Mid America Cup
2019 — West Des Moines, IA/US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello, I am a parent judge in my 6th year of judging PF. My preferences:
1. Please try not to spread. It makes it difficult to flow and follow your point.
2. If you refer to a card please provide more information than just the name of the author so I can connect the dots effectively and am not guessing.
I am excited to see you in action and giving it your very best. All the best and see you at the tournament.
Currently a law student. I did PF for three years and have been coaching/judging on and off for Lake Highland for six years. My only request is that you extend arguments, not just author names.
i judge debate rounds like the new york times editorial board: i just wish i could vote for everyone!
2015-2019 circuit pf/extemp at theodore roosevelt in des moines, iowa
i go to depaul university now
tl;dr anything not discriminatory goes, please comparatively weigh, collapse strategically, and frontline!!!
first to steal some of isaac appel’s paradigm:
ethics > tech > truth, if I think that voting for you makes debate more exclusionary, in a manner I find indefensible, I will have no problem dropping you without a technical justification. Sorry not sorry.
the most enjoyable part of debate is when debaters successfully mold a convincing narrative out of ridiculous concepts
all rules are up for debate. I'll only care about the rules if I hear a compelling reason why they are important.
I will not vote on any case arguments addressing domestic violence, sexual violence, or rape that were not preceded by a pre-round trigger warning. If, upon hearing this trigger warning, the opponent requests the argument not be made and that request is denied, I'll listen/be receptive to theory arguments about why I ought to vote a particular way based on the introduction of that issue. That doesn't mean I'll automatically pull the trigger on it one way or the other, but I will be exceptionally open to doing so if the argument claiming I should evaluate the mere fact that the sexual violence argument is made is won in the debate.
now, some thoughts of my own:
Ks/theory/performance/other progressive args/styles encouraged, your speaks will reflect that if you run them well...
HOWEVER if you run an identity-based position and neither of you are not a member of that community you better have an A+ reason to be doing so, commodification is an extremely legit argument to me
i'd prefer theory to be run in shell form but i won't penalize you if you're unfamiliar with formal technical structure, just explain why your opponents are being abusive/bad for debate and why that means i should vote for you
if strictly a substance debate, i evaluate the fw debate first and do impact calc under that
good and interesting fw debates will lead to high speaks, but also don’t throw a framework in just because (especially CBA, which is just a waste of time in constructive)
presume 1st speaking team if no offense, absent a presumption arg made in the round
if an argument is not addressed in the next speech, it is a dropped argument (this means yes, you do have to frontline in second rebuttal)
defense is sticky!!! if you drop terminal defense on an argument i won't vote for you on it, even if it never comes up again after first rebuttal
weigh comparatively ideally beginning in rebuttal, if your "weighing" is just yelling your impact and some buzzword like magnitude at each other, nobody's gonna be happy
for me to vote on any offense and frontlined defense that is in final focus, it must also be in summary
be strategic! you don't have to go for everything, and it's never a good idea to do so!
speed-wise I’m good for ~250wpm anything more and I’ll need a speech doc to avoid missing things (but if you feel excluded by your opponents going too fast, implicate that as in-round abuse for a path to the ballot)
evidence should have author last name and date
i'll probably call for a couple cards (especially turns), but i'm not a judge that will vote off evidence ethics (unless the argument to do so is made in the round)
extensions have warrant and impact, actually explain the argument and why it matters rather than just “extend Whalen 14 moving on”
speaks are above 27 unless you’re big heinous
plz plz plz ask me any questions you have before/after the round, this is an educational activity
auto-30s if you:
-win on anthro or baudrillard (this doesn’t mean I’ll hack, you have to actually win the arg)
-take no prep time & win
Most of my high school background is in public forum and congress. At the college level, I still compete in public forum and parliamentary.
I will typically always vote on impacts. So impact calc will be important.
I’ll probably ask you to flash me cases and evidence so I can follow easier.
Speed is cool with me, I just ask you don't go as fast during analysis as you would while reading cards.
Otherwise, I’m pretty easy going. Feel free to ask me questions before round for any other preferences.
Signposting is incredibly important.
I believe in quality of evidence over plethora of evidence.
This isn't a voting factor for me, but I value professionalism and persuasiveness.
Eagan High School, Public Forum Coach (2018-Present), National Debate Forum (2016-2019), Theodore Roosevelt High School, Public Forum Coach (2014-2018)
Always add me to your email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel sick or have a cough (even if you haven't tested positive for covid) please wear a mask.
I consider myself a flow judge HOWEVER the narrative of your advocacy is hugely important. If you are organized, clean, clear and extending good argumentation well, you will do well. One thing that I find particularly valuable is having a strong and clear advocacy and a narrative on the flow. This narrative will help you shape responses and create a comparative world that will let you break down and weigh the round in the Final Focus.
Good and clean warrant and impact extensions are what will most likely win you the round. Extensions are the backbones of debate, a high-level debater should be able to allocate time and extend their offense and defense effectively. Defense is NOT sticky- with an additional minute in summary, defense that is unextended is dropped.
Speed, Speaking, & Unconventional Issues
- I can flow next to everything in PF but that does not mean that it's always strategically smart. Your priority should be to be clear. Make sure you enunciate so that your opponent can understand you, efficiency and eloquence in later speeches will define your speaks.
- Please be polite and civil and it is everyone’s responsibility to de-escalate the situation as much as possible when it grows too extreme. Do not yell. Understand your privileges and use that to respect and empower others.
- Trigger warnings appreciated when relevant
- I really don't love theory as a norm in PF. I never want to see disclosure theory. If there is a HUGE violation and theory is the only way to deal with it, I'll tolerate it but speaks will likely be lower. Otherwise, I'd rather have you discuss it in a more accessible and traditional PF way.
Speaker Point Breakdown
30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior.
Experience: I am a senior at the University of Iowa where I study political science, international affairs, and philosophy. I was a competitor in public forum for 6 years and was the collegiate national champion in 2018. I have experience and working knowledge with all speech and debate events. I have previously coached in Des Moines, Iowa, and for NSDA China. I am currently unaffiliated with any team, school, or individual competitors.
PF: I value accessibility. Public forum ought to be an event that is able to be understood by any member of the public. Clear, concise communication at a reasonable speed is expected ie conversational. I WILL DROP YOU IF YOU TRY TO SPREAD. Each team will be given one warning on speed in the form of a dropped pen or calling out “Speed.” If spreading/speed persists after the warning I will immediately drop the team with the most violations. (If both teams accumulate one violation in their respective constructive, the next team to violate will be dropped.) I will flow cross-examination if you make important points. I value complex arguments and respectful clash. Being rude in my rounds is a great way to lose speaker points and a round.
- If at all possible, I would like to start rounds early. I understand that's not always possible or teams need to prep, so I'm just appreciative if we do start early. No problem if you need to take your time though.
- While in evidence exchange, I expect all students to have their hands on screen and mics unmuted to ensure that time is not used for prep.
- Summaries should SUMMARIZE the round.
- FF should Crystalize not line by line, give me impact calculus and weighing. Impact calc within every speech is most persuasive.
- Summaries and FF should have voters not line by line.
