The Dowling Catholic Paradigm
2019 — West Des Moines, IA/US
Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
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Short version: I coached LD until 2017 primarily on national circuit, have been judging all the debate events more locally since. I'm typically in tab, so my threshold for speed and immediate recognition of new arg trends has gone down. I have no interest in imposing my own ideological preferences about what debate should be, and I will try my best to objectively evaluate any debate you want to have with the caveat that safety and well-being are more important to me than who wins a debate round. My favorite debates are the ones that feature substantive engagement, well-read and passionate debaters, and embedded clash, big picture weighing, and explicit judge instruction.
Below is a laundry list of "things that might irritate me on any given day" and general preferences, but feel free to change them by blowing my mind.
- My threshold for speed is pretty arbitrary, so I'll yell slow and clear as much as needed. I probably can't follow your top speed these days but feel like clarity is the larger issue.
- Please slow way way down for interps and ROB/standard texts, theory underviews, and any one sentence "a, b, c," analyses in frameworks. I can't flow these and I will not read analytics off your doc.
- If everyone's keeping up, go wild. But I am 100% on board for y'all asking each other before the round/between speeches to go slower + I expect reasonable efforts to be made to accommodate these requests.
- I think that theory debates can be cool, unique, and organic. The more specific the violation the better - nuanced T on a plan aff > "plans bad" theory.
- For the sake of transparency, here are args I struggle to evaluate fairly because I tend to think they're silly: Must read an explicit counterinterp. Competing interps means risk of offense on theory is sufficient. Arbitrary independent voters. AFC/ABC/AEC/APC or whatever else you youngfolk have come up with. Violations I can't verify. New shells in the 2ar.
- I enjoy a good T debate in which there are competing methodologies of what debate should look like. Substantive T debates (T acts as turn to aff method or args of that sort) are more preferable than "fairness first, don't evaluate the K" arguments.
- This is how I debated. I think the less-sketchy (sketchy = hidden, one sentence, shifty about it in cx, warrantless, etc.) deployment of things like contingent standards, skep triggers, permissibility, etc. can be cool. However, this type of debate can turn into evasiveness real quick, and I <3 engagement
- No longer coaching, so fair to assume I am out of the loop on topic research. I'm much less experienced judging a policy throwdown than k v policy or k v k round but I'm down, am impressed by great topic-specific prep.
- This is what I coached and what I end up judging most often.
- Bummer when y'all over-use your author's jargon, particularly while trying to clarify the position in cx.
- Please establish some kind of framework that allows me to evaluate impacts (role of the ballot, role of the judge, standard, whatever). I do think role of the ballot args are generally poorly warranted, impact justified, and have no explicit appeal to the ballot. Depth/nuance here is welcomed.
- I like role of the ballot/judge args that deviate from the common "you're a critical educator" "combat structural violence" norm, and creativity in this area leads to some of my favorite debates. I particularly like args that make normative or descriptive claims about a part of the world (academia, text, literature) and use those to make implications about what model of debate is best.
- K affs are fine, non-topical affs are fine, and I'm open to different interpretations of what it means to be topical.
- I don't disclose speaks. I average a 28.5 and try to make them relative to the pool. I really don't want to hear args about double 30s.
- I couldn't care less what you're doing (sitting, walking around the room on your hands while you read the NC, playing death grips for the first 4 minutes of the AC, etc.).
- I have found that I am touchier about prep stealing than others, particularly in Public Forum. Evidence needs to be readily available, docs need to be sent quickly, reading ev happens during prep.
- No-prep 2ars and speeches where you sit down early do not impress me.
- I have zero tolerance for teams that play games before outrounds with disclosure of the aff, the flip, etc.
- If you are reading a description of violence in your args/narratives, I think it's probably a good practice to give a content warning before the round. If someone asks you not to read it, it should be as easy as removing the part of your case that is descriptive of violence.
- I do not believe this includes a discussion of racism, sexism, etc. I realize that those kinds of things may be triggering for some students, but that is an issue that should probably be handled by a coach.
- I won't dock speaks for failing to do so and I think that there needs to be a more in-depth discussion of how this should work, but I've been in situations that have made me think this is probably a good norm for now.
- You should probably disclose. I think disclosure theory is boring, and there are some good reasons not to disclose. Will vote on it, think more specific interps are more compelling than "must disclose whole res stock aff" (nonT affs, broken plan/advocacy texts, etc.).
Happy to answer questions after the round.
If there was anything I was unclear about, feel free to have me clarify before round or email email@example.com (please cc an adult on email).
E-mail for email chains and/or questions: trdahle @ gmail dot com
I have very little national circuit experience in LD as I primarily judge public forum and policy debate (see more on that below). In LD I am more of a traditional judge as in I like a discussion of the resolution from the standpoint of a value and value-criterion and contention debate. That being said, at Dowling I voted for a Plant-ontology aff, a Counter-plan on the neg, etc. so while I prefer the classic style, I don't intervene into the round either and if you have a good RoB, then I'll listen to it and will focus the debate on that if that's what you make it.
I'm about a 5/10 on speed. I'm old now and prefer to actually hear the evidence of the debate rather than read the evidence on an e-mail chain...
Public Forum Paradigm
Public Forum should NOT be a shorter version of Policy Debate. Meaning, I don't want to see K's, DA's, Topicality, Plans and CP's in Public Forum - nor am I a big fan of speed in PF. I love policy debate, but I also love that Public Forum is not policy and it's an option for people who don't want to do policy debate. This doesn't mean that you can't go a little faster than you would for a lay judge, but don't go crazy.
This should absolutely NOT TAKE SO FREAKING LONG!!!!! Seriously people, you should all have your evidence ready to be shared - in fact, I would prefer that people actually share their evidence before they begin their speeches if everyone is going to spend this much time asking for evidence. PF rounds are becoming 90 minute rounds because apparently trying to find evidence and asking about evidence magically doesn't come out of any prep time or crossfire time, but magic time that doesn't exist.
IF YOU WASTE THAT MUCH TIME TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER YOUR EVIDENCE PEOPLE ARE ASKING FOR I AM GOING TO START DECREASING POINTS! Have your poop in a group people - this is getting old!
Big Questions Debate - I don't judge BQ a ton, however, I'd look at my paradigm much like the PF and LD paradigms below.
tl/dr - Slow down, enunciate, use evidence and weight the debate at the end - do it all respectfully to your opponent
I am a mix of content and delivery when it comes to judging. When it comes to sources, don't make stuff up. With the internet available now, if I suspect you are making things up, I will probably check it when you are speaking. You don't have to make stuff up - unlike the olden days where you hoped to have a file on the Togo questions Washington put out each year - you can literally google your info and bring it up instantly.
Also - ANSWER THE QUESTION - don't waffle - pick a stance and tell me why you choose that way. Pretty simple.
Don't overly fidget or dance around - but don't be a robot either.
In essence, I am a tabula rosa judge, meaning that I will pretty much listen to anything and will evaluate it based on the arguments in the round. That doesn't mean I don't have things I prefer or things I think are bad arguments (which I will go over) - but for the most part, I will listen to anything in the round. However, unless you tell me how you want me to evaluate the round, I will default to a Policy Making paradigm. I have been the head coach at Washington HS since 2009.
Speed: I've gotten old here and have grown weary with blazing speed - put me down as a 5/10 on speed. I'd rather have the ability to hear the evidence instead of having to read through everything on an e-mail chain. If you go too fast I'll let you know - you won't automatically lose, you'll just annoy me a little - unless you ignore me, which if I'm on a 3-judge panel and I'm the outlier - I totally get.
Tag-Team CX - It's okay, but I'm not a huge fan of this. One thing I like about policy is that you should know what you are talking about. I don't mind the occasional help, but if you keep answering every question, it makes your partner look like a tool. And even if they are, you probably don't want to show that they are in front of judges.
Arguments I like: I have always felt that the more you know about what a judge likes and dosn't like is essential to winning debate rounds, so to make it easier on you, these are the type of arguments that I prefer to be seen run.
Case Debate - this is a lost art in the debate community. Why as a negative are you granting them their harms and their solvency? If you can have some solid arguments against their case and point out the serious flaws in them, that will help you weight your DA's, K's and CP's over them.
Economic DA's - I have an economic background and like Econ DA's as long as they are run correctly. Generic spending DA's are usually not run correctly.
There are other DA's, but those usually vary by each year, but as long as you have a solid link to the case, you should be good to go.
Arguments I'm not wild about: Again, the more you know, the better off you will be. Once you read this list does it mean to absolutely not run these arguments - no. What it means is that you better run them better than most teams who run the crappy versions of them. I'll vote for these arguments (and have lots of times) - I'm just not wild about them.
Politics DA's - I've changed a lot on these and used to hate them but realize the strategic advantage of them. That being said, not my biggest fan, but have voted for a lot of them over the years
K's Read at blazing speed - I don't mind some K's, but most of the authors that debaters cite go so beyond the realm of what is possible to discuss in a debate round that they end up bastardizing the entire theory they are supposidly trying to use. Also, if I haven't researched and read the material, how can I evaluate it if you are reading it at a blazzingly fast speed. I don't mind K's, but I'd like to understand them, so please, assume I haven't read the theory - because I probably haven't.
Performance - this is just my inexperience with performance. I've probably only judged it a couple of times, so if you do performance, I may not understand how to evaluate it and might default to the policy framework - so you need to make sure to explain to me the role of the ballot and my role in the debate. I have voted for Performance affs and discourse affs - again, more inexperience than anything makes me put this in the category of things I'm not wild about.
As always, I'm open to questions before the round if you have any other specifics. All in all, I like good debates - if you can argue well and clash with each other, I really don't care what is argued - as long as it is argued well!
4 Years at Lansing High School
3 Years at University of Nebraska- Single-person policy.
Past Graduate Assistant for the University of Nebraska debate.
Head Coach at Lincoln NorthStar for 3 Years
3L in law school. Education Law and Policy.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, please add me to the email chain OR do a speech drop.... tbh I prefer speech drop at this point in my career. It is much simpler.
Few things before I go into specifics:
1. Clipping will lose you the round and any chance you had at getting a speaker award
2. Disclosure is always good and necessary. This does not guarantee you a ballot if you are losing on the standards debate, but it should tell you that I am very sympathetic to the education claims.
3. DO NOT be an ass. You don't look cool and will not be rewarded.
4. If the opposing team drops a DA or something that is obviously a round winner- do not waste my time. Just extend the dropped argument and sit down.
5. Go as fast as you you want. Just make sure that you are CLEAR and you are SIGN POSTING between cards...... see how I accented those with font and you read it in your brain with a different tone..... do that with your voice on tags and dates.
6. Arguments that I will not find appealing-
-Nuclear terrorism.....like who is giving them the nuke...and how are they developing them? Also, I'm just skeptical of underlying assumptions from people reading Islamic terrorism bad.
-Bad impact turns (Racism good, Warming good)
7. Things That Annoy Me:
A) Flowing off the speech doc, then answering cards that weren't read, etc
B) Responding to blippy 2ac theory args without a warrant (e.g., "no neg fiat, voting issue") FOR FORTY FIVE SECONDS!!!
C) Reading un-highlighted cards.
---------------------------Crowe Warken (NDT)---------------------------------
If you are from NFA-LD. Do not read this. Its not for you.
I am a new judge to NDT. A few things:
1) Speed: You all do not fall under point 5 above- Go slower on tags (IDC about the speed you go through the card text). You should probably be going 50%-60% speed on T/Theory debates (the same speed you go on tags). Yes, that's annoying, I apologize. Also- perhaps a hot take- I think flashing analytics and T blocks is good. If you pre-wrote it and it is the best version of your argument, you should not be afraid that the other team understands your arg and should not hope to win on dropped args from speed. The purpose of this addendum is that I am very willing to be lenient on you going faster on T/Theory args if they are in the doc and I can refer back to them. I am talking 75% speed max.
2) If your 2NR/2AR is not starting by writing my ballot, you are doing it wrong. That is not to say that this narrows and precludes other offenses on the rest of the flow, but it does frame the first things I look at when making my decision AND helps you clarify what you think your route to the ballot is for me. The alternative is you charging the mound on me for not seeing your obscure route to the ballot which isn't rad.
3) My paradigm for judging is not going to be nearly as refined as your seasoned NDT vet. or your ordinal 1 pref. My RFD is probably not going to flow like an elegant story that wraps up every issue in the debate. As such, please feel free to ask questions after the round and I will always give you the thoughts I have.
***********************************HIGH SCHOOL LD*****************************************
I come from a policy background. Use that to your advantage. If you want to read value/criterion, you need to have specific instructions on how I weigh impacts under the value.
If you are interested in going for a really dense philosophy argument, I am going to be more work as a judge because of my relative newness to LD. Make sure you are impacting out all the claims you are going for. I also am just not a fan of super old philosophers from the 1600s. It seems to be more of a race to obscurity than actually doing "philosophical" debate as debaters indicate.
STOP ASKING IN CX TO "SUM UP YOUR POINTS." It defeats the whole point of CX. This goes for every format, but it is the worst in LD.
I am all for us sharing evidence. You should always be ready to share your evidence with the other team. If you don't, I am very easily persuaded by arguments saying you can't prove the truth or falsity of the other teams arguments.
If you are reading a framing argument that says that there is a specific burden for the aff/neg (we only have to defend one subsidy is bad, the aff has to repeal all subsidies to meet their burden, ect.), then you need to win standards to win this argument.
Speaker points can be increased if you separate the framing debate from the case debate- (put them on their own sheet of paper). I flow debates this way and deeply appreciate when debaters do this because the clash is all in one place.
Please don't reach to saying an argument is abusive if you don't have another answer. Most of the time it isn't abusive, you just haven't thought of an answer yet.
Neg Kritiks in LD need to have more work done in the 1NC than in policy. Just reading the link, impact, and alt in the 1NC creates super late-breaking debates that always favor the neg and creates poor clash because the aff has to respond to 6 minutes of functionally new offense in as 3 minute 2AR. To that end- I think any representations, Role of the ballot/judge, and alt solves the aff arguments should be in the 1NC. Not doing this substantially lowers my willingness to lean neg on theory objectification (Condo, floating piks bad, etc.)
Underviews with theory preempts are fine, but YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN. I have to have time to flow the arguments. I generally believe that any prewritten theory should be 1) Flashed and 2) disclosed.
Please read the rest of this paradigm- the things I think in policy that are explained generally transfer to LD- specifically on the theory stuff.
