-off style. Specificity is key especially to Affirmatives. Quote-pulling would be my favorite, as long as they are contextualized in your speeches before the 2NR. I've read a lot of literature whether it be cards, articles, or books, but that doesn't mean I know all of the nuances even in my best studies. I think the best strategy regardless is to win the framework debate on either team.
K AFFs: Do it. You certainly should have justifications for your method, such as reasons they're good or whether your scholarship is key for debate, the round, or even external forces. Topic ties would be better, especially to hedge back against framework teams. That being said, use case as offense.
Framework: Framework is the best example that contests two models of debate. Each team should have reasons or net-benefits as to why these models are better. What makes framework even more convincing as a strategy is to also have a Topical Version of the Affirmative (please give a plan text)... bonus if there's a solvency advocate. Otherwise win reasons as to why your model creates the best way to adjudicate fairness and/or education or why institutions like the USFG are good.
Dis-Advantages: I think generally as a negative strategy you should have a specific and/or contextual link strategy to the affirmative. That being said, general links will probably not suffice, unless the link goes conceded. Disads are most certainly the best offensive policy strategy to outweigh the advantages of the affirmative so please do the dying art: impact calculus.
Counterplans: Counterplans are pretty cool. You should always have a net-benefit (internal and/or external) so it gives me an offensive reason that I should vote Negative. Otherwise, it gives me more of a chance to vote Affirmative either on the permutation or solvency alone. I would much rather prefer functional competitiveness on a counterplan only because I have to evaluate policy options.
Topicality: I believe the same thing goes for topicality debates: why is your interpretation a better model of debate? How does(n't) it explode or over-limit? Do I default to competing interpretations or reasonability? This is definitely a debate more about tech than truth.
Tech > truth in most instances.
I will NOT ever vote for racism/sexism/transmisogyny/ableism/etc. You'll either lose the debate round or all of your speaks... or most likely both.
I debated for Grapevine High School and then at the University of Texas. At UT, I majored in philosophy and economics. I am a big fan of existentialism (Neitzsche, Camus, Sartre) and Karl Marx. That doesn't necessarily mean that I like the way these philosophers are used in debate--debate typically presents bastardized versions of philosophers. I have coached CX at Grapevine High School for the past 4 years. I coach debate for fun--my full time job is as an Internet lawyer where I help individuals and businesses who have been attacked online. I earned my law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.
My decisions are often influenced by my legal background. I view topicality as a debate over what the resolution is as opposed to what it ought to be (and I vote on T more than most judges). And because I deal with nasty people every day, I do not like to see it when I judge debates. I will vote you down for being a jerk. That should not be a difficult burden to meet. Be respectful of everyone in the room and in the community. If I am on a panel with one judge who doesn't like spreading and one judge that is okay with spreading (I prefer spreading), if you spread to appeal only to the two spread judges, I will not like it because by doing so, you will have disrespected the non-spreading judge. I get it--it sucks when you have a judge that doesn't like speed, but that is life and the non-spread judge is a person too. Also, please make sure your disclosures on the wiki are up to date and easy to navigate. If you play games on the wiki, I see that as the same as being a jerk before the round begins. Please don't be a jerk. And if you like to bash people in the debate community on the Internet or otherwise, you are a bad person and should not be in the activity.
If you were to ask my debaters what they should do in the round with me judging, here is what I think they would tell you:
1. I love topicality. I vote on T more than most judges, and I generally have a much more narrow view of the resolution than other judges. If your plan has non-topical tricks to evade specific DAs, then I see that as distorting the debate by excluding that specific DA. You can run the most common Aff on the topic, but if the other team runs T based on a trick in the plan, and they win that debate, I am happy to vote you down. T is never a reverse voter. I will only vote on that if the argument is completely dropped by the Neg, but you will get terrible speaks. All the Neg has to say is "that's stupid."
2. If you are trying to decide between running your critical aff and your policy aff, you should probably pick the policy aff. If you only have a critical aff or want to run it out of principle, good for you. You may enjoy the debate, but you probably won't find my RFD very satisfying. It's not that I have anything against critical affs--I don't--it is that I do not understand most of them and how they can function within a competitive debate setting. Let's say that you affirm that the Holocaust is a bad thing--I would agree with you, but I don't see why that has anything to do with the resolution or how that leaves any ground for the Neg. I know there are people much smarter than me that love critical affs and think they are good for debate. I wish I was one of those people, but sadly I am not.
3. Go out of your way to go line by line. Sign post your arguments. If you are the 2NC or the 1NR, say something like 2AC #1 says "No Link" - We say ______. 2AC #2 says "Uniqueness overwhelms the link" - We say ______. Standing up and reading a bunch of arguments without actually applying them to the other team's arguments is not good debate. In fact, it is sloppy. I think "embedded clash" is interesting in theory, but in practice I see it as an excuse to not go line by line. I suggest that you avoid embedded clash in front of me. That being said, feel free to group arguments, especially in the 1AR. So you can say, "Off 2AC #3, Group It (the Neg's arguments against 2AC #3). 1. ___ 2.___ 3.____".
4. I enjoy theory debates so long as they are not blippy. If you take the time to really explore a theory argument and explain how it applies in that specific debate, I will vote for you more than other judges will.
5. Rhetoric Ks make a lot of sense to me, more so than other Ks. I am not a fan of Ks with Candy Land alts. Because of that, I rarely vote for the Cap K. I agree with the thesis of the Cap K - Cap definitely exploits people on a worldwide scale. But the alts I have seen seem to be simply wishing problems away. I do not find that very compelling when the Aff identifies specific problems and ways to solve them. That being said, if you can attack the Aff's epistemology and show why their knowledge is flawed, and thereby take out the premise of their harms, that I can find compelling.
6. Please be clear on who the actor is for the alt. If the Aff can show that the alt uses a different actor from the Aff, and says, "Perm do both," then the Neg better have a really good reason why two different actors cannot do different things.
7. I generally do not find Ks based on the fact that the Aff uses the USFG compelling.
8. Open CX is fine, but please do not abuse it. I'm not a fan when one partner dominates all of the CX for the team. Prep time stops when you pull the flash drive out or when you hit send on your email.
9. Tell me what to do in your 2NR and 2AR. Tell me why you win. I like reading cards, and I think I read cards more often than I should. So if you are winning the evidence comparison debate because the other team has not explained their evidence and you have, tell me to not read their cards. If I agree with you that they have not explained their evidence, then I will not read their evidence. If you tell me to read certain cards, I probably will as long as you have explained the cards in the round.
10. I do not enjoy framework debates, but I blame that on the Aff instead of the Neg. Framework should have a T component, and that is really how I evaluate framework.
As a final comment, I generally think mutual judge preference is a bad idea. While I think sharing judge philosophies is a good idea, I think judge preference has encouraged debate on the extreme ends of the spectrum. If you are a policy team, you can pref policy judges. If you are a critical team, you can pref critical judges. Given the way the system is structured, you would be foolish not to do that. But the result is that we end up siloing ourselves within echo chambers that conform to our own philosophical or political views.
Updated Last: 3.14.19
Affiliation: Director of Forensics at Union Public Schools in Tulsa, OK (2011-present)
Email: christian.d.jones[at]gmail.com (yes, I would like to be on the chain)
Experience: This is my 12th year coaching.
My General Paradigm
In my view debate is a game. The game must be fair, but debaters may argue what is and is not fair. Debaters may try to convince me which particular instance of the game will be played in each round. I will try to have an open mind, but I do have likes and dislikes.
I prefer debaters to ensure clarity before trying to accelerate. I can handle speed, but if I can't understand it, it doesn't get flowed. If I am being honest, I would estimate that I can catch almost every argument at about 85% of top speed for the national circuit. But if you brake for taglines and present them in a unique vocal inflection, top speed is not a problem.
I prefer line by line debate, but I don't have a problem resetting the flow if the new organization makes sense. Overviews are helpful, but please apply your arguments. A dangling overview is just an introduction. If you don't apply overview arguments to the flow, don't expect me to. Also, please do not machine gun your theory arguments. They should have a warrant and enough explanation to give me time to flow effectively. 2-3 complete sentences will usually get the job done.
I will only intervene if I feel I absolutely have to. I prefer that debaters to help me decide the debate. Comparative arguments will usually accomplish this. Extrapolations in rebuttals are acceptable if they are grounded in arguments already on the flow. I view truth vs. tech to be a false dichotomy; truth and tech are two different aspects of a debate and both weigh in my decision. Arguments that are extremely offensive or outright false may be rejected on face.
I enjoy and find value in a variety of argumentation styles as long as they do not preclude a debate from taking place. A debate must have clash.
Speaker Points (Oklahoma ballots in parenthesis)
30 (6) = Best speaker I expect to see at the tournament
29.9>29.5 (5) = Deserves a speaker award at the tournament
29.4>29 (4) = Excellent speaker, but has a few things to improve on
28.9>28.5 (4) = Great speaker, but has several things to improve on
28.4>28 (3) = Made some small mistakes, but was still enjoyable to listen to
28>27 (3) = Made large mistakes
27>26 (2) = Made several large mistakes that probably cost the round
26>0 (1) = Generally reserved for people who make direct insults toward a person or group of people or do not give their full effort in the debate
The most effective 1NC strategy is 8 minutes of case. If you can win case turns take out the 1AC impacts, you will win my ballot every time. I know this is an unlikely strategy for multiple reasons, but the importance of case debate can't be understated. Every negative should attack the affirmative case, even if it is only a handful of analytics. By the same token, if you are affirmative, don't forget about the 1AC. You read that stuff for a reason. Extend it.
The 1AC presents their argument to a blank slate. If you want to change this, you will need an interpretation and to be clear on the criteria for winning the round. This criteria should offer both sides the possibility of winning the debate. What you call it (role of the ballot, voting issue, impact framing, etc.) is not that important.
Topicality (or any other procedural/theory argument)
If you want me to vote on a proposed rule violation, then you need to win the complete argument. You must win that you have the best interpretation, that the other team has violated your interpretation, that your interpretation is good for debate, and that the offense is a voting issue. If you want to argue that the other team is breaking the rules, then you have the burden of proof. Procedural arguments may also urge a lesser punishment, such as, excluding the consideration of an argument.
I do not want to proscribe specifics when it comes to kritiks, but I do want to see clash and comparative argumentation in any debate. I prefer Ks that are germane to the topic or affirmative case in some way. Specific links are preferable to generic ones. I like kritiks that have a clearly defined alternative. Alternatives that propose something are preferable to 'reject' or 'do nothing' type alts. I am not a fan of ontological arguments, especially nihilistic ones. If you choose to enter the debate space, you have already ceded certain assumptions about reality.
I have no problem with this either, all of the kritik stuff applys here too. Performance rounds can be quite entertaining and enlightening. They can also be the opposite. I am open to forms of communication other than the default language of power that most debaters engage in.
I am open to any type of counterplan, but all arguments are subject to the standard of fairness determined in the debate round (see Framework/Topicality). That said, if you are going to read a counterplan, it should probably have a solvency card. Conditionality is okay, but let's not get carried away (see Multiple Worlds below).
I do not like it when a team defends contradictory positions. I would prefer each side to have a consistent advocacy. A team may defend multiple actions (plan planks, counterplans, kritiks, etc.), but they should be consistent or at least not contradictory.
Other forms of debate
My expertise is in policy debate. I will do my best to consider whatever arguments you choose to present. I do not appreciate sandbagging/trickery and will punish debaters who are egregious in this respect.
I was a High School debater, with experience in 1 year of policy debate and 2 years of PF.
- Speed is for policy, but if you can make a clear case while talking fast I don't mind.
- There is no need to be overly aggressive in round.
- I prefer each team have a framework, and argue framework as well in round.
- I do have some experience in policy, but treat me like a judge who doesn't know anything about policy.
- Speed is good as long as you are understandable. If I'm not writing down what you say I can't understand you. Slow down.
- I am not a fan of K's but if you think that its a strong argument and you want to argue k go for it.
- There's no point in running 9 off if you can barely get through them. I prefer having a smaller number of strong off case arguments that you can build on.
I am a former policy debate from Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana. I am currently a coach for Airline High School in Bossier City, Louisiana.
I am more likely to vote for a policy option than a Kritik or Kritikal Affirmative.
I have always liked a good Topicality debate as well as traditional disad/counterplan combos.
Ok with open cx, I want to be in on the e-mail chain because I cannot flow spreading as I once could. I will ask you to slow down or be clearer if I cannot hear/understand what you are saying.
I also do not tolerate post-rounding. If you would like feedback, you should listen respectfully and ask appropriate questions. Otherwise, your speaker points and ranks will be consequently impacted.
Dan Lingel Jesuit College Prep—Dallas
email@example.com for email chain purposes
firstname.lastname@example.org for school contact
Updated for 2021-2022 topic
28 years of high school coaching/6 years of college coaching
I will either judge or help in the tabroom at over 20+ tournaments
****read here first*****
I still really love to judge and I enjoy judging quick clear confident comparative passionate advocates that use qualified and structured argument and evidence to prove their arguments. I expect you to respect the game and the people that are playing it in every moment we are interacting.
***I believe that framing/labeling arguments and paper flowing is crucial to success in debate and maybe life so I will start your speaker points absurdly high and work my way up if you acknowledge and represent these elements: label your arguments (even use numbers and structure) and can demonstrate that you flowed the entire debate and that you used your flow to give your speeches and in particular demonstrate that you used your flow to actually clash with the other teams arguments directly.
Some things that influence my decision making process
1. Debate is first and foremost a persuasive activity that asks both teams to advocate something. Defend an advocacy/method and defend it with evidence and compare your advocacy/method to the advocacy of the other team. I understand that there are many ways to advocate and support your advocacy so be sure that you can defend your choices. I do prefer that the topic is an access point for your advocacy.
2. The negative should always have the option of defending the status quo (in other words, I assume the existence of some conditionality) unless argued otherwise.
3. The net benefits to a counterplan must be a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy (plan, both the plan and counterplan together, and/or the perm) not just be an advantage to the counterplan.
4. I enjoy a good link narrative since it is a critical component of all arguments in the arsenal—everything starts with the link. I think the negative should mention the specifics of the affirmative plan in their link narratives. A good link narrative is a combination of evidence, analytical arguments, and narrative.
5. Be sure to assess the uniqueness of offensive arguments using the arguments in the debate and the status quo. This is an area that is often left for judge intervention and I will.
6. I am not the biggest fan of topicality debates unless the interpretation is grounded by clear evidence and provides a version of the topic that will produce the best debates—those interpretations definitely exist this year. Generally speaking, I can be persuaded by potential for abuse arguments on topicality as they relate to other standards because I think in round abuse can be manufactured by a strategic negative team.
7. I believe that the links to the plan, the impact narratives, the interaction between the alternative and the affirmative harm, and/or the role of the ballot should be discussed more in most kritik debates. The more case and topic specific your kritik the more I enjoy the debate.
8. There has been a proliferation of theory arguments and decision rules, which has diluted the value of each. The impact to theory is rarely debating beyond trite phrases and catch words. My default is to reject the argument not the team on theory issues unless it is argued otherwise.
9. Speaker points--If you are not preferring me you are using old data and old perceptions. It is easy to get me to give very high points. Here is the method to my madness on this so do not be deterred just adapt. I award speaker points based on the following: strategic and argumentative decision-making, the challenge presented by the context of the debate, technical proficiency, persuasive personal and argumentative style, your use of the cross examination periods, and the overall enjoyment level of your speeches and the debate. If you devalue the nature of the game or its players or choose not to engage in either asking or answering questions, your speaker points will be impacted. If you turn me into a mere information processor then your points will be impacted. If you choose artificially created efficiency claims instead of making complete and persuasive arguments that relate to an actual victory path then your points will be impacted.