TL;DR, Be respectful, conversational, bring solid evidence and analysis to my rounds and you’ll do fine.
LD/CX: Pretty much anything goes. I absolutely prefer arguments that are directly resolutional (ie not a fan of certain Ks, love me some T and theory though) but if the debate goes a certain way, it is not my place to wrangle it. LARP is chill. On the rare occasion, I may ask you to slow down a little bit or clear you, but that will not be weighed against you. I'm almost always good with speed. I prefer competitors disclose to ensure flow clarity. I will flow cross-examination if you make important points.
A good argument is a good argument - make good arguments and you will do well if I'm your judge. While some arguments are going to be more effective than others, I do not have an inherent objection to any particular strategy or approach as long as it does not violate the spirit of the activity.
A few things to keep in mind:
1. Speed is okay, but a low quantity of good quality content will always trump a high quantity of mediocre content. It's important to remember that public forum is supposed to be for the public, so you need to be clear and understandable if you are going to talk quickly.
2. Be respectful of your opponents - debate should be civil and you can have a debate round without being a jerk. This includes not cutting off your opponents during cross ex. You can control the cross ex without interrupting and talking over your opponents.
3. Don't cheat.
4. If you don't provide a specific framework for your case, I will evaluate the arguments through a cost-benefit analysis framework. I don't have any problem with you running a different framework, just make sure to articulate and justify it.
5. When stating evidence, I prefer you state both the author and year. Please do not paraphrase the cards. Tell me exactly what the card says and then explain how the card fits into your case/the round.
6. As a general rule, I don't think that critical positions have a place in a public forum debate round. If you decide to run a critical position, make sure that you have a very, very good reason to do so as you will have to present quite a compelling argument and justification as to why you are making that choice.
7. Please remember that this is first and foremost an activity about communication - make sure you are speaking clearly and with conviction. Your purpose in the round is to convince me that you have the most compelling and important arguments (quality will always trump quantity for me).
If you have other questions, ask.
* I am in tab much more often than I'm behind a round at this point. As such, I may be rusty on some more specific lingo/ trends(read as: don't just label an argument a RVI and expect me to accept it on face, explain why it's important)
* I have a disability that has varying levels of impact depending on the day; when it's flaring up, I might have trouble flowing spreading, or processing information at that speed. If you don't want to exclude me from the round, it'd be helpful to check in with me before the round starts. I'm also super happy to talk about it if you have more specific questions :)
Arguments- I'm very open to whatever style of argument you want to make in round, so long as you do it well. Don't just dump cards, actually offer in round analysis and engage with your opponent's arguments. If something is important to the round, I expect you to spend time on it. Regardless of the style, I need to see some sort of weighing mechanism in round- that could come from an observation or impact calc (or whatever else) so long as I have some sort of idea what I should be valuing. Absent of that, I'll default to generic util weighing. I prefer cut cards over paraphrasing, but will listen to either.
Speed- I prefer a moderate, not ludicrous, pace. If you want to go absurdly fast, that's fine, but understand I'll miss some details. I think it's really important for speed to be justified by content- so, if you're talking fast enough that you have to reiterate the same underview three times because you're out of content, I'd rather you slow down. At any speed, I really value clarity. It's also good to know that some days I physically won't be able to flow super quickly, so it wouldn't hurt to double check with me about speed before round.
Round Structure- First and foremost, I expect the second rebuttal to address both sides of the flow. So, make sure, in front of me, you're allocating your time in a way such that you're able to address everything important, as dropped arguments are essentially conceded.
I don't expect line by line argumentation in summary and final focus. Instead, the round should be narrowed down to the main points. This is where I expect a lot of weighing and analysis, not just 50 author names back to back.
Other things- I am a fan of content warnings before round if you're running anything dealing with something sensitive. I am not a fan of hateful or discriminatory things being said in round, and will hesitate (heavily) to vote on anything racist/sexist/ableist. Additionally, problematic things (like racism/sexism/ableism, misgendering your opponent, anything that makes the space hostile to your opponent) will be reflected in your speaker points.
Standards/ Framework- I don't have strong feelings any one way about V/Cr vs Single Standard and/or RoB etc. I initially learned LD through a pretty traditional framing, so I tend to track that way myself, but, I'm open to whatever you want to do if you explain in. If you're running some philosophy that's out there or uncommon, it would benefit you to explain it clearly.
Theory- I'm down, but it actually needs to be theory (read as: "Speed is unfair/ exclusionary" isn't an argument I'll evaluate; Interp, violation standard, voter framing is)
Ks- See above, I'll happily hear out a k with structure that actually functions within a round. YOU HAVE TO OFFER A LINK or there's no way for me to evaluate the K
A Priori/ Prima facie/ probably other things- justify why it matters and I'll hear it out.
**As a general interpretation, I view theory/ks/ a priori arguments etc as arguments. They aren't some sort of magical trap card that automatically win you the round. They are arguments that need to be interacted with and extended like anything else. Reading an ableism K in the NC and then leaving it there isn't going to win me over. Your opponent answering an identity K with arguments doesn't make them inherently bad, they're interacting with an argument you put out
Solvency- I don't inherently think solvency is important in LD. This doesn't mean that I won't hear out solvency arguments, but you need to justify why I should care about solvency for it to be a voting issue for me. "The aff doesn't offer any solvency" on its own isn't enough for me to vote on.
**I really don't judge policy all that often. If I'm behind your round, things were likely pretty desperate from a tab or judge hire perspective. Despite that, I will do my best to adjudicate the round- you'll probably just need to slow down a bit on taglines and important analysis for me.
NATS Update: PLEASE HAVE YOUR CUT CARDS READY. Do not just send a link in the email chain and then have your opponents control F. it wastes time.
This is not about the stats you have, if you are not making an analysis with your stats, that is reason enough to vote on presumption (please don't make me). Just having bigger numbers, doesn't mean the round is a clear win.
UNLESS IT IS A GAME CHANGER please for the love of whoever you pray to, do not try to win a debate round on recency of evidence. It becomes a moot point and a waste of your breath.
I debated for Barbers Hill HS for four years. In both LD and CX. Qualifying for TFA state my junior and Senior year. I did IPDA- public debate- with during undergrad until Spring 2020. I am now working on my MA at Texas A&M. Currently the PF coach for the Dulles in Houston, Texas.
TLDR (1 = best):
General: I'm fairly open to seeing what you're most comfortable doing as long as it creates good debate. Many times I have seen rounds where it was like two ships passing in the night because someone read something so off the wall there was no way to respond to it, or maybe there is a way but no one knows it but you. That's not cool. I will yell slow, clear or loud. Sit, stand or float. I don't mind one way or another. I always stood, but because my coach didn't afford the option-- do what makes you happy!
Taken from Megan Nubel’s paradigm- “Please do not use derogatory or exclusionary language, including but certainly not limited to referring to arguments as ‘retarded,’ saying that you ‘raped’ someone on a particular argument, or using ‘gay’ as synonymous with stupid, etc.” On that note, definitely don’t impact turn something like racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.; things like cap and extinction, though, I’m fine with. If you do something morally repugnant, I’ll drop you with 0 speaks."
