2020 — Online, MA/US
Varsity Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Debated for University of Rochester for 6 years in Varsity Policy Debate and BP/Worlds Debate
Coached HS policy debate for 1.5 years
Currently a researcher at the Harvard University Laboratory for Developmental Studies
And yes, I would like to be on the email chain:email@example.com
Borrowed from the Glass man himself: "If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible."
Honestly, just do what you want in front of me and just explain your arguments. I will vote on how you want me to vote (since how I see the debate may not be the same way you think you are articulating).
Also, if you can, I prefer debaters to slow down when in front of me. I am not the best judge for you if you decide to spread as fast as Harvard MS or Northwestern MV (although Arjun is very clear).
If you read high theory, do not pref me unless you are willing to explain your argument. My area of study is in psychology and neuroscience, so I am not hitting up the latest post-modern/structuralist/etc. papers.
I am a recent high school graduate from Technology High School in Newark. I have also debated for a total of 5 years. I’ve debated at many tournaments (Yale, Harvard, Bronx, etc).
I am a Kritikal judge.
if there are any other questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You need to make this the most important argument in the round. For me at least. You loss framework, than you have a really high chance of lossing the round (depends on how far you are on the framework flow)
Drop them properly. Don’t just stop talking about them. If your opponent does drop this argument then bring it up so you can reap the benefits of their mistake.
I fine with it. I just ask that you slow down on the tags and the main warrants of the arg. If I can’t hear after I say clear three times I will only flow what I hear.
I like it and I know about it, but I am not going to do the work for you. Just because you say theory and extend it doesn’t mean that you explained ite. There needs to be a clear explanation on the theory flow what is the abuse that happens in the round and why it is important. Theory for me out ranks all others (not because it is an easy way out) because I feel that this argument are the actual rules of the debate round on what can and can’t be done by each team.
It is open I don’t flow it, but I do listen to it, and it can change my decision.
I flow it, but I mostly like to listen to it. This is the crux of the round. I need you to tell me why you should win (by explaining your arguments in the most detail that you can in the time period) and what arguments that your opponent dropped. (the reason for this is that a lot of teams really don’t do this any more so better to feel safe then sorry).
I understand all of the debate jargon (since I did us most of them anyway) just that if there are any new ones that you think that I didn’t hear about then explain it to me.
Topical affs are great, but I really enjoy hearing a critical debate with a critical affs, but with these kinds aff’s come with great responsibility. There needs to be a lot of in-depth analysis onto why your aff solves for what it solves, how it is a prereq. To the k and other args. A lot of debaters really just read evidence after evidence, i instead like to hear how the aff actually interacts with other arguments what is the actual connection. The critical aff can be the most dangerous weapon in any debate round if used properly. Performance affs are fine just explain the framework in great detail and why I should reject the resolution (if that is the case) in your own words or how you are topical.
This can be a very powerful critical argument if used properly, but not many teams use this argument. I will vote on t if there is clear violation before the round is even finished (unless there is framework or theory). This is an argument that I like but not love like others
This is an argument that is very confusing for me, if you are going to run it explain what the plan does and how it doesn’t steal aff ground (unless theory is involved). If there is a critical counterplan involved explain how it is different from a k. other then that I don’t like counterplans too much, but I would vote on it.
This is really a straightforward argument; I really didn’t see any variations of this argument in my debating career. If there are then I welcome them, but I really don’t have anything else to say about them.
Finally to the one argument that all teams want to know about. I love this argument, however I find that a lot of teams really don’t explain this argument in great detail. They just leave the k up in the air for the judge to interpret it in there own way. I know enough about the most common k’s that I can understand them, but again if I need to decide what your k is talking about you may not like what I think. Some of the other arguments that I’m not to familiar with I will listen to but there needs to be more of a keen eye in the explanation for those kinds of arguments.
performance debate friendly
if using framework argument, please be specific as to which one you are using (i.e resolution specific, internal or external framework)
spreading is welcome but please be sure to make clear your main arguments
if you have any other question please feel free to reach out
I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.
The Affirmative must present an inherent problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.
This paradigm is for both policy and LD debate. I'm also fine with LD structured with a general framing and arguments that link back to that framing. Though in LD, resolutions are now generally structured so that the Affirmative advocates for something that is different from the status quo.
Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.
Do not spread dense philosophy. When going quickly with philosophy, super clear tags are especially important. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)
Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.
I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.
Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.
Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. If I read evidence and its been misrepresented, it is highly likely that team will lose.
For LD, please not more than 3 offs. Time constraints make LD rounds with more than three offs incomprehensible to me. Policy has twice as much time and three more speeches to develop arguments. I like debates that advance ideas. The interaction of both side's evidence and arguments should lead to a coherent story.
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.
We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.
I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.
Important: Don't curse in front of me. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception.
school affiliation: acorn community high school (Brooklyn NY), NYUDL (new york urban debate league), stuyversant high school (New york, NY)
years debating: 4 years of high school, starting college debate
in a debate round i have done everything from cp and politics to performance
my first highschool topic was aid to south Africa, last one was reduce military (if that matters)
I will vote on whatever arguments win, this means I may vote on anything, it could come down to Counterplan-Disad, Procedurals, Kritiks, Affs with no plan text, to even performance. tell me what your argument is and what the ballot signifies (if it has a meaning)...i.e. policy maker etc...(...)
speaker points: be persuasive and make it interesting thin line between funny and ass hole at times may it be in cross-x or your speech you decide *background music* ...analysis/argumentation (don't lie about reading a hole card if u didn't,don't just read cards and tag~line extend ~_~ ) i will call for evidence if needed and i will hit you wit the world famous "cum on son" lol
impact your arguments (duhh)
Topicality: i like a good t debate, their fun and at times educational, make sure you impact it, and give a correct abuse story...
counter plans: have a good net benefit prove how they solve the case
dis ads: you can run them i vote for anything and am familiar with most scenarios
k: i was a k db8er for the better half of my db8 career so i'm pretty familiar with most k~lit u will read unless its like some deep
nietzsche, zizek, lacan type ish but i get it...and if you explain it give a good story and show alternative solvency i will vote for it...it is also fine if you kick the alt and go for it as a case turn just debate it out...
preformance: i did this too...explain what the round comes down to...i.e. role of the judge/ballot/db8ers...and if their is a form of spill over what this is and means in real world and debate world... block framework lol...and show me why your/this performance is key...may it be a movement or just you expressing your self...i like methodology db8s so if it comes down to the aff and neg being both performance teams be clear on the framework for the round and how your methodology is better and how the other may recreate these forms of oppression you may be speaking about...may it be the deletion of identity or whiteness etc...same things apply if your running a counter~advocacy against a performance team...(*whispers* solvency)...k vs performance rounds same as methodology prove the link and as for the alt prove the solvency... framework vs performance rounds i had a lot of these, boring but fun to see the way they play out depending on interp, vio, impacts and stuff...
framework: any kind is fine...same justification as Topicality...depending on how your spinning framework within a round... *yells* education =)
short & sweet
#swag...have fun...do you...debate =)
I do not have topic knowledge this year. Proceed accordingly.
You have < 10 seconds before the round:
a.) Tech > “truth” or ideological predispositions – although some level of judge intervention is inevitable, I will do my best to ensure that if you win the flow, you win the debate
b.) I will vote for both framework and k affs (see subpoint a)
c.) Rebuttals should frame why you win the debate (bolded because fewer and fewer teams seem to be doing this)
d.) In terms of qualifications, I did the whole TOC/speaker awards/late elims thing and I qualled to the NDT as a Harvard first-year, but I am a second year out – make of all of that what you will
e.) I love subpoints
Email Chain: yes
You have time:
As I debater, I am most frustrated by decisions in which I feel the judge voted in a way that doesn’t reflect the reality of the debate they judged. This could be because:
a.) The judge voted based on predetermined personal beliefs
b.) The judge heavily and somewhat arbitrarily intervened for one side
c.) The judge read all of the evidence at the end of the debate and reconstructed what could have happened, but didn’t
d.) The judge gave weight to new 1AR/2NR/2AR arguments
e.) The judge did other “work” for the debaters, making cross-applications or other analysis that the debaters themselves did not make in the debate
As a judge, I will attempt to NOT do these things, and to base my decision as much on the flow as I can.
Yes, I have biases. For example, I will generally assume that death and suffering are bad unless told otherwise. However, I will insist that debaters create clear metrics for evaluating impacts. My favorite thought experiment for this is the following:
If the 1AC presents all the ways their plan or advocacy CAUSES extinction, and the negative team makes purely “defensive” arguments about how the aff doesn’t cause extinction, and the aff wins in the 2AR that they do cause extinction, I will vote aff: Both teams implicitly agreed that extinction is a good we should try to reach. Obviously speaker points in this debate would be quite low, and I’d be frustrated with the decision, but I will do my best to work within the evaluative system the debaters have either explicitly or implicitly created.
Do I have thoughts about the way arguments should be deployed? Yes, and I will delineate them below, but they can almost always be reversed by good debating. What do I mean by good debating? Line-by-line, warranted analysis that clashes with the other team’s analysis, strategic use of evidence, organizational clarity, and impact and ballot framing are the most important things to me.
Framework and K Affs:
This is where all of the stuff I said about tech > truth and voting on the flow comes in – whoever does the best line-by-line and impact/ballot framing will win the debate. I debated and judge in the northeast. I would estimate that maybe 75% of my neg debates in high school were k aff v. framework rounds, so I like to think that I am familiar with how these debates go down, and I enjoy them.
If you are going for framework:
a.) Go for whatever impact you like going for – procedural fairness, clash, switch-side debate, et cetera. I disliked it when judges “liked T” but “didn’t believe” that fairness or clash was an impact. Tell me what I should think are impacts and why, and I’ll listen.
b.) Answer case or at the very least explain why you don’t have to answer case.
c.) Close doors in the 2NR. You know the 2AR will expand on case or a disad – try to cut that off.
d.) Line by line. Please. Messy and late-breaking clash rounds favor the aff.
e.) The TVA is your friend. The combination of the argument that deficits to the TVA are negative ground and the argument that reading stuff on the neg is good is very persuasive to me.
f.) Don’t be afraid to extend stuff on case in the 2NR, particularly presumption level claims that question their advocacy’s ability to solve stuff.
If you are going for a k aff:
a.) Please defend something. I love it when k affs defend some form of material action, but please advocate for something.
b.) A couple smart, powerful disads > laundry list of similar, poorly explained/differentiated disads to T
c.) Compare models of debate – what does your model of debate do? Why does it resolve the harms you say their model creates, and why does it limit their offense?
d.) Line by line, especially in the 1AR, is so important – don’t force your 2A to make new arguments
e.) Impact framing
f.) If you do cool non-traditional stuff, bring it back up after the 1AC. I am always a little disappointed when the 1AC includes some song or performance but it disappears immediately.
I LOVE the politics disad. As such if you extend it well, I will be happy, and if you extend it poorly, I will be sad. Extending a politics disad well means reading a ton of uniqueness cards and subpointing multiple answers to every 2AC argument. If this is done in the 1NR, and extended in the 2NR, speaks will be bueno.
Topic or process disads are also cool. Impact calc and turns case arguments are the move, especially link turns case arguments.
I don't have fixed ideological positions on the more nitty-gritty stuff -- it's up to the debaters to prove whether uniqueness controls the direction of the link, or vice versa, for instance.
EXPLAIN WHAT IT DOES! I don’t have a ton of experience judging on this topic; I won’t immediately know the agency or mechanism you are talking about.
Multi-actor fiat, delay, conditions, and some + process and consult = sketch; international fiat on an international topic I will probably be okay with if you have the evidence. Solvency advocates can basically make any counterplan legitimate to me, but I will listen to any theory debate, and the 2A in me may or may not pop out. Not to feed a fed horse, but all of these leanings can be reversed by good (read: clear) theory debating.
I probably won't judgekick unless I am explicitly instructed to.
EXPLAIN YOUR INTERP! I don’t have the topic knowledge to know if there is “consensus” about what certain terms in the resolution mean.
I may be more willing to listen to reasonability than other judges.
Most of my aff debates in high school were soft left aff versus the k. I like it when there are links to the plan, not to the status quo. I also like turns case analysis and when the alt does stuff.
Please don't assume that I am wholly unfamiliar with all k stuff because I ran mostly policy affs. I am pretty familiar with a lot of the anti-blackness and cap literature and I am very up for those throw-downs.
I have a medium level understanding of a lot of the other literature, but unless it's something super new or Frankensteined together, I will probably be able to follow you.
***PLEASE DO CASE DEBATING*** This is something that frustrates me ENDLESSLY. K teams -- you know that extinction outweighs is one of the most powerful answers policy affs will leverage. The solution to this is NOT to add subpoint W to your "Util Bad" block. The reason the aff gets extinction outweighs is because you aren't MOCKING their scenarios. Policy aff internal links are SO contrived, especially on domestic reform topics. Impact scenarios rarely assume COVID or a Biden administration, and they're written by think tanks funded by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aff won't win on extinction outweighs if you EVISCERATE their extinction scenario. I think a block that was 8 minutes of the K and 5 minutes of ridiculing whatever nonsense the aff solves would be a killer. I know I am shouting into the void here, that case debating is a long lost art, but hopefully somebody reading this will invest some time on the case page.
Do I have any judging quirks?
a.) I find myself reading evidence after the round more and more. This is bad -- I hate being interventionist. That being said, I think a logical analytic still carries as much weight as a card.
b.) I have some but not a lot of topic knowledge. Please err on the side of explanation.
c.) Most of my debates in high school were against k teams, but I went to Michigan and helped at the Dartmouth debate camp. I like to think that means I have some amount of both policy and critical experience.
d.) I was a 2A for most of high school but I 2Ned or double two-ed for a few years. That means I may lean aff on theory surrounding questionable counterplans but I lean negative when it comes to holding a high bar for the 2AR.
e.) I am passionate about climate change. If you like going for warming good, I am the wrong judge for you. I will look for any way to vote for the other team and your speaks will suffer. I honestly have no idea why the debate community continues to treat this as a legitimate argument. (If this seems at odds with my tech>truth beliefs, I agree that I am not being wholly consistent, but the notion of breeding apathy among youth about climate change is frankly abhorrent to me. Just as tech over truth does not extend to arguments like racism is good, climate change is something I feel obligated to hold the line on.)
f.) I care a lot about the participation of women, especially WOC, in debate. I will be extremely sensitive to the way people who are not cis white men are treated in the debate space.
g.) I want to help debaters who don't receive a lot of formal coaching. I remember feeling intimidated and isolated in high school debate rounds when the other team had 3+ professional coaches in the room while my partner and I sat alone, desperately trying to figure out what we could do. A lot of my coaching in high school came from incredibly kind strangers in the debate community who were willing to help (take pity on) a panicked kid who didn't have the cards to answer a disad. If you ever have questions, whether they're about my decision or just arguments in general, email me: email@example.com or find me in the hallway, and I will do my best to help you out.
i.) I love, love, love topic education arguments, whether they're on framework/T or when you are aff going against a K or when you are going for a k and making arguments about what topic education SHOULD look like. As a policy 2A I loved making arguments about the way grassroots organizing can amalgamate careful policy research with novel or radical forms of praxis and pedagogy. Teams that do this will make me happy.
j.) References to Magi Ortiz, Debayan Sen, Rayhan Ahmed, Sydney Young, Samar Ahmad, or Ishan Bhatt = +0.2 speaks; references to any Lex debater / Lexington debate in general, including Sheryl Kaczmarek = +0.1 speaks
If either of my cats are present during the round and a debater compliments them, makes a reference to them in any way, or shows me their pet(s): +0.2 speaks
-line by line
-splitting the block (if you don't know what this means, ask!)
-picking up on dropped arguments
-referencing Debayan Sen, Magi Ortiz, or Rayhan Ahmed (if you don't know who these scrubs are, no worries)
-frame my ballot (why do I vote for you? what impacts does voting for you ameliorate, and why do those impacts matter/matter more than the other team's impacts?)
-show me your flows after the round (+.1 speaks)
-asking questions!! email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) with any questions about my decision/debate in general
-extending claims without warrants + impacts
-bullying your partner or the other team
-block repetition (see above)
-switching flows without telling me when you are switching (signposting)
-reading arguments/blocks you don't understand
"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." -jon sharp
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." -anonymous Chinese farmer
Lex 2020 Updates:
I don’t know shit about the topic. Don’t expect me to know shit about the topic. Also slow down a little. Can’t you see I’m getting old?
I debated at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., and for Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California.
Slow down on tags. Every word you say should be comprehensible, but obviously you can be faster and quieter (only a little) on the cards themselves. If you're unclear, I'll say clear.
As a judge, my face usually indicates whether I understand your argument or not. Respond accordingly.
Read whatever arguments you want. However, keep in mind that bad arguments are inherently weaker than good arguments (by definition).
Call me Your Honor. I will also accept His Excellency.
What's a good argument?
A good argument is an argument that you think is true, or that you can convince me is true. You can convince me that Baudrillard, Lacan, Bataille, and Deleuze are all true. You can convince me that civil society is irreparably flawed and that it should be burned down. You can convince me that nuclear war is going to happen unless we pass a certain policy action. I tend to think that oppression is inherently bad.
Can be good. Can be bad. You'll figure out which one yours is by the look on my face.
I obviously love kritiks. I will listen to all kritiks that fall into the category of "good arguments" outlined above. That said, you should know what literature I'm familiar with so you know how likely I am to make an informed decision on any given argument.
Very familiar: psychoanalysis, settlerism, postmodernism, capitalism.
Somewhat familiar: Most other arguments that have been read in debates regularly.
Keep in mind: If I'm familiar with your argument, you should do the same level of explanation that you would do otherwise. The only consequence of my familiarity with your argument is the likelihood of me making an informed decision. If you lose the K on tech, you'll lose the K no matter how much I agree/am familiar with it.
Also, don't run the kritik badly. I hate bad kritik debates. If neither you nor the aff knows what the kritik you are reading is, I'm 99 times out of 100 voting affirmative. A kritik should have multiple links to the aff, a good impact scenario, and an alt. The alt is usually the weakest part of the K, so I encourage affs to attack this first.
I mean, I guess (if you win the neg gets fiat).
Yes, there's a difference. No, I don't know what that difference is.
I hold the neg to a fairly high standard on topicality. I think voting on T is by default a punishment (but I mean, if you're into that sort of stuff...). Again, convince me otherwise and I'm fine for you. I default to competing interpretations, but only barely. If the aff is reasonably topical (and, yes, the aff has to prove reasonability), then I think the neg loses a lot of their offense.
As for framework, I think if you sufficiently prove that your framework incorporates whatever the aff is doing in some way, shape, or form, you'll be in a good place with me. That means that if you're aff against framework, you can't just read your generic offense. You have to articulate your offense in "even if" terms if the neg makes a T version of the aff. And if you're neg, obviously make a T version of the aff argument.
One thing that I don't see enough of in these debates is impact calculus. Do it.
If you don't do anything, or at least nothing remotely related to the topic, to be honest, I hope you have your impact turns ready.
Don't. (sort of kidding)
Not convinced? Fine.
Conditionality: If there are three or more conditional advocacies, I'd be entirely willing to vote on condo. Otherwise, I'll probably reject the argument unless you tell me otherwise.
The rest: do line-by-line, impacts, and framing, and you will like me as a judge.
I haven't had enough theory debates to really form an opinion on anything other than condo, so if you're reading theory, I'll try to let the best debater win.
Hello! My email is email@example.com - Please add me to the chain!
I debated for six years, high school and middle school, on the Boston Debate League's high school circuit for Boston Latin Academy, attending national circuit tournaments for four of those six years. I graduated from Haverford College in 2021 with a degree in Philosophy and a minor in Statistics, my thesis for which offered Deleuzian (and related) readings of data visualizations. I judged intermittently in college and compiled evidence packets for the Boston Debate League, but did not participate in college debate.
I'm currently a graduate student at Northeastern University pursuing a Master's in Accounting and an MBA (despite loving the Cap K). Starting this season (2021-2022), I'm an assistant coach at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Boston, MA.
****If you came here from Maryanne's paradigm, ask the other team "did y'all make a perm?" during your speech and she just might give you a 30.****
-I lean K, and I will likely be somewhat familiar with your K's lit base.
-I was a 1N who took T in 95% of my 1NRs and I will understand and appreciate your tricks
-Evidence comparison will get you much farther than a barrage of blippy cards
-Solid development on the case pages gets great results
-Speed and tons of off-case positions are okay (but i might ask you for flow paper if you run a ton of off)
-I'm most likely to vote on K & case or T 2NRs against policy affs, and almost always prefer K 2NRs vs K affs
-I'll vote on a CP and politics but I'm less familiar with these strategies and might not be the best at evaluating them
-This paradigm has not been adapted for virtual debate, but I will gladly answer any questions about how this applies to virtual debate
As of September 2021, I have not judged national circuit rounds on the Water topic.
Clipping cards is a form of intentional academic dishonesty which will result in a loss and 0 speaks.
If you don't know what that means, ask! This rule is not meant to take wins away from less experienced teams, and I want to make sure you understand general debate etiquette along with how I evaluate debates.
