2020 — Online, MA/US
Varsity LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hey y’all. I’m David and I debated at Newark Science for 4 years on the state, regional, and national level.
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My influences in debate have been Chris Randall, Jonathan Alston, Aaron Timmons, Christian Quiroz, Carlos Astacio, Willie Johnson, Elijah Smith in addition to a few others.
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Two primary beliefs:
1. Debate is a communicative activity and the power in debate is because the students take control of the discourse. I am an adjudicator but the debate is yours to have. The debate is yours, your speaker points are mine.
2. I am not tabula rasa. Anyone that claims that they have no biases or have the ability to put ALL biases away is probably wrong. I will try to put certain biases away but I will always hold on to some of them. For example, don’t make racist, sexist, transphobic, etc arguments in front of me. Use your judgment on that.
I predict I will spend a majority of my time in these debates. I will be upfront. I do not think debate are made better or worse by the inclusion of a plan based on a predictable stasis point. On a truth level, there are great K debaters and terrible ones, great policy debaters and terrible ones. However, after 6 years of being in these debates, I am more than willing to evaluate any move on FW. My thoughts when going for FW are fairly simple. I think fairness impacts are cleaner but much less comparable. I think education and skills based impacts are easier to weigh and fairly convincing but can be more work than getting the kill on fairness is an intrinsic good. On the other side, I see the CI as a roadblock for the neg to get through and a piece of mitigatory defense but to win the debate in front of me the impact turn is likely your best route. While I dont believe a plan necessarily makes debates better, you will have a difficult time convincing me that anything outside of a topical plan constrained by the resolution will be more limiting and/or predictable. This should tell you that I dont consider those terms to necessarily mean better and in front of me that will largely be the center of the competing models debate.
These are my favorite arguments to hear and were the arguments that I read most of my career. Please DO NOT just read these because you see me in the back of the room. As I mentioned on FW there are terrible K debates and like New Yorkers with pizza I can be a bit of a snob about the K. Please make sure you explain your link story and what your alt does. I feel like these are the areas where K debates often get stuck. I like K weighing which is heavily dependent on framing. I feel like people throw out buzzwords such as antiblackness and expecting me to check off my ballot right there. Explain it or you will lose to heg good. K Lit is diverse. I do not know enough high theory K’s. I only cared enough to read just enough to prove them wrong or find inconsistencies. Please explain things like Deleuze, Derrida, and Heidegger to me in a less esoteric manner than usual.
CP’s are cool. I love a variety of CP’s but in order to win a CP in my head you need to either solve the entirety of the aff with some net benefit or prove that the net benefit to the CP outweighs the aff. Competition is a thing. I do believe certain counterplans can be egregious but that’s for y’all to debate about. My immediate thoughts absent a coherent argument being made.
1. No judge kick
2. Condo is good. You're probably pushing it at 4 but condo is good
3. Sufficiency framing is true
Nah. If you were looking for this part to see whether you can read this. Umm No. Win debates. JK You can try to get me to understand it but I likely won't and won't care to either.
Just like people think that I love K’s because I came from Newark, people think I hate theory which is far from true. I’m actually a fan of well-constructed shells and actually really enjoyed reading theory myself. I’m not a fan of tricky shells and also don’t really like disclosure theory but I’ll vote on it. Just have an actual abuse story. I won’t even list my defaults because I am so susceptible to having them changed if you make an argument as to why. The one thing I will say is that theory is a procedural. Do with that information what you may.
Their fine. I feel like internal link stories are out of control but more power to you. If you feel like you have to read 10 internal links to reach your nuke war scenario and you can win all of them, more power to you. Just make the story make sense. I vote for things that matter and make sense. Zero risk is a thing but its very hard to get to. If someone zeroes the DA, you messed up royally somewhere.
YAY. Read you nice plans. Be ready to defend them. T debates are fairly exciting especially over mechanism ground. Similar to FW debates, I would like a picture of what debate looks like over a season with this interpretation.
Default neg. Least change from the squo is good. If the neg goes for an alt, it switches to the aff absent a snuff on the case. Arguments change my calculus so if there is a conceded aff presumption arg that's how I'll presume. I'm easy.
Nah. If you were looking for this part to see whether you can read this. Umm No. Win debates. JK You can try to get me to understand it but I likely won't and won't care to either.
When I first started five years ago, most local tournaments were doing paper ballots. I can’t believe speech and debate was the first activity that went entirely online since the TOC before the pandemic! It’s a different new world...
I have already encountered various tech issues in the rounds I’ve judged thus far. Please be prepared with multiple devices - a phone and a computer and perhaps even one more back up. We will work it through together!
I have judged extensively in both LD and PF in the past year, and have grown to dislike the lack of civility in some rounds. Remember - speech and debate is about having fun! If you are the only person in the room having run, then you just lost a round.
Please note the following:
1. Fair warning - If you use language that doesn't belong to the classroom, you will automatically get a 25 in Speaker Points.
2. If you ask a question in rebuttal, please allow your opponents to answer your questions. I need to hear two sides - it wouldn't be a debate otherwise.
3. LD - No spreading. Debate, in any form, is about making a point. To me, that point has to be made with common sense. Please do not try to convince me you are smarter than everybody in the room by speaking too fast. If a smarter-than-average person cannot get your point, you lost the round. Period. If I cannot understand you, I cannot judge. You will get a 25. If you have two "tech" judges and me in the elimination rounds, and if you CHOOSE to spread "strategically", you will be dropped. Again, it wouldn't be a debate if a judge cannot understand you.
I am an Assistant Principal at Princeton High School. I was Head Coach of the PHS Speech and Debate Team in the past five years.
I can follow just about all fast speech by now. However, I have a strong preference for convincing arguments over speed or other stylistic elements of debates; I prefer strength and confidence over aggression without substance. I want to clear warrant to your claim, clear impacts and clear weighing. Simply put, convince me with common sense and logical reasoning.
Don't forget - this is about you having fun!
Grant Brown (He/Him/His)
Millard North ’17, Swarthmore College ’21, Teachers College at Columbia '23 (Studying Philosophy and Education)
Assistant Lincoln-Douglas Coach at Lake Highland Preparatory
Conflicts: Lake Highland Preparatory, Sam Barlow EL
Last Updates: 9/9/21
The Short Version
As a student when I considered a judge I usually looked for a few specific items, I will address those here:
1. What are their qualifications?
I qualified to both NSDA Nationals and the TOC in my time as a student. I have taught numerous weeks at a number of debate summer camps and am going in my fifth year as an assistant coach at Lake Highland Preparatory in Orlando, FL.
2. What will they listen to?
Anything (sans practices which exclude other participants) - but I increasingly prefer substantive engagement over evasive tactics, tricks, and theory cheap shots.
3. What are they experienced in?
I coach a wide variety of arguments and styles and am comfortable adjudicating any approach to debate. However, I spend most of my time thinking about kritik and framework arguments, especially those based in early Modern (Spinoza), German idealist (Kant & Hegel), and continental (Deleuze, Derrida) philosophy.
4. What do they like?
I don’t have any predetermined notion of what debate should look, act, feel, or sound like and I greatly enjoy when debaters experiment within the space of the activity. In general, if you communicate clearly, are well researched, show depth of understanding in the literature you are reading, and bring passion to the debate I will enjoy whatever you have to present.
5. How do they adjudicate debates?
I evaluate debates systematically. I begin by attempting to discern the priority of the various layers of arguments presented, examples include frameworks or weighing arguments which specify which types of impacts matter, a theory argument, a kritik, etc. Once I have determined the priority of layers, I proceed to evaluating the different arguments on each layer, looking for an offensive reason to vote, accounting for defense, bringing in other necessary layers, and whatever else is necessary to find an adequate resolution to the debate.
I am much less actively involved in thinking about debate and its strategies, so read your innovative or hyper technical positions with a grain of salt. I cannot keep up like I once did.
I also do understand myself as having some sense of an educational obligation in my role as a judge in debate, though that doesn't mean I aim to impose my own ideological preferences. There are a few arguments I highly doubt I will ever vote on as a result: Arguments which ex post facto change the structure of the debate, be it the speech time, order, or evaluation, modifications to preparation time, or adjustments to speaker points. Arguments which police or indict features of the opposing debaters identity i.e. their clothes, resources, race, or gender.
I like them. I very much value clarity of explanation and stepping outside of the literature's jargon. The most common concern I find myself raising to debaters is a lack of through development of a worldview. Working through the way that your understanding of the world operates, be it through the alternative resolving the links, your theory of violence explaining a root-cause, or otherwise is crucial to convey what I should be voting for in the debate.
I am a receptive judge to critical approaches to the topic from the affirmative. I don't really care what your plan is; you should advocate for what you can justify and defend. It is usually shiftiness in conjunction with a lack of clear story from the affirmative that results in sympathy for procedurals such as topicality.
I really have no interest in judging ridiculous tricks and/or theory arguments which are presented in bad faith and/or with willfully ignorant or silly justifications and premises. Please just do not - I will lower your speaks. I do however enjoy legitimate abuse stories and/or topicality arguments based on topic research.
I do not find theory tricks to be persuasive, including: must read an explicit counter-interpretation, arbitrary independent voters, competing interpretations justifies a risk of offense, claims about the constitutive nature of the activity or judge jurisdiction, etc. These are usually extended without a warrant and are dependent on either intuition/prior interpretative beliefs about the nature of theory or a purely technical evaluation that will vote on mere claims.
I really like these debates when debaters step outside of the jargon and explain their scenarios fully as they would happen in the real world. For similar reasons, good analytics can be more effective than bad evidence - I am a strong judge for spin and smart extrapolation. I tend to like more thorough extensions in the later speeches than most judges in these debates.
I greatly enjoy these debates and I spend pretty much all of my time thinking about, discussing, and applying philosophy. I would implore you to give overview explanations of your theory and the main points of clash between competing premises in later speeches.
Speaks and Ethics Violations
If accusations of clipping/cross-reading are made I will a) stop the debate b) confirm the accuser wishes to stake the round on this question c) render a decision based on the guilt of the accused. If I notice an ethics violation I will skip A and B and proceed unilaterally to C. However, less serious accusations of misrepresentation, misciting, or miscutting, should be addressed in the round in whatever format you determine to be best.
Here is a rough framework for speaker points I will attempt to follow – I assign relative to the pool so a 29.5 at a local tournament is different than a 29.5 at the TOC:
<25-26: Unethical; offensive, clipping of cards.
27-28: Significantly below average, unlikely to clear.
28-29: Slightly below, at, or slightly above average, potential to clear but won't make it far (I try to average a 28.5)
29-29.9: Significantly above average, most likely to clear and will be competitive in late elims.
30: Exceptional, demonstrates a novel presence, passion, or argument, should win most rounds/tournaments with their performance.
I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during prep. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
I debated LD for Lexington (MA) and graduated in 2015. I now coach LD at Walt Whitman (MD).
Speed is fine as long as you are clear. I will say clear as many times as necessary but I will get frustrated if you don’t slow down and make an actual effort to be clear. Don’t start your speech at full speed because it can take me a few seconds to get used to your voice and be able to understand you spreading. I don’t read your speech docs while I flow, so be clear on advocacy texts, interpretations, tags, and author names.
I am very comfortable not voting for an argument because I could not understand it in the first speech even if it is crystal clear in your final speech. I am also very comfortable not voting for nonsense arguments, even if they are dropped.
If you are sharing docs, prep time stops when you save the document. Email only one compiled document. Don't compile speech docs or pull up files outside of prep time.
I went mostly for policy-type arguments in high school so I believe they are the debates that I am best at evaluating.
I am not the most well-read judge for a lot of philosophical debates. That said, I think that I can understand most frameworks as long as you present them clearly.