You do you. I will yell slow or clear if need be. Please, though, for the love of debate, slow down for author names or tags at least. If you get an unnecessary amount of "clear" warnings, I'll probably deduct speaker points or stop flowing altogether. You need to be aware of your threshold of what is clear and what is not clear.
I've always been a Util debater but will listen to the best you have. Having done policy before, buying extinction impacts are more difficult for me (I say this because I had a judge say they were totally cool with it all, I read an extinction impact and then was told I read the one thing they wouldn't ever vote on), but I won't vote on it. You just need to make it very clear to me why it's such a big issue. Tip: the longer the chain the less buy-able the extinction impact is. If you want an easier way to my heart and my ballot, read short chains with more plausible impacts.
I fell in love with the K debate at the end of my junior year and tried to read them as much as possible in my senior year. While I wasn't necessarily a K debater all of high school, I've read plenty to know generally where you're probably going to be trying to go. But do not assume I know everything about your K. I don't appreciate backfile Ks just to have something to read-- I feel like that errs on the said of the bad debate. Taken from Cameron McConway's paradigm- " I’m willing to listen to critical affirmatives but am also willing to listen to framework and cede the political style arguments against non-T affs. I also will default to evaluating the K the way it is articulated in round, not based on how I understand the literature. I do think incorrect interpretations of literature are fair game for lower speaks, though."
Flesh it out if you expect me to buy it. I’ll listen to it for sure, but it needs to be done well. I’ve had my butt kicked by too many good debaters with very good T/Theory strats to just be okay with you reading something and not doing something effective with it. If you read it to try to spread the aff out of the 1A, it's strategy, but I’m not a huge fan of kicking something like that. I was taught it was the top layer of debate, so I wouldn’t kick out of the top layer of debate. I will just you (get it because I have the ballot lol). I don’t want to feel like I should be defaulting to anything, but if I have to not only will I draw a sad face on the ballot but I’ll only to it to drop the argument and competing interps. I also believe it’s a very good strat when faced with these arguments, to go ahead and read RVIS. I will for sure evaluate them if you do it correctly.
I have high expectations when it comes to framework debates because that’s one thing I prided myself in doing fairly effectively. If you’re going to do it, be sure you can do it well in front of me. I’m not proud to say, but I feel fairly underread in phil to be able to judge it if you’re not fleshing out the arguments for me, but if you can flesh it out, I’ll listen. Just don’t fly through these arguments because I’m going to need a little bit more time to catch them and comprehend them than I normally would.
I’ve never been a fan, but if it's what you do and you do it well enough for it to get my ballot then by all means. I wasn’t sure what else to say, so I did some searching and Cameron McConway put it perfectly. “ I think burden affs can be interesting and strategic, and I am willing to listen to scepticism to contest frameworks or justify frameworks because it is the grounding of most normative ethics and important in philosophy, but please do not read skep to answer oppression arguments. [...] I’m not going to be thrilled if there are arguments that change function or trigger something in the next speech either; I think the function of arguments should be clear from the time they are read (not saying you cannot use something to take out another argument that it doesn’t appear to interact with- this is about contingent standards).”
Things that will kill your chance at my ballot:
-Racism, sexism or anything that is offensive to anyone
-Belittling someone in round-- also called ad hominems
-Reading things that link back to the idea of oppressive situations being acceptable
-Making the room uncomfortable or unsafe.
-Not reading a trigger warning on something that clearly needs one
Please always remember: debate is a safe space and should be treated as one
Things I appreciate:
-Assertiveness (there is a difference between being assertive and aggressive)
-Being true to yourself as an individual, a debater, and an advocate
I was once, told, “if you ever get a ‘WIN-30’ you should quit debate because that means you were perfect and you no longer need the activity.” I do not believe this is true to an extent, I will give you a 30 if you deserve it. Speaks are about clarity, strategy, and ability to adapt to the room. If you’re a seasoned debater and you go five off on someone who got thrown into varsity, your speaker points may hurt a little, but not enough to hurt you from breaking if I feel like you deserve to break. I average a 27.5-28. If you get a 25 from me then you did something horribly egregious in round, and you should expect it to be on the ballot with some way for your coaching faculty to contact me to discuss it in depth, if they so, please. A 29 means that you did very well, but you made some easily fixable errors.
I hope you find yourself in debate to grow as a person. Be an advocate for something you care about, be true to yourself, and be comfortable saying the important things. Remember, it isn’t always about the ballot, but the message you bring in and out of the round.
A couple of times, I have had people ask if I would be okay with them trying out an unorthodox or new strategy in round. I, always, feel like there has to be a spot for it. I think that if you want to try something out and you want feedback beyond the ballot back, just let me know and I'll be sure to be super extensive and let you know. I want debate to be a learning experience before anything else.
Any other questions feel free to:
Email me: email@example.com
Text me 7..133...14..62......30
Or ask me before the round
I did public forum for Lakeville in high school during my junior and senior year. For this topic specifically I have done absolutely no research so please make sure to explain all of your arguments well.
1. Extend turns, links, warrants, and impacts that you would like to be weighed in the round (every impact needs a warrant)
2. Front line if you are 2nd rebuttal
3. Impact weighing/ analysis!!!!!!!
4. Respect everyone while you debate. I know most people can get really passionate in round but attack the arguments not the debaters pls.
1. Be a meanie (refer back to "please do" #4)
2. Falsify any evidence. Doing so will get you a 20.
3. Spread-Anything I don't hear I wont flow. I want to make sure I catch all the arguments so try to speak at more of a slightly faster than conversation pace :)
Email chain/ questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a topshelf thing, I will probably vote for arguments I don't understand
arguments in order that i am comfy with them are
i can flow p much any spreading as long as its clear if i have a problem i will say something
I will vote on any argument as long as its not problematic, only if you sufficiently extend warrant, and implicate said argument.
Send docs even in person i expect docs from all of you
If you want the easy path to my ballot; weigh, implicate your defense/turns, tell me why you should win.
Smart analytics > bad evidence or paraphrased blips.
Debate is a game, as such I will normally be a tech>truth judge except in circumstances where I deem an argument to be offensive/inappropriate for the debate space.
I prefer a line by line. Second rebuttal should respond to turns/disads.
I wont do ghost extensions for you even if the argument is conceded, extend your arguments.
Arguments that I am comfortable with:
Theory, T, Plans, Counter Plans, Disads, Kritiks, most framework args that PFers can come up with.
I presume too much, tell me why I should presume for you if you think you aren't going to win your case, if you don't make any arguments as to why I should presume I will presume based on a coin flip, aff will be heads and neg will be tails.
I also think I will be starting to vote more on risk of offense, in this scenario.
i get bored so easy please make the round interesting.
debate is problematic in many ways. if there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand
During the debate in all 4 phases, but particularly in rebuttal, summary, and final focus, I like to hear the use and reuse of your evidence to solidify your arguments, and tear down your opponents case. The re-mention of your evidence I find very helpful during a debate. I really appreciate if you can do a good job of sign posting and not jump all over the place is also very helpful. Some teams like to give what they call an "off time road map". I actually like this so I have a concept of how you plan on structuring your next arguments. Feel free to do this before your time starts. The summary part of the debate, I really like it if the speaker can lay out for me, why you think you have won! It's this part of the debate where you want to explain any areas that were misconstrued by your opponents. Clarify these for me. Again, restate any relevant evidence to sure up your case. Point out the flaws of your opponents and why your evidence is better. Of course the final focus, tell me what you feel were the voting issues of the debate and why your case outweighed that of your opponents.