Speed is fine, but if you blast through 8 analytics in 15 seconds, I won't get them all and it won't be my fault. Don't bury your best arguments!
Strong, direct CX is great! (However:)
Don't be cruel, disrespectful, or belittling. This is especially true if you are more experienced/knowledgeable than the other team. If you're a senior with 4 years of national circuit experience and 3 summers of camps, don't be a jerk to sophomores at their first varsity tournament just because you want to flex. This doesn't mean go easy, it means that you should take your opponents and their arguments seriously.
Things like author creds and dates can be important - if you notice something, call it out.
I am well-versed in a bunch of K literature (and you should ask if you'd like to know about your specific K author), but that doesn't mean you don't have to explain things. Pedagogically, it's important to communicate the theoretical nuances you're using to make your arguments.
I am sympathetic to arguments about ivory tower positions/armchair philosophy. I debated in a UDL, on a small team, and in a program that often lacked funding. Don't aim to win arguments by virtue of your opponents not having the resources to engage them. If you do this, you're causing direct harm to the activity and to fellow debaters, and that's an impact scenario I am happy to vote on.
Performance is 100% fine by me. If you incorporate a performance, make sure I hear about it in later speeches.
If you run a K based around structural inequality and/or identity (besides cap because it's cap), I will do my best to evaluate it fairly. However, I will most likely not relate to your lived experiences and I admit that I can make mistakes in judging these debates. If you feel that I have done this, please talk to me after the round either directly or through a third party (a trusted coach or other debater if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
K affs are great but require explanation. Judge experience doesn't absolve you of the obligation to make your arguments clear and explain how whatever theory you're using interacts with other arguments.
I was a 1N, and there wasn't a single neg block my senior year where I didn't take the T flow. I LOVE good T debates, and this is where all of your clever tricks will be appreciated. Make strategic concessions, go hard on "they don't meet the counter-interp", do fun things with internal links. T debates work like a very abstract, complex disadvantage, meaning that every level of a T debate is crucial and defense usually won't win by itself.
Compare interp evidence! This comparison can win you debates.
RVI arguments on these flows won't win you any rounds.
If it's a time suck, and it works, nice job.
I will not vote on theory without in-round impacts or examples.
With that being said, if you pull a really clever trick with theory, and they fall for it, I will happily vote on it. For examples of this, ask me in-round (shoutout to Will Hutchinson).
I will not vote on condo unless there are EITHER: a) 3+ conditional advocacies, at least two of which contradict each other, or b) 2 contradictory advocacies and explicit abusive cross-application of offense. To compensate for this neg-biased preference, I am happy to evaluate perms in whatever way you tell me to (though this is something to be debated, of course).
I default to reject the argument, unless you have very strong reasons I should reject the team.
As neg, you need at least one item from this list in the 2NR:
1. strong TVA
2. strong case hit
3. pre-requisite arguments in the 2NR.
As aff, you need at least one item from this list in the 2AR:
1. impact turns
2. aff outweighs
3. strong defense (reasonability, we meet, etc.) AND a counter-interp
Don't throw in arguments about "small schools" to get the moral high ground if you don't care about accessibility absent a ballot, please :)
Links are almost always a sliding scale as opposed to Yes/No. How much of a link is there? How does that effect the impact debate?
"we win on magnitude so vote aff" is not impact calc, nor is it an argument
I debated K affs and K strats, so I am not very used to counterplan debates, but I will absolutely vote on them
The likelihood of a PIC winning is proportional to the scale of the link to the net benefit
CPs are where I think theory is slightly more relevant - why are particular CPs bad? Don't say "x counterplans bad" in general - contextualize those arguments to the counterplan.
Good case debates are fantastic.
Bad case debates are terrible.
Neg: if you don't have OFFENSE (not just defense) on the case flow, you need an off-case position in the 2NR to get my ballot (read: don't just go for case defense.).
Aff: don't try to go for 3 advantages in the 2AR if you have other flows to get to. It will almost always be worth it to kick an advantage/scenario or two.
Here is my email for the email chain:
Here is my short biography for you to know who I am:
Hi, my name is William. I am currently a doctoral student in the German department at NYU. I am familiar with a number of debate authors and have taken classes with and work with people like slavoj zizek, avital ronell, fred moten, etc.
As for debate experience, I used to debate for CUNY debate in college for 4 years, reading critical arguments in the Northeast. I won a handful of regional tournaments and broke at CEDA. I also coach for Brooklyn Technical High School (sometimes we sign up at Brooklyn Independent). I have been coaching there for 8 years and have had my debaters make it far in national tournaments as well as qualify for the TOC four times. Because I work with Brooklyn Tech (a UDL school), I am also connected to the NYCUDL.
Here is the start of my paradigm:
As everyone else says, rule of thumb: DO WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT
Whether your go-to strat is to throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks, a straight up disad/cp, or a one-off K; I will be more than happy to judge your round…
given that you:
1) Have a claim, warrant, and impact to every argument. It isn’t an argument absent these three elements, and I will have trouble/not be able to/want to adjudicate what you’ve said.
2) Make sure, on that note to properly explain your positions, don’t make an assumption that I know your DA scenario (perhaps fill me in on the internal work), or K jargon. Maybe i haven't judged that many rounds this topic and don't understand abbreviations right away - help me out.
3) Have comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, and preformative styles as it compares to your own and how I ought toprioritize impacts as it relates to your framing of the round.
4) Be Persuasive, it will go a long way to making me to sign my ballot your way if you can make the round enjoyable, touching, funny, etc – it will also help your speaks.
5) Write the ballot for me in your 2nr/2ar, tell me how you win. Take risks, and don’t go for everything. Make me think, “woah, cool, gonna vote on that” “What they said in the last rebuttal was exactly how I prioritized stuff too, judging is soooo easy [it's often not :(]"
As for some nitty gritty details:
1) I love a good K or performance debate but absent the four points above, I won’t “hack” for your position. For instance, saying racism bad without analysis towards your opponent’s position (warrant comparison) won’t get you very far in the debate. I will very often sympathize with you, as my personal debate career revolves around the K more than often, but I will NOT do the work for you.
2) I love smart, strategic CPs
3) I love absurd, creative arguments – unlike most judges (don’t get too carried away), I enjoy inventive and properly executed arguments whether they be freshly cut CPs like above, or criticisms that challenge debate structures. Reading poems, speaking babble, and “mirroring” your opponents etc, are things I will not immediately hate, just again, PROPERLY execute it. On that note, if you are a victim of some babbly criticism, please go for framework
4) Go for theory cheap shots in front of me, just do it persuasively. In-round abuse stories help, pre-empt your opponents final speech, and close the doors
5) Go for T in front of me – A good T debate that that includes a discussion on how the topic should be limited, what the value of a particular interp is, and how judges ought to evaluate an interpretation is something I find enjoyable. Just as always, be persuasive!
6) Have case debates – forcing your opponents to debate their case position with specific, smart arguments will always go a long way. Even if it is only defensive, mitigating offense will go a long way, and often throws people off balance. I find there to be a striking lack of case debate from my experience, and would be more than happy to judge more of it
Also, some other things:
1) I will default to competing interpretations and body counts unless alternative mechanisms of evaluating the round or alternative impacts are introduced and analyzed in opposition to bodies in a debate. For instance, I will presume nukes hurt, unless you tell me death isn’t an impact and why
2) I will avoid looking at evidence, unless there is a dispute over evidence in a round or a debater spins it as part of being persuasive
3) I am an open minded judge, and respect all “realms” of debate, though of course, I will always already have some bias, I will do my best to mitigate it.
I competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for four years in high school. In college I competed in policy debate for four years at the University of Richmond where I was a three-time participant at the NDT. Since graduating from law school I have spent the last seven years working as a public defender in the New York state court system. Any argument preference or style is fine with me: good debate is good debate. To me, well-warranted arguments extended and explained in rebuttals combined with strategic control of the flow wins debates. Technical proficiency in terms of argument interaction is also appreciated. It won't change how I evaluate the debate, but in case you are curious, I was primarily a 2A/1N and ran everything from hard right, to soft left, to ironic affs as well as a full range on the neg. My email is jchicvak at gmail dot com.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated four years of policy debate at Cathedral Prep. With that said, I am fairly well versed in policy and K debate. Although I’m much more comfortable with policy arguments, go for what you’re comfortable with. If you’re good at a certain argument, go for it. If you’re convincing, don’t drop arguments, and are able to explain your argument, you are likely to get my vote.
I don’t care what the tournament rules are, you will be given at least 8 minutes of prep time.
Some things I will not tolerate in a debate round
- targeting a certain person in the round. I don’t care what prior history you might have or what’s going on in the debate, if you go out of your way to be rude during the round, your ethos will immediately drop, and I am much less likely.
- any racism, sexism, or any abusive and offensive language during the round.
- scream offs. Every debater has experienced it. If you’re using cross ex to speak over the other team and argue with them rather than to prove a point, it will not benefit your team. Please just don’t do it.
- No matter how bad you may appear to be doing in the debate, at least pretend you care. This means flow all speeches(except if you are the 1NR, do not flow the 2NC!!!). Try to ask meaningful questions. Use all speech time. Etc
Some specific argument beliefs I have
- Overall, I am a tech over truth debater(as long as the argument makes sense and has to do with the debate)
Topicality: A well argued T debate is always fun to watch and judge. You need to have offense and defense if you are going for T. You need to have an impact for T. Why does the aff being untopical matter. Even if you win the limits/grounds debate, if you can’t say why that matters then you won’t be able to win on Topicality.
Counterplans: Counterplans are one of the most underlooked arguments in debate. A solid CP can be the perfect piece to solve the puzzle. However, I wouldn’t recommend going for one without a net benefit. A CP can’t set you ahead in a close debate.
Disadvantages: I’m a big fan of disads. However, if you don’t win the link debate, the chances of you winning are very slim. The link is one of the most important arguments in debate. If you are the aff team, if you are able to win the link debate, your chances of winning the debate are much higher.
K’s: I’m all for critical debates as long as you understand you’re literature and are able to articulate and understand your argument. Just as with the disadvantage, you have to win the link debate to stand a good chance of winning the debate.
Critical Affirmatives: Read my top statement, the best debaters are going to win these debates 9/10 times. If you are comfortable with the argument and good at explaining it, go for it. The only thing I personally want is some affirmative statement. It doesn’t have to be a plan text, just some affirmative line. If you are the negative, a good framework debate is the key to victory if you are a policy team. Please utilize switch side debate. It’s one of the most convincing arguments in debate for me as a judge.
Be able to explain the internal link chain of your affirmative and good things will happen. As a neg team, point out if the internal link chain doesn’t make sense.
The majority of the time, whoever does better impact calculus will win the debate.
Theory debates: please be able to draw out an impact and a reason for in round abuse. It is a voter if you’re able to do this.
Have fun, be kind, and good things will happen for you. In debate, and in life.
I debated with University of Rochester from 2006 – 2010. I started college with no debate experience and worked my way to varsity, so I have an appreciation novice debate. While speed is fine, it’s in your best interest to be clear as possible.
While at Rochester I debated pretty much everything but settled on K debate as my bread and butter. However, I’m open to all arguments as long as they’re clearly articulated and contextualized. No one is really tabula rasa, and here are my predispositions that may affect how I perceive your arguments.
General: At the end of the day the debate comes down to impacts. Why should I value one argument over the other? If you can clearly articulate magnitude, probability, and timeframe you’ll most likely do well. This applies to K impacts just as much DA impacts. Should I value discursive violence or nuclear war more? Pretend I’m stupid and tell me how I should evaluate your competing impacts. Otherwise, you won’t be happy with my default evaluation.
Cross-x: Always fun to watch. It is binding, so don’t lie. Cross-x is can be competitive and heated and that's ok. But if I feel the cross-x is getting hostile and personal, I'll intervene, dock speaker points, and potentially even end the round. Please respect your opponents and be respectful.
Theory: Good theory debates are fascinating, but most tend be blocks read against each other with no clash and analysis. Specifically show how the other side is abusive, what education is lost, and why it’s important. Competing interpretations are key for these debates.
Aff: Run whatever you like, as long as you connect it back to the topic. At the end of the debate, why should I prefer the world of affirmative? Set the framework early to tell me how I should evaluate the debate and what impacts I value more.
T: As long as the aff is talking about the topic in some way, I’ll allow latitude. If you’re going for T, be prepared to point to specific ground lost within the context of the debate and why it’s important.
Framework: It is important to lay out the grounds for how I should evaluate the debate. What arguments should I value and why should I value it? Recently, I will default utilitarian unless told otherwise.
Disads: The link debate here is key. Be prepared to offer specific analysis as to why the case causes the impacts of the disad and why the status quo or CP is better. While most DA are fine, politics DA tend to be uphill battles in front of me. If you’re going politics, historical precedent is important. Lay out a predictable pattern of behavior.
Kritiks: Like most K debaters, I have lower patience for bad K debate. While I’ve run everything from Psychoanalysis to Ecofeminism, don’t assume my knowledge of the literature to win your debate. With K debates, examples and context are important to clarify the K itself. At he end of the round how should I evaluate to the K impact against the case. You can win the links but if you can’t articulate why your impacts are more important than the aff’s, I won’t find the K persuasive.
Performance: Like K debate, good performance is fascinating and bad performance is hard to watch. Personally, I do feel the policy debate is more accessible to the privileged few and elitist at times. However, the principles of argumentation still apply to performance debate. Why should I not value traditional literature? Why is personal experience more important? Who is being excluded and how does your performance affect those on the periphery? Speed bad while rapping just as fast by the is never a good strategy in front of me.
Overall, I believe debate has great value. It’s helped me grow intellectually and made me a more effective communicator. I hope you get something out of each round that’s outside of the W.
Policy Lane Tech Debate '13
Parli Loyola University '17
Program Coordinator for the Washington Urban Debate League
Policy Aff vs Policy Strat
- Run whatever you want
-I love creative, well researched arguments
-Tech over Truth
-Read Condo on multiple conditional advocacies
Policy Aff vs Kritikal Strat
-links of omission suck and links to the squo
-Can be compelled to vote on perf con w/ condo args
-No Death Good Ks- for all the people in this activity who face instances of death and still make it to debate tournaments to escape or have a place of safety.
-Explain your alt clearly- if you can explain without jargon you probably actually understand it. I will not give you credit for the args just because I know what they mean if you don't explain it because that would be judge intervention.
-You can it but I kinda resent Baudrillard
-Don't be a jerk, if the other team clearly doesn't understand the K, try to be helpful in cross-ex when they ask questions
K Affs v Policy
-I think policy good framework is so predictable and boring, you should definitely run it, but please try to come up with good i/l and impact explanations.
-Truth over Tech
-Don't ask me for the magic bullet for answering K affs, just research their methodology and prove it's bad, just like you would a policy plan text or offer me a better methodology.
K Affs vs K
-Yay! I'm always down to hear some methodology debates
-I'll buy it if it is good
Make sense, be kind, and have fun and I'll probably for one of the teams!
Tell me what you advocate.
tell me why it is not being done
tell me why it needs to be done
tell me why it is the best thing we should do
I am a student at Umass Amherst studying political science. I debated for 3 years at New Mission High School out of Boston. In a round, I look for confidence. Don't be disrespectful or arrogant and we'll be good. If you have a K AFF, just make sure there is a method to getting to your solution. I'm cool with any type of argument. I tend to vote on the flow. Please make sure your explanations are clear. Give me an impact calc!!
I tend to give high speaker points unless you drop too many arguments or make any major errors. As a tabula rasa judge, I look for you to show me why I should vote on certain arguments. Again, any type of argument is fine with me. Topicality, kritiks, Da's, and theory are all fine with me and I understand them when ran. If you spread, make sure you at least go over your tag-lines slowly so that I can mark that down on the flow. That's all. Let's all have a good time. Any other questions, feel free to ask me before the round.
2021-22 Paradigm – Pre-season.
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com.
Previously worked as the ADOD at North Broward Prep. Debated at Indiana University and Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, IN. I’m usually coaching or assisting with some program on the side – so I’ll have a decent understanding of topic literature. I also worked as a political research consultant and have a public policy degree, so tend to follow the wonkish debates pretty well.
Top of the paradigm is for Policy, with PF and LD afterward.
Debate is primarily a competition. It’s one that teaches us many values and influences how we develop as people, but is still a game with a winner and a loser at its core. That central truth produces debate’s best and worst outcomes. It can result in thorough, well-researched debates that delve into the nuances of a specific issue. Or it can produce scattershot 57-off strategies that rely on mistakes to have a chance of victory. I’ll evaluate both debates all the same, but enjoy one a whole lot more. That same truth can also make us view competitors with respect and admiration for their commitment to the activity. Or it can make us view them as our opposition, to be steamrolled and reduced to nothing whenever possible. I’ll evaluate the content of the arguments all the same if you’re rude and unkind to your competitors, but you’ll enjoy your speaker points a whole lot less.
No argument is ‘too bad’ to win in front of me. If it’s truly so egregious, it’s the burden of the opposing team to explain why in the debate. I try hard not to intervene and inject personal biases, but I do still have them and they influence the decisions I make. That being said – I’m still an educator at the end of the day, and debate is an activity for students in an academic setting. If you are actively hostile and bigoted during the round towards your opponents or a group of people, you will lose for that reason.
It's not too hard to get high speaks in front of me. Have a clear strategy, execute it well, and make the debate enjoyable for all involved.
I prefer critiques to include research about the topic, but it’s not required. Clear impact turns to the core negative standards on framework are vital – spewing nebulous and blippy arguments titled things like ‘Plasticity DA’ to T in the 2ac is terminally unpersuasive. If you’re not contextualizing your impact turns as direct answers to fairness, clash, etc. you’re in a hole from the start. Ideally, you will also present a straightforward and well explained vision of debate and develop reasons why it can preserve a limited argumentative venue.
I’m more persuaded by presumption arguments vs. K affs than most judges. 2AR’s tend to mishandle offensive, cruel optimism-style arguments and get themselves into trouble.
You need to explain how the aff’s C/I explodes limits and to what extent, same as you would against a policy affirmative when going for T. What style affirmative does it allow for? Why is it bad for debate, and how bad?
When I vote affirmative it’s usually because of a sequencing claim about dropped case arguments or an unclear response to the aff’s impact turns to framework impacts.
When I vote negative it’s usually because you win fairness is a priori and the only thing the ballot can resolve, that a limited model of debate internal link turns aff impacts through improved research/iterative testing, or that the Aff’s scholarship is included in your model.
iS fAirNesS aN inTernAL LiNK oR iMpaCT? Both. I don't care.
Not a fan of heavy theory debates, but I’ve judged quite a few. Definitely lean neg on conditionality – but willing to vote for it if competently extended and technically won by the affirmative. As a 2a, process counterplans were not my favorite argument in debate, and I tend to lean aff on competition arguments here. That being said, the topic is massive and there’s a ridiculous amount of affirmative ground – which does make me sympathetic to neg claims about their centrality + importance. Still not afraid to vote neg quickly and easily if you’re ahead on the technical aspects in this portion of debate.
Theory debates that rely on me to fill-in arguments where you have just said random technical debate jargon - nonstarter. You should slow down on your theory analytics as well – I often find myself missing nuance when it’s extended by reading blocks as fast as possible.
*** Public Forum Debate ***
I competed in Indiana in high school, and very much understand the frustrations of losing debates on new arguments, evidence spin, ‘I just don’t believe you,’ etc. in front of lay judges. I’ll try my hardest to purely evaluate the debate off of the flow, which means giving equal weight and consideration to arguments that are not traditionally made in Public Forum. I think judges should approach debate with an open mind, and be ready to listen to students who put just as much effort and thought into their non-traditional strategies as other teams have.
Indicating an openness to theoretical and critical arguments does not mean that you should necessarily try reading these arguments in front of me for the first time. I find myself judging very poorly executed strategies in these lanes pretty often, and the speaker points reflect it. Please stick with what you’ve been practicing, as this is the best way to win my ballot. Trying to punk another team on theory if you never go for it will usually not work out well for you.
Competing in policy for 4 years in college has left me with many, somewhat negative, opinions on the pedagogical quality of argumentation in PF. Research is often not presented to me in a clear and digestible way (read: cards), and I’ve been handed a 20+ PDF as the ‘source’ for an argument too many times to count. Saying ‘nuclear war doesn’t happen, MAD checks that’s Ferguson,’ and then handing me a piece of evidence with 2 minutes of highlighted text will not go your way. I won’t read deep into evidence that has not been explained and warranted during the debate, as I think that leads to pretty sizable judge intervention and more arbitrary decisions than one that remains flow-centric.
I’m a big advocate of disclosure in PF. The best debates are ones where one team has a thoroughly prepared strategies against a case, and the other team really knows the ins and outs of their own contentions. I’m not sympathetic at all to arguments about prep-outs – I’m terminally convinced that they’re good. I’m not convinced by arguments about how they hurt small schools – I competed at a very tiny college program that ONLY survived because of the wiki. I’m not sympathetic to arguments about people ‘stealing research,’ because it’s obviously not ‘stealing’ and lazy debaters that download wiki cases usually get beaten because they don’t know the nuances of the arguments they’re reading. If you disclose on the wiki, you will get a slight speaker bump. If you disclose pre-round, same deal. Note: this does not mean that disclosure theory is an auto-win by any means. You will have to technically execute it and win that disclosure is good during the debate – I won’t copy and paste my paradigm into the ballot.