10. I believe in the value of debate as the greatest pedagogical tool on the planet. Reaching the highest levels of debate requires mastery of arguments from many disciplines including communication, argumentation, politics, philosophy, economics, and sociology to name a just a few. The organizational, research, persuasion and critical thinking skills are sought by every would-be admission counselor and employer. Throw in the competitive part and you have one wicked game. I have spent over twenty five years playing it at every level and from every angle and I try to make myself a better player everyday and through every interaction I have. I think that you can learn from everyone in the activity how to play the debate game better. The world needs debate and advocates/policymakers more now than at any other point in history. I believe that the debates that we have now can and will influence real people and institutions now and in the future—empirically it has happened. I believe that this passion influences how I coach and judge debates.
Logistical Notes--I prefer an email chain with me included whenever possible. I feel that each team should have accurate and equal access to the evidence that is read in the debate. I have noticed several things that worry me in debates. People have stopped flowing and paying attention to the flow and line-by-line which is really impacting my decision making; people are exchanging more evidence than is actually being read without concern for the other team, people are under highlighting their evidence and "making cards" out of large amounts of text, and the amount of prep time taken exchanging the information is becoming excessive. I reserve the right to request a copy of all things exchanged as verification. If three cards or less are being read in the speech then I prefer that the exchange in evidence occur after the speech. I don't understand why people exchange paperless speeches that do not contain evidence.
**IMPORTANT 2022 UPDATE**
"No mask, no win. You can only have your mask off when giving a speech. Masks should be on for CX, prep, and all other times we're in the same room. Otherwise, you will take a big L 25. Don't like it? Great, do your prefs." - Yao Yao Chen
I've been out of judging for a year as I have been living on a farming commune, and over that time a couple of things have happened
- I have gotten worse for the neg in framework debates. I increasingly find the negs framework standards silly and am beginning to think more and more that framework is an argumentative crutch that prevents people from actually trying interesting and/or responsive strategies. Yes sometimes framework is an impact turn to the 1AC which like, fine I guess. And yes, sometimes the aff doesn't defend anything at all in which case you need to force them to actually take a stance on something. But a shocking amount of the time, in front of me, you will be better off just debating the aff as it has presented itself in the 1AC. I do not want to watch you go for framework. I will still vote for neg in these debates, just not as easily as I did before.
- I have gotten worse for the aff in K v K debates. Your aff doesn't do anything? I'm excited to vote on presumption. Your aff plays some music and reads poems? I'm excited to vote for any of the thousands of impact turns to poetics, or a fun PIK out of the music. I think that the neg has a lower threshold for me in KvK debates than most people seem to think. I want to watch you go for something that is not framework. I will still vote aff in these debates, just not as easily as I did before. Just answer the aff. Seriously, have y'all heard of this thing called the cap K? Speaking of the cap K....
- There has been this trend to push beyond the whole "I will not vote on racism good" and say things like "I will not vote on climate change not real/good" Which I totally support. Now that we have opened up that gate, I am really tempted to say that "I will not vote on cap/heg good." I thought about this for a long time, and I'm not going to draw that line in the sand outright, but I am willing to say that it is going to be hard for you to win a cap good debate in front of me. I'm done trying to leave my very real political investments at the door for the sake of "the sanctity of the game" or whatever other nonsense.
Also, if you have (NON-DEBATE) questions or curiosities about any of the following feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to hear your thoughts and maybe share a few of my own, or at least help you find people more qualified to answer your questions.
Communism, prison and police abolition, pre-configurative politics, homesteading, private property, reparations, cooperative living, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, labor history, why crypto is bad, etc.
Yes I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
**Please make the subject line of your email something that makes sense (ex: TFA State - Round 3 - Texas CM v MSU GS)**
All other things (questions, comments, speech doc requests, etc) should go to masonnmv[at]gmail[dot]com
[ONLINE DEBATE NOTES]
Please for the love of all that is good in this world update your wiki's. The community has paradoxically dramatically reduced it's wiki updating during a time of Zoom debate where it is more necessary than ever before. Seriously, what are you doing. Update your wiki. I will vote on disclosure theory.
Also please leave your camera on if possible. It's so awkward and alienating to stare at a blank screen for two hours by myself.
For other things see paradigm from last year below
[Pre-TFA State UPDATE - 2/25/2020]
Still judging only clash debates so here is a more complete framework rant
- Ideologically I slightly lean aff for reasonability reasons. In the real debate world we actual live in, (some) K affs are predictable, and (most) K affs that are in the direction of the resolution are not hard to engage with. Not only that, but ideally we all have case negs to the best teams at the tournament anyway. That being said, framework is still absolutely negative ground, and K affs are (often) impossible to pin down. Also a lot of K affs require you to spot them solvency before you can win offense which is probably not something we should have to do. Two things you should take away from that
- On the aff, defense goes a long way. The negatives fairness and limits offense is often blown way out of proportion and you should stop letting them get away with that
- On the neg, negative engagement is the easiest standard to convince me of. The 2AR will probably say "our aff is contestable because XYZ" but framework debates are questions of models not just about the aff.
- I vote aff in these debates when:
- The 2AR wins that impositions of limits are bad. I don't often find myself voting that "limits in the abstract are always terrible" but re-framing that same argument as "imposing X limit on debate is bad for Y reason" is something that I find a lot more compelling, especially when the 2NR doesn't do impact comparison and instead just asserts "but I promise limits are super great"
- The 2AR wins that their interpretation solves limits with even a small net benefit of some kind. Mostly this happens when the the aff spends a lot of time on defense (an under-utilized component of framework debates, see above), or when the 2NR rants about impacts for 5 minutes without talking about internal links.
- I vote neg in these debates when:
- The 2NR does great internal link work. I would love for the 2NR to include a section that says "their interp is A which allows for B because C which doesn't solve D because E" Doing so will force you to clearly articulate an internal link differential which is a thing I care about, while also dramatically raising the threshold the aff has to meet to win any of their defense (again, a thing I care about)
- There isn't a role for the negative under the affs interp. I believe clash is great, and the negative often gets away with telling me that they are the only ones that allow for clash to occur. Not only that but the negative often is better at telling me why the types of clash that we have under their interp is good for XYZ reason.
- I think debate is great, I wouldn't devote 100% of my non-schoolwork time to it if I didn't, so you will have a hard time convincing me that "debate is terrible, we shouldn't do it, clash is always bad in every instance" and the negative will have an easy time winning "debate can be good, you don't even have to read a plan just say something at all please"
- I find it really hard to explain why the act of reading framework in and of itself is violent or bad. Specifically, I will have a really hard time voting on "you read framework you should lose" if the 2NR doesn't go for it, and I really don't care about framework linking to X other position that you read. If you don't put framework in the 1NC the aff gets to run wild in the 2AC, and fallback positions are a thing. If you're neg you still need to answer it but don't think you have to go for framework or you're screwed because as long as you answer it I don't care that much at all.
[MID SEASON UPDATE - 12/11/2019]
- I increasingly find myself saying something like this in the RFDs "I have you saying quote: *reads exactly what I have written on my flow* in the 2NR/2AR, to me that is not a complete argument nor does it answer the explanation the other team is doing" - this might be me being picky, but just know that I have a slightly higher threshold than average for what qualifies as extending a complete argument
- I have also done this a couple of times "I have you saying quote: *reads from flow* in the 1AR/block, while the 2NR/2AR explanation is very good you have not made this into an actual argument until then"
- This is not a tech over truth claim. Truth does come before tech, but there is a minimum threshold that your truthful argument has to meet for me to feel comfortable evaluating it
- For framework, some new thoughts
- To quote Bankey: there are two framework 2ARs: 1) limits are bad, or 2) we solve limits. While there are a plethora of winning 2ARs on framework, if you don't do either of those things you are going to be in a rough spot
- If the aff is going for the "we solve limits" 2AR, the 2NR would be greatly served by having a section which says "their interp is A which allows for B because C which doesn't solve D because E" Doing so will force you to clearly articulate an internal link differential between your interp and their interp. If you can't do that in the 2NR then maybe go for a different standard.
- I still continue to only judge clash debates. I've accepted that fate by now, but know that if for some reason I'm in a policy debate I will probably not be as educated as I should be.
- Specifically, I seem to end up judging a lot of *different flavor of anti-blackness* vs *state engagement and fiat are good* debates. I can almost promise that I've heard someone make a much better version of the argument you're making and I can also promise that I'll just wish I was watching that person debate and not you when you're making that mediocre argument.
- I enjoy these debates when:
- There are examples from both sides on the ontology portion of the debate
- Each side answers the specifics of the others examples
- I hear an example I haven't heard before (examples are a trend here if that wasn't clear enough)
- You clearly know what you're talking about/look like you've actually read a book - if you know your stuff, make that clear, it makes me happy that students know things
- I DO NOT enjoy these debate when:
- You assume you're winning ontology true/not true without doing any explanation
- You sound like you're annoyed the other team exists/is making arguments (yes even if their arguments are bad you should still respect them)
- When there are only non-black people in the room and nobody talks about/seems to recognize/cares about that fact
- It's clear you are just reading blocks and don't actually know what your cards say - I will still vote for you, I'll just be upset about it and you're speaks will not be happy
[POST CAMP PARADIGM - SEPTEMBER-ISH 2019]
- Tell me how to vote and why, hold my hand as much as possible and you will be rewarded
- Your evidence quality matters a lot to me, but I won't read evidence unless I need to. Use that to your advantage, compelling and in depth evidence comparison goes a loooong way.
- If/when I call for cards I will ask for "whatever you think is important" That is NOT an invitation to send me everything you read, nor is it a promise to read everything you send me. Instead it's an opportunity to do what you should have done in the speech and tell me which cards you think I should read (that does include opponent evidence if you so choose).
- Truth over tech, you should have a warrant to prove why your truth claim is true
- Take risks and have fun. When you're engaged and having fun it makes my job more enjoyable and a happy me = better speaks
- Always happy to answer specific questions you have before the debate. The question "do you have any specific paradigms judge" (or anything along those lines) will be answered with "do whatever you want"
Framework - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- State good isn't offense for a framework argument, and state bad isn't offense against it - unlikely you will tell me otherwise
- Your interp isn't just a model that dictates the way debates go down, but also a research model that dictates the way we prepare for debates - you should have reasons why both in and out of round their interp is bad and yours is good
- If the aff says arms sales are bad I do not understand why winning arms sales are good is not a reason to vote neg. On the aff that should help you answer fairness/ground, on the neg that should give you another 2NR option if you so choose.
- I am more than willing to vote for intervention/heg/cap/arms sales are good. Often times I think the aff is too flippant about answering the impact turns that get read on case and the negative fails to capitalize on that.
- Increasingly I am becoming less and less of a fan of arguments that say "framework is policing/the prison/any other actually bad thing" In fact, I think that it is very dangerous to equivocate the violence that happens in a prison to the "violence" that happens when teams read framework.
- Answering the aff is not a microaggression. Neither is reading generic evidence. Debaters make bad/non-responsive arguments all the time, that's not a reason to vote them down, just a reason you don't have to spend as much time answering the argument.
Until I judge more rounds on this topic I won't have as many topic specific things to say. Please consult the previous seasons paradigm for any additional information
Yes I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tell me how to vote and why, not only will this help your chances of winning, it will also help your speaks
- I will read your evidence after the debate, not during, so the more you do the ev comparison for me during the debate the more likely I am to believe you - that being said, your evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read the evidence that I think is relevant while making my decision, so make sure to tell me which evidence matters
- Take risks. It makes my job a lot more fun and often pays off big. Your speaks will be rewarded for it.
- Truth over tech, and you should have a warrant to prove why your truth claim is true
- I increasingly keep judge clash debates, I have judged maybe two high level disad/cp debates since the Greenhill tournament, that means two things
- First, in clash debates I find myself leaning aff on the internal link level but neg on the impact level, I think the 2NR impact explanation sounds pretty but the internal link is dramatically under explained, and the 2AR can often be very compelling on a "you don't solve your own impact" level. The topical versions that teams are reading (mostly the generic open borders stuff) is also only really ever compelling to me in a world where the aff goes for "our discussion good" which is increasingly not the way the aff is answering framework. If your aff defends restrictions are bad and provides a mechanism for resolving (whatever that means) that then I am a fan. If your aff is just "debate is bad, fairness and clash are bad" then I am not a fan
- IF you do have me in a policy v policy debate, make sure you explain which part of the debate matters and why, and do a little bit more handle holding me through the debate in the 2NR and 2AR than you would in front of your regular policy judges as I will need to shake the rust off
Policy things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- Uniqueness controls the direction of the link, you will be hard pressed to persuade me otherwise
- Undecided on indefinite parole good/bad - probably lean neg on this question but haven't seen it really debated out enough yet
- The topic is LPR - way more thoughts on this later, but unlikely you convince me your non-LPR aff is T
- If your CP has a solvency advocate (each plank, together) I think it's almost impossible to lose to any theory argument
- Presumption flips aff if the CP is a larger change from the status quo than the aff is (fully explained in the CPs section at the bottom)
- The 1AR is a constructive, you should probably read some cards
Clash of civ things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- Fairness is an internal link, but negative engagement and clash are very compelling impacts
- State good isn't offense for a FW argument, and state bad isn't offense against it - unlikely you will tell me otherwise
- If the aff says and defends that restrictions on immigration are bad I find it harder to win a limits impact but a little easier to win a topical version
- Your interp isn't just a model that dictates the way debates go down, but also a research model that dictates the way we prepare for debates - you should have reasons why both in and out of round their interp is bad and yours is good
- Ericson is descriptive of debate 15 years ago, not prescriptive of what debate should be. I think this makes it a little difficult to win a predictability internal link, you still can just make sure you do slightly more work than you normally would here for me
- Negative engagement/clash is an impact but probably doesn't solve the affs education offense because the neg wants to be able to go for the temporary CP and base, instead it is good as a critical thinking model
K v K things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- I don't judge a lot of these debates, but when these debates are good, I highly enjoy them. The more specific you get with your links/alt explanation/link turns/alt offense the happier I will be
- The aff gets a perm - "this is a method debate" is not a real world thing to do, only way I really change my mind here is if the aff drops this argument
- You are not responsible for other things your author wrote that you haven't read, but you are responsible for other things/theories that the parts you have read rely on for their theorization (your psychoanalysis aff probably has to defend the Lack even if you don't make any of your arguments about it)
- Examples are the key to winning the link v link turn debate for me
- Just because you read a Zizek card doesn't mean you can just make any argument you want - your theory should be consistent and you should tie your arguments back to your evidence, I will read your evidence after the debate while making my decision
Feel free to email me with any questions - masonnmv[at]gmail[dot]com - yes this is different from the email above, please use each for its intended purpose.
After that quick and dirty, here is my rant about the topic as I've seen it so far. Increasingly on this topic I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with the trajectory of affirmatives who have decided to read a plan. Two large complaints that I have:
- Your aff should be LPR
- You should specify which restrictions you reduce
Let me unpack those two things
First, LPR. I feel very strongly that the aff has to be for the purpose of LPR and only for the purpose of LPR. I know that generally the community is moving in this direction but I feel like it’s worthwhile for me to talk about this because I find myself more ideological about this than others I’ve talked to. I think that “legal immigration” most clearly means “admission to the United States for the purpose of long term permanent residence” and anything that isn’t that is fairly clearly negative ground. There are two versions of the refugee/asylum/T/U visas affs that are mainly being read now.