I enjoy good theory debates, but I think most of the theory debates I have ever seen are a form of argument avoidance. A lot of generic shells frustrate and bore me. I like when debaters read cards to support T standards. I think RVIs are logical. I don’t think textuality make any sense as a voter on topicality because as long as both debaters have a definition, they both are textual. From there, topicality is a question of whose interpretation is best for fairness, education, or advocacy skills. I won’t vote off of an offensive counterinterpretation unless you provide an RVI or have standards that justify the offensive plank of the interpretation.
I like kritikal debates and encourage you to read Ks in front of me. I don’t care if your aff is topical or not. I am, however, comfortable voting on T against non-topical affs.
In the absence of any arguments otherwise, this is how I will evaluate debates. This, however, is not an indication of preferences.
-Theory is an issue of reasonability.
-Aff does not get an RVI on theory.
-Theory is a reason to drop the argument.
-Theory is a question of norm setting.
-I will evaluate debates through comparative worlds.
-Neg defends the status quo.
-Counterplans are conditional and judge can kick the counterplan for the neg.
Arguments that I am not a fan of (but I will still vote on):
-Presumption and permissibility triggers
-Affirmative framework choice and affirmative contention choice
-Theoretically justified frameworks
-Theory about case order (ethical frameworks first, role of the ballot first, etc.)
-Most a prioris
Arguments I won’t vote on (even if dropped):
-All neg theory arguments are counterinterps
-Evaluate the round after the 1AR or 2NR
-Resolved a priori
Here are the things you can do to get higher speaks:
-Provide a clear ballot story
-Use all 3 minutes of CX asking questions. I’m okay with using prep time to continue CX, but I prefer that you don’t use CX time to prep.
-2NR and 2AR overviews
-Proper prioritization of flows
-Don't go for too many arguments in rebuttals.
-Don’t read obviously frivolous theory.
I don’t like disclosing your speaks while your opponent is present, but if you find me individually or email me (email given below) I will tell you what your speaks were.
The round stops when an accusation of evidence ethics is made. This includes card clipping and misrepresenting evidence. I will evaluate the accusation to the best of my ability. If I find that a debater has cheated they will be given a loss and zero speaker points. If a debater makes a false accusation, they will lose. I have not yet figured out what to do for speaks in that scenario.
I am a parent judge with some experience on the local circuit. No spreading please.
--This is my first major edit to my paradigm in, like, two years, so ask me questions before the round if there's anything here that doesn't make sense or I forgot.--
I debated four years of policy and one year of LD in high school from 2003 to 2008. I've been coaching LD since I graduated and I've been with Lexington for the past 5ish years. I'm also working on a PhD in philosophy (this doesn't mean what you think it means, see below).
General info/Speaker points stuff
--Email chains are cool, include me on them: email@example.com
--Run whatever you want to run as long as it isn't actively offensive. If you want a K debate, have a K debate. If you're looking for a values or stock debate, that's cool too. The space is yours, do what you want with it. There's stuff that I'm probably less good at judging than other people, but I won't drop you for running a specific type of argument unless, again, it's actively offensive.
--I'm 100% team tech over truth. A dropped argument is a true argument. That being said (and this applies generally as well), the dumber an argument is, the lower my threshold for a response is. So, while most arguments require actual, thought out responses, if you respond to "must concede after the AC" by just saying "no I don't", that'll count. So, don't drop stuff, but don't waste time on really bad arguments. If an argument is given without a warrant, it doesn't need as developed of a response.
--On that subject, warrants are cool too. I hate vague extensions, they bother me and that'll reflect in your speaker points. If you're extending a card, a theory shell, anything really, give me the warrant behind the card. What does the [evidence/shell/value/whatever] say, why is it right, and what does that have to do with my ballot? Better extensions and better storytelling mean better speaker points. Blippy extensions with no explanation require less to respond to because, as above, blippy extensions are bad arguments.
--I'm not the best at flowing. This matters less in a world of speech docs, but for stuff like detailed underviews (like cramming drop the debater, RVI, reasonability, and random evaluate theory after the 1AR spike into the same subpoint) or longer theory shells, slow down. No, seriously, slow down. I won't get all of the details, and then when you're posting me after the round about how I could have missed underview A, subpoint 3, as extended with random other thing on a totally different flow as defense somewhere else, I'll just say I didn't get it on the flow and we'll both be mad.
--I don't like doing work for debaters. Embedded clash is a nicer way of saying judge intervention. Don't make me do it. Offense weighing and comparison is probably the most important thing for me (and key to good speaker points). Don't just say why your stuff is good, say why your stuff is better/more important to my ballot than their stuff.
--Last thing for speaker points, the most important factor for me is strategy. If you make strategic arguments and there isn't anywhere where I think you should have done something different, then you'll get very high speaker points. Strategy is number one for me, but that gets weighed against not being a jerk in round, being funny, and being a good speaker. If you do everything perfectly but you're not a clear speaker, then you won't get a 30, but you'll still get above a 29.5. I'll say clear or slow if I need to, but if I say it a couple of times, then you should know what'll happen to your speaks. If I say clear, don't do that thing where you're clear for a couple of seconds and then just go back to how you were speaking before. Also, general rule of thumb, be loud. I don't hear stuff very well, so the louder you are the better. Don't scream at me, but you get the point.
--At least 80% of my neg ballots when I debated policy were on T. Love me a good T debate.
--General stuff: I default to competing interpretations, no RVI, drop the debater unless told otherwise. Also, general pet peeve, if you're going to tell me drop the argument and it isn't blatantly clear what argument I'm dropping, then tell me what argument I'd be dropping.
--RVIs need a little bit of work for me. You need to convince me why you get RVIs in the first place (RVIs are much more convincing against multiple shells or 7 off strats) and then actively identify what constitutes an RVI and why.
--1AR theory is fine-ish, but when a round turns into shell versus shell, it usually breaks down into incomprehensible nonsense and then I get sad and then I trash your speaker points. If it gets to this point, what makes me happy is offense comparison. This is usually easier if we're weighing between fairness and education voters, but if it's fairness v. fairness, then be super specific about why your opponent is being worse for fairness than you are. Compare offense, don't just extend yours. Alternatively, go meta and tell me why aff or neg theory comes first. Either way, don't ignore the other side of the flow, because then I have to do weighing for you and nobody likes that.
--I'll vote for disclosure shells, but the dumb argument vs. strength of response weighing from before applies here. If there's straight up nothing on the wiki and they're from a school where you'd expect something to be there, then fine. But if it's a small school non-circuit debater and/or your interp is "must disclose all speech docs, past 2NR strategies, and what they've had for lunch the past five days", then a lesser response is required.
--Generally speaking, if there's an obvious win on substance and a more difficult win on T or theory and you go for T or theory, I consider that a less than strategic move and it'll reflect in your speaker points.
--I was a policy debater after all, so I'm pretty comfortable with this kind of debate.
--Impact calc is your best friend. Good impact calc means good speaker points and typically is a tiebreaker if I want to avoid intervening. If I have a better understanding of why your impacts matter more than your opponent's, then you're probably going to win.
--This is a general thing, but I'll highlight it here and elsewhere, but extensions should include storytelling for me. Don't just extend the cards from the disad, explain the warrants and tell me how they link together into the story of the disad. Better extensions, better speaker points.
--So remember how I said that me being a philosophy PhD doesn't mean what you think it means? I study bioethics and general normative theory and have had any knowledge/appreciation of continental philosophy beaten out of me over the last 5 years. So, I'm actually not the best at evaluating super dense Ks, high theory, that sort of stuff. That being said, you can totally run it if that's your thing. However, you're going to ahve to take extra time for storytelling. What's going on in the K, what does the aff/res do that is bad, why should I care, and what do you do to make it better/different? So, don't avoid running Ks if that's your A-strat. Do what you do best. Just be good at it and we're fine. If you've grabbed a K from a teammate that you haven't seen before and don't know how to properly extend and explain, it probably won't go well and you should consider doing something else (this applies generally).
--Framework v. framework debates are almost as bad as theory v. theory debates in terms of incomprehensibility. So, do active weighing work. Why does your framework matter more? If your framework precludes, why? If they say their framework precludes, why doesn't it. If both frameworks preclude each other and I have no in-round way to determine whose actually does, we're all going to be upset.
--Role of the ballot/role of the judge is probably the single most important layer of the flow. I mean, you have the power to tell me what my ballot does. Use it to your advantage. If you win that the only thing I should care about is whatever the role of the ballot says I should care about, that's kind of a big deal. Use it to your advantage. On the other side of the flow, you really should spend time here if you're responding to a K.
--Totally fine with performances, but, and this also applies generally, weighing pre versus post fiat offense and why the performance itself matters is pretty important. This is another area where the role of the ballot is your best friend.
--Like I said, I'm usually pretty good about ethics frameworks since that's kind of what I do for a living. That being said, debate phil is 99% of the time waaaaaaayyyyyyyy different from academic phil. This is especially the case for K authors like Foucault, but also for Kant, Mill, Rawls, etc. So, you'll have a little more leeway with explaining evidence for something like a Kant framework, but you still need to do actual extensions and explanations.
Other miscellaneous stuff
--Again, if this is your thing, this is your thing so do it, but I'm generally not a fan of tricks. Most tricks arguments fall into the camp of bad arguments I describe above where a response of "nuh-uh" is sufficient. Again, if this is what you do, then do it, just be super clear about where stuff is located, both when you're reading it and when you're responding to stuff in c/x. Nothing is more infuriating than shifty c/x responses. Saying stuff like "lol I don't know what an a priori is" when it's pretty clear you do is an easy way to get your speaks docked. Don't be that person.
--In that regard, unless you legitimately don't know what the person is asking about, don't say "I don't know what that means". If you've been to camp or the TOC or on the circuit at all, I assume you at least have some understanding of what terms like pre-fiat or spike mean. That's being shifty and wasting c/x time and it's annoying.
--Flex prep is fine. To a lesser extent, so it using c/x time as prep if you want. It isn't a good look, but c/x time is your time to ask questions and use it strategically. Asking questions is generally better than not. Also, both c/x and flex prep are binding.
That's all I can think of for now, I'll try to be better about updating this more regularly. Again, if something here isn't clear or if you want to know more, find me at the tournament and ask or ask me before the round starts.
Yale '21 Note: Have not judged a round/thought about debate in a while - please go slower.
Read whatever, have fun!
Speaks: I don't inflate speaks. To get high speaks, make good strategic decisions and be funny. To get low speaks, make poor strategic decisions and be mean.
Notes: Random thoughts I have about debate.
- Be efficient about flashing/emailing/etc. It's super obvious when people are stealing prep and I'll lower speaks for it
- I think you should flash/email/etc. anything that is pre-written and read in the speech, if you don't I'll lower speaks
- For disclosure violations, make sure all the screenshots have time-stamps and are on one document
- Prep stops when the doc has been compiled, it should be flashed/emailed/etc. shortly after
Law Magnet ‘16
UT Austin ‘19
Haven't thought about debate in a while. Feel free to do whatever you want. I don't have strong convictions on most issues.
I have been regularly judging for four years now, including local and national tournaments. I am pretty familiarized with judging about now. That said, I do have some preferences. I am a traditional judge by all metrics. I think real persuasion is a lost art in terms of debate because most debates devolve to who dropped what on the flow, instead of actually clashing with their opponents. I need you to really explain why their contention doesn't matter, not just say [x] argument takes it out, but why it does. Also, I want to see people really explain why their argument is true, not just say it was conceded. I am a stickler for warrants. Paint my ballot for me, even if it requires a format to do so. If you're aff, explain there is [x] problem. Policy [y] solves this problem because [z]. [x] outweighs [b] arguments b/c [c]. Super simple. Explain what problem is occurring, why your policy solves that, and why that problem outweighs your opponents arguments. That gives me clear weighing for why your arguments matter most. Additionally, if you win framework, you have to paint what that means for the round. "Judge, on the framework debate, [x] is the highest value in the round. If I have won this, that means that the only arguments that matter are ones that are promoting [x]. This means you can disregard [y] arguments from my opponent because they don't promote [x]." Similarly for the value criterion. The important thing to make of this is that if I don't know why voting for you is key to solving your problem or why your problem will happen without your policy then I probably will not vote for you. On neg, if I don't know why the policy will cause what you say it will cause, I will not evaluate it. Don't say they conceded it causes corruption. Explain how it causes corruption and why that matters more than the affirmative's contention.