Nitpicky other thoughts that may be helpful:
· Don’t take forever finding your evidence – especially if it’s in your own case. If it drags on too long (3-4 minutes) I will begin to run prep time. There’s clearly a reasonable window of time in which you can find a piece of evidence you claimed to have literally just read. If you can’t find it, you probably didn’t actually cut/read it.
· Don’t ever go back to your own case in first rebuttal just to ‘build it up some more.’ I will not be flowing if you are not making new arguments, and it’s a complete waste of time to rebuild a case they have not yet answered. There are some exceptions to this if you have framing arguments or whatnot – but 99% of the time you should just be answering your opponent’s case. To me, it reads as a clear sign that someone is a relative beginner in Public Forum when this occurs.
· Second rebuttal should frontline their case.
· Summary should include defensive and dropped arguments, but time should be allocated according to the other teams’ coverage.
· Impact framing arguments that are simply ‘X issue is not discussed enough, so prioritize it’ are not convincing to me in the slightest. You need to have a clear and offensive reason why not prioritizing your impact filter is bad, not just say that it’s important and people never give it notice. Ask yourself this question: what is the impact of your framing being ignored?
· Warrants beat tagline extensions of cards 99% of the time.
None of the above are ‘rules’ for how to go about earning my ballot. You could violate any one of the above and still win, but it’s likely only going to happen if your opponent is making major mistakes. Lastly, I think that topic knowledge wins just as many debates as a cleverly constructed case does. You should try your best to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on any given PF topic, because you’ll usually have what it takes to flexibly respond to unpredicted arguments and embarrass your opponents in cross.
**** Lincoln Douglas ****
Not gonna lie - much of the current state of this activity annoys me. An overreliance on missed tricks, opponents misunderstanding nonsensical K's, and underdevelopment of most arguments in the round seem to be how the LD rounds I judge go. I guess I'm a great judge for the activity since I flow and can keep up with speed pretty easily, but your speaks are going to suffer if what I described above is your primary strategy in the debate.
I prefer smart, nuanced arguments that are developed well throughout the debate, not 7-off with 4 theory shells sprinkled throughout the speech. Very open to and aware of most K literature - but be cautious of reading multiple K's or a K + DA strategy that contain clearly contradictory arguments. I'm not a big fan of perf con in LD, since I think the limited time window in the 1ar makes it pretty abusive for the aff to actually grapple with.
I'm not going to be familiar with the super in-the-weeds K or theory argument that is only a thing in LD. I come from Policy/PF world, and you should debate with this in mind.
Speaker point scale:
29.5+ - You’re debating like you’re already in the final round, and you deserve top speaker at this tournament.
29-29.5 – Debating like a quarterfinalist.
28.5 – 29 – Solid bubble/doubles team
28-28.5 – Debating like you should be around .500 or slightly below
27.5-28 – Serious room for improvement
Below 27.5 – You were disrespectful to the extreme or cheated. Probably around here if you just give up as well.
i debated policy for 4 years in hs at georgetown day school and now debate for the university of west georgia
read whatever you read and it’ll be fine. i judge plenty of k v k debates, “clash” debates, and policy throw-downs and have voted just about every which way
make sure you extend warrants for all your arguments in every speech. merely saying they dropped/conceded x is dropping x.
control the story, don’t just rattle off arguments back and forth, tie them together into a narrative
tell me how and why i should sign my ballot
use your fw/framing arguments, don’t treat them as a separate debate, apply them to the flow
engage the case and not just in the 1nc
use your knowledge and experience to make analytic arguments even if you don’t have a card
use lots of examples and debate the other teams, less abstraction generally makes it easier for me to understand your argument
if you don’t know what the other team is talking about, try googling it rather than ignoring it
leverage perfcons to your advantage
use your cx, don’t just treat it as filler time, the cx is extremely important to how i come to understand your arguments and if you’re pointing back to moments in cx to prove your argument you are much much more likely to win my ballot
trust your partner, you are a team, one seamless organism, and fighting amongst yourselves does more harm than your opponents could ever hope to do on their own
be racist sexist homophobic transphobic or otherwise spout fascist nonsense
speed through a 15 second overview in the 1ar without extending warrants and internal links for the affirmative, especially your solvency mechanism
say insert highlighting here, i usually do not follow along on speech docs and will not flow anything you do not say aloud.
read a ton of off if it means you aren't gonna develop your arguments until the 2nr (though i am still cool with 10 off starts, just make sure you are collapsing down and there is some synergy between your positions)
think that that just because you have a card and they have an analytic your argument is intrinsically stronger, absent author quals, arguments about your evidence’s data set etc there is no reason for me to evaluate them as distinct in any way
assume i agree with your argument and so i’ll let you get away with not doing the work
read extremely contradictory arguments
block everything out to the extent that you’re just ignoring the other team
treat your arguments the same in every speech, your arguments should evolve with the rest of the debate and rarely do i vote on arguments where you are just repeating verbatim the extension from your previous speech without any added depth
blaze through analytics without giving me any pen time
how to get extra points:
read arguments you are passionate about
do author indicts
go for a presumption argument by which i don’t mean “the ballot doesn’t resolve this k affs impacts” i mean terminal defense
recut and or spin or opponent’s evidence
read plan flaws, theory arguments that aren’t blocked out into oblivion, and other tricky arguments like the minor repair
creatively weave your off case positions together (especially for k teams not going for a one off strategy this can be a truly beautiful thing to watch, though i definitely here for your one or zero off strats as well)
I have judged a lot of debates. I view myself as a reasonable judge. I have judged every type of debate and find myself capable in any instance. I hate when people cry wolf with the word "conceded."
Top Level - 2x NDT Qualifier, in the community for 9 years now, debated for George Mason University. Coach for Thomas Jefferson HS.
I would like to be on the email chain - gerrit.hansen96 AT gmail.com
Go to the bottom for non-policy formats
What to read before the round, if you are interested.
This paradigm is too long - I like K debate, but also policy debate. I am not as experienced in the latter, and will likely over-compensate by reading cards if I get confused or lost. I will do my best to judge your debate fairly.
I am neither the best - nor the worst, hopefully - flow in the game. I have great auditory processing, handwriting not so much. I would encourage a lil pen time for important args.
If the other team brings up an accessibility issue about some portion of your speech, the impetus is on you to fix the problem. I am somewhat open to discussion of what is reasonable (or fair) but please don't make me punish you for being a jerk.
Exclusionary language - including misgendering anyone, racism, ableism, sexism, etc is a voting issue. Almost guaranteed your speaks suffer at least. I will usually leave it to the team that has been transgressed against to make an argument about it, because I don't want to decide for you when your debate should end.
(Please Read) A few choice E-Debate best practices I have come across:
Please have someone listen to you speak at full speed before we get going if this is the first round of the day. Some of y'all are using rather nice technology and still having rather bad audio quality because you don't bother to set it up right.
Record prep time in the zoom chat - I find it really hard to keep timers at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. Will make exceptions for novices, but otherwise you are big kids. Please time yourself so we don't end up in awkward situations.
Post the order in the zoom chat ((especially when someone is afk) credit to Wichita BM for this one)
Webcam is not mandatory, but consider that it is both harder to pay attention to your speech, and to understand you when I can't see you.
We will negotiate what happens if someone's tech glitches out in the middle of the speech before the 1ac. Please be upfront about the tech problems you have. Telling me you almost got it 13 times while trying to fight with your internet connection is much more frustrating when you haven't communicated effectively.
Do not start interrupting people. As annoying as it is when people talk over others to ask another pointless question in real life, it's even more annoying over zoom. Treat each other with respect, like you would a classmate. Some people seem to be taking the computer screen as a reason they can be even more rude. Don't do this.
Topicality - I think this argument has many valuable uses in debate. Use it how you will. Evidence comparison and caselists are a MUST in these debates. Tell me what your vision of the topic looks like.
Reasonability, as a phrase, is not an argument. I'm open to any and all arguments about how T debates should be viewed, but the onus is on you to create a model for what judging debates in that way ought to look like. Default to competing interps.
Theory - Slow if you plan to go for it. High speed blocks are unpersuasive and are optically a cheap-shot. Potential abuse is probably not an impact I care about that much.
CP's - They can be cool, they can be contrived and silly. PIC's should be specific rather then general. Sympathetic with 2As on some counter-plan theory. Slow down on your CP text if you want me to catch its nuances. Word PIC's are usually silly.
DA - They're cool. The more creative the better. Politics is good. 1 good and well compared impact scenario is worth 3 with loose comparison or impact calculus.
K's - This is the style of debate I personally chose to do. I have a fairly extensive literature base, and am probably more then willing to listen to your stuff. If you argue your position well and prove that you have an understanding of your literature base I will probably want to vote for you. If you're good at what you do, do it.
Links are better when they are specific to the aff - I'm down for spin, but a generic state link or a security K with no impact defense is unlikely to make me want to vote for you
Line by line is important to me, and I have yet to hear a way to evaluate debates in a reasonably fair fashion except some version of the offense/defense paradigm. If you don't want me to flow or want to change the format of the debate, I support you in your efforts but I'm also probably not the judge for you
Debates about debate (The section is a bit of a tangent for K teams) - I grow increasingly tired of the "standard moves" in these debates. I feel many ballot commodification/currency arguments are very reductionist and very much resemble whiny debaters screaming about fiat being illusory. I will obviously vote on them, but I would say I have a higher threshold than most. I care a little bit less about what the ballot does for the aff/neg, and more about what strategies, tactics, methods, alternative world views etc my ballot ought to endorse.
K Aff's/Framework- This is a debate. Defending debate norms is cool, saying "Debate bad" is cool. Being creative on both sides is more likely to get me on your side.
Topical Versions of the Aff are a good way to mitigate offense against framework. Explain to me why it solves their impact turns, not why it is similar to the aff
The Affirmative is much more likely to win if they have a counter interpretation - I find it hard to evaluate defensive "rez already exploded" or "rez poorly written" arguments without one. Rez +1 is not an argument
Arguments about jurisdiction and authority are not good ones, so long as they are answered.
Fairness is an impact. I have the inclination that debates should be fair. That being said, I don't particularly care about procedural fairness in my heart of hearts, and it's rather easy to convince me that a host of things might outweigh the need for debates to be fair.
Speaker Points: I used to have a convoluted scale of sorts here. To be honest, as I judge more often, I usually give pretty high speaker points. I think I tend to presume the best of debaters, and I often find it hard to judge their relative qualities against other debaters I have seen in a bad light. That being said, I have found that I punish very vindictively if you use exclusionary language or are a jerk.
I mainly participated in and judge policy. I will be upfront and say that while I am familiar with the rules and some of the norms of non-policy formats, but it is probably not as second nature to me as it is to you. I would not say that I judge more then 6 tournaments in either LD or PF a year, and speech is even more uncommon. These are some helpful thoughts:
PLEASE CLASH. Compare impacts. Compare frameworks. Acknowledge that your opponent made arguments, and tell me why I should care about your arguments more.
"Progressive" debate styles are cool. Theory is way too common in LD, but I don't plan to be the activist judge that stops it.
There is not a single thing that will matter to me LESS then if you stand up whenl you speak, where you speak from, etc. Accommodate yourself in the room, and I will choose my place in relation to that. It is strange how common this question is in public forum.
I'm pretty good at flowing, and the flow is how I will decide the debate. Logic over persuasion. Good policy over good personality. Tech over truth.
"Off-time" Roadmaps are helpful
Don't spread if you can't be clear. PLEASE.
tl;dr - tech and speed good, but I'm not doing work for you. The resolution must be in the debate. Email chain: havenforensics (at) gmail - but I'm not reading along. I tab more than I judge, but I'm involved in research. Last update: 6/10/21
Head Coach of Strath Haven HS since 2012. We do all events.
Previously coach at Park View HS 2009-11, assistant coach at Pennsbury HS 2002-06 (and beyond)
Competitor at Pennsbury HS 1998-2002, primarily Policy
I like a quick, technical debate (due to my Policy background) - if I was starting debate today, I would be a PFer. Major difference from what I used to do is that in PF drops are not death because of the weird way speeches match up. But you should warrant and impact your claims throughout the debate so I don't have to! Speed is good when it gets us depth, not as much if it gets us breadth.
1st Rebuttal should be line-by-line on their case; 2nd Rebuttal should frontline at least major offense, but 2nd Summary is too late for dumps of new arguments.
With 3 minutes, the Summary is probably also line-by-line, but perhaps not on every issue. Summary needs to ditch some issues so you can add depth, not just tag lines. If it isn't in Summary, it probably isn't getting flowed in Final Focus, unless it is a direct response to a new argument in 2nd Summary.
Final Focus should continue to narrow down the debate to tell me a story about why you win. Refer to specific spots on the flow, though LBL isn't strictly necessary (you just don't have time). I'll weigh what you say makes you win vs what they say makes them win - good idea to play some defense, but see above about drops.
With a Policy background, I will listen to framework, theory, and T arguments - though I will frown at all of those because I really want a solid case debate. I do not believe counterplans or kritiks have a place in PF.
You win a lot of points with me calling out shady evidence, and conversely by using good evidence. You lose a lot of points by being unable to produce the evidence you read quickly. If I call for a card, I expect it to be cut.
I don't care which side you sit on or when you stand, and I find the post-round judge handshake to be silly and unnecessary.
tl;dr: Look at me if you are traditional/LARP. Strike me if you don't talk about the topic or only read abstract French philosophers or rely on going for blippy trash arguments that mostly work due to being undercovered.
My LD experience is mostly local or regional, though I coach circuit debaters. Thus, I'm comfortable with traditional, value-centered LD and util/policy/solvency LD. If you are going traditional, value clash obviously determines the round, but don't assume I know more than a shallow bit of philosophy.
I probably prefer "LARP" debates, but not if you are trying to fit an entire college policy round into LD times - there just isn't time to develop 4 off in your 7 minute constructive, and I have to give the aff some leeway in rebuttals since there is no constructive to answer neg advocacies.
All things considered, I would rather you defend the whole resolution (even if you want to specify a particular method) rather than a tiny piece of it, but that's what T debates are for I guess (I like T debates). If we're doing plans, then we're also doing CPs, and I'm familiar with all your theory arguments as long as I can flow them.
If somehow you are a deep phil debater and I end up as the judge, you probably did prefs wrong, but I'll do my best to understand - know that I hate it when debaters take a philosophers work and chop it up into tiny bits that somehow mean I have to vote aff. There should be a real clear topical connection that you can explain to me, not because LD is to train future lawyers talking to regular people, but because I can't digest your entire philosopher in the tiny pieces you are feeding me.
If you are a tricks debater, um, don't. Arguments have warrants and a genuine basis in the resolution.
In case it isn't clear from all the rest of the paradigm, I'm a hack for framework if one debater decides not to engage the resolution.
Update for TOC '19: it has been awhile since I've judged truly competitive, circuit Policy. I have let my young alumni judge an event dominated by young alumni. I will still enjoy a quality policy round, but my knowledge of contemporary tech is lacking. Note that I'm not going to backflow from your speech doc, and I'm flowing on paper, so you probably don't want to go your top speed.
1. The role of the ballot must be stable and predictable and lead to research-based clash. The aff must endorse a topical action by the government. For all of the flaws in the structure of debate and the debate community, this is the only way to have a productive debate. You cannot create a role of the ballot based on the thing you want to talk about if that thing is not part of the topic; you cannot create a role of the ballot where your opponent is forced to defend that racism is good or that racism does not exist; you cannot create a role of the ballot where the winner is determined by performance, not argumentation. And, to be fair to the aff, the neg cannot create a role of the ballot where aff loses because they talked about the topic and not about something else.
2. I am a policymaker at heart. I want to evaluate the cost/benefit of plan passage vs. status quo/CP/alt. Discourse certainly matters, but a) I'm biased on a framework question to using fiat or at least weighing the 1AC as an advocacy of a policy, and b) a discursive link had better be a real significant choice of the affirmative with real implications if that's all you are going for. "Using the word exploration is imperialist" isn't going to get very far with me. Links of omission are not links.
I can shift to other paradigms, however, I have never been able to get into abstract philosophy, especially at the speed of a policy round. I understand how critical arguments work and enjoy them when grounded in the topic/aff, and when the alternative would do something. Just as the plan must defend a change in the status quo, so must the alt - otherwise you've got a non-unique philosophical disad.
3. Fairness matters. I believe that the policymaking paradigm only makes sense in a world where each side has a fair chance at winning the debate, so I will happily look to procedural/T/theory arguments before resolving the substantive debate. I will not evaluate an RVI or that some moral/kritikal impact "outweighs" the T debate. I will listen to any other aff reason not to vote on T.
I like T and theory debates. The team that muddles those flows will incur my wrath in speaker points. Don't just read a block in response to a block, do some actual debating, OK? I definitely have a lower-than-average threshold to voting on a well-explained T argument since no one seems to like it anymore.
Notes for any event
1. Clash, then resolve it. Clash is important. Don't structurally avoid clash. But you also have to resolve the issues of clash. The last rebuttals should provide all interpretation for me and write my ballot, with me left simply to choose which side is more persuasive or carries the key point. I want to make fair, predictable, and non-interventionist decisions, which requires you to do all my thinking for me. I don't want to read your evidence, I don't want to think about how to apply it, I don't want to interpret your warrants - I want you to do all of those things! The debate should be over when the debate ends.
2. Warrants are good. "I have a card" is not a persuasive argument; nor is a tag-line extension. The more warrants you provide, the fewer guesses I have to make, and the fewer arguments I have to connect for you, the more predictable my decision will be. I want to know what your evidence says and why it matters in the round. You do not, for example, get a risk of a link simply by saying it is a link. Warrantless arguments aren't worth a whole lot. Defensive arguments are good, especially when connected to impact calculus. I don't reject shaky evidence out of hand - but defense can win rounds.
3. Speed. Speed for argument depth is good, speed for speed's sake is bad. I hate voting on the dropped #14 or watching the 1AR get outspread with 8 blippy disads. Clarity is important. My threshold is that you should slow down on tags and theory so I can write it down, and so long as I can hear English words in the body of the card, you should be fine. I will yell if I can't understand you. If you don't get clearer, the arguments I can't hear will get less weight at the end of the round, if they make it on the flow at all. I'm not anti-speed, but I'm not reading the speech doc, I'm just flowing and listening.
4. Finally, I think debate is supposed to be both fun and educational. I am an educator and a coach; I'm happy to be at the tournament. But I also value sleep and my family, so make sure what you do in round is worth all the time we are putting into being there. Imagine that I brought some new novice debaters and my superintendent (she loves LD!) to watch the round with me. If you are bashing debate or advocating for suicide or other things I wouldn't want 9th graders new to my program to hear, you aren't going to have a happy judge. Don't take yourselves too seriously, but don't waste my time.
I am more than happy to elaborate on this paradigm or answer any questions in round.
Berkeley Prep Assistant Coach - 2017 - Present
10+ years experience in national circuit policy @ Damien HS, Baylor University and other institutions
I have an appreciation for framework debates, especially when the internal link work is thorough and done on the top of your kritik/topicality violation before it is applied to pivotal questions on the flow that you resolve through comparative arguments. On framework, I personally gravitate towards arguments concerning the strategic, critical, or pedagogical utility of the activity - I am readily persuaded to vote for an interpretation of the activity's purpose, role, or import in almost any direction [any position I encounter that I find untenable and/or unwinnable will be promptly included in the updates below]
I have almost no rigid expectations with regard to the K. I spent a great deal of my time competing reading Security, Queer Theory, and Psychoanalysis arguments. The bodies of literature that I am most familiar with in terms of critical thought are rhetorical theory (emphasizing materialism) and semiotics. I have studied and debated the work of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, to that extent I would say I have an operative understanding and relative familiarity with a number of concepts that both thinkers are concerned with.
I think that by virtue of evaluating a topicality flow I almost have to view interpretations in terms of competition. I can't really explain reasonability to myself in any persuasive way, if that changes there will surely be an update about it - this is also not to say nobody could convince me to vote for reasonability, only that I will not default in that direction without prompt.
Theory debates can be great - I reward strategic decisions that embed an explanation of the argument's contingent and applied importance to the activity when going for a theory argument on a counterplan.
I believe that permutations often prompt crucial methodological and theoretical reflection in debate - structurally competitive arguments are usually generative of the most sound strategic and methodological prescriptions.
Judging for Berkeley Prep - Meadows 2020
I have judged enough framework debates at this point in the topic to feel prompted to clarify my approach to judging framework v. K aff rounds. I believe that there are strong warrants and supporting arguments justifying procedural fairness but that these arguments still need to be explicitly drawn out in debates and applied as internal link or impact claims attached to an interpretation or defense of debate as a model, activity, or whatever else you want to articulate debate as. In the plainest terms, I'm saying that internal link chains need to be fully explained, weighed, and resolved to decisively win a framework debate. The flipside of this disposition applies to kritikal affs as well. It needs to be clear how your K Aff interacts with models and methods for structuring debate. It is generally insufficient to just say "the aff impacts are a reason to vote for us on framework" - the internal links of the aff need to be situated and applied to the debate space to justify Role of the Ballot or Role of the Judge arguments if you believe that your theory or critique should implicate how I evaluate or weigh arguments on the framework flow or any other portion of the debate.