The first type just makes it easier to get those visas. This is the “determine that environmentally-displaced persons constitute ‘refugees’” aff’s. Or the “remove the requirement to cooperate with law enforcement” aff. These affs, for me, and almost impossibly defensible. Those people that enter under those new expanded rules are not permanent residents, nor are they guaranteed to be permanent residents. The most popular counter-interp for these affs, “legal immigration is path to lpr” to me is poor at best. It begs the question of what a “path” is, which I have yet to find a good definition of. For example, H1-B’s might be considered a path to LPR because the majority of people here on H1-Bs apply for transfer of status and become LPR. Without a good definition of what a “path to LPR” means I have no idea how that interp can set a limit on the topic that excludes non-immigrant and temporary visas. With these affs they all have the similar we meet/reasonability story that happens in the 2AR which goes something like “but our visas end up with LPR and aren’t temporary because they eventually become permanent so please don’t vote neg” But this we meet argument is not even close to compelling. In my mind this is the negatives argument, and at best for you is just the same as saying “we are effectually topical so don’t vote neg” The plan doesn’t immediately give people LPR, and I don’t think that our model of debate is defensible.
The second type of that aff changes those visas and makes them LPR. These are the “for the purpose of long term permanent residence” affs. These are think are more defensible than the type above, and end up raising a lot of interesting T questions, but I would prefer it if they weren’t topical. The problem that I have with these affs is that they just make any non-topical group topical. I have no idea why the plan can fiat that they give refugees immediate LPR and why they would not be able to fiat that H1-Bs are LPR (I keep using H1-Bs because I feel like everyone agrees that those are by definition not topical). The problem that I run into when thinking about these types of affs though is that I don’t think that there is a good interp that clearly limits these types of affs out. I think that there are two ways you can try and limit out these affs. The first, is a definition of restrictions that would say that making a new LPR isn’t reducing a restriction. But I think that a compelling answer to that is probably that the restriction that exists on getting LPR is the 1 year requirement which the plan would eliminate. I think that this could go either way, but that’s the point of debate. The second way you can limit this out is to say that a reduction has to be pre-existing. The aff increases the cap from 0 to 200 LPR refugee visas, which is technically a reduction of a cap but it doesn’t increase a currently existing cap. That coupled with a literature argument about there not being any lit to contest reducing restrictions that don’t officially exist to me feels weak but doable. In general this is the debate the aff wants to have in front of me, because despite the fact I don’t want these affs to be topical I don’t know how to safely limit them out without just arbitrarily deciding that they shouldn’t be topical.
Second, specification. This one really gets me going but comes up in debates less. The topic is not immigration good/bad. The topic is restrictions good/bad. The number of affs with plan texts that resemble “Plan: The USfg should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration for artificial intelligence professionals.” is sad but not surprising. Look I get it, you don’t want to debate PICs. But come on, you have to actually defend something. The best debates on this topic are not “should we let in AI professionals to the US?’ but instead centered around how we should do that. And unless you want every debate to be indefinite parole vs LPR then it would benefit everyone if you just specified. If you read a plan, and a solvency advocate that goes with it, that defends a specific restriction(s) then I am very comfortable inflating your speaks AND telling the neg that their generic CP/links don’t assume the specific mechanism of the aff. If you do not do that (read a real plan that is), I am very comfortable voting neg on a circumvention argument. Let’s be real, you are reading your plan like that because you think it has strategic value, and truthfully, it does. And with that in mind I think that there has to be some incentive for the aff to foster clash and read a real plan text so if you are aff in front of me and you don’t read a real plan, make sure you spend more time than you want to answering vagueness arguments/case circumvention arguments. I am also more comfortable with cheating CPs against affs with vague plans, and dramatically less comfortable with cheating CPs against affs that specify.
I understand that the two above statements might make you slightly uncomfortable but I feel like I should put that out there just so that everyone is on the same page.
I am a first year out. I debated for four years at the Liberal Arts and Science academy and currently attend the University of Texas in Austin. I have always been a 2A so that does actively shape the way that I think about/approach debate.
Short and sweet – Yes put me on the email chain - email@example.com. I lean more truth over tech in the sense that I will not vote on something that can't explain to the other team at the end of the debate, but that doesn’t mean you can just drop things and hope I ignore them. Do what you do best. Seriously. I would rather judge a good debate on something I am less familiar with than a bad debate any day. The more you can write my ballot in the 2NR/2AR, and tell me what I am voting on and why, the more likely you are to win but also the more likely I am to give you better speaks. Make my job easy and you will be rewarded. I will be somewhat/very expressive during the debate, and I will flow cross ex
Any specific questions feel free to email me: masonnmv [at] gmail [dot] com - yes I realize that this is a different email from the one above, please use each email for its intended purpose.
Now what you are probably here for:
K affs and Framework – I read mostly traditional affs throughout my career but I did read a variety of different K affs with moderate levels of success. I would like to think that I will do my very best to evaluate the debate in front of me but there are a couple of thoughts that I have about framework debates in general that will always be a part of my decision calculus no matter how hard I try and be objective.
First, my senior year my partner and I went for framework against every single K aff that we debated except for one, against which we went for the global/local K. I think that K affs tend to not meet their own interp more often than you would think, and get away with it, and in the instances in which they do meet their interp, it is often very easy to win a limits disad. I also think that a lot of the offense that K teams like to go for is often only a question of “our education is unique” which I feel is often resolved by switch side and maybe the topical version. Limits and clash are the negative standards that I find the most persuasive, and I most commonly went for clash as an impact that has intrinsic value. I am least persuaded by the topic education standards people like to go for, but I encourage you to do what you are the best at and if that’s topic education then go for it. I tend to think about switch side debate more than other people do when evaluating framework debates. I lean neg in general on framework that's for sure.
That being said, there is nothing intrinsic to me about debate that requires that you read a plan, nor do I think that not reading a plan means that no productive debate can occur. I think predictability is definitely a question of the lens through which you view the resolution (eg: on the China topic, even “policy” teams knew that people were going to read a Pan aff. Doing research in a particular area helps to guide what you and others are able to predict will be read during the year), which means that K on K debates can be highly productive/clash can occur. I think that the neg often gets away with way too much offense in terms of things like the limits disad etc as the aff often forgets to test the internal links of their impacts and instead just goes for the impact turn. To use the limits disad as an example, I think that the negs interp is not nearly as limiting as they often get to spin it as, and the world of the aff is often not as bad as the neg says it is. Don’t get me wrong, impact turning things is fantastic, but sometimes smart effective defense can be just as useful.
Other thoughts on framework debates
- One carded, smart, topical, topical version of the aff goes A LOT farther than 4 short generic ones. Specificity matters a lot in these topical version debates. Both the aff and the neg can exploit this to great effect
- If your aff has a solvency advocate that links your theory to the topic in the same way you claim to, you are in a MUCH better place. It cuts back against a lot of their offense and makes it substantially harder for them to win anything that isn’t limits
- I tend to think that both interps have some educational value, if you are winning reasons why the education that your interp provides is comparatively better than the education that their interp provides you are 75% of the way to winning these debates
- I think that debate is a game, but that doesn't mean that it can't have other intrinsic value, eg it can definitely be a home, or a place of individual expression, or even an academic space or educational training ground. I get this framing from my years playing soccer, which while being a game, also provides a lot of good to a lot of people. What that really means for y'all is that I am probably not the best judge for "it's a game cause some wins so vote neg because fairness"
- The more specific that each sides offense gets, the better. There is often a lot of offense happening on both sides of these debates so the more you are able to get ahead on the specifics of how your offense interacts with their offense the better.
I think it is very hard to win state good is a net benefit to framework, especially if you’re coupling it with a switch side debate argument.
Now the more specific things
Kritiks vs Plans –
- Buzzwords do NOT equal explanation. Just because I might be familiar with your author/argument doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explain it.
- Specificity matters. Feel free to read your generic link cards but be prepared to explain them in the specific context of the aff. On the aff, read your generic K answer cards if you have to/want to but again, be prepared to explain them in the specific context of the aff
- I am better for the negative than most for frameworks that do not let the aff leverage its advantages – I generally think that the aff just assumes that obviously they get the aff and don’t spend enough time here. Yes you can go for framework as the alt/without the alt/whatever you want to call it. Especially if you have a link specific to the aff/something the aff did and not just a link to the squo this can be a very effective strategy.
- Link turns and “the aff is a good idea”/”our reps are true” are sufficient offense to vote aff, but mostly only when coupled with a perm, and you have to explain to me why the aforementioned statement is true. You don’t always have to have external offense against the alt but it would greatly increase your chances of winning. If they kick the alt you can sometimes still get the perm, but you have to do the work to tell me why you should
- On the aff, you should defend the aff and you shouldn’t forget about the aff. Often people get caught up in going for “psychoanalysis bad” instead of actually just answering the links and defending the aff. You should still have specific K offense but seriously, if the K is competitive, then the aff is offense in and of itself. Unless you don’t get to weigh it. See above
Kritiks vs No Plans –
- Just because this is a “method debate” does not mean the aff does not get a permutation. I definitely think that it is actually most real world to combine different methods and see how they interact. Just because we are in debate doesn’t mean that that same standard should apply. Now you can win specific reasons why in the context of your theory the perm still fails, but the aff probably gets the perm.
- See K vs plans stuff as well – specificity matters a ton. Especially in the link vs link turn debate. The aff will almost always have some chance at a link turn, so whoever is ahead on the spin and explanation game will probably win that part of the debate. Historical/contextual examples are super useful and super underutilized. Don’t just assume your truth claim is true, say words and explain why.
- I have different thoughts about risk than most people do. Start at 0% risk and build up, NOT at 100% and work down. I think that it is the negatives burden to prove that their internal links are true and not necessarily the affs burden to disprove them. That being said, if the aff only reads a non-unique in the 2AC I think that the negative is going to have a very easy time proving that the rest of their disad is true. What this means is that I am a sucker for a 2AC that maybe reads one or two cards but mainly makes smart and true analytic arguments to answer the disad at each level. Especially if your disad is bad (if you have to ask then yes, yes it is), then I think that the 2AC probably doesn’t need to even read a card and can instead get away with talking about the disad in its entirety for about 45 seconds or less. This is the best example of where I am more truth over tech
- Yes disads can go away in cross ex if it is done correctly, but you still have to make those same arguments in your next speech. A well-executed cross ex on a disad in my opinion is more concerned about what the 1NC evidence says than what the 1N has to say about it.
- The 1AR is basically a constructive. Let’s be real, I got through A LOT of my high school career going for cards that were in the 1AR. As long as you have a similar analytic argument in the 2AC, you can often justify the card. I don’t think that it’s the 2A’s burden to start answering a disad before it becomes a real disad (see above about analytics being awesome). This does NOT mean you can just drop it. But I often don’t think that you need to read cards.
- I really enjoy a good impact turn debate. My senior year this was my bread and butter, and this is where I am more tech over truth. I think that sometimes the CP just solves the aff and so impact turning the net benefit is often an effective and useful answer to CPs. So on the negative just be prepared to defend your impact(s). This goes both ways, if you are ready to impact turn the aff then go for it. These debate are awesome and often involve a lot of strangely qualified evidence and if you do this well I can’t say that your speaker points wouldn’t see a small not-so-subconscious boost.
- On that note I should add: You will receive minimum speaker points and lose if you read racism good, sexism good, and a variety of other arguments where your moral compass should understand that thing is un-impact turn-able. If you have to ask, you shouldn’t go for it
- I have thoughts about presumption that I think are different from others when it comes to counterplans. Presumption flips affirmative when the counterplan is more change from the status quo than the aff
- For example: Plan: USfg should feed Africa and go to the moon, CP: USfg should feed Africa, Presumption stays negative.
- Example two: Plan: USfg should invest in renewables, CP: USfg should sign the Law of the Sea, iron fertilize the ocean, build CCS, and instate a carbon tax, Presumption flips aff.
- Obviously there are instances where this is not a perfect standard which is why I think it is up to the debaters to explain which way presumption flips and why. This doesn’t come up a ton but when it does it matters.
- On CP theory in general – I am a 2A. Always have been. That being said, I think that you are much better off going for perm do the counterplan/the counterplan isn’t competitive, instead of trying to go for “delay CPs are a voting issue”. I have a hard time believing that I should reject the team because they read a [insert process] counterplan, but I can be persuaded if you have to go for it.
- Also while I am on theory: I have a lot of thoughts about conditionality, but I try my best to judge the debate that happened in front of me. I try to view and evaluate the condo debate the same way someone would evaluate a T debate: which interp have the debaters proved to me is best for a model of debate. I do subconsciously lean aff on this question, but if it's a new aff, do whatever you want.
- 2NC CPs/amendments to CP texts: they justify new 1AR arguments (perms, offense, solvency deficits, links to the net benefit, etc), they are very rarely a reason to reject the team, I could be persuaded that it’s a reason to reject the argument
- The solvency deficit just has to outweigh the risk of the net benefit. Both sides should be doing this comparative work for me please.
Case debate –
- Please do it. I view this the same way that I view disads, it’s the affs burden to prove that their internal links are true and not the negs burden to disprove them. So just like with disads, a smart 1NC on case can be devastating and the less generic your case work is the 1NC the higher the threshold will be for 2AC answers. Basically just read the stuff about disads but switch the aff and the neg
- I am not a fan of the fast, blippy, 2AC case answers, nor am I a fan of your 45 second long block of text that you are going to spread through and call an overview. The 2AC should actually answer case args and the block and 2NR will be given a lot of leeway if you don’t. “Yes war – their evidence doesn’t assume miscalc” is not an answer.
- T is and always will be a question of competing models of debate. That might sound to you like "competing interps" but there is a distinction. Competing interps for me is much more a question of how I should evaluate offense in a topicality debate. Reasonability just means that your interpretation is reasonable (not that the aff is reasonable)/your interp is sufficient to resolve a risk of their offense, competing interps just means that it should only be a question of offense/defense. But in both worlds I am still evaluating different, comparable models of debate.
- I am less concerned about your ability to read your five sub-points ground and fairness block and more concerned with your ability to outline what the world of the other teams interp looks like. Why is it bad for debate (both aff and neg ground) etc.
- That being said, I went for T a lot in high school. T QPQ and framework were our two most common 2nrs. So do what you have to do. And yes, T is a topic generic.
- Topicality is about the model of debate that you endorse, so have a defense of that. Case lists, and why the affs on that list are bad or good, are a must.
- For reference from the China topic – on a scale of Yes T-QPQ We Meet/Counter Interp double bind to No T-QPQ We Meet/Counter Interp double bind I’m a firm “no”.
To close I would like to quote Ezra Serrins, my high school debate partner, "I appreciate it when debaters take arguments seriously but you shouldn't take yourself too seriously"
Volunteer Assistant Coach for Caddo Magnet 1998 - Present
Former Assistant Coach at UT 2002-2005, debated for University of Texas 1999-2002, debated for Caddo Magnet HS 1994-1998
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I listen to all arguments and try to decide debates based on my flow and my understanding of the positions as clearly articulated by the teams within the round. I used to judge a lot of college and high school policy debates a decade ago. Now I am an attorney, and since 2008 I have been principally focused on my legal career, so my involvement in the activity is only part time. While I am not as active of a judge now as I was a decade ago or so, I do maintain involvement with high school policy debate on a volunteer basis. Here are my current thoughts on how I evaluate debates:
Framework: My default setting is to evaluate the policy consequences of a plan vs the status quo or a competitive alternative. I can be persuaded to evaluate the debate through another framework, and I will work to decide framework debates based on the specific arguments made by the debaters within the debate.
Topicality: I like well developed Topicality debates with clear interpretations supported by compelling evidence. Distinctions in definition sources can go a long way, for example, reasons why a particular government agency definition might be preferable when interpreting words in the resolution can be persuasive. I tend to default to competing interpretations when deciding T debates, however I can be persuaded otherwise, particularly if the aff has a strong argument why their interpretation provides superior predictable ground.