**Topicality vs. Plan Text
I feel pretty comfortable adjudicating topicality debates. However, this isn’t permission to blow through your 1NC interp and 2NC blocks as fast as you can. The fastest way to get a decision that you don't like is to poorly sign post between arguments and not give me at least a little pen time. Specifically, slow down on nuanced arguments that intersect multiple standards (Bi-directionality controls ground because.....). My views on T primary revolve around the following:
1. T is always a voter and never a reverse voter!
2. Reasonability is a way to determine the sufficiency of the aff’s counter-interp; not whether or not the aff is “reasonably topical.” Delete the phrase "reasonably topical" from your vocabulary. Too many times in high school debates, 1AR and 2AR’s do a poor job of extending reasonability. Saying “good is good enough” is not an argument. You need to give reasons why reasonability is preferable to competing interpretations.
3. Contextualized interactions between different standards (ie: limits controls the direction of ground, or precision determines the lit base for which a team derives limits offense, etc.) needs the most explanation for me, however I find them very compelling.
I am ok with this argument vs non-topical affs. Reading it is by no means a silver bullet and sometimes a counter-method goes further, but dont feel like you should or should not read this argument.
As far as defense goes I generally am under the impression that T is a floor not a ceiling and discussions of aff’s internal links can happen via topical versions of the affirmative. TVA and switch side debate are defensive arguments and must be paired with a net benefit to win!
I love theory debates. The fact that you can debate about the rules of debate makes it the best game out there. I am ok with almost any theory argument if you have a justification for why it produces good education.
Grain of salt- theory debates require the fastest typing and flowing because it is frequently your own words and has the fewest cards. If you want me to understand, you want to slow down to like 75% so I can get everything on my flow.
Generally, condo is good, and delay CP's are abusive
Fairness is a sliding scale. Even if you think I might err neg on condo in a debate with one conditional advocacy, that default level can be reduced by things like multi-plank conditional CP's, CP's with no solvency advocate, etc.
I am also a big fan of whole res v/ plan text theory args in LD.
I am a big advocate for nuanced and developed counterplans, and believe it is one of the most strategic ways to subsume aff offense. I default to sufficiency framing until told otherwise. If there is no clear victor in the theory debate I will usually default negative.
I generally think that CP’s should be textually and functionally competitive but feel free to tell me otherwise. I tend to lean negative on theory and think that most objections are reasons to reject the argument not the team.
I’m a fan. Try to read specific links, because I am of the opinion that generic links are usually punished by link thumpers. The 2NR should do impact calc and make turns case arguments.
I am willing to vote on zero percent risk of a link if you clarify that there is zero percent of a link with a justification.
I am always open to K’s but not very familiar with all of the literature. Please refrain from assuming I know what you’re talking about or using buzz words. “death good” K’s or any other assorted shenanigans are not compelling and is a poor strategy for earning my ballot. I think the K should have specific links to plan action rather than to the status quo or links of omission. I think permutations are very compelling against Ks that are not contextualized to the affirmative’s policy. Alternatives need to be clearly explained. I will not do the work for you. One of my biggest frustrations is that some judges seem to front kids alt solvency because the neg tosses around big words. I am not that type of judge; the negative should be responsible for defending the actualization/implementation of the alt.
K's that I have read and have a good understanding of- Militarism, Securitization, Identity (Queerness, Anti-Blackness, Fem, ect.) Spanos, Pan, Warming Reps, Terror Reps, Adaptations of Heidegger, Anthropocentrism.
K's that I am harder to sell on because my knowledge of the lit base is low: Deluze/Guattari, Spacialization, Semio-Cap,
K's that I just really do not like at all: Baudrillard, Battallie, a lot of abstract post-modern philosophy.
For an email chain, my email is email@example.com
University of Iowa MD '26
Stanford University BS '21
Valley HS '17
Conflicts: Valley HS
I debated LD for 5 years and coached for 2 years at West Des Moines Valley High School. During my time as a debater, I attended the TOC my sophomore, junior and senior years and attended Nationals my freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. I cleared at the TOC and got ninth at Nationals during my senior year. I've also worked at NSD, TDC, and VBI as an instructor.
I will evaluate any arguments you make in the round so long as they are not blatantly offensive. I have found that I am often more compelled to vote on line-by-line comparison in rounds rather than overviews that are not directly implicated as responses to arguments on the flow. That said, an overview clarifying the way line-by-line argumentation functions in the context of the round as a whole generally makes it a lot more clear for me on how to evaluate certain arguments.
It was really maddening to me when a judge didn't seem to care about making the correct decision, so please know I'll make my best attempt to fairly and accurately judge your round. I'm okay with you asking me questions after the round about my decision so long as they don't hold up the tournament and your questions don't become insulting to me or your opponent.
UPDATE: I guess I will also add here that I've decided I will no longer intervene against any theory (yes, this does mean I will vote on disclosure theory, an update from my initial paradigm)— this is not to say I'd like to hear either disclosure theory or brackets theory though, and you'll be quite displeased by the speaks you receive if you go for disclosure or brackets bad and didn't contextualize the abuse story to what specifically happened in the context of the debate round.
I will try to default on paradigmatic issues to what's assumed by the debaters (for example, if no one reads a fairness voter, but both debaters talk about fairness like its an end goal, I'll evaluate the round with the assumption that fairness is a voter. To clarify, though, I won't assume fairness is a voter if one debater contests whether or not it is and points out that no fairness voter was read). I also will evaluate internal links on standards if they are embedded implicitly (within reason) to the standard.
If no one seems to take a stance on any issue, here are my defaults:
1) I default to fairness and education are voters.
2) I default to drop the argument.
3) I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI)
4) I default to competing interpretations. With that said, I will assume the counterinterp is the converse of the interpretation even if no counterinterp is explicitly read. I think this avoids the regressive theory trick about needing a counterinterp to win under competing interps and also makes the round possible to resolve in a muddled theory debate.
5) I default to metatheory comes before other theory.
6) I default to T and theory being on the same layer.
Trust me, though; you should address paradigmatic questions if they're of even vague relevance. If I'm in a situation where I have to default, I'll be pretty frustrated.
A few more things you should be cognizant of:
1) I am not the best at flowing- I catch the majority of arguments made but usually not all of them. if you are reading a dense position filled with analytics and particularly theory, I recommend slowing down. Also, for very technical debates it is best to signpost clearly (it's maddening when I'm trying to flow a speech and I realize the debater suddenly started talking about another layer of the flow without telling me). If you don't do this, there is a decent chance I will miss a few of your arguments.
2) While I read mostly framework-heavy positions as a debater, this does not mean I will automatically understand your position- I expect you to make your framework clear enough to me in rebuttals that I feel comfortable explaining the ballot story after the round.
3) When reading Kritiks, it's best to have a well-explained ballot story. I think Kritiks that are well executed are often very compelling, but often Kritiks go poorly explained. Also keep in mind that I probably will not be up to date about the latest norms tied to critical debate and most definitely won't extrapolate implications from your Kritik that weren't explicitly stated in the round, and I've found this particularly applies in reference to pre-fiat implications of a K that are either not explained or barely explained (consistent with my general interpretation of arguments).
4) I rarely took the more than 3-off approach when negating as a debater, but that isn't to say I don't appreciate general LARPy tendencies. I think disads that are pretty specific to the topic with unique impacting that isn't strictly utilitarian are pretty strategic and of course T is a great strategy as well.
5) This is tied in with the don't be offensive part of my paradigm, but I won't vote on anything advocating the exclusion of a certain member of the community (this includes your opponent, your opponent's coach, Dave McGinnis, and anyone else in the community). It will make me particularly unlikely to vote for you as well.
Beyond this, feel free to ask me questions before the round.
Current Position -- I have been the head debate coach at Lincoln Southwest High School for the past 20 years. In that time I have coached and judged PF, LD and congressional debate.
Background -- I have been coaching speech and debate for the last 28 years. I have been coaching pubic forum since its inception 20 years ago. I was a high school and college competitor in speech and competed in LD in high school.
PF Paradigm --
I believe that PF is a communication event with special emphasis on the narrative quality of the arguments. The story is important to me. Blippy argumentation or incessant reading of cards with no analysis or link back to the resolution does not hold much weight in my decision. Do the work in round -- do not make me intervene.
Weighing mechanisms should be fully explained -- if you want me to vote using your weighing mechanism, it is your duty to actually tell me why it is a good mechanism for the round and how your side/case/argument does a better job achieving the mechanism.
Presentation of arguments should be clear. I am not a fan of unbridled speed in this event. You need to speak clearly with a persuasive tone.
Reading cards > paraphrasing cards
If you must ask for cards or if you are asked for cards, you need to be prepared to ask for and present these cards in an efficient manner.
Don’t be rude.
Updated 13 February 2023 for Milo Cup at Millard North.
I am back from pretty much two years of not judging at all, except for like one or two online tournaments. Topic knowledge is (still) almost zilch. Explain things like I’m a literal child. Speak slow-ish and clear.
For PF: I have judged one PF round ever but they are putting me in the pool at Milo, so the basics is to approach me like you would approach any policy or LD judge. That's what I am and that's how I evaluate rounds, mostly. Read on if you're interested in more specifics.
ok, now back to our regular programming.
TL;DR: do you, this isn’t my activity, it’s yours. With very limited exceptions, I’ll listen to and evaluate just about anything as long as you tell me what I should be evaluating and how. The most important thing you can do for me is spend 30 seconds at the top or bottom of your last speech telling me what my ballot should read. The rest, as they say, is up to you.
I am also disabled. I had two eye surgeries in 3 years and still cannot quite read the way I was able to in school. This means I a) need to be on the email chain, speechdrop, or whatever, and b) need you to not spread nearly as much. If you’re usually an 8 or 9 out of 10 for speed, go like a 5 or maximum a 6 ESPECIALLY on pre-written analytics and tags. Some speed is fine but it’s your fault if I don’t flow you and if it’s not on my flow it won’t be on my ballot. I don't like saying "clear" so I won't unless you are literally impossible to understand - it's really on you to make sure I'm getting everything you want me to get.
Conflicts:I went to Lincoln High (NE) and coached for a year at St Louis Park (MN). Currently unaffiliated.
I’m Aedan! I did policy debate from 2012-16 at Lincoln High School in Nebraska, and after that I coached LD at St. Louis Park, did mock trial at Macalester College, and have judged occasionally at tournaments in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.I was a 1A/2N for most of my career, and I mostly went for the K vs policy affs and framework vs K affs. I’m also fluent in German and lived for a while in Austria which is cool I guess.
The golden rule of debating in front of me:
Debate like I’m lazy, stupid, and mean. I am none of those things (at least I think so), but I have a very high threshold for argument explanation and contextualization and a very low tolerance for creating clash where none exists. I do not intervene unless it is absolutely necessary. You tell me how to vote and why in a way that someone who doesn’t know much about debate could understand. Wanna practice this? Go explain your case to your parents or friends who don’t do debate. It’s that simple.
Other important things:
Email chain: yes put me on it. firstname.lastname@example.org. Please and thank you. I am now aware that speechdrop exists - if you use that I'd love the code.
My pronouns are he/they. Feel free to tell me your pronouns if you like but I won't ask for them.
I’m a pretty good judge for wack arguments. I did policy debate in Nebraska at a certain time. Whatever you run, I’ve probably seen/run/voted on something weirder. Dedev, Nietzsche, and global/local were my bread and butter as a 2N. As was T vs K affs. :P
But I’ll pull the trigger on T or nuclear war just as quickly if it wins the debate. You can't expect to win on fight club or the ice age DA just because you saw me in the back of the room. I don’t hack for wack. I just believe in giving wack a chance.
Same goes for theory and super dense phil etc in LD. A good phil debate is really fun to judge though, same with a good theory debate. LDers are way better at these than policy debaters ever were in my experience.
Tricks: I’ll vote on them, but I don’t vote on cheap shots and I will gut check at the first utterance of the word. If you're going to win on a trick you have to make sure it is set up appropriately with definitions and explanations of burden of proof etc. "Vote for me because the sky is blue" or "there are infinite worlds and in some of them the rez is true" don't work without this setup.
I don’t flow CX, but a good CX that makes me look up from my laptop will make me happy and you will likely be happy(er) with your speaker points.
Speaks: 26-30, 28 is what I consider to be average. Better than 28.5 means I think you should break, better than 29.5 means I'll be shocked if you don't win the tournament or at least make a very deep run. I try to adjust my speaks based on the tournament i.e. I'm more of a stickler the more bids are available and/or the bigger the tournament is.
Here’s what happens if you are offensive to your opponent, clip cards, are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc: I will stop the round. I will drop you with the lowest speaker points the tournament allows. I’ll make sure the tournament directors and your coaches are aware of what happened, and I’ll take any additional actions that are required of me. Just don’t do it.
On the subject of Ks vs T or LARP/Policy v K debates generally:
This gets its own section because I judge a lot of these debates and these debaters tend to be the ones to pref me when prefs exist. This is a good thing because this is my favorite kind of debate to judge. I opted into these debates frequently as a debater and I think talking about what debate should look like is one of the most productive things we can do in terms of the "education" arguments that get flung around.
That said, I do have a slight bias toward cases or interps that at least ask the affirmative to at least take some sort of affirmative stance on the resolution. That can be interpreted however you like, and I can easily be convinced otherwise, but given my background I feel this should be expected. If I am given explicit reasons to reject this viewpoint I'm more than willing to do so.
If you're LARPing (or reading T), though, you should be prepared to defend the implications of your advocacy. Just as the specificity of the link matters, so too do the specificity of the answers and defenses of one's implications. LARP is cool, I did policy, I can handle LARP, but just because I default to us debating about the resolution and am semi-persuaded by "fiat good" doesn't mean you get to ignore prefiat implications and read generic answers to whatever you think your opponent is reading. The better LARPers and T debaters are at answering exactly what their opponent is arguing, the more likely I am to vote on those subjects. My bias toward "resolution is good/fiat is good" does not extend nearly far enough for anyone to claim I hack for such debaters.
For the K debater, the same applies because you NEED to know what you're reading. I confess to being occasionally guilty of this myself in high school; I loved a spicy meatball and sometimes read things I only half-understood. Remember what I said above about lazy, stupid, and mean? I got that from one of my philosophy professors and this is where that applies the most. I'm not going to do extra work for you so you need to take extra time and make sure I know what you're arguing in extremely simple terms. I often will understand what you're saying due to my background, but there are many times where you will lose me. Axe the jargon, speak to me in language your non-debater friends and family could understand, and be a better debater than I was. Do your homework, take some time to understand your literature, and you'll go far in front of me.
Please share your musical tastes with me. Currently playing: Bad Bad Hats, Peter Fox, and a lot of music I found on tiktok. Maisie Peters, Knox, Isabel Pless, Loveless, and many more. I am also a huge swiftie. #1 on spotify wrapped every year since I can remember except like one.