If the above paragraph was not already clear, is weigh weigh weigh. Why does your contention matter more than your opponent's? If I don't know, my chances of voting for you are much lower.
I'll just post some things I think you will find relevant:
- Truth > Tech. That doesn't mean I won't give more weigh to something if it was conceded. But I still want you explaining your arguments in the context of the round more.
- Don't spread. It's a good life skill to be able to persuade a lay person to agree with your case, both for business, debate, and life.
- I would like the affirmative to affirm the resolution and the negative to negate it
- I find util by far the most persuasive but I can be convinced by frameworks like libertarianism if explained well. Main this is I want the debate primarily about the resolution.
- I am fine with counter plans but again 1) warrants still apply how does the counterplan solve better than the aff and 2) don't just say no reason to vote aff because the counterplan solves. Weigh it in terms of your offense. "Because the counterplan solves the affirmative's main advantage of representation, you should vote negative off of risk of offense because there is no unique offense coming from the affirmative."
- I evaluate the resolution, not the assumptions of the affirmative
I debated LD for Lexington for four years and I'm a sophomore at NYU.
I mostly ran theory and Ks during high school but I'm also well versed with LARP debate.
My general philosophy is to try and be as tabula rasa as possible.
I don't care whether or not your aff defends the topic. I frequently read affs in high school which did not defend the topic and am well versed with debates such as framework and cap.
Queerness arguments were my speciality but I'm familiar with anti blackness, high theory, etc. Informed readings of Deleuze, Muñoz, or Edelman will yield high speaker points.
I enjoy a good theory debate (good means thorough and specific not 8 different shells with no weighing).
I find Bostrom and existential risk arguments persuasive.
Phil debate is fine just not where I'm at my best necessarily. Same goes for tricks.
I have a low threshold for responses to arguments that are obviously false - doesn't mean I will intervene against them however.
I'm fine with speed and I'll say clear as many times as I need to, just slow down for theory interps and advocacy texts.
- I like strategic arguments
- I like word efficiency
- I dislike rudeness during CX or in round
- I like concise overviews and impact calc
- Please don't read climate change denial
I have debated in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for 4 years in Science park high school. I recently graduated and I am now on the Rutgers Newark debate team. I've qualified to the TOC in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate my senior Year.
I am ok with speed. I love k's and critical arguments when they are ran correctly.
Theory is fine with me as well as topicality but I need really good analysis on the violation and impacts back to standards.
Im really ok with any argument that isn't racist, sexist, or offensive in anyway.
I give high speaks if you are clear and really good in the big picture debate. I like a good story.
email is: firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains
For the email chain and any contact you need - email@example.com
I flow debater's speech performances and not docs, but may read evidence after speeches.
I graduated from Liberty University in the spring of 2011 after debating for 5 years. Before that I debated 1 year of LD in high school. Since then I worked as a debate coach for Timothy Christian High School in New Jersey for 6 years, traveling nationally on both the high school and college circuit. Currently I am the Associate Director of Poly Prep.
I view debate as a forum to critically test and challenge approaches to change the world for the better. I prefer in depth debate with developed material that you look like you have a grasp of. I will always work hard to evaluate correctly and with little intervention, especially if you are putting in hard work debating.
Learning debate from within the Liberty tradition I began by running conventional policy arguments with a proclivity to go for whatever K was in the round. However, during my final 3 years my partner and I did not defend the resolution and our 1nc looked very similar to our 1ac. Personally, I’m a believer and coach for advocating liberatory and conscious debate practices. However, there will certainly be a gap at times between my personal preferences and practices and what I vote on. I’m not going to judge from a biased perspective against policy arguments, and although tabula rasa is impossible I will try to evaluate the arguments presented with limited interference.
Ultimately, do not let any of this sway you from debating how you prefer. Doing what you think you are the best educator on will probably be your greatest option. If any of this is unclear or you have questions that I have not address below please feel free to ask me before a round. Have fun, debate confidently, and be genuine.
Last updated 1/10/2020
PAPERLESS and prep time (LD and Policy specific):
Prep time ends approximately when the speech doc is saved and you remove the jump drive. An overall goal (for both paperless and traditional teams) is to be prepared to begin your speech when you say end prep.
Speaking mostly to HIGH SCHOOL students:
Everyone involved in the round should be able to have access to any read piece of evidence once it has been presented. This means that if you are reading off of a computer you are responsible for providing your opponents with either a jump of what you are going to read or a physical copy before you start your speech. We shouldn’t be unreasonably fearful of people ‘stealing’ ‘our’ evidence, as source information should always be provided, and also because it’s certainly not really ‘ours’. You may, however, respectfully require your opponents to delete anything you provided them with during the round.
SPEAKING STYLES and speaker points:
I’m certainly open to (for lack of a better word) alternative and non-traditional approaches to your speech time. Passion, ethos, and emphasis are things that are usually underutilized by most speaking styles and debaters, and should be present in both constructives and rebuttals. After all, debate is at its core a communication activity. Cross-ex is a great time to exhibit this as well as advance your arguments. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech. Being a jerk, unnecessarily rude, offensive, stealing prep, and not being helpful to the other team during cx or prep time are all things that will negatively effect your speaker points outside of the quality and delivery of your arguments.
HIGH SCHOOL LD SPECIFIC:
Yes, I am fine with speed, but that does not give you an excuse to be unclear. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech.
I have experience to evaluate theory, but certainly prefer substantive theory (topicality, NIBs, parameterizing are all examples) as opposed to frivolous theory. You should probably slow down when reading your shells if you want me to be able to write down the nuances of your argument. Due to my background in college policy there may be a few preconceptions that I have that you should be aware of. Theory is not automatically an RVI, and I probably take a little more convincing on the flow than most judges in this area. You need to explain to me why a violation has resulted in abuse that warrants either voting down the other team or rejecting a specific argument. Simply claiming one to be true is not enough work here. When answering theory, showing how the abuse can be solved by rejecting a particular argument can make the violation go away.
Conceded and dropped arguments are considered true on my flow, unless they are morally repugnant or blatantly false. An example of the latter is even if your opponent drops a theory shell, if the team clearly does not link to the violation your accusation does not make that true. Conceded arguments must still be extended, warranted, and argued, but you should focus more on their implications.
Please read the paperless / prep time and the speaking style / speaker points sections of my philosophy located above.
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC:
A quick overview statement: It seem that circuit PF is going through a growing period where it is solidifying some norms and practices. As a result of this, I will default to the understanding of the debaters in the round. I am also open to different interpretations as long as they are defended.
Concerning defense in summary: As indicated above, this is something that I am going to let the debaters determine / debate for themselves. However, if at any point the defense has been front-lined / responded to (either in 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary), then these arguments need to be answered and the defense needs to be extended for it to be available in final focus.
The rest of my philosophy is not specific towards ld or policy, high school or college, and it may do you benefit to read it as well, especially if some of your arguments tend to look like policy arguments.
FRAMEWORK (when run by the neg):
I think that negatives have the ability to and should engage with affirmatives that don’t defend a normative implementation of a plan. Even if the aff doesn’t defend the resolution there are still many substantive things that they will defend that provide ample ground. Although this ground might not be as predictable as your interpretation on FW calls for, it is still predictable enough to meet the threshold that you should be prepared for it.
Having said that, I think I’m one of those few sick individuals that will actually enjoy listening to framework debates as long as they are well developed on both sides. Granted, I will most likely be a harder sell than most, but I don’t think this should dissuade you from going for it if you think it is your best option. You will need to make inroads to the aff’s arguments by articulating ways traditional debate solves for their impacts. If you lose the impact turn to politics you will not win FW debates. You need to make arguments to the effect of traditional policy debate being key to a better form of politics and articulate net benefits to your interpretation from this. I think that the type of education we foster in debate far outweighs the preservation of the game in the strictest sense. That is to say that fairness claims alone are not the way to persuade me on FW. You should instead use claims of fairness to hedge against the impacts from the aff.
However, the main substance of FW debates (for both sides) should be about the competing benefits to the type of education and scholarship different traditions lead to.
For affirmatives concerning framework strategies, your greatest offense will be specific to your particular argument. I will be more easily persuaded if your aff is connected to the topic. I don’t appreciate aff’s that are written that hide their purpose or are exclusively constructed to impact turn FW. While I prefer some kind of relationship to the topic, I don’t think it is necessary. However, you do lose the ability to make an important strategic argument that other plan-less aff’s should employ, which is that your aff is important to topic education. More developed, this argument should be that your aff is necessary to topic education and that without it the debate ground that is left leads to bad forms of scholarship. That is to say that you aff is essentially topical. This argument is both inherently offensive and also provides the ability to make defensive claims against the neg’s offense.
This is the type of debate that I am most familiar with and have the largest literature base with (I was a philosophy major). However, messy and poor K debates are probably the worst. The key to winning this kind of debate is making the general link and alternative cards as specific as possible to the aff. I am not saying that the key is reading the most specific evidence (although this would be nice, however most of our authors here don’t write in the context of every affirmative), but that you need to find ways to apply the generic concepts to the specifics of the aff. Without this it is easier to be persuaded by the perm.
Teams are responsible for the discourse and performances in which then engage in given the context of the world we are situated in as well as the argument style the team engages in.
Aff’s have a wide range of arguments they can deploy, and are probably best sticking with the ones they are most comfortable with while doing a good job showing how they relate to the critique.
Concerning the perm, it is usually not enough work to simply show how the two different advocacies could work together. At this point it becomes easy to vote on the alternative as a purer form of advocacy without the risk of links. Aff’s should articulate net benefits to the perm to hedge against residual links and different DA’s to the perm itself. Case should be one of these net benefits, but aff’s need to watch out for indicts to foundational assumptions (concerning methodology, epistemology, ontology etc.) behind your impact claims.
Concerning framework: when was the last time a relatively moderate judge decided that the neg shouldn’t be able to run their K? The answer is probably a long time ago. The majority of these debates are compromised in the 1ar by allowing the K given that the aff gets to weigh their impacts after a lot of wasted time by both teams. I can hardly think of a situation where I would be persuaded to only evaluate the plan verses the status quo or a competitive policy option that excluded the alternative. However, I can envision certain ways that this debate goes down that convinces me to discount the impacts of the aff. In general, however, most of debate is illusory (somewhat unfortunately) and these framework questions are about what type of education is more important. If you chose to run framework with you aff you should keep these things in mind concerning your interpretation for debate.
PERFORMANCE or project verses a similar style:
These debates are some of the most important and essential ones for our community, particularly as more and more teams are participating in this form of advocacy. We need to debate and judge in light of this fact. These are also some of the most difficult debates to have. There are several reasons for this, one of the most poignant being the personal nature of these debates combined with the close relationships that most people amongst this insular community have with one another. We need to realize the value in these opportunities and the importance of preserving the pureness of our goals for the debate community. That might mean in some situations that conceding and having a conversation might be the best use of a particular debate space, and in others debating between different competing methodologies is a correct rout to go. In either case we need to realize and cherish common goals. In light of this it isn’t a bad thing to agree with large portions of your opponent’s speeches or even advocacy. Instead of reproducing the gaming paradigm of traditional debate, where competition is valued over advocacy and winning over ethics, we should instead choose to celebrate the areas of alignment we find. Conceding every round where this happens, however, is not a good idea either. This would send a message to the debate community that debate dies under this framework. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possible time and place for it though.
