Isidore Newman School Invitational
2019 — New Orleans, LA/US
Policy Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
My pronouns are he/him.
Saint Louis UDL policy debater in high school (2015-2018). Former president of NPDA parli debate at Tulane (Dec '21). I began judging LD and PF in 2018. I now work full time doing intake in the housing unit at legal aid and part-time at the Louisiana Children's Museum and Audubon Nature Institute.
Email chain: email@example.com (also email me here if you have any questions or accessibility needs)
If you feel unsafe at any point in a round or during a tournament, let me know (either in person or via email) and I will do everything I can to get you out of the situation and get the issue handled w tab/equity office/tournament directors etc. Your safety comes first, always
I clap at the end of rounds
Please put cards in docs instead of the body of the email. I don't care if it's just one card - I want a doc.
Spring 2023 Update:
- I no longer think it is particularly useful to list all of my thoughts and preferences on specific arguments and debate styles in my paradigm. It shouldn't matter to you or affect the way you choose to debate. You should debate in a way that feels fun, educational, and authentic to you. I will judge the debate in front of me.
- I am not as involved in debate as I once was. Judging is now a special treat that requires taking off work. This could be good for you or it could be bad for you. Either way, it means I'm genuinely thrilled to be here.
- Be mindful when it comes to speed and jargon. I don't know the all the acronyms or buzzwords and I don't know community consensus or trends when it comes to things like counterplans or topicality.
Some general thoughts:
- TLDR: Read what you like and have fun with it! Whether you're reading a rage aff without a plan text or nine off in the 1NC, if you're into it, I'm into it.
- The best part of debate is the people. Be kind.
- I see my role as a judge as an educator first and foremost
- The best way to win my ballot is to filter arguments through impact framing. Why is your model/disadvantage/advocacy/etc more important? What does it mean to mitigate/solve these impacts in the context of the debate? Why is the ballot important or not important?
- Every speech is a performance. How you choose to perform is up to you, but be prepared to defend every aspect of your performance, including your advocacy, evidence, arguments, positions, and representations
- Tell me why stuff matters! Tell me what I should care about and why!
- If you are a jerk to novices or inexperienced debaters, I will tank your speaks. This is an educational activity. Don't be a jerk
- I don't know what "tricks" or "spikes" are. I judged a round that I'm told had both of these things, and it made me cry (and I sat). Beyond that, I've judged lots of traditional, kritikal, and plan rounds and feel comfortable there.
GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, LEARN THINGS
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org :-)
Experience- This will be my fourth year coaching at Northview High School. Before moving to Georgia, I coached for 7 years at Marquette High in Milwaukee, WI.
As I have gained more coaching and judging experience, I find that I highly value teams who respect their opponents who might not have the same experience as them. This includes watching how you come across in CX, prep time, and your general comportment towards your opponent. In some local circuits, circuit-style policy debate is dwindling and we all have a responsibility to be respectful of the experience of everyone involved in policy debate.
I recommend that you go to the bathroom and fill your water bottles before the debate rather than before a speech.
LD Folks, please read the addendum at the end of my paradigm.
1. Debates are rarely won or lost on technical concessions or truth claims alone. In other words, I think the “tech vs. truth” distinction is a little silly. Technical concessions make it more complicated to win a debate, but rarely do they make wins impossible. Keeping your arguments closer to “truer” forms of an argument make it easier to overcome technical concessions because your arguments are easier to identify, and they’re more explicitly supported by your evidence (or at least should be). That being said, using truth alone as a metric of which of y’all to pick up incentivizes my intervention at some degree.
2. Evidence quality matters a bunch to me- it’s evidence that you have spent time and effort on your positions, it’s a way to determine the relative truth level of your claims, and it helps overcome some of the time constraints of the activity in a way that allows you to raise the level of complexity of your position in a shorter amount of time. I will read your evidence throughout the debate, especially if it is on a position with which I’m less familiar. I won’t vote on evidence comparison claims unless it becomes a question of the debate raised by either team, but I will think about how your evidence could have been used more effectively by the end of the debate. I enjoy rewarding teams for evidence quality.
3. Every debate could benefit from more comparative work particularly in terms of the relative quality of arguments/the interactions between arguments by the end of the round. Teams should ask "Why?", such as "If I win this argument, WHY is this important?", "If I lose this argument WHY does this matter?". Strategically explaining the implications of winning or losing an argument is the difference between being a middle of the road team and a team advancing to elims.
4. Debating off the cuff and "live" in debates is always going to be better than canned, pre-written blocks. Your arguments will be more contextualized to the specific debate, it will be easier to flow because you're going to deliver it more naturally and, in general, it is more persuasive to know the arguments you making are happening in this specific debate instead of some argument factory prior to the debate. This is super important in framework and theory debates that I tend to see a bunch of so thanks in advance for keeping this in mind. I reward the least robotic teams.
5. Some expectations for what should be present in arguments that seem to have disappeared in the last few years:
-For me to vote on a single argument, it must have a claim, warrant, impact, and impact comparison.
-A DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link and impact argument is presented. Too many teams are getting away with 2 card DA shells in the 1NC and then reading uniqueness walls in the block. I will generally allow for new 1AR answers.
-Similarly, CP's should have a solvency advocate read in the 1NC. I'll be flexible on allowing 1AR arguments in a world where the aff makes an argument about the lack of a solvency advocate.
- Yes, terminal defense exists and I will not default to offense-defense. I will not always evaluate the round through a lens of offense-defense, but going for terminal defense means explaining why you think you're accessing a piece of terminal defense.
Case- Debates are won or lost in the case debate. By this, I mean that proving whether or not the aff successfully accesses all, some or none of the case advantages has implications on every flow of the debate and should be a fundamental question of most 2NRs and 2ARs. I think that blocks that are heavy in case defense or impact turns are incredibly advantageous for the neg because they enable you to win any CP (by proving the case defense as a response to the solvency deficit), K (see below) or DA (pretty obvious). I'm also more likely than others to write a presumption ballot or vote neg on inherency arguments. If the status quo solves your aff or you're not a big enough divergence, then you probably need to reconsider your approach to the topic.
Most affs can be divided into two categories: affs with a lot of impacts but poor internal links and affs with very solid internal links but questionable impacts. Acknowledging in which of these two categories the aff you are debating falls should shape how you approach the case debate. I find myself growing increasingly disappointed by negative teams that do not test weak affirmatives. Where's your internal link defense?? I also miss judging impact turn debates, but don't think that spark or wipeout are persuasive arguments. A high level de-dev debate or heg debate, on the other hand, love it.
DA- DAs are questions of probability. Your job as the aff team when debating a DA is to use your defensive arguments to question the probability of the internal links to the DA. Affirmative teams should take more advantage of terminal defense against disads. I'll probably also have a lower threshold for your theory arguments on the disad. Likewise, the neg should use turns case arguments as a reason why your DA calls into question the probability of the aff's internal links. Don't usually find "____ controls the direction of the link" arguments very persuasive. You need to warrant out that claim more if you're going to go for it. Make more rollback-style turns case arguments or more creative turns case arguments to lower the threshold for winning the debate on the disad alone.
CP- CP debates are about the relative weight of a solvency deficit versus the relative weight of the net benefit. The team that is more comparative when discussing the solvency level of these debates usually wins the debate. While, when it is a focus of the debate, I tend to err affirmative on questions of counterplan competiton, I have grown to be more persuaded by a well-executed counterplan strategy even if the counterplan is a process counterplan. The best counterplans have a solvency advocate who is, at least, specific to the topic, and, best, specific to the affirmative. I do not default to judge kicking the counterplan and will be easily persuaded by an affirmative argument about why I should not default to that kind of in-round conditionality. Not a huge fan of the NGA CP and I've voted three out of four times on intrinsic permutations against this counterplan so just be warned. Aff teams should take advantage of presumption arguments against the CP.
Theory- I debated on a team that engaged in a lot of theory debates in high school but that was ages ago where it was still something teams went full send on. There were multiple tournaments where most of our debates boiled down to theory questions, so I would like to think that I am a good judge for theory debates. I think that teams forget that theory debates are structured like a disadvantage. Again, comparative impact calculus is important to win my ballots in these debates. I will say that I tend to err aff on most theory questions. For example, I think that it is probably problematic for there to be more than one conditional advocacy in a round (and that it is equally problematic for your counter interpretation to be dispositionality) and I think that counterplans that compete off of certainty are bad for education and unfair to the aff. Again, portable skills are the most important to me in terms of my predispositions so you will need to do work in round to explain your arguments in this context.
T- Sitting through a bunch of framework debates has made me a better judge for topicality than I used to be. Comparative impact calculus alongside the use of strategic defensive arguments will make it easier for me to vote in a particular direction. Certain interps have a stronger internal link to limits claims and certain affs have better arguments for overlimiting. Being specific about what kind of offense you access, how it comes first, and the relative strength of your internal links in these debates will make it more likely that you win my ballot. I’m not a huge fan of tickytacky topicality claims but, if there’s substantial contestation in the literature, these can be good debates.
Notes for the Blue Key RR/Other LD Judging Obligations
Local Circuit-Thank you for debating. I really enjoy seeing local circuit debates because it reminds me of a lot of debates that I either was in or have judged growing up in a mixed circuit like Wisconsin. I do have a couple of specific thoughts to help us out adjusting to different expectations.
1.) While I prefer cases that are composed of cards with tags, I'm more than willing to listen to your paraphrased cases. Please make all evidence from your cases available to your opponent and I if anyone were to ask for it. I am always suspicious when someone doesn't want to share the work they've done because of the risk of academic dishonesty. You should want to show off your prep even if it's just showing me your computer after the debate when asked.
2.) Please justify how resolving the debate through your criterions is sufficient to win you the debate- If I value justice and am using proportionality to do so, how does that corner out your opponent's route(s) to the ballot?
Biggest shift for me in judging LD debates is the following: No tricks or intuitively false arguments. I'll vote on dropped arguments, but those arguments need a claim, data, warrant and an impact for me to vote on them. If I can't explain the argument back to you and the implications of that argument on the rest of the debate, I'm not voting for you.