If there's anything that's not on here that you want to know about, please ask. I always appreciate questions and in fact am likely to engage in some sort of conversation before the round starts.
Howdy, I'm Anthony Holm, I am a first-year out, currently a freshman at the University of Iowa
Email - TonyHolm2000@gmail.com
TLDR: Don't read tricks in front of me, I want to see debaters making actual arguments their opponents can engage with, that goes for every argument.
If you are relying on your opponent being unable to engage with your argument as a strategy that will make me sad.
I don't care how you present yourself, you can wear whatever makes you comfortable and you can sit or stand or fly.
I'll presume based on speaker points (in Elim rounds I'll presume based on speaker points I would have given). However, if you argue for a different method of presumption I'll presume based on in round arguments.
- Although I used to read tricks and I'll understand them if you read them, I've come to realize how extremely toxic and exclusionary tricks-style arguments are. So I really don't want to hear them being read.
- I don't want to intervene, please make it clear what my evaluative mechanisms are, I.E. the tools I should be using to evaluate the round.
- I'll assume some stuff like conceded arguments are true, AC is 6 minutes, etc. Unless you make arguments about why I shouldn't.
For Novice Debate: This changes a lot of my paradigm, I think debaters should be focusing on the fundamentals at this stage. So don't read tricks (a prioris, Nibs, friv theory) I will ignore these arguments.
- If you read a K or read theory, please run it correctly. I'm very happy listening to Novice debaters read advanced arguments but make sure you do it correctly although during the first topic I am going to have a low bar for responses (this does not mean novi get to ignore these arguments, I'll be upset if I think you're trying to take advantage of my leniency)
Speaks- Everyone gets above a 29 unless you do something that makes the space exclusionary or toxic (tricks debate or prey on your opponent's misunderstanding) cause then I'll just give you average speaks. If you do something extremely out of line you get a 25.
Do whatever you want, T-Pose, Levitate, Ascend, I do not care just make sure your opponent can hear you and so can I
I probably won't pay much attention to the actual content of CX cause I'll be writing comments on the previous speech as well as CX strategy, so if you're gonna call back to the content of cross remind me
I want a fun cross, if things get heated I'll pry be paying close attention. A fire cross-ex is my favorite thing in Debate so if you get going, please be confident, be aggressive, and get the concession or slip up you need. So long as you are not personally attacking your opponent or causing psychological violence in another way be as aggressive as you want.
if you can dodge questions masterfully I will be very happy
if you let your opponent get away with murder then I'll be less happy
do it, just send the email chain if you're opponent asks.
Framework: Probably my favorite kind of debate, determines what offense is / what impacts are/ how to weigh. The biggest mistake in framework rounds is just a bunch of conceded preclusion claims with no interaction, I’ll attempt to resolve these by doing work myself which I don’t want to do. Furthermore, if you just read a bunch of straw man dump arguments against a framework (like most people do to Kant) it will make me sad.
-TJFs: fine read them if you want.
-Skep Triggers: Funny, I always enjoy the new ways debaters articulate them.
Skep: Do not read skep as your primary argument, if skep comes up in round it should only be as a result of framework issues triggering skep, I.E. both debaters defend consequentialism but consequences fail is also read.
Impact justified frameworks: make me sad :( read them if you want but be ready to defend them.
Theory- I don’t default on any paradigm issue, they should be read in the round, if you do not read fairness/ed./whatever is a voter I will not evaluate theory as a voting issue.
- Also, I’m fine if the counter-interp text is just “I’ll defend the violation” or “converse/inverse of their interp”. I will never “gut check” against theory args.
- Personally, I think RVI's are good, competing interps is true, and theory is drop the debater. I'll do my best to keep these biases out of my decision though.
- if it turns out you had some masterful strategic plan that required you to not read paradigm issues (I've done that before) then I'll be happy if the strat works.
T: Is fun I like it, a lot of the same rules for theory still apply
- Nebel T confuses me so be clear about it.
Interps: I'm fine with minimal extensions, "extend the interp" with a very fast explanation would be fine I.E. "Extend the interp NIBS are bad"
Spikes: I like them, read them more. They are probably necessary for certain affs just cause the 1AR can be soul-crushing when debating tricks gods (@Peregrine Beckett) or just in general.
- I'll listen to OV arguments like "spikes are ableist" but I don't think these arguments are very persuasive given that most under-views will preempt these.
K’s- I think Ks are really interesting and can have some good debates, but I do have a few problems with them
- don't be purposefully vague about the K in order to take advantage of your opponent's misunderstanding, this will really upset me. So If you do not read a clear explanation of the K, I will not vote on it. of course, if your opponent straw mans it a bunch I'll be much more lenient.
- ROBs-ROJs should have normative justifications, I need clear warrants as to why our decision calculus ought to be based around the issues the K talks about
- I want to see the K debater substantively respond to the AC/NC instead of making very broad overviews.
- Read Non-T aff's all day long I think they can be great, just make sure you are very clear about them.
LARP- is cool, it's not my cup of tea so I don't do it much. But it's strategically beneficial so LARP all you want.
- if you make some wacky argument like spark or dedev you'll be very cool.
If you have any questions just ask me. if you're trying to do prefs, shoot me an email.
Please, Please, PLEASE do not speed read when giving your speeches. First off, I've had several concussions, so if your goal is to try and ensure that your judge has a sensory overload mid-round... then I guess I can't really judge kindly on your morals as a person. Second off, in my personal opinion I believe it is a super cheap way to win a round. Listing off several bullet points at your top speed to me feels like cheating because an opponent can not argue several points in the matter of a few minutes. (So please for love of everything logical do not Speed Read.)
I judge my speaker points based off of how well you are as a speaker. If you are slouched over and looking straight to your computer without making eye contact then your speaks are not gonna be 30/30. I will lower speaks if you speed read as well, a good speaker will speak at a conversational pace. I believe that speaker points are not based off of how you give your arguments and how you flow through the round, but how you present yourself
Please, Please, Please do not start advocating for things like World War III or death to all people of the world just for fun and because it's "edgy". These types of arguments are not fun listening to without a full understanding on how they should be run because it doesn't lead to any good voters for myself to even look towards. (If you know how to properly run them and even your coach agrees that it makes sense, then go ahead and do it)
I am not a huge fan of Counter-Plans on the Affirmative or Negative. Most of them are kinda just super abusive and noneducational. The biggest issue I find is how can your opponent prepare for a counter-plan if they only planned for the resolution as stated? It leads to an unfair/abusive debate sooooooo... please refer to a regularized case.
DA’s and Perms:
i much less know what a DA is fully and after talking to Policy debaters/coaches, most debaters on the LD Circuit do not fully understand as well. Not really something I would vote on so please refrain from using them.
Please only use disclosure if there is a specific issue before the round starts. This goes along with issues such as disabilities or impairments. I am not likely to buy an argument for disclosure if you state that it is unfair because you do not know what your opponent's case is going to be about. (Not knowing allows for more critical thinking rather than blocking out arguments with pure consequentialism)
I will vote on a theory shell if it outlines what your opponent did to break said rules of a Lincoln-Douglas debate round. I don't really want to hear anything over something that goes outside of the LD style. Such as both debaters ought to discuss a counter-plan would not be considered something that I would approve.
Currently as of right now, I am working towards my bachelor's of the arts (theatre) and will be working towards a more specialized degree in the professional theatre industry. I will gladly listen to cases that are more performative and include things such as props or listen to someone try and sing their case to me. The only issue is that in doing so, I expect you have a sense of purpose for choosing this route in
I tend to be more of a traditional judge. The biggest issue within the round I want to be resolved within the round is the moral obligation of the actor within the resolution. If the resolution applies ought within the wording then I think of the resolution as a question of ought. What does the actor ought to do? What is the obligation of the actor to do said action? It becomes a moral question for what obligation I as a judge ought to vote by. This leads to consequential arguments being weighed less since just because the action will lead to a benefit doesn't mean that the actor is obligated to do said action.
This is my first year with judging Public Forum, meaning that you are going to want to avoid using any abbreviations or terms that are typically understood by common judges and debaters. I am going to be open to pretty much any arguments that are well warranted, but please DO NOT FALSIFY EVIDENCE. I have heard a few times from last year that some teams are a little sketchy with their evidence whether it was local tournaments or national circuit. If I found any sketchy data that you present then I will be a bit more harsh on speaks and more willing to listen to your opponent advocating to drop it.
Please ensure that you are not being overtly aggressive to the other team, especially during Crossfire and trying to take away the ability for your opponent(s) to ask questions. I am not someone who enjoys watching people try act super aggressive during round because that's "how you win" or "that's how debate works" because honestly it is kind of d*** move and makes it super awkward to watch as a judge. (This goes for outside of round and outside of Cross-Ex as well)
These are just the biggest points I wanted to focus on within my paradigm, but if you have any other specific questions please feel free to ask.
If you have questions outside of the tournament, or on a round I judged and you cannot find me. Contact me on either my
Along with this, my email may be on the paradigm though I do not wish to be on the shared document in round.
My email is email@example.com. If I'm judging your round, please add me to the email chain. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
Did Policy debate my freshman year at Lincoln Park High school and my junior and senior year at Millard North High School; Most of experience was in the Nebraska Circuit, but I went to debate camp and attended a few NatCircuit tournaments.
I spent most of Junior and Senior year running identity Ks and other critical arguments. I'm familiar with some Ks, but don't assume I'm well-versed in your literature - I'll need a good explanation of your theory to vote for you. I'm comfortable judging policy v. policy debates, just don't expect me to have any prior knowledge about your arguments or to know what your abbreviations mean.
I'm fine with speed, but I haven't judged in a while and the Milo Cup will be my first time judging virtually, so consider slowing down a little bit or at the very least make sure to slow down for tags and analytics and make it clear to me when you are switching flows.
There are no specific arguments that I am strongly for or against. I have biases like any other judge, but I'll do my best to evaluate the round according to what I have on my flow. If you provide a framework for me to judge the round with and defend it, I will evaluate the round accordingly.
I expect you to have a good understanding of your arguments and be able to explain it clearly and consistently throughout the round. Extend your AFF and try to refer back to your evidence as much as possible to contextualize your arguments in every speech.
I don't care if you're topical, but I will vote for framework if you don't have a good answer to it.
Framework is a very technical argument, so it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, especially when you're having the same framework debate over and over again. Please just make sure you're prepared to defend your form of debate, and engage directly with the neg arguments. The best FWK rounds happen when you make your answers specific to your affirmative and (as much as possible) unique to the round.
Whatever arguments you're running, make sure you explain how they link to the affirmative, and why they are a reason to vote neg.
If you are reading a K, make the link as specific as possible and give me a specific reason not to vote on the Perm, especially if it's a K vs. K debate.
I'm definitely willing to vote on framework as long as you can convince me that your impacts are important, and that the AFF being non-topical leads to those impacts. Ideally you should be making FWK arguments that are specific to the affirmative and engage with their answers. Just because you are running framework doesn't mean you should be regurgitating the same generic speeches in every round.
Hi, I'm Rob.
I am currently in my fourth year of NPDA/NPTE Parliamentary Debate at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. I did not do debate in high school... I simply wasn't cool enough. (Parli is basically limited prep policy with no cards, its quite the time).
My opinions about debate are pretty simple.
The debate should be the type of debate you and your opponent want to have. I want both debaters to feel comfortable. You shouldn't be afraid of your arguments not "vibing with my paradigm".
Exception: If you run offensive arguments, you should be afraid to run them in front of me. You will lose.
You can win on any argument in front of me as long as you explain it clearly, have warrants, and weigh it in the rebuttal speeches.
If a certain type of K lit is your thing, run it. If you want to run a bunch of theory shells and 4 condo CPs, go for it. Run a topical policy aff, or don't - it's all up to you.
I am open to "generic" and "creative" arguments, you just have to win and defend them.
Ideally, if you debate better than your opponent you will win. If you don't, you will lose.
I only have one other rule: No excluding your opponent. Go as fast as you'd like, but if your opponent slows or clears you, slow down. The debate must go at a speed which is accessible to everyone in the room.
-My first priority is ensuring that debate is an inclusive activity. Provide trigger warnings if what you are running is triggering. Use common sense. Racist, sexist, homophobic cases.. just don't run them
- avoid circular framework debate, i.e "my framework is a pre-req to their framework." "no, MY framework is a pre-req to THEIRS."
-I debated traditional, Lincoln Douglas debate for Brookings High School in South Dakota. I am open to either progressive or traditional debate.
- I hate "this is LD debate so they can't run this" arguments
- LIMIT jargon.
- I enjoy listening to kritiks, but I'm not super familiar with the literature so you'll have to explain it well.
- Not a fan of pointless theory. Please don't run theory unless there is actual abuse.
-The round is yours, do what you like but just be aware that I may not be able to completely follow you if you go crazy with spreading/jargon.
- Don't use pointless buzzwords if what your saying has no substance. I can tell when you're not saying anything at all but rather just throwing words out there for the sake of saying them
Note: Lots of updates throughout my paradigm. I flagged most of them with an "(Update: ...)." I also updated the pref shortcut in the overview.
Kyle Kopf (He/Him/His)
West Des Moines Valley High School ‘18 University of Iowa ‘23
I want to be on the email chain (but I do my best to not flow off of it): firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Iowa City West High School
Bio: I'm a 5th-year coach for Iowa City West LD. I debated LD for Six Years. Received one bid my junior year and 3 my senior year.
I don't like long paradigms so I did my best to keep this as short as possible. My opinions on debate aren't what matters anymore. I try to be as tech as possible and not intervene.
-Please speak at like 70-80% of your top pace, I'll be much more likely to catch your arguments and therefore vote for you if you actually slow and don't rely on me shouting "slow" or "clear" a lot. Also, slow down extra on underviews, theory, and author names because I'm extra bad at flowing those.
-Please keep a local recording in case your speech cuts out to the point where I miss arguments. If you do not there is no way for me to recover what was missed.
-I find myself flowing off the doc more with online debate than I do normally
-If you think there are better norms for judging online I should consider, feel free to share before the round!
-I will always keep my camera on when debaters are speaking. Sometimes I turn my camera off during prep time. Feel free to ask me to turn my camera on if I forget.
I won’t automatically ignore any style of argument (Phil, Theory, K, policy, T, etc), I will only drop you for offensive arguments within that style (for example, using a policy AC to say racism is good). That being said, I am more familiar with certain styles of arguments, but that does not mean I will hack for them. Shortcut for my familiarity with styles:
K – 1
Phil – 1
Theory/T – 1
Tricks – 2
Policy – 3
Based on strategy, quality of discourse, fun, creativity etc. NOT based on speaking style. I will shout “clear” as needed without reducing speaks.