When both teams largely agree on certain foundational framework questions efficacious debate can still happen. While making distinctions between advocacies and methodologies is essential for this kind of a debate, you should probably not manipulate and create links that are artificial. Distinctions that are made out of an in depth knowledge of the issues are far more beneficial and consistent. Traditional debate might look at these kinds of rounds as two ships passing in the night, but I think there can be a different metaphor – one where the teams are two ships starting at the recognition that the resolution and the debate community is flawed and that the round can be decided upon which team provides a better methodology and performance to get their ship further in the direction of what we should be as a community and culturally aware individuals.
I am undecided as to whether the aff should be allowed a perm and this should probably be debated out. However, I think that the aff should always have the ability to point out when a negative advocacy is the same as theirs.
THEORY / T:
Any bias I have towards theory will probably result in placing a burden on the team that reads the violation to prove that it should result in a voting issue. However, I don’t like shady stuff done only to be obnoxiously strategic. Don’t do it.
One thing that I definitely do not like is when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. This will usually call into question the solvency of the critique if the aff takes advantage of this.
I don’t think that I have a bias concerning reasonability or competing interpretations, but I will probably default to competing interpretations until the aff is shown to be reasonable and from there it is up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS / DA’s:
I am probably liberal concerning counter plan theory, and aside from the question over conditionality most other theory arguments are probably reasons to reject the cp. Aside from traditional theory answers, showing why a certain CP is justified given the specific aff is a good response.
PICS that are specific to the aff are great, however word pics should probably just be articulated as links to the K.
Uniqueness controls the link only if a particular side definitively wins it.
I generally evaluate from an offense / defense standpoint, but it doesn’t mean anything if the CP links less than the plan does to a DA if the CP still meets the threshold for triggering the link. In that world there isn’t greater offense to the CP.
I debated four years LD at Byram and am a first year out rn. hmu on facebook @lukegusty or my email firstname.lastname@example.org if you got questions.
Theory/T: I love theory debates because I read a lot theory, but that doesn't mean you should read it if that's not your thing.
Non Topical Stuff: they’re fine
K's: K>theory debates are fun to watch.
Phil: Some of the stuff you guys are reading can be dense so if it is plz flesh it out in your final speech.
Larp: it’s ight
Tricks: what's an apriori?
bracket theory: :)
edit: if ur reading high theory or super dense phil explain it to me rlly well
I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Conflicts: Klein Oak, Montgomery Blair, McMillen NG, Garland KP, Lovejoy CM, Hayes PF, Cambridge AG
I did LD for four years (2014-2018) in Houston, and qualled to TOC my senior year. If you need something before/after (pls not during) the round, I’m most active on Facebook. I was fairly flexible as a debater—I mostly LARPed, but also read some Kant, Levinas, Marx, Mestiza Consciousness, Deleuze, and Weheliye.
Five min before round:
HOW you go about articulating your arguments is way more important than WHAT you chose to read. I could care less what you go for (as long as it's not overtly repugnant), as long as it's explained and implicated well.
· WARRANT TO WARRANT COMPARISON WINS ROUNDS. If their DA says X and your link turn says Y, explain to me why I should prefer your link turn. Make clash explicit and do the work on the flow for yourself. Otherwise, be prepared to receive a decision with which you’re unhappy
· I’m willing to vote on anything, as long as it has a claim, warrant, and an impact. Just explain the argument to me and why it should be in my RFD. This means you need to be doing clear layering and weighing
· Tech > Truth
· Please pop tags and author names
· Your extensions need to have warrants—even in the 1AR/2AR. That being said, all it needs to be is an overview of the advantage—just tell me what the aff does, what it solves, and how it does so. The more a warrant in your aff is contested, the more thorough your extension of that part of the aff should be.
· I’d prefer not to have to call for cards as that forces intervention. However, if you think your opponent’s ev is sketch and you point it out, I’ll look at the card.
· This should go without saying, but….you need to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense
· Good theory debates are fun. Bad theory debates are sad.
· Defaults (theory): drop the arg, competing interps, no RVIs. DTD on T is the default. These are all very soft defaults—PLEASE present actual paradigm issues
· If you read brackets theory and the bracketing is not egregious, the highest you can expect your speaks to be is 28.
· Slow down for interps. Having them prewritten would be very nice.
· If you blitz through blips I won’t catch everything, so slow down where it counts.
· The more you number/label, the easier it is to flow you
· PLEASE do weighing between theory standards. Tell me why ground outweighs limits or whatever other arguments are in play
· Please do clear framework weighing. Tell me why one framework justification matters more than another and so forth...if both sides have “my framework precludes”-type claims, tell me why yours matters more than your opponent’s!
· Phil can be very hard to flow—make it easy for me. Flashing analytic dumps would be cool, but if you don't want to do that, then please make sure you're being clear and are delineating one arg from the next
· Make sure I understand the framework—my facial expression should be indicative enough
· I’ll probably have a basic understanding of whatever K you read, but I will not vote for you unless YOU explain your theory to me.
· Your 2NR better be easy to flow. I don’t want to sit through a ridiculously long overview that then requires me to sift through my flow after the round to determine what responds to what. Your speaks WILL not be amazing
· Shorter tags are easier to flow
· The most important thing for you to do is to explain the interaction between the K and the aff. Explain why it outweighs/turns the case/why the perm fails/why the K is a prior question
conflicts – lexington
email chain – firstname.lastname@example.org put me on the email chain
- i promise i'm not mad or irritated at you, i just didn't get coffee this morning and don't have the energy to have expressions on my face HAHA
- record your speeches bc if your internet fails in minute 3 of the 2nr you're not getting a redo
- my hearing isn't phenomenal irl and if you think it'll be better virtually you've got another think coming. please be clear or i'll be sad and you probably will be too when you hear the decision
- if your opponent is obviously a lay/trad/local debater and you spread, i will be Angery™. if you are a lay/trad/local debater and you don't know what parts of this paradigm means, don't worry about it, i promise i can judge your arguments just fine
- haven't judged a debate in about a year, don't have any topic specific knowledge - explain your acronyms and such
note: i have found that in practice i tend to vote for theory/tricks a lot more than i would want / than this paradigm might make it seem like i would, so if you're preffing me bc i seem anti tricks you can bump me down a bit :( sorry bout that
you’ve got 2 minutes before round:
- debated ld for lexington for 3 years, read a mix of maybe 20% larp, 80% k and the odd theory shell + kant nc. second year out, not debating in college
- tabula rasa is a lie but i’ll try to minimize intervention as much as possible lol
- do what you do best as long as it isn’t oppressive
- very roughly, k > larp > theory > phil > tricks. neutral on k v fwk
- i don’t know much phil outside kant so err on the side of overexplanation if this is your thing
- not the fastest with flowing so maybe don’t slip in 5 a prioris in as many seconds. i'll say slow twice and then feel no shame over completely missing your speedyquick args
- an argument has a claim warrant and impact. why are so many rounds lost on people not having the last two.
- be comparative. evidence comparison! framework comparison! weighing theory standards! don’t just roast your opponent, explain why your args are unroastable by comparison
- would appreciate content warning for discussions of suicide. thank you
- don’t be mean. you know what i mean, and if you have to ask, probably don’t do it
- don’t really care whether you defend the topic, don’t care if you’re sitting or standing, don't care what you're wearing (unless formal clothing bad has been read) (don't read formal clothing bad i'll cry) (no like seriously there shall be tears)
- flashing/emailing isn’t prep, compiling the doc is
- if there's something i haven't addressed below feel free to email me and ask. i was coached by kathy wang in hs and share a lot of her opinions
k: k debate is good when done well – i won’t be the happiest of campers if you clearly don’t understand what you’re saying or if you can’t explain your k beyond buzzwords. i’ll be very comfortable voting against your k on the grounds that i didn’t understand what you were saying if you don’t explain your arguments fully. i don’t think specific link cards are always necessary, but on case you need to be contextualizing your lit to the aff, not just saying ‘fiat is illusory’ and moving on. long 2nr overviews are Bad™, give me some quick framing and head to the line by line. k affs should probably be at least in the direction of the topic but i can be persuaded otherwise, just know the farther away you get the more persuaded i am by limits
larp / policy: i think larp is really fun but def not my specialty, probably overexplain your warrants a bit. good evidence, solid risk analysis, and a healthy amount of s p i n are all important. if you're going to go for an extinction impact make sure your evidence actually backs it up. no you don't have to go for extinction every time, yes you can win soft left impacts outweigh extinction impacts, pls just get better at weighing. like fr please. i’m begging you. against the k, your state good / particularism good arguments are probably (read: definitely) worse than you think, and if the 1ar is just extending generics from the 1ac underview i will be very sad
theory: theory is fine, but please make it an actual argument and not a 15 second pile of standards with ‘education’ and ‘fairness’ tacked on at the end. thoroughly warrant and impact out your standards, and for the love of all things sacred please weigh between standards. i’ll vote on frivolous theory but your speaks might hurt a lil a lot for it. defaults on theory are reasonability, drop the arg, no rvis, defaults on T are same except drop the debater, but if i have to resort to these i will be quite sad
phil: if it’s not kant, assume i don’t know much about it. run it if you want, but please overexplain because i def still don’t have any idea what motivational internalism is and am not sure how qualified i am to judge these debates. skep makes me sad
tricks: don’t use em to bracket out oppression. given that, ig its fine if there’s a few that are like, clearly in the underview as separate spikes (i.e. just not like randomly written in size 10 font under a card or worse yet, bracketed into a card). if there’s nothing in the doc but a prioris ,,, i’ll probably cry.
- will try to average 28.5 with speaks, probably erring on the higher side
- will probably disclose speaks if you ask but reserve the right not to do so
- good haikyuu / bnha references will net you +.2, i'm current on haikyuu anime and bnha manga
- +.3 for (hot) coffee, +.2 for taro boba (25% sugar, less ice) obviously not applicable this year
misc theory thoughts
- "evaluate the debate after the 1ar/2nr" doesn't make sense and i won't flow it
- disclosure is a good norm but i dislike voting on it unless the violation is egregious; if you're on the fence not reading it is probably a better idea
- 1 condo cp is probably fine. condo alts are a lil sus
- aff flex confuses me so much. yea i caught your 5 affirming harder warrants, why does that mean no neg RVIs? how much do i err aff? why does this mean permissibility flows aff? how do i weigh this against other standards? so many questions and so few answers
- affirming isn't that much harder pls write better affs
- i have yet to hear of an ‘independent standard’ that doesn’t just impact back to education or fairness
- reasonability doesn’t need a brightline. it’s literally called reasonability. i am supposed to just be reasonable. very sympathetic to reasonability against interps with extremely marginal offense
- norm setting is probably bs. so is jurisdiction. on the fence about policy making edu / real world edu
- pragmatics > semantics / textuality
- please for the love of all that is good slow down on your theory blips
- i'm not going to vote on offensive theory spikes from the 1ac extended into the 1ar without warrant even if they were cold conceded, if you're gonna stake the round on your opponent dropping "no neg arguments" please give me even a sliver of a warrant
other misc thoughts
- ks probably don't need alts
- most of your ‘extinction outweighs’ warrants probably aren’t good
- i dislike extinction good arguments; sorry if that's your thing
- if you read dedev i will be delighted. i don't know if i'll vote for it, but i will definitely be delighted
- low risk no risk! threshold for low may vary
- don't be sketchy in cx. you probably know what they're asking, just be honest about your args and be willing to defend your positions
- probs won't flow cx but might if there's something you should probably be held accountable for e.g. cp/alt status
- taking cx time for prep is fine, asking questions during prep is fine
Hi! I am a parent judge from Millburn. Please weigh clearly and summarize your points in the last speech for me. Do not spread/read progressive arguments; I would prefer to see a traditional AC/NC debate. I will flow your arguments and base speaks on a mix of both presentation and argument quality. Flex prep is ok.
EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.
Please just call me Hertzig.
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com
CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.
Ks (not high theory ones) & performance - 1 (just explain why you're non-T if you are)
Trad debate - 1
T, LARP, or phil - 2-3 (don't love wild extinction scenarios or incomprehensible phil)
High theory Ks - 4
Theory - 4 (see below)
Tricks - strike
If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.