Counter Plans: I like them. I tend to default neg on most counterplan theory, (Pics, Conditionality, etc) but I can definitely be persuaded otherwise. I think theory is a powerful tool which seems to be underutilized by many affirmative teams, but it has to be well explained. Well executed theory arguments can decide debates. As a default setting: I am generally fine with Consult CPs, Conditions CPs or Agent CPs that are debated well by the negative and have good evidence. While I probably default neg on Conditionality in the world of 1 or 2 CPs, I could be persuaded that 3 or 4 CPs or more might be too many - if an aff team debates the issue very well. If its a new aff, that could be a reason to be more flexible on conditionality if the negative articulates that argument clearly. Unless well developed otherwise, Pics Bad or Consult/Conditions CPs bad etc are probably just reasons to reject the argument (unless the neg completely drops a voting issue). I do not automatically Judge Kick a CP, unless the 2NR clearly explains how they want it to work. Example: 2NR says something like: "even if they win the perm, it only means CP is not competitive and it would just go away and we get the SQ, and then our DA still outweighs the Case." I can also be persuaded by the Aff that the neg is stuck with the CP if they go for it in the 2NR. While these are some general thoughts on CP theory: its all open to debate.
Kritks: I tend to prefer Kritks which specifically link to the plan or its advantages. Generic Links to the Status Quo are not my favorite, and I can to be persuaded that a Perm would probably solve them unless the negative team does a good job explaining otherwise. While I tend to default to a somewhat policy making style of impact evaluation, I can be persuaded that certain philosophical considerations can come first. Explaining how a Kritk turns the case or disproves affirmative impact claims is also critical in helping decide these debates.
Disads: I like them. The strength of the Link story is at the heart of good disadvantage debate. Making the link (or link turn) specific to the plan makes a big difference, and quality distinctions in link evidence can be decisive. Controlling uniqueness is important, but evaluating the link comes first. Reasoned explanation of why a disad impact outweights case and/or turns the case is good, but having evidence to support those claims is better.
Impact Evaluations Decide Debates: Explaining why the timeframe, probability or magnitude of a given impact outweights another impact is critical to deciding debates in late rebuttals. Having evidence to support that impact claim is better. For example, a timeframe claim with a warrant is good, but having evidence to support it is decisive. Explaining how one impact accesses the other team’s impacts within a debate, or how various impacts interact with one another is also crucial. In close debates, the team doing the better impact assessment in the 2NR/2AR tends to win.
Speaker Points: Please be clear and be polite.
Current Debate Coach at Caddo Magnet HS
LHSSL Executive Secretary
Please show up on time. Have email chains, stands and other needs set up before the start time of the round.
I generally look to the fastest and easiest way to resolve the debate. In order to win you should make clear impact calculus throughout the debate and provide a specific path for round resolution in the 2NR/2AR. First tell me how you win the round, then tell me why even if I buy into some of the other team's arguments you should still win. This is how you win my ballot.
I default to a policy maker framework. I will vote for non-policy strategies but they MUST present a clean structure for their impacts. I prefer the affirmative to have a plan text. I do not consider myself an activist or that my role is to balance forces within the debate community.
Identity Politics - You should probably not pref me. You MUST have a link to the aff or specific in round actions for me to vote on this. I understand and sympathize with the issues in round, but this is not my preferred argument. It will take a lot of convincing to get me to vote on a strategy that is outside the resolutional bounds. I ultimately believe that traditional forms of debate have value.
Theory – I think theory is definitely a voting issue, but there needs to be some form of in round abuse for me to truly buy that it is a reason alone to reject one team or the other. I do not think that simply kicking a CP in block is a time skew that is truly worth voting against a neg team unless there are other circumstances. I do love tricky CP's (consult CP's, clever agent CP's, process CP's etc.) and it would be hard for me to believe that on this topic they're really that unpredictable.
Case - I must say I have a hard time being persuaded that the negative has enough weight on their side to win with only case defense and a DA. What can I say, I'm a product of the late 90's. I much prefer to have a CP/K in there to give the flexibility, especially with a topic that allows for affirmatives to have heavy military impacts. Please be careful and make sure that if you takea case only route that you attack each advantage with offense and have a very very weighty DA on your side.
Kritiks- Not my bread and butter, although I do understand their strategic benefit, having come from an underfunded public school. It is my preference that K’s have a clear order and structure. I will vote on the K if you win that your impacts outweigh the impacts of the plan and that there is a true need for action, but I would not be the judge to introduce an extremely loose and unstructured argument to. I understand and buy into threat construction and realism claims, but in the end, I much prefer a well executed CP and politics debate to a poorly executed critical strategy. You will need to a have link specific to the plan. Links based off of the SQ will not be enough for me.
Framework - I default to the framework that the aff can weight the impacts of their plan versus the impacts of the neg.
Impacts – I believe that impact analysis is at the heart of a judging decision. You are an advocate for your arguments and as such you should provide insight and analysis as to why your specific impacts are the greatest in the round, how they should be evaluated by the judge and how they change the evaluation of the impacts to the other team’s case. Without this assessment I feel like you leave too much wiggle room for the judge to pick their personal preference of impact.
T - normally I like T, not my favorite on the arms sales topic
Speaker points- Speed can be an advantage in the round and should be encouraged, but always with the intent of being clear first. My ability to clearly understand your arguments is crucial to getting them evaluated at the end of the round. The ability to provide analytics and analysis in the round will get you much further with me. As far as CX is concerned, I simply ask that the person who is supposed to be asking/answering the questions, gets the first shot at speaking. If they ask for help that’s perfectly fine, but don’t overwhelm your partner’s ability to conduct their own cx. Baseline speaks for me is 28.5 and you move up or down from there. I hardly ever give above a 29.5
Debated @ UNT 2009-2014
Coach @ St Marks since 2017
Coach @ UTDallas since 2018
If you have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com
For me, the idea that the judge should remain impartial is very important. I've had long discussions about the general acceptability/desirability of specific debate arguments and practices (as has everybody, I'm sure), but I've found that those rarely influence my decisions. I've probably voted for teams without plans in framework debates more often than I've voted neg, and I've voted for the worst arguments I can imagine, even in close debates, if I thought framing arguments were won. While nobody can claim to be completely unbiased, I try very hard to let good debating speak for itself. That being said, I do have some general predispositions, which are listed below.
-I tend to err aff on T and neg on most theory arguments. By that, I mean that I think that the neg should win a good standard on T in order to win that the aff should lose, and I also believe that theory is usually a reason to reject the argument and not the team.
- Conditional advocacies are good, but making contradictory truth claims is different. However, I generally think these claims are less damaging to the aff than the "they made us debate against ourselves" claim would make it seem. The best 2ACs will find ways of exploiting bad 1NC strategy, which will undoubtedly yield better speaker points than a theory debate, even if the aff wins.
- I kind of feel like "reasonability" and "competing interpretations" have become meaningless terms that, while everybody knows how they conceptualize it, there are wildly different understandings. In my mind, the negative should have to prove that the affirmative interpretation is bad, not simply that the negative has a superior interpretation. I also don't think that's a very high standard for the negative to be held to, as many interpretations (especially on this space topic) will be hot fiery garbage.
- My view of debates outside of/critical of the resolution is also complicated. While my philosophy has always been very pro-plan reading in the past, I've found that aff teams are often better at explaining their impact turns than the neg is at winning an impact that makes sense. That being said, I think that it's hard for the aff to win these debates if the neg can either win that there is a topical version of the affirmative that minimizes the risk of the aff's impact turns, or a compelling reason why the aff is better read as a kritik on the negative. Obviously there are arguments that are solved by neither, and those are likely the best 2AC impact turns to read in front of me.
- "The aff was unpredictable so we couldn't prepare for it so you should assume it's false" isn't a good argument for framework and I don't think I've ever voted for it.
- I'm certainly a better judge for CP/DA debates than K v K debates. I particularly like strategic PICs and good 1NC strategies with a lot of options. I'd be willing to vote on consult/conditions, but I find permutation arguments about immediacy/plan-plus persuasive.
- I think the neg gets away with terrible CP solvency all the time. Affs should do a better job establishing what counts as a solvency card, or at least a solvency warrant. This is more difficult, however, when your aff's solvency evidence is really bad. - Absent a debate about what I should do, I will kick a counterplan for the neg and evaluate the aff v. the squo if the CP is bad/not competitive
- I don't think the 2NC needs to explain why severence/intrinsicness are bad, just win a link. They're bad.
- I don't think perms are ever a reason to reject the aff.
- I don't think illegitimate CPs are a reason to vote aff.
- Run them. Win them. There's not a whole lot to say.
- I'd probably vote on some sort of "fiat solves" argument on politics, but only if it was explained well.
- Teams that invest time in good, comparative impact calculus will be rewarded with more speaker points, and likely, will win the debate. "Disad/Case outweighs" isn't a warrant. Talk about your impacts, but also make sure you talk about your opponents impacts. "Economic collapse is real bad" isn't as persuasive as "economic collapse is faster and controls uniqueness for the aff's heg advantage".
- My general line has always been that "I get the K but am not well read in every literature". I've started to realize that that statement is A) true for just about everybody and B) entirely useless. It turns out that I've read, coached, and voted for Ks too often for me to say that. What I will say, however, is that I certainly focus my research and personal reading more on the policy side, but will generally make it pretty obvious if I have no idea what you're saying.
- Make sure you're doing link analysis to the plan. I find "their ev is about the status quo" arguments pretty persuasive with a permutation.
- Don't think that just because your impacts "occur on a different level" means you don't need to do impact calculus. A good way to get traction here is case defense. Most advantages are pretty silly and false, point that out with specific arguments about their internal links. It will always make the 2NR easier if you win that the aff is lying/wrong.
- I think the alt is the weakest part of the K, so make sure to answer solvency arguments and perms very well.
- If you're aff, and read a policy aff, don't mistake this as a sign that I'm just going to vote for you because I read mostly policy arguments. If you lose on the K, I'll vote neg. Remember, I already said I think your advantage is a lie. Prove me wrong.
-Don't ignore it. Conceding an advantage on the neg is no different than conceding a disad on the aff. You should go to case in the 1NC, even if you just play defense. It will make the rest of the debate so much easier.
- If you plan to extend a K in the 2NR and use that to answer the case, be sure you're winning either a compelling epistemology argument or some sort of different ethical calculus. General indicts will lose to specific explanations of the aff absent either good 2NR analysis or extensions of case defense.
- 2As... I've become increasingly annoyed with 2ACs that pay lip service to the case without responding to specific arguments or extending evidence/warrants. Just reexplaining the advantage and moving on isn't sufficient to answer multiple levels of neg argumentation.
I don't think you need to take prep time to flash your speech to your opponent, but it's also pretty obvious when you're stealing prep, so don't do it. If you want to use viewing computers, that's fine, but only having one is unacceptable. The neg needs to be able to split up your evidence for the block. It's especially bad if you want to view their speeches on your viewing computer too. Seriously, people need access to your evidence.
I've decided enough debates on clipping in the last couple of years that I think it's worth putting a notice in my philosophy. If a tournament has reliable internet, I will insist on an email chain and will want to be on that email chain. I will, at times, follow along with the speech document and, as a result, am likely to catch clipping if it occurs. I'm a pretty non-confrontational person, so I'm unlikely to say anything about a missed short word at some point, but if I am confident that clipping has occurred, I will absolutely stop the debate and decide on it. I'll always give debaters the benefit of the doubt, and provide an opportunity to say where a card was marked, but I'm pretty confident of my ability to distinguish forgetting to say "mark the card" and clipping. I know that there is some difference of opinion on who's responsibility it is to bring about a clipping challenge, but I strongly feel that, if I know for certain that debaters are not reading all of their evidence, I have not only the ability but an obligation to call it out.
- Really generic backfile arguments (Ashtar, wipeout, etc) won't lose you the round, but don't expect great speaks. I just think those arguments are really terrible, (I can't describe how much I hate wipeout debates) and bad for debate.
- Impact turn debates are awesome, but can get very messy. If you make the debate impossible to flow, I will not like you. Don't just read cards in the block, make comparisons about evidence quality and uniqueness claims. Impact turn debates are almost always won by the team that controls uniqueness and framing arguments, and that's a debate that should start in the 2AC.
Finally, here is a short list of general biases.
- The status quo should always be an option in the 2NR (Which doesn't necessarily mean that the neg get's infinite flex. If they read 3 contradictory positions, I can be persuaded that it was bad despite my predisposition towards conditionality. It does mean that I will, absent arguments against it, judge kick a counterplan and evaluate the case v the squo if the aff wins the cp is bad/not competitive)
- Warming is real and science is good (same argument, really)
- The aff gets to defend the implementation of the plan as offense against the K, and the neg gets to read the K
- Timeframe and probability are more important than magnitude
- Predictable limits are key to both fairness and education
- Consult counterplans aren't competitive. Conditions is arguable.
- Rider DA links are not intrinsic
- Utilitarianism is a good way to evaluate impacts
- The aff should defend a topical plan
- Death and extinction are bad
- Uncooperative federalism is one of the worst counterplans I've ever seen
Updated Sept 5, 2022
Jesuit College Prep - for a long while; back in the day undergrad debate - Baylor U
Please use firstname.lastname@example.org for speech docs. I do want to be in the email chain.
However, I don't check that email a lot while not at tournaments - so if you need to reach me not at a tournament, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Reason for update - I have updated my judging paradigm not because my fundamental views of debate have changed, really. BUT , as one of my labbies put it this summer, apparently the detail of my previous paradigm was "scary". So, I have tried to distill down some of the most important ways I evaluate debate.
Clash - it's good - which means you need to flow and not script your speeches. LBL with some clear references to where you're at = good. Line by line isn't answer the previous speech in order - it's about grounding the debate in the 2ac on off case, 1nc on case.
Dates and "real world" matter - with WMD after 9/11 and immigration during Trump as close rivals, this topic seems one of the most current event influenced debate topics I've experienced. Obviously I mean this in terms of Russia invasion on Feb 24, 2022 - but I also mean in the sense of Madrid Summitt and new Strategic Concept as it relates to the areas; new president in the US as of 2021 with very different policies about NATO and IR; etc. You do not need evidence to integrate current events into your argument - you do need an explanation about why dates matter - ie what's happened that the other team's arguments don't assume. But these arguments can go far in my mind to reduce risk of a DA or an advantage - so you should make these arguments and use as indicts of the other team's evidence as appropriate. . I am persuaded by teams that call out other teams based on their evidence quality, author quals, lack of highlighting (meaning they read little of the evidence
Process CPs and other neg trickeration - it's such a good topic that I would definitely prefer to see topic specific arguments. This means that there are some process CPs or other debates grounded in the lit that are really good debates; there are some that are not. Particularly as the season progresses, I would expect a discussion of what normal means is - both on the aff and the neg to justify process-y cps.
DAs - it's possible to win zero risk that the DA is an opportunity cost to the aff.
Ks - specific links are good. You should have a sense on the aff and the neg what FW is going to get you in a debate.
K affs - should be tied to the topic in some way. If they aren't, then neg args with topical versions or ways to access the education the K aff offers through the resolution are usually persuasive to me. If the aff has a K of the topic, that's great offense that negs need to have an answer. I don't think that debate is just a game. Its a competitive activity that does shape our political subjectivity.
T - if you have a good violation and reasons why an aff should be excluded, by all means read it. If you are just reading it as a "time suck" then, meh, read more substance. And, an argument that ends in -spec is usually an uphill battle unless it's clever [this cleverness standard does preclude generally a- and o-]
Impact turns - topic specific one = good; generic ones - more meh
New affs are good - and don't need to be disclosed before a debate if it's truly the very first time that someone at your school has read the argument. But new affs may justify theoretically sketchy args by the neg - you can integrate that into the theory debate, you don't need a new affs bad 1nc arg to do that.