I guess this wasn't clear enough the first time around- I don't flow off the document and your walls of framework and theory analytics are really hard to flow when you don't put any breaks in between them.
Similarly, phil debates are always difficult for me to analyze. I tend to think affirmative's should defend implementation particularly when the resolution specifies an actor. Outside of my general desire to see some debates about implementation, I don't have any kind of background in the phil literature bases and so will have a harder time picturing the implications of you winning specific arguments. If you want me to understand how your argumets interact, you will have to do a lot of explanation.
Theory debates- Yes, I said that I enjoy theory debates in my paradigm above and that is largely still true, but CX theory debates are a lot less technical than LD debates. I also think there are a lot of silly theory arguments in LD and I tend to have a higher threshold for those sorts of arguments. I also don't have much of a reference for norm setting in LD or what the norms actually are. Take that into account if you choose to go for theory and probably don't because I won't award you with high enough speaks for your liking.
Put me in email chains or feel free to email me questions: JamieSuzDavenport@Gmail.com
I probably need to do an overhaul of my paradigm; I will try to do it when I can organize my thoughts better and prioritize what I think y'all want to know. Seriously just AMA if it will help you going into the round.
MPA-MSES @ IU Dec ’23, hoo hoo hoo Hoosiers. GA since Aug ‘21
BA: IR, Fr, Arabic @ Samford, May ’20, ruff ‘em, CX and novice coaching
HS: LD in GA, ‘16
A note: I won't read cards unless instructed or seeking clarity (and if this is the case, I will be grumpy). All comments will be typed in the ballot and am open to questions immediately following the round and via email afterward. I do my best not to intervene or let personal biases cloud my judgment. I do have a deep appreciation for friendly competition and will generally be happier while giving out speaks or making decisions if I think the people in the round embodied that spirit. Conversely, am not afraid to have a come-to-Jesus meeting for unnecessary antagonism.
For eTournaments: I'll need a little more time than normal to adjust to your style of speaking/spreading because online anything gets tricky. Try to keep that in mind for your speeches so my ears can adjust. I'll default to having my camera on.
Do what you want. I'm pretty go-with-the-flow and will try to adapt to what the round is versus making you adapt to me. The main thing to consider with me is my personal debate experience and potential knowledge gaps because of it. I'm not a great judge for high theory because I simply don't get it and it takes more explaining for me to understand and take it seriously (@ Baudrillard, semio-cap, etc.). There's some k lit that I'm not fully versed in but I try to keep current on major issues. Otherwise go nuts but make good choices.
2AR/NR: I more and more find myself telling debaters to tell me a story so I think I should put it in here. Whether you're going for a K, FW, DAs, extinction - whatever - start the speech telling me what your scenario is and why it's preferable to the other team. This is especially true if going for a perm or in a KvK debate, having a nuanced explanation clearly at the top of the speech frames the rest of the lbl and interactions you go for.
This was formerly organized by each event that I judge but that was getting unmanageable and ugly. If you have specific questions about anything event-specific or otherwise, just email or ask before the round starts.
Topicality/FW - I'll default that fairness is k2 education – if you want a different standard to be my primary metric, just tell me to do the thing. Might need more explanation of how I can apply the standard but that’s mostly for the atypical ones. Err on the side of over-explaining everything. Please please please explain your (counter)interp and what standards I should apply to favor yours - if there are a bunch of standards, which one do I evaluate first? Why? To reiterate: err on the side of over-explaining everything.
Fiat - I'll imagine it's real for policy v policy debates but more than willing to be sus of it, just tell me why.
Condo – dispo is an archaic interp and I think you can get better offense from other brightlines (2, what they did minus 1, etc.). I’ll vote on dispo but it’ll take more for you to win it than you need to do. Generally, think condo gets to its extremes when in the 3-4+ area, but new affs could change that yadda yadda, do what you want.
Other theory – whatever, just make the interp/counter-interp clear and tell me what to do with it.
RVI’s – please strike me or pref me real real low if this is your thing. I just don’t like it. This is one of if not the only hard-line I draw on content. They’re a time suck to play weird chess instead of engaging in the substance of the debate. Also, the majority of the time, horribly explained/extended.
No huge preferences here
Cross-ex - I don’t flow cx unless something spicy grabs my attention and it’s usually obvious when that happens based on my reaction. Bring it up in a speech to remind me. Open cross, flex prep, is fine – I for real check out for flex prep.
Card clipping – you’ll lose. Might report it to tab/your coach if I’m feeling zesty that day.
Love a good joke, wordplay, or reference. I currently am trying to incorporate “live laugh love”, “yeehaw”, “gaslight gatekeep girlboss” and more into my regular debate vernacular. Feel free to also use these and I’ll at least laugh, maybe boost speaks, who knows – depends on how much of a silly goofy mood I’m in.
Former high school and college policy debater. More partial to critical arguments and theory but definitely enjoy thoughtful, strategic policy oriented arguments.
Affs: Make sure you're different from the status quo.
Negs: Make sure your disad links actually link. Make sure your counterplans and K alternatives are competitve.
I won't do any mental gymnastics for you. Be polite, learn, and have fun.
Former High School and College Policy Debater.
My general policy for judging is to be open to hearing ANY argument you wish to run and also open to VOTING on that argument if you can win it. But please note: I refuse to do any work for you. I will evaluate only what is said in the debate. I do not count points made in cross examination UNLESS they are mentioned/utilized in a speech.
Affs: I am open to hearing whatever kind of Aff you choose to run, be it a Plan , a K , or Performance. My only stipulation is that the Aff must deviate from the Squo in some substantial manner.
Counterplans: Love a good CP, but it better be competitive. Also there needs to be some Net Benefit to the counterplan.
Disads: I am all about the links. Please have good links. Arguments like 1% risk of a link are not persuasive to me and exposes the weakness of your links.
Kritiks: I was partial to the K when I debated so I am always happy to see a K ran properly. That being said, please do not assume I know your authors, please have some knowledge of your own authors. Please do not run a K that you have never read, researched, or argued. Please do a lot of work on the link debate and explain to me why i should prefer the alternative.
Theory: Love some good theory. I think most teams have theory as an afterthought. Please Dont. Properly debated theory will get you far in front of me.
- Stealing Prep
- Rudeness: debate is supposed to be both educational and fun. Be kind to each other.
3 years of HS debate experience in CX.
Philosophy major in undergrad.
Spreading is fine. Please remember that I don't have the document in front of me as a reference during your speech; for this reason, sign posting is greatly appreciated and may have an affect on how I judge the round.
With regards to argumentation, I am pretty flexible. BUT theory isn't something I often vote on unless it's done extremely well. I like more developed theory that isn't less than 15 seconds worth of your speech time.
I like to see turns done on both sides and I want you to tell me how to weigh the round (impact cal/framework). I don't like deciding solely on my own terms so I would appreciate it a lot if this was done.
Former Assistant Coach at Baton Rouge Magnet, now I mostly work with Millard West and Village Debate
Honestly kind of a wildcard, I find myself voting in ways I never would’ve thought of quite often. At one point in time, I was a well-known policy debater, now I might as well be anyone they just picked up on the way to the tournament.
I’ve judged everything from the finals of CEDA Nationals to pf finals at NSDA. Debate and music pays my rent and puts food on my table, this is a job for me, so take that seriously when trying to make something relatable to me. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in a suburban Chicano/Filipino American Household… I say this because Debates that most capture my heart occur in a similar fashion to the arguments we make at the dinner table.
POLICY: There aren’t a lot of arguments I haven’t seen/heard/smelled… I like clear-cut offense in policy debates. It’s very rare that I vote for anything along the lines of “gotta have a plan” or Topicality in general. I’ve coached both high school and college teams on the explicit premise that the topic and or community engaging the topic is flawed in some way. Ideal debates for me will be more about performance and method, I’m more intrigued by what you did/do than the hypothetical. Even when doing fiat style debate, you need to defend it like it has benefits. If heg/cap is good you gotta sell me on a unique enough reason why in THIS instance I NEED/HAVE NO CHOICE OTHER THAN vote for you. Uniqueness absolutely determines the direction of the link for me in more traditional debates. Although I believe in my heart that conditionality is bad, it's hard for me to vote for condo bad when it is debated so nebulously, I generally believe that the negative should have access to everything under the sun to negate the affirmative.
LD: The best LD debates for me are not some mutant reproduction of old policy arguments and styles. I’m a great judge for you if you read a plan text and go multiple off, but in the back of my mind, I wish more LDers would push arguments against fiat, against this way of debating. My ideal form of debate is based on evaluating performance and method… I.e. I think what you do/did is more important than what could potentially happen if x hypothetical policy were passed. Also after judging a significant amount of y’all on the national circuit I’d like to know who is “we”…A lot of top-level LDers are getting away with regurgitating policy arguments to the point where they don’t even think or change up the blocks. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned at the implications of debaters mindlessly reading whatever is on the page right?
PF: I want a copy of your evidence so I can look at it for myself, preferably a speech doc too… other than that these debates are all about uniqueness and terminal impacts for me. I want a clear and cut disadvantage to your opponents' case… it can’t just be a “here’s our side, here’s their side” type of thing. Challenge sources, challenge privilege, and bias. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
I will evaluate anything that is fleshed out and meaningfully impacted as a voter in the round. If someone correctly believes they can run something coherently, their only fear should be how well the opponents will refute it.