Don’t start speech at top speed, build up to it for like 10 seconds. Slow down significantly on author names and theory underviews.
SPEECH IMPEDIMENTS, PRONOUNS, ETC:
I've stuttered for my entire life, including the 6 years I was in debate. Speech impediments will not impact speaks or my evaluation of the round whatsoever. I default shouting “clear” if needed (I always preferred being told to clear than losing because the judge didn’t understand me) so please tell me if you prefer otherwise.
If there is anything else related to identity or anything else that might affect the round, please let me know if you feel comfortable doing so. Even if it doesn’t affect debate but you just want to talk still feel free to let me know! :)
This is what I primarily read in high school. I’m familiar with K strategy, K tricks (floating PICs need to be in some way hinted at in the 1N), etc. I enjoy seeing a K executed well.
I read some theory although significantly less than Ks. People read T against me very often, so I am familiar with that too. (update: I wrote this section after I graduated high school, I'm a lot more familiar with theory strategy now) I think the strategy behind Theory/T and the tech of Theory/T is cool and fun to watch. Assuming literally no argument is made either way, I default:
- No RVI
- Competing Interps
- Drop the debater on theory and T
- Text of interp
- Norms creation model
- “Converse of the interp/defending the violation” is sufficient
I went to Valley, so I started out reading phil. I enjoy the nuance of framework debate, especially related to competing moral theories.
I never read tricks and I haven’t seen them in action too much (Update: I also wrote this section a while ago, I've seen tricks plenty now.)
I never did this much, but I will also evaluate it like any other argument. I think the depth and applicability of policy args make them enjoyable to watch. (Update: I've judged a lot of policy style rounds and am much more comfortable with it, but still my least familiar style of debate)
I think post rounding is a good norm for debate to encourage good judging, prevent hacking, etc. Always feel free to postround me. I'll be VERY strict about starting the next flight/round, allowing debaters to be on time, etc but feel free to find me or email me later (email at top).
*If you're kicking a CP or K, you need to explicitly say "kick the CP/K", not extending is not sufficient to kick
*All arguments must have some sort of warrant. The warrant doesn’t have to be good or true
*if an argument is new in the 2, I will disregard it even if it’s not pointed out. To clarify, you still should point it out in case I missed it.
*I won’t evaluate embedded clash unless an argument is made as for why I should.
*I will evaluate the entire debate regardless of what arguments are made that say otherwise.
*I have no clue what judge kick is
Debated four years (policy) at Millard North (2014-2018), Dartmouth College during the 2018-2019 season, haven't competed since then.
Do what you know best. Do what you love.
I think framework debates can be interesting when both sides try to innovate arguments instead of reading overused repetitive blocks at each other. For the sake of transparency, I spent basically my entire high school career attempting to perfect answering framework from the K aff perspective, and have only gone for it on the neg once in my career. Ideologically, I tend(ed) to lean aff (feel increasingly less strong either way the more I become removed from the activity), but will judge off the flow. Like any debate, if you can win the link, impact, and weigh that impact against the aff, I'll vote for you.
This is my wheelhouse. Ran almost solely K's on both the aff and neg in high school. No matter what you're reading, even if you think I'm familiar with the literature, explain your theory.
vs. policy affs - specific links obviously preferred but just because a link may not be "specific" does not mean it is not true. Extending an alternative (in the most traditional sense of the word) isn't necessary if you give reason enough why criticism itself solves the impacts of the link.
On both sides of this debate, framework arguments are not as important as you think - I'm likely not going to vote for "interp - no K's" (unless in a rare case where it's both well warranted and conceded). I don't think weighing the aff honestly changes the debate that much. Aff, this still means you have to justify your epistemology and neg all this means is you have to argue why your epistemology outweighs/the act of criticism solves.
vs. K affs - I love these debates. Super interesting to me. Some of the most engaging debates I've ever had. Starting off the bat, I do think I differ from most on this issue, but if you give me /warranted/ reasons instead of just stating "this is a starting point debate so there are no perms", I can buy that there are no perms in a methods debate. The alternative is much more important in these debates, as essentially I think these debates boil down to either a. the impacts could be solved better with another alternative or b. this theory of the world is bad/wrong/exclusive thus we must engage in this other alternative.
Generally, a lot of theory debates are blippy, and unless one side completely drops it, will not be a winning argument unless it's obvious there's a violation and one side has very meticulously thought out their argument and made me believe it is a reason to drop the team.
Conditionality is usually fine, though I will say I'm not super jazzed with the idea of 9 off especially if you have arguments that are obviously time sucks. Won't vote you down for it alone but be prepared for a heavy sigh and a halfhearted comment about wasting paper. If you're on the aff side of one of these debates, pointing out obvious contradictions between flows will make me very happy.
Do you. Ideally (preferably) not 7-8-9-off you, but still you.
tldr; i've been out of debate for a bit. judge maaaaaaybe 1-2 times a year. pros of this for you is that i've lost many of my formerly strong feelings about the activity. cons of this for you is that i have essentially no knowledge about the topic or trends in arguments
Yes I do want the speech doc. email@example.com
I debated LD 4 years at Millard North and saw a fair amount of both nat circuit and traditional rounds. I'm a first year out.
Im probably somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, as much as I love progressive debate, sometimes i'm baby, so just explain everything clearly and try to spread clearly pretty please.
Pre-Round Etiquette -
- If your case has any material that could be psychologically damaging or harmful, trigger warnings are a necessity. Graphic material includes, but is not limited to descriptions of: violence based on gender identity, sexuality, or race; police brutality; suicide; sexual assault; domestic abuse. Because debate should be safe and accessible to all debaters, TW's should be articulated in order to include everyone. Refusing to provide TW's for graphic cases creates an exclusive and threatening atmosphere and will effect speaker points, but not the decision.
- Disclosure is encouraged, but not required. If it's nat circ disclose, if it's trad I don't care.
- Pronouns! Tell me them! (Mine are he/him/his !)
If I have a speech doc, i'm way more lenient, but I can flow a decent amount of spreading, just don't like, break the sound barrier or anything. Also please don't use speed as a weapon. I will tank your speaks.
How to get my ballot:
I normally will vote on anything, but I probably will gut check theory if I'm asked. If it isn't discussed in round, it wont come into the RFD. The arguments I prefer are: Larp>K's>Phil>Theory>Tricks
Just run what you like and have fun! I will vote on memey and fun arguments if you give me a reason to vote (And probably give pretty high speaks if the antics are appreciated)
On the flipside, it irks me to no end when debaters read memey arguments just to troll. If you don't actually prove why you have better access to the ballot than your opponent, you lose. Simple as.
(Also as a caveat: If the aff reads something that's like extremely serious or emotional, please do not meme it really ruins the brand and i will look like this >:-o)
Literally just clearly explain your args within the context of the round and why it should win the ballot. Make me do as little work as possible and we'll be gucci
Comment on Theory: This was the arg I had the least amount of experience with. I'm like still okay with evaluating the args but I need 1) a significant decrease in speed 2) articulation, enunciation, clarity and 3) explicit weighing to feel comfortable voting on it -> run at your own risk bc i'm telling you, you will probably Not be happy w my decision!!! Also, on disclosure theory, I'm incredibly uncomfortable evaluating violations when they're in the form of hearsay and screenshots and especially when I'm not in the room.
Also I will NOT vote on:
-Literally anything on the same grain. Be a good person please please please please please it isn't that hard
Im normally pretty generous on speaks, but a few pro gamer tricks:
Things that bolster speaks:
-Explaining arguments well enough that its clear that you know them inside and out
-Not being an a**hole
-Being nice to novices should you hit them
-Having a unique case
-Being able to name 30 distinct pokemon
-Not horsing around
Ways to LOSE speaks
-Being an a**hole
-Not caring about novices
-Reading a position that you very obviously do not know
-Just be nice and u wont lose any
-Admitting that you unironically enjoy skim milk
Ask me for any other questions because I definitely didn't cover it all
And finally, as a great person once said:
By god be shootin.
But most importantly
Milo Cup strike info: assuming I'm judging LD, I expect the aff to defend the entire resolution. I don't care for neg arguments that defend only one particular border unless it's /really/ significant. I'm fine with dropping a debater that doesn't follow these parameters. Below is more specific info. Sometimes I break from my paradigm if I'm in a generous mood.
Truth>tech in most instances.
I debated in LD and congress. I now coach LD at Millard West and I am a philosophy and economics major. I want to hear a strong value/criterion debate and clear links to impacts. After that, say whatever weird thing you want. I do debate for fun and I like fun, coherent arguments. I also tend to agree with Lawrence Zhou's paradigm.
If I'm judging you in any other event besides LD, the bottom line is that I basically vote on whatever sounds the most true given the information I am told. If something sounds like a lie, I probably won't vote on it
What really sells me is if you link into your opponent's criterion as well as your own. At the end of the round, I first consider if the arguments are cohesive and logical and then I will tally up impacts based on the winning framework. For this reason, extensions should be as clear-cut as possible. If I can't tell what's happening, I basically just call it a wash and move on. I won't adjudicate what doesn't make sense. I'm also a sucker for dropped observations and try-or-die arguments. Lastly, I think it's sad when extinction is the biggest impact in the round. Extinction impacts are usually poorly warranted anyway.
Philosophy: easily my favorite part of an LD round. If there's some confusion, I will explain it in the RFD. Regarding philosophy, it's easy to tell if someone is unfamiliar with whichever theory they have chosen to represent. This is the only part of the round where I get pedantic and annoying since I truly believe it's wrong to misrepresent other people's ideas.
Speed: is okay as long as you're clear. I'll shout 'clear' if I don't understand.
Kritiks: besides the obvious setbacks of running a K in LD, I don't have a problem with them. If you have a solid K, I'd like to see it. If it's an annoying K that allows you to avoid actual debate, I will be unhappy.
CPs: I don't put much weight on CPs, but I'll vote on them. I hate PICs, though.
Tricks: strike me if this is your MO.
Theory: RVI is okay. However, there are varying degrees of importance theory can hold on my flow. Not a fan of disclosure or time skew theory in most instances, but I understand their place.
Go ahead with flex-prep as long as it is only for clarification - just make sure your opponent is okay with it first.
I do not want to be on the e-mail chain.
You are likely to run into me at Iowa tournaments. I nearly always judge LD. (I judge P/F and Policy on rare occasion. Following my LD paradigm in those events would serve you well also.)
Please keep in mind the following three things, which apply to any form of argument you may consider using:
1. Tell me what to prefer.
2. Tell me why to prefer it.
3. Tell me that you did what I should prefer.
Although I have been around LD since the earth cooled, I have no views about how LD should be. I am not tied to a historical ideal of the activity. In my view, the nature of the activity is to be resolved by coaches, competitors, and competition committees. My job is to evaluate the round that is presented to me, as it is presented to me. I evaluate rounds based on their internal competitiveness, not against some external standard of goodness.
I have no default "positions" or evaluative mechanisms. I will listen to any type of argument. If there is weighing to do, please do it. Arguments do not weigh themselves.
Since this is a competitive activity, I must award a ballot to someone. If there is no reason to affirm or negate at the end of the round, and I am left to my own devices (meaning neither competitor has done a good job of attending to the three items above), I will penalize the debater who made the biggest strategic error by assigning that debater the loss. I have resorted to this tie-breaker once, but it was in a bid round. Don't leave me to my own devices. Attend to the three items above.
Also, since this is a competitive activity, I will be constrained by any instructions on the ballot.
I am fairly generous with speaker points, tending to cluster around a 27.5 on the customary 1-30 scale. To ensure I remain generous, (1) be funny, (2) be yourself, (3) be smart, (4) be decent to your adversary, and (5) keep trying and pressing your positions until the timer goes off (even if you think you're losing).
Background: I have degrees from Baylor, Iowa, and Lehigh. I have been a practicing attorney for many years and am currently general counsel for the Iowa Department of Education. My favorite things are running, spicy food, caffeine, collecting passport stamps, and Luka Doncic.
I have done four years of NFA LD at UNL, it is sorta like one person policy. For a kinda background in debate I run primarily identity-based arguments, ableism to be more specific. But you can run whatever you want in front of me.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, please add me to the email chain.
***********************************HIGH SCHOOL LD******************************************************
If you are going to talk about subjects like sexual assault, suicide, domestic violence, or other potentially triggering subjects you need to have a content warning before your case, and make sure that nobody in the room will be triggered by those subjects
TLDR: I am not a trad judge, I consider myself a progressive judge, so literally please do whatever you want in front of me, I will literally vote for anything, including disclosure theory. I didn't think I had to say this but don't use evidence with slurs of a group that you are not a part of i.e. don't read evidence with the word "cripple" if you are not disabled.
I don't know anything about Kant or philosophy do probably not the best judge for that kind of argument.
Don't read evidence from Peter Singer in front of me, I am not interested in evidence from somebody who justifies assault and genocide of my community.
K Affs: Go for it, I think K affs are fun.
K: I love Ks, but that being said they need to be good Ks, by that I mean do not read a k in front of me because you think I am a K hack because that is not going to go well for you. You need to have a good link (no link of omissions ew), you need to be able to explain your alternative, you need good reasons on why I should prefer ontology/epistemology first. I am most familiar with ableism literature, but if you explain to me your lit we should be fine. I'm cool with reps/rhetoric Ks. I am not the biggest fan of pomo. DO NOT READ ANYTHING BY NICK LAND IN FRONT OF ME, I WILL AUTOMATICALLY VOTE YOU DOWN AND GIVE YOU ZERO SPEAKS. HE IS A EUGENCIST AND AS DISABLED WOMAN I WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANY JUSTIFICATION OF EUGENICS.
DA: Try to read specific links because I am of the opinion that generic links are usually punished by link thumpers.
CP: if you are going to run them please know how to answer theory, nothing is worse than watching somebody read 3 cps and not knowing how to answer condo bad. I am a big advocate for nuanced and developed counterplans, and believe it is one of the most strategic ways to subsume aff offense. I default to sufficiency framing until told otherwise. If there is no clear victor in the theory debate I will usually default negative.I generally think that CP’s should be textually and functionally competitive but feel free to tell me otherwise. I tend to lean negative on theory and think that most objections are reasons to reject the argument not the team.
T USFg/Framework: Honestly as a k debater, not the biggest fan of these debates and quite honestly I have never seen this argument run well, that being said that doesn't mean I won't vote for it if it is well run. BUT IF YOU LOVE THIS ARGUMENT READ IT. I tend to default aff if there is no clear victor on this specific argument.