Be nice to each other - it's possible to be competitive without being overly sassy.
Modality matters - when you are debating in person, remember that people can hear you talk to your partner and you should have a line of sight with the judge. If you are online, make sure that your camera is on when possible to create some engagement with the judge.
Email chains are good. Include me firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate Coach @ Coppell (9th Grade Center and Coppell High School)
I will work hard to be the best judge possible for your debate. I will flow your speeches and cross-ex and base my decisions as much as possible on your words. I love debate and know how much work you put into it and the least I can do is be the best judge I can be for you. Tech over truth. I’m doubling down here this year because so few judges do this in practice. I would rather vote for high quality execution of untruthful argument that is won than interject myself into the debate.
Some thoughts you may care about when doing your pref sheet in no particular order:
1. I don't have any massive preferences in terms of argument content. Please forward a well-developed ballot story. Compare methods and offense. I don't care what you do as long as you do what you do best. Tell me what you want me to vote on. Judge instructions are good. I prefer lbl to long overviews.
2. Evidence quality matters a great deal to me. I enjoy debates where cross-ex is spent digging in on your opponents claims and referencing their ev. Re-highlighted evidence should be read.
3. T - I didn’t work at camp all summer on this topic so please don’t assume I know your security cooperation buzzwords for T arguments. I rarely see 2nr’s that go for T unless a massive mistake has been made by the aff. If you've done the I default to competing interpretations and honestly am finding it harder to know what reasonability even looks like.
4. FW - A lot of people say they end up in a lot of clash debates. I don't know if this is meant to be a flex, if they've collected data and done the math, if there are just more of those debates these days, or it's just a gut feeling.
If I'm being completely honest, I don't think I end up in a lot of debates because of the school I coach, which is understandable. I am much more likely to vote for T than you may think. I vote aff when the neg goes for too much (more than 1 impact) or is sloppy and disorganized. Doing prep against the tendencies of the team you are debating will serve you well in front of me. You should know what evidence they use from the 1ac or are likely to read in the 2ac to justify their counterinterp. What impact turns are they likely to read? The Neg teams that have specific prep tend to do much better in front of me. Fairness is the often the most persuasive impact to me. I tend to believe that unlimited models of debate have no meaningful role for the neg team and are undesirable. That usually means the aff should be related to the topic in some way. Aff team's lose when they make mistakes on the tvota and on switch-side, the limits debate (counterinterp explanation), or isn’t spending time making offensive arguments (or grappling with neg offense).
5. K - Like most judges, case-specifc links pulled from ev, tags/rhetoric, established in cx, etc. are what I'm looking for. Framing rarely informs my decisions and to much time is usually invested here by both teams. I am not usually persuaded by arguments that say that aff offense just poof goes away if the neg is ahead on framing. Please doof my of us a favor and stay organized. I do appreciate clear labels for the different portions of the debate on the k. Please stick to the line-by-line. Short overviews are ok.
6. CP - Case-specfic is best here again. There's almost nothing better than specific cp with high quality evidence. 2ac permutation explanations are your friend. Later in the debate, I tend to think your explanations are just flat out new and not spin. Just invest a bit more time to unpack yourinital permutations. I generally lean aff on consult (but am much more comfortable with them on the NATO topic) and neg on PIC’s
7. DA - I'm going to miss cutting bbb updates as much as the rest of you. Seriously though, da’s, including the not as bad politics da, can be great. Impact calc and scenario comparison is super important here. Creative spin is welcome. Zero risk is possible and extremely small risk of an extinction scenario can matter a great deal or not much at all depending on the evidence and analysis accompanying these arguments.
8. Theory - I started off my career focusing on ld. Trust me, I've evaluated a ton of these debates. Please don’t read this as an excuse to read frivolous theory. There is a reason I embraced policy debate in my heart and I've chosen to invest my time here.
Eric Mueller Judging Philosophy
I debated in college and was a collegiate debate coach for 15 years. I was research assistant at Guyer High School for five years.
Generally I like you to tell me how I vote. I have no natural hatreds for any argument although I am not high on tricky theory or standards debates. Otherwise I see myself as about as tabula rasa as you can get. I mean that. Tell me how to vote and on what argument and I will genuinely evaluate it. And I am willing to vote on almost anything.
I like evidence debates where people pull out warrants from cards and I like the last speaker to explain why the other side loses and they win. Think offense. I like debaters who demonstrate their intelligence by understanding their arguments. I like to have fun too. So enjoy yourself.
I give pretty good speaks I think. 29s and above in solid debates. I always disclose.
That's the short form.
I can be convinced to be a policy maker with some exceptions. Default mode of policy making is policy advantages weighed against risks of disadvantages and consideration given for counterplans and possible solvency deficits. Multiple CPs can be irritating but also at times strategic. Obviously advantage CPs can be an exception.
I read evidence. I like comparisons of the quality of evidence compared to the other team. Not just qualifications, but unanswered warrants in the evidence. Take the time to pull warrants out of the cards and explain them. It will go a long way here. Explain why your evidence should be preferred.
I also like you to take the time to explain specifically how you think you win. Put the whole round together in a quick "story." How do you want me to view it? Compare it the other team's "story." Tell me how this is taken out and that outweighs this. It makes it easier for me to frame your approach as I decide. Give me some "big picture analysis." Don't just get mired down in line by line. I don't need 4 minutes of overview or "canned" overviews. Make specific to what is occurring in this debate round. Otherwise, it's boring.
Put me on your email chain. My email address is email@example.com
I also often break with the conventional format. I am willing to vote for kritikal negative and affirmative arguments. So, yes. I will vote for your kritikal affirmative. In fact, I would prefer the negative debate about the offense the affirmative advocates rather than a constant resort to framework debate. That said, I will also vote negative on framework against kritikal cases. However it often comes down to an impact debate that many negatives are not very prepared for and the affirmative is usually very prepared to debate. I am always looking for something new.
It is the job of the negative to explain how K functions with respect to affirmative solvency. I think that needs to be hashed out in more specific ways than I often see occur. How do advantages with short time-frames factor into the question of whether to vote on K first? It is more clear for me with things like settler colonialism than it is with Marxism, for example. But don't assume. Take the time to explain. Make the reason it comes first very clear. How does the K undercut their turns? Be specific. Use examples. Don't make it just a non-unique disadvantage with a floating pic alternative. Sell it.
I also think there are reasons why there might be advantages left for the affirmative even given the criticism provided by the K. I think sometimes more specific affirmative evidence proves the plan can still have advantages to weigh vs. K impacts (as in Marxism) especially when the time frames are quick. Why does K come first? Has that been explored?
Framework against critical cases:
I also believe that it is necessary to answer clearly case claims by critical affirmatives that answer the voting criteria on framework. Think of framework as the disad, and case arguments as solvency that allows the framework disad to outweigh the case. Framing matters. I think "competitive equity" as a standard against critical affirmatives is often untenable for the negative. Focus more on the nature of voices and representational aspects of the need for grammar. Think semiotics. That makes voting negative on T easier in these cases. You need offense, not just terminal defense. T must be framed as offense against the case.
Quickly worded "Do both" or "Do plan and K" sometimes leave me confused as to what the world of the perm really looks like. Take the time to frame your perm for me clearly. How does it take out CP/K? How does it interact with the link to any net benefit? On the negative, hold the affirmative to clearer explanations of how the perm functions. Confusion for me usually breaks negative in the presence of a net benefit.
I’m not a big theory guy. I understand theory but I don’t like voting on it. I will if necessary.
All in all, I’m a quality of argument person. Focus more on making quality arguments rather than quantity. Kick out of stupid things early and focus on what you want to win in the block. I have a tendency to allow new explanations of old arguments in the rebuttals and love a crafty 2AR.
Please don't refer to me as Judge during a debate, my name is Ben. Also if you call me Ben I'll know you at least looked at my wiki and you'll get extra points.
- I did 4 years of policy at Dallas Jesuit.
- My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cross-x is open
- Flashing is not prep
- If it is not said in the debate then it is not in the debate.
- Have fun but don't be rude.
- Clarity and Clash are key, I can't evaluate an argument if I don't understand it and how it interacts with anything else. I'm pretty emotive during debates, so if you are paying attention to my facial expression (as you probably should be) you will be able to tell if I don't understand something or am not really persuaded by what you are saying.
- Evidence quality matters. I won't read every card after the debate but on particularly important issues I'll look over cards. Call out terrible pieces of evidence. I will only evaluate the warrants that are highlighted.
- If you read a K aff it should probably be related to the topic not in the direction of the topic.
- Reading 10 off is not a strategy, its a waste of paper and you will lose speaks
- take advantage of case arguments.
- smart analytical arguments can be enough take take out contrived advantages
- If you run a framing contention don't expect that'll nullify a DA, apply it to the DA scenario and contextualize it to the debate.
- Please slow down. I'm serious. You can't win a theory debate if I didn't catch your offense.
- I am not a fan of the states CP. If you do not have a specific solvency advocate I would NOT read it in front of me. That being said if the aff wants to win that 50 states is bad they have to have reasons how the neg will deal with small squirly affs.
- Probably ok: Condo, PIC's, Multiplank, Multiple Conditional Worlds
- Probably not so ok: Conditions, Process, Multiple Contradictory Worlds, Consult, Floating PIK, Word PIC's
- These are not my favorite debates to watch. That being said, if you can keep it organized and efficient then go for it.
- Debate T like a DA, make specific links as to why the aff's bad for the topic and be concrete in your impacts, don't just assert that they are bad for debate, explain why.
- To help with the impact debate, I think caselists, TVA's, SSD, and places where they can access their education and stuff are really, really, REALLY helpful. Framework debates shouldn't be the only places where these are things and can go a long way for the neg, and the aff focusing on why that vision of the topic is bad with specific impacts can clench close debates.
- I usually default to competing interpretations instead of reasonability, but I can be persuaded otherwise if you are related to the topic.
- There can be no risk of a DA
- Turns case analysis should be apart of your speeches.
- Should have solvency advocates.
- Impacting solvency deficits out is important and you should explain why it matters.
- CP's with internal net benefits that aren't DA's to the aff mean I give the aff more leeway on otherwise objectionable perms.
- Framework on the Kritik is usually messy so efficient and comparative statements will be rewarded. I usually don't buy arguments the the aff shouldn't get to weigh their impacts that being said I think that winning the impact framing debate, or what impact should be prioritized is your best way to get ahead on that issue.
- Call out self serving roll of the ballots, they're unfair and unpredictable.
- Clear link narratives and internal link/alt explanations are key. You should be able to explain how the alternative resolves the links and how it solves the case. Make specific references to things that the aff does that are reflective to what your link evidence is criticizing.
- I love watching K debates but if I don't understand what the argument is and the depth of your analysis is limited to the tag lines of your evidence you probably won't win the debate.
I debated at Grapevine and OU. I help coach Grapevine in PF and CX.
Being nice is important when it comes to speaker points. If your opponent is unfamiliar with spreading, slow down a bit. If your opponent seems like they are a lot worse than you, don't be rude to them. If an argument could include a trigger warning, ask before the round. If you’re giving evidence to your opponent, don’t cut out the taglines.
Disclosure is good and the PF wiki should be used more, especially in national tournaments. Evidence quality would increase substantially if so - I find that a lot of PF evidence is miscut. Because of this:
1 - I will vote on disclosure theory. However, it isn’t an automatic W, you still have to win the argument and be persuasive.
2 - I weigh evidence comparison more heavily than other judges.
Speed in PF is fine with me. However, online settings can hamper your clarity if you go too fast.
Ask questions, don’t just make arguments during crossfire.
Go for it, potential abuse > in round abuse. Case lists are persuasive
They're good. Specific DAs are better and I will reward good research. Turns case should be contextualized as specifically as possible.
Good risk analysis framing helps my decision. 1% risk of extinction is kinda silly risk analysis but the other team will have to explain why in the debate.
Read a complete shell in the 1nc - that means include uniqueness.
They're good. Smart advantage CPs and PICs are my favorite. Process/consult/delay CPs I like much less - unless it has a specific enough solvency advocate. I will vote for anything though - just make sure to explain why it solves the aff and is theoretically legitimate. Solvency advocates help a lot in making something theoretically legitimate.
Super generic Ks about the "state" or "fiat" aren't very persuasive to me.
Don't read evidence written by or for debaters.
i've found that a part of the k that really matters is its theory of power/how the world works. if the aff wins that those assumptions don't make sense then they will probably win. same for the negative, winning that the world works in a particular way makes me more likely to vote for you
if you advocate for suicide or death literally being good you'll probably catch an L
K affs are fine but please have a clear position you take on the resolution and a reason why the ballot is key. Shifting out of different negative positions makes me sympathetic to FW arguments.
A lot of judges think that TVAs are necessary every FW debate - I disagree. Having persuasive arguments that frame the ballot in relation to the impacts you are going for is sufficient.
I really value creative forms of engagement with K affs. Pull out CPs and DAs. You should not be afraid to go for some variant of heg good, cap good, or liberalism good in front of me in conjunction with some case defense. If you have a strategy that contests a core thesis of the affirmative, go for it.
K affs will almost always get a permutation - if you think it is unfair why not just go for fw?
read the aff's evidence.
Internal link defense, even if not supported by evidence, is often more persuasive than the generic impact defense that every team reads. Many aff's have terrible solvency arguments - I wish more negative teams would point this out.
I am a fan of impact turns, provided they aren't genocidal or offensive.
In order to make it a reason to reject the team explain why it impacts your ability to debate different flows. Otherwise it is probably just a reason to reject the argument. I don't really have a ton of biases here. Make sure you do things like answer their specific counter interp/standards instead of just reading the same generic block.
Debate History: St. Mark's '10/Trinity University '14
Currently the head policy debate coach at Hendrickson HS
I treat each debate round as an academic exercise in decision making. I leave many questions of framework and impact calculus to the teams debating, however if not otherwise explicitly stated I will default to a policy making framework and utilitarianism, respectively.
I typically evaluate this from a competing interpretations standpoint and an offense/defense framework but can be persuaded otherwise. When making these kinds of arguments, negative teams typically forget that their interpretation is of how the debate space should operate and thus must defend it as so. Negative teams MUST explain why their interpretation is better for the overall debate space in order to get my ballot. In round abuse arguments are compelling, however, they are nearly impossible to prove and I have a high threshold for voting on them.
I am a fairly firm believer that debate is a game and that structural fairness is an impact. However, this also means that fairness should be utilized as a lens or impact filter for all the other impacts in the framework debate.
Many of my thoughts in the above section apply to my thoughts on counterplan theory. I feel that 2 conditional advocacies is the most that the negative should run, much to the chagrin of most folks (new affs are an exception). That being said, I won't default certain ways in theory debates. I will be considerably more compelled to deem that a counterplan solves an affirmative if it is a specific CP than if it is your typical agent CP. Specific PICs that have functional impacts on plan implementation are so much better than your generic process counterplan. So, so, so much better.
Many kritik teams tend to focus more on tricks than substance. The most important portion of this debate for me is the link debate and I expect a clear explanation of why the specific affirmative links. It is the negative's task to explain why the permutation cannot possibly solve back/overcome the links. I will default affirmative in many of these debates. I feel that the best kritik debaters are the ones who are willing to adapt their strategy and link debate to the specific affirmative that they are debating.
Links of omission are functionally spotting the aff a uniqueness overwhelms the link argument to the net benefit to a very vacuous alternative. Please have link specificity.