That said, if I was to comment on a bias or "preference," it wouldn't be about the content of an argument, but its delivery. In close matches, I often find myself voting for the team which does a better job keeping the flow clean and organized. Making transitions clear is much appreciated and a speech which is more easily flowed is more easily remembered and analyzed afterwards, when its time to decide who wins which line of the flow.
email chain email@example.com
Director of Debate @ Texas Tech (2022-) NDT/CEDA | Program Support @ Dallas Urban Debate (2022-) policy | Assistant Coach @ San Diego State University (2020-2021) NPDA/NPTE | Director of Debate @ UCLA (2020-2021) NPDA/NPTE | Assistant Coach @ University of Texas-Tyler (2019-2020) NPDA/NPTE | Assistant Coach @ Aubrey HS (2019-2020) policy | Assistant Coach @ Lindale HS (2015-2020) policy
Texas Tech (2016-2019) NPDA/NPTE| Lindale HS (2011-2015) policy
Read whatever set or style of arguments you would like, my job is to evaluate the round through an offense/defense lens and vote for the team that makes the world a better place (i.e. won the debate, ya know). I frequently judge all types of debates (from policy v policy, k v k, and k v policy to world schools, parli, policy, LD, and college debate to middle school debate, etc) and am more interested in seeing good debate rather than any particular style of debate.
Warrant & evidence comparison, impact terminalization, historical examples, global context, and 'telling the story' of the round late in rebuttals are typically the content choices that help sway my decision when a clear winner is not decided by the flow.
I don’t have any predispositions regrading the content, structure, or style of your arguments. I will defer to evaluating the debate through an offense/defense paradigm absent a team winning an argument for me to evaluate it another way. Clear impact weighing in the rebuttals and evidence/warrant comparison are typically what I notice in teams I enjoy judging.
I attempt to be a ’technical’ judge in every round I watch. I try to keep a detailed flow, and use my flow to evaluate the round that happened. If the flow doesn’t decide a clear winner, I will then look to the quality of evidence/warrants provided. I tend to find I’m less interested in where an argument in presented than others. While clear line-by-line is always appreciated, some of my favorite debaters to watch were overview-heavy debaters who made and answered arguments in the debate while telling a persuasive story of the debate. I would rather you sound organized and clear than following a template throughout each flow.
I will most likely not vote on ‘independent voting issues’ unless it’s an egregious instance. This is separate from ethics concerns, like cheating, card clipping, etc. I am not persuaded by claims that I should evaluate the entirety of the debate based upon a single argument on my flow. Particular rhetorical abuses, such as racist, sexist, transphobic remarks are a different story, and I will hold those to much higher scrutiny than a claim that I should decide a whole debate because the 2ac read a severance perm.
Instead of framing debates through ‘body counts’, I am much more persuaded by framing as ‘who saves the most lives’, or who has the best advocacy for change. Sometimes debaters talk about claims of very real violence and problems for various communities with little regard to the real world implications of their political advocacies.
I tend to prefer specific plan texts over vague plan texts. I also like specific internal link claims and impact scenarios. Specific instances of war are more persuasive to me than ‘goat power war’ claims.
counterplans, disads, & case turns
I would prefer you read at least once piece of solvency evidence per plank in the 1nc. Obviously that’s not a hard rule, but I will hold CPs that read multiple planks with no evidence in the 1nc to much higher scrutiny than a sufficiently developed 1nc shell.
I tend to lean neg on most CP theories. Obviously, the debate is to be had, but I am generally more persuaded that the negative should get access to most CPs and conditional advocacies. Specific claims about instances in-round to generate offense in these debates is much more persuasive than generic standard debates. I am more willing to vote on reject the argument than reject the team.
I find I am more willing to judge-kick in the 2nr than most judges, but think this is still a debate that needs to be had. The 2nr must have a persuasive reason for me to judge kick, and the 2ar can still win that I ought not judge kick.
Uniqueness guides the direction of the link. I like robust development of each level of the debate for disads and case turns, while telling a clear story about the thesis of the disad. I decide the probability of your impact based on the link and internal link level of the debate, and find that often times 2nrs are lacking on this level of the disad flow.
I think the impact turn is a lost art and have a special place in my heart for them. The same is to be said for developed case turn debates.
To me, the best kritiks are the ones that clearly identify a theory of power or possesses some sort of a structural analysis. I am most persuaded by specific historical examples and a clear alternative that frames what my ballot does.
The link level of the debate tends to be the most important in my making my decision at the end of the round. I like developed link blocks, and think that the aff often times doesn’t adequately handle the link section of the debate.
In reformism v revolution debates, I prefer explanations that pinpoint why the conditions of the status quo are the way they are, and can best explain casualty for violence. This is where historical examples become especially important, and where warrant comparison becomes paramount.
I think permutations in the 2ar that attempt to prove the alt is not functionally competitive are not nearly as persuasive as arguments in the 2ar that the aff is in the direction of the alt. A heg aff probably cannot go for a perm against anti-blackness, but an aff that is a step towards the same telos of the alt can.
Affs will usually win that they can weigh their aff, but I am typically not persuaded by framework arguments that attempt to tell me not to evaluate the k. I think the same is also true for the negative. Instead, I think the framework portion of the debate should tell me what my ballot does and how I should frame my decision given the context of the round.
'clash of civilization' debates
I've been seeing a lot of these debates recently, so I figured it was worth adding a section with a bit more tailored to these debates.
In these debates, warrant comparison is paramount. Rebuttals that are just extending state good/bad or reformism good/bad arguments without doing any interaction with the flow is a common mistake I see in these debates. Ideally, your arguments for this level of debate also have terminalized and developed impacts as well. The best debaters in these debates typically are those who use their evidence/examples to implicate the specific warrants the other team is extending.
Links should be explained as disadvantages to the permutation with impacts developed and extended for them. I need the 2nr to be doing more work on the permutation than just extending the link level; this isn't to say you cannot or should not extend them as disads to the perm (I think you probably should), but simply saying the phrase isn't enough to prove mutual exclusivity. I appreciate a really well developed and implicated link wall.
I would much rather not have my ballot decided by the framework level debate. Engaging the substance is very much so appreciated in these debates. Obviously this doesn't influence any debates I watch, but I tend to believe that the aff should get access to their 1ac and the neg gets to weigh their impacts against it; fiat is illusory isn't reason enough for me to moot the 1ac, and just because it's a K doesn't mean your 1ac was necessarily mooted. but again, grain of salt, do you.
A lot of these rounds are decided on which team wins their theory of power or governance, and rebuttalists that are using historical and contextual examples are typically those who win these debates. The more specific the examples throughout the debate, the better spot you will probably be in to get my ballot.
Instead of telling me what your alt does, tell me how I can do your alt. I love references to other movements, specific actions I can take, and what the telos or the vision of your alternative is; I do not like you telling me in the abstract what the alterative means. Don't try to explain the words of the alt to me, tell me what the alt means with specific warrants for how the alt can resolve the links and/or the aff.
The 2ar needs to be finding ways to extend and terminalize offense that exists outside solving the aff. If your offense on the K only relies on your ability to solve your aff in the 2ar, it tends to not bode well for the aff. Reformism/state good offense that isn't just 'we solve the aff, the aff is a good idea', or terminalized impact turns or disadvantages to the alternatives can be really useful in close 'clash' debates.
If the 2ar is going for a permutation, I must know what the world of the permutation looks like with some explanation of the solvency mechanism for the perm and why the alt is not mutually exclusive.
Competing interpretations just tells me to evaluate offense vs defense, which is what I am most likely going to do. I think reasonability tells me that even if they win the their impact claims (the standards), they haven’t won the link debate (the interp debate) because we meet/are close enough to the interp. Because I view T debates this way, I like clear and developed standard debates that clear isolate impact claims.
Case lists, TVAs, examples of affs that would violate, etc. are all useful because they help me situate your interp within the topic. These are all terminal defense, so you won’t necessarily win a debate with them alone, but they are persuasive.
Interp comparison is really useful as well. Debating the quality of interps is a lost art and can generate offense in the standard level as well.
I don’t think that the aff has to win a specific counter interp in K aff v FW debates, but rather a counter model for debate. I like these debates that break down the skills gandered from each model of debate, and use them to generate offense. Arguments like fairness claims, or claims that framework is inherently violent aren’t persuasive to me. Standards about portable skills, research, advocacy, etc. that tell me the tangible benefits of your model serve best on either side because I think helps frame what sort of method my ballot is endorsing.
Email Chain or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speed: Any speed fine. Any argument fine.
Experience: I debated for three years in high school policy debate and two years on the college NDT Circuit. I'm educated as a philosopher and am a criminal defense lawyer. My philosophical training means I really care about logical fallacies and how arguments are posed and answered. Also, I ponder and wonder about big questions so that translates into my debate thinking. I'm a theory hack. Professionally, I defend criminals so I've developed a very thick skin. My love is trying criminal cases so I'm very focused on how folks decide and why, and how to persuade and adapt--oh just like debate. I dislike dogma which is now shockingly rampant on both sides of our current political culture.
FLOW I flow the debate specifically on a sketch pad. Cross X too. If you do not take this into account I'll miss your arguments. That means give me time to turn the page when moving to new arguments and signpost clearly where you going next on the flow (e.g. "on the states counterplan" and give me time to get there.) Connecting arguments - the line-by-line - is essential you don't want me to put the debate together myself. 'I will feel zero remorse if you tell me that I did not decode the word vomit on 2AC 5 subpoint C or the treatise you regurgitated in a 2NC overview. ..It would help me immensely if you used consistent, easily transcribable soundbites' (thanks Shree) and very clear signposting so I can make connections on the flow effortlessly. Long overviews are bad in this same way--put them in the line by line.
Judging Philosophy: Be yourself, because sincerity is transparent and convincing. No argument would cause me to automatically vote against any team, regardless of whether they are labeled politically incorrect, offensive or whatever (I hate dogma.) If a team thinks an argument is morally wrong tell me why I should not vote for it. I HAVE NO DEFAULT OR PREFERRED JUDGING PARADIGM. I'll follow what the round dictates. Nor have I any theory preferences that I apply to my evaluation. I like theory debates and listening to debate arguments about what debate or the theory should be and why. Alot. I expect the debaters to tell me how to decide the debate. I don't want to determine which interpretation is better or whether human rights trumps extinction. The best teams will compare evidence, indict arguments (qualifications or warrants), and resolve debate questions.