I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.
I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will usually not vote for theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on it. I will vote for theory that is actually justified (as in, you can show that you couldn't have engaged without it).
I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.
For in-person debate: I would prefer that you stand when speaking if you're physically able to (but if you aren't/have a reason you don't want to, I won't hold it against you).
Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. And be nice.
To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.
*Updated for Polar Bear 2021.
Debated for Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in LD for 4 years, mostly running k's on the national circuit during my varsity years.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wanna send me speech docs
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me over Facebook messenger, I go by Jerfy Huang
In terms of debate, I really enjoy unique and interesting arguments that break away from the norm, and I will tend to award higher speaker points depending on how much I enjoyed the debate. Overall, although I think that both framework and contention level debates are important, more often than not debates will break down into arguments on the contention level anyways, so in the cases that they do, please try to make as many well warranted arguments and extensions as possible. As a judge, I can only evaluate arguments that have been extended in your final speech, which means that you must not only respond to your opponents arguments but also reiterate your own in both claim and warrant in every speech in order to win your arguments and the round as a whole. Bonus points if you're able to win the framework debate and link back/weigh your arguments under the framework. If you have any questions about the how the round went, want any feedback about what you can do better, or just want to know more about debate as a whole, feel free to ask before or after the round and ask away.
As always, please do not be rude to your opponents, especially if you are a someone that's more experienced than your opponent. Please don't spread in the novice division, and only ask for consent first with your opponent if you're debating in varsity.
National circuit stuff below (ignore if you are debating at a local tournament and aren't debating progressively)
Don't be rude. any racist/sexist/ableist etc. args and/or inappropriate behavior will be punished accordingly.
Tech over truth. Its like reading the fine print of a contract: its on you if you miss any of it. However if there's an arg over what a card says word for word or any issue related to such matters I will call for evidence and pass judgement.
Please disclose, disclosure debates are frivolous.
Since speaks are usually inflated, I give them as follows:
30 = I think you'll win the tournament
29 = I think you'll do well in elims
28 = I think you'll go positive/break
27 = average
26 = going negative
25 = you screwed up horribly
Kritiks have always been my favorite argument, with phil being the next best thing, because I've always loved the spirit of the kritik and creating a separate and distinct space apart from theory and policy. HOWEVER, there are 2 things that I despise about the current practice of running critical arguments in the LD community:
1) running a kritik purely as an argument that you've recycled from past topics
2) being inconsiderate of your situation/circumstances and/or contradicting the kritik
Kritiks should be read like a good story: I should be enjoying it in round instead of zoning out to the same cards I've heard countless times, and when I evaluate it at the end of the round I should be able to understand what its purpose was and how its made debate a better place.
Also, concise overviews at the beginning of speeches and explanations of how the K functions and how it applies to your opponent are key to successfully convincing me to vote for the K, especially with denser lit, since otherwise you're probably doing a bad job of showing me why it even matters for me or the debate. This means that you should have convincing arguments as to why the ROB matters first and foremost for the round, and how you're doing the better job at upholding that standard with the body of the K.
Bonus points if you're running Nietzsche and actually know what you're doing.
A lot of my qualms about K's actually cross apply here. I'm fine with theory, and I truly believe that they have an important role in shaping the debate space, but at the same time so much generic shells gets read that it makes me question why the person even wants to debate.
Make sure you make clear how all parts of the shell link together: slow down on interps, read an ACTUAL violation instead of just the opposite of your interp, standards should actually prove why and how SPECIFICALLY YOUR OPPONENT is abusive, and voters should tell me why the shell matters.
On disclosure, be considerate of who you're hitting and the circumstances, if your opponent is clearly a novice or they disclosed 20 mins before the round instead of 30, don't just run disclosure for the sake of putting more ink of the flow. Maybe actually debating the topic would be a nice change of pace eh?
Literally just do your thing, make sure you weigh and all that stuff, imo its as basic as it gets.
If you're LARPing make sure your arguments make sense and that you know the policy like the back of your hand, don't just make up some facts or spend half of CX scrolling through your case saying "i think [some random author] says it somewhere in the case"
Also please try to read unique and fully flushed out arguments, I don't want to listen to the same heg DA 6 times in a row
If you're hitting LARP, reading good evidence is great, case turns/plan flaw are greater
Next best thing after K, just make sure to know/explain your lit and actually have logical warrants in cards. I'll know if something's off and I'll call for cards appropriately
Not too familiar, just a meme in my books, don't run these unless you're trying to be funny or if you're confident enough that you can explain how I should evaluate them
pronouns: he/himPolicy/LD rounds
Spreading is fine, just make sure that all arguments and evidence are being clearly articulated. I recommend slowing down on taglines and slowing down when making theory arguments, providing analytics, and giving an overview such that these arguments can be flown accurately. IF you are going to give a spready overview/rebuttal, sending out a doc to those in the round is advised.
Policy rounds are more straightforward in terms of evaluating how the round went. I generally recommend that Aff teams thoroughly explain their plan's solvency mechanisms and plainly articulate the internal links between their inherency, harms/impacts, and solvency before the first affirmative rebuttal. Affirmative team reading policy affs should generally aim to read at least two advantages.
Neg teams in more straightforward policy rounds should leverage a few policy strategies against it and hone in on one by the 2NR with a strong link/internal link story and extensive impact calculus in rebuttal speeches. If NEG teams run counter plans, they should have a net benefit and be competitive with the affirmative plan being debated. Disadvantages should have a strong uniqueness and link and a clear impact.
In more straightforward policy rounds, I try not to intervene, often adjudicating based off whether the plan would be better than the status quo or competing policy option unless told otherwise.
Kritikal Rounds/ Soft Left Affs/ Advocacies, Narrative, and Performance
I am open to hearing 'non-traditional affirmatives' or performance advocacies. Sign Posting helps a lot in these rounds, as these rounds often involve theory, framework, and somewhat complicated overviews that often include both theory and framework. It may behoove the team running these arguments to be familiar with framework arguments and explain why defending the topic or advocating for a policy outcome is optimal. I am also very persuaded by teams that explain their solvency methods and how their advocacy is crucial/the starting point to some kind of change/justice.
I am less inclined to vote for kritiks that solely rely on 'reject the 1AC' as an alternative and kritiks that rely on poorly explained or ineffective alternatives, especially when the opposing team challenges the solvency of these kritiks. When evaluating the kritiks, I factor alternative solvency heavily in my decision calculus, though I have voted on the risk of a link/strenth of a link.
NEG teams when negating performances and kaffs should do more than run topicality and framework when going against KAFFS and Performance Affs. Generating offense by running a Kritik, counter advocacy, or PIC may be a better way to combat these kinds of cases. Many KAFF teams are often able to effectively handle topicality and framework args, so being able to leverage offense through other avenues may be more effective. Disads are also very persuasive (Isopolitics, Ballot Commodification, Pornotroping etc.)
As far as structuring these KAFF and performance aff rounds, I recommend the affirmative team read an advocacy statement/kritik alt/ and try not to change their advocacy/position in the round. It can be difficult to understand performance affs and kaffs, nevermind flowing and evaluating them. An advocacy statement really helps judges to frame the round. Moreover, it allows the opposing team to better clash with the case.
Structure and Rules
For the most part, I view speech time and speaker positions as being fixed and necessary to make the debate accessible and fair. Even if both teams agree on a different set of 'rules' for the round, I may still intervene and suggest the default speech times and speaker positions so as to not interfere with the logistics of the tournament. When teams are not in agreement on what the rules of debate are regarding speech time and speaker positions or are fine with the established rules for speech time and speaker positions, I will uphold the default rules and will refuse to flow after time has been called.
I don't flow Cross-X and won't evaluate any arguments brought up in Cross-X unless it is brought up in a speech later in the debate and thoroughly impacted out. Example: In cross ex the debater conceded that the plan increases spending, this is an independent link to the Spending Disasd
Theory arguments are fine, as long as they are explained and (most importantly) impacted out.
Neg teams running Topicality arguments should extend and explain the violation and standards into rebuttal speeches if they intend to go for a ballot based on T. Referencing the wording of the plan or affirmative case, the structure/methodology of the case, and attempts at gaining clarification in cross-ex especially helps to evaluate topicality arguments.
I assign speech mainly on the clarity of debaters within the round. If a debater did impact calculus really well, clashed well, or otherwise was very strategic and was also a clear speaker, he/she/they will likely get a 29 or higher.
I may be inclined to dock points from debaters who lie in cross-ex, steal prep time, or make rude or offensive remarks, especially if the opposing team calls them out.
I am not very responsive to tricks, especially when they do not have some kind of social advocacy tied to them that could conceivably have a real impact. I will instead prioritize substance argumentsMiscellaneous
Kritiks I like to hear: Afropess/antiblackness, settler colonialism, Lacanian psychoanalysis
Phil args I like hearing: Baudrillard, Spinoza
I am conflicted with Scarsdale, Millburn HR, Clements MM, and Anderson AR.
I debated on the Texas/national circuit for 4 years and qualled to TOC my senior year.
I'm teaching (or have taught at) NSD Flagship, TDC, and NSD Texas.
I don't have a stylistic preference and as a debater, I read T/theory, Ks, high theory, LARP, Phil and, to a very limited extent, tricks. Generally, you should debate how you are most comfortable and I will do my best to evaluate the flow.
Going into my second year judging and w/ online tourneys, I'm comfortable evaluating pretty much anything. You should go with the strategy you think you can execute the best and is good for debate (!).
The exception is that ***I will be unhappy judging a debate full of messy/cheesy tricks*** Especially online, these debates are often very difficult to resolve and uneducational for everyone.
I really enjoy judging good k debates (don’t love baudrillard) especially against soft left or policy affs. go slower cuz online and send analytics that are prewritten
I'm fine with you reading arguments I'm less familiar with. As long as there is a warrant and an implication I am happy to vote for it. Theory for strategic purposes is ok, but I will have a lower threshold for responses the more absurd the argument is (which is also true in general).
You should slow down on analytics during rebuttals and err on the side of over-explanation. Definitely extend the stuff you're going for. Like, in all of your speeches. Whether this is in the form of an overview or a bunch of line-by-line explanations, you just need to carry a ballot story throughout the debate from your 1A/1NC.
I am less comfortable evaluating dense LARP or tricks debates. I am most comfortable evaluating K and theory debates. I also really enjoy judging well-executed philosophical framework debates, so if you are capable of that, please do your thing.
I will not fill in the blanks for any argument- even if I was familiar with it or read it every round, I will adjudicate only based on how you have explained the position.
I default no RVIs, competing interps, DTA (and DTD on T, but all of these things are contextual to the shell). The trend of super vapid warrants for theory paradigms (like competing interps or fairness as a voter) is dumb. If the 1nc has under-justified any paradigm issue, the 2nr does not get new warrants and the 1ar should exploit that. Reasonability needs to have a brightline.
I'd really, really, really prefer if there's an impact weighing mechanism. Ideally, this is in a normatively justified framework, but I'll evaluate the debate through whatever lens you give me so long as you propose something. I won't assume any framework absent your articulation, and I'll just have to pick and choose arbitrarily what impacts seem more important. That seems bad for all of us, so just read a framework.
I think 0% risk is a thing on disads and advantage scenarios, and I have no particular affinity for either side of the K aff vs. FWK debate. Probably want to have a counter interp, and not just arguments about why your opponent is problematic. But that's ok too.
Two quick notes-
First, I will evaluate speaks based on strategy but also ethos and knowledge of your position. I think debating with some flare is a lost art and I will always reward it with higher speaks than just reading off a document or being monotone.
Second, CX is important and debaters should use it strategically. If it's obvious that your coach wrote your entire speech and rebuttal (i.e. you read off the doc and didn't answer case, read a 2nr entirely off of a document, can't explain your argument in CX but have a clear explanation in the 2nr, etc.) I will be hesitant to give you high speaks and will be possibly a little upset. If you just worked really hard and wrote great analytics, that's a different story.