I didn't think I had thoughts on this until recently. There are very good disads and very bad disads. If you are aff against a very bad disad, don't be afraid to point this out! I feel like I am more likely than most to say there is zero risk of a disadvantage when the uniqueness very clearly overwhelms the link or there is zero link specificity.
-Yes email chain: email@example.com. Every time a varsity debater forgets to hit "reply all" on an email chain, a kitten cries and you will lose 0.5 speaker points.
-Do not clip cards! If there is an ethics challenge, I will stop the debate and have the accused debater re-read their speech with either their speech document on my computer or standing over their shoulder. That being said, ethics challenges are serious, if you are making one, then you are willing to lose the debate if you are wrong. Strategic ethics challenges will result in horrific speaker points from me.
-I will call you out if you are blatantly stealing prep and it will hurt your speaker points.
-For paperless teams, I do not run prep time for saving/flashing the speech unless this time starts to become excessive or it becomes evident that prep is being stolen.
-It drives me crazy when debaters are disrespectful to each other. There is no reason why competitiveness needs to turn into aggression. Treat the debate space like a classroom.
-Another pet peeve: debaters who do not seem to legitimately enjoy what they are doing. Debaters who go through the motions are usually the ones that end up with the lowest speaker points from me. Even if you are not keeping up with the technical aspects of the debate, if you remain engaged and committed throughout the debate, I will definitely feel more comfortable with giving you higher speaker points.
Read a topical plan--------------x-----------------------------say anything
Usually some risk--------------------------------x----------Zero Risk
Conditionality Good----------------------x--------------------Conditionality Bad
States CP Good-------x------------------------------------States CP Bad
Process CPs--------------x-------------------------------Ew Process CPs
Competing off immediacy/certainty--------------------x------------------------No
CP linking less matters-------------------x-----------------------links are yes/no
Read every card--------------------x-----------------------Read no cards
Judge Kick------------x-------------------------------Stuck with the CP
Reject the Team---------------------------x----------------Reject the Arg
CPs need cards-----------------------------------x-------Smart CPs can be cardless
Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President
K links about the plan-----------x--------------------------------K links about a broad worldview
Yes, I want to be on the email chain, please put both emails on the chain.
I attempted to resist the point inflation that seems to happen everywhere these days, but I decided that was not fair to the teams/debaters that performed impressively in front of me.
27.7 to 28.2 - Average
28.3 to 28.6 - Good job
28.7 to 29.2 - Well above average
29.3 to 29.7 - Great job/ impressive job
29.8 to 29.9 - Outstanding performance, better than I have seen in a long time. Zero mistakes and you excelled in every facet of the debate.
30 - I have not given a 30 in years and years, true perfection.
I am willing to listen to most arguments. There are very few debates where one team wins all of the arguments so each of you must identify what you are winning and make the necessary comparisons between your arguments and the other team's arguments/positions. Speed is not a problem although clarity is essential. If I think that you are unclear I will say clearer and if you don't clear up I will assign speaker points accordingly. Try to be nice to each other and enjoy yourself. Good cross-examinations are enjoyable and typically illuminates particular arguments that are relevant throughout the debate. Please, don't steal prep time. I do not consider e-mailing evidence as part of your prep time nonetheless use e-mailing time efficiently.
I enjoy substantive debates as well as debates of a critical tint. If you run a critical affirmative you should still be able to demonstrate that you are Topical/predictable. I hold Topicality debates to a high standard so please be aware that you need to isolate well-developed reasons as to why you should win the debate (ground, education, predictability, fairness, etc.). If you are engaged in a substantive debate, then well-developed impact comparisons are essential (things like magnitude, time frame, probability, etc.). Also, identifying solvency deficits on counter-plans is typically very important.
Theory debates need to be well developed including numerous reasons a particular argument/position is illegitimate. I have judged many debates where the 2NR or 2AR are filled with new reasons an argument is illegitimate. I will do my best to protect teams from new arguments, however, you can further insulate yourself from this risk by identifying the arguments extended/dropped in the 1AR or Negative Bloc.
GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN!
LD June 13, 2022
A few clarifications... As long as you are clear you can debate at any pace you choose. Any style is fine, although if you are both advancing different approaches then it is incumbent upon each of you to compare and contrast the two approaches and demonstrate why I should prioritize/default to your approach. If you only read cards without some explanation and application, do not expect me to read your evidence and apply the arguments in the evidence for you. Be nice to each other. I pay attention during cx. I will not say clearer so that I don't influence or bother the other judge. If you are unclear, you can look at me and you will be able to see that there is an issue. I might not have my pen in my hand or look annoyed. I keep a comprehensive flow and my flow will play a key role in my decision. With that being said, being the fastest in the round in no way means that you will win my ballot. Concise well explained arguments will surely impact the way I resolve who wins, an argument advanced in one place on the flow can surely apply to other arguments, however the debater should at least reference where those arguments are relevant. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK!!!
LD Paradigm from May 1, 2022
I will update this more by May 22, 2022
I am not going to dictate the way in which you debate. I hope this will serve as a guide for the type of arguments and presentation related issues that I tend to hear and vote on. I competed in LD in the early 1990's and was somewhat successful. From 1995 until present I have primarily coached policy debate and judged CX rounds, but please don't assume that I prefer policy based arguments or prefer/accept CX presentation styles. I expect to hear clearly every single word you say during speeches. This does not mean that you have to go slow but it does mean incomprehensibility is unacceptable. If you are unclear I will reduce your speaker points accordingly. Going faster is fine, but remember this is LD Debate.
Despite coaching and judging policy debate the majority of time every year I still judge 50+ LD rounds and 30+ extemp. rounds. I have judged 35+ LD rounds on the 2022 spring UIL LD Topic so I am very familiar with the arguments and positions related to the topic.
I am very comfortable judging and evaluating value/criteria focused debates. I have also judged many LD rounds that are more focused on evidence and impacts in the round including arguments such as DA's/CP's/K's. I am not here to dictate how you choose to debate, but it is very important that each of you compare and contrast the arguments you are advancing and the related arguments that your opponent is advancing. It is important that each of you respond to your opponents arguments as well as extend your own positions. If someone drops an argument it does not mean you have won debate. If an argument is dropped then you still need to extend the conceded argument and elucidate why that argument/position means you should win the round. In most debates both sides will be ahead on different arguments and it is your responsibility to explain why the arguments you are ahead on come first/turns/disproves/outweighs the argument(s) your opponent is ahead on or extending. Please be nice to each other. Flowing is very important so that you ensure you understand your opponents arguments and organizationally see where and in what order arguments occur or are presented. Flowing will ensure that you don't drop arguments or forget where you have made your own arguments. I do for the most part evaluate arguments from the perspective that tech comes before truth (dropped arguments are true arguments), however in LD that is not always true. It is possible that your arguments might outweigh or come before the dropped argument or that you can articulate why arguments on other parts of the flow answer the conceded argument. I pay attention to cross-examinations so please take them seriously. CONGRATULATIONS for making it to state!!! Each of you should be proud of yourselves! Please, be nice in debates and treat everyone with respect just as I promise to be nice to each of you and do my absolute best to be predictable and fair in my decision making. GOOD LUCK!
A few “meta” thoughts:
- More than anything else...Smart arguments > evidence. Willing to assign almost 0 risk to monocultures resulting in extinction or economic collapse resulting in nuke war. That is not to say I do not appreciate well thought out arguments and strong evidence, but it comes secondary to one's ability to persuade me in the back of the room.
- I will vote on the K. I do not read a lot of critical literature. Given that, a couple years removed from the activity has given me perspective on the way I used to demand unreasonable risk evaluation of nuclear war from an economic collapse stemming from grain underproduction in China etc. There is probably something amiss if our activity engenders students to think about the policymaking process in a way that prioritizes an evaluation of these scenarios over systemic harms. Real world vs. debate world I guess.
- I was a 2N for the majority of my career and I feel a strong affinity for case specific strategies. 2A's step your game up. I loved the 1AR, there were tons of fun things you could do in this speech.
- Dropped arguments are not automatically true.
Feel free to ask questions before the debate.
Be Respectful- Speech and Debate is an activity that requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Take a moment to appreciate and respect the hard work that tournament directors, volunteers, parents, judges, and other competitors put into making the tournament an enjoyable experience. Do not be the individual that makes rude, derogatory, and offensive comments or remarks.
General Paradigms on Arguments:
I prefer well-thought-out and fully developed arguments aka depth over breadth. I understand that it is a common strategy to overwhelm the opposing side with as many arguments as possible. However, that strategy lacks merit and will reflect in speaker point deduction. While this strategy does not reflect in an immediate round loss, in close rounds, I tend to favor the side that develops their arguments over the side that doesn't.
I consider myself a "tabula rasa" judge. As such, I am open to any arguments ( critical, policy, etc) as long as it fits the following criteria:
1) It is well-thought-out
2) It is thoroughly developed throughout the round
3) It makes sense.
Speed: I can understand spreading. I just find that spreading is not done properly most of the time and therefore I prefer clarity over speed.
Feel free to ask for clarifications as needed.
Debated for 5 years thus far.
The arguments I've gone for most are Politics DA, Terror DA, Framework, Security K
I'm fine with the K but am not well-versed in a lot of the deep K literature, so if you're gonna read Baudrillard or something, be careful because you might lose if I don't understand it.
Read a plan in front of me, or lose to framework. Or, better yet, strike me.
I will not vote for an argument that I don't understand or doesn't make intuitive sense to me. For example, if you say "words don't mean anything" if you're aff to beat framework, I will not vote on that argument even if it is dropped because of how nonsensical it is.
I will NOT vote on arbitrary voting issues. Don't go for ASPEC. No matter how it's debated, I won't vote neg. Even if debate is about what both sides said, I can't pretend to be an idiot and vote for it. If you're curious to know my reasons, email me.
Clarity is king--applies to text of evidence as well as tags.
University of North Texas
Highland Park High School (TX)
Please include me in email chains, thanks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Framing how I should evaluate things is the most important thing to do. When that doesn't happen I have to intervene more and rely more on my predispositions rather than the arguments made.
Topicality: I like T debates. I think that for the neg to win a T debate there needs to be a well established competing interpretations framework and a good limits or ground argument. Affs need to have a reasonability argument paired with a decent we meet or counter-interpretation.
Counterplans: The neg needs to establish competition and a clear net benefit. I think i'm generally aff biased although they need to focus on what they can win (Most theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument except conditionality bad, I think most condition/consult-esque counterplans are legitimate but not competitive, etc).
Disadvantages: Impact calculus should be a priority. I do not think that there's always a risk of anything and can be persuaded that there's zero risk.
Kritiks: Impact framing arguments are the most important thing to win. They filter how I evaluate the rest of the debate in terms of deciding what is important to win and what isn't. I think that negatives need to make definite choices in the 2NR in terms of how to frame the K and what to focus on otherwise the aff is in a strategic place. Link/Impact scenarios that are specific to the plan make the debate much harder for the aff.
Affs: I think that framework is useful and can be won but I am sympathetic to affs that are topical without maybe defending a resolutional agent. I think a winning framework argument should be centered around a method that encourages the best discussion about the topic rather than just the government. When negs lose framework debates they fail to win links to the aff c/i or role of the ballot arguments. Topical version arguments are useful but negs need to remember to explain the reason they solve the affs offense; "you can still talk about x" often doesn't cut it. I think that affs that don't defend a plan need to focus on framing the ballot because that's how I will filter all of their arguments. I think that it is difficult for aff's to win framework debates without a we meet or counter-interp that can frame any other offense you have in the debate.
I may not know the very specific part of the topic/argument you are going for so make sure it's explained. I'm pretty visible in terms of reactions to certain arguments and it will be obvious if i'm confused as to what is going on.
Head Coach of Jenks High School, Oklahoma 7th year
Head Coach of Manhattan, Kansas 13 years
Yes put me on the email chain email@example.com
Don't go fast I see no point in that.
I know I have a CX back ground so you may beleive that I will like/handle CX style arguments in LD, I won't. When I am a LD judge I want to judge LD not policy the same can be said if you ever have me as a PFD judge I want to see a PFD round.
With that being said I want to hear a value, and I want to hear how it will be applied to supporting the resolution or negating it. Whatever you run I want to hear how it applies to the topic specifically. I think this is a good topic or at least 100 times better than the policy topic for this year.
Don't go fast, read a plan, tell me what you want me to vote on in the 2nr and 2ar
sighposting is always a good idea tell me where to apply the agr not just which peice of paper to flow it on.
I will probably make a decision rather quickly. It doesn't mean that I am not paying attention or evaluating your arguments, I usually just don't need a long time to sort things out.
If you want to read something like Bataille or Baudrillard, etc. I might not be the best judge for you. I don't read the lit, and I think debate is ultimately good, so you might have more mileage if you pref someone else.
I think this topic is awful and I am not sure what a neg is suppost to do to win a round, my guess lots of case defense and some small risk of a DA
Yes put me on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
-I vote for things that I don't like, the debate is yours to make what you will. That does not mean I have no opinions.
-T: Substantial means many things; compare evidence and impact T like a DA.
-I have a hard time understanding teams that run Neolib/Cap with a Spending DA (?). This does not make a lot of sense to me and I can be persuaded to vote on the performative contradiction (distinct from condo).
-Things I am unlikely to vote for: Inherency, "speed kills", claims without warrants, poorly debated T violations, "multiple perms are bad".
Read a topical plan----------------------X--------------------say anything
Usually some risk---------x---------------------------------Zero Risk
Conditionality Good--------------------X----------------------Conditionality Bad
States CP Good------X------------------------------------States CP Bad
Process CPs------------------X------------------------Ew Process CPs
Competing off immediacy/certainty---------------x---------------------------No
Politics DAs are a thing-------------------x-----------------------Good Politics DAs are a thing
Read every card----------x--------------------------------Read no cards
Lots of evidence--------------------------------------x----Lots of good evidence
Judge Kick---------------------x---------------------Stuck with the CP
Reject the Team--------------X----------------------------Reject the Arg
CPs need cards--------------------------------------x----Smart CPs can be cardless
Competition is based off the plan----x--------------------------------------Neg gets to define the plan
Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President
K alts need to do something-------------------------------X-----------but you're asking the wrong question
K links about the plan---------------X---------------------------K links about a broad worldview
Not my Baudrillard-----------------------------------------X yes your Baudrillard
I will try to keep in these range for speaker points:
29.3+ — the top speaker at the tournament.
29.1-29.2 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.
28.8-29.0 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.
28.6-28.7 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.
28.4-28.5 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.
28.0-28.3 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.
27.7-27.9 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.
Have fun and be kind.
email for email chain (I would prefer to not be on the email chain... if I need evidence I will get it after the round): email@example.com
currently teach and coach debate at Saint Mary's Hall in San Antonio.
high school 4 years cx/ld debate at laredo, tx united
college: 3 years policy at the university of texas at san antonio
coaching: 2 years coaching policy at the university of texas at san antonio, coached nine years as director of debate for reagan high school in san antonio, tx. 1.5 years as the director of speech and debate at San Marcos High School, 2.5 years as director of speech and debate at James Madison High School... currently the director of debate at Saint Mary's Hall.
former writer/ researcher for wisecrack: this does not help you.
***note: please don't call me Matt or Matthew, it is jarring and distracts me. If you must refer to me by name please call me reichle [rike-lee].
(updated sections are marked with a *)
Please consider the medium and slow down a bit/ be more purposeful or aware of clarity--the added noises of a house (animals, small children, sirens, etc.) make it a bit harder for me to hear sometimes.
Please try to not talk over one another in cross-examination: it hurts my head.