Many of you are very skilled debaters. However, keep things simple. Try not to throw around a lot of fancy debate jargon. I am a parent judge so simple is better. Try and debate as if the person judging has no concept of the topic being debated.
Cross fires. Although I don't put a lot of emphasis on this for deciding the final outcome, I do like teams to be brief in their responses. Please don't filibuster during the cross fires. Ask a question - answer a question - and try to be courteous to the other teams. I don't mind a heated cross fire, but I don't like a team that rambles on and doesn't yield to the other team.
Try and use all the allotted time for your speeches.
In terms of appearance, I prefer that the speakers stand during their speeches. You can face me or the opponents. I'm fine with either. I also ask that you keep your own time. When discussing strategies between you and your teammate: whisper. It can be distracting if I can hear you talking. Also - speed. Please don't speak so fast that I can't write down your points and evidence. I'll do my best to keep up... but I have to understand what you are saying so don't go so fast that I can't make out what your are saying. Also speak loudly for me if possible.
Finally - have fun and be good sports! Thanks.
September/October in LD: If you refer to Africa as a country or participate in creating an ideology that the entire African continent is homogenous, I will decrease your speaker points. Please avoid preaching false stereotypes about other nations/groups of nations or making assertations about a country's access to resources or economic status without knowledge or evidence.
Hi, I am Triniti.
Simpson College (Studying Global Management & Political Science)
Public Forum Coach at Valley High School
I am on the Simpson College Debate team and have competed at the collegiate level in Parli, PF, and LD. I graduated high school in 2018 and since then, I've judged many debate tournaments, primarily LD and PF. In high school, I competed in WSD, PF, and LD, and Congressional Debate.
The Short Version: Run anything you want. Know what you are running. Explain and develop your arguments well. Interact with your opponent (pretty please). Don't be a jerk. Favorite debate to watch for LD: LARP. Favorite PF judge to watch: One where people know what they are talking about.
What I LOVE to see:
- Clash. Clash. Clash. Did I forget to mention clash?
- Impacts. Love ‘em.
-Tell me why I should prefer your warrants, impacts, and sources over your opponents.
- Tell me how I should weigh the round.
- Links - crazy right? I want to see the 'how' we get from the resolution to your case to your impacts.
LD Specific Paradigm:
If I have a trad Debater against a non-trad debater: Debate jargon is less important than responding to every component of your opponent's case. Example: If your opponent says "do both" instead of "perm," respond to the argument because I will still evaluate "do both."
Case Style: Run anything as long as you can run it well.
T: Go for it. I want to see a developed T-shell and I will vote on T. However, using T as a strat to time-suck is annoying. Because I think that it is annoying, I am happy to vote on an RVI. I would prefer that T be used when there is a very clear violation.
Theory: I’ll buy a well-developed theory shell.
Tricks: Not my favorite.
Kritikal Debate: Have fun. Show relevance/link to resolution.
LARP/CPs/DAs: Love it. Probs my favorite. Just make sure your links/impacts are there.
Speaking: Just speak clearly. Slow down when you read tags/authors of cards, please.
FOR THE LOVE - know what you are talking about - as in, understand the arguments that you are making.
Just don't be a jerk.
I did 3 years of public forum at Poly Prep (2015-2018) and I'm a senior at uchicago. Email chain: email@example.com
- here's how i make my decision: i look at who wins the weighing/framework. I evaluate that argument. If you win the weighing/framework and the offense with a terminalized impact, you'll probably win. If no one weighs then I'm gonna go with scope or the argument with the least ink.
- I don't like frivolous theory. If you read it you better go for it. Ks are cool, but I reserve the right to intervene if I feel like you're running it in a problematic/game-y way.
- I like warrants. If they provide a warrant and your only response is "they don't have evidence for this" but it logically makes sense, I'm likely to give them some ground. I prefer your counter warrant/ev as a response rather than just their lack of supporting evidence.
- speed is fine as long as you aren't speaking unclearly.
- First summary doesn't have to extend defense from rebuttal unless second rebuttal frontlines. Turns/Offense you want me to vote on need to be in both summary and final focus.
- I don't flow crossfire. If it's important, say it in a speech
- I don't time, if your opponents are telling me time is up I'll stop flowing but give them at least 5 seconds. Don't hold up your timer .5 seconds after the speech time is over
- i default neg if there's no offense
Style: I am one of those judges who responds very negatively to rudeness, disrespect, and offensive language.
General: Please respect me by not using graphic descriptions of violence or abuse in your argumentation - if you have a question about this I’m willing to talk to you before round. I will not vote for what I feel are morally repugnant arguments like “racism good,” “torture good,” or “death good.” Do not take me or my ballot hostage. Do not argue for a double loss or a double win.
Speed: I’d prefer you go slowly. Fewer cards often means more skill in argumentation.
LD and PF
I approach LD and PF rounds through the lens of policy debate. So LD or PF specific jargon, abbreviations, and tricks likely will not resonate with me. I want clear impacts and impact analysis. I do not like paraphrasing and I don’t really understand why you think it’s so important that you have a “meta study.” I want clash. Lots of clash. I feel like at the end of a lot of rounds I've not be told hold to weigh the two teams' impacts. So lots of clash is only good with lots of impact weighing. In LD, I generally do not know or understand your kritiks. So take the time to explain to me how your kritk interacts with your opponent’s case.
I think policy debate is about whether or not the aff's plan should happen.
Kritiks : I think that Affs should have a written advocacy statement, but they do not necessarily have to advocate for the USFG. I prefer the policy making framework, but I am growing my appreciation for performance debate. Despite working for the NSDA, I think there are a lot of problems with debate as an activity/community. If you choose to kritik the institution of competitive debate, I appreciate arguments that are solutions-oriented.
Theory+ Topicality : I was a 2A so I have a residual aff bias when it comes to theory. For me to vote on T it must be proven that the aff’s interpretation is flawed and that abuse has happened in round. I have a hard time weighing different standards for theory and T - you need to do that work for me on the negative, if you don’t I will likely presume aff on T.
I have a theatre teaching degree, a master's in performance studies, and a master's degree in teaching English Language Learners. I use Twitter - @mrs_mccool and like to read cookbooks.
-- NSDA National Office - Education and Recognition Coordinator
-- Dowling Catholic High School - hired judge [and married to DCHS policy coach, Chase McCool]
-- Institute of Speech and Debate (ISD) - Summer Camp, Resident Life Director
-- Theodore Roosevelt High School, IA - Director of Forensics (2013-2017)
-- Myers Park High School - LD Coach (2008-2010)
-- Policy Debater, Liberty University (2005 - 2007, the end of the BOD era)
Chris McDonald (He/Him) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the above email for any email chains during the round.
Head Coach Eagan High School in Minnesota
While I mainly have coached and judged Policy Debate for the past 35 years I do judge my fair share of LD and Public Forum Debate Rounds.