As with my evaluation of all other arguments, on framework a dropped claim is insufficient to warrant my ballot on its own. Conceded arguments need to be weighed by you, the debater. Tell me what the implications of a dropped argument are, how it filters or conditions other aspects of the flow, and make it a reason for decision.
Judging for Damien Debate - Berkeley (CA) 2016
In judging I am necessarily making comparisons. Making this process easier by developing or controlling the structure of comparisons and distinctions on my flow is the best advice I could give to anyone trying to make me vote for an argument.
I don't feel like it is really possible to fully prevent myself from intervening in a decision if neither team is resolving questions about how I should be evaluating or weighing arguments. I believe this can be decisively important in the following contexts: The impact level of framework debates, The impact level of any debate really, The method debate in a K v K round, The link debate... The list goes on. But, identifying particular points of clash and then seeing how they are resolved is almost always my approach to determining how I will vote, so doing that work explicitly in the round will almost always benefit you.
If you have any questions about my experience, argumentative preferences, or RFD's feel free to ask me at any time in person or via email.
Jake Lee (He/Him)
Present and Past Affiliations:
Current High School Affiliation - Head Coach at the Mamaroneck High School
Current College Affiliation - Assistant Coach at the University of Michigan
Former Assistant Coach - Pine Crest ('18-'21), Strath Haven ('19)
Former Debater - University of Pittsburgh ('16-'20), Qualified to NDT ('19)
Former Debater - GBS ('12-'16)
6th year Judging High School Debate, 2nd year Judging College Debate
Tech > Truth
I'm good for anything. I have judged all various types/styles of debate. Do whatever makes the debate flow well.
Will not vote on Death Good, Racism Good, Sexism Good, etc.
Explanation matters more than evidence. Most debaters give shallow explanations of their arguments. Cards only matter to break ties in arguments when warrants/arguments are explicitly contested.
Condo is probably fine. New affs justify condo and maybe perf con. International Fiat is probably bad. Do not coast through your theory blocks to answer theory. Clash with your opponents arguments
You are NOT allowed to insert the re-highlighting of a card. You MUST read you re-highlighting. I will not flow it and speaks will be docked
Water Topic Thoughts:
I do research on this topic pretty much all of the time since debate is practically my full time job.
The States Counterplan wave is real. These debates seems to be very enjoyable. I am not afraid to vote for 50 State fiat bad, however, that does not mean I will not vote for 50 state fiat good
T debates seems to be stale. Haven't heard a decent topicality argument so far
Antitrust Topic Thoughts:
I have very little topic knowledge. I do know a bit about antitrust law, but gonna need a little more unpacking
Heard its pretty neg side bias, so 1NCs better be stacked with stuff other then just politics, federalism and states
Cap debates I've heard sound interesting.
Specific Debate Thoughts:
Counterplans: Fine for Counterplans. Advantage CPs are under-utilized in debate. Some process counterplans are more legitimate than others.
Disadvantages: Fine for DAs, Impact Calculus is a must, filtering your offense out is important.
Topicality: Will reward high speaks for a good T debate, but that does not mean you should go for T just for the points. Limits > Ground. Stop calling T arguments by an author name (ie T-Pearson, last year instead of T-Reduce)
Critiques: Fine with Critiques, pretty well versed in most literature ranging from Security and Cap to Identity-based and High Theory K's. Still believe Links about the plan > Links about advantage thesis/impacts, extinction probably outweighs, and an alternative should have to do something. The Framework debate impacts my decision calculus the most in these types of debates.
Framework: These debates tend to drift away from offense. Condensing the debate to your best impacts are the best debates. Best impact to Framework is CLASH and TOPIC EDUCATION. I can see Fairness as an impact, but view it honestly as an internal link. AFFs are better off impact turning the negative's offense and weighing their counter-interpretation. NEG teams needs to answer the AFF's specific arguments. Generically stating fairness and clash won't get you very far.
Why don't more people read Heg/Cap Good against K affs? Much rather see that debate than a Framework Debate.
I am a versatile judge as long as the argument is well articulated. I have no real preference for arguments but it is a requirement to run the argument as it was intended to be ran. I need a clean cut story as to why you win, meaning there should be some type of summary in your last few speeches somewhere I do prefer global over views instead of overviews on each argument but I will still flow the overviews as to where you put them regardless. I do no work for either team meaning if its not there, it will not be evaluated so if you are going for an argument and haven't put in the work for it, depending on what the other team does, you will be voted down. Other than that I don't judge upon ethos but keep it cordial during the debate, have a great time and good luck to you.
Director of Policy Debate @ Stanford University; Director of Debate @ Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School
(High School Constraints - Edgemont)
(College Constraints - Stanford, Harvard, and a crew of exceptionally talented college debaters I've had the pleasure to coach)
2020-2021 Update: Christmas Edition
Misunderstanding Tech over Truth: Those three words hurt my soul because they've become to only symbolize that a dropped argument is a true argument in most circles; however, it should symbolize that well-done technical debate overcomes the truthful nature of any argument. I want to see you technically execute an argument you've spent time learning and understanding and I'm willing to listen to any argument that shows me this was done. This is significantly different from "I will listen to anything."
Research->Knowledge->Execution: That's the order! I love when students do a lot of column A to make column C easy.
Clarity Trumps: Speed is irrelevant to me. I've been doing debate for a quarter-century and I've judged people at various speeds. The most important part of the debate is clearly communicating ideas to an audience. I speak very fast, so I realize it's inevitable; however, if you're not understood then nothing you do matters. Remember, what you think you said is not always what the other person hears you say.
Policy Debate: What happened to strategies? The trend is to read 3-4 counterplans in the 1nc, rather than debating the case. Fewer off-case positions, with more time invested in debating the case, is usually a more successful strategy to create pressure on 2a's helping you win more ballots.
2020-2021 PF Update: December 21, 2020
I want to see the best version of you debating! As you can tell my opinions on PF have changed dramatically in the past six seasons; however, I still enjoy judging debates when you're trying your best!!
Theory: I'm totally uninterested in PF theory. It's underdeveloped, not well explained, and has no foundational basis in the activity.
Evidence: If the tournament doesn't adhere to a specific set of evidence rules, I will default to NSDA evidence rules. Paraphrasing is allowed unless otherwise prohibited, but must follow the rules.
I will no longer ask for cases or cards before the debate. I do expect that if a piece of evidence or a card doc is requested that it can be produced in a timely manner. To expedite this process, I will allow the other team to prep during the transfer time for a card doc to be sent to the other team unless it's specifically prohibited by the tournament.
Wiki: I don't look at it. My personal preference is that teams would disclose if the other team asks but I am not policing these conversations. I personally believe that understanding the arguments you are debating (if they've been read before) produces better debate; however, am uninterested in listening to a debate about disclosure being good or bad unless something unethical was done during the disclosure process.
2017-2018 PF TOC Update: April 23rd, 2018
As you can see I used to have a very strong leaning towards how evidence needs to be presented during a debate. I've backtracked pretty substantially on this point. Therefore, I won't ask for your case ahead of time. However, I do still prefer evidence that is directly quoted and cited according to the rules of the tournament we are at. I do not like paraphrasing and will only accept paraphrasing as a logical argument to be made in the round and will not credit you for reading a qualified author.
I know a lot about debate, arguments, and the topics you are debating. I have an extremely competitive set of students that are constantly talking about the topic, I tutor students around the world in PF, and I generally like to be educated on the things that students will debate in front of me.
Beyond what I've said above, I'll give you an additional piece of advice: If you would strike Stefan Bauschard or Amisha Mehta than you'd probably want to strike me. I tend to fall somewhere in between where they are at in their philosophies.
Last but not least, I don't intend to steal your cards...we have more than we can use...however if it means you'll throw me up on a Reddit post that can get over 100+ responses then maybe I'll have to start doing it!
**Disregard the section about asking me to conflict you if you feel uncomfortable debating in front of me since I've judged minimally and don't have any experience judging any of the teams in the field more than once therefore, it doesn't apply to you**
2016-2017 Season Update: September 11, 2016
HS Public Forum Update: This is my first year really becoming involved in Public Forum Debate. I have a lot of strong opinions as far as the activity goes. However, my strongest opinion centers on the way that evidence is used, mis-cited, paraphrased, and taken out of context during debates. Therefore, I will start by requiring that each student give me a a copy of their Pro/Con case prior to their speech and also provide me a copy of all qualified sources they'll cite throughout the debate prior to their introduction. I will proactively fact check all of your citations and quotations, as I feel it is needed. Furthermore, I'd strongly prefer that evidence be directly quoted from the original text or not presented at all. I feel that those are the only two presentable forms of argumentation in debate. I will not accept paraphrased evidence. If it is presented in a debate I will not give it any weight at all. Instead I will always defer to the team who presented evidence directly quoted from the original citation. I also believe that a debater who references no evidence at all, but rather just makes up arguments based on the knowledge they've gained from reading, is more acceptable than paraphrasing.
Paraphrasing to me is a shortcut for those debaters who are too lazy to directly quote a piece of text because they feel it is either too long or too cumbersome to include in their case. To me this is laziness and will not be rewarded.
Beyond that the debate is open for the debaters to interpret. I'd like if debaters focused on internal links, weighing impacts, and instructing me on how to write my ballot during the summary and final focus. Too many debaters allow the judge to make up their mind and intervene with their own personal inclinations without giving them any guidance on how to evaluate competing issues. Work Hard and I'll reward you. Be Lazy and it won't work out for you.
NDT/CEDA Update: I'm getting older and I'm spending increasingly more hours on debate (directing, coaching, and tabulating at the HS and College level) than I used to. I really love the activity of debate, and the argumentative creativity being developed, but I'm slowly starting to grow hatred toward many of the attitudes people are adopting toward one another, which in turn results in me hating the activity a little more each day. I believe the foundational element of this activity is a mutual respect amongst competitors and judges. Without this foundational element the activity is doomed for the future.
As a result, I don't want to be a part of a debate unless the four debaters in the room really want me to be there and feel I will benefit them by judging their debate. I feel debate should be an inclusive environment and each student in the debate should feel comfortable debating in front of the judge assigned to them.
I also don’t want people to think this has to do with anyone set of arguments being run. I really enjoy academic debates centered on discussions of the topic and/or resolution. However, I don’t prefer disregarding or disrespectful attitudes toward one another. This includes judges toward students, students toward judges, students toward observers, observers toward students, and most importantly students toward students.
As I grow older my tolerance for listening to disparaging, disregarding, and disrespectful comments amongst participants has completely eroded. I'm not going to tolerate it anymore. I got way better things to do with my time than listen to someone talk down to me when I've not done the same to them. I treat everyone with respect and I demand the same in return. I think sometimes debaters, in the heat of competition, forget that even if a judge knows less about their lived/personal experience or hasn’t read as much of their literature as they have; that the judges, for the most part, understand how argumentation operates and how debates are evaluated. Too many debaters want to rely on the pref sheet and using it to get judges who will automatically check in, which is antithetical to debate education. Judges should and do vote for the "worse" or "less true" arguments in rounds when they were debated better. Debate is a performative/communicative activity. Its not about who wrote the best constructives only. Its about how teams clash throughout the debate.
Therefore, as a result I will allow any person or team to ask me to conflict them if they feel uncomfortable debating in front of me or feel that the current system of judge placement requires them to prefer me since I'm a better fit than the other judge(s). I won't ask you any questions and won't even respond to the request beyond replying "request honored". Upon receiving the request I will go into my tabroom.com account and make sure I conflict you from future events. I feel this way you'll have a better chance at reducing the size of the judge pool and you'll get to remove a judge that you don't feel comfortable debating in front of which will narrow the number of judges available to you and might allow you to get more preferable judges. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please direct all conflict requests to this email.
2014-2015 Season Update: September 2, 2014 (The gift that keeps on giving!!)
The following are not for the faint of heart!
Some days you just can't get ready in the morning without being bothered.Then you just need to be cheered up and it fails or someone threatens to eat your phone.
However, when it's all said and done you can at least sleep having sweet dreams.
**On a more serious note. Dylan Quigley raised a point on the College Policy Debate facebook group about what "competition" means when people are judging debates. Therefore, I'll go with this answer "Because this is an emerging debate with no clear consensus, I would encourage judges to let the debaters hash out a theory of competition instead of trying to create one for them. I think in an era were students are taking their power to mold the "world of debate" they debate in it is especially important for us judges to *listen* to their arguments and learn from their theories. No shade towards the original post, I just think it's worthwhile to emphasis the relationship between "new debate" (whatevs that is) and student's ability to create theories of debate on their own instead of choosing a theory that's imposed on them." However, in the absence of these debates happening in the round I will default to a traditional interpretation of "competition." This interpretation says the neg must proves their alternative method/advocacy is better than the affirmative method/advocacy or combination of the affirmatives method/advocacy and all or part of the negatives method/advocacy. Also in these situations I'll default to a general theory of opportunity cost which includes the negatives burden of proving the affirmative undesirable.
2013-2014 Season Update: December 25, 2013 (Yes, it's Christmas...so here are your presents!!)
If you love debate as much as Sukhi loves these cups, please let it show!!
If you can mimic this stunt, you'll thoroughly impress me and be well rewarded: Sukhi Dance
And you thought you had a sick blog!!
Also why cut cards when you can have sick Uke skills like these and these!!
To only be shown up by a 2 year old killing it to Adele
Finally, we need to rock out of 2013 with the Stanford version of the Harlem Shake by Suzuki and KJaggz
2012-2013 Season Update: August 22, 2012
Instead of forcing you to read long diatribes (see below) about my feelings on arguments and debate practices. I will instead generate a list of things I believe about debate and their current practices. You can read this list and I believe you'll be able to adequately figure out where to place me on your preference sheet. If you'd like to read more about my feelings on debate, then continue below the fold! Have a great season.
1. TKO is still in play, and will always be that way!
2. You must win a link to a DA - if you don't talk about it I'm willing to assign it zero risk. Uniqueness doesn't mean there is a risk of a link.
2a. "Issue Specific Uniqueness" IS NOT a utopian answer to all affirmative arguments.
3. You must defend something on the aff - by doing so it also implies you should be able to defend your epistemological assumptions underlying that advocacy.
4. T is about reasonability not competing interpretations. This doesn't mean every affirmative is reasonably topical.
5. Debate should be hard; its what makes it fun and keeps us interested.
6. Research is good - its rewarding, makes you smarter, and improves your arguments.
7. "Steal the entire affirmative" strategies are bad. However, affirmative teams are even worse at calling teams out on it. This mean they are still very much in play. Therefore, affirmatives should learn how to defeat them, instead of just believing they'll somehow go away.
8. There are other parts to an argument other than the impact. You should try talking about them, I heard they're pretty cool.
9. Your affirmative should have advantages that are intrinsic to the mechanism you choose to defend with the aff. Refer to #6, it helps solve this dilemma.
10. Have fun and smile! The debaters, judges, and coaches in this activity are your life long friends and colleagues. We are all rooting you on to succeed. We all love the activity or we wouldn't be here. If you don't like something, don't hate the player, hate the game!
Clipping/Cross-reading/Mis-marking: I hear that this is coming back. To prosecute cheating, the accusing team needs hard evidence. A time trial is not hard evidence. A recording of the speech must be presented. I will stop the debate, listen to the recording, and compare it to the evidence read. If cheating occurred, the offending debater and their partner will receive zero speaker points and a loss. I'd also encourage them to quit. I consider this offense to be more serious than fabricating evidence. It is an honor system that strikes at the very core of what we do here.
Additional caveat that was discussed with me at a previous tournament - I believe that the status quo is always a logical option for the negative unless it is explicitly stated and agreed to in CX or its won in a speech.
Newly Updated Philosophy - November 18, 2011
So after talking to Tim Aldrete at USC, he convinced me that I needed more carrots and less sticks in my philosophy. Therefore, I have a small carrot for those debaters who wish to invoke it. Its called a T.K.O (Technical Knockout). This basically means that at any point of the debate you believe you've solidly already won the debate, beyond a reasonable doubt, (dropped T argument, double turn, strategic miscue that is irreparable by the other team) you can invoke a TKO and immediately end the debate. If a team chooses this path and succeeds, I will give them 30 speaker points each and an immediate win. If the team chooses to invoke this but its unclear you've TKO'd the other team or in fact choose wrong, you obviously will lose and your points will be severely effected. Who dares to take the challenge?
Past Updated Philosophy - September 9, 2010
I am currently the Assistant Coach @ Lakeland/Panas High School, College Prep School, and Harvard Debate. I’m also involved with Research & Marketing for Planet Debate. This topic will be my 14th in competitive debate and 10th as a full time coach. Debate is my full time job and I love this activity pretty much more than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I enjoy the competition, the knowledge gained, and the people I’ve come to be friends with and likewise I really enjoy people who have the same passion I have for this activity.
I last posted an update to my judge philosophy a number of years ago and think it is finally time I revisit it and make some changes.
First, I’ll be the first to admit that I probably haven’t been the best judge the last few years and I think a majority of that has come from pure exhaustion. I’ve been traveling upwards of 20+ weekends a year and am constantly working when I am home. I don’t get much time to re-charge my batteries before I’m off to another tournament. Then while at tournaments I’m usually putting in extremely late nights cutting cards and preparing my teams, which trades off with being adequately awake and tuned in. This year I’ve lessened my travel schedule and plan to be much better rested for debates than I was in previous years.
Second, since my earlier days of coaching/judging my ideology about debate has changed somewhat. This new ideology will tend to complement hard working teams and disadvantage lazy teams who try and get by with the same generics being ran every debate. Don’t let this frighten you, but rather encourage you to become more involved in developing positions and arguments. When this happens I’m overly delighted and reward you with higher speaker points and more than likely a victory.
tl;dr yeah, you can go fast
Yes, I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Update for St Mark's LD: I haven't judged much LD at all, but my understanding is that the basic principles are mostly policy these days anyway. So that should just mean for you that (1) I don't have topic background, (2) I don't have predispositions for or against LD-specific theory things, (3) if you are going to make format-specific arguments like the existence of a side bias, etc., you'll need to justify them more than maybe you normally do. Otherwise, all the same stuff should be good!
Debated in college for UC Berkeley, have coached high school and college teams, etc. In grad school now doing a bit of occasional judging but I'm not plugged into the circuit hardcore. My own argumentative evolution has been from a pretty exclusively K debater early on to almost all policy work by the end, though I've coached all kinds. For what it’s worth, if you need an easy way to rank me, I lean more and more towards enjoying straight-up policy debates the more I judge. It's tough to disentangle "what are you a good judge for" and "what are you gonna have more fun watching" sometimes, even though they're definitely different, so I'm just gonna be honest and say that if you have no good reason to pick the K or the DA or which of your affs you're gonna read, might as well read the policy one. Regardless, same stuff everyone says: debate like you want to debate, explain things and impact them, tell me why you winning or losing an argument does or does not influence my decision, and have fun. Otherwise, here’s some random thoughts:
- I’m probably at least 60/40 towards voting negative in the default, stereotypical framework debate. I'm a larger percentage towards the negative in my ideal universe, but those numbers are based on how teams usually perform. Predictability and debatability sound like pretty important things to me, but that doesn't mean any given neg team executes properly. I think like most everyone I’d rather here some clever unique strategy, but I dislike the dichotomy that framework isn’t a “substantive” argument and that the negative “didn’t engage the aff” by reading it. It's a good argument.
- I’m generally unpersuaded by arguments along the lines of “the permutation/framework/etc. is violence/stealing our advocacy/etc.”, arguments that the negative doesn’t have to disprove the affirmative, purely nihilistic alternatives, and K speeches that consist entirely of buzzwords where you expect me to fill in what I already know about your concepts. I’m not afraid to give decisions which consist mostly of “I have no idea what you were talking about most of the time” if you just repeated the words “rhizome” or “foundational antagonism” at me, even if I know what you were trying to mean. Additionally, I'm super not down with arguments that are about things outside of the debate, like "show us your prefs" style stuff. I think the other team needs like a ten second defense of "you can only critique stuff we actually said" and I'm checked out.
- Evidence comparison, and calling out your opponent’s terrible, terrible evidence for what it is, is both extremely important and probably the best way to rack up your speaker points, alongside detailed impact calculus.
- My favorite debates to judge are: huge in-depth case throwdowns, techy aff-specific counterplan debates, K on K clashes that are grounded in true disputes in the literature, impact turn debates (on the case or against a DA/K), and well-executed topicality debates. My least favorite debates to judge are: theoretically questionable process CPs, bad framework debates, "here are my 18 impact cards tagged Extinction" DA debates, bad word PICs and silly reps Ks, and poorly-executed topicality or theory debates. I am relatively neutral to politics debates, but I also think their technical and constantly updating nature means they have the highest potential to be truly excellent examples of good debating.