Online Debate: Online debate is terrible both as it deemphasizes persuasion intangibles and fails to replicate the community and support of an in-person tournament. But it is better than not debating. Judges should have their camera on during all speeches as debaters need to assess judge reactions and attention. Competitors should have their cameras on during their speeches and cross x so judges can see non-verbal cues to assign speaker points.
Both policy and kritik debates thrill me when there is clash and great intellectual battles. I'm current on most K literature but that is a double-edged sword. I'll probably understand your Kritik, but I have a higher threshold for what you must articulate. And I'll know when you superficially understand your authors or the literature base.
- - Poor DAs/Advantages/K links: More and more I see DAs and 1AC advantages with poor link evidence and then severe brink and obvious uniqueness issues. Often these go unchallenged by opposing teams in a rush to simply read their evidence blocks. A few analytics or even a well reasoned cross-ex questions could destroy some of these disadvantages. Solid analytics will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
- - Evidence Comparison: Great debaters evaluate, compare and attack evidence. There is good evidence and bad evidence; good sources and lousy sources. Quality of evidence is very important to me. I'll be reading along with your speech doc and reading evidence in your prep time.
- - Cross-x: It's not simply your partner's prep time or to get cards you missed. It's another opportunity to make your arguments. You are welcome to do cross x anyway you want but best speaker points are awarded to those who answer their own cross x. And when you find a soft spot in their answers go for the kill and savor it. It's a rare and beautiful thing...as close to a Perry Mason moment as you'll ever find because they don't happen in court, ever. In the 1994 CEDA finals, James Brian Johnston from UKMC as 2AC, questions 2NC Dave Devereux (KSU) and his questioning beginning around 51 minutes into the video is, for me, a perfectly executed aggressive and brilliant cross-examination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7L5N3Jvg8A&feature=youtu.be
- - Speaker Points I won't give fewer than 26 for any reason. For me, 29 indicates a very good speech with few mistakes. Wake Forest University devised a speaker point scale to attempt to universalize speaker points and I tend to follow it: http://collegedebateratings.weebly.com/points-scale.html
The best debaters I see don't simply bury their heads in their laptop and spread; they actually look at the judge periodically and persuade, particularly in 2NR and 2ar. Watch the 2002 Ceda Finals and see Calum Matheson's 2nc or Jason Regnier's 2ac or 2ar for great examples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpU21fxfAD4&feature=youtu.be .
Debate is about winning so be assertive even aggressive. Not rude or exclusive but go after your point with passion. We are in the persuasion business and enthusiasm is contagious. Have fun. A sense of humor is priceless (and rare) in a round.
Debated for Caddo Magnet 2014-2018
Assistant Coach @ Caddo Magnet
Law Student at LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center
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Prep ends when the speech doc is saved/flashed.
Don't take too long while you're "sending the doc over" and still typing.
Evidence quality > evidence quantity.
Tech v. Truth is very much over-debated and over-theorized and I'm not sure why it is. If your evidence is correct/accurate about how things operate and your internal links are logical, then you're in the clear. Truth claims warrant a certain amount of technical skills to be won, just as technical arguments need a good deal of truth in reality to be won.
Debate's stressful. Be kind.
Play smart. Be scrappy.
A few of my debate coaches and people who helped shape how I approach everything: Neill Normand, Kasi & Jonathan McCartney, Sam Gustavson, Ian Dill, Darius White, Calen Martin, Cole Allen, Ethan Courtman, and Jake Crusan.
Frame your arguments:
If you can tell me what the central points of the debate are in the final rebuttals, make effective arguments and prove why you're winning, you will most likely win the debate. I think line by line is good, but that you also need to keep in mind the big picture/nexus question for the debate. Being wax poetic is especially good (but not necessary), but tell me what's most important and why, and explain it. "Even if" statements are also really useful in this situation, and be sure to use competing claims and why making the decision for you should be easy even if you're not winning the other/most important parts of the debate.
Embedded clash is important. For argument extensions, make sure you have a claim, warrant, and an impact. Make sure you use this to your advantage and point out interactions between different arguments, be smart in pointing out double turns, etc.
Clarity > speed:
I'd rather hear a very engaging 4-5 off debate that has a variety of winning 2NRs against a certain aff, rather than a team who reads 8-10 off just to scare the other team. I'm not as inclined to the "throw 9 off at the wall to see what sticks" strategies. Not to be frank, but if you know you can beat an aff without going all out, do just that and make each component of the debate that much more convincing.
Slow down on blocks and analytics, because they're going to be the point in the debate where I really start paying attention to the arguments at hand and seeing how they function (also the point in the debate where you should explain them as such). Being efficient and prepared rather than fast and blippy until the 2NR is better than not.
Line by line is important:
This is very important and I think some debaters sadly forget about. Answer arguments in the order in which they appear - if "they say (x), but (x)" statements are helpful in this instance. Clean flows = good flows = organized debates = good debates.
CX should be treated as another speech. Write down your questions beforehand and have a strategy. Some judges flow CX, I tend to stray away of that, but I may star an argument a team mentions something multiple times or if an argument seemed to be critical for any particular side during CX. If an important argument is an effective turning point for the debate in CX, point it out in later speeches. Use your time wisely.
I'm finding myself frustrated with a lot of these types of affirmatives. The 1AC should ground itself with a foundational disagreement with resolutional action (depending on the way the topic is worded) - meaning a solid, specific topic link - and go from there about debating it. Not doing so will likely result to me just voting negative on T. Debates where the affirmative identifies a problem with resolutional action and uses that as offense against framework/T-USfg are much more interesting than stale debates that recycle old K-affs that change 1-2 cards to fit the topic.
***I think for topics where the resolution mandates the USfg reduces something negative it does (like restrict immigration or reduce arms sales), reading an aff with a plan is much more legitimate than not reading a plan.
***Please ask questions about this. But, if I were debating and reading this paradigm, I'd stick with a plan.
I think this is the most legitimate strategy against planless affs. Though it's a legitimate claim that the aff not using the USfg as an agent is unfair, you need to explain why in terms of why it's bad for normative debate practices and why it's bad that you can't engage with the aff as well as you could with one that had a specific policy proposal.
Fairness is an impact in itself, but that should be explained in terms of what unfairness is, how the affirmative makes it worse, and then funnel into discussion of other "greatest hits" impacts on the flow.
Make sure your TVA is logical and at accesses the affirmative's offense, and the aff answers need to be logical and established in order for me to not vote on it.
Well-thought out aff impact turns to T/Framework are convincing to me if executed effectively.
Framework should also be debated in the context of every aff - don't just read the same overview you do for every K aff. Specific overviews + reasons to reject the aff = higher speaks and more of a chance I'll vote for you.
You NEED to engage case. Smart analytics on case are just as good as impact turns/no solvency arguments. Make sure to utilize it, it's there for a reason. Interact with it, don't forget it. Scrap the 2-3 card DA that you won't extend past the 1NC and put some of that time and effort on case.
Good case debates about the warrants of the aff, internal link strength, sensibility, etc. are good. Debating case makes you better.
I like impact turns. I like it when teams read impact turns specific to the aff.
Spark = silly. I won't even bother telling you how silly it is---I'll give you my professors' emails and let you take it up with them.
Caselists = good.
Don't get bogged down in the non-essential details.
Competing interps when actually competitive = good.
Reasonability against arbitrary/asinine interps that are semi-ridiculous = 100% will vote on it.
Long text = slow down.
Specific PICs are good, I like them. Debate them well.
Consult and conditions counterplans are fine as long as you defend them as you're supposed to practically and theoretically. Don't get too carried away.
Make sure it's actually competitive---this means it needs to access not only the impacts of the advantage, but the rest of the advantage itself.
The DA should have specific links to what the aff is talking about, or at least a claim that what the aff is fiating will cause what you say it will because it's that large of a policy.
Your block work on the DA should be thorough explanation, as well as lots of cards that prove your argument(s). Specific links/analysis to the aff are highly appreciated.
Lots of cards + lots of analysis = extra good.
Being from a relatively small school, I understand their strategic value. If you think there may be a risk that I don't know what you mean, don't use buzz-words and be sure to explain your args well.
Couple of K things I value:
Link Contextualization---You absolutely need to win a link to the affirmative. Generic links rarely grab my attention, unless the aff just mishandles it completely. A K 1NC that has mechanism and content links to the aff (links to the aff's process, either K-based or state-based, depending on the type of aff) is better than a K 1NC that has the link arguments "state + scenario analysis bad," without mentioning the aff's advantages. A smart 2NR will go all-in on 1 or 2 solid links with clear impacts. Links should be able to turn case without winning the alternative (even though you should still win your alt), and should each have an impact-level claim that are distinct from the other links and that can independently win you the debate. But, you need to win the alternative to win the debate, tell my why it resolves your links specific to the aff and any other link you may read - this is where the links that fit the aff best come in. I'd rather hear the 2NR go for 2 solid links rather than 3-4 not-so-good links.
Framework---a decisive win on framework will make me much more likely to vote for you, regardless if you're aff or neg.
I'll consider theory only if it is severely mishandled/conceded by the other team. I think having it as your A-game strategy isn't as strategic, but don't be discouraged and think you can't go for it in front of me, just remember there are certain times and places for those debates.
Conditionality is bad if an absurd number of advocacies are in the 1NC (more than 4 is questionable, but I'm open to a debate on whether or not that is true), but make sure to contextualize your theory blocks to the debate at hand and tell me why what they did in round is bad and incentivizes worse debates for everyone else. Tell me more of a story about what they did, why they should lose, and what your model of debate looks like under a certain interpretation (that isn't just repeating your interpretation you read in the 2AC/2NC).
These should be used to write my ballot. Easy ways to do this are to do the "final review of the debate" at the top of the 2NR/2AR and then get into the substance/nuance of individual arguments you're winning on the flow.
If Debating In Louisiana:
You're on the clock. You can thank me after the round, don't use your speech time for it.