Policy Debate - Please know that while I used to judge a lot of rounds throughout the season in policy debate it has been 5 years since I judged more than just a handful of policy rounds. I do work with my school's varsity policy team.
My philosophy has pretty much remained consistent throughout my career. I consider policy debate to be a test of policy based ideas between two teams. How those teams approach the topic and frame the debate is entirely up to them. Below are a few things to know about me on some specifics but please know my primary objective is for us to have an enjoyable round of debate.
Delivery Speed - Since it has been a few years for me since last judging lots of policy debate my ability to listen to really fast debate has faded. Please keep it to a slightly slower speed of delivery especially using the online platforms. I will let you know if you are unclear or going too fast by verbally indicating such during your speech. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being oratory speed and 10 being approaching the sound barrier (only joking here) I would place myself as a 7 these days.
Topicality - I enjoy a good topicality debate but have found that over the years teams are taking too many shortcuts with the initial development of the topicality violation. I prefer topicality to have a clear definition, a clearly developed violation, standards for evaluating the violation and reasons why it is a voting issue. For the affirmative side you really need to engage with the topicality violation and provide a counter interpretation that supports your interpretation of the resolution. Topicality is distinct from framework.
Framework - I also enjoy evaluating a debate when framework is clearly articulated and argued by both the affirmative and negative sides. Framework is focused around how you would like me to evaluate the arguments in the round. Do you prefer a consequentialist framework, a deontological framework, etc..
Critiques - I am fine with critical approaches by the negative and the affirmative sides. For the affirmative please keep in mind that you will need to defend your critical affirmative as either a topical representation of criminal justice reform or why it is important for us to debate your affirmative even if it isn't necessarily within the boundaries of the topic.
Flow - Please label all arguments and positions clearly throughout the debate. Signposting has become a lost art. Debaters doing an effective job of signposting and labeling will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
Disadvantages - Please be certain to articulate your links clearly and having clear internal links helps a great deal.
Counter plans - I think counter plans are an essential tool for negative teams. Please note that I am not a big fan of multiple conditional counter plans. Running a couple of well developed counter plans is better than running 4 or 5 underdeveloped counter plans. Counter plans should have a text to compete against the affirmative plan text.
Theory - General theory in debate rounds like conditionality and that are fine but have rarely been round winners without a lot of time devoted to why theory should be considered over substance.
If you have any questions please let me know and I will happily answer those questions.
1. I am not a fan of theory as it plays out in LD debate rounds. Most of the theory that is argued is pretty meaningless when it comes to the topics at hand. I will only consider topicality if the affirmative is presenting a plan text in the round. I ask that the debaters debate the topic as it is written and not as they would like it to be.
2. Beyond my dislike for theory you are free to pretty much debate the round as you see fit. Please keep your speed to a level where you are clear especially considering buffering time with online platforms you should probably slow down from what you think you are capable of during in-person debates.
3. Evidence should be shared using an email chain. Please include me at email@example.com
4. If you have specific questions please ask. I will disclose at the end of the round but I will also respect the tournaments schedule and work to keep it on time.
1. Evidence is very important to me. I prefer direct quotation of evidence over paraphrasing but understand that paraphrasing is allowed in PF. Please make note of the new NSDA rule regarding paraphrasing. Source Citations: make sure that you present enough of a source citation that I should have no problem locating the evidence you present in the round. This would include the author or periodical name and date at a minimum. So we are clear Harvard in 2014 is not a source citation. Harvard is a really great University but has, to my knowledge never written a word without the assistance of some human that attends or works at Harvard.
2. There is to be no game playing with regards to evidence sharing during or after the round. If you are asked for evidence by your opponents you must produce it in a timely manner or I will discount the evidence and only treat the argument as an unsubstantiated assertion on your part. Even if it means handing over one of your laptops you must provide evidence for inspection by the other team so that they may evaluate it and respond to the evidence in subsequent speeches.
3. Prep Time - you are only provided with 3 minutes of prep time. Please use it wisely. I will only give a little latitude with regards to untimed evidence sharing or organizing your flows, but please be efficient and quick about it.
4. Argument choices are completely up to the debaters. I prefer a good substantive debate with clear clash and that the debaters compare and weigh the arguments they feel are important for their side to prevail as the debate comes into focus but the substance of those arguments is completely within the control of the teams debating.
5. Please respect your opponents and treat everyone involved in the debate round with the utmost respect. Speaker points will be effected by any rude behavior on the part of a debater.
6. I will disclose and discuss my decision at the end of the round so long as there is time and the tournament stays on schedule.
7. Finally, please remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.
current affiliations: Delbarton School, NJ; NSU School, FL
Past affiliations: Delbarton School, NJ (Assistant Director -- 2020 - 2022); Duchesne Academy, TX (Head Coach -- 2017 - 2020)
Other: Summit Debate Senior Staff (2018-Present); NSDA PF Topic Committee (2020-Present)
Teams should start an email chain as soon as they get into the round (virtual and in-person) and send full case cards by end of constructive. If case is paraphrased, also send case rhetoric. I will not accept locked google docs; please send text in the email.
Additionally, it would be ideal to send all new evidence read in rebuttal, but up to debaters.
The subject of the email should have the following: Tournament Name - Rd # - Team Code (side/order) v Team Code (side/order) .
Your choice if you want to paraphrase. However, I require you to cut cards for all evidence referenced in the round. These are properly cut cards (Thank you Christian Vasquez for the link). If you don't cut cards then you might want to consider striking me. Cut cards promote better research and debate ethics.
Main PF Paradigm:
1.) I look at the round through an offense/defense paradigm. Ultimately, offense wins debates and requires proper arg extensions, frontlining, and weighing. It will be hard to win with just terminal defense.
2.) Second Rebuttal -- needs to frontline first rebuttal responses. Anything in Final Focus needs to be in Summary.
3.) Please weigh. Make sure it's comparative weighing and uses either timeframe, magnitude, and/or probability. Strength of link, clarity of impact, and solvency are not weighing mechanisms.
4.) I'll evaluate (almost) anything. Expect that I'll have already done research on a topic, but I'll evaluate anything you have me flow (tech over truth). I will interfere (and most likely vote you down) if you argue anything racist, sexist, homophobic, or fabricated (i.e., evidence issues).
5.) I will disclose and always allow accommodations for debaters.
Ks - I'm okay with the generic K's people try to run (i.e. Feminism, Capitalism, Securitization, etc.), but I am not familiar with high theory (i.e. Baudrillard, Bataille, Nietzsche).
Theory - Debate is a game, so do what you have to do... Evidence of abuse is needed for theory (especially disclosure-related shells). I generally think disclosure is good, open source is not necessary, paraphrasing is bad, trigger warning when there are specific mentions of graphic depictions is good, and arguments with non-graphic depictions should have a content warning but should be debated.
Please preflow before round; I don't think crossfire clarifications are super important to my ballot so if something significant happens, you should make it in ink and bring it up in the next speech; I'm okay if you go fast, but will say clear if you go too fast and ask for a doc; speaker points usually range from 28-30.
Questions? Ask before the round.