- Because so many debates start with the question, "Can we do open CX?", the answer is always the same: you can, technically, there's no rule against it. But I would really recommend you don't - it's always better to get practice handling your CXs alone, going to your partner only as a last resort. It's important that they have the time to prep their next speech (that's three full minutes of free prep time!) and it's also much better for both of your speaker points if you each look organized and have mastery of your material.
Important: I'm completely deaf in my left ear. This makes it hard to hear you, and it also makes it extra hard to distinguish background noises from voices. The clearer and louder team will often have a significant advantage debating in front of me. Speed: I don't mind speed, but I find it pretty rare that high schoolers are both clear and fast. Which would you prefer, saying 1000 things I can't understand, or saying 100 I can?
Overview: I am open to any compelling and well-articulated argument as to why the game should be played a certain way.
Novices: if you don't roadmap, I will flow straight down and then do my best / flip a coin at the end.
C-X: I don't flow it, but I will pay close attention for speaker-points purposes. Likewise, I think it can be binding if you articulate why it should be.
Style: In my youth I liked full K debates, in my old age I prefer policy. But it's not because I dislike Ks—I just enjoy a techy, hyper-specific policy round most of all. Keep in mind that my knowledge of K literature is well out-of-date with what is fashionable, and even if it weren't, I'm not going to do the work for you by filling arguments that I understand even though you are not explaining them correctly or at all.
I don’t have any expectations on what will happen in the round, so I tend to vote directly on the flow. Also, I recommend that you assume that I don't know anything about any of your case so explain it well or don't argue when I vote you down. I am fine with both policy and K's so it doesn't matter to me. I did debate for 6 years, varsity for three years.
Do you and you will be fine, as will I.
Don't go for Racism or Anti-blackness Good, FYI.
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Do put me on the email chain and email me any questions, concerns o complaints.
my email is email@example.com
add me to the email chain if I'm about to judge your round.
Online debate note: having judged 35+ rounds of online debate at this point - please slow down if you're debating virtually. 70-80% of your normal max speed should be fine.
TLDR: Say whatever you want to say- if you are passionate and enthusiastic about your argumentation, I am more inclined to be an enthusiastic and active Judge. I have little to say about argumentative preference besides the fact that I am probably not the person to have in the back of a room for a policy-policy T debate given that I have little topic knowledge, and I also hate unresponsive theory debates.
I am here first and foremost to listen to the things you have woken up early in the morning to come tell me about. Do not be afraid to talk to me during your speeches, do not be afraid to tell me which way to vote and why to do it, and do not be afraid of the LBL!
Tech over truth always unless a substantive argument is made by either side as for why debate techné should be reconsidered.
People that have influenced the way I think abt competition and debate: Kevin Kuswa, Dr. Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Jack Lassiter, and Nick Lepp.
Do not call me judge, or ask me to go to the bathroom/start prep/etc. !!!
About me: I debated for Berkeley Preparatory School and as a hybrid team in HS. I had 5 bids my senior year, and 2 my junior year. My senior year, I went to 6 tournaments and got to finals of 4, and got to a bid round and a top 10 speaker award at all 6.
I debated on the 2018-2019 college topic (executive authority) at Wake Forest, cleared at a couple national tournaments and got to Octafinals of CEDA before transferring to Columbia and choosing to no longer pursue collegiate debate.
In both high school and college I was primarily a performance and K debater, but this by no means indicates I lean towards a particular side of the argumentative spectrum- if anything, it means I have a higher burden for both sides in clash of civ debates given that I have been on both sides of that debate several times. I have also read plans, extended disads, gone for Framework, etc.
Things I appreciate regardless of what side of the spectrum you fall on:
- comparative impact calc- do not explain your impacts in a vacuum, explain them in the context of the impacts your opponents are going for! Which impact and TYPE of impacts should I prioritize more?
- I LOVE impact turns. These are some of my fave debates to judge.
- creative strategies and passion
for the love of god, please have external impacts to your model and describe the limits and ground provided by the model of debate you are forwarding.
This means: negative teams going for framework, please isolate why your model of debate is GOOD and what it provides for the community, not just arguments as for why they make your model of debate worse/unplayable.
Aff teams- don't just talk about why their model is bad/harmful- please talk about the minutia of your own model- what can the aff say under your model? what is predictable ground the neg can say in response? Why is this model of debate preferable to theirs?
Generally default to debate being a game unless told otherwise
Aff against the K:
if you have a plan-
- if you say extinction and are good at the util debate, by all means, go for it.
- please defend your aff and why it's a good idea instead of relying on arbitrary FW arguments. I am v inclined to give the neg the K and the aff their aff unless an argument as for why either should be excluded is repeatedly extended and dropped.
- if you're going for the perm, please answer the LBL from the negative team as for why you get the perm instead of making a series of compelling, common-sense perm arguments in the 2AR that should've been in the 1ar.
if you don't-
- big fan of either the link turn or the perm in K v K debates.
- please have a theory of competition!!! that makes these debates so much easier to resolve from my end.
- please do impact calculus- it is unbelievably frustrating to have to determine on my own which nebulous impact matters more or impacts solvency- tell me what to evaluate first and why I should evaluate it first.
Going for the K:
- the primary theory bases I read during my career: afropessimism, queer pessimism, quare theory, anything involving gender, and psychoanalysis- if you are reading anything outside of these literature bases, please be comfortable giving me a greater degree of explanation instead of dropping buzzwords.
- do not be afraid to be creative- a creative, well-thought-out, and well-executed strategy is always more interesting to listen to early in the morning.
- if you're kicking out of the alt, please explain why your link arguments still have uniqueness, especially in a world where your alternative was the only thing generating uniqueness for the K as a whole.
- much better for alts that question/change epistemology in the round or result in some form of praxis than a nebulous alt that never claims to resolve any of the impacts of the Kritik.
- sucker for external impacts and links that turn case.
- answer fairness and reciprocity arguments on the framework flow please
- If an argument is consistently extended and dropped as to why one team should get higher/lower speaks I will usually adjust speaks accordingly (assuming I feel comfortable w/ and understand the argument as for why that should be)
To get higher speaks in front of me:
- know what you're talking about
- package your arguments in a way that is both easy to flow and understand (this includes both short blippy theory args and 5 minute K overviews)
- make smart strategic decisions about what is going into your speeches and what you spend your time on
- drop relevant examples and explain/extend them consistently!
- make eye contact/be an engaging speaker that *pretends* to care what they're talking about
I debated 2 years at Strath Haven High School (PA) and 4 years at the University of Rochester.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a debater and a coach, I lived pretty exclusively on the policy side of things. I don't think I am a good judge at all for the critique, but this reflects my research interests and my familiarity in judging more than deeply-held beliefs about debate.
I evaluate the round probabilistically -- comparing the risk that each team accesses their impacts, regardless of whether it is a DA, K or T debate. Good defense is often as important as offense in my decisions, but there is very infrequently "zero risk".
I very rarely dealt with theory and (non-framework) topicality as a debater. I think there are very few situations where negatives would be better served by going for topicality instead of a DA/CP strategy in front of me, and vice versa few situations where you are better off going for theory/condo to answer that nasty counterplan instead of just making solvency deficits or putting offense against the net benefits.
Judge kick makes intuitive sense to me and I'm happy to do it for you, but you need to tell me to do it in the 2NR.
Evidence quality is very important to me. I like to read a lot of evidence as the debate is going on NOT because I like to needlessly intervene but because I think that it makes my decisions more informed. You should use this to your favor by (a) reading good evidence and (b) comparing evidence to impact how I view the evidence that has been read. This also means I am hesitant to vote on, for example, disad stories that are contrived and supported mainly by "spin." If you don't have a single card that describes all of your disad story, I'm probably not interested (though I have a bit of a soft spot for the old school PC-style Agenda DA).
This (hopefully) should only apply to high school debates, but I have a very low tolerance for non-substantive, "trolly" arguments in policy rounds---things like ASPEC, frivolous T arguments, one card or backfile critiques, or even very generic impact turns (e.g. spark). My threshold for affs answering these is incredibly low.
Hey, if you're reading this I'm probably judging you soon; first things first thanks for looking this up rather than asking me what my paradigm/preference is. Second if you really don't want to read this everything can be summed up in two words, "DO YOU."
How to win in front of me:
Explain to me why I should vote for you and don't make me do work. I've noticed that I take "the path of least resistance" when voting; this means 9/10 I will make the decision that requires no work from me. You can do this by signposting and roadmapping so that my flow stays as clean as possible. If you don't do this I will try to flow arguments on the right flow but some arguments are bound to get lost so please try to stay clean. You can also do this by actually flowing the other team and not just their speech doc. Too often debaters will scream for 5 minutes about a dropped perm when the other team answered it with analytics and those were not flown. Please don't be this team.
By default theory and topicality are voters and come aprior unless there is no offense on the flow. Should be clear what the interpretation, violation, voter, and impact are. I generally love theory debates but like with any judge you have to dedicate the time into it if you would like to win. If you can't speak for 5 minutes about condo in the 2AR then don't go for condo; it's as simple as that. Lastly you don't need to prove in round abuse to win but it REALLY helps and you probably won't win unless you can do this.
I feel framework should be argued in almost any debate as I will not do work for a team. Unless the debate is policy aff v da+cp then you should probably be reading framework. I default to utilitarianism and will view myself as a policy maker unless told otherwise. This is not to say I lean toward these arguments (in fact I think util is weak and policy maker framing is weaker than that) but unless I explicitly hear "interpretation", "role of the judge", or "role of the ballot," I have to default to something. Now here I would like to note that Theory, Topicality, and Framework all interact with each other and you as the debater should see these interactions and use them to win. Please view these flows wholistically.
I am comfortable voting on these as I believe every judge is but I beg you (unless it's a politics debate) please do not just read more cards but explain why you're authors disprove thier's. Not much else to say here besides impact calc please.
I am a philosophy and political science major so please read whatever you would like as far as literature goes; I have probably read it or debated it at some point so seriously don't be afraid. Now my openness also leaves you with a burden of really understanding the argument you are reading. Please leave the cards and explain the thought process, while I have voted on poorly run K's before those teams never do get high speaker points.
Look above for maybe a bit more, but I will always be open to voting and have voted on K affs of all kinds. I tend to think the neg has a difficult time winning policy framework against K affs for two reasons; first they debate framework/topicality most every round and will be better versed, and second framework/topicality tends to get turned rather heavily and costs teams rounds. With that said I have voted on framework/topicality it just tends to be the only argument the neg goes for in these cases.
Perms are a test of competition unless I am told otherwise and 3+ perms is probably abusive but that's for theory.
So I will only intervene in three instances. First if the 2AR makes new arguments I will ignore them as there is no 3NR. Second I will shadow extend arguments into the 2R's (if you don't know what this means just ignore it). Third I will judge kick conditional arguments despite this I will be upset if you don't make it clear what you're going for.
- What gets you good speaks:
- Following the flow
- Making it easier for me to flow
- Making things interesting
- Clear spreading
- Productive CX
- What hurts your speaks:
- Being really boring
- Wasting CX or Preptime
- Being rude
- I am much more lenient about dropped arguments than in any other form of debate. Rebuttals should acknowledge each link chain if they want to have answers in the summary. By the end of summary no new arguments should made. 1st and 2nd crossfire are binding speeches, but grand crossfire cannot be used to make new arguments. *these are just my defaults and in round you can argue to have me evaluate differently
- If you want me to vote on theory I need a Voting Issue and Impact - also probably best you spend the full of Final Focus on it.
- Make clear in final focus which authors have made the arguments you expect me to vote on - not necessary, but will help you win more rounds in front of me.
- Please share all evidence you plan to read in a speech with me your opponents before you give the speech. I understand it is not the norm in PF, but teams who do this will receive bonus speaker points from me for reading this far and making my life easier.
I did 3 years of policy debate in the RI Urban Debate League. Been judging for 5 years; coaching on and off during that time. As a debater I typically ran policy affs and went for K's on the neg (Cap and Nietzsche mostly) but I also really enjoyed splitting the block CP/DA for the 2NC and K/Case for the 1NR. Despite all of this I had to have gone for theory in 40% of my rounds, mostly condo bad.
Oakland University - PhD Applied Mathematics (2017)
U of M - Dearborn - BSE Computer Engineering & Engineering Mathematics (2011)
I debated for Groves High School for two years, U of M - Dearborn for one year, and I debated for U of M - Ann Arbor for one year. I have been coaching at Groves High School since August 2007, where I am currently Co-Director of Debate.
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com
Top Level: Do whatever you want. My job is to evaluate the debate, not tell you what to read.
Speed: Speed is not a problem so long as you remain clear.
Topicality: I am willing to vote on T. I think that there should be substantial work done on the Interpretation vs Counter-Interpretation debate, with impacted standards or reasons to prefer your interpretation. There needs to be specific explanations of your standards and why they are better than the aff's or vice versa. Why does one standard give a better internal link to education or fairness than another, etc?
CPs: I am willing to listen to any type of CP and multiple counterplans in the same round. I also try to remain objective in terms of whether I think a certain cp is abusive or not - the legitimacy of a counterplan is up for debate and thus can vary from one round to the next.
Disads: Sure. There should be a clear link to the aff. Yes, there can be zero risk. The overviews should focus in on why your impacts outweigh and turn case. Let the story of the DA be revealed on the line-by-line.
Kritiks: I enjoy a good kritik debate. Having said that, you shouldn't run the K just because I am judging. If you decided to read the K, make sure that there is a clear link to the aff. This may include reading new link scenarios in the block. There should also be a clear explanation of the impact with specific impact analysis. For the alternative debate, this is where some time needs to be spent. What is the alt? Does it solve the aff? What does the world of the alternative look like? And finally, who does the alternative? What is my role as the judge? The neg should also isolate a clear f/w - why does methodology, ontology, reps, discourse, etc. come first?
Theory: I don't lean any particular way on the theory debate. For me, a theory debate must be more than just reading and re-reading one's blocks. There needs to be impacted reasons as to why I should vote one way or another. If there are dropped independent voters on the theory debate, I will definitely look there first. Finally, there should be an articulated reason why I should reject the team on theory, otherwise I default to just rejecting the argument.
Performance: I find myself judging more and more of these debates. I prefer if the performative affirmation or action is germane to the topic, but that is up for debate. I am certainly willing to listen to your arguments, and evaluate them fairly.
Paperless Debate: I try to give the paperless teams the benefit of the doubt should a computer issue occur. I do not take prep time for flashing, but don't use this as an excuse to steal prep.
Other general comments:
Line-by-line is extremely important in evaluating the rounds, especially on procedural flows.
Clipping cards is cheating! If caught, you will lose the round and get the lowest possible speaker points the tournament allows.
Finally, don't change what works for you. I am willing to hear and vote on any type of argument, so don't alter your winning strat to fit what you may think my philosophy is.
I debated for Wylie E. Groves High School for four years, debated for 3 years at MSU, and currently coach at Groves.
Topicality: I’m not opposed to voting on T, but rereading T shells is insufficient. There needs to be substantial work on the interpretations debate from both teams, in addition to the standards and voters debate, i.e. education and fairness. As long as the aff is reasonably topical and it is proven so, T is probably not a voter. Also, if you are going for T in the 2NR, go for only T, and do so for all 5 minutes.
Counterplans: Any type of counterplan is fine; however, if it is abusive, do not leave it for me to decide this, make these arguments.
Disads: Any type of DA is fine. A generic link in the 1NC is okay, but I think that throughout the block the evidence should be link specific. When extending the DA in the block, an overview is a must. The first few words I should here on the DA flow is “DA outweighs and turns case for X and Y reasons.”
Kritiks: I will vote on the K, but I often find that in the K rounds people undercover the alternative debate. When getting to this part of the K, explain what the world of the alternative would look like, who does the alternative, if the aff can function in this world, etc. I am well versed in psychoanalytic literature i.e. Zizek and Lacan and I do know the basis of a plethora of other Ks. This being said, I should learn about the argumentation in the round through your explanation and extrapolation of the authors ideas; not use what I know about philosophy and philosophers or what like to read in my free time. Read specific links in the block and refrain from silly links of omission.
Theory: I am not opposed to voting on theory, but it would make my life a lot easier if it didn’t come down to this. This is not because I dislike the theory debate rather I just believe that it is hard to have an actual educational and clear theory debate from each side of the debate. Now, this said, if a theory argument is dropped, i.e. conditionality bad, by all means, go for it!
Performance: An interesting and unique type of debate that should still relate to the resolution. As long as there is substantive and legitimate argumentation through your rapping or dancing and whatever else you can come up with, I am willing to vote on it. Even if you are rapping, I would prefer to have a plan text to start.
*As technology is vital in our life, many of us have switched toward paperless debate. I do not use prep for flashing, because I have also debated both off of paper and paperlessly in debate and I understand that technology can sometimes be your opponent in the round, rather than the other team. I am being a nice and fair judge in doing this, so please do not abuse this by stealing prep, because I will most likely notice and take away that stolen prep.
FAQs: Speed – I’m okay with speed as long as you are clear!
Tag teaming - I’m okay with it as long as it’s not excessive.
Things not to do in rounds I’m judging: go for RVIs, go for everything in the 2NR, and be mean. Believe it or not, there is a distinction between being confident and having ethos vs. being rude and obnoxious when you don’t have the right to be.
** Updated in 2021**
I’ve been in the debate world for over a decade now. I was trained in policy debate but have also judged both policy and LD since 2016.
TLDR: I want you to debate what you’re best at unless it’s offensive or exclusionary. I try to have very limited intervention and rely on framing and weighing in the round. Telling me how to vote and keeping my flow clean is the fastest way to my ballot. Please have fun and be kind to one another.
ONLINE DEBATE UPDATES
In an online world, you should reduce your speed to about 75%-80%. It’s difficult for me to say clear in a way that doesn’t totally disrupt your speech, so focusing on clarity and efficiency are especially important. I will try to resolve tech issues in the round to the best of my ability.
I use two monitors, with my flow on the second monitor, so when I’m looking to the side, I’m looking at the flow or my ballot.
If your argument isn’t on my flow, I can’t evaluate it. Because of this, keeping my flow clean, repeating important points, and being clear can decide the round. I flow by ear and have your speech doc primarily for author names, so make sure your tags/arguments/analytics are clear. I default to tech over truth and debate being a competitive and educational activity. That being said, how I evaluate a debate is up for debate. The threshold for answering arguments without warrants is low, and I don’t find blippy arguments to be particularly persuasive.
In general: I take my flow seriously but am really not a fan of blippy arguments. I’m fine with speed and theoretical debates but am not the best judge for affs with tricks. I don’t like when theory is spread through and need it to be well-articulated and impacted. I have a decent philosophy background, but please assume that I do not know and err on over-explaining your lit.
On Framework: In LD, I default to framework as a lens to evaluate impacts in the round. However, I am willing to (and will) evaluate framework as the only impact to the round. Framework debates tend to get really messy, so I ask that you try to go top-down when possible. Please try to collapse arguments when you can and get as much clash on the flow as possible.
A note on fairness as a voter: I am willing to vote on fairness, but I tend to think of fairness as more of an internal link to an impact.
On T: I default to competing interpretations. If you’re going for T, please make sure that you’re weighing your standards against your opponent’s. In evaluating debates, I default to T before theory.
On Theory: I lean towards granting 1AR theory for abusive strats. However, I am not a fan of frivolous theory and would prefer clash on substantive areas of the debate.
On RVIs: I think RVIs have morphed into a way of saying "I'm fair but having to prove that I'm being fair means that I should win", which I don't particularly enjoy. If you’re going for an RVI, make sure it’s convincing and reasonable. Further, please make sure that if you’re going for an RVI that you spend sufficient time on it.
In general: I rely on my flow to decide the round. Keeping my flow clean is the best path to my ballot, so please make sure that your speeches are organized and weigh your arguments against your opponents. Please take care to not misrepresent your evidence. Along those lines, I would also prefer that you do not paraphrase evidence.
On LD/Policy Arguments: While I will evaluate the round based on my flow, I want PF to be PF. Please do not feel that you need to adapt to my LD/Policy background when I’m in the back of the room.
On Framework: ROBs and ROJs should be extended and explained within the context of the round. Interpretations and framing how I need to evaluate the round are the easiest path to my ballot. Please weigh your standards against your opponent’s and tell me why your model of debate works best. While I will vote on fairness as a voter, I tend to default to it as an internal link to another impact, i.e. education.
One off FW: These rounds tend to get messy. Please slow down for the analytics. The best path to my ballot is creating fewer, well-articulated arguments that directly clash with your opponent’s.
On Theory and T: Make sure you make it a priority if you want me to vote on it. If you’re going for T, it should be the majority of your 2NR. Please have clearly articulated standards and voters. I typically default to competing interpretations, so make sure you clearly articulate why your interpretation is best for debate.
On DA/CP: Explain why your evidence outweighs their evidence and please use impact calc.
On K-Affs: Make sure you’re weighing the impacts of your aff against tech stuff the neg articulates. Coming from the 1AC, I need a clear articulation of your solvency mechanism and the role of ballot / judge.