Flex Prep: If both debaters are okay with asking questions during CX, then it's fine.
Yes I will vote on in-round rhetoric arguments, so do not use racist/cissexist/ableist/homophobic/transphobic language, and I'll give you zero speaker points.
You should share your evidence and disclose because both of those things create more education in the round and better debates, so I have a low threshold for voting for disclosure.
If you like didn't get the vibe, I'll make it really clear here, as a disabled debater and a coach to disabled students I AM ALL ABOUT MAKING THE DEBATE SPACE AS ACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE. If your opponent tells you that they can't do speed, don't spread, if you do and speed theory is run I have a pretty low threshold on voting for speed bad. If your opponent asks for you to format your evidence a certain way, do it. If you need to communicate an access issue to me before the debate, please send me an email before the round. This is a private way for you to give me information that you do not want to share with the entire room (for example, if nonverbal communication isn't accessible to you).
by god be shootin
but most importantly
Slow down; pause between flows; label everything clearly; be aware that I am less familiar with policy norms, so over-explain. Otherwise I try to be more-or-less tab.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
You can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing impacts back to whatever decision mechanism(s) have been presented.
I prefer that you not swear in round.
Updated for Fall 2019.- Yes, include me on any email chain. email@example.com
I am currently an assistant PF debate coach at Iowa City West HS. I am also under contract by the NSDA to produce topic analysis packets and advanced briefs for LD, PF, and Biq Questions. I am also an instructor with Global Academy Commons, an organization that has partnered with NSDA China to bring speech and debate education, public speaking, and topic prep to students in East Asia. In my free time, I play Magic: The Gathering and tab debate tournaments freelance. I am the recipient of the Donald Crabtree Service Award, 2 diamond coach (pending April 2020), and was the state of Iowa's Coach of the Year in 2015.
I say all of this not to impress people. I'm way too old to care about that. I say this to point out one thing: I've dedicated my life to speech and debate. Since I was 14, this activity was a place where I could go to find people that cared about the same things as me and who were like me. No matter how bad of a day I was having, I could go to practice and everything would be ok. This is what debate is to me, and this is what I have worked towards since I became a coach. So it upsets and angers me when I see people that try to win debate rounds by making the world a worst place for others. There is a difference between being competitive and being a jerk. I've had to sit with students who were in tears because they were mistreated because they were women, I've had people quit the team because they were harassed because of their religion, and I've had to ask competitors to not use racial slurs in round. And to be honest, I am tired of it. So if your All Star Tournament Champion strategy revolves around how unconformable you can make your opponent, strike me.
With that being stated, here is how I view arguments.
In LD, I prefer a value and criterion, even if you are going non traditional in your case structure. I don't care if you are traditional, progressive, critical, or performative. I've judges and coached all types and I've voted for all types too. What I care about more is the topic hook you use to get your arguments to the relationship of the topic. If I can't find a clear link, if one isn't established, or if you can't articulate one, I'm going to have a really hard time voting for you.
I weight impacts. This is a holdover from my old college policy days. Clearly extend impacts and weight them. I view the value and criterion as lens for which I prioritize types of impacts. Just winning a value isn't enough to wind the round if you don't have anything that impacts back to it.
If you run a CP, the aff should perm. Perms are tests of competition. Most will still link to the DA so the neg should make that arg. The more unique the CP, the better. CP's should solve at least some impacts of the aff.
If you run a K, throwing around buzz words like "discourse, praxis, holistic, traversing X, or anything specific to the K" without explaining what those mean in the round will lower your speaker points. To me, you are just reading what the cards you found in the policy backfile said. Also, finding unique links to more generic K's, like cap or biopower, will be beneficial in how I view the round. But also note that on some topics, the K you love just might not work. Don't try to force it. A good aff needs to perm. Perm's on K debates tend to solve their offense. I do not like links of omission.
Case debate- Love it.
Theory- Do not love it. When I was in my 20's, I didn't mind theory, but now, the thought of people speed reading or even normal reading theory shells at each other makes me fear for my 50 minutes in round. If theory is justified, I will vote on it but there is a big barrier to what I count as justified. I need to see clear in round abuse. In lue of that, the potential abuse story needs to be absolutely 100% on point. This means that a theory shell that is zipped through in 10 seconds will not be getting my vote. No questions asked. Do the work because I don't do the work for you. Oh, I will not vote on disclosure theory. Disclosing probably is good but I do not require it and unless the tournament does, I don't see a reason to punish the debaters for not doing this.
Reformative arguments- I coached kids on these arguments and I've voted for them too. The thing is that because I don't see them often I have the reputation of not liking them. This creates a negative feedback loop so I never see them and so on... I'll vote for them but you need to have a topic hook and some justification or solvency mech for your performance. I will also be 100% honest because I owe it to the debaters who do this style of debate and who have put in so much time to get it right, I'm probably a midrange judge on this. At large bid tournaments there are probably judges that are better versed in the lit base who can give you more beneficial pointers.
Unless told otherwise, I use the pilot rules as established by the NSDA.
I hold evidence to a high standard. I love paraphrasing but if called out, you better be able to justify what you said.
If I call for a card, don't hand me a pdf that is 40 pages long. I will not look for it. I want it found for me. If you expect me to find it, I will drop the card.
I am still getting on board with pf disclosure. I am not the biggest fan as of now. I can see the educational arguments for it but it also runs counter to the basis for the event. I do not require teams to share cases before round and arguments in round as to why not sharing put you at a disadvantage won't get you ground.
I appreciate unique frameworks.
This event is not policy. I don't drop teams for speed or reading card after card after card but I will dock speaker points.
I weight impacts. But with this stipulation; I am not a fan of extinction impacts in pf. I think it goes a bit too far to the policy side of things. Use your framework to tell me how to prioritize the impacts.
Treat others with respect. I will drop people for being intentionally horrible to your opponents in round. Remember, there is a way to be competitive without being a jerk.
Should also go without saying but be nice to your partner too. Treat them as an equal. They get the W the same as you.
Policy- Honestly, I kind of used the majority of what I wanted to say in the LD section since they are so similar nowadays.
T- Love it. Won most of my college neg rounds on it. Be very clear on the interp and standards. If you go for it, only go for it. Should be the only argument in the 2NR.
Mx. Eli Newson (they/them)
I am a traditional, value framework LD debater at heart. Framing the debate and any clash in that sense is always excellent and is more likely to influence how I write the ballot. That being said, I can handle speed and policy arguments, including Ks, DAs, counterplans, the whole gambit. I believe that these arugments are inherently out of place in LD and belong in policy or even PF, but I don't automatically downvote them and will take them into account when voting if they're clear on the flow. At the end of the day I will just refer to what is on the flow. Give me voters, clear signposting, and good line by line analysis-- no matter what you run, if those 3 things are good, you pretty much have the round. Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions!
Name: Brad Noethe
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Yes, I want to be on the email chain)
I'll just cover few of the things that most debaters question within paradigms.
I'm fine with speed, just signpost and give good impacts and analysis with extensions.Extensions need a claim, a warrant, and an impact. If you just say "extend Foucault, so people die," I will not evaluate that as an extension. If your opponent doesn't properly extend an argument, demonstrating your opponent didn't during your rebuttal is a compelling argument.
Despite the fact that many don't run theory well, I do enjoy hearing it when it is run well. I would like to hear theory when it is genuine, but if the shell is won, I will vote for it, even if the abuse was a bit questionable. Debaters should be able to beat bad shells. I also believe that theory is bi-directional. However, if the shell itself is ignored, generic turns don't matter.
I'm not a big fan of abusive strategies run with the intention of drawing theory in order to use multiple rvi's and theory turns. It is definitely not the best way, or even a good way, to get my ballot. If your opponent is using abusive arguments, running theory would probably be a good strategy. I think most of the theory turns and rvi's that are used when abusive suck and I am much, much more likely to buy arguments against them. I'm not a theory hack, but I think theory is a legitimate tool to check abuse. Rvi's need to impact to some interpretation or notion of debate or the purpose thereof. I.e. if fairness is not a voter, then rvi's on why theory is unfair don't matter. Also, weigh the rvi against the initial violation or explain how the rvi functions in relation to the shell or the round as a whole.
I will not vote for case disclosure theory or any theory argument that references disclosure or any substance of the wiki. If you are for or against case disclosure, cool, but I don't want to see debate rounds be altered by something that amounts to a philosophical difference in a debate trend, particularly when such theory shells are not substantially answered, nor do they create truly productive in round discourse. Additionally, debaters should not be harmed based upon decisions of their coaches on the philosophy of meta debate issues. If that pisses you off or makes you want to strike me, please do so. Thanks.
I will vote for T, but give me a voter. If you don't give me a voter, it only gives me a reason to reject the argument. I typically think that rvi's on T are bogus, but I will vote for them if won.
Plans: I like hearing plans if they are well developed and give a good impact scenario. I think plans, however, do need to have either some form of standard or some framework justifying why I evaluate arguments in any particular fashion, as impacts only matter inasmuch as there is some notion established of what is good or ought be done.
Counterplans: I enjoy counterplans as long as they have competitiveness. It seems obvious, but counterplans need to have mutual exclusivity. I'm not a huge fan of pics, and I don't think I've ever heard a debate that was made better by the existence of a PIC, but I'll vote on them.
Pre standards/A priori:
I don't mind apriori, but tell me why I should evaluate the argument before the standards. That being said, the more of those type of arguments that you run, the more sympathetic I become to theory.
I like hearing critical arguments if you've developed them and understand the argument. If you don't understand or can't validate and support your reasoning, your speaks will suffer, and it will be difficult for me to vote for you. I'm most familiar with Nietzsche and Foucault, so you can go quickly if running them. For other authors I should be fine, but if I give you a funny look, you may want to slow down. I don't read anywhere near as much philosophy as I used to, but I still love critical positions.
If you have a weird or new argument you want to try with me, by all means do try it. You should do whatever you believe will be most strategic for you to win the round. If an argument is dumb, it should be easy to beat. I think that K's need an alternative, unless there is framework to justify the lack of one. Also, please specify the status of the K/CP/DA in the speech doc or immediately disclose it in CX. Not a paradigm issue per se, but I wish more debaters would be unconditional/dispo with their statuses, but it shouldn't affect my decision.
I want to mention that I am VERY sympathetic to perf-con arguments, so please keep that in mind.
I give pretty high speaks, generally. I give speaks based on how impressed I was with your performance in round. I don't care about attire or the way that you deliver your speech. If you want to stay seated, that's cool.
It is much easier for me to know where to vote if you provide me with some weighing. It is not paramount by any means to achieve my ballot, but it is preferred and makes decision making much easier.
I really don't have a preference as to where I vote. I'll vote wherever, just tell me why I should vote there and how you are winning that argument. That being said, I default to the standards if you don't tell me to vote anywhere else. I don't presume a particular way unless told to do so.
I think if your opponent calls for your case or cards, you should flash/email it to them. If you don't, I won't be too happy about it, and your speaks will probably suffer. There is no good reason to hide your case. Also, if you ask clarification questions of the case while you have it, I believe your opponent has a right to look at the case to explain something to you. Wait for your opponent to set down the page they are reading before you go to grab it if they are reading it, and make sure you don't make a scene or anything when getting it. Also, I expect debaters to answer questions during prep time, and I'm fine with flex prep, as long as the neg had the opportunity to use it in the first cross ex period. I don't care how you dress, as long as you are moderately clothed.
If you have any other questions, ask me before the round and I'll be happy to answer them. Good luck and have fun. This is your game. Do with it what you will.
My paradigm is very simple, as long as you can justify it I am willing to listen to almost any argument. Just make sure you know what you are talking about and are respectful to the other team. Also know I did run some unique arguments in high school so I am willing to listen to strange arguments you may have been working on. I love to see passion in debaters and I look forward to judging you who are reading this in the future
Bettendorf High School
UPDATED: October 4th, 2022
I'm not sure what happened to my previous Paradigm that was posted, but it appears to have been erased/lost. My apologies as I just learned of this at the Simpson Storm tournament (Sat, Oct 1, 2022) this past weekend.
My name is Joe Rankin and I am the head coach at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, IA. I have been the head coach at Bettendorf since the 2005-2006 school year. I primarily coach Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking...however, I am familiar and have coached all NSDA sanctioned speech/debate events over my time at Bettendorf.
In terms of my coaching paradigm, I'd generally consider these the 'highlights:'
- I prefer topical debate. The resolution was voted on by coaches and students through the NSDA voting process. That's what I want to hear about.
- I can generally handle 'speed,' but that doesn't mean I enjoy it. I'd rather help you develop skills that you will actually utilize interacting with other human beings outside of this one particular subset of existence - so I'd much prefer a rate that is more akin to real-world applications.
- You can make whatever arguments you want to make...but I generally haven't voted on many things associating with theory, kritiks (or however you want to misspell the word critique), or other generally non-topical arguments you make in the round. It takes more work for me to believe those types of arguments are true and not a whole lot of work to make me believe those types of arguments are generally false. So, I wouldn't encourage this type of argumentation in front of me.
I figure that is sufficient for now. If you have any questions, I tend to give you that window before the round begins while setting up to judge. If not, please feel free to ask before the round. The end goal of the round for me is a competitive academic environment that is focused on education. I don't mind answering questions that will help all of us improve moving forward.
email: email@example.com - yes, add me to the email chain. please feel free to reach out by email/fb (I'm more likely to respond on fb) if you have questions.
I debated circuit LD at WDM Valley for four years and qualified to the TOC, receiving four bids, during my senior year. I have taught at NSD Flasgship (2018,2019), NSD Philadelphia (2018,2019), and TDC (2019) and I've been coaching LD since graduating in 2018.
tl;dr - it's your round, debate it how you want to.
I will evaluate the round on the flow, everything here explains my defaults but if you make arguments as to why the round should be adjudicated in a particular way I will evaluate debate through your lens. please make the round as clear as possible - weighing is your friend, give clear overviews, justify everything, and explain. tell me the implications of your arguments.
I have the most experience with framework debate, identity K debate, and theory debate.
defaults: (this only matters if no one makes arguments to the contrary)
- epistemic confidence
- competing interps, no rvis
- theory > k > substance
- pragmatics > semantics
- truth testing > comparing worlds
- I’ll say ‘slow’ or ‘clear’ if necessary.
- I am fine with flex prep.
- I love a good framework/identity k debate, it makes my heart happy (you will probably get good speaks).
- I very much think you need an impact mechanism (a standard text, a ROB, etc.) -- otherwise, i will be left to evaluate impacts as I see fit which probably won't make you happy.
- extensions need warrants and impacts, even if you are extending a conceded argument. If you are extending a case that is conceded, it isn't sufficient to say "extend my whole case."