Explain your arguments well. Answer your opponents' arguments well. I judge LD sometimes in-state because of tab-based restraints and something I've noticed is a severe lack of clash in these debates, and I think forcing yourself to interact with the other team's arguments is generally a good thing in debate.
Good luck and have fun!
My judging experience is primarily in Policy/CX debate across the state of Louisiana since 2014, with experience in LD. I've taken part in this community since 2011. I competed in CX and Extemp for 4 years, earning multiple trophies from both events.
The weight I give neg arguments in order:
1. T - extremely hard to prove to me, but outweighs everything to me
3. DA/on-case - pretty standard arguments, probably your best bet with squo arguments
4. K - I don't like Ks, so don't run it unless it applies and you know what you're talking about
I really just need heavy solvency and weight analysis of impacts/values/criteria
Last edited: 3/21
Add me: firstname.lastname@example.org
For online debate especially, you really need to slow down and prioritize clarity.
I debated at Glenbrook North HS for four years. During my senior year, I went to most national tournaments (Greenhill, New Trier, UMich, Blake, Pinecrest, etc), qualified to the TOC and went 4-3. Most of my views of debate are the same as those of Michael Greenstein, Stephen Pipkin, Kevin McCaffery, and Jared Zuckerman.
The role of my ballot is to vote for the team who does the better debating on whether a topical plan is better than the status quo or a competitive alternative. That means the aff has to defend a topical plan and the neg has to prove the plan is a bad idea or there's no risk the plan is a good idea.
If you aren't going to read my whole paradigm before the round, the most important thing I can tell you is to flow and respond to all your opponent's arguments. If I can see that you aren't flowing, you probably won't win my ballot and I will deduct speaker points.
When I judge T debates, I'm answering the question "Which definition creates the best version of the topic?" I expect debaters to pretty explicitly answer this question for me in the impact debate. In my opinion, legal precision is the most convincing impact and the team that better accesses it will probably be the team that wins the debate regardless of if you are AFF or NEG. That being said, in order to access legal precision as an impact, you must have well-researched evidence. Without it, your chances of winning the debate drop exponentially even if you do the best impact calc I have ever seen. No matter what impact you end up going for, you should do impact calc just like you would if you were going for a disad- why does your impact outweigh their's and how does your impact access/turn theirs?).
I don't lean AFF or NEG in T debates- I ran pretty borderline untopical AFFs in high school which meant that a lot of my AFF debates came down to T, but I also frequently went for T on the NEG.
Case turns are underutilized and can be extremely effective either on their own or when paired with an advantage counterplan. The uniqueness/inevitability question is probably the most important part of these debates because it controls who gets to leverage try or die. If you go for an impact turn correctly (AFF or NEG) it will make my job as a judge much more fun and will probably result in increased speaks. I'd love it if more teams brought back Co2 ag.
Econ growth = bad.
You probably can't go wrong with a disad. That being said, please do your best not to prove me wrong and read disads that are somewhat coherent and can survive cross-ex. Once you have met that standard any and all disads are fine with me. I shouldn't even have to say this but impact calc is the most important part of a disad debate. When doing impact calc, you should talk about why your impact matters AND talk about how it compares to and interacts with your opponents' impact. The link debate probably controls the direction of the uniqueness debate and I generally begin evaluating disad debates by deciding whether or not the disad links. Link evidence is an important factor in my evaluation, but it is not as important as the story you tell throughout the debate and how you spin your topic generic evidence. Zero risk of a disad is a real thing and I can and will vote on it.
When debating/reading a politics disad things change a little. In agenda disad debates, I find that the uniqueness debate controls the direction of the link debate. Your uniqueness evidence must be recent and of good quality if you want my ballot. AFF teams should make politics theory arguments in the 2AC but should never extend them unless they are straight-up dropped. Besides that everything else is the same.
Undoubtedly my favorite negative argument. I think a good advantage counterplan and a disad can be a devastating strategy. That being said, I went to GBN so I know I'm going to be a big fan of your agent, conditions, and process counterplan if it seems like it belongs on the topic. The standard for whether or not a cheaty counterplan belongs on the topic is whether or not you have a solvency advocate that ties the CP to the resolution. If you do, you're golden, but if you don't, I wouldn't even bother reading it.
Solvency deficits can be great when they are explained AND impacted well and should definitely be a part of your strategy. Unfortunately, most plan-inclusive counterplans will solve your deficit so you should go for theory or an impact turn of the net benefit. I find myself very convinced by sufficiency framing and think that it is very unfortunate that most AFF teams will drop it in the 1ar. The only theory argument that I am AFF leaning on is "no neg fiat". I don't know about y'all but I don't see a negative resolution...
Not very deep in any identity or high theory lit so you better explain things very well becuase if I can't explain it back to the other team I will not vote for it. I have provided a spectrum of how likely I am to vote for your kritiks with a disad as a reference:
A Disad--Security/Neolib/Cap----Set Col------------------------------------Everything else-----------------High theory-----------Identity
I will not vote on death/suffering good and I find the fiat double-bind funny but unwinnable.
When going for a K in front of me, please don't tell me that I need an extra sheet for the overview. Spend a lot of time on the link portion of the debate and flush out several clear and direct links. The more specific they are, the better the debate will be and your chances of getting my ballot go up. Naming the links is a good and helpful practice. Don't fill your speech with buzzwords and don't drop the alt in the 2NR.
I am a debate coach at Little Rock Central. Please put both on the email chain: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
You do you. I want to see you at your best. I believe that my role is to listen, flow, and weigh the arguments offered in the round how I am told to weigh them by each team. I will listen to and evaluate any argument. There is no educational warrant/it is unacceptable to do anything that is ableist, anti-feminist, anti-queer, racist, or violent.
My goal is not to intervene when judging. I can do that best when you: 1) explain why your impacts outweigh your opponents' impacts; 2) do evidence comparison as necessary; and 3) do judge instruction.
Go for it. There are persuasive arguments about why it is good to discuss hypothetical plan implementation. I do not have specific preferences about this, but I am specifically not persuaded when a 2a pivot undercovers/drops the framework debate in an attempt to weigh case/extend portions of case that aren't relevant unless the aff wins framework. I have not noticed any specific thresholds about neg strats against policy affs.
Go for it. I think it’s important for any kritikal affirmative (including embedded critiques of debate) to wins its method and theory of power, and be able to defend that the method and advocacy ameliorates some impactful harm. I think it’s important for kritkal affirmatives (when asked) to be able to articulate how the negative side could engage with them; explain the role of the negative in the debate as it comes up, and, if applicable, win the questions of fairness. I don't track any specific preferences. Note: Almost all time that I am using to write arguments and coach students is to prepare for heg/policy debates; I understand if you prefer someone in the back of the room that spends a majority of their time either writing kritikal arguments or coaching kritikal debate.
This is all up to how it develops in round. I figure that this often starts as a question of fairness or how a method leads to an acquisition/development of portable skills. It doesn't have to start or end in any particular place. If the framework debate becomes a question of fairness, then it's up to you to tell me what kind of fairness I should prioritize and why your method does or does not access it/preserve it/improve it. I have voted for and against framework. I haven't tracked any specific preferences or noticed anything in framework debate that particularly persuades me.
Overall, I think that most neg strats benefit from quality over quantity. I find strategies that are specific to an aff are particularly persuasive. In general, I feel pretty middle of the road when it comes to thresholds. I value organization and utilization of turns, weighing impacts, and answering arguments effectively in overviews/l-b-l.
Other Specifics and Thresholds, Theory
• Perms: Explain how the perm works (more than "perm do X"). Why does the perm resolve the impacts? Why doesn't the perm link to a disad?
• T: Normal threshold if the topicality impacts are about the implications for future debates/in-round standards. High threshold for affs being too specific and being bad for debate because neg doesn't have case debate.
• Disclosure is generally good, and also it's ok to break a new aff as long as the aff is straight up in doing so. There are right and wrong ways to break new. Debates about this persuade me most when located in questions about education.
• Limited conditionality feels right, but really I am most interested in how these theory arguments develop in round and who wins them based on the fairness/education debate and tech.
TOC Requested Update for Congress
Be your best self. My ranks reflect who I believe did the best debating in the round (and in all prelims when I parli).
The best debaters are the ones that offer a speech that is appropriately contextualized into the debate the body is having about a motion. For sponsors/first negs, this means the introduction of framing and appropriate impacts so that the aff/neg speakers can build/extend specific impact scenarios that outweigh the opposing side's impacts. Speeches in the mid/late round should be focused on introducing/weighing impacts (based on where you are in the round and where your side is on impact weighing) and refutations (with use of framing) on a warrant/impact level. I value structured refutations like turns, disadvantages, presumption, PICs (amendments), no solvency/risk, etc. The final two speeches should crystallize the round by offering a clear picture as to why the aff/neg speakers have been most persuasive (through their side's framing) and why the motion should carry or fail.
The round should feel like a debate in that each speaker shall introduce, refute, and/or weigh the core of the affirmative and negative arguments to persuade all other speakers on how they should vote on a pending motion.
Other TOC Requested Congress Specifics/Randoms
Arguments are claim, warrant, impact/justification and data when necessary. Speeches with arguments lacking one or more of these will not ever be rewarded highly, no matter how eloquent the speech. It is always almost more persuasive to provide data to support a warrant.
Impacts should be specific and never implied.
Presiding officers should ensure as many speeches as possible. The best presiding officers are direct, succinct, courteous, organized, and transparent. Presiding officers shall always be considered for ranks, but ineffective presiding is the quickest way to a rank 9 (or lower).
More floor debaters are experimenting with parliamentary procedure. Love it, but debaters will be penalized for misapplications of the tournament's bylaws and whichever parliamentary guide is the back up.
Nothing is worse in floor debate than repetition, which is different than extending/weighing.
Decorum should reflect effective communication. Effective communication in debate often includes an assertive tone, but read: folx should always treat each other with dignity and respect.
Offer a good story, and provide a framework for evaluating competing stories.
Be topical, or don't.
Debate how you'd like, and I will be an active listener in the conversation.