Updated for Fall 2019.- Yes, include me on any email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently an assistant PF debate coach at Iowa City West HS. I am also under contract by the NSDA to produce topic analysis packets and advanced briefs for LD, PF, and Biq Questions. I am also an instructor with Global Academy Commons, an organization that has partnered with NSDA China to bring speech and debate education, public speaking, and topic prep to students in East Asia. In my free time, I play Magic: The Gathering and tab debate tournaments freelance. I am the recipient of the Donald Crabtree Service Award, 2 diamond coach (pending April 2020), and was the state of Iowa's Coach of the Year in 2015.
I say all of this not to impress people. I'm way too old to care about that. I say this to point out one thing: I've dedicated my life to speech and debate. Since I was 14, this activity was a place where I could go to find people that cared about the same things as me and who were like me. No matter how bad of a day I was having, I could go to practice and everything would be ok. This is what debate is to me, and this is what I have worked towards since I became a coach. So it upsets and angers me when I see people that try to win debate rounds by making the world a worst place for others. There is a difference between being competitive and being a jerk. I've had to sit with students who were in tears because they were mistreated because they were women, I've had people quit the team because they were harassed because of their religion, and I've had to ask competitors to not use racial slurs in round. And to be honest, I am tired of it. So if your All Star Tournament Champion strategy revolves around how unconformable you can make your opponent, strike me.
With that being stated, here is how I view arguments.
In LD, I prefer a value and criterion, even if you are going non traditional in your case structure. I don't care if you are traditional, progressive, critical, or performative. I've judges and coached all types and I've voted for all types too. What I care about more is the topic hook you use to get your arguments to the relationship of the topic. If I can't find a clear link, if one isn't established, or if you can't articulate one, I'm going to have a really hard time voting for you.
I weight impacts. This is a holdover from my old college policy days. Clearly extend impacts and weight them. I view the value and criterion as lens for which I prioritize types of impacts. Just winning a value isn't enough to wind the round if you don't have anything that impacts back to it.
If you run a CP, the aff should perm. Perms are tests of competition. Most will still link to the DA so the neg should make that arg. The more unique the CP, the better. CP's should solve at least some impacts of the aff.
If you run a K, throwing around buzz words like "discourse, praxis, holistic, traversing X, or anything specific to the K" without explaining what those mean in the round will lower your speaker points. To me, you are just reading what the cards you found in the policy backfile said. Also, finding unique links to more generic K's, like cap or biopower, will be beneficial in how I view the round. But also note that on some topics, the K you love just might not work. Don't try to force it. A good aff needs to perm. Perm's on K debates tend to solve their offense. I do not like links of omission.
Case debate- Love it.
Theory- Do not love it. When I was in my 20's, I didn't mind theory, but now, the thought of people speed reading or even normal reading theory shells at each other makes me fear for my 50 minutes in round. If theory is justified, I will vote on it but there is a big barrier to what I count as justified. I need to see clear in round abuse. In lue of that, the potential abuse story needs to be absolutely 100% on point. This means that a theory shell that is zipped through in 10 seconds will not be getting my vote. No questions asked. Do the work because I don't do the work for you. Oh, I will not vote on disclosure theory. Disclosing probably is good but I do not require it and unless the tournament does, I don't see a reason to punish the debaters for not doing this.
Reformative arguments- I coached kids on these arguments and I've voted for them too. The thing is that because I don't see them often I have the reputation of not liking them. This creates a negative feedback loop so I never see them and so on... I'll vote for them but you need to have a topic hook and some justification or solvency mech for your performance. I will also be 100% honest because I owe it to the debaters who do this style of debate and who have put in so much time to get it right, I'm probably a midrange judge on this. At large bid tournaments there are probably judges that are better versed in the lit base who can give you more beneficial pointers.
Unless told otherwise, I use the pilot rules as established by the NSDA.
I hold evidence to a high standard. I love paraphrasing but if called out, you better be able to justify what you said.
If I call for a card, don't hand me a pdf that is 40 pages long. I will not look for it. I want it found for me. If you expect me to find it, I will drop the card.
I am still getting on board with pf disclosure. I am not the biggest fan as of now. I can see the educational arguments for it but it also runs counter to the basis for the event. I do not require teams to share cases before round and arguments in round as to why not sharing put you at a disadvantage won't get you ground.
I appreciate unique frameworks.
This event is not policy. I don't drop teams for speed or reading card after card after card but I will dock speaker points.
I weight impacts. But with this stipulation; I am not a fan of extinction impacts in pf. I think it goes a bit too far to the policy side of things. Use your framework to tell me how to prioritize the impacts.
Treat others with respect. I will drop people for being intentionally horrible to your opponents in round. Remember, there is a way to be competitive without being a jerk.
Should also go without saying but be nice to your partner too. Treat them as an equal. They get the W the same as you.
Policy- Honestly, I kind of used the majority of what I wanted to say in the LD section since they are so similar nowadays.
T- Love it. Won most of my college neg rounds on it. Be very clear on the interp and standards. If you go for it, only go for it. Should be the only argument in the 2NR.
If I am judging you in PF or LD, you should create an email chain, send speech docs directly before the speech with evidence (not your analytics or paraphrasing) read during the speech in that document, in a format that does not permit you to edit the document after it is sent so that I can evaluate claims about evidence ethics made later in the round. I will start the round no more than 5 minutes after I get to the room, and as close to the round start time as possible. If you show up late, especially if pairings have been out for half an hour, I'm not going to give you extra time to preflow your case.
I am currently the Director of Speech and Debate at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, and have held this position since August 2020. Before that, I was a college student at the University of Minnesota where I ran our NPDA team (think extemp policy) and coached Public Forum for The Lakeville Debate Team from 2016 through 2020. In high school, I competed in Public Forum and Congress for Madison Memorial High School in Madison, WI.
- I have debated in many rounds, and judged even more.
- I think about debate a lot, but most of those thoughts are irrelevant to how I will judge your debate.
- I strongly believe debate is a competitive academic game that teaches important real-world research, critical thinking, argumentation, and public speaking skills, and that debate's competitive nature ought be embraced rather than ignored. Debate to win.
- I will flow every debate carefully.
- All claims must have warrants and impacts for me to consider them voting issues.
- The more time you spent researching and thinking about your strategy before the debate, the more enjoyable and entertaining I will find the debate.
- I will vote for the team that I feel has done the better debating at the end of the round.
- The further I get from debating myself, the more I feel like a cranky old man.
- I'm a relatively typical tech-oriented judge.
- I'm alright with some speed, but you must be clear. I will not flow off of a speech document.
- I think most circuit paraphrasing I see is academically dishonest and that more teams should be willing to stake the round on "that's not what your evidence says". At minimum, you should have a doc with evidence ready to send before every speech. I would strongly prefer cut cards read every time you introduce a new piece of evidence.
- If you are reading evidence that is less than 2 sentences long or takes you less than 10 seconds to read, reconsider.
- Theory other than paraphrasing or arguments about an individual's safety during the round is probably silly, but if everyone disclosed, the world would be a better place.
- Critical arguments, structural violence contentions, Ks with alternatives are all fine with me. You still need to win a link and an impact to win the debate. A mere discussion of structural violence is not, in and of itself, an impact.