I proclaim, that I am making a concerted effort to be "in the round" at all times from here on out (I suppose this is my jerry maguire manifesto/ mission statement moment) . I understand the amount of time that everyone puts in this activity and I am going to make a serious effort to concentrate as hard as possible on each debate round that I am lucky enough to judge. I am going to approach each round with the same enthusiasm, vigor, and responsibility that I afford members of a writing group--and as such I am going to treat the post round discussion with the same level of respect.
Ultimately debate is about the debaters, not about the ways in which I can inject my spirit back into the debate format. That being said there are a few things that you might want to know about me.
I debated for four years in the mid-to-late nineties in high school and three years at UTSA. I have debated ‘policy’ debates in several different formats. Because I ended my career on the ‘left’ of the debate spectrum is in no way an automatic endorsement for all out wackiness devoid of any content. That is not saying that I don’t enjoy the ‘critical’ turn in debate—quite the opposite, I like nothing better than a debate that effectively joins form in content.
*I prefer explanation and examples in debates, these make sense to me. The more depth and explanation the better.
*strategy is also something that I reward. I would like to know that you have either thought about your particular strategy in terms of winning the debate round--and I don't mind knowing that you accident-ed your way into a perfect 2nr/ar choice. Either way: the story of the round is important to me and I would like to know how the individual parts of a round fit together (how you understand them). I think this is part of effective communication and it's just helpful for me in case I am missing something. Illumination brought to me (by you) seems to be the crux of getting a decision that is favorable (to you) with me in the back of the room.
*I flow. I may not flow like you, but I keep a flow because my memory isn’t the best and because at some point I was trained to… it just kind of helps me. But I flow in a way that helps me arrange my thoughts and helps me to keep what is said in the debate limited to what is actually spoken by the debaters. I flow the entire round (including as much of the the text of the evidence as I can get) unless I know a piece of evidence that you are reading. That being said… If I can’t understand you (because of lack of clarity) I can’t flow you. also, some differentiation between tag, card, and the next piece of evidence would be great.
Topicality—I don't know why teams don't go for topicality more... it is a viable strategy (when done well in most rounds). In high school I went for T in the 2NR every round. In college I went for T (seriously) no times in the 2NR. While I give Aff’s lenience on reasonability—there is something hot about a block that just rolls with topicality.
*Counterplans/ disads. Sure. Why not. Win net benefits. Answer the perm. Make it competitive. Win your framework (if an alternate framework for evaluation is proposed by the aff). more and more i find the quality of the evidence read for most cp and da's to be shaky at best--not that there isn't great evidence on political capital and the role of popularity in certain aspects of the political economy as it pertains to pending legislation... i just find more and more that this evidence is either written by some rand-o with a blog or is great evidence that is under-hi-lighted. please read good evidence, not evidence that can be written by one of my children on the cartoon network forums section.
Performance/ The K/ the Crazy/Whatever you want to call it: Do what you have to do get your point across. If you need me to do something (see the way I flow) let me know—I will comply willingly. Just warrant your argument somehow. As before, this is in no way a full on endorsement of ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness. Win your framework/ impacts and you should have no problem. Please help me out with the role of the ballot. Please.
*theory: I need to flow. I can not flow a theory debate where the shell is read at the speed of a piece of evidence--tag line speed at the fastest for theory, please. Also if you have no differentiation between tag speed and card speed (good for you) but people are only pretending to flow what you are saying.
*paperless issues: prep time is up when the speaker's jump drive is out of their computer/ when you are ready to email your cards (not continue to write blocks as you 'send' your email). Completely understandable if you send the other team a few more cards than you are going to read but please do not jump the other team an entire file or seventy cards in random order. Learn to send evidence to a speech document.
It becomes harder every year for me to think of a way to encapsulate how I view debate in a way that somehow gives a useful suggestion to debaters. It seems that each philosophy follows a formula--assure everyone that you were a good debater up to and including past experience, make sure they know that you are either open or receptive to all types of argumentation while still harboring resentment to anything progressive and different from what is deemed acceptable by personal debate standards, which is then followed by a list of ways the judge hopes everyone debates.
While the formula will apply to some extent I would like to say that i am in every way honest when I say this: do what you do best and read the arguments that you prefer in the style that you prefer in front of me. Do this and I say unto you that it will do less harm than running around in circles in round for the sake of a paradigm. Be the debater that you are, not who you think I want you to be.
That being said; this is who I assume you should be: kind. Be kind to your opponent and avoid shadiness and we’ll have no problems. There is probably a list that defines shadiness but it follows the same rule as inappropriateness: if you have to ask if something is shady--it is.
have fun. have a nice year.
I am a tab judge. Email for link is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am fine with anything but in terms of what I weigh with each individual argument here is how I view each of them:
K - If you run a K I want to know the specific role of the ballot and why the alt will solve for the problems manifested within the K. If the alt is just a rejection of the opposing team I am less likely to vote for your K.
T - Standards and voters in terms of the real world are how I vote on topicality. If there is ground loss but you do not talk about why that is a voting issue, I am not going to vote for it. T's have a tendency to irritate me if it is obvious they are topical. If you make a topicality as a time suck I will be less willing to give you ground for other theory arguments based on fairness.
DA - Really vague links irritate me, but you can lose the terminal impact and still have a risk of the DA succeeding.
CP - I need a flushed out method on why the Net Benefit of the CP should outweigh the case.
Case - I find oncase really important, and needs to be stressed on both the aff and the neg. Case specific impacts on either side can easily sway a round
Speed - I am fine with speed, however I much prefer quality of arguments as to why they are logical rather than extending impacts that the other team did not hit as well.
katy taylor '17
yes, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
cal rr/tournament 2021 update: I have judged numerous rounds on this topic and I can confidently say that I don't like nebel t as an argument.
current 2020 conflicts: Rutgers-Newark AH and Northern Valley JL
previous conflicts: Evergreen Valley SS, Coppell DR, Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW, and Katy Taylor.
background: I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached debaters in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing in the debate because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is a place for you to do you. I will make my decisions based on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. This means I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about the content/style of an argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in. Have fun and best of luck!
-- please record your speeches/debates.
-- please be kind to each other.
-- good quality evidence + in-depth analysis of the evidence is always appreciated.
-- i will not vote on an rvi on topicality.
-- do not intentionally clip cards. it will be an automatic L and 25 speaks if you do.
-- please start out clear, slow, and loud (very crucial for online debate).
-- ld theory tricks are bad and i refuse to vote for it.
-- speaks are determined by a combination of strategy choice, efficiency, weighing, and good cross-x skills.
-- some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Chris Randall, Anthony Joseph, and Jon Sharp.
Specifics thoughts I've provided from my previous paradigm (2019-2020):
-- Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part of every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy affs vs. K
-- I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There need to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms, and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
-- CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise, I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better.
-- The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. Generally, I think conditionality is good but I can be persuaded otherwise.
-- Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have a good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns to help you win these debates.
-- I don't really have a threshold on these arguments but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
-- When going for theory, please extend offense and weigh between interps/standards/implications.
-- When responding/going for theory, please slow down on the interps/i-meets.
-- Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to floating claims without warranted analysis. A case list is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.
-- I prefer framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in the constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff teams are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like clash and topic education over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
K affs vs. T-Framework
-- There are a couple of things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear are buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote to neg on presumption.
-- You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
-- I went for the Kritik in almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am more familiar with some critical race theory criticisms such as anti-Blackness, capitalism, psychoanalysis, and some critiques of humanism. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism.
-- You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact.
-- The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.
K vs. K
-- These debates are always intriguing.
-- Presumption is underutilized by the neg and permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation of how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, how your method or approach is preferable, and how you resolve x issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
Law Magnet High School 2012-2016
The University of Texas at Dallas 2016-now
Don't assume I know all the nuances of your arguments. Needless to say, you should probably explain your argument anyways. I evaluate all arguments.
Case: You should read it. Lots of it. It's good, makes for good debates and is generally underutilized. Impact turns are fun.
Topicality: I enjoy good T debates. Unfortunately, T debates are normally really messy, so the team to really put the debate into perspective and be very clear on how the two worlds interact first generally wins.
DAs: DAs are also a core debate argument. Specific DAs are always a plus. I default to an offense/defense paradigm but I think an aff can win on defense alone if they making arguments about why having to have offense is bad.
Counterplans: Well thought out specific counterplan are one of the strongest debate tools that you can use. I will vote on almost any cp if you can win that it is theoretically legitimate and that it has a net benefit.
Kritiks/ K AFFs: Over the past couple years I have opened up towards the K a lot. I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the popular Kritiks, but that isn't an excuse for a lack of explanation when reading your argument. I have no problem with teams running untopical affs as long as they can win that it’s good to do so.
Theory: I have no problem voting on theory if it is well warranted. I honestly believe affirmative teams let the negative get away with a ton of stuff, and shouldn't be afraid to not only run theory but to go for it and go for it hard.
Law Magnet High School: 2012-2016
The University of Texas at Dallas: 2016-2019
Assistant debate coach at Coppell HS: 2018-now
firstname.lastname@example.org - I would like to be on the email chain :)
Case: You should read it. Lots of it. It's good, makes for good debates and is generally underutilized. Impact turns are best when they are debated correctly.
Topicality: I enjoy T debates. If you're looking for a judge willing to pull the trigger on T, I'm probably a good judge for you.
DAs: DAs are a core debate argument and I love judging DA(& CP) v. case debates. Specific DAs are always a plus, but obviously that's not always possible. I tend default to an offense/defense paradigm.
Counterplans: A well thought out specific counterplan are one of the strongest debate tools that you can use. I will vote on almost any cp if you can win that it is theoretically legitimate and that it has a net benefit.
Kritiks: I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the more popular Kritiks, but that isn't an excuse for a lack of explanation when reading your argument. But be aware that if you are reading more PoMo/high-theory args, you might have to explain the arg a bit more.
K AFFs: I have no problem with teams running untopical affs but this doesn't mean that I wont pull the trigger on FW, you still have to win the affs model ow the negs model of debate.
Theory: I have no problem voting on theory if it is well warranted. I honestly believe affirmative teams let the negative get away with a ton of stuff, and shouldn't be afraid to not only run theory but to go for it and go for it hard.
*Note for online debates: I'm very forgetful and my keyboard is loud af, so if I forget to mute, remind me to mute myself if the keyboard noise is being bothersome.
I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Current head coach of both Crossings Christian School since 2011 and Southern Nazarene University since 2021. CCS has a 7th grade - 12th grade debate program and our varsity team debates on the national TOC circuit. I debated in high school under Martin Glendinning.
Things you need to know for prefs:
Kritiks: Oklahoma is very heavy with kritiks and non-topical affs so I am very familiar with them. I like kritiks and K affs and can vote for them.
Policy: I am familiar with policy debates and can judge those. My squad is designed to be flex so I am good with either.
Speed: I can handle any kind of speed as long as you are clear.
Theory/FW/T: I am not a fan of FW-only debates so if you are neg and hit a non-topical aff I will entertain FW but that shouldn't be your only off-case. Contesting theory of power is a good strat for me.
Performance/non-traditional debate: Despite what some would think coming from a Christian school, I actually like these kinds of debates and have voted up many teams.
I try to be a tab judge but I know I tend to vote on more technical prowess. I believe debate should be a fun and respectful activity and I try to have a good time judging the round. I think debaters are among the smartest students in the nation and I always find it a privilege to judge a round and give feedback.
Competed: University of Minnesota
Coach (Present): Emporia State University; College Prep
Coached (Past): Augsburg College; Highland Park Senior High (MN)
Although my primary background is in policy, I am familiar with the procedures of public forum and spent a season of my high school career competing in the format. Below are my answers to the suggested PF philosophy questions provided by the TOC.
Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round: Speed of Delivery: Speed is fine so long as clarify doesn't suffer.
Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?):Both effective line by line and big picture storytelling are important to my ballot.
Role of the Final Focus: Providing a rubric/judge instruction for my ballot
Topicality: Generally these debates are done poorly, it's important to have a comparative metric for evaluating interpretations and a robust discussion of the various impacts to the violation. I do not view topicality in a purely "jurisdictional" way - offense/defense is important.
Plans: Not needed but not automatically disallowed.
Kritiks: Sure although just like any argument, it must be explained, applied, and impacted thoroughly.
Flowing/note-taking: I will flow the entirety of the debate.
Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Quality and depth of argument is the primary thing I will evaluate, but style is not unimportant by any means.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Yes.
"I view my role in the debate not as arbiter of truth, but critic of argument, as such I attempt to divorce myself from relative "truth" values of arguments." - Chris Loghry
I like to see debaters deploying arguments that motivate and interest them.
I don’t call for many cards. This does not mean evidence quality does not matter, or that I don’t call cards often. What it does mean is: the debaters make the arguments, not the cards. I will not view them as placeholders for warranted explanation. Not every argument requires a card to answer.
Framing matters: provide me a macro-level filter through which to view the micro-components of the debate. The debates I find myself most frustrated with are the ones in which the 2NR and the 2AR have respectively delivered me 2NC #2 and 2AC #2 and left me to sort through the pieces. Rebuttalists that present a clear story while closing the right doors will be rewarded.
The more explicit you are with me in terms of my ballot, the better. This mostly goes for presumption and judge conditionality, but also for competing Frameworks/Role of the Ballots. If debaters are not explicit, there becomes no objective standard for me to use as a reference for when and where I infer these arguments.
Have a plan for Cross-X.
Things I like to see in cross-x: Asking precise, critical questions. Giving succinct, impactful answers. Writing down all concessions for utilization in the next speech.
Things I hate to see in cross-x: Ad-homs. Open-ended softballs. Questions that blatantly indicate a lack of flowing. Refusal to answer reasonable questions. Repetition of questions to avoid giving answers. Poorly-timed invocations of false ethos. 4-person shouting matches.
If you are reading critical literature, whether on the Affirmative or Negative, please explain and utilize your method. Make the links turn the case. Have a robust explanation of the alternative. Strive for internal, philosophical consistency. Your authors have particular theories of subjectivity, violence, etc., and I want to thear them; just remember that they all can and SHOULD be ACTIVELY applied broadly to frame many portions of the technical debate.
A speech doc is not a flow substitute.
Debate matters just as much to your opponents as it does to you, even if for different reasons. Be mindful of this and respect your competitors.
Edited most recently in March 2018. I debated in high school at Greenhill School (2006) in Texas and debated in college at Michigan State (2010). I have been helping coach Greenhill since my graduation. A fair number of the assumptions that one would draw about me being affiliated with those institutions are probably true. In a given year, I will probably judge 60+ HS policy debates, ~5 HS LD debates, and under 5 college policy debates. There are a couple special notes at the bottom for the latter two groups.
Case Debates – Case debate is underutilized, there are few things that I am more impressed with than beating a team on their own aff. Although, too many teams gloss over the fact that there needs to be uniqueness for neg case turns.
Disads – Defensive arguments are important, and I am willing to assign zero risk of a disad if the affirmative has damning defensive arguments even if the affirmative lacks any offensive arguments. Negatives who rely on there always being a risk of a link will leave me unimpressed. That being said though, I often think that many times a lack of offense does result in a moderate probability of the disad.
CPs – I lean negative on most CP theory issues (more on theory below), although I’m not a fan of the consult cp. I also lean negative on legitimacy of the states CP. This does not mean that affs cannot win theory debates in front of me. Additionally I think some of the arguments that affs make as to why some counterplans are bad, tend to be much better when used as a reason why the permutation is legitimate. Negs should be sure to weigh what happens when there is a solvency deficit to the cp when making their impact calculus arguments. Conversely, affs need to have an impact to their solvency deficits.