Hitting K-Affs on neg: PLEASE give me clash on the aff flow
On Ks: Make sure that you’re winning framing for these arguments. I really enjoy well-articulated link walls and think that they can take you far. I’m maybe not the best judge for high theory debates, but I have some experience with most authors you will read in most cases and should be able to hold my own if it’s well articulated. I need to understand the world of the alt, how it outweighs case impacts, and what the ballot resolves.
One off Ks: These rounds tend to get very nuanced, especially if it’s a K v K debate. Please have me put framework on another flow and go line by line.
Assistant Coach @ Mamaroneck, 2020-Present
Assistant Coach @ Lexington, 2019-20
Debated @ Northside College Prep, 2015-19 (TOC x2)
The sections below this are a set of my opinions on debate, not a stringent set of guidelines that I always adhere to when making decisions. Debate is an incredibly valuable activity, and thus I encourage you to go for the arguments that you enjoy instead of overcorrecting to my paradigm. I tend to like most arguments - my only distinction between good and bad debates is whether or not your argumentation is strategic and nuanced.
I think CX is heavily underutilized by most debaters. Organized debates make my job easier and are more enjoyable.
I won’t vote on things that have happened outside of the round.
There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude in CX - please be aware of it.
Don’t threaten others or make harmful comments about someone or a group of people - you will lose the round and I will talk with your coaches.
If the coaching staff at your program encourages you to make harassment/insulting the other team a component of your strategy, I suggest you strike me, and I would encourage you to deeply reconsider if you are making debate better.
Non-Traditional Affs/Clash Debates
It’s hard for me to be convinced that policy debate actively creates bad people OR perfect policymakers; I think there’s value in challenging our understanding of the resolution and debate itself, but I also don’t think T is inherently violent.
In clash debates, I tend to vote negative when the affirmative fails to parse out the unique benefits of their model of debate, and tend to vote affirmative when the negative fails to grapple with the applicable offense of case. Organization often falls by the wayside in these debates, so I would encourage you to identify the nexus questions of the debate early and compartmentalize them to one area of the flow.
Fairness can be an impact, but it is not one by default - that requires explanation. I’ll vote for any impact on FW if effectively argued, but I personally like strategies centered around truth-testing/dogmatism. I think skepticism is healthy and that breaking out of our preferred ideological bubbles results in more ethical and pragmatic decision-making over time, but I can also be persuaded that the method the aff defends can also be consistently ethical/beneficial.
Aff teams are overly reliant on exclusion/policing arguments but almost never actually impact out the tangible consequences of the negative model as a result, or provide a reason why the ballot would resolve this. If arguments like these are what you like going for, I suggest you codify them within a reasonability paradigm that criticizes the usefulness of the competing interpretations model when it comes to K Affs.
I will say that I am quite partial to teams that go for the K against non-traditional affs (I judge FW debates frequently, and they get repetitive). Most K affs nowadays are specifically tailored to beat FW and generally rely on generic permutations to beat back K’s. I can be easily convinced that permutations exist to compare the opportunity cost of combining specific policies, and that in debates of competing methodologies the evaluating point of the debate should be reliant on who had broader explanatory power and a more effective orientation. How I decide that is up to what parameters you establish within the debate.
I’m not opposed to any of them. However, I do prefer techy K debaters - overviews should be short and the substantive parts of the debate should be done on the respective parts of the line by line.
Specificity goes beyond good links - nuanced impact and turns case explanations make it easier to vote on something tangible as opposed to nebulous platitudes. It’s easy to tell when you have a generic link wall with fill-in-the-blanks like “insert aff impact” “aff mechanism” etc.
For both teams - know the broader theories that your arguments function within (i.e. understanding what theory of IR your authors defend, or actually knowing a decent amount about the author your K is named after). Understanding these concepts outside of the context of debate will give you the tools to be more specific in round, and will often give you additional ways to leverage offense.
Aff teams with extinction impacts - stop overcorrecting to the negative team's strategy. Extinction is extinction, which is easily defensible as bad - if you're not link turning the K/going for the perm, I find it strange when the 1AR/2AR try to subsume the K's impacts/offense by describing how the inroads to extinction would be bad for X group the K is worried about ("nUcLeAr StRiKeS tArGeT uRbAn CeNtErS") ... because extinction, in the end, kills everyone. Also, K teams often capitalize on this arbitrary framing and make it a new link. Don't waste your time - win that you get to weigh your impacts and then win that your impacts outweigh.
The more specific, the better.
Yes judge kick. “Status quo is always an option,” once said, is sufficient enough for me to be willing to kick the CP unless the aff explicitly challenges it in both aff rebuttals.
Condo is good. If the 2AR is condo, it's either been dropped or you think it is your only road to victory.
I lean neg on most theory issues, but can be convinced that process CPs and 50 state/NGA fiat are bad for debate.
Invest time and organization into the competition debate - meta definitions matter just as much as word definitions in these debates because they are about competing models.
Severance perms are probably always bad, but intrinsic perms can be very useful if you know how to defend them well.
Love them, even the crappy ones - there's nothing more fun than watching someone very effectively debate in favor of something everyone in the round knows is ridiculously unlikely.
Winning framing does not mean you win terminal defense to the DA. Winning that a DA is low risk comes from substantive arguments, and then how the framing debate is resolved dictates whether or not risk probability matters. Seriously. Nebulous arguments about the conjunctive fallacy or the general low risk of existential impacts mean nothing if the 2NR can just get up and point to a unique internal link chain on their DA that has not been contested.
Impact turn debates are some of my favorite rounds to judge, but unfortunately I am often left to resolve stalemates within a debate by reading a bulk of the cards in the round and then determining on my own which ones are better, which I think functions as a disservice to everyone in the round. I don’t think that having less/worse ev necessarily means you’ll lose the debate, but you must have constant and effective comparison in-round.
Evidence comparison matters. Terminal impacts are important - so many 2NRs don't do this work (why, I don't know). Not enough teams are going for T against the egregious number of bad affs on this topic.
I don't like arguments like Embody PTX because I don't think there is a way to enforce them as a model and thus lend themselves to problematic enforcement, and it frustrates me when affirmative teams don't make the obvious case for this being true.
Aff teams should be going for reasonability more often against nitpicky T violations - not as a vague appeal, but as a better heuristic than competing interps.
Debated policy for Brooklyn Technical High School (2013-2016) and for Binghamton University (2016-2020). You can add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR been out of debate for a while, have very little familiarity with the topic so please explain acronyms, topic specific knowledge, etc... You can probably run anything (nothing offensive) and I'll evaluate it. While I enjoy K debates more, I'm not particularly against debates about policies as I started out as a non-K debater. I prefer depth over breath and think line-by-line is important. Since debate is now on Zoom, please be very clear using changes in tone, inflection, etc to ensure that I am evaluating the arguments you want me to evaluate.
I'm just going to copy and paste a portion of Lee Thach's paradigm here because it basically summarizes how I evaluate debates:
"1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.
2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.
3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.
4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.
5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die."
Here are some of my other thoughts:
Kritiks: I mostly ran critical arguments including ones about anti-blackness and biopower. I like Ks and when good K debates happen. One thing that has changed for me in terms of Ks is that I want to hear that the K does "something" whatever that "something" is. Whether in round or external to the debate, please explain what that "something" is, why I should evaluate whatever the K does as "something," and how exactly the K does that thing.
FW: I would say that I'm probably 51/49 against framework. I think that it is sometimes valuable to discuss non-traditional affirmatives especially when the affirmative has given me reasons why their AFF is valuable to this year's resolution. I do enjoy framework for certain AFFs that are abusive/irrelevant. That said, my bias can be overcome with good debating (i.e. when standards/violations are super nuanced and when there are clear articulations/comparisons of each side's model of debate and why they're good/bad)
CPs/Piks: I love them. Flex your creativity as much as possible. I can also be convinced why particular CPs/Piks can be abusive.
DAs: I will evaluate all types of DA but just please have uniqueness and be very clear about your internal links. Contrary to popular opinion, I like politics DAs.
Miscellaneous: I like jokes and the like that make debates entertaining and enjoyable so if you can make me laugh I'll probably boost your speaks. Troll debates are cool too but only when the arguments actually apply and can sorta make sense.
Put me on the chain: Dundermifflindebate@gmail.com
My thoughts about debate have been shaped the most by / are the most similar to: Jon Voss, Jason Peterson, Chris Callahan, Maggie Berthiuame, and Brett Bricker.
1 - I will be as invested in the debate as the debaters I am judging. As long as you show me that you care and want to be there, I will be totally focused on the debate and do everything to give the best decision possible.
2 - Tech > truth but cards decide close debates. Both sides need cards to back up their advantage and DAs, but I will not read cards unless they are disputed and/or the content of them is relevant to my decision. I will be happy to vote on your analytical press against a DA or someone's case. The best takeouts to most DAs and even advantages won't have cards for them but you SHOULD make the argument and I will vote on it. However, if both sides are clashing on an issue in the debate I will read the cards and they will shape my decision.
3 - Macro-strategy is the best way to win my ballot. A lot of debates I watch have a lot of good line-by-line and clash going on, but neither side is thinking about how arguments interact and what they want the ballot to say. The more judge instruction and thinking about the debate you do the more likely you are to win my ballot.
4 - A note on how I evaluate debates - At the end of every debate, I make a T chart where I write down what "world" is being advocated by each team in the final rebuttal and the pros and cons of each "world." Keeping this in mind when doing final speech impact calculus and judge instruction could help you win a close debate. This also means that I care about 'try or die' a lot more than most. In K debates, the neg could probably get pretty far by explaining how their framework should alter how I approach the debate and my decision.
Water Topic -
Seems boring, read impact turns please!
K's / Framework -
For framework, the way the neg wins the debate is winning a clear impact (I'll vote on anything but prefer testing / skills / education impacts over fairness) and a clear no link argument (Especially a well-crafted TVA). For the aff, the best way to win my ballot is likely an impact turn rather than a crafty counter-interp. The most important thing to do in these debates is to explain to me how your case interacts with T, because that will not be immediately apparent to me.
For neg Ks, I am much more likely to vote on cap / security than other Ks. Im also ok for well explained antiblackness and other identity Ks. I am almost certainly not going to vote for high theory unless it is super well applied and spoken in a language I can understand. I will ALWAYS 'weigh the aff.' But I will also almost always weigh 'reps links.' If you're going to spend a lot of time on framework, make it count!
LOVE advantage CPs. There is nothing better than a 10 plank CP to solve every internal link in the 1AC. This will earn the neg team extra speaker points.
Solvency advocates preferred but not necessary.
For the aff, defeating these CPs requires 1) winning your aff is key and 2) answering their planks.
For process CPs, I am pretty middle of the road. A well crafted process CP can be an admirable argument.
This means the aff can win my ballot by going for theory pretty easily.
I'm also pretty good for aff certainty deficits and am more than willing to largely diminish the risk of artificial net benefits if the aff makes smart arguments against it.
Good for them. I am unlikely to vote on zero risk of a DA. There is always some risk and I'm better for neg spin for most judges.
I'd say i'm 50-50 on policy T rounds. Extra speaker points for both sides if the T debate is good -- T rounds are HARD and I will be impressed if everyone debates well in one of these rounds.
NOTE** - I will only flow ASPEC if it is a separate off-case. If you put ASPEC under T or try to hide it any other way, I will not vote for it under any circumstances. Nothing will bring me more joy than voting you down if you go for a dropped hidden ASPEC argument :)
The best way to get my ballot is to debate your best and have fun! I don't have any super strong argumentative preferences.
Being nice to your partner and your opponent > trying to seem smart.
(Some of these may be complicated by online debate but) Extra speaker points if you:
- show me your flow after the debate (extra extra points if it looks good)
- make arguments in your speech off the flow (not in your typed blocks or cards)
- mention that you read this paradigm before the debate
- make a joke in your speech (extra if it's funny, negative if it makes fun of the other team)
Lexington High School Class of 2019 – debated for four years - if it matters, I did do the whole TOC thing my senior year.
I am not debating in college, and have little to zero topic knowledge.
Updated for Sunvite 2021 (updates to LD section)
I want to be on the chain: email@example.com
Tech>truth, but to a certain extent. For example, just because the 2AC says “vague alts are a voter” with no warrant or impact and the block drops it, this does not mean I immediately vote aff. I am very hesitant in general to vote on blippy one-shot theory arguments.
I will not vote on suffering good, racism good, sexism good, and anything just egregious.
My flow is decent, but it's far from the best. I am fine with speed, but signaling where you are on the flow and clarity is really key for me to follow on. I am also not really into “flowing straight down”.
I tend to think about rounds through an “offensive-defensive” paradigm.
Yes, I will read evidence if needed, but how I read that evidence is dependent on how each team explains their ev and does comparison. I will try to avoid intervening as much as I can, but that depends on you, more comparison and analysis means I will do less work.
In the camp of “read rehighlightings”.
If the 1AR makes a new argument, it must be justified.
I will NOT evaluate arguments about situations that have happened outside the round with other debaters or coaches. Anything that happens inside a debate round is fair game.
Being aggressive is fine, but there is a line.
I’m not the best at maintaining a poker face. If I am confused I will most likely show it, and if I think you are making smart arguments, I will show it.
Online debate note: Given the current condition of debate, flexibility and clarity are very important to me. If anything, go slower than you normally would, and make doubly sure you are clear. Given internet difficulties/feedback/other problems that can come with online debate, debaters should always feel free to ask clarifying questions to the other side about arguments made. As a judge, if I miss an argument due to online difficulty, I will ask for clarification.
For the whole "camera on vs camera not on" question, I think my preference is that debaters should try to have their camera on while giving their speech. However, that is just a slight preference, I really don't care that much. I will try to keep my camera on as a judge but may turn it off in case of internet issues/other circumstances.
I use two monitors and I usually put the tab with the debate I am judging on my second monitor while I flow on my laptop. The above is just to note that I will be oftentimes looking away from my camera which is on my laptop to look at the second monitor with the debaters.
I do not think any judge is purely “tabula-rasa” so below are my general thoughts about arguments. They are not absolute and can be changed through good debating, but are general biases.
Against kritikal affs I went for framework 65% of the time and the Cap K the other 35%.
These types of debates are the ones that tend to evolve the fastest in terms of what offense and defense teams deploy. As such, I will do my best to be open to new innovative arguments from both the framework/K side.
Yes, I am open to voting for framework, and I am open to voting for kritikal affs. Personally I believe there should be some role for the negative, but what that role looks like is up for debate.
The winner of these debates, in my opinion, is the team that does the superior technical debating.
In these debates, I always start with evaluating the case page first and then move to the framework page.
If debated 100% equally on both sides, I would most likely vote negative.
I really liked to think about these debates a lot in high school.
I am good for fairness (this was the impact I went for most in HS), but I think the most interesting framework debates are when the negative goes for a nuanced clash or topic education argument that interacts with the affirmatives offense in some way. I do not think I am super receptive to framework impacts that claim to resolve some existential crisis, however, I do think that in-depth clash over the course of a season is good.
Even if TVA’s do not need to solve the aff, it would be cool if the negative attempts an explanation for why it does.
Switch side debate is severely under-rated.
“You should presume the aff is false because we could not test it” is a silly argument in my opinion and I will most likely not give too much credence to this argument unless completely dropped.
I do not think affs need to have a relation to the topic, but the further the aff deviates from the topic, the more “justification” there has to be in my opinion.
I think counter defining words in the resolution and going for developed DA’s against framework is the best strategy, but if you want impact turn everything, I am fine with that too.
I think kritikal aff’s that defend something material rather than something completely abstract is more persuasive and is less susceptible to presumption type arguments. Aff’s that are eight minutes of straight-up pre-emption to framework will have a harder time beating presumption.
The best pieces of offense for me are ones that are interlaced with the affirmative thesis level claim about why the assumption around framework as “being mutually advantageous and agreed upon” are wrong. I think kritikal affs can have benefits and that the imposition of a more limiting topic can be violent and exclude important types of scholarship.
Just saying “rev v. rev solves” is not an argument to me, but descriptions of alternative models of debate that are not just policy centered can be persuasive.
“The wiki solves” is a cringe argument.
Terminal defense to framework is under-rated.
Questions such as “Is debate just a game?” or “Does debate shape our subjectivity, and in what way?” are important to me. I do not think the aff needs to necessarily win that debate isn't a game, but they should have arguments about how they grapple with the inevitable competitive nature of debate.
Go slower when explaining what your interpretation is and what the topic looks like because I do not have topic knowledge.
Usually a more precise interpretation of the topic is better than an arbitrary interpretation that limits the topic.
In order to win reasonability, you must win why your counter-interpretation is reasonable, not the aff.
Actually do impact calculus, why is aff ground more important than preserving limits and vice versa?
I was mostly on the policy side of this debate, but I am not totally unfamiliar with kritikal concepts given the prevalence in which I debated them. I will be more familiar with anti-blackness, cap, and security type arguments than high theory arguments.
Going to explain your theory of power and WHY it is true will go a long way for me. Throwing around buzzwords assuming I know what they mean will only leave me confused. It would also be helpful if there is a clear explanation for what your theory of power implies for the debate.
Framework is important to me as it influences how I view arguments such as the links and especially the alternative. I do think the negative can win that I should not weigh the aff in the typical sense of just evaluating the plan versus the K. In these debates, teams tend to use vacuous terms such as “scholarship” or “epistemology” without actually telling me what that means in the context of the affirmative. Final rebuttals should not tell me not just why they are winning framework but why that matters in the context of the debate. If the framework debate ends up being a “wash” I will most likely default to weighing the affirmative.
The best links to me are when teams use a thesis level claim of power to create links that show how the aff actually plays out with an impact.
The alternative doesn’t necessarily need to solve the aff, but it has to do something that is not just “reject the aff”.
Having an overview is not an excuse to not do line by line. If the overview is too long, I will be visibly frustrated. If you are going to jump from argument to argument, tell me where you are and instruct me as much as possible. For example, if the permutation is going to be completely covered in the 1NR, tell me that before you start the 2NC so I can organize my flow.
Aff’s should attempt to have some defense of their representations. For example, if the negative forwards a link about why extinction rhetoric is bad, the aff should ideally have evidence that says why extinction rhetoric is good. Just because you get to “weigh” your aff does not always mean you win the aff is a good idea.
I am open to creative advantage CP’s that do not have solvency advocates, but be prepared to answer theory.
Counterplan’s with specific evidence that is tailored to the affirmative are bueno.
I think there needs to be a solvency deficit in order for the permutation to make sense or very strong links to the net benefit argument.
I default to kicking the counter plan unless told otherwise.
I really do not think process or consult counterplan’s are competitive. Stop being scared of a 2NC’s 8 blippy sub pointed answer to “permutation do the CP”.
Impact calc is super important, I am fine with short 2NR overviews, tell me whether to prefer magnitude, timeframe, or probability, and why your impact outweighs.
Link turns case>>>impact turns case
2AC analytics are good only if they are not blippy and actually point out logical flaws in the DA.
Contrary to most people, I actually love the politics DA.
Framing contentions are meant to supplement your answers to a DA, they should not be your only answers.
I usually default to rejecting the argument except on conditionality.
Process/agent/other CP’s that literally result in the aff – Aff leaning
Condo – neg leaning
2NC CP’s – neg leaning
substantive PIC’s – neg leaning
State CP’s – neg leaning
Object fiat – ridiculously aff leaning
Perf con – neg leaning
I never did LD, but know of some of the types of debates that go down here. I am not heavily researched in phil and the topic area, thus certain concepts may need to be further explained in order for me to understand. Everything from above concerning DA's/T/CP's etc. is all applicable here as well.
I should mostly be comfortable with everything except for whatever "tricks" are and frivolous theory. Best for LARP and clash of civ debates.
I probably have a higher threshold for RVI's given that RVI's are not a thing in policy.
Speaks: Breaking is hard, and I understand that. For me, if you do line by line and have strategic argumentative vision, your speaks will be pretty decent.
I love bold strategies that are well executed.
Good jokes about Talia Blatt, Rayhan Ahmed, or Matthew Berhe are always welcome.
I've read every kind of aff from straight up heg good to baudrillard, I care way less about what arguments you make than how well you defend them.
I went for the K a lot in high school and still do, but I also love a good policy round, and would much rather you debate to your strengths than to what arguments you think I'll like.
Put me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org I won't be reading along, unless you read a card that I think is so good I want to recut it for my teams, or if there's a dispute about something that was read.
I flow on paper. This means that you going slightly slower, and having a clear story will be quite helpful. I'm at the tail-end of year 10 competing and year 5 judging, so this doesn't mean you have to talk to me like I'm a parent judge, but it does mean that if you go full speed through 8 minutes of blocks, to not be surprised when I miss an argument or two. The easy fix to this, for all of you speed demons out there, is to label your arguments with a flowable tag. We already do this with cards, why not do it with our analytics too?
When making my decision. I first write up the most important arguments for both sides. This usually comes down to about 2-3 things, though that may just be because I only judge clash rounds. I then look over my flow, and try to write up an explanation of each, and what it means for both sides. I then compare these, and look for responses that the other team has forwarded. What this means for you, is that it is in your interest to identify what you think the 2-3 most important arguments for either side are, tell me why you're winning them, or why you should still win in the event that you don't win these arguments. If you do not do this, I will still do my best to identify these arguments, but, what I think is important and what you do may not line up, and as a result, our perceptions of the winner may not line up either.