Anyway, debate is a fun activity and as long as you try your best and are respectful, I will be happy. If you have any specific questions, please email me.
Influential judges and educators: Tate Weston, Ari "Elias" Karchmer, and Mohammad Ibrahim "Ibbi" Sheikh
Debate should be a safe space. If you do something that is racist/homophobic/misogynistic/transphobic or something similar, I'll drop you with 0 speaks.
I am a freshman at Tufts and debated for Lexington High School for four years.
I'm honestly fine with most arguments. I usually ran ks and some phil but also sometimes LARP and occasionally theory/T. That being said, I am super not inclined to vote for tricks.
Please, for the love of god, err on the side of explanation (for all cases but especially really nuanced args that I might not have heard before). Clear overviews in the last rebuttal that explains to me why you win the round and write my ballot for me are cool. Impact calc is always super encouraged and appreciated. Also, please signpost as much as possible.
If you feel like it would be a good idea to email me your speech, here you go: email@example.com. However, keep in mind that if you make me read your whole case on my laptop because your speaking is bad, things do not look awesome for your speaker points (on the whole, I am pretty generous with speaker points).
Last note, I don't care if you are standing or sitting or what you are wearing but I would really appreciate if you do your best to be as nice as possible to your opponent. Debates can get heated which is understandable but making people feel shitty for no reason, is well, shitty.
If you have any specific questions, please ask me before the round or email me!
I debated LD at King HS in Tampa, FL from 2014-2018 on the national circuit and qualified to the TOC my senior year. I am conflicted from King.
If you’re reading this before the round, here is all you really need to know:
I don’t care what you read. As a debater, arguments I went for include Queer Pess, Virtue Ethics, Politics, Marginal Abuse Theory, and Tricks. What you read will not affect my evaluation of the round, although the quality of your prep and arguments will affect speaks.
I evaluate rounds by isolating the most important layer and determining which debater is winning offense back to that layer. If both debaters are winning offense, I will attempt to determine which debater is winning the weighing debate. If neither debater is winning offense, I will move to the next layer. For this reason, it is extremely important that you make nuanced weighing arguments, regardless of the positions you read.
Here are some of my more specific thoughts on debate:
Phil/Framework: I default epistemic confidence. You should understand your philosophical syllogism and any independent reasons to prefer very well (this means at a minimum you cut the cards yourself). You should be able to do well-warranted interaction with other frameworks. I personally don’t want to see a blippy, preclusion argument heavy, framework debate, and your speaks will reflect this preference. Hijacks are currently underutilized, and your speaks will increase if you execute one correctly.
Util: I started appreciating this more as a senior and as I transitioned to coaching. I will attempt to isolate the most important impact and determine offense back to that impact. Terminal defense does exist, 0.001% risk is no risk if your opponent points it out. You should understand the methodology of your studies (time frame, scope, statistical significance, etc). I am impressed by debaters who make smart analytic arguments against their opponents’ util positions. I will also increase speaks for a well-researched caseneg to a specific aff, and well-researched author qualifications which are used in round to compare evidence.
Theory and T: I think about these arguments the most. I am fine with frivolous shells, but I think that persuasion is underutilized when going for otherwise non-persuasive shells. RVIs, Drop the Arg, and Reasonability are underutilized when responding to them. If you are going for T, I will increase speaks for a well executed 2NR on either limits or semantics. Otherwise, be efficient, make weighing arguments as early as possible, and collapse effectively.
K: This is the layer that I think about the least, although I’m fine evaluating these debates. The 1NC should do specific role of the ballot comparison with the aff framework, and have specific links to the aff. The 1AR should focus on the framing debate, link debate, and alt debate when responding to the K and should be efficient. The 2N should be very well structured (don’t read nonsense in an overview for 3-6 minutes) and should isolate the parts of the debate they are winning clearly.
If you are reading Set Col, Baudrillard, or any of the other Ks that have cropped up recently in LD, I would appreciate good explanation of the philosophy/ontology warrants.
K/nonT affs vs T: I was on both sides of this debate throughout my career, so I’m comfortable voting either way. The aff should be clear about what they defend in CX, and should pair impact turns to T with an efficient and engaging counter interp. The 1N and 2N should have specific TVAs, do comparison between their fairness warrants and the aff’s role of the ballot, and collapse effectively to the key arguments in the 2N.
Tricks: I am fine with these debates, but would prefer the tricks be creative. Examples include creative burden structures or Nailbomb affs and well researched topical NIBs. If you read generic tricks and blitz off a bunch of NIBs and a prioris, your speaks will drop.
I average about a 28.3 for speaks. You will most likely get in the 28s. If you get 29+, that means I think you will get far in the tournament/bid based on your performance in the round I judged you in.
If you don’t collapse effectively you will not get above a 28.9.
If you are debating a novice or a lay debater, go at a brisk conversational pace, read something your parents/lay people could reasonably understand (CP/DA/basic Phil NC) and show that you have clearly won the round. If you do this, you will get no less than a 28.7. If you are mean, you will get no higher than a 28.1.
I will evaluate disclosure like any other argument. This includes open source/round reports etc.
The words “independent reason to drop them” mean nothing to me. Your argument must link back to some framing mechanism (standard, rotb, theory voter). If it doesn’t link back to a framing mechanism that has already been justified, justify why your argument matters/comes first . An example: “They said [x], which is exclusionary because [y]. Exclusion is a voting issue and comes first because ...” . The “exclusion is a voting issue because ...” part must be included absent a framing mechanism that has already been read which justifies me voting on this argument.
Extensions must have a claim and warrant at minimum. I will not hesitate to drop you if the argument you are going for is not extended properly.
I will not vote on “evaluate the debate/part of the debate after the 1AC, 1NC, or 1AR”. My reasoning is that, like most judges, I will only vote for arguments extended in the last speech. For example, I would not vote on a 1AR theory shell that the aff was winning unless they went for it in the 2AR. Therefore, I must be able to evaluate the extension of “evaluate the debate/part of the debate after the 1AC, 1NC, or 1AR,” but I cannot do this because your argument tells me to ignore at least the last speech. Therefore, absent further explanation of how to do this, I will not vote on these arguments.
I could see myself voting on “evaluate the theory debate/debate after the 2N,” but there are a couple caveats:
1. My threshold for responses to this is very low, just like other bad theory paradigm issues people read, especially if this argument is introduced in the 2NR.
2. It is very possible that the neg loses the debate, because I evaluate only up to the 2N and determine that the 1A beat the 2N on the theory debate, for example.
Overall, just be nice and have fun. I’d much prefer if everyone in the round was happy, rather than really tense and defensive.
2021 Note: Hi! I’m Phoebe! I took time away from debate at the start of the pandemic to focus on mental health. It’s been a while, so I may be rusty and have certainly missed new trends and developments in “the meta”. I’ve missed debate and I’m excited to judge again!
Conflicts: Bronx Science, Success Academy
The short: I want to see you being the best version of yourself in whatever form of debate you're inclined to. I have a few defaults but will generally evaluate the round however debaters would like me to. I don’t inflate speaks. Please be kind. Send me speech docs. firstname.lastname@example.org
- strategic issue selection, i.e., don't go for everything in your last speech
- extend the whole argument: claim, warrant, impact, implication.
- thorough evidence comparison
- clear and thoughtful impact calc
- 30s are for people I think are a model of what debate should and can be. It's not enough to be good at debate; be good for debate.
- Circuit debaters should be nice to transitioning debaters from JV and more traditional programs. That does not mean don't do your best or compromise your round; however, it does mean actually giving answers in CX, making efforts to accommodate for tech, and maybe considering 3 off instead of 4 off.
- FLOW. +up to 0.5 speaks for a good flow. If you tell me you have a good flow and show me at the end of the round before I submit my decision, you will be eligible for some game-y speaker points.
- steal prep.
- play in CX. answer the question.
- have excessively long underviews. Read a better aff.
- read excessively long overviews. If you have a 1min+ long overview, I would prefer you read it at the bottom of the ac after you have done line-by-line. I promise I will get more of it if you do that.
- tag things as independent voters; just weigh. Do the work to resolve arguments so that I don't have to. Calling something independent doesn't make it independent from the rest of the reps/performances/args in the round.
- be a coward. Engage. Have the debate.
- these debates are best when debaters have a lot of content/topic knowledge and can make the connection to their theory of power. It seems sophomoric to critique something you have a limited understanding of. A lot of your authors have likely spent a lot of time writing historical analyses and it would be remiss to be ignorant of that.
- high threshold for explanations
- spend more time explaining the internal link between the speech act or the performance and the impact
- Really sympathetic to voting neg on presumption if the aff doesn't clearly articulate how the aff is a move from the status quo.
- please don't read model minority type args
Policy style arguments (LARP)
- love a well-researched position. Do it if it's your thing.
- probably the easiest type of debate for me to evaluate.
- 90% of time you just gotta do the weighing/impact calc.
T v. stock/larp
- read it
- competing interps
- no RVIs on T. Why would I?
T/FW v. K affs
- these debate becomes better as methods debates implicating the relationship amongst form, content, and norms
- sometimes these get messy. I need more explanation of the implication of the arguments and how to sequence my evaluation.
- Go slow and collapse early
- Because I default competing interpretations, I treat these as CP/DA debates unless otherwise argued in round. To win my ballot, my RFD should be able to explain the abuse story, the structural implications for the activity (and its significance), and why your interpretation is the best norm to resolve those impacts. If you are not clearly explaining this, then I don't know why I would vote for the shell.
- I won't vote off:
- "new affs bad"
- "need an explicit text" interps
- disclosure against novices and traditional debaters
- I am sympathetic to a "gut-check" on frivolous theory
- Good interps to run:
- condo bad;
- abusive perms bad (severance perms, intrinsic perms, etc);
- abusive CPs bad (delay CPs, etc);
- abusive fiat bad (object fiat, multiactor fiat, etc).
- If I'm being honest, I don't enjoy flowing more than 20 sec worth of spikes/theory pre-empts at the bottom of the AC; just read a better aff
- I don't have many defaults about 1ar theory, but generally think it's a poor strategic decision
I'm a mathematics teacher and head coach for Princeton High School's Speech & Debate Team.
1. I'm a lay judge.
2. Don't be offensive. If you use language that doesn't belong to the classroom, you will automatically get a 25 in Speaker Points.
3. Signpost & be clear.
4. No spreading - If I cannot understand you, I cannot judge. You will get a 25 speaks. If you have two "tech" judges and me in the elimination rounds, and if you CHOOSE to spread "strategically", you will get a 25 as well. Again, it wouldn't be a debate if a judge cannot understand you.
5. LD - set up email chain before the round and I’ll add .5 to your speaks
Remember - Speech & Debate is about having fun! If you’re the only person in the room having fun, then you just lost a round.
*Updated for Scarsdale 2020*
Hunter '18, NYU '22 - I qualled to the TOC my senior year and went to 2 policy tournaments my freshman year of college.
I taught at VBI for two summers and coached a couple of debaters (with several bids/bid rounds) for two years, but I don't coach now. I have not done any topic research, and I don't care what you do as long as you do it well. I've left my old/more detailed paradigm up below if you have any questions/want to know how to get better speaks/want to know my preferences.
-PLEASE start a little slower for the first couple of seconds of your speech. Also, in general, please slow down a bit if you're not clear. I'll try to call clear but like... it's online debate lol
-If you're recording speeches please record them separately! Sending a recording that's longer than a few minutes will take 10 years and I will never get to hear your speech
-You can still extemp arguments but including analytics in docs is probably helpful in case of potential internet issues
-I always say I'll try to time speeches but I never actually remember so time yourself+your opponent
*Update 3/9/19: I have now taken the hot Cheetos policy off my paradigm. Rest in peace.*
Tl; dr: feel free to read anything. As long as you have warrants, don’t rely on your lingo, slow down on plan/interp/standard/etc. texts, make your links/abuse stories as specific as possible, weigh, and are not blatantly offensive (sexist/racist/ableist/homophobic/etc.), we should be good. I like unique arguments of all "types." It is ultimately is your round, and you should go for your best/most comfortable arguments. I will take the route of least intervention. If you have any questions, feel free to fb message or email me!!