Aside -- I have a personal conviction to praxis that is grounded in theory that makes the concept of "theoretical praxis" far less attractive to me.
Please include me on email chains when you distribute evidence.
Before you consider all of my opinions on debate, please understand that I am a Tab judge. I will vote for the team that did the best job in the round.
CX can be open or closed. Just do not drown out your partner. I want to see a real understanding of your argument.
While I am a tab judge, the information below is how to impress me in a round.
Please signpost and stay with your road-map. I will have you start at full speed, but know that if you’re unclear, I will need you to slow down. Always provide a road-map before you begin. I flow the entire round and so if you want to win, be clear in your execution of spreading.
K’s and K affs:
I have at least a passing familiarity with most of the literature bases, but please don’t assume I do. Use more than just buzzwords. It is important that you show a firm grasp on the literature base behind the K and explain how it functions in the context of the round. Your alt shouldn’t be an afterthought. You should articulate a clear idea of how my ballot fulfills it.
Establish a coherent and strong narrative on why your framework must be evaluated before the round.
Put in the time if you want to win it.
Slow down on CP text/perm text.
Don’t just read blocks and move on. Explain it to me.
I was a high school debater in the mid 1990s (in Arkansas)
I've been a debate mom/driver/occasional judge since 2015
My background is in policy debate and that's where I lean as a judge. I like to hear a debate about the resolution, and I like to hear a plan from the affirmative. That being said, I'm willing to listen to any well-articulated argument you'd care to make.
I don't mind some speed - I'll let you know if you're going too fast for me. I'm fine with being on an email chain, but I need to hear/understand you to actually evaluate the argument.
On specific arguments:
Topicality - There's a resolution for a reason, but having plenty of aff ground makes for more interesting debate and I think improves education on the topic.
Theory - I definitely think one conditional counterplan is fine. More than two feels a little abusive, but I'm open to arguments that it's not. Talking to the experienced debater I know, she says I generally lean aff on other theory questions.
Ks - Probably not the best strategy for most novices, but if you're going to go for it, be sure you explain your arguments clearly. I've listened to a fair number of K debates, but don't assume I'm familiar with authors. You can't just say "Baudrillard" and expect me to fill in the arguments. I'd rather a K on the neg have links to the aff than just to the status quo.
Generally, be nice to each other. Attacking arguments is one thing, attacking people is another. Respect people, respect their pronouns, don't use slurs.
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Although I am very familiar with NATO, Isidore Newman will be the first time I judge this topic. That being said, if there is anything that I should know (acronyms, programs, important concepts, etc.), use your speeches to explain it.
I'm fine with almost any argument, so long as it is explained coherently and has a claim, evidence, and warrant behind it. Ultimately, just be nice, be prepared, and have fun.
Not sure how big it is on this topic, but I am a big fan of T debates. I think legal precision is probably the best way to win T debates (regardless if you're aff or neg)- I'm persuaded by the argument that legal precision controls the internal link to whatever other impacts there are (fairness, education, etc.). Also, intent to define is key. Don't hesitate to call out your opponent's evidence if it is taken out of context.
Great argument. Agent, conditions, process, etc. are all fine with me as long as it's tied to the rest of the debate. That means that at some point a card needs to be read by the neg that ties the CP to the aff, or at the very least the resolution. Solvency deficits can be devastating if they're explained well, and certainly should be part of your aff strategy. Likewise, having quality evidence on the neg that establishes solvency makes your CP much more viable. Advantage CP's are underused and can be super effective when coupled with a DA. In terms of theory, I am generally neg leaning, but can be convinced otherwise. The only argument I may be aff leaning on, depending on the situation, is condo. Aff, if you're going to go for it, don't make it a generic, theoretical debate over the merits of conditionality. The best way to execute condo is to make it as specific to the round as possible, and provide concrete examples of how the neg's use of condo was abusive.
Any and all disads are fine. I frequently went for DA and case as a 2n and I think it's a strategy that's not used enough. Obviously impact calc is super important, not just fleshing out your own impact but also comparing it to theirs. I can be persuaded to vote aff on defense alone, especially if the case debate is executed well, but you'll probably be more successful if you go for a link or impact turn.
The K can be an extremely effective strategy, and I will definitely listen. While I am familiar with most K literature, the more high theory it gets, the larger the burden is on the neg to explain it. At the end of the day, if I can't comprehend your argument, I'm not going to vote for it. My favorite K to read was set col, but I'm fine with anything. For both sides, be respectful to your opponents and do not personally attack them. Also, be direct about what your argument is and don't be shifty. I'm not going to vote on K results in the aff post-alt or fiat double bind, so your path to victory is much more clear if you focus on the actual substance of the kritik. For most kritiks, I think the neg has a pretty high threshold to establish a link, so make sure you read evidence that puts your K in the context of the aff, and have specific examples of what the aff does that links to your argument. If you're aff, use your c-x and speech time to point out the lack of a link and also attack the alt. A lot of alts are simply buzzwords that can't be explained, or, if they are comprehensible, have clear, significant DA's to them. If you're neg, take the time in your speeches to explain what the alt does, how it solves your impacts, and why it's preferable. I'm ok with K affs, but I think it's definitely an uphill battle for the aff if the neg has a solid framework argument. If you plan on reading a K aff, tie it to the topic, have a good defense of why it should be a part of the debate, and explain why the impacts of your aff matter, both in terms of the "real-world" impacts as well as the impacts that your aff has on debate as an activity.
Updated February 2023
Caveat: This is my perception of what I think I do. Those who have had me in the back of the room may have different views.
The TL;DR version (applies to all forms of debate).
The resolution is pretty important. Advocate for or against it and you get a lot of leeway on method. Ignore it at your peril.
Default policymaker/CBA unless the resolution screams otherwise or you give me a well-reasoned argument for another approach.
“Roles of the ballot” or frameworks that are not reasonably accessible (doesn't have to be 50-50, but reasonable) to both sides in the debate run the risk of being summarily thrown out.
Share me to the speech doc (firstname.lastname@example.org) but I’m only flowing what you intelligibly say in the debate. If I didn’t flow it, you didn’t say it.
Fairness and reciprocity are a good starting point for evaluating theory/topicality, etc. Agnostic on tech v. truth debate. These are defaults and can be overcome.
Rudeness, rules-lawyering, clipping, falsifying evidence and other forms of chicanery all make me unhappy. Making me unhappy reduces your speaker points. If I’m unhappy enough, you might be catching an L.
The longer version (for all forms of debate)
The Resolution: Full disclosure – I have been a delegate to the NFHS Debate Topic Selection Meeting since 2011 (all years for Mississippi except 2022 when I voted on behalf of NCFL) and was on the Wording Committee from 2018-2020, the last of those years as chair. There’s a lot of work that goes into crafting resolutions and since you’re coming here by choice, it should be respected. Advocate for or against the resolution and I’ll give you a pretty wide degree of latitude on method. If you’re just going to ignore the resolution, the bar is pretty low for your opponent to clear to get the W (though I have seen teams bungle this).
File Sharing and Speed – Yes please, but understand I’m only flowing that which comes out of your mouth that I can understand – I don’t flow as fast in my mid-50s as I did even in my 40s. I only go to the speech doc if a) I lost concentration during the speech through no fault of your own, b) I need to read evidence because there is a dispute about what the evidence says, or c) I want to steal the evidence for a future round. If you bust out ten blips in fifteen seconds, half of them aren’t making the flow. Getting it on my flow is your job and I have no problem saying “you didn’t say that in a way that was flowable”.
Arguments: Arguments grounded in history, political science, and economics are the ones I understand the best – that can cut both ways. So while I understand K’s like Cap, CRT, and Intersectionality, I have a harder time with those that are based on some Continental European whose name ends with four vowels in a row who says that not adopting their method risks all value to life. Your job is to put me in a position to be able to make the other team understand why they lost, even if they disagree with the decision. If you don’t do the work, I’m not doing it for you. Regarding “framework” or “role of the ballot” arguments – if what you’re advocating isn’t at least reasonably accessible to both teams, I reserve the right to ignore it.
Deciding Rounds – I try to decide the round in the least interventionist way possible – I’ll leave it to others to hash out whether I succeed at that. I’m willing to work slightly harder to adjudicate the round than you do to advocate in the round (basically, if neither debater does the work and the round’s a mess, I’m going to look for the first thing I can embrace to get out of the round). If you ask me to read evidence, especially your evidence, you’ve given me a tacit invitation to intervene.
Point Scale – Because I judge on a few different circuits that each have different scales, saying X equals a 28.5 isn’t helpful. I use the scale I’m asked to use to the best of my ability.
Things that will cost you speaker points/the round:
Rudeness – Definitely will hurt your speaks. If it’s bad enough, I’ll look for a reason to vote you down or just decide I like to make rude people mad and give you the L just so I can see you get hacked off.
Gratuitous profanity – Saying “damn” or “hell” or “the plan will piss off X” in a frantic 1AR is no biggie. Six f-bombs in a forty second span is a different story.
Racist/sexist/homophobic language or behavior – If I’m sure about what I saw or heard and it’s bad enough, I’ll act on it unilaterally.
Falsifying evidence/clipping cards/deliberate misrepresentation of evidence – Again, if I’m sure about this and that it’s deliberate, I’ll act on my own.
Rules-lawyering – Debate has very few rules, so unless it’s written down somewhere, rules-lawyering is likely to only make me mad. An impacted theory objection might be a different story.
1. Way too much time on framework debates without applying the framework to the resolution question. I’m not doing this work for you.
2. The event is generally in an identity crisis, with some adhering to the Value Premise/Criterion model and others treating it like 1 on 1 policy, some with really shallow arguments. I’m fine with either, but starting the NC with five off and then collapsing to one in the NR is going to make me give 2AR a lot of leeway (maybe even new argument leeway) against extrapolations not specifically in the NC.
3. Too many NR’s and 2AR’s are focused on not losing and not on winning. Plant your flag somewhere, tell me why you’re winning those arguments and why they’re the key to the round.