When doing this, I often try as hard as I can to not read evidence. This is because I am very committed to my belief that debate is an activity about communication, and that if you did not effectively communicate an argument to me, it does not matter if you read an amazing card. While I obviously still care about research and evidence quality, I feel that the impulse to read all of the evidence to decide the round makes me more interventionist (which I would like to avoid) and also seems to fall outside of the terms of debate. I.e. outside of teams dropping stuff, if i were to just decide the round based on the cards you read, and not what you said about them, why should I even be sitting there for two hours listening to you? Couldn't you just send me your cards and have me decide at the end whose I thought were better?
This applies less and less if both sides are comparing a piece of evidence, or questioning it's qualifications, or implication, but the "this card is fire, please read it judge" has never been something I have been that inclined to do.
I judge a majority clash debates (around 80% when I last checked) and have found that oftentimes the winners in this debates are the ones who engage with the other side's approach to the world, rather than just explaining why their approach is better. While we obviously should still care about drops, and they are often useful in making decisions in these rounds, I've found that it's useful for both teams to invest a substantial amount of time in looking to where the other team clashed, as much as where they didn't.
I've noticed that I may sound kind of grumpy when giving rfds. This very rarely reflects my distaste at having to judge your round, and more so reflects that I am displeased at having to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep.
My favorite judges in high school were always the ones who seemed really excited to be there judging my round, and the ones who emphasized voting on what was in the round. I love debate and I know you care about the activity to be giving up your weekends to compete in it, and I would be an asshole if I didn’t put all my effort into making the best decision I can. If you don’t think I’m paying enough attention, go ahead and call me out. Nothing here is set in stone, but, if you don't tell me to change how I'd evaluate any of these, then they're my defaults.
1 Tech Over truth, but to an extent. True arguments require less technical explanation for me to buy what you're selling. Oftentimes when making decisions, I find that I am looking at dropped words on my flow, but am unsure how to piece them together to make a cohesive rfd. It is in your best interest to not only tell me what was dropped, but then tell me what I should think about the drops.
2 Mediocre strategies may win in front of me, but, speaker points will likely suffer. If the 1ar drops aspec that was at the bottom of your t overview, and that’s your a-strat, I’m probably not the judge for you. I prefer debates with either really tricky and nuanced strategies, or teams that are willing to just bet it all on black and go for impact turns. I've found that teams that do a better job articulating how I should evaluate arguments do better in front of me than teams that just wait for me to reconstruct what an argument means for my decision. I'm not smart so if you tell me how arguments implicate the rest of the debate, you'll be in a better spot.
3 Protecting the 2nr. There's nothing worse than giving what you think is a fire 2nr and then watching the judge nod along with an argument you're certain wasn't in the 1ar. 2ars should have a high standard for drawing arguments from the 1ar unless they were clear in the speech. I.E. new 2ar cross applications should be justified in the speech/flagged in the 1ar. If I don’t think I could have seen it coming, I probably will think it’s new.
4 Counterplans: They should compete with the aff. Theory arguments are usually just reasons to reject the counterplan, but this is primarily because most folks are afraid of going all in. If your solvency deficit is mediocre, theory is probably a good way out. You don't need a solvency advocate, but having one definitely makes your job easier. Exploit generic link chains in affs.
Generic pics are awful, and specific pics are one of the fastest ways to get good speaks, but in both cases, pics bad needs to come back with a vengeance. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
5 Disads: 2acs with bold strats, i.e. straight turning a disad would increase my value to life, and your speaker points. I am very much in the camp that a disad that isn't a full argument in the 1nc is a terrible strategic decision hint: 1a's pull out your impact turns. Outside of that though, I really do like them, whether you're a plug and chug politics team, or a team with the amazing topic link card that no one else has found.
6 Kritiks I like them, they’re probably my favorite argument. I’m really into high theory, and probably am a good judge for you if you like to run kritiks. I’ve run all kinds of things, mainstream stuff like cap, and apoc rhet, to stuff like dng, baudrillard, and halberstam. Examples, explanation and re-contextualization will be integral to your success. These rounds are often more about controlling the narrative than many others, which makes sense given that the focus of the debate is on whether the assumptions that the other team has forwarded are valid.
You don’t need to have an alt to win, but you should justify why. Your links should be specific to the aff. Obviously this is a sliding scale, and if you're reading a K of realism against an aff from John Mearsheimer, I won't be rolling my eyes wishing you had a card specific to the aff, but, If I can’t tell what aff your debating in your 2nc on the k, we’re both gonna have a bad time.
I was always pretty frustrated after giving a 2nr on the K when the judge was just like. "I know you both read a bunch of stuff on framework, but I couldn't really decide who won so I kinda just picked a middle option that both teams never said" Not only does this seem to heavily favor the affirmative, but also reflects a combination of arguments that was never advocated for by either team. I think the best strategy for the aff is just to have some arguments that presume that they (gasp) have to defend why their representations and scholarship are good. Given that most k's are some kind of argument about how the affirmative's theory of IR justifies violence, it doesn't seem that hard to identify the strain of IR that you have affirmed, and provide a defense of why you think about the world the way you do. If the neg has said debate is about how we craft our subjectivity, and said that the subjectivity they endorse opposes a particular world view, why wouldn't this equally apply to the aff, and the defensive realist subjectivity of the taiwan aff be a reason why you should get to say your impacts still matter.
Generally though, I think that affs need to be doing a lot better job answering k's. Please talk about your aff more and generic backfile cards less. Most cases outweigh the k, and extinction impacts are often pretty persuasive. I really do not want to die, and presume that most people do not want to die either, and one thing that always confused me was when there were debates where that comparison didnt really start until the last two rebuttals.
I also think more affs should just bite the link and impact turn the K. Obvi dont read racism/sexism/ableism good, thats the quickest way to a 25 and an L short of conceding the round, but, every K makes other claims that you can, and probably should consider reading offense against.
Two side thoughts
1. Most people read utterly incoherent theories of international relations. I.E. Ikenberry and Mearsheimer may both think that leadership is good, but are not as buddy buddy as people would like me to believe. Obviously just being like "lmao these cards are a double turn" does not meet the threshold of an argument, but, "the aff de-prioritizes the role of institutions because ___ this means that you should be skeptical of their ability to solve for the liberal international order, which Ikenberry says is cohered through a strong commitment to international institutions" is. The latter will shock and impress me, and put your baseline speaks at a 29.
2. Most people have turned against the "not our x" Sometimes this is fair, because the team is lying to get out of links. But, I don't particularly understand why a team should be punished because their author had a bad idea that they don't defend or talk about in the 1ac or 1nc. Consider if we applied this same standard to policy rounds, and the neg read a politics card from nate silver about a specific seat in the midterms. The affirmative responded with a card that said "nate silver was way off on this one super unrelated prediction" and read a card indicting the method of that poll specifically. Why would the neg be tied to defending the poll that they have not cited, and is not intrinsic to their argument? This doesn't mean that I'm waiting to vote on not our x, but, that I will be pleased if both teams can defend why their argument is or is not distinct from x, by demonstrating a command of the literature base that they are deploying.
7 Topicality: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't really understand ground arguments - if you don't have generics ready to go for core topic areas, or arguments that make debating the aff irrelevant (impact turns, process cp's etc) that seems like a you problem. I get some affs are really small and don't do much, but either they have an absurd impact claim that you can turn or outweigh, or they'd need such a contrived interpretation of the topic to be T that you could just go for limits.
Reasonability has never really made sense to me either, because usually those debates just boil down into the same silly buzzwords that everyone uses. I think reasonability can be an incredibly gnarly argument if it's framed more in the form of an explanation of why offense/defense is bad for topicality debates. Scotty P wrote a really good explanation of what that would look like here https://hsimpact.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/what-is-reasonability/
Things that will get you good speaks
5 minutes of Antonio in the 2nr (not joking)
9 Clipping- Don’t do it. I’ll be sad, and have to give you a 0
10 No argument too strange- I can be convinced to vote on anything if you do well. T is a rvi, double win theory, normativity k, silence k. If you think you can pull it off, and want to risk a ballot on it go ahead. If you execute it poorly, I'll probably be annoyed, but at the same time, no one ever did anything to radically change debate without taking a lot of risks.
11 Non-traditional affs. I think I’m a pretty good judge for these. I think these affirmatives are unfair, but, don't really know why that's bad (fairness is not an impact). I don’t really think framework is deployed effectively very often, which is unfortunate, because I oftentimes think that many of the claims from framework teams make a lot of intuitive sense. I ended up voting against framework about 60% of the time last year, but I'd attribute that a lot more to what happened in the rounds I judged than to a general predisposition.
For the neg. When I vote neg on T, it's because the negative has successfully done one of two things.
1. Proven that their impact turns the aff's offense.
2. Proven that the aff doesn't solve their offense, and have mitigated the application of case to T in a way beyond the sentence blurb "they don't get to weigh the aff because t is a procedural"
I've found that the topical version of the aff has become less persuasive to me the more clash rounds I've judged. This is not due to the argument being not strategic, but rather, me being left confused about how the topical version resolves offense that the affirmative has deployed, (and a secondary problem of most topical versions of the aff not meeting the standard of being a topical aff in a policy v policy round). The solution to this is easy. Instead of repeating any disad to the topical version doesn't prove it isn't an answer, it just proves neg ground, take some time thinking about the offense that the other team is deploying.
A second problem, is that most people seem to forget they're reading a topicality argument. I have judged almost 30 framework debates this year, and in about 5 of them, I've been clear on how the counterinterpretation solved the aff's disads, and included their affirmative. If the aff read a counterinterp they didn't meet on T-Pearson, or that didn't solve the aff's overlimiting offense why wouldn't you point that out? There's a reason why you're reading interpretations, and why we call framework a topicality argument, you should debate your shell as such.
I've also found that the repetitive "but what do you do?" presumption argument, is wholly unpersuasive. Most affs say they do something, and the neg says, but what do you do, the aff says what they do, and the neg says, yeah, but what do you do? I think this can also be fixed pretty easily, instead of carrying over this, but what do you do argument, make the implied follow on argument, which is something to the effect of, if x structure is so totalizing as their theory says it is, their method is insufficient to resolve it. Think about x as a similar example, which failed for y reason.
All this being said, I'm more than willing to vote on T, as it is obviously a strategic position, and I'm very sympathetic to teams (especially without substantial coaching resources) who would rather prepare to get really good at one argument that would answer all no plan affs, as opposed to specific critiques/disads.
For the aff - Have a clear counterinterp, tight impact turn story, and exploit the weakness of most teams at answering arguments that they are mostly unfamiliar with.
You have to answer disads, even if you dont defend hypothetical implementation of usfg action. This doesn't mean I'm waiting to vote on the aff flips the 2020 election, but rather that if you can think of a nuanced way to articulate a link I wont be a super tough sell on the aff has to defend the consequences of their epistemology. I.e. if an aff says that executive power is bad, I feel like John Yoo would have some things to say about that, even if the aff doesn't implement a policy.
I also really enjoy K vs K debates, as this gives me a break from hearing about what Steinberg and Freely need to tell me about decisionmaking, and allows both sides to engage literature bases that are often not brought into connection with each other. One side note is that I tend to find that the theory of power debate is far less compelling than specific applications. Most folks in the 2nr and 2ar tend to just be like, they dropped our theory of power, game over!!
Questions? Email me at email@example.com. The longer you wait, the less specific my comments may be, but I have noticed that I recall my thoughts about rounds more than I don't.
I recently (time is a void) graduated from NYU after three years debating for the policy team, and coach for them occasionally, as I really love my team. In previous years, I also coached for Mamaroneck high school. I am open to most arguments - I tend to kind of adopt the style of my partner, so while I was running performance my last year, I still jive with straight policy.
I'm sure I make the wrong decision some times, but I do care about debate, and I do care about people, and I'll try my hardest to be as fair as I can.
Like to be added to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Affirmative:
Give me what you got. Like I said, I've run both performance and policy affirmatives before, and see the value in each kind of debate. For performance debates, at least have some sort of relation to the topic, even if you don't endorse a plan. Other than that, go wild. Woo.
For the Negative:
Enjoy them. Make sure the link story is clear. When I debate on negative, I often run Ks, but if you're not winning the link then you're not going to win the round. I prefer links that are actually contextualized to the affirmative, and not just links of omission. Make the alternative clear and consistent throughout the round. While I'm familiar with the basic Ks - biopower, cap, security, etc - if you're reading more obscure kritiks or high theory Baudrillard-type stuff then do yourself a favor and make sure that I understand what you're talking about.
Despite not always being the most topical, I also tend to enjoy T debates (when against non-topical teams, that is,...when you run T against a policy affirmative I'll begrudgingly vote on it if the other team terribly mishandles it, but I'll hate myself a little bit). I am willing to vote about equally for either affirmative or negative in performance rounds: just comes down to who is winning on the flow. In general, I think education slightly outweighs fairness, but you can convince me otherwise. A well-thought out TVA will make me much more likely to pull the trigger for you.
I enjoy zany DAs that aren't just the same boring politics DA. That said, I will vote for that same boring politics DA. Make sure impact calc is tight, and good evidence comparison will notch up your speaker points.
I really enjoy a smart CP! Pair it with a clear net-benefit (not just oooooh we solve the aff better) and I'll be intrigued.
Agent CPs and Consult CPs tend to make me sad.
I think PICs can be both really cool and really abusive. Figure it out for me on the PICs Bad/PICs good debate.
Hmm. Don't spend most of my nights analyzing my views on various theory arguments, so not too much to say here. Conditionality is the first one that springs to mind. In general I think condo is good for a couple positions, but if we're getting to 3 and above then I'll be more receptive to your condo bad claims, even if it physically pains me to vote for conditionality (although if the neg drops conditionality bad even when they're running 1 or 2 positions, I'll still vote on it if you blow it up in the 2AR, and will likely laugh about it later). If you plan on going for condo bad in the 2AR then make sure the 1AR is already fleshing out the proper arguments.
Listen to your opponents arguments, and make sure you are responding to them, and not just re-establishing your own positions (although you should do that too). I'm a pretty easy-going person, and I stop prep time before you send out the email. If you offer me gifts of caffeine, I will not be anymore likely to vote for you, but I will like you as a person. Sometimes, those long debate tournaments with 3 hours of sleep can get exhausting, so if you're sassy without crossing over to asshole territory it might entertain me and boost your speaks.
Georgetown Day School '17
Pomona College '21 (not debating)
DAMUS 2020 UPDATE:
I've judged a bit this season, so I'm not a total digital debate novice, but I'm still barely involved with the activity these days. That means I'm not very familiar with new argumentative trends. It also means I'm not as fluent with buzzwords as I once was, and my flowing hand is a little slower than it used to be. If you blaze through your T shell or theory blocks, you do so at your own risk. Clarity, or lack thereof, remains as big an issue as ever, but I'm not going to say "clearer" during a digital speech.
An important note about ethics that I apparently haven't made sufficiently clear: if you want to impugn your opponents' ethical practices, do not do so during a speech. Any and all allegations of improper conduct take priority over the competitive section of the debate, which means they are to be discussed outside of it—that means between speeches. Don't make me stop the debate early unless it's absolutely necessary.
-K teams tend to prefer me higher than policy teams do.
-I vote against K teams a lot in K vs. policy debates.
-I judge very few policy vs. policy debates.
-The above bullets do not mean I hate policy arguments. You will be at a disadvantage if you avoid going for the arguments you're comfortable with because you think I'll prefer a K.
-While I don't have strong preferences as to the content of the debates I judge, I do have the form preference that debate be an oral activity. So if you want me to vote for something other than an argument that comes out of your mouth or your partner's, you're going to need to do a substantial amount of work using oral argumentation so I know how to weigh it.
Longer/older stuff follows:
Views on the Content of Arguments
Do what you do best. I don't prefer any style of argumentation over any other and strive to be equally unsympathetic to all of them. To be a true tabula rasa is of course impossible, but my biases tend to involve more specific argumentative tactics rather than the types of content debaters read. K teams tend to pref me higher than policy teams do because I read and had success with Ks when I debated and I mostly coach K teams. As a result, I don't judge a lot of policy versus policy debates. In so-called "clash of civilization" debates, I have voted against the K team slightly more than 50% of the time. Maybe this is because familiarity breeds contempt or maybe it's just the way the debates I've judged have happened to turn out. My hope above all else is that no one feels the need to fundamentally alter their strategy because I'm in the back of the room.
How I Evaluate Debates
I previously described my judging as "ruthlessly technical," but I'm increasingly becoming dissatisfied with that model because it's impossible to maintain it to an extent that isn't arbitrary. Ultimately, different people are going to find different claims and warrants more or less persuasive. I would still certainly place myself in the tech over truth camp, but there's a limit. If you make a claim that is self-evidently false and your opponent drops it, I'm not going to vote for it absent explicit and robust justification. Is there an arbitrary element here? Absolutely, but I'd prefer to keep that as clear and out in the open as possible rather than pretend a totally technical approach that is divorced from my own biases is possible. If you tell me "truth over tech," I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea on principle, but it needs to come out early in the debate and you need to explain how it works in a lot of detail or else I just won't know what to do with it. Even if truth comes before tech, I'm not sure how I can know what's true without tech.
I think framework is the most fundamental part of any debate, so it's always the first question I try to resolve when making a decision. It's frustrating to me that both sides often leave framework underdeveloped. Of course, many debates, such as most policy versus policy debates, don't involve explicit framework arguments, but that doesn't mean framework is any less fundamental in those rounds—it just means both sides are in agreement about what that fundamental aspect of the debate looks like.
The nature of debate is that not everything you say will end up on my flow, but if it's not there, I'm not evaluating it. That means effective development, explanation, and time allocation in the final rebuttals are essential to make sure I don't miss the argument you want me to vote on, or to make sure I don't miss your answer to their argument that I want to vote on. Framing in the final rebuttals wins debates when supplemented by good line by line and impact calculus.
Clarity is of paramount importance. I say clearer more than most judges, and I don't think it should be an outlandish request that I be able to understand upwards of 80% of the words you say, including cards. Slowing down a bit on important points is a useful tool for emphasis and is a good way to make sure I actually write down all of the important parts of your argument.
I tend to take a long time to submit my decision because I want to be as thorough as possible. I've realized that this is a losing battle and can result in me doing extra work for both sides, which I do not want to do. So I'm going to try to decide faster from now on and focus more on the framing of the final rebuttals.
On a semi-related note: if I don't understand what the aff does to solve well enough that I can explain it to the neg in my decision, I will vote neg on presumption. This is not at all difficult to avoid, but it's happened in at least one debate I've judged recently. This should really only be an issue with K affs, but since those are what I judge most often I figure it should go in this section anyway.
I determine speaker points in a subjective and arbitrary manner based on factors such as effective organization of arguments, clarity, ethos, and decisively winning portions of the debate. I will not respond to demands that I distribute speaker points any other way. I think speaker point inflation is a problem but I make an effort to keep up with current norms so that debaters don't end up with worse points just because they're unlucky enough to have me as their judge.
It's a three-minute speech and I flow it. I realize that allowing teams to take prep to extend cross examination seems contrary to this understanding, but since it seems to have become a norm on the national circuit, I'll allow it.
I am not a fan of hyper-aggressive cross examination strategies—that means talking over the other team, repeating mischaracterizations of their answers, laughing at them, etc. This really annoys me and will not help your points.
Topicality/Framework vs. K Aff Thoughts
I enjoy these debates. I've found myself voting for T against K affs more often than I expected to. The main reasons for this are a) the tendency of K teams to be bad at answering standards and case turn tricks (which are almost always disgustingly generic and there's no excuse for not having a case specific answer) and b) the fact that 2ARs like to vomit their offense at me at the top or sprinkled throughout the speech without contextualizing it to the neg's (and often without doing impact calculus). Here are some more specific thoughts on being each side of the T vs. K aff debate:
Going for T
T is an effective argument against K affs when deployed well, and it is sometimes, but probably not always, the neg's best option. I generally find the most important question in T debates to be impact calculus and particularly impact framing, which is especially key for 2NRs on T that go for fairness as an impact rather than as an internal link, since the 2AR will always claim their genocide/value to life/etc. offense outweighs, and I will be inclined to agree unless you have a compelling framing argument about the need for fairness in the context of debate (or, even better, something cleverer that hasn't occurred to me). It's also important that you explain the implications of certain arguments. For example, people like to say that "debate is a game" when going for T. Those four words will not have a particularly large effect on my decision without some explanation. I understand some judges will automatically place fairness before any other offense if you win that debate is a game. I'm not naturally inclined to be one of those judges, but I'm open to being convinced I should become one.
Reading a K Aff Against T
I do not care what kind of aff you read, nor do I care if it is related to the topic, though I can obviously be convinced otherwise in a T debate. If you're debating against T, you're better off impact turning their standards and leveraging the aff against T rather than counter-defining words in the resolution and reading high school papers stripped of their original context as evidence. I do not think that you need to present or defend a different model of debate than the neg, but I need to know what exactly it is I'm voting for when I vote aff if you're not defending a vision of what debate should look like. As always, impact calculus and big picture framing are crucial.