Email: email@example.com I’ll only flow along with the speech doc for names of cards, but won’t rely on it so that I don’t miss extempted args. Compiling the speech doc is prep but flashing isn’t (unless it takes you a suspiciously long time to flash).
Things (I say "things" because some of you think these are arguments but they really are not) I will not vote on, and will dock your speaks for:
-Sexual assault doesn't matter/rape good/some other version of that -- I will actually stop listening to part of/the rest of the speech if you say this.
-Any version of "oppression doesn't exist/is good" (this is not the same thing as extinction outweighs)
-Unnecessarily bringing up your opponent's private life as a reason to vote for you -- especially if the implications are homophobic/sexist/etc.
Misc. Defaults (very, very loose, and only apply if no one makes any arguments in round) and other stuff:
-Tech>>>truth. I also think the burden is on the debaters to point out misrepresented/powertagged evidence, so I won't interfere
-The more creative you are/entertaining the round is, the better your speaks will be
-I think CX is something that can only help and not hurt you. If you're really funny in CX, your speaks may go up, but it's cool too if you need all of it for clarification questions if you don't understand the other debater's position. I also think it's fine if debaters are somewhat sketchy in CX because you should try to avoid exposing your own case's flaws (note: this does not mean lie or not explain things if you get asked to explain a warrant) but I guess this is an unpopular opinion
-I'm fine with debating evidence ethics issues out in round unless both debaters agree to ending the round
-You can ask questions after the round or send me a fb message/email about my RFD, but if you or your 100 coaches grill me aggressively, I will change your speaks to a 0 and walk out of the room
K’s: I’ve realized that I have a higher threshold and more preferences for K’s than other arguments, so don’t just read one in front of me because I used to read them. I really enjoy judging good K debates. I read everything from identity politics to high theory throughout my career, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to explain your K in simple terms. I also want K debates to be more tech.
-Please know your K lit. If you botch it I will be sad :(, and you will also be sad about your speaks.
-I evaluate the ROB similarly to a normative FW debate. You need to be winning your specific ROB+offense linking back to it for me to grant you the K. This does not mean engage in Oppression Olympics — rather, tell me why combatting colonialism controls the internal link to liberating womxn, why analyzing media is key to the res, etc. Also, please don’t read a performance without justifying why that’s important in the ROB/somewhere in the method because I?? Don’t?? Know?? Why?? You’re?? Reading it?????? And will probably ignore it. If there are 2 competing ROB’s and both debaters pretend that that debate’s a wash, I will be frustrated.
-I think methods debate is low key dying. I’m very willing to pull the trigger on presumption. AFF’s need to do something (this can be as vague as utopian politics or be hyper-specific to the topic — just don’t rant about how the world is horrible for 6 minutes.)
-Please have specific dis-ads to the perms (preferably ones that aren’t just generated off the links), and respond to each perm individually.
-I like brief overviews on the K if you’re running one, especially if your lit is really dense
-I've voted on the Cap K multiple times but think the cap good turn is underrated (but it doesn't work in every scenario depending on what you're running so pls don't impact turn cap just because I said this lol)
-I love nuanced K v K debates and don't think they're done enough!!!
Performance: totally cool with it. I read these and I like unique methods. Again, just warrant why it's important in the ROB. Trigger warnings are good.
Non-T AFF’s: go for them. Please have reasons as to why we should reject the res/interpret it differently. More thoughts on these in the “non-T AFF’s/K’s vs T/theory” section.
Theory: I really couldn’t care less about how frivolous the shell is, just slow down on interps and weigh standards
-I won't default any voters; you should be reading them. If you don't, I probably won't vote on the shell.
-Semantic I meet’s are, of course, cool :) but they don't trigger RVI's
-I tend to think disclosure theory is true, and will like you more if you disclose. That being said, if you win why disclosure is bad, I will vote for you. If you’re running disclosure theory, please have a screenshot in the speech doc/ready if I call for it.
T: I like T, I suppose, especially against non-T AFF's that don't do anything/arbitrarily say fuck the topic.
Non-T AFF’s/K’s vs. Theory/T:
-I don’t have a preference/bias as to which comes first; you should be doing this weighing.
-I really dislike generic fairness bad/theory and T are oppressive dumps. I would much prefer you interact with the standards or articulate why that specific shell is oppressive. That being said, if you do win an impact turn on theory/T, I will vote on it.
-The more specific your interp is to the AFF/K, the happier I will be, and the higher your speaks will be. I would also be much happier if you linked some parts of the shell back as offense under the ROB instead of excluding the entire K.
-I like these! I tend to find these to be pretty funny. (Update: I've noticed a trend of debaters throwing random tricks in there because they think I'll like it but they can't explain it or clearly had no intention of going for it. I really dislike that.)
-I don't care if you're sketchy about them in CX.
-Please number your analytics
-I like creative/trolly a priori’s
-I will not be amused if you read these against a K AFF and go “haha! Oppression doesn’t exist!!!” I will give you a L0 (to clarify, I don’t care if you read these against K AFF’s, just don’t be a dick.)
Phil/FW: I’m familiar with the common LD frameworks, but don’t assume that I know your lingo !
-I’m extremely skeptical of epistemic modesty (and honestly not even sure how it really works ngl)
LARP: please please please weigh!!
-I like unique plans/CP's/PIC's/etc.
-I've realized I'm kind of bad at understanding what CP's do (esp. if it's some other policy), so err on the side of more explanation
-Bonus points if your util fw isn’t just Bostrom/Goodin/Woller/Sunstein/Paterson/Sinnott-Armstrong/Bryant/Coverstone/Sinhababu/Yudkowsky
-I like plan flaw
I am a parent judge from Bergen County Academies NJ.
This is the 3rd competition that I will judge. I do take notes, but will not be able to catch up if you spreading.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Sen me your case will help me judge more effectively.
Some tips for you:
1. I expect debaters timing debate themselves
2. I tends to put more weight on stronger logical arguments
3. I am not familiar with all debate jargon yet, so you might want to articulate them if you want to use them in your arguments
4. Prefer substantive debates over theories
5. clearly defined framework will help
I am a software development professional for more than 20 years. I am an engineer by training.
I debated LD at Stuyvesant High School for four years and graduated in 2019.
**Updated for Harvard 2021**
I have no experience judging LD on Zoom so please be clearer & slower than usual. PLEASE GO EXTRA SLOW ON INTERP TEXTS!!
1. I'm willing to vote on any argument that I understand excluding offensive ones.
2. If it is clear that your opponent is debating at a significantly lower level than you are, you should be able to win in a way that allows them to still understand what's going on and engage with you.
3. Please don't make me judge a messy tricks debate. I don't like debates that are entirely predicated on your opponent missing an argument.
4. I will not vote on "evaluate the theory debate after the [insert speech] if the argument is made in the speech mentioned in the spike. For example, I won't vote on "evaluate the debate after the 1ac" if it's made in the 1ac. This is because any answer to the spike is technically a theory argument, making it unclear if even evaluating answers to the argument are legitimate. I will also not vote on this argument in any speech absent a clear articulation of what constitutes evaluating the debate solely after one speech and will have a low threshold for responses.
1. Generally, good arg gen, topic knowledge, smart CX, and efficiency are what I reward most. Please don't make your entire rebuttal speech prewritten.
2. I don't disclose speaks.
I debated LD for Strake Jesuit for 4 years and broke at the TOC my senior year.
1 - LARP/Phil/Theory
2 - Tricks
3 - Everything else
I mainly read LARP, Phil, and theory when I debated.
I debated a lot of Ks but I didn't read many Ks and am not familiar with the lit, so if u want to read one make sure u explain things well.
I'll try to be as tab as possible and will evaluate any arguments. Tech > truth. If ur spreading, please be clear.
If u want to add me to the email chain: email@example.com
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.
Hey! I'm Ethan and I debated for West Broward in Florida for 4 years. I received 9 bids and broke at the TOC.
There are a couple of things that generally contextualize my views on debate and how you should probably debate in front of me.
1. I am definitely Tech > Truth. This means I will not hesitate to vote on any argument with a warrant and an implication, insofar as it isn't repugnant and justifiably makes debate unsafe. I think that if an argument is actually nonsensical, then it probably wouldn't have a warrant and should be easily answered. Additionally, merely claiming an argument is nonsense and assuming I won't flow its extension is not the best way to debate in front of me - you need to tell me why an argument doesn't make sense. Naturally, if your arguments are both technical and true, that makes you a better debater in my eyes and I'll definitely give you solid speaks if all of your arguments are equally as convincing.
2. I will try my best to evaluate any debate you want to have in front of me because I think debate should be an open forum for a diverse set of arguments. Obviously, I will be much better at evaluating certain types of debates but I will try to the best of my ability to be tab. Please don't just try to read positions you don't feel comfortable with because you think it'll pick up my ballot - I would much rather you do what you're good at because I can appreciate skills in different areas of debate and your speaks will resemble how well you executed your specialty.
Theory: These can be really interesting debates and probably one of the things I feel most comfortable evaluating. Coming up with a smart combo shell or making cool strategic decisions are awesome and make judging a lot more fun. I'm perfectly fine with theory as a strategic tool so if this is what you like to do, I'm all for it. I kinda get really annoyed when people say they won't evaluate "frivolous theory" mainly because I think in order to know what counts as "frivolous" absent intervention, debaters would logically have to debate the shell. Obviously if the theory debater wins an abuse story, then the shell isn't frivolous.
Defaults - I don't have any defaults on theory besides norm setting > IRA since I think that if you don't read voters, it would be the same as reading an argument without an impact and I shouldn't evaluate them as if they did. If the debate becomes solely a theory debate and no one extends a warrant for presumption or substantive offense, I will probably use who won the impact-less theory debate as presumption. To clarify, voters include fairness/education/independent voters, drop the debater/argument, RVIs/No RVIs, competing interpretations/reasonability.
Framework: I really like a good framework debate, even standard Kant vs Util debates have pretty much become non-existent so I'd love to be in the back of one of these rounds. Weird NIBs and other philosophy-based positions are awesome and I will be impressed if you execute it well. I think an important part of LD is not only being able to win impacts, but also justify why the paradigm which those impacts operate under is ethically relevant. This means if you like to LARP, please justify consequentialism. It doesn't really make sense to read positions without frameworks since there isn't a way to evaluate the offense you read. I get that this isn't a thing in policy because util is presupposed, but you wouldn't want an LDer reading tricks and frivolous theory in policy because that's not how it works, so please adapt to LD in the same way you'd expect an LDer to adapt to policy.
Defaults - Epistemic Confidence > Epistemic Modesty, Truth Testing > Comparative Worlds. These are just if no other paradigm is read but both sides of these debates can be easily won in front of me.
LARP: I never debated this way but I'll evaluate these debates the way you tell me to. The jargon is not exactly vernacular to me so I'd probably err on the side of explaining the implication of something for like 2 seconds if you think I wouldn't get it. Odds are, I've heard the phrase before but obviously there are some LARP things I don't know so use your intuition. These debates don't really distinguish themselves from debates I used to have (aside from their content) so I don't think I'd botch a decision because I'll probably just vote on something conceded and weighed, just like anything else. Don't worry though, if I really don't think I'm certain of what's on the flow, I'll read evidence and compare what you tell me to so I try and make the best decision possible.