- if you are debating a novice or someone who lacks a lot of circuit experience, please make the round educational and inclusive. this does not necessarily mean go full-on traditional (although that's definitely fine), but it does mean don't go full speed and a bunch of offs (your speaks will go way down).
- please be ready to debate when you walk into the room – this means pre-flowing during your opponent's prep if you need to and having the AC speech doc ready to send.
- theory violations need to be verifiable. just provide screenshots please! if someone makes an i meet to an unverifiable shell with no verification (i.e. a disclosure shell without screenshots or a coin flip shell that's just word of mouth), i will default to the 'i meet' being true.
- feel free to read theory for strategic reasons (i.e. friv theory) or because there’s actual abuse.
- if you go for reasonability, please provide a brightline. if you don't provide a brightline, or provide a brightline of gut check, i will probably gut check to competing interps.
add me to the email chain :) firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a junior and I debate for wdm valley :)))
i'm a terrible judge and i always hack neg. i dont think disclosure theory exists and honestly purple gatorade slaps. i lose my computer once a week so if i don't have it when I'm judging, i'm flowing mentally and will give a fire oral RFD. lets pretend this never happened. my favorite person in debate is jalyn wu. please ONLY sit when you debate. standing makes me nauseous.
Phil: 100 (who on heck was Immanuel Kant??)
Spreading: I'm fine with it. I'll say clear twice and if I still can't understand you, I'll stop flowing and dock your speaks. if you spread, you'll get an auto 20. if your opponent doesn't spread, they get a w30.
Ks: Just be sure to understand the lit you are reading. I have a pretty good hold of deleuze, foucault, marx, and bell hooks but plz don't assume that I know the lit. Err on the side of over-explaining in front of me. big brain energy.
DA/CP/LARP: I'm good with whatever. I used to be a policy debater (and also i go to vbi so u know i got that west coast clout <3) so if you want to read LARP prep in front of me, go for it. I really want to hear weighing on impacts. A lot of LARP debates tend to get messy really fast so I will tend to vote for the debater that draws a straight line
Theory: I won't try and clear up a messy theory debate after the round to decide so it's up to you to do that for me. Y'all get to debate the norms of debate, not me, so I will vote off of any theory shell but if you read friv theory, your speaks will suffer so please don't. friv theory includes, but is not limited to: disclosure, nibs bad, condo, shoes, nebel t, gatorade t, and kant t. Novices plz don’t read disclosure theory... it’s annoying
Speaks: I usually start at a 2.85 and go up or down from there. If you are rude or offensive, I will give you a L20 :( Bedate is supposed to be a fun activity so if you make it the opposite, I won't like you. For each time you make me laugh, I'll raise your speaks by +.1; if you let me borrow a USB-C laptop charger during the round, I will raise your speaks by +.2 (if my laptop dies, I will stop flowing so it's in your best interest to let me borrow it) (my laptop is always dead) (like me)
ok bye, go debate now :)
Hello! My name is Richard Shmikler. I graduated St. Louis Park in 2013 and Macalester College in 2017. I debated for 4 years in HS in LD, ending my senior year with 11(?) bids, finalist at TOC and finalist at NSDA Nationals, champion of Victory Briefs, Blake, Dowling, etc. I have been coaching ever since - all levels of LD from local to circuit, and PF primarily in China and a little in the US. My students have won major tournaments in the US and abroad, including NSDA China Nationals, Apple Valley, and Minnesota State.
I think debate is a sandbox game where you can create the round you want with limited control by rules or influence by adults. I will avoid intervening as much as possible. There is no debate style that I think is far superior or inferior, and will do my best to evaluate any arguments made. That being said, generally my order of preferences in terms of the debates I like to judge are...
Framework/Phil > Stock > LARP (policy-esque) > T/Theory > Gamey Creative Stuff (some might call tricks) > Topical K's > Pre-Fiat / Performance
Basically, go for whatever style you do best, and be respectful of everyone. If you are impacting, weighing, crystalizing, and winning on the line-by-line, you will get my ballot with high speaks.
I also save my flows from rounds, so if you have any additional questions, want to do redos, or want to grill me about my decision, you can email me at email@example.com.
PS: I think that 'swag' and 'flow' in debate are awesome and I will reward students who show mastery of their style and arguments - regardless of what that style is - with high speaks.
Last Updated Feb. 2022
Bio & Experience: I did 4 years of high school policy for Kearney High School in Nebraska and 4 years of college debate split between UMKC and UNL. I previously ran the debate website Debate Central. I have coached high school debate and judged many rounds locally and nationally over the past 15ish years. Most recently I was the assistant coach at Lincoln East. My current full-time job is outside debate, doing research and data analysis. I have coached and taught every event in a classroom setting, but my background is in policy. As a policy debater, I ran arguments of every style; I went for the K slightly more often than policy arguments. I ran plenty of nontopical affs, but also went for T on the neg with some frequency. I don’t see myself as belonging to any particular stylistic “camp.”
As a person, I am a 30-domething white woman who does not fall neatly into any political party. I care about social justice and fair opportunities for all. I think it extremely important to challenge one's assumptions, both in debate and in life. I have degrees in poli sci/public policy and read quite a bit of philosophy/theory as a hobby, and I don't love it when debaters make arguments about those topics that are wildly incorrect. I include this information because social location is never wholly divorceable from the intellectual process of judging a debate. However, I make every attempt to render every decision based only on the content of the given debate.
I see debate ideally as an open testing ground for ideas and its accompanying community committed to growth and discovery. I want us to approach each other with kindness and good faith.
THE ONLY PART OF THIS YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO READ
Above anything else, I believe debate is a place for the debaters to come together and discuss their ideas. I strive to keep my personal evaluation of those ideas out of my decision calculus. I also believe that debate shapes us all in important ways, socially and intellectually, and debaters should take that into account. Those questions are as relevant to policy/trad teams as they are to K teams, and are particularly crucial to “clash of the civilizations” debates. I am open to hearing any kind of argumentation and enjoy it all pretty much equally.
I appreciate debates that involve some creativity and original ideas the most. This might take any form (unusual disad, personal scholarship, tricky procedural arguments, original narratives, unexpected PIC, etc). I see these as much more valuable than yet another round of going through the motions of saying the exact same thing. I won’t vote against you for just going for ASPEC/generic spending disad/the same K you’ve been reading for 3 years/whatever, but I do think we could all likely do something better with that time. I want to see debaters engaged with the ideas and information they are presenting.
No matter what your argumentation style is, I expect clearly articulated claims & warrants, detailed impact comparison, and rebuttals that tell me what a ballot in your favor should look like. What does it mean for me to cast my ballot for you, and why should I? If you are always directly answering those questions with your rebuttals, you should be fine.
I am always open to hearing argumentation about anything*, including debate norms. I will attempt to judge from any paradigm the round I watch asks me to adopt, even where it conflicts with what I’ve written here.
Here are some assumptions I default to unless you tell me otherwise:
- The ballot goes to the team who most successfully convinced me they deserve it in this round (why you “deserve it” can take on a lot of forms, and is up to you to develop)
- I will be flowing in a “typical” policy debate format, and assigning individual arguments to flows based on the sign-posting and organization the debaters create for me. Absent any organizational work from debaters, I might flow in one long column of “mess.”
- Offense trumps defense (unless the defense is 100%- this is rare, but possible).
- Silence is consent. New answers to drops shouldn’t be evaluated, but creative cross-applications are fair game.
- Argumentation is more important than evidence. I will only consider flaws in evidence if they are pointed out in the debate, or if there is no clash on the question other than tag-line extensions.
- No new arguments in the rebuttals. Impact comparison should begin before your last speech.
- Theory can be a voting issue, but I am unlikely to vote on it without robust argumentation about why the issue deserves the ballot. “Reject the argument, not the team” is persuasive absent an excellent counter.
- Impacts that actually happen are of greater concern than imaginary impacts. Ideas created in the debate space exist in real life, they affect us as humans, and we are responsible for them. Roleplaying as a policymaker does not make one immune from this. (This might be translated as: no matter what your approach to debate is, you better win your top-level framing stuff)
*Exceptions: I will not add speeches to the round or assign double wins or automatic block 30s, because I don’t want to mess with the tab room. These are the only considerations I’m committed to. Anything else is fair game.
OTHER THOUGHTS ABOUT SPECIFIC DEBATE STUFF (in case you're super curious about my debate thoughts for some reason).
Please note these are written in a policy debate context, but the ideas expressed apply to my thoughts in other formats too:
Speed: Talk as fast as you want. I’ll listen to Ks of speed, but they better be more than “reject speed because I don’t like it.” If I say “clear,” you need to speak more clearly (this is not the same as slower). Lower threshold for anti-speed args if the debater making them has a disability or other accessibility concern and clearly expresses it before the round starts.
Evidence: Covered above. I will only call for cards if (1) I’m verifying a claim about the evidence made in a speech (2) I’m looking for a way to make a decision on an important issue that was inadequately covered by both sides. The first will please me, the second will not. Making comparisons between your evidence and your opponents’ evidence is extremely important and highly encouraged. Tell me why I should prefer yours. “Our evidence is from a peer-reviewed study while theirs is from some guy with a blog”= good. “this evidence is on fire, read it after the round!”= pointless.
Framework: No matter what your style is, you need to win your framework debate. By this I mean, you need to win why I should evaluate the debate from a perspective that allows you to win on the substance. Again, what does it mean for me to cast my ballot for you?
Framework is the place where we discuss what it takes to win the debate. This involves lots of complex questions that are not just “am I allowed to run Ks?” or “does the aff have to be topical?” (although of course those particular questions are involved). Your framework should define the roles for both sides, and cover how we determine which side wins. For 2 different examples: “the aff must defend the implementation of a topical policy action, the neg must defend the status quo or a competitive policy option. The winner is the team whose advocacy is found to be comparatively advantageous” or “the winner should be decided by determining which performance or advocacy best advances diversity in debate.”
Framework decides how I will evaluate the rest of the issues in the round. It shapes how all of the clash on the substance is weighed. A good framework debate walks me through what arguments on other flows I should evaluate and why. It is a frame for the round. It does not begin from “my opponent should not be allowed to make X argument,” but rather is an attempt to explain how a judge might consider the various impacts potentially manifested by diverse ideas. (for example, a policy framework might instruct me to view a political counterplan as a legitimate counter-advocacy to the ideas presented by a nontopical aff, and discuss how competition is affected). I am not impressed by framework debates whose only implication is “vote for us because they are cheaters.” I’m unlikely to be stoked about framework debates from either side that end by asking me to wholesale disregard everything your opponent has said.
Policy teams win by winning that the discussion of policy considerations is valuable, and that their impacts are of great importance due to timeframe, magnitude, and probability. The policy is thus worthy of a judge’s intellectual endorsement as a “good idea.” K teams win by winning that discussion of ontology/epistemology/methodology/etc is valuable, that these considerations implicate or undermine policy-level conclusions, and that the K alternative somehow mitigates some identified problem. The kritik is therefore deserving of endorsement via the ballot. Trying to win the whole debate by convincing me that one of these “planes” of concern is totally unworthy of my attention is going to be difficult for you unless your opponent does a particularly bad job.
None of this means I won’t vote on a framework arg designed to exclude (such as “aff must defend usfg fiat” against a K aff with no plan text). I will if you win, just as anything else. I’m also willing to vote for the kritik of this type of framework. Full disclosure: I think frameworks designed to exclude are pedagogically questionable and (probably more importantly to you:) easy to lose. However, I’m conversely fairly unlikely to vote on the K of framework against a framework that wasn’t designed to wholesale exclude the aff from the debate (again, such as a framework that insists on considering disads or counterplans as responsive to a particular nonpolicy methodology of the aff). This obviously depends on the individual round. If your strategy for a round depends on one of these arguments (“you cheat and that’s a voter” or “trying to exclude us is a voter”) you are strongly advised to consider this paragraph and ask me about it if it strikes you as unclear.
Please talk to me if you have any questions or concerns or need clarification on anything I have said. Framework debates can be complex stuff, and are increasingly crucial to everything else that happens in many of the rounds I've been watching over the past few years. The most important point I am trying to convey is that good framework debates should set up a clear path of calculus for a judge comparing diverse impacts. They should not, IMO, be an appeal to completely ignore all of your opponents’ arguments.
Topicality: I will vote on topicality. I need to see clean, substantial, deep comparison of standards and voters. I do not necessarily require in-round abuse, unless there are arguments about why I should. In a round between two policy teams, I really enjoy a good T debate and will default to competing interpretations. I am very, very unlikely to vote on a straight RVI. When I’m wearing my “policymaker hat” I tend to assume the aff does need to be topical and the neg is entitled to test the aff’s topicality.
When I like T, it’s because I have a real personal curiosity and love for words and linguistic precision. These debates explain topicality as something like a judicial/legalistic investigation into the exact significance of a particular word choice. When I don’t like T, it’s because the neg’s argument is basically “we wanted to run this one disad but it doesn’t link to you :(” or “here is a dumb, super-limiting definition of this word I found lol vote neg.”
In a “clash of civilizations” round, a neg would obviously have to win plenty of top-level “why should I care about whether the aff is topical?” questions AND THEN also win the T line-by-line. I humbly suggest that there might be better ways to approach this debate than just going for USFG T again, but hey-- you do you. See the framework section for probably-relevant thoughts.
I’m equally likely to vote for a well-articulated K of T as for a topicality argument. If you like going for Ks of T, keep in mind that I consider them to be vulnerable to “there is a topical version of the aff” (important questions for both sides here: is there? and how would it differ from the nontopical version?) and “reject the argument, not the team/kicking is good enough.” These arguments are not trump cards, but are issues you shouldn’t brush off in front of me.
Procedurals: I really hate them and will be irritated if you make me waste several hours of my Saturday watching you read your ASPEC blocks. I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason why existential inherency doesn’t provide enough neg ground. OSPEC is the dumbest argument ever. No one gains anything from these debates. I don’t outright refuse to vote for these things, I will if you win them, and I understand that sometimes you need filler or will take advantage of an opponent’s time allocation mistake. But making these a major part of your strategy indicates a lack of creativity and intellectual ambition that will annoy me and reflect in your speaker points. I will also give a lot of weight to basically anything your opponent says to these, so you’re banking on major drops.
On the other hand, creative procedurals that are specific to a particular aff can be fun.
Theory: I’ll vote on it, but you will need to display significant in-round abuse and do more than just repeat your blocks in every speech. Making the debate all about theory when it could be about something else probably won’t help your speaks any with me, but I’ll vote there if I have to. Again, “reject the argument, not the team” is often persuasive. I lean neg in most theory debates, most of the time.