- Second rebuttal should probably begin to condense the debate. First summary should almost definitely begin to condense the debate. If second summary goes for everything, there is an 80% chance that the first speaking team will win the debate.
- I do not understand what the phrase "sticky defense" means, and at this point, I'm too afraid to ask. If your opponent has made an argument after the constructive speeches, you must respond to that argument in the next speech for me. If you do not, I will proceed as if you have conceded that argument. If your opponent has failed to respond to an argument and you want me to vote on it, it should be a substantial portion of your speech.
- I'm not sure why nobody in PF has started using a portion of the second constructive to respond to the first constructive.
- Weighing, defined as argument comparison, should be derived from that argument's relative strength of link and the magnitude of that argument's impact.
- I flow as completely as I can.
- I am less involved in LD and CX compared to PF, but I understand how to judge and coach these events at a basic level.
- I will be fine with traditional, LARP, or topical critical strategies.
- I cannot flow your top speed. Think "fast PF". I won't flow off of a speech document.
- Fine with topicality or theory strategies, but I have a soft spot for creative "we meet" arguments.
- I will struggle to evaluate rounds featuring performance affirmatives, KvK rounds, or philosophy, but I will do my best.
- If your strategy relies on one or more tricks, I would strike me.
- Please fully warrant arguments during your speeches. Please clash with other speakers that came before you. You should think of yourself as "working with" your side to advance debate on the item on the floor.
- Rehash is bad, argument synthesis is good. If you are restating an argument that came before you, that's bad. If you are adding information to the debate, that's good.
- I value content more than many judges, but I still care about your delivery, and it can influence your rank.
- Congress should debate more bills and have fewer cycles of debate on each bill. This is apparently an unpopular opinion among competitors, but it is a hill I'm willing to die on. People prepared to do more debate are more likely to do well in front of me.
- Please don't yell at each other during questioning.
- The PO will start as my 5. A PO will improve if I think debate in the chamber is bad, they have clear and consistent procedures for recognizing speakers, questioners, and motions, and if they minimize delays to facilitate the most debate possible. The PO will be harmed if there are many excellent speakers, making it difficult for them to stand out, or their procedures are inconsistent or unclear.
- This is less of a paradigm issue, but here's my hot take: Congress would be better if each chamber were 10 students with an adult PO debating one item for no more than 75 minutes each, with the chambers rotating as if it were a speech tournament. Do with this information what you will.
BLAKE UPDATE: If you are reading this and in LD, full disclosure, it has been a minute since I have judged LD and I have yet to do so online! Just be mindful of speed so that you don't get cut off by the tech
if you're going to not read cards or you paraphrase , you should probably strike me. In addition, it shouldn't take you longer than 30 seconds to find evidence. After 30 seconds, I will begin your prep. If it takes you longer than a minute and 30 seconds, all you can bring up is a 30 page PDF, or you cannot produce the evidence at all, you will lose the round. Please send the email chain to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
TL;DR- I was primarily an LD debater in high school, debating for Whitefish Bay HS in Wisconsin. I am now an assistant coach at The Blake School in Minnesota. I have different paradigms for different events, so read for the event that pertains to you and all should be fine!
Speed: Typically, I can understand most speeds. However, i have let to judge online LD, so going a bit below your top speed may be beneficial to you. Slow down for tags, CP/Plan Texts, and if you’re reading unusual kritiks or frameworks. I want to make sure I spend more time conceptualizing what you’re talking about as opposed to figuring out what you just said. I will say “clear” or “slow” three times before beginning to dock speaks.
Plans and Counterplans: Follow your dreams. I find these debates to be very interesting and a great way for debaters to creatively attack the topic. Make sure to make your advocacy very clear though.
Kritiks: While I do love a good Kritik, make sure you’re running it well. Understand your kritik, don’t just pull one out of your backfiles and hope for the best. Again, make your advocacy clear. If you’re kritik is weird, please explain it well.
Theory: I will vote on theory, but I do have questions about frivolous theory. That said, use your best judgement within the context of the round.
Philosophy: Yes please! Explain it well and you should be golden!
I will pretty much listen to, flow, and vote off of anything. Have fun :)
I do have a high threshold for extensions. Blippy extensions are not my favorite thing, so extend your warrants as well
The inability to produce a piece of evidence that you have introduced into the round ends the round in an L-25 for your team
- theory is lovely. I genuinely believe disclosure is good and that paraphrasing is bad.
- Provide impact calc throughout the round
- I will not vote on arguments that are dropped in summary, even if you bring them up in final focus, be warned. I may consider them if the warranting is a little bit blippy in summary, and better explained in final focus, but it has to 1) have been in rebuttal as well and 2) basically the only clean place to vote
- CLASH IS KEY
Please read cards. Paraphrasing is becoming a problem in debate and often leads to some kind of intellectual dishonesty. Let's just avoid that.
- Try to avoid Grand Cross becoming Grand Chaos in which there's just yelling. It isn't at all productive.
2nd rebuttal should rebuild!
- extending over ink makes me very sad :(
Do not be a terrible person. Don’t be sexist/homophobic/racist etc. If I see this, not only will I be sad, but so will your speaker points
Please please please weigh your arguments.
Also- please please please give voters!! If you don’t tell me what you think is important in round, I’ll have to decide for myself and you may not enjoy that.
please please please time yourselves and your opponent. I do however have a 10 second grace period to finish arguments you are already in the process of making, but I won't evaluate entirely new args after the speech time
Yes- I want to be on the email chain. My email is email@example.com
I competed in public forum debate for 4 years at Poly Prep (2014-2018), coached Lake Mary Prep HM (2018-2019), and currently coach Poly Prep (2019-2021).
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warrant your turns
Do comparative weighing
Tell me why your evidence is better
Bad evidence bad speaks
The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN) I am the director of debate where I teach communication and coach Public Forum and World Schools. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.
Some aspects that are critical for me
1) Be nice and respectful. Try to not talk over people. Share time in crossfire periods. Words matter, think about what you say about other people. Attack their arguments and not the people you debate.
2) Arguments must be extended in each speech. This idea of "sticky defense" and not answering arguments in the second rebuttal doesn't understand how debate works. A debater can only make strategic choices about their speech if they base it on what was said in the speech previous to them.
3) Read evidence. I don't accept paraphrasing -- this is an oral activity. If you are quoting an authority, then quote the authority. A debater should not have to play "wack a mole" to find the evidence you are using poorly. Read a tag and then quote the card, that allows your opponent to figure out if you are accurately quoting the author or over-claiming the evidence.
4) Have your evidence ready. If an opponent asks for a piece of evidence you should be able to produce it in about 60 seconds. At two minutes or so, I'm going to just say the evidence doesn't count in the round because you can't produce it. If I say the card doesn't count then the card doesn't count in the round. If you say you can't produce the card then you risk losing. That is called fabrication to cite evidence and then not be able to produce it. If I ask for a card after the round and you can't produce it, again you risk losing the round. Good evidence practices are critical if this format is to rely on citing authorities.
5) I tend to be a policymaker. If there is no offense against trying a new policy then I suggest we try the new policy as it can't hurt to try. Offense is important for both sides.