Kritiks – Teams must articulate an impact to what happens if they win their framework arguments. I don’t think the negative must have an alternative but I find it hard for the neg to establish uniqueness for their links without one. Affirmatives need to find ways to leverage their aff against the implications of the kritik as well as making sure that they are still able to access their offense if they lose their framework arguments. Negs must also discuss why the aff in particular makes the squo worse. I’m certainly not well versed in much kritik literature so avoiding buzzwords and jargon can help my understanding. If you want me to vote on a kritik, it would benefit you to debate it very much like a CP/DA: turns the case, solves the case, xyz comes first, etc.
Topicality – I tend to view T debates in an offense/defense framework. Its all about competing interpretations, whomever creates the best world for debate should win, issues of abuse are not necessary but can be helpful. That being said, I’m also not a fan of the cult of limits, just going for your interpretation is more limiting will most likely lose to a broader interpretation that is more educational. Also, your K aff's impact turn of T does not amuse me – topicality is a voting issue.
Theory – I lean neg on most theory questions but this is not to be taken to mean that I like to hear your XYZ-Spec argument, your points will go down. Conditionality, or multiple conditional counterplans are both fine. The caveat to this is that I'm not sure if I'm a fan of conditional counterplans with half a dozen planks each independently conditional (ie 2nr could be planks 1-6, or 1-3, or 1&3, etc.). This doesn’t mean I won’t vote aff on theory though, whomever can make their trivial distinctions seem most important will probably win.
Non-traditional affs – I’ve debated at Greenhill and Michigan State, if that doesn’t provide some hint, I’ll break it down some more. The Aff should probably be topical, probably have a plan, and probably also have to defend the effects stemming from the hypothetical enactment of said plan - I've yet to be convinced by a reason as to why any of these things are bad.
General Notes: All of this being said – I will evaluate the arguments made in the round even if they are contrary to my beliefs, this is a guide of what I think and how I will default with a lack of argumentation. Evidence comparisons are important, Impact comparisons as well. There needs to be a decision calculus set up in the final rebuttals – i.e. you can still win the round even after admitting a solvency deficit to your CP. I do like being on the email chain of documents but will NEVER be reading the speech doc during the speech – you need to be clear. I’m only going to flow what the person who should be speaking says, if your partner yells out an argument during your speech, you have not made it.
College debate note: I will judge at one college tournament roughly every four years, this being said, please, please, please, assume I have next to ZERO topic knowledge (careful with acronyms too). I judge a ton of debates, just none on your topic.
Lincoln-Douglas debate notes: Well, you’ve read all of this which means two things: 1. I’m probably judging you. 2. Something has gone terribly awry for both of us. If possible, I’d basically prefer your LD debate to be policy-esque, I can obviously follow whatever but still have no idea what a criterion is. For some reason when I say this, people seem to think theory args are a good idea....most LD theory args seem to be asinine standards that the other team needs to follow…I will not vote on this, and will probably lower your speaker points. Also, if you intend to win due to a theory argument, you need a reason to reject the team – otherwise the obvious remedy is rejecting the argument.
Debate experience: 4 years HS policy, 2 years HS PFD, 1 year college policy at UT Dallas, judge experience 4 years.
Topicality- I love T. Topicality is one of my favorite arguments. However, a lot of teams do things with topicality in which I don't think is strategic. To win T, you must win the interpretation, standards, and voters. Often, a team will focus on one section of T and try to win the argument. Similarly to winning the UQ on a da, it's not enough alone. If you want to go for T, go for T.
Framework- If there is a ROB/ROJ please extend it throughout the debate. Nothing is worse than having a team present one then not talk about it again until the 2AR/2NR.
K- k's are fine, but please be clear on terminology. There are several instances when a team will use a term that doesn't mean what they think it means. Reading philosophy is cool, understanding the philosophy wins debates.
Da- I'm not sure why any judge would have issues with Da's. I'm not a huge fan of politics, but if politics is your thing don't let this scare you away from it.
Cp- Cp's are fine. If you can solve the aff better by all means do it.
K/Performance Affs: For specific questions, ask. If this is your style of debate, then do it. On issues of "you have to be USFG" just tell me why you don't need to be. Although, I love T debates, they boil down to a question of which method/model is best for debate (where the bulk of my decision making takes place) so tell me why yours is better.
General housekeeping: open cx is cool, speed is okay. I will say "clear" if I can't understand you, and I will not be responsible for time keeping. Please don't shake my hand, I hate germs. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
This paradigm was pretty sparse for a while, but I've decided these are pretty useful.
I debated in policy for four years in high-school. I debated at the University of Oklahoma for 4 years.
***** slow down in online debate.
Debate is up to the debaters. Do what you will with the debate, I will do my utmost best to evaluate the arguments in front of
I view debate largely as a set of questions I'm asked to resolve. Depending on how I answer those questions my ballot changes. I find debaters who effectively tell me which questions ought to come first, and how answering those questions informs the rest of the debate.
I'd like to think I don't have any wild idiosyncrasies as part of my judge habits, but here are some of my thoughts, they may or may not help you make a decision on where to pref me
1. New Planks in the 2NC are probably bad.
2. I can be persuaded conditionally is bad if the negative gets a little too wild.
DA's][1. These are cool. Specific links are cool, but I understand the game. If you gotta run 10 generic links because the aff is small, then do what you gotta do.
1. I'd like a little more explanation when you make an ontology claim. "Settler-colonialism is ontological," for example, is much more expansive than a 'politics doesn't succeed argument. Explain what you think settler-colonialism is and how it influences society, and then explain why that informs what forms of politics are successful or violent. This will make it much easier to evaluate your argument!
2. Be clear about what your FW argument is. 9/10 times its helpful to be clear.
3. Reference the aff. if I could imagine the 2nc being read against another aff with no changes, then your speaks will reflect that.
4. Permutation is probably not a negative argument.
1. Clear counter-interpretation/Counter-model tends to be a much better way to achieve my ballot than straight impact turns. Explain to me what clash happens in your model of the debate, and why that solves the neg's internal link. However, if the strategy is impact turns then make sure to spend time doing impact calculus.
2. I'm not really concerned with whether or not the performance of the 1ac solved the bad parts of the world. I view K-Aff's much like Policy affs. I.E. Explain how your model of politics would be good if exported.
3. I really do appreciate when teams apply their arguments in interesting and thoughtful ways. Regardless of you making a "new" argument, if you add your own bit of character to the argument I will appreciate the effort.
1. I'm not as bad for FW as my debate choices would indicate. The way to get my ballot in the vein of Michigan GW, lots of clash and debate focused I/L's. Explain why the C/I collapses into an ever expansive interpretation., and why the affirmative can't square the circle of competion.
2. I am a bad judge for FW teams who are dismissive and don't respond to the affirmative. I think negative teams sometimes miss some basic responses to the affirmative in the pursuit of using academic language. Sometimes aff's just assume illogical things that you can point out, even if it seems simple! Don't ever think an argument is too simple or someone's argument sounds too smart to make a basic response!
3. I'm not a good judge for "Truth-testing means no aff"
1. Not my cup of tea, but I'll vote on it. It will be reflected in your speaks tho.
Director of Debate at Casady School
Put me on the e-mail chain: snidert [at] casady [dot] org
Evidence quality and consistency is very important to me. I can easily be convinced to disregard a piece of evidence because it lacks quality, is insufficiently highlighted, or is not qualified.
Author qualifications are under debated and if a piece of evidence lacks a qualification then that should definitely be used in debate.
K Things General
One line should dictate how you approach reading the K in front of me:
“You are a debater, not a philosopher.”
This should be your guiding principle when reading and answering a kritik in front of me. Debaters seem to rely more on jargon than actually doing the work of explaining and applying their argument. Unnecessarily complex kritiks won't get good speaker points (90% of the time you could have just read the cap k).
I will not flow overviews on a separate sheet of paper.
If you plan on reading the K
I've got good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news: You are very unlikely to convince me not the weigh/evaluate the aff. I'm not persuaded much by self-serving counter interpretations on framework.
That said, the good news is that I think people give the aff too much credit and most of the reasons why I shouldn't evaluate the plan are typically offense against it. For example while I don't find the FW interpretation "Debate should be about epistemological assumptions" very convincing, I will definitely vote on "the affirmative's plan relies on a flawed epistemology that ensures serial policy failure, which turns case."
If you're answering the K
While the above may seem like good news for the aff answering the K, I tend to hold the aff to a higher threshold than most in K debates. I don't think "you need a specific link to the plan" is responsive to a K of the aff's epistemology. Likewise, aff framework interps that exclude Ks entirely are pretty much a non-starter.
Condo seems to be getting a bit excessive, but no one goes for condo anymore so I'm sort of stuck with it.
Tech vs Truth
I think of this as more of a continuum as opposed to a binary. I lean more towards tech than truth, but I'm not going to pretend that I evaluate all arguments with equal legitimacy. For example, I have a higher threshold for arguments like “climate change not real” than “plan doesn’t solve climate change.” I traditionally evaluate the debate in offense/defense paradigm, but there is a such thing as a 0% risk.
I enter every debate with the assumption that the resolution is going to play a role in the round. What role it plays, however, is up for debate. I don’t have a preference between skills or fairness standards.
Common reasons I vote aff on FW:
The neg goes for too many “standards”/"DAs"/whatever-youre-calling-them in the 2NR.
The neg doesn’t even try to engage the aff’s 2AC to FW.
Common reasons I vote neg on FW:
The aff doesn’t have an offensive reasons why the TVA is bad.
The aff doesn’t even try to engage the neg’s standards on FW.
I only flow what I hear, I won't use the doc to correct my flow. If I don't catch an argument/tag because you're too unclear then *insert shrug emoji*. That said, with online debate I will flow what I hear and use the doc to correct my flow after the speech. Including your analytics in the speech document will make correcting my flows much easier.
Guaranteed 30 if you’re paper debate team #PaperDebate
My facial reactions will probably tell you how I feel about your arg.
Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
**prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'**
Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. The most enjoyable rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy. Below are a few things/trends I've noticed about myself for how I come to decision making in debates.
-Clash Debates: No strong ideological debate dispositions, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. I think there is value in K debate and think that value comes from expanding knowledge of literature bases and how they interact with the resolution. I generally find affs that 'negate the resolution' to not have the most persuasive answers to framework.
-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.
-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow/decision. This is almost always an issue of clarity and not speed and has only gotten worse during/post virtual debate.
-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is becoming an increasingly important issue that I am noticing with kritik debates. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses is something that strategically helps the negative team when it comes to contextualizing what the aff is/does. I also see an increasingly high amount of negative kritiks that don't have a link to the aff plan/method and instead are just FYIs about XYZ thing. I think that affirmative teams are missing out by not challenging these links.
Fundamentally I see debate as a game. I think it is a valuable and potentially trans-formative game that can have real world implications, but a game none the less that requires me to choose a winner. Under that umbrella here are some specifics.
1. Comparative analysis is critical for me. You are responsible for it. I will refrain from reading every piece of evidence and reconstructing the round, but I will read relevant cards and expect the highlighting to construct actual sentences. Your words and spin matters, but this does not make your evidence immune to criticism.
2. The affirmative needs to engage the resolution.
3. Theory debates need to be clear. Might require you to down shift some on those flows. Any new, exciting theory args might need to be explained a bit for me. Impact your theory args.
4. I am not well versed in your lit. Just assume I am not a "____________" scholar. You don't need to treat me like a dullard, but you need to be prepared to explain your arg minus jargon. See comparative analysis requirement above.
Not answering questions in CX is not a sound strategy. I will give leeway to teams facing non responsive debaters.
Debaters should mention their opponents arguments in their speeches. Contextualize your arguments to your opponent. I am not persuaded by those reading a final rebuttal document that "answers everything" while not mentioning the aff / neg.
Civility and professionalism are expected and will be reciprocated.
My name is Darius White and I debated at C.E. Byrd High School for 4 year and debate for the University of Oklahoma currently.
Speaker Points: I generally give fairly high speaks, and I understand that their is going to be some rudeness in the debate, but try not to over-do because that will be a speak-point decrease. Also stealing prep, and speaking CONSTANTLY during your partners speech will drop your speeches quite a bit, but I usually try to be generous with the speaks.
Cross-X: I defer c-x being binding (unless told otherwise but they need to be nuanced, not tag line extensions of theory shells) and tend to flow c-x
After-round evaluation of evidence: I will try as best as possible to not call for evidence unless you are highly reliant on one piece of evidence in your last speeches, and/or evidence is into question (i.e. if you call for me to look at a piece of evidence after round), but other than that I tend to try to judge the debate on the actually speeches given by the debaters.
Theory: I have a high threshold for theory arguments and hate when teams spray through your theory blocks; I usually default to reasonability and reject-the-arguments-not-the-team
unless you win the abuse story i.e. I don't think one conditional advocacy destroys aff ground so just try to be reasonable and very persuasive when going for theory.
Disads/CP's: Impact calculation is always a good idea, and even though I am more on the K side of debate, I am down to listen to a really technical CP/DA as a net-benefit debate, so don't be shy to run these arguments in front of me. But, I feel that the CP does need a net-benefit for me to vote for it, so if the 2NR is just CP with no net-benefits, I will have a hard time finding reasons why I should vote for the CP. Turns case arguments on the DA are always tight.
Impact Turns: I really enjoy these types of debates, and they are very persuasive in my opinion, so if you got any in your files, I am down to listen.
Kritiks: I hate when teams read a random K that they have no idea what it means or says, and that is always a pet peeve. Don't run a K in front that you are not comfortable going for, but if you are very well at going for a specific criticism then do your thing because I am more familiar with this side of the debate. I feel that the alternative portion of the K is very under utilized and would like to be a debate I would want to see, but if your thing is going to turns case, then do your thing.
Framework: This is the argument I least agree with but if will listen and flow if required.
Flashing: I don't count flashing as prep unless you are taking hella a lot of time in which I will inform you that I am about to start your prep time; PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, do not steal prep.
Random shit: I like jokes, and making me laugh usually gets you some where speak point wise. Using historical references is always a good idea and paints a better picture on the impact calc. Remember to jump your cards over before the speech, and if you read any new cards that aren't on the flash, flash them before c-x or before the next speech is about to start, this is not prep time.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
A little about my personal experiences:
I am a true Native American (Lummi Indian Nation, /che-shesh whe'-wheleq'-sen/), and of the blood of Old Alaska. I worked for 5 years in my people's Tribal College, where I taught the language, and helped teach and write curriculum for Federal/Indian Policy, Traditional and Inherent Rights, Traditional Storytelling, and Indigenous Histories. In the course of my work in revitalizing my people's language, I have at different points in my professional career testified before the US Congress, advocated for Indigenous Education, advocated to updates and revisions to Federal policy regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Tribal Self Determination Acts. I have acted as the liaison between my people and foreign representatives from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria, Russia, Japan, and Peru; in addition to being the point of contact for my people and my institution for various US State and Federal agencies in the interest of furthering educational opportunities to under-served minorities.
Though I have been in many debates in the real world, this is (2018) my first year coaching/judging debate.
Personal Preferences in the Debates:
Speak up. This is a debate, not a rest home. I prefer clear speech and a measured pace of speaking. Speed is not a priority with me.
Beware outlandish or over-inflated claims. I am not one for hyperbole, and your impact calculus must be on point if you wish to use the 'we're all going to die' argument
Topicality is a hot button issue with me, and in a close debate, can make or break you.
I detest ad hominem attacks. Flippant use of an ad hominem is a sign to me that you do not know and cannot argue your point. Use sparingly
That said, I am a firm believer in the Lord Nelson quote: "Engage the Enemy More Closely". You cannot win a debate without attacking your opponent's positions, nor defending your own vigorously.
I have an open mind going into any debate that I judge. Don't abuse it by assuming anything about me.
Final note for this year's CX prompt: Unless you are indigenous, you're ALL immigrants to me