Disads/CPs/policy arguments: Yes.
Tricky, specific PICs are among my favorite strategies for dealing with many types of affirmatives. Doing something cool here will excite me.
Kritiks/”performance”/personal advocacies/nontopical affs: Yes.
I am pretty familiar with most of this lit, but that doesn’t absolve you from debating as though I wasn’t. Your link story should be tailored to the debate and include as many illustrations as possible. Don’t just repeat lingo; apply the theory you’re discussing to this specific round.
If you are obviously really unfamiliar with the ideas you’re advancing, it won’t stop me from voting for you if you’re winning, but I will be annoyed and your speaker points will take a hit.
You also need to make sure you are spending some time developing the alternative. What does it do? In other words, in a hypothetical perfect enactment of the alt, what would that look like? What would be different? How does the alt achieve solvency? Etc. (I tend to find "asking us to explain what the alternative does is a new link!" very tiresome, but it can be good if explained correctly.)
To reiterate something I hinted at above: I’m about as permissive as they come in terms of what I think is worth discussing in debate. I will not be a fan, though, if your K argument isn’t an actual argument (e.g. tell me WHAT you are defending, HOW it differs from your opponents’ ideas, and WHY I should want to cast my ballot for it).
Ins/Outs, tag team, where you speak from, paperless ev exchanges off the clock, and any other minor details about the setup of the round: I don’t care what you do.
I expect students to keep their own time. I will also run a clock, but I shouldn’t be depended on for timekeeping purposes. I don’t give time signals (unless you don’t want me to flow).
In the event of technical difficulties, I will allow a reasonable (decided based on how tight the tournament is running, etc- no more than 5 minutes) amount of “free” time to attempt to recover lost documents/reboot computers/whatever. No one is allowed to prep during this time. If I see you prepping, I will run your prep clock. If you have a complete paperless meltdown and lose your entire flow, that is a problem for you and your partner to deal with and will not result in any extra time for prepping. Please take whatever steps you need to to avoid this outcome.
Cheating: YOUR SUCCESS SHOULDN’T COME FROM ANYTHING BESIDES YOUR BRAINPOWER. If I notice you are stealing prep, clipping cards, or doing anything else shady, I will give you one verbal warning, deduct speaker points commensurate with the severity of the offense (at least 1, possibly as much as drop you to zero), and speak to your coach about it after the round. Multiple minor offenses will result in drastic speaker point deductions. If I notice you clipping more than once (doesn’t have to be the same round or even the same tournament) I will issue you a loss and speak to the tab room about it. This may happen even if your opponents don't notice or point out the cheating. In all cases, I may also consider in-round argumentation about the nature of your punishment from both sides, when appropriate, although the offending team is unlikely to win “nothing should happen to us.”
An incomplete list of things I like: tricky, specific strategies from all stylistic backgrounds. Debaters who are personally engaged with their argumentation and put their own spin on existing scholarship. Meta-level discussions of epistemology, meaning production, and what it means to participate in and win debates. Concrete examples and illustrations that bring your ideas to life. Strategic concessions & using your opponents’ arguments against them. Clean, organized debating. Rebuttals that “write my RFD for me.” Following the path of least resistance to the win. Arguments that begin “even if our opponents win X, we still win the debate because of Y.” Approaching your opponents with respect, kindness, good faith, and generosity of spirit. Well-defined clash. Funny jokes, a sense of style, and a little bit of sass. Asking questions and continuing the conversation post-round. Using debate as a place to explore ideas with an open heart and mind.
An incomplete list of things I dislike: Reliance on generic backfiles from the Clinton administration. Recitation of blocks without tailoring them to the specifics of the round. Obvious unfamiliarity with your own evidence and/or basic world events (understanding of what is happening around you and what has happened in the past is equally important for the articulation of K and policy arguments). Excessively long overviews; anything labeled an “underview.” Thinking you’re funny for reading horrible arguments (you can’t even begin to fathom how many people have gone for wipeout since the last time it was funny; you are wasting everyone’s time). Arguments that encourage anyone to quit debate. “Kicking” framework and acting as if it doesn’t impact every other flow. Sloppy debating that lacks direct refutation, sign-posting, and/or overall direction. Repitition of jargon or buzzwords without meaningful discussion of their significance. Affs who go for perms or no links when they should be going for internal link turns or impact turns. Approaching your opponents with disrespect, bad will, or cavalierly impugning their motives (saying “their arguments justify fascism” is very different from saying “they are fascists.” Understand the severity of personal accusations).
Speaker Points: I’m adding this section due to ongoing chaos in the college community surrounding the issue. Speaker points are always subjective, but I’m offering a guide to what my mental rubric looks like:
30= Flawless in terms of coverage, technique, and strategy. Masterful grasp of the topics being discussed, eloquent, creative argumentation, deep and well-developed. Funny, pleasant, engaging, clear, and respectful. One of the best speeches I’ve ever heard in this division. Extremely rare.
29-29.9= Excellent mastery of technical skills, coverage, and understanding of the topics of the debate. Displayed good strategic vision. Speaker is respectful, engaging, and eloquent and making is smart, compelling arguments. Any errors are minor. Overall, a tremendously impressive speaker.
28-28.9= Coverage, strategy, and technical skills were good. Speaker displays good engagement with the topics of the debate, makes clear arguments, and creates in-depth clash. Some creativity. No major errors. Not rude or offensive. Speaker was good, but did not stand out as great in this round.
27-27.9= Major errors. Coverage, strategy, or technical skills may have caused serious problems for this speaker. Clash might be limited to tagline extensions or repetition of claims without warrants. Speech might display a major lack of familiarity with the debater’s own evidence. Debater’s demeanor may have been noticeably and unjustifiably rude or disrespectful (without being an obvious ethical violation). Do a rebuttal redo from this round with your coach.
26-26.9- Debater failed to meet minimum standards for this division (filling speech time [except where unnecessary], advancing some coherent arguments). Speaker is encouraged to keep trying!
25- Given to a speaker who shows up to a round, but fails to meaningfully participate in the debate at all (such as by forfeiting or waiving their speech). This is not a hard rule, and the circumstances for a forfeit will be considered.
0-24- Given only as punishment for some ethical violation, such as hate speech, flagrant time-stealing, or first-offense minor card clipping. This might arise due to opponent’s argumentation or my own prerogative. Extreme circumstances only.
*Please always feel free to chat with me about anything written here, or any questions you have. I like talking about debate, and I don’t live under the illusion that I’m never wrong. I welcome any and all conversations.*
Head coach, Rosemount, MN. Do both policy & LD, and I don’t approach them very differently.
I’m a chubby, gray-haired, middle-aged white dude, no ink, usually wearing a golf shirt or an Iron Maiden shirt. If that makes you think I’m kind of old-school and lean toward soft-left policy stuff rather than transgressive reimaginations of debate, you ain’t wrong. Also, I’m a lawyer, so I understand the background of legal topics and issues better than most debaters and judges. (And I can tell when you don’t, which is most of the time.)
I was a decent college debater in the last half of the 1980s (never a first-round, but cleared at NDT), and I’ve been coaching for over 25 years. So I’m not a lay judge, and I’m mostly down with a “circuit” style—speed doesn’t offend me, I focus on the flow and not on presentation, theory doesn’t automatically seem like cheating, etc. However, by paradigm, I'm an old-school policymaker. The round is a thought experiment about whether the plan is a good idea (or, in LD, whether the resolution is true).
I try to minimize intervention. I'm more likely to default to "theoretical" preferences (how arguments interact to produce a decision) than "substantive" or "ideological" preferences (the merits or “truth” of a position). I don't usually reject arguments as repugnant, but if you run white supremacist positions or crap like that, I might. I'm a lot less politically "lefty" than most circuit types (my real job is defending corporations in court, after all). I distrust conspiracy theories, nonscientific medicine, etc.
I detest the K. I don't understand most philosophy and don't much care to, so most K literature is unintelligible junk to me. (I think Sokal did the world a great service.) I'll listen and process (nonintervention, you know), but I can't guarantee that my understanding of it at the end of the round is going to match yours. I'm especially vulnerable to “no voter” arguments. I’m also predisposed to think that I should vote for an option that actually DOES something to solve a problem. Links are also critical, and “you’re roleplaying as the state” doesn’t seem like a link to me. (It’s a thought experiment, remember.) I’m profoundly uncomfortable with performance debates. I tend not to see how they force a decision. I'll listen, and perhaps be entertained, but need to know why I must vote for it.
T is cool and is usually a limitations issue. I don't require specific in-round abuse--an excessively broad resolution is inherently abusive to negs. K or performance affs are not excused from the burden of being topical. Moreover, why the case is topical probably needs to be explained in traditional debate language--I have a hard time understanding how a dance move or interpretive reading proves T. Ks of T start out at a disadvantage. Some K arguments might justify particular interpretations of the topic, but I have a harder time seeing why they would make T go away. You aren’t topical simply because you’ve identified some great injustice in the world.
Counterplans are cool. Competition is the most important element of the CP debate, and is virtually always an issue of net benefits. Perms are a good test of competition. I don't have really strong theoretical biases on most CP issues. I do prefer that CPs be nontopical, but am easily persuaded it doesn't matter. Perms probably don't need to be topical, and are usually just a test of competitiveness. I think PICs are seldom competitive and might be abusive. All of these things are highly debatable.
Some LD-specific stuff:
Framework is usually unimportant to me. If it needs to be important to you, it’s your burden to tell me how it affects my decision. The whole “philosophy is gibberish” thing still applies in LD. Dense, auto-voter frameworks usually lose me. If you argue some interpretation of the topic that says you automatically win, I’m very susceptible to the response that that makes it a stupid interp I should reject.
LD theory usually comes across as bastardized policy theory. It often doesn’t make sense to me in the context of LD. Disclosure theory seems to me like an elitist demand that the rest of the world conform to circuit norms.
I am more likely to be happy with a disad/counterplan type of LD debate than with an intensely philosophical or critical one. I’ll default to util if I can’t really comprehend how I’m supposed to operate in a different framework.
Feel free to ask about specific issues. I'm happy to provide further explanation of these things or talk about any issues not in this statement.
UPDATES FOR NSDA LISTED AT THE BOTTOM/ PF SECTION OF THIS PARADIGM
I prefer for us to use speechdrop.net for file sharing but if we have to use one, add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
"debate is bigger than any one person. I believe in debate. I believe in the debate community. I believe that debate is one of the most valuable educational programs in the country and I am proud that it is my home."- Scott Harris
Are you a high schooler interested in debating in college??? If so, you should contact me and ask about it. We have scholarships for dedicated debaters who want to invest in our program and would love to welcome you to our team!
2012-2016: Policy Debate at Lee's Summit West High School, 2x national qualifier [Transportation infrastructure, Cuba Mexico Venezuela, Oceans, Surveillance]
2016-2020: NFA-LD at University of Nebraska-Lincoln [SOUTHCOMM, Policing, Cybersecurity, Energy]
2020 NFA-LD debater of distinction
2018-2019: Justice Debate league Volunteer
2020: Lincoln Douglas Lab leader for the Nebraska Debate Institute
2020-2022: Assistant NFA-LD Coach for Illinois State University
2019-present: Head LD coach for Lincoln Southwest High School
2022: Lab leader for the Collegiate Midwest Lincoln Douglas Cooperative
2022: Varsity LD and progressive argumentation lab leader for the Nebraska Debate Conference
2022-present: Assistant NFA-LD Coach for the University of Nebraska- Lincoln
individuals who shaped my perspectives on debate: Justin Kirk, Adam Blood, Nadya Steck, Dustin Greenwalt
0-20: Your coach needs to have words with you about how belligerent/ racist/ homophobic/ rude you are to other members of the community. I have no tolerance for these kinds of things and you shouldn't either. Debate is dying and we are a community. Being aggressive and being rude are separate things. Be kind to one another.
25-26: You failed to do anything correct in the round
26-27: you do minimal correctly. You have not come to grasp with what debate is and how arguments function together.
27-28: You get a c-b on this debate. some important dropped args or framing questions are not challenged
28-29: You handled this round well. There were minute problems that can be resolved easily that can bump you up.
29-29.5: You are a solid debater and have done exactly what I would do (or slightly better) to answer different arguments. Typically this range is also associated with you winning against a very good opponent, or very easily.
30: I have no corrections. You have had a perfect round and all of your arguments are on point and delivered properly. You have made some kind of strategic decision that I did not think about that I find genius.
WILL VOTE ON
theory out of 1AC
Speed theory (if justified, see speed section)
Framework v. K affs
Framework turns v. other positions (Ks, DAs, Case args)
CPs in HS LD
Ks in HS LD (See K section in policy for specifics)
Speaking for others arguments (There are ways to not make this problematic. However, identity is very individualized and commodification of someone else's identity for your own gain is a problem for me. For instance, do not be a white male debater reading the narrative of a black woman.)
SPEED: I can do speed. I do have some conditions though. READ T SHELLS SLOWLY!!!! I need to hear the definitions, standards and voters. Bottom line is if it isn't on my flow I can't vote for it. Speed SHOULD NOT be used as a weapon especially if there is a specific debater in the round that has a disability that hinders them from spreading or flowing quick speech. Be respectful of individuals and their experiences.
TOPICALITY/THEORY: needing proven abuse is BS. Affs that say dont vote on potential abuse are wrong and should read counterinterps that apply to their affs. If the neg interp is bad then warrant that out in the standards debate. I do say if you want to win T you need to go all in in the NR and win the full shell. When it comes to theory I love it. I tend to flow it on a different sheet so tell me when I need to pull one out. That being said I don't see theory as a means of winning the ballot. It is just a means of getting me to not evaluate an argument. This can be changed though. I have done a lot of weighing condo bad v. T. Theory v. theory is always a fun time. Warrant out why some shells are weighed first in the round and explain to me how different shells interact with each other. T is never a reverse voter though and neither is theory. Predictability is not determined by whether or not something is on the wiki or if you have seen it before. Predictability is based on whether or not an interpretation is predictable given the resolution. The same goes for reasonability. Negs who read T should be able to provide a TVA or establish that the education we get from judging the 1AC is bad for the topic.
DISADS: Run them. This is one of my favorite arguments to see and evaluate. I think it is the best way to establish comparative offense. However, if you run generic links that's no bueno for me. generic links from the Neg means generic responses from the Aff are acceptable. I don't want a generic debate y'all. give me some links that pertain to the case at hand.
CPs: They exist. I never really ran them but I do know how they work and I will evaluate them. Also prove it competitive. (Hint: I like Disads. that can help.) I will vote for the perm on presumption if you don’t prove them to be competitive as long as there’s a perm on the CP.