6) Use voting issues format in summary and final focus. Learn that this allows a clear story and weighing. A voting issue format includes links, impacts, and weighing and provides clarity to just "our case/their case". You are still doing the voting issues on "their flow" or "our flow".
7) Lead with labels/arguments and NOT authors. Number your arguments. For example, 1) Turn UBI increases wage negotiation -- Jones in 2019 states "quote"
8) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.
Enjoy the debate and learn from this activity, it is a great one.
I'm a forth year parent judge that splits time between LD and PF.
I prefer slower, in depth, articulate speakers. Not a fan of spreading. if I can't understand what you are saying, I won't flow it.
I like a good contention level debate. Make sure your arguments clash and you're not just replying to your opponents tag line. Address all of your opponents points, clearly extend your points and weigh them against your opponents. Call out your voters.
Make sure you arguments tie into an organized framework. I have a hard time weighing your arguments if your all over the place or if they don't tie back to the framework.
I enjoy a spirited debate but you must ALWAYS be polite and respectful to your opponents. If you are a jerk or derogatory to your opponent, your speaker points will take a major hit.
Please add both emails to the chain.
I will not read the email chain unless I need it for evidence after round. It should not be a crutch for you to rely on. If I don’t catch it, the argument isn’t on my flow.
Co-Director, PFBC - 2022-Present
Assistant Debate Coach, The Blake School – 2014-Present
Assistant Debate Coach, Blaine High School – 2013-14
I see debate as a research oriented activity with elements of persuasion and communication built in. The “logic” of a student’s argument should always start grounded in literature and research done by experts and any analysis done should stem from it. Otherwise, I’m just listening to teenagers make things up and that sounds like a waste of my time. I am not the judge for your rounds especially if you plan on reading through three word clips followed by an author name and no date.
The inability to produce a piece of evidence that you have introduced into the round ends the round in an L-25 for your team.
I expect that the second speaking team interacts in some fashion with the arguments made by the first rebuttal. I don’t need a perfect 2-2 split, but I should at least hear you respond to offensive arguments made in order to stay relevant in the round.
All defense needs to be extended in the following speech if you want me to consider it. The final focus cannot go for anything that wasn't included in the summary.
I don’t think that an argument needs a number next to it to necessarily matter in the round. In fact, I find arguments that are a string of “x number leads to y, y is equivocal to z points…” and the like to be unpersuasive. I do not know what inputs exists for this haphazardly thrown together equation nor do I think cross-applying studies in this fashion takes into account differences in how the research was conducted and on what groups.
I think observations/frameworks that provide actor obligations/requirements are interesting and underutilized. They provide me a neat set of rules for the round to be evaluated.
My speaker points average 27.7 these days if that’s important to you.
On theory, kritiks, and whatever else “progressive” argumentation you would like to read:
I default to a position of reasonability > competing interps.
RVIs are silly, you shouldn’t be able to score points for following rules. Paraphrasing is bad, and disclosure is good.
Good is good enough. On most theory questions in PF, the decision is a binary one. Is disclosure good, is paraphrasing bad, etc. are easy to decide. I’m not a fan of rather arbitrary differences post the initial question(open source vs first-three-last-three as an example).
Introduction of theory arguments should happen in the speech directly following the violation. Out of round violations should be introduced in constructives.
Frivolous theory such as shoes or whatever else people have made up at this point is a pretty quick intervention by me. Whatever you’re reading, you should fully believe that the norm makes debate rounds more educational, and fair.
Kritiks are fair game, give me specific links please. Discourse oriented alts I don’t find that compelling and are usually missing a pretty detailed framing debate to win.
I'm the Director of PF at Victory Briefs I've been debating and coaching teams across the country for a while.
I will make whichever decision requires the least amount of intervention. I don't like to do work for debaters but in 90% of rounds you leave me no other choice.
Here's how I make decisions
1) Weighing/Framework (Prereqs, then link-ins/short-circuits, then impact comparison i.e. magnitude etc.)
2) Cleanly extended argument across both speeches (summ+FF) that links to FW
3) No unanswered terminal defense extended in other team's second half speeches
I have a very high threshold for extensions, saying the phrase "extend our 1st contention/our impacts" will get you lower speaks and a scowl. You need to re-explain your argument from uniqueness to fiat to impact in order to properly "extend" something in my eyes. I need warrants. This also goes for turns too, don't extend turns without an impact.
Presumption flows neg. If you want me to default to the first speaking team you'll need to make an argument. In that case though you should probably just try to win some offense.
I like analytical arguments, not everything needs to be carded to be of value in a round. (Warrants )
Signpost pls. Roadmaps are a waste of time 98% of the time, I only need to know where you're starting.
I love me some good framework. Highly organized speeches are the key to high speaks in front of me. Voter summaries are fresh.
Try to get on the same page as your opponents as often as possible, agreements make my decision easier and make me respect you more as a debater (earning you higher speaks). Strategic concessions make me happy. The single best way to get good speaks in front of me is to implicate your opponent's rebuttal response(s) or crossfire answers against them in a speech.
Frontlining in second rebuttal is smart but not required. It’s probably a good idea if they read turns.
Reading tons of different weighing mechanisms is a waste of time because 10 seconds of meta-weighing or a link-in OHKOs. When teams fail to meta-weigh or interact arguments I have to intervene, and that makes me sad.
Don’t extend every single thing you read in case.
My email is email@example.com
I'm not gonna call for cards unless they're contested in the round and I believe that they're necessary for my RFD. I think that everyone else that does this is best case an interventionist judge, and worst case a blatant prep thief.
Skipping grand is cringe. Stop trying to act like you're above the time structure.
Don't say "x was over time, can we strike it?" right after your opponent's speech. I'll only evaluate/disregard ink if you say it was over time during your own speech time. Super annoying to have a mini argument about speech time in between speeches. Track each other’s prep.
Don't say TKO in front of me, no round is ever unwinnable.
Theory's fine, usually frivolous in PF. Love RVIs Genuinely believe disclosure is bad for the event and paraphrasing is good, but I certainly won't intervene against any shell you're winning.
I will vote for kritikal args :-)
Just because you're saying the words structural violence in case doesn't mean you're reading a K
Shoutouts to my boo thang, Shamshad Ali #thepartnership
I am an assistant debate coach with St. Paul Academy, working mainly with the Congress team. When I am judging PF I have a few main concerns:
-At the start of a round explain why this issue is worth debating - ie frame why I should care
-Avoid jargon and speaking too quickly - debate is an extracurricular that prepares students for public speaking and making solid arguments in a professional setting. Falling into established debate tropes that aren't relevant in the real world defeats this purpose
-Extend your arguments through to the end - anything you mention ought to be worth mentioning again
-Treat your opponents with respect - behaving rudely is the quickest way to lose speaker points
General speaker points rubric:
30 - one of the two or three best speakers I've seen in this tournament, speaks clearly, provides unique and well developed arguments
29 - very well delivered, no faulty arguments but not particularly original
28 - minor issues with delivery (perhaps speaking too quickly/unclearly) OR at most one contention that doesn't land well
27 - 25: see 28 but more than one of either instance occurs
below 25 - speaker is blatantly rude or non - participatory