Public Forum Specific Observations
1. Why we ever thought paraphrasing was a good idea is absolutely beyond me. In a debate that isn’t a mismatch, I’m generally going to prefer those who read actual evidence over those who say “my 100 page report says X” and then challenge the other team to prove them wrong in less than a handful of minutes of prep time. Make of that what you will.
2. I’ve never seen a Grand Crossfire that actually advanced a debate.
3. Another frustration I have with PF is that issues are rarely discussed to the depth needed to resolve them fully. This is more due to the structure of the round than debaters themselves. To that end, if you have some really wonky argument, it’s on you to develop your argument to where it’s a viable reason to vote. I will lose no sleep over saying to you “You lost because you didn’t do enough to make me understand your argument.”
4. Right now, PF doesn’t seem sure of what it wants to be – some of this is due to the variety of resolutions, but also what seems like the migration of ex-debaters and coaches into the judging pool at the expense of lay judges, which was supposed to be the idea behind PF to begin with.
5. As with LD, too many Final Focuses are focused on not losing instead of articulating a rationale for why a team is winning the debate.
So, I accidentally deleted my account recently. Tabroom helpdesk was more than helpful and recovered my account (thank you tabroom). However, the damage was done, and my old paradigm is floating somewhere in the digital aether. I really do not feel like re-writing my paradigm, as it was easily the most exceptional paradigm ever written -- largely due to the fact I am the greatest at judging and no one can convince me otherwise. Therefore, what follows is an abridged version of my impeccable judging style; if this does not satisfy your questions, feel free to ask me before the round or via email.
Debated policy for Caddo Magnet 2015-2019
Louisiana Tech - Class of '22
Assistant coach for Caddo Magnet
Currently teaching Theology and Physical Science at Providence Classical Academy, Bossier City, LA
Don't be rude or mean, please.
Don't take too long flashing.
Be honest. Don't misrepresent your evidence, don't clip, and don't steal prep time.
Quality over Quantity in both evidence (good evidence > more evidence, unless somehow the quality of the argument is contingent on the quantity, so something like demonstrating a scientific or expert consensus could maybe warrant this) and in arguments
I LOVE really good analytical argumentation. I'd prefer a logically sound analytic to a boat-load of cards you hardly utilize any day. On this note, if it is a debate wherein many cards are being read even into the rebuttals (like a Heg debate or something), my decision will be highly influenced by the evidence quality.
(To be Continued)
I want to be added to the email chain: email@example.com
I graduated from Heights High School. My competitive experience is exclusively in policy for three years, but I attended Texas Debate Collective, an LD camp, for three consecutive years.
I was a stock policy debater for the first two years of my high school debate career before I moved onto reading non-topical performatives. As a judge, I try to be as tab as possible. I presume affirmative most of the time.
All I really ask is that you understand and explain your arguments well.
I will say that I have not debated nor judged in about 3 years, so take that as you will.
tech > truth (most of the time).
Please don't be rude. If someone's clearly way less experienced, please make the debate round more accessible to them. I don't tolerate any slurs or any insults thrown at your opponents. I will also vote you down if you read racist/transphobic/bigoted arguments. Throwing in 5 second arguments that make no sense about communities you are not a part of will not appeal to me; if you don't know what you're talking about, don't make the argument. I think it's important to remember everyone in the round still has to leave the round and continue living - what you say in round does not always stay in round.
Stock Policy Affs
I was a stock debater for the first two years of my debate career, so I'm familiar with stock debates. While I usually prefer more kritikal rounds, I won't vote you down for stock policy affs, and I'll try to be as tab as possible.
I'm 100% okay with Kritikal Affirmatives, but I think you should have a clear ROB, especially if you're non-topical. You should be defending your ROB until the end.
I really like performance; I think there's a lot to be said through debater's personal narratives.
I don't really feel any type of way towards CPs or DA. If you're reading a CP, you should explicitly state why it's competitive. If you're reading a DA, the link and internal link should be strong.
I don't particularly like theory, but I will vote on it. I have a high threshold for theory, so I'll be less inclined to vote for you if you're reading one to just to read it. You should have a clear abuse story.
I ran a fair amount of kritiks as a senior, so I'm probably a bit biased, although I know that kritiks aren't always well understood by debaters, so if you're reading a kritik, I like good link stories as well as alternatives that make sense. I'm more likely to vote for you, if you can explain your kritik well. As a judge, I'm more receptive to identity politics.
No spreading, speak loudly and clearly
NOTE: This paradigm is meant for policy debate. If I am judging you in any other form of debate then what I have below does still apply but I am not all that familiar with the format or norms of argumentation for other forms of debate. If there is a specific way in which your form of debate should be framed and evaluated, it is your responsibility for making that known and then forwarding an argument about why it should be evaluated in that way.
- I competed in policy debate at Ruston High School.
- I did some coaching and judging and debating while in college at Tulane, where I received a Masters in Policy Economics.
- I work as a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- I prefer a good policy debate with an intensive case debate and relevant disadvantages over a critical debate. See the Kritik section if you are thinking about running one.
- Sportsmanship: Debate is a platform by which competitors mutually enter into an academic environment to pursue education. If you do not respect your competitors, your speaker points will reflect it. With that being said, I am open to debates about what the academic environment should look like.
- Communication: It is the job of the debater to effectively convey their point. It is the debater's responsibility for making sure that the judge clearly understands their points. I do not enjoy yelling "Clear," but I will do it 3 times before I stop flowing entirely. Likewise, your speaker points will suffer for each time I have to intervene. Because debate is contingent upon good communication, I do not want to be added to the email chain or to be given evidence to follow along with as this defeats the purpose for actually speaking (if the tournament is in-person). I make exceptions if the tournament is online, as poor internet quality and natural technological hiccups can result in me missing arguments that would have otherwise been effectively communicated.
- Prep: Flash time does count as prep time. Clearly say when you are starting and ending prep. I will penalize teams that appear to be doing prep after they have ended prep.
- Speaker Points: Speaker points are contingent upon a variety of factors including: clarity, road-mapping, disrespectfulness, theft of prep time, effective participation in CX, a constructive speech, and a rebuttal, merits of your strategy, and presentation.
- Flowing: I evaluate the debate entirely off of my flow. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are clear enough for me to flow you. If it is not on my flow, do not expect me to "fill in the blanks." If there is evidence in contention, I will call for it after the round to see what it actually says. If the tournament is in-person, I do not want to be added to your email chain, if it is online, ask me for my email and please add me.It is in your best interests to accurately represent the author's argument.
- Evidence: I reward teams who use quality evidence over a hot jumble of buzzwords. If a card is in question, I will call for it after the round. I give credit to an author's credentials and I think you should too. I should not have to read un-highlighted parts of your evidence to understand it. I have no tolerance for clipping, or jumping around parts of a card unannounced. If you mark a card, you better have it clearly marked on your document.
- Decision Making: The way I judge the debate is entirely up to you. I will default to whatever I am told to do. Therefore, it is important to win framing arguments if you expect to win the round.
- I prefer the Aff actually have a plan or advocacy statement.
- T is always a potential voter, but the negative must show an actual violation of the definition and prove in-round abuse for me to actually want to vote for it. With that being said, if the other team drops it entirely, of course I will vote on T.
- The more specific the better.
- Must have an alternative
- Alt must solve
- Must win Framework debate if you expect to win the K
- Must prove why thinking and acting are opportunity costs. If your alternative does not involve an action, but instead is something that can and does take place solely in the mind, then there better be a reason why you can't think in a different way to fulfill the alt while also doing a policy action to solve the Aff. In other words, I hold the negative to a high threshold on permutation debates.
- Although I ran and debated against Kritiks a lot in high school, I am honestly not that big of a fan of them. Run them at your own risk: I hold Kritiks to a high threshold both on the link debate and the alt solvency debate. I am fair though, if your opponents do not prove why such a high threshold should be imposed and you are winning these debates along with the framework debate, you will win the K.
- Must have a purpose
- Must prove why conventional policy debate doesn't work to represent your point and why I should value your point
- If you break from the conventional platform of debate only to be funny, expect to lose. With that being said, I think performances can serve a vital role in advocacy if it is sincere
- Counter Plans:
- I love a good theory debate.
- I also love coherent Neg strats meaning that DAs that link to the CP will hurt you.
- Read CP text slowly and clearly enough for me to actually flow it (like seriously, if I could bold this anymore, I would)
- I seriously doubt your one terrible card below your generic CP text makes it all that much better than the 8 minute 1AC.
- Please have current Uniqueness cards
- Not every impact has to be nuclear war or extinction, but I will evaluate them as they are presented.
- I love impact calc debates
Bill Russell Judge Philosophy
Overview- I love good debates of many kinds. I try to decide debates solely on what is said in the round. I love good evidence, but love good explanation, and evidence comparison even more. I will give a lot of weight to the way you argue the evidence. Everyone works very hard to get where you are, and I know these rounds are very important to you, so I try to work hard as a judge also. It is important that you treat your opponent and your teammate with respect, so that everyone can enjoy the debate. Doing otherwise will be reflected negatively in your speaker points.
Paperless debate and flowing- I usually will ask to be included on your file sharing email, but, I am generally not reading along while you read. I will look at cards after the debate to the extent that I need to, and in light of how the evidence is debated. As a result, you need to make sure you are debating your arguments and evidence with the understanding that-unlike most of the debaters-I am not reading the cards as you go. Debating the details, and making evidence comparisons will go a long way in how I view the evidence after the debate. If you don't do that, I will interpret the evidence as I see fit.
Topicality- For the most part I prefer limits arguments over ground arguments. In other words, I prefer interpretations argued in terms of the predictability of the research burden, to any asserted right to particular ground. Case lists are important. My default standard on Topicality is likely reasonability, with the debate about the interpretations determining what is reasonable. The phrase competing interpretations, as it is often used makes no sense to me, because often no standard is given by which to evaluate the “competing interpretations”, with the implicit assumption seeming to be most limiting. Similarly, the “topical version of the aff” argment, when applied to non-critique affs makes little sense to me. The point of the violation is the aff isn’t topical. If what you mean is the same ground can be debated (advantages, etc) say that, but I think it is unlikely to be useful.