KRITIKS: I like the k debate and will vote for them but explain the literature. I have read some of the authors including Deleuze and Guattari, Puar, D’andrea and most of the authors that relate to neoliberal subjectivity as it applies to consumption. I have also seen antiblackness and afropessimism rounds that I have enjoyed a lot. But that does not mean I am entirely up to date on the newest literature or how your lit plays into the round. Just explain it to me. NEVER RUN MULTIPLE IN ONE ROUND!!!! The Alt debate turns ugly and I don't want to deal with that. Affs should either have a plan text or an advocacy statement as to what they do. I don't like performance debate as much as just reading the cards, however I have voted for poetry performance in rounds. I will listen to identity args. Race, disabilty, and queer lit are all acceptable in front of me and I can/ will evaluate them. Neg should be able to defend alt solvency. I am not going to automatically grant that. I will not kick the alt for you. saying "if you do not buy the alt kick it for me" is not an argument. If you do not explicitly say "kick the alt" or something of that nature I will evaluate the alternative. If it does not solve then I will be persuaded by risk of aff offense. I also want to point out that P.I.L. was correct, Anger is an Energy. If structures upset you, feel free to rage against them. This can include the debate, economic, racial, gendered, and other spaces. If you are oppressed and you are angry about it, I will not limit your ability to angrily refute the system.
CASE: I am always here for the growth, heg, and democracy bad debates as well as the prolif good ones. My strategy typically was to go T, K, O so I enjoy hearing why heg is bad and how the alt avoids it and how the aff isnt topical.
PRESUMPTION: I will not vote for terminal defense on the flow. I need an offensive reason to vote for you. Whether that be a disad, K, or advantage I need something to evaluate to give me a reason to reject the other team. Find it, win it, and extend it. Also, do the calculus for me of what impacts matter and why they matter. When I do the calculus I look to magnitude, timeframe, and probability. Explain why you fit into those please.
CONDO: I find it disingenuous to read more than one condo advocacy in one round in NFA. You can do it if you win the theory debate but I will be more lenient to theory in a world of multiple conditional advocacies. If you are running multiple advocacies please make it only be CPs. I don't want to see a CP and K in a round because almost always the CP will link to the K and I think that's cheating. That is different for policy and I consider it much more debatable then.
PLANLESS AFFS: I believe the aff should do something. How that happens is up to the aff. I do not reject planless affs on face but they should at least have an advocacy. otherwise, I am persuaded by vote neg on presumption because the aff functionally does nothing. arguments about the importance of rhetorical challenges is a way to do this.
For any arguments that relate to it see above. In terms of how I evaluate LD rounds I rely heavily on the framework debate to determine how I will evaluate the round. Pay it it's due and try to win it. However, if you are able to show how your arguments fall into your opponents’ framework then I will be willing to vote for you if they win the framework shell. Also please clash with each other. I have seen too many rounds where each speech is just explaining 1ACs and 1NCs and I don't have a specific reason to vote against one or the other. At that point my personal morals let me decide how I feel about the topic. You don't want that. I don't want that.
I think a lot of LD debaters fail to recognize the importance of uniqueness to their arguments. If the squo is in the direction of the arg you are talking about, you need to prove uniqueness for whatever point you are making.
I tend to default to the idea that Fiat does not exist in HSLD until I am told otherwise. This is an easy arg to make especially with a res that uses the word "ought".
I am more progressive when it comes to LD due to my policy background. This means PICs, Ks, CPs and DAs are all acceptable. weigh them and explain the args as they apply to the aff case.
Phil cases and I do not get along very well. It confuses me and I find that debaters are not the best at explaining philosophy in the limited amount of time we have in debate rounds.
I prefer single standard debate as well. Death is bad and morality is good (but subjective) I dont need a specific mechanism for how we prevent or entrench one or the other. if you read it thats fine but I probably won't look at it that much unless you thoroughly explain it to me.
how to pref me
policy style args (CP, K, DA)-1
tricks-these are typically not arguments and hold minimal weight for me
If you have me in the back of the room for NSDA most likely it will be for public forum. That being said, I am not extremely experienced when it comes to public forum debate. I have coached and debated it in an extremely limited capacity but have substantial experience in other formats. The debate is yours but I have a few things that ought to be known before you walk into the room and start doing your thing.
- Debate is a game of comparative warrants and impacts. Too many people in PF try to rely on just making claims without substantiating those claims with proper warrants. Just giving me a number is insufficient to prove the causality of an argument. I need to understand what the reasoning is behind WHY a number exists.
- Uniqueness MATTERS! I have seen too many debaters (in all activities) fail to explain the uniqueness of their claims and arguments. The resolution provides an overarching truth claim that provides some direction as to how the world reorients itself post implementation. What does each world look like and how is it a shift to the status quo?
- Evidence is incredibly important to me. If you choose to paraphrase, it will negatively impact your speaker points. I emphasize the use of actual properly cut cards in PF. I understand this is not a common practice so if I ask for evidence that you have read, you need to be able to provide the source and the lines where your arguments came from. Failure to do this will result in me not evaluating an argument, filing an ethics complaint, and tanking your speaks. Don't plagiarize or lie to me in a debate.
- Speaker position does not influence me too much. I keep a rigorous flow that consists of all of the arguments made by both teams. You should pref the side you want before picking the order in front of me.
- Finally, for any of it that applies above, please consult my LD and policy sections of my paradigm to see if any arguments should or should not be read at this tournament. Also, ask any questions that you may have before the round. I enjoy talking to people and hope to enjoy the debate you present me with.
At the end of the day it is my job to sit in the back of the room and listen to discourse on the issues presented. It is your job to determine how that discourse happens. Just because I say I do or do not like something should not change your strategy based on the round. I have voted for things I never thought I would and have changed my opinions about things a lot. I give higher speaks to anyone who can read my paradigm and change my opinion or do something that is incredibly intelligent in round. Do what you are comfortable with and I will adjudicate it based on what is in front of me.
Other than this PLEASE feel free to ask me. I only bite on tuesdays. Pref me a 1 and I'll be able to give you an experienced and fairly well rounded and open round.
Speech must be clear and understandable if reading quickly. I appreciate when rounds stay topical however I am open to theory as well as other types of arguments.
I am a former debater from Lincoln High School, where I participated in CX, PFO, LD, Info, and Big Questions on the local and national levels.
LD Judging Philosophy
Stay civil and be able to collapse/crystalize and we'll get along. Shouting and interrupting is a great way to lose speaks. Theory, spreading, and DAs are dangerous territory to run in LD. This being said, I will vote on them rarely if the logic is sound, not frivolous, and carried to the final speech. Clarity usually wins. I will not vote on plans. I am too jaded to vote on performance affs. I would describe myself as understanding a 7/10 speed (1=crawling and 10=spreading) but I strongly suggest you stick around a 5 or 6. Have ae nice day.
Doing an email chain? I'd love to be on it: email@example.com
Policy/LD background. Former debater and current coach. I time prep, but you should too. Please don't rely on me to give you 30-sec intervals.
PF - I dislike theory but I dislike paraphrasing even more. Don't tell me why your impact is big, tell me why it's BIGGER than your opponents'. I don't need you to win every contention (kicking out is under-rated). I don't need you to win more contentions than your opponent. I just need you to tell me why the arguments you DO win are more important than the other arguments in the round. Impacts are crucial for that. I'm a sucker for "even-if" weighing. Please don't make me judge a round where both teams close for everything, some contentions have links, some have impacts, and none have both. If you call for a card, prep starts as soon as the card is in front of you. Your speaks will take a hit if you steal prep. Your speaks will take a bigger hit if you make blatantly new args in FF (which I won't weigh). 2nd rebuttal should respond to 1st rebuttal. Uniqueness is probably important. Con probably doesn't have a burden to provide an alternative to diplomacy, but it does go a long way toward establishing uniqueness for any offense against diplomacy. "Diplomacy is worse than this specific/probable alternative" is a more compelling argument than "diplomacy is bad".
LD - Connect your contentions to your framework (or your opponents') or tell me why you don't have to. Winning framework alone is almost never enough to win the round. It is in your best interest to give me more than one way to vote for you (e.g. "I win and uphold my framework so vote for me there, but even if you don't buy that then here's why I win under my opponent's framework"). I am willing to vote you down for paraphrasing evidence instead of reading/quoting cards if your opponent calls you on it and gives me any explanation for why it's a bad thing to do.
I prefer topical debates on substance--that's where I've found that I'm least likely to get lost. I also prefer judging debaters who are doing what they love and do best, which doesn't need to be substance or topical. If 10 is top-speed, then I can handle about a 6. I will try super hard to follow the round, but it'll be in your best interest to slow down (substantially so on theory). LD/Policy experience. Always up for a K if there’s a solid link, but not familiar with most K lit. I’ll vote for almost anything with a valid warrant behind it.
Please, ask me anything before the round. I've been judging national circuit LD for the last few years and there are no arguments I'm opposed to on principle (except overtly discriminatory arguments...), but there's a solid chance that I won't have the same understanding of how a round should break down or what's meta. Asking me stuff before the round minimizes this chance.
My default weighing preferences (I can absolutely be convinced away from these):
Pre-fiat K > T = Theory > Post-fiat K > Substance. Condo is fine, running a ton of blips or spikes is sleazy and I'm way less likely to vote for you on those.
I default to truth-testing in general and reasonability on theory. I have a high threshold on theory and probably won't vote on without clear in-round abuse.
Pet peeve: people who say "moral obligation" or "d-rule" with no warrant beyond "x is bad". If you want me to weigh your args as a prior question to your opponent's args, I need a solid warrant for that.
Higher speaks indicate I learned something from you (either about debate or about your argument) and/or that you clashed often and effectively.
Lower speaks indicate that I think your strategy was sleazy (tricks / spikes), or that you were a jerk to your opponent.
I might disclose speaks, but I'll be the one to tell you--please don't ask.
Last Revision: December 9th, 2019
*Digital Debate Note (added 5/16/20):
1) I can handle just about any speed in person. The same doesn't hold true for online debate (at least until I get better equipment/get used to it). I hate telling people to slow down, but you should slow down during online debates. I will indicate via the chat function or by interrupting if you are lagging (just as I would say clear).
2) If someone drops out of the round via connection issues, we will pause the speeches.
3) Just like you wouldn't cheat by chatting with a coach during an in-person tournament, don't cheat in online debate.
4) Don't record the round without the permission of the tournament and everyone in the room.
Email for evidence/cases: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve coached or debated in just about every event, and I’ll do my best to adjudicate the debate as fairly as I can. Your best strategy is probably to make the arguments that you think would be the best arguments to win the debate. As long as you can do that while being a kind and ethical competitor, then you’re good to go. Respect the other people in the room and don’t be a jerk.
Let me know if you have any questions that aren’t answered by this paradigm.
Commonly asked questions about my preferences on a spectrum (heavily dependent on context - you do you 95% of the time):
Truth over Tech <----------------X---------> Tech Over Truth
It’s probably not my job to say what’s true, but silly arguments have a much higher threshold of persuasion.
Speed <----X---------------------> NO Speed
I mostly judge on a local circuit, but assume I can follow unless I say clear/speed.
“Trad” <------------------X-------> “Progressive/Circuit”
I dislike these descriptors, so try to be more specific with your questions.
Debate the Topic <----X---------------------> Non-T
I’ve personally read and voted for/against both, but I usually prefer if you debate the topic.
Quality of Evidence <-X------------------------> A Billion Terrible Cards
Number Your Arguments <-------X-------------------> Say “AND” between each card/analytic
I am the head coach at Lincoln Southeast High School, the former head coach at Lincoln North Star High School, and a former assistant coach at Lincoln East High School. I have been coaching since 2015. I run the Lincoln-Douglas Camp at the Nebraska Debate Institute. In college I won the 2018 national championship in Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the National Forensics Association National Tournament after debating with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for three years. I was one of two American debaters to be chosen for the 2019 Tour of Japan through the National Communication Association’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate’s partnership with the Japan Debate Association. I also coached debate in Shanghai, China during 2018 through a summer fellowship with LearningLeaders. I competed in Nebraska high school debate for 4 years.
Events I most often judge/coach (in order):
HS Public Forum
WSDC (HS Worlds)
British Parliamentary (College Worlds)
American Parliamentary/NPDA (College)
HEnDA (Japanese HS Policy)
Specific Preferences Based on Events
I evaluate the framework first and then look at which debater has the biggest and/or most contextualized offense under that framework. If I cannot distinguish your offense from your opponent’s offense, it is difficult for me to assess how the framework operates in the round. You have to tell me why your offense applies to whichever framework we’re using and why your opponent’s offense doesn’t matter or isn’t as important.
Ks are fine, phil is fine, LARP is fine, etc. Just don’t assume I know your lit. Hold yourself to a high threshold of explanation and go for one or two well-developed arguments rather than many arguments that are barely touched on.
Flex Prep: If both debaters are okay with asking questions during CX, then it's fine. I would prefer if you do not skip CX and use the rest as prep time. If you cut CX short, that starts cutting into your prep time.
I will not vote on your short, barely warranted a priori arguments that don’t connect back to a standard. You don’t get an auto-affirm/negate by dunking on silly trick args.
I won’t vote for suicide = good or oppression = good.
Refer to the College LD paradigm to answer most of your questions. The only warning I’ll give you is that theory justifications that have to do with the exact format of partner policy debate need to be explained since I usually judge 1-1 policy through college LD. I’m not totally up to date on the cutting edge of thinking about best practices in policy, but that just means you’ll have to warrant your theory args and win them rather than pander to my theoretical biases.
I won’t vote for suicide = good or oppression = good.
College LD (NFA-LD)
Yes, I do want the speechdocs.
I don’t find appeals to the rules persuasive.
Ks are fine - contextualize the links as much as you can. I want to know how the alt functions and differs from the Aff.
I will vote neg on presumption if the aff doesn’t function (I won’t vote for an aff with no solvency because they have a “risk of offense” - you have to win that you have a risk of offense).
I don’t need proven abuse to vote on T or theory and I default to competing interps (unless the Aff wins reasons why the neg does need proven abuse or wins reasonability, but that’s hard to do)
Disclosure theory is probably underrated in college LD.
Do not run full-source citations theory.
Don’t read actual plans or counterplans in an attempt to adapt to an LD/Policy judge. However, because I know what these positions are, I won’t drop you or your opponents because they read something that you thought was a plan/CP but wasn’t. Same goes for Ks/Theory Shells (however, theoretical justifications for things like definitions and observations - framework light - are super encouraged).
Read cards rather than paraphrase if you can.