Ethics/Other Unpleasant Things
I would really, really like to avoid ethics challenges in debates I'm judging. If you make one, the round stops and does not continue afterward. I will pull the trigger on clipping and give the person who clipped minimum speaks, but if you make an ethics challenge and I find it to be unwarranted, you will lose and get minimum speaks, and I will harbor a great deal of animosity toward you if I judge you again. If I catch minor clipping (as oxymoronic as that may sound—I mean a few skipped words here and there in a card) I'll give you one warning after your speech. If it doesn't stop, the above applies.
I hate it when debaters personally attack each other. That's a warning. If you fail to heed it, you'll be at a disadvantage. You might even lose the round.
I understand how crucial it is to the functioning of any debate tournament that judges be effective, and I promise that I will do my absolute best to be well-rested and focused anytime I'm tasked with evaluating a round. I hope you will keep this in mind before aggressively post-rounding, which annoys me and does not help you because it will never change my decision and can lead to you missing important parts of my RFD.
If any of the above is objectionable to you, I welcome your strike.
I debated for 4 years at Grapevine HS (TX), with about equal experience in Policy (2A/1N) and LD. I read a solid mix of Policy and K arguments over the course of high school, and what I preferred to go for often changed, especially from topic to topic.
Please put me on the email chain email@example.com
I default to voting for the team that did the better debating, unless you convince me to use some other metric or lens. To get any more specific I think event matters, in which case look below.
I vote on the arguments and substance of what happens in the debate round. There are definitely cases where things that happened outside of the debate round can affect the round itself, but those things need to be brought up during the debate and explained. (excluding of course things like clipping, ethics violations, etc.)
Please provide a speech doc of some sort, it is incredibly important that both your opponents and I have access to the full text of the cards you are reading.
Tech over truth, arguments that are conceded/won are considered to be true for my decision. An argument being false or untrue makes it very very hard to win but there is an obligation for both debaters to call things out that are untrue, especially when they are/could be a large factor in the decision.
That being said, I will not vote for anything that I do not understand or does not make sense. Rebuttal/Ballot story explanations are key to winning the debate.
Debate how you feel most comfortable debating and be respectful of everyone in the room, there are very few things I will refuse to vote for.
I can’t say how often I will vote for K affs/T-USFG. In general, I think my views on debate slant more policy, however, I think debaters often mishandle these affs. Affs that are in the direction of/take a non-traditional approach to the topic are often much better than ones that just negate/avoid the topic. For me to vote on a K aff, they need to explain/win a couple things, why is it bad for the aff to be forced to defend the resolution? What makes those reasons different from simply negating? How does the aff interact with the issues it presents? What is your model of debate and why is it good? If you are explaining these things you are probably in a good place.
I actually like T-USFG debates, and I think it is a really effective strategy against K affs if done well. Similar to K affs there are a couple questions I think the negative needs to be explaining and winning. Why is your interpretation a good model of debate? Why is forcing the aff to defend the resolution good? What are the impacts on debate of not being topical? Having a TVA or some other way to mitigate the offense of the aff is really convincing to me. This was the strategy I went for most often against K affs. I think fairness is an impact, but, like every other impact, I can be convinced that something else OW/Is more important for the activity.
I am familiar with most K literature. I think K debates have a lot of potential, at their best they push the bounds of the activity, and force us to think differently about the world and how we approach debate. However, at their worst they are muddled, under explained, and don’t accomplish that much. Explanations are key, while I may be familiar with the literature you are reading it doesn’t mean you can skimp on explaining how the K operates and how it relates to the other arguments in the round. Link debates are essential in every K debate, if you are explaining the links that will help you on every other part of the debate. There also needs to be an explanation of how the K, on either a framework or alternative level resolves the links.
I am a big fan of CP debates, I appreciate a creative nuanced CPs and I think they are a really good way to explore the topic. I will vote on Condo, even though I know most debates never end up there, I also think theory is often the best way to check abusive CPs, but there needs to be a clear explanation of why how the CP works is bad and why that warrants a ballot.
I enjoy a good DA debate, I think there’s value to be had in the smaller, hyper specific politics DA debates, however, when these DA are contrived, or just aren’t really accurate, much of this breaks down. Creative DA ideas are always appreciated, but an evidence heavy topic DA debate is also good. Clear link stories are really important, especially in close debates, and having a cohesive story from uniqueness to impact is really important to get my vote in these debates.
I think T is essential for creating a clearly defined topic. Definition v Definition debates actually have a lot of relevance to actual policy and making specific and well defined interpretations is a really valuable process. T debates need to be clear with each side clearly explaining how their interpretations function and what affs are/are not allowed under each. These can get really confusing if there is not a clear distinction between the interpretations or clear standards supporting them, there should be a solid definition of what the topic looks like under each side’s definitions and interpretations.
I think that having some sort of framework/weighing mechanism/Value/Criterion is important, given nothing I will default to util. Creating clear distinction between, and articulating how the two frameworks interact is essential to winning this part of the debate. Winning framework is a big part of the debate, but winning framework does not mean you win, there still need to be impacts that are weighed under that framework.
I think theory in general is pretty good, and I am not opposed to these debates, however, when done incorrectly they can be really messy and confusing. CP theory can be really strategic in LD considering the time pressure on the 1AR, especially for cheaty process CPs. 1AC spikes are fine, but I do not think they need to be answered until they are deployed in the 1AR, for example, if the AC says 1AR theory is drop the debater, the Neg doesn’t have to answer it until the aff reads a 1AR theory shell. On that note, I default to theory being drop the debater. I think frivolous theory is often bad for the activity of debate, but I will still vote on it, and I think the notion of when theory becomes frivolous is kind of blurry, so make sure you have well articulated violations and standards and I will be much more likely to vote for you.
If you aren’t going to explain your arguments, and rely on jumping up and down for 3 minutes about how they conceded the a priori about presumption because of your made up reason why the resolution is incoherent I will probably not vote on it. This is never a great form of debate and oftentimes these “tricks” don’t make sense if you think about it for more than two seconds.
Topicality is in my opinion underused in LD. Given the nature of most topics/direction of affs it is not as applicable however it can be a really effective tool to limit out abusive affs on the topics. These shells need to be complete with and interpretation, definition, standards, and voters. Incomplete shells are really hard to win and make the debates very messy. Also everything from policy applies here
K/K affs/Framework (big F)
I like K debates in LD, I think the 2NR lends itself to really ample time for explanations which are key to winning any K debate. Very similar thoughts to the CX section on K affs and Framework. However, LD topics almost never use “USFG” so I think that often changes the way these debates happen, that being said, if there is an established reason why the aff should be the USFG then these debates become similar.
Plan debates are really good in LD, I think LD should in general shift more towards plan affs, they provide more specific and concrete things for the neg to engage with and inherently stop much of the cheaty shifts affs make in the 1AR. I am very hesitant to vote on plans bad theory especially if that is the main strategy against the aff.
I've gotten thrown into a couple PF rounds, if you have gotten this far in my paradigm and I am judging you or one of your debaters in a PF round assume I will judge the round like a policy/LD judge. Whatever style of argumentation you want to do works for me, I would look to the top level section for information on how I evaluate things.
Most of all, enjoy the round, have fun, and debate your best
I debated for BCC. I ran clowns last year.
Anything is cool, just run stuff and articulate it well.
Ask me what happened my novice year when I made it to semis at lakeland as a mav.
I've debated in Lincoln-Douglas for Newark Science, and since graduating I judge local and national tournaments. I am NOT very familiar with Policy debate so please keep that in mind. As long as you are clear and concise in your speech I will be ok with moderate spreading. Theory arguments are cool, but I'm not a big fan of K's and critical arguments if it can be avoided. Please be aware of your judge and don't be offensive or disrespectful during your arguments. Be sure to focus on the big picture argument and tell a story or paint a picture to win me over I like to be walked through your points I won't do any work for you when voting.
last updated: january 2020
edgemont class of 2015
binghamton class of 2019
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org -- pls add me to the email chain
tl;dr - do whatever you want. don't be offensive. content is much less important than execution (clear explanation and example debating). line by line is important and makes it a lot easier for me to decide debates
that being said, i have a few random thoughts about debate
- i'm 51/49 against framework (ie i'd vote aff in a tie) but my bias is SUPER easily overcome by good debating. all framework impacts are kinda boring tbh, but the neg needs to do a better job figuring out what the 1ar messed up instead of blindly going for the impact they like the most or they perceive as the best. clearly the claim that decisonmaking skills solve extinction is less convincing than an impact based around competitive equity, but the flow/individual debate should decide the truth claims of those things. what's the point of the 5 new f/w impact / tricks you read in the 2nc if you just never go for them... case defense / solvency presumptiony case arguments are also super valuable -- the aff winning a meta level thesis claim makes it hard for you to weigh offense since the aff can just impact turn things at a terminal level. why do portable skills matter if we just use them to advance imperialism / antiblackness / capitalism?
- 2nc k extensions often suffer from a lack of flow-ability that frustrates me greatly. please try to organize your speech in a constructed manner that revolves around answering the 2ac -- simply saying "go to the link debate" or "go to the impact debate" does not help me in where i should put these things. i will be a much happier camper if you put those things on individual 2ac arguments (ie put the link debate in the perm debate, put the impact debate on some impact defense).
- line by line makes a lot of sense to organize the debate and generally just makes me happy, but i find a lot of the times the more "technical" team will get caught up in extending a bunch of conceded arguments but don't answer an overarching impact outweighs / framing argument the other team advances. even if certain arguments aren't answered, how does that interact with their offense / framing of the debate?
- counterplan theory - very much case-by-case basis - i think that a neg pic that shows that they did their research (cutting 1ac ev, reading lit that directly responds to the 1ac solvency advocate) that is responded to by "pics bad" by the aff is utterly unconvincing - however, reading the most generic counterplan on the rez and saying that we have a card about "surveillance" brings out my inner 2a and leads me to sympathize with the aff
- defense is very good and needs to be used more
- aff needs to put pressure on the block/neg - given the advent of rampant conditionality and other factors, a 2ac that just plays defense on everything the neg says is a ticket to failure - the aff needs to control the direction of the debate using strategically placed 2ac offense (addons, theory arguments, straight turns etc) or the block will run over the aff with new cards and 13 minutes
- haven't judged a debate on this rez so please explain common acronyms and things others might take as granted esp when going for T -- not sure how my time away from the activity has changed my perspectives on potentially common things but ya it's been a little under a year since i've judged a debate
- avid melee player so if you like the game talk to me about mango and ill give you some speaker points. my hands are also getting the work from melee so my ability to flow has definitely decayed -- be cognizant of your speed pls
Name: Jefferey Yan
Affiliations: Stuyvesant High School ’15
Binghamton University '19
Currently working as an assistant coach w/ GMU for 2021-22
Please put me on the chain: email@example.com
I debated for 8 years, in HS for Stuyvesant and in college at Binghamton. I read a plan for a majority of my time in HS, and various K arguments on the neg. In college, I read an affirmative about Asian-Americans every year with a variety of flavors and a few about disability. On the neg, we primarily went for K arguments with themes of biopower, capitalism, and resiliency.
I think line by line is an effective way to both record and evaluate clash that happens in debate. I like to judge debates that are heavily invested in line-by-line refutation because I think it requires the least amount of intervention and the largest amount of me pointing to what you said.
That being said, I think rebuttals require less line-by-line and more framing arguments. The biggest problem for me when evaluating debates is there is often little explanation of how I should treat the rest of debate if you win x argument. In other words, you need to impact your arguments not just on the line by line, but also in the broader context of the debate. The ability to do both in a round is primarily what modulates the speaking points I give.
Framework/T-USFG: I like to think of framework as an all-or-nothing strategy that can either be utilized effectively and persuasively, or poorly and as an excuse to avoid engagement. My ideal block on FW is where you spend time articulating specific abuse and why it implicates your ability to debate with examples. I think specificity is what makes the difference between framework as a strategy for engagement versus framework as a strategy for ignoring the aff. I think a lot of the delineation here is most apparent in the 2NR and whether or not the neg explicitly acknowledges/goes to the case page.
Generally speaking, I think ties to the topic are good. I think topical versions of the aff are something people need to be going for in the 2NR and are lowkey kind of broken given the time tradeoff vs amount of defense generated ratio. I am unpersuaded by fairness as an intrinsic good or impact in itself, and relying heavily on it in the 2nr is not a great spot to be in. For example, I am relatively easily persuaded by the argument that if a current form of the game produces bad outcomes, then whether it’s fair or not is ultimately a secondary to concern when compared to re-thinking the content of the game itself. I think arguments regarding the quality of clash are the most persuasive to me as they can implicate both fairness and education impact arguments fairly intuitively.
I default to competing interps, but I think that aff teams tend to read awful C/Is without realizing it, mostly because they fail to really think through what their counter-model of debate looks like. I think a strong counter-interp really sets aff FW strategies apart, because being able to access the neg’s offense does a lot for you in terms of explaining the specificity of your own impact turns.
T: Like I said, I have very little topic specific knowledge and am a bit out of the loop in regards to the meta. This means I’m probably more willing to vote on a stupid T argument than other judges. This could be good or bad for you.
DA: I like stories. DAs are opportunities to tell good stories. Not much else to say about this.
CP: I wish people slowed down when reading CP texts because it makes it so god damn hard to flow them. I think judge-kick is stupid. If the debate becomes theoretical, please adhere to some kind of line-by-line format.
K: I am most familiar with structural kritiks. Link specificity makes life good. I think framework is incredibly important for both sides to win to win the debate. I think the neg should defend an alternative most of the time. I think the neg should generally pick and choose one or two specific link arguments in the 2NR.
K but on the aff: These debates are largely framework debates, and the winner of that debate gets to decide what happens with the judge and the ballot. I think it’s important to make clear what the aff advocates early on, because often times these affs have too many moving parts, which gets you into trouble vs link debates/presumption arguments. I think ties to the topic are generally good. I usually really like judging these types of affs.
Hello! I’m Angelina and I did CX for Dulles (in Texas) from 2014-2018
Yes, please add me to the email chain if there is one, but I don't need you to flash your args to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
2019-2020 Debate Season
I did CX all four years in high school, but no longer debate in college. I judge sporadically throughout the year. This means that I am well versed in the structure and general arguments in policy, but am unfamiliar with topic nuances. This affects 1. Your aff - please have a coherent aff story and your framework (ie how should I evaluate your impacts). 2. Topicality - as this is a technical debate about the topic, please be clear in the interpretation, violation, and voters. It will probably serve you well to slow down on these debates in general. 3. DAs and CPs - please explain the competitiveness of your CP text and for DAs, please be explicit about your link story. 4. K links - again, contextualize to the topic. Note, these things are probably important regardless of whether or not I'm familiar with the topic or not.
Overall, do whatever you’re good at. As long as you explain and warrant out your args and have a reason for why it matters in relation to your opponents (IE clash) then there shouldn’t be a problem. Please, please do weighing. It makes it much easier to evaluate and keeps judge intervention to a minimum.
1. Speed is fine, but keep in mind I don’t do debate anymore in college, so maybe aim for 70% of your full speed. Please differentiate your tags from the card text. I will say clear as many times as I need if you actually slow down. Otherwise, I'll stop if the speed doesn't change. Anything I don’t catch won’t make it onto the flow.
2. Prep ends when your flash drive leaves the computer or when the email is sent out. Please don’t steal prep.
3. Flex prep is fine as long as both debaters agree to.
4. I don’t care where you sit, and I don’t care if you stand or sit. Whatever makes you comfortable/perform the best is encouraged.
1. Tech over Truth
- this does not apply racists/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/etc arguments/statements. If that is your intent, I will drop the debater.
2. LARP is fine. I like a good DA/CP/Case debate.
3. Ks are fine
- K affs (I did this most of my junior and senior year). I’ve been on both sides of the T-FW vs K aff debate. It would be nice if the aff related to the topic whatever that means to you, but it doesn’t have to be (but you have to justify why it isn’t otherwise theory becomes pretty convincing). For T-FW, do impact weighing and contextualize it.
- Ks are fine but please explain and apply. Don’t assume I know your K (because honestly, I probably won't to the extent you think/want me to). Buzzwords and jargon don’t make me happy. I need to understand your K in order to vote on it. Please have an explanation for how your alt functions if it's relevant, and why your ROB matters in comparison to your opponent's. Perms should have a perm text or at minimum, an explanation on the mechanism.
3. Topicality/Theory is okay
- Please slow down on these debates. They usually become blippy and hard to catch. If you’re collapsing to it please have an explanation of what is needed to vote for you.
- Topicality should have carded definitions. You should also have internal links to your voters and reasons why your standards matter in this round
- Theory is fine, but I also didn’t really go for theory much so if you’re collapsing to theory please flush it out for me. Weigh your argument
- I did policy, RVIs weren’t a thing
I debated maybe a total of 10 rounds of LD my entire career (mostly my senior year) so most of my LD experience is second hand based on conversations with members of my team. That being said, I did do CX debate for four years and did both K and policy styles so take what you will from that. Overall, do what you're good at and I'll do my best to follow.
Argument Things Specific to LD
1. NC FW – I don’t have much experience with this debate, so I might not be the best judge for you. In my head, I see it sort of like a ROJ/ROB in K debate and I’ll view the FW that outwieghts to filter your impacts unless told otherwise
2. Other LD Stuff – I don’t know how a Spike or NIB functions. If this is your strat, please explain the mechanisms or I’m probably not the best judge for you.
Don’t be a jerk. I think debate should strive to be as inclusive as possible. If it means slowing down or explaining your args in CX for a novice or inexperienced debater, please do so. I don't necessitate a trigger warning unless your aff includes graphic descriptions or invokes potentially triggering situations (if you think your aff needs one, then it probably does), but I will evaluate arguments for why a trigger warning is necessary even if your aff doesn't meet the above criteria.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me or ask before round.
Lexington High School Class of 2019
Cornell University Class of 2023
Please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
I debated policy for 3 years at Lexington High School, the first 2 years as a 2N and the last year as a 2A.
Be nice and respectful to each other! rudeness, ad-hominems, and discriminatory arguments / comments will not be tolerated.
Here are some of my thoughts on certain debate arguments / things:
Tech > Truth. But I like it when truth finds its ways into technical debate arguments. Use the truth to your advantage on the flow, because most debate arguments just don't have any logical basis.
Planless Affs / Framework:
Debate is a game. In my opinion, policy debate is way more a game than it is debate. While I do find planless affs interesting, I do think there are good arguments about why they wreck fairness and all that. Honestly, my own opinion on the matter aligns with framework, so I'm probably not a good judge if you're tryna read a planless aff.
Topicality vs Policy Affs:
Not gonna lie, I'm not going to be great at judging topicality because I never liked going for it or answering it. I think limits is my favorite standard. Reasonability is kind of a derpy argument but like it'll help you to make it because I don't like annoyingly annoying t violations.
I like disad debates, but I also think that basically all disads are so logically flawed and horrid. When someone asks me to give an example of how debate often involves arguments that make absolutely zero sense, I'll give them an example of a disad. With that being said, people don't really use that much logic in debate anyway so I'm pretty balanced aff-neg on disads. If you're aff, make logical arguments about why a disad is horrible and I'll probably be persuaded. Of course, evidence is still important, and as I said above, tech > truth.
Counterplans are cool, especially creative ones that I could see actually working in real life.
If I think that the counterplan isn't very mutually exclusive with the aff, I'm going to want to vote on the perm. So make it mutually exclusive.
Also make sure the CP doesn't link to your net benefit.
I actually like kritiks on the negative WHEN THEY LINK TO THE PLAN and it's not just a generic "USfg" link. I'm going to weigh the impacts of the aff vs the k regardless, because I think that the impacts of an aff or a K and the ability to solve these impacts is part of the educational value of whatever we're presenting. Alternatives are almost always bad so if your alternative is actually good I'm going to be very intrigued.
Negative teams: DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE CASE. If you give the aff their case it makes it so easy for the 2AR to win why they outweigh.
Condo - 3 condo is good, 4 condo is eh, 5 condo is :|, 6 condo is not good
International CPs - good.
States CPs - good.
Consult CPs - probably not.
Agent CPs - sure
Word PICs - ehhh
PICs - good (?)
Since I have a policy background, I'm going to be more of a flow judge than you might be used to. With that in mind, make sure you substantiate your claims with warrants and impact calculus. You know to do that anyways, but it's probably going to matter with me more than the average pf judge. Although I certainly have my own personal views on issues, I value the flow over anything else (within reason and truth). Still, persuasion is a key component of each argument, but it should be attached to the argument chains themselves and act beyond just an emotional appeal for my ballot.
April Topic - I don't have much topic knowledge, so keep that in mind. If you use terms or acronyms that others who have debated / judged this topic might know but a common person wouldn't, you should specify what the term means the first time you use it.
Framework - Framework's cool, if you can truly convince me to align my value system with yours, then you have a good chance.
Policy / LD / progressive arguments in PF: Go for it! But keep in mind that not everyone will be familiar / is expected to be familiar with these arguments, so explain them thoroughly.
Overall, I'm pretty open minded for pf - I didn't debate it, so I don't have huge biases or preferences. Stay true to the fundamentals and you'll do great.