I generally believe that the affirmative should be topical but I have been persuaded otherwise for numerous non-policy affs of differing types. I don’t have strongly formed opinions on this at this point on topicality/framework as applied to non-policy affs, so tend to judge it like any issue, and attempt to decide based on what I hear in the round, and who I think is more effective at impacting their arguments, and blunting the impact of their opponents arguments.
Theory- I don’t especially enjoy theory debates, and don’t vote on theory issues very often. I tend to default to “reject the argument” not the team. As a result, in order to win on theory issues it is likely that a team will need to commit time to it, get beyond tag lines, and do a good job of explaining why simply rejecting the team would not be enough under particular articulated circumstances in that round.
An Additional Comment on Theory and T Debates- One issue that I think contributes to problems in theory and topicality debates is the tendency to make 1NC shells as short and fast as possible, and due to the fact that often there are few cards, these can become unflowable. I think if the argument is one you might be going for, you will benefit in front of me if the argument has some development when it is first presented.
Counterplans-I generally think conditionality is okay, but have been persuaded otherwise. If the negative goes for a conditional counterplan in the 2NR, and doesn’t make specific alternative arguments as to how the status quo would compare or why I should consider the status quo, I won’t do that work for you. In other words, no "judge kick".
I tend to think that the affirmative plan is not automatically immediate, and that a counterplan that conditions the plan on something that isn’t explicitly in the plan is not competitive. However, that personal preference is not very strong, and must be considered along with what I said on theory issues: that I haven’t voted on them often. So, I think an affirmative can beat these counterplans on theory, but they will need to do the work.
Disads/Impact Comparison It is obviously useful to have “offense” against a disad-or case advantage-but that it is not essential if a team does a very good job debating the uniqueness and link can win on that alone. Impact comparison is important, but I often hear more about the minutiae of “magnitude” when the relative risk seems like the place where better inroads can be made.
It should also be remembered in your impact comparison that when I evaluate the round at the end, I don’t usually decide “neg won the link” or decide most issues as yes/no, win/loss, but instead on some continuum of how much I thought you win on that, so the more comparison you do assuming the worst case, the better.
Critiques- I enjoy good critique debates the same as I do good policy debates. I don’t see critiques as a different way to run a disad, or counterplan, so debating it like a disad or counterplan makes little sense to me. That said, the more the negative treats it like another disad or counterplan, and doesn’t articulate some reason why they should win on the argument, or provide some explanation for why the judge should be doing something different than comparing policies, the more leeway the affirmative has in treating the argument that way as well. The more the critique can be related specifically to the aff, the better, and the reason to vote for the critique should be related as closely as possible to the type of argument presented in the critique. Feel free to ask me questions if that does not make sense to you.
I like clear argumentation and signposting, and I ask that you guys do not spread. Timing is very important to me, please time yourselves and when the time is over, I will drop my pen and stop flowing. Do not take too long to flash, as it eats up time and puts the tournament behind. Emphasize stock issues, and give me clear reasoning for why your team wins them. Stocks play a huge role in my weighing of the round.
Please include me on the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to ask questions always.
I competed for Barbe High School, McNeese State University and Western Kentucky University. I competed in IEs in both high school and college. I debated L-D and policy in high school on the local, Louisiana circuit. I also competed nationally in college in IE’s, Parli, NFA L-D policy and some CEDA/NDT. I have judged in Louisiana and around the region for the last 15 years.
TLDR: I was a policymaking type debater. Weighing net-benefits is what I am most familiar with. I try to be as “tab” as possible and will evaluate any argument. It needs to be well warranted, well impacted and well weighed against the rest of arguments in the round. You might need to do slightly more work fleshing out newer forms of argumentation with me, but I will vote on them if I feel like you are winning them.
I am self-professed “lazy” judge. I want to feel like I am doing the least intervening possible at the end of the round. I would love for you to tell me which arguments are important enough for me to vote on, what their comparative impacts are and why you are winning those arguments. I appreciate you telling me how I should sign my ballot.
I am still somewhat old school around paperless debating- it just wasn’t a thing yet when I was competing or judging the first go around. I use e-mailed/flashed evidence mostly for reading internal warrants. I will use this to follow along the speech, however I’m not a fan of reading speech docs/blocks in a vacuum. Signposting and clear organizational structure are important for me and I tend to award higher speaker points for them.
K/Kritikal Aff- I have a pretty good familiarity with critical theory/thought. I am probably less familiar with the intricacies of Kritik debate theory. You would probably be helping yourself out with me to spend a bit more time on setting up your framework and giving really clear impact stories. Explicit arguments about “how we win” or “the role of the ballot” would help me better understand how/why to vote for you on these types of positions. This is especially true if there are situations like perms put on the alternative. I want to know why the alternative alone solves best on its face, in addition to any theoretical objections to the perm. I also appreciate clear pre-fiat/post-fiat analysis. If the impact is post-fiat (“turns case”) and the alternative is pre-fiat (“discourse/radical space/etc”) I want you to tell me how to navigate the multiple levels of your advocacy.
T/Procedurals- I tend to have a slightly lower threshold on procedurals. I do not need an iron clad in-round abuse story necessarily. I will evaluate these more often than many.
I tend to vote on framework first. That is just how I was taught. But with more progressive styles I will evaluate framework in light of case advantages/disadvantages. As with the Kritik info above, you may need to do a little more hand holding with me around the alternative and/or role of the ballot. I tend to prefer crystallization at the end of the round with clear impact analysis and tend to give higher speaks to those that show good round vision and can ‘boil down’ the round effectively.
I’m comfortable with the newer trend of giving an explicit framework at the top of case. If you don’t give me one then I’ll default to something like policymaking/comparative advantages. I tend to appreciate probability over magnitude in PF because of the lack of depth of evidence. Things that are intuitive and make sense on their face seem like a more natural fit to this style of debate. I will evaluate anything that is argued in front of me, though. It needs to be well warranted, well extended (including extending the warrants), well impacted and well leveraged against the other argumentation in the round for it to be most persuasive. I like final focus speeches that crystallize the round for me and give me good impact analysis. Feel free to take the ballot out my hands by telling me what arguments are most important, how they function in the round and why you are winning on them.
I tend to think about most IEs in terms of argumentation. This is more obvious for events like Extemp, Impromptu and Original Oratory. But even interp events use a text to craft a narrative with a unique point of view for each competitor. I usually evaluate IE’s on the clarity of your thesis (argument) and then how well you do at expressing/supporting it (advocacy). The more you can distill down an idea into its clearest form and then use multiple rhetorical tools to express it, the better chance you will have of getting higher ranks and higher speaks from me. FYI I’m a big fan of variety as a rhetorical tool (fast and slow rate, loud and soft volume, high and low intonation, etc). These tend to keep me more engaged in the speech/performance and tend to make me trust you more as a speaker/performer.
3 years HS ACX / Policy at Isidore Newman. I mostly did Policy arguments (DA,K,T, etc), but I went for an ableism K for about half of my rounds senior year. yes email chain: email@example.com
I’ll vote on anything *as long as I can understand it* by the final rebuttals. This means:
1) Please don’t do policy style spreading.
ã€€ã€€ã€€ã€€a. please slow down to conversational pace whenever you get to a tag / analytic on the speech doc.
ã€€ã€€ã€€ã€€b. Wait about a second between tags and cards.
ã€€ã€€ã€€ã€€c. If you are able to do so, please pronounce each word.
ã€€ã€€ã€€ã€€d. I only ask because i am a slow flower, and doing these things will help me flow your arguments better.
2) if your arguments are Kritical, please spoon-feed me my Reason For Decision.
3) I’m not going to vote you down just because I didn’t like your argument. That being said, if your strategy is to use repugnant arguments to traumatize your competitors, (for example, reading conversion therapy good vs queer rage, or ray blancharde’s work against a trans team), you should probably stop.
4) If you have any questions about my backgournd or knowledge I’d be happy to answer them.
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
Hey! My name is Faraaz Yousuf, I mostly did Policy in high school with a little bit of LD. I look forward to judging your debates!
Just some top-level things, don't be rude, don't be unethical with evidence (i.e. falsifying, clipping, etc.), really just make sure to be respectful during rounds and there shouldn't be any issues at all.
Policy Debate/General Paradigm
Good organization and clarity are extremely important. Make sure your arguments are well explained, and having a consistent structure in your speech helps immensely with judging a debate. Be thorough with your arguments, make sure you lead me through why you're winning the round. Make sure you do impact calculus, things like weighing probability and magnitude. I'm down to vote for most arguments, just explain. Be persuasive.
Speed is fine, do make sure you're being clear as well. I'll say "clear" twice before I stop flowing. It should be pretty clear when I either stop typing or writing things down. *As a later addendum to this I've been a little removed from judging debate and don't quite have the same ear for spreading, I should still comprehend you for the most part but I would def take it down a notch, or at least ramp up in speed as a speech or round progresses to allow me to better acclimate to the speed (which is also a good tip in general in my experience debating).
I try to avoid giving nonverbal cues, but reactions do slip out of me sometimes so do keep an eye out for that.
I'll try my best to evaluate rounds based on the approaches articulated in them, but I do tend to default to a policy-making perspective when nothing else is offered. I'm open to other approaches, just the explanation should be clear, though that should be ideal for any argument in a debate.
I feel like I tend to lean truth over tech, but as long as theory arguments have a well-developed explanation I'm perfectly comfortable voting for them. Just because I tend to lean truth doesn't mean you can hand wave away any theory arguments.
I think K's are good, I just may not extremely familiar with whatever literature you're basing it off of so the explanation may have to be a little more in-depth for me to get it.
I like to think I'm decently equipped to judge most rounds if you have any questions at all feel free to ask me before the round starts!