Tricks: This is really fun to judge if done well and was even more enjoyable to debate, however, can also be high risk. Yea, I'll vote on a conceded a priori if truth testing is won but that doesn't give you an excuse to make the debate messy as hell because you're debating in front of me. I love a good strategic conjunction of spikes and framework triggers, but don't throw arguments at me without warrants because I'm "tab." Creative implications of tricks are really impressive and will probably get you really high speaks if you go for them correctly. Further, a caveat I have about reading these positions is you need to be able to defend them in CX and actually know what they say. It's not enough to just re-read the tagline of a piece of SEP evidence to justify condo logic, please explain the warrant to me because I'm not gonna evaluate debates based on background knowledge since that would mean people who read arguments I used to read would have an advantage.
Defaults - Presumption affirms, permissibility negates
Ks: I found myself to not be the greatest at evaluating K v K debates just because I was never super well-versed on the nuances of K debate; however, I totally respect the skill it takes to be good at it. I feel as if you can still have these debates at a high level in front of me, just make sure to do a couple things. First, please clearly warrant your arguments and what they mean in terms of the ballot as opposed to just re-articulating thesis claims. This will help me understand how to evaluate offense under your ROB and the methods debate. Second, err on the side of the line by line rather than reading hefty overviews and assuming I know how they interact with everything that else on the flow. I've found that this is the part I struggle with the most just because I'm not coming into the debate with a ton of background knowledge on the literature. On the contrary, I am definitely comfortable evaluating K vs other types of debate (Theory/Fwk/Counter ROBs). My problem is comparing thesis claims and methods under a ROB, yet when the debate is more about the relevance of the ROB, my understanding greatly improves and I'll feel confident in my ability to make an objective decision. I usually read critical DAs throughout my senior year as a cool strategic option to interact with affs on multiple layers, which means I totally get their appeal and am open to judging them.
I spent a bunch of time before New Trier 19 writing a policy paradigm and in the one round I got the aff read "queer eroticism" so I am done trying to explain to policy teams how to adapt to me. Those of you who would strike or otherwise depref me because I am an LD coach: good call. Those of you who would refrain from striking me and then read "queer eroticism": please reconsider.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
I'm most familiar with philosophical framework debating, but you can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing.
UPDATE JUNE 2019: AND IMPACTING!
I was an LD debater for Strake Jesuit from 2011-15. I primarily judge LD and occasionally PF. I encourage you to ask questions before the round, or email me at email@example.com.
Feel free to read any arguments in any style you desire. Please be clear, both in your manner of speaking (I have no issue with speed), in weighing, and in articulating the reasons I should vote for you.
I will say ‘clear’ if I can’t understand you, and I believe it’s your obligation to make arguments and structure clear to me. Please emphasize or slow down for authors, tags, etc.
I prefer competing interps for theory but I will entertain RVI arguments. I would prefer to avoid ‘drop the debater’ shells as well, and if your shell is exceptionally stupid I reserve the right to ignore it. Beyond that I’ll try to keep an open mind, but I judge infrequently so I may need more explanation than others.
I expect you to keep track of your own prep time and keep a written record of how much time is left.
If I don’t understand your argument or it’s simply untrue I will not vote on it. Please be respectful to me, your opponent, and the standards of the activity.
For PF: Please avoid paraphrasing whenever possible. I will prefer ethically cut evidence over paraphrased evidence in all circumstances. Clearly SIGNPOST and say the tags and AUTHOR NAMES of your cards before beginning the quotation.
Hi debaters — I originally hail from the great state of Minnesota, and can officially confirm that "MN nice" is definitely a thing. So keep the round civil and respectful above all else.
Background: I debated at the novice/JV/varsity level for 3.5ish years as part of Robbinsdale Cooper High School's LD program in the Twin Cities exclusively at state-level tournaments (no circuit experience) and now help out when I can with Brookline High School's program in MA.
During my time as a debater, my program's focus was very much on "classic" LD debate — presenting a value/criterion structure and then weighing all arguments + impacts through the standard you tell me should be preferred throughout the round and how it shapes a ballot in your favor. In other words, you ideally make a round as easy as possible for me by telling me a) exactly what standard I should judge the round through and b) how and why that builds your case and translates to a win.
General preferences: I'm generally okay with speed, though spread at your own peril. If I can't understand you and/or figure out where I'm supposed to be on the flow, there's only so much I can do...
I'm also not well-versed in the mechanics and flow of rounds with heavy use of kritiks/theory/etc. I largely understand what they are in name only, so again run at your peril.
TL;DR version - I consider myself somewhere between a lay and tech judge. Do with that what you will in planning for a round.
Disclosures: Aside from the occasional high-level comment or advice that feels immediately applicable or valuable, 99 percent of my feedback goes on the ballot. I also do not disclose my decision at the end of a round unless the tournament organizers explicitly provide instructions to do so.
Conflicts: Lexington, Hunter, Hamilton RM
Send docs: firstname.lastname@example.org
I did LD and PF at Lexington HS (MA) 2015-2019.
Hello! This is ZOOM debate which means it is GLITCHY and GROSS pls SLOW down!
Used to be Yale, now 2020 in general: I'm tired, I have a ton of homework, and I get very bored listening to badly explained Baudrillard Ks multiple rounds in a row. If you do pref me, know that double flighted tournaments make my eyes *burn* and I will be flowing on paper for most rounds if it's a double flighted tournament. I used to care a lot about the things listed below. To some extent I still do, but I didn't teach this summer and barely coach anymore so at the moment I'm not very invested in specific types of arguments or up to speed with whatever is trendy this season. Judging over Zoom is exhausting and it's honestly pretty hard for me to flow that well with little voices screaming out of my laptop. Please, please, please, for the love of all things good, SLOW DOWN. At least for tags. I'm begging.
PLEASE TRIGGER WARN APPROPRIATELY!!! If you don't know how please ask!
Postrounding is a no <3. Questions about strats are fine, but I have things to do and you won't change my ballot.
Ks we love. LARP/policy is solid. Traditional is also good. Phil is kinda meh, you'd need to explain it very well. Please leave your tricks, skep, and frivolous theory at home, I don't trust myself to evaluate them. Probably okay at evaluating T/theory if there is a persuasive abuse story. If you read T/theory the shell needs to have an impact. Disclosure and email chains are good. When you extend or make new arguments don't forget to implicate them! Tell me what comes first and why.
I used to vibe p hard with Mina's paradigm and I share a lot of her views on debate. I was also heavily influenced by Paloma O'Connor, CQ, and David Asafu-Adjaye. As a result, I'm not a fan of the whole "debate is a game" mindset and doing whatever it takes to win a round. Debate is about education, not about your record. Also -- I'm sorry, fairness is not a voter.
Kritiks/Non-T K affs/Performance
I mostly ran these as a debater so these are my favorite arguments. I really like hearing performance affs but you also need to be able to point to something the aff actually does.
That being said, don't read random Ks in front of me just because of my paradigm. I need to see a clear link and know what the alt does. Links of omission are ~questionable~ and I'm sympathetic to args against them. I'm also extremely picky when it comes to people reading and other kritiks relating to indigenous scholarship. I think a lot of authors are bastardized and commodified in debate and I see this the most with indigenous scholarship. Not uber familiar with all K lit, especially newer pessimism arguments.
New microaggression independent voter args that seem to be trendy and function on some sort of level between theory and K, but probably above policy?
Impact these out if you're reading them. I'm not going to vote off of a blippy one line claiming something is an "independent voter" or a "voting issue" and no implication of the argument. Also, don't just drop all the other flows because you think something is an independent voter -- I don't think this is very strategic; explain how it interacts with the other flows and which layer of the round it should be evaluated on. I don't really enjoy voting off these arguments...tbh they make me kinda uncomf, but if they're warranted and impacted I will.
Plans/CPs/DAs/LARPy policy stuff
These are cool, low key would like to judge more of them. Just be wary of super long link chains. I default to comparative worlds in most debates (esp when framing becomes murky) so this is probably the type of debate best equipped for that.
I did not like these arguments as a debater and I generally do not enjoy judging them. I'm also not very good at judging them so PLEASE make the abuse story very clear and SLOW DOWN A LOT.
Post Big Lex 2020 edit: I'm honestly starting to hate these arguments less. I'm not completely opposed to T and would probably be down to judge more non-T K affs vs T rather than bad/awkward K v Ks.
Yale 2020: Idk if this is a new thing but y'all aren't impacting your shells. Like great you just spent a minute reading T, but didn't tell me what to do about it. DTD or DTA, but if not idk what I'm supposed to do with the shell lol.
Blake 2020: If you read disclosure against a trad/small school debater who is not familiar with the wiki I will probably not vote on the shell,,, like bruh why?
T v K
I went for K over T a lot as a debater but I'm gonna try to be tab about this and say both sides are gonna need hella warrants and hella weighing when making these arguments.
Tricks/a prioris/friv theory/other bullshit
just no <3.
I start at a 28.5 and then move up or down depending on what y'all do. Go slow at first and let me get used to you before you go full speed. I'll say clear 2-3 times but if nothing changes don't expect my flow to be that great and I'm not gonna check the speech doc to play catch up. Be strategic and don't be a dick and you'll probably be happy with your speaks. Read: adapt to your opponent if they have considerably less experience than you. I am not afraid of giving a mean debater with a good strat a 26.
I didn't do a ton of PF cuz I think it's hella white and cutesy. Biases aside, just make good extensions, do a good amount of weighing and READ ACTUAL CARDS.
Hi, I'm a parent judge from Westford Academy. As such, I will not be able to understand spreading or any circuit arguments like theory, K's, etc. If you are going to read more progressive arguments, explain them in simpler terms. Don't read anything frivolous. Please speak slower; you shouldn't be anywhere near your top speed. Make sure you're being clear if you decide to speak a little faster. Signposting is mandatory. I should be able to look at my flow and see all your offense. Please clearly explain all your warrants and weigh out all your impacts. An overview of why you won the round at the end of the 2nr/2ar is always nice but not necessary. No rude/offensive behavior towards either your opponent or myself, or I will dock speaker points/vote you down.
I competed as an LD debater when I was in high school over 30 years ago. I now coach LD debate, but my preference remains for traditional LD cases that actually debate the resolution and allow your opponent to do so as well. I strongly dislike spreading, because it is hard for me to understand. If I don't hear your contentions or evidence, then they can't help you win the debate. Plus "winning" a point because your opponent didn't catch it is a pretty hollow victory. Both of these preferences link back to my perspective on the activity of debate--it should be an educational experience and provide you with skills that you can apply throughout your life. I haven't seen any evidence yet that spreading is of use anywhere in the real world.
I debated at Pines Charter on both the local and national circuit and went to TOC my senior year. My email for speech docs is: Stevescopa23@gmail.com
General: I am very much a tech > truth person who will vote for any argument you make no matter how seemingly ridiculous or bizarre, all I need is a warrant. I also have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. My goal is to evaluate rounds with as little intervention as possible. Judges have become too dogmatic in my opinion, so everything that follows is merely a preference or a default, nothing but the arguments you make will factor into my decision.
- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read in the round.
- I am not exactly the best at flowing, so when you are making analytic arguments you should label them and sign post as clear as possible. Also maybe take half a second after author names.
- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.
- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC- making an argument in the 2n that says something like “this was just a dumb blippy argument” is not sufficient. This goes for 2ar responses to NC arguments as well.
- Believe it or not, I will vote on disclosure theory. I’m more open to it these days than I have been in the past, but I still think frivolous disclosure theory is super annoying. Not disclosing period is one thing, not cohering to every aspect of whatever you think is good is another. Also don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.
- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them
- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. This is becoming slightly annoying norm. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.
- I consider myself pretty much agnostic in terms of arguments, obviously every judge has their preferences but content has 0 effect on my decision.
- I don’t mind you “grilling” me, I think judges learn sometimes too and it can be good to keep judges accountable. Just be aware that if you are aggressive I will be sassy too.
- If your offense is conceded but you don’t extend it, it doesn’t exist. Too many affs take for granted the offense is conceded and don’t even mention it in the 2ar. Literally all you have to do is say “extend the offense, it was conceded” but apparently that is even too much for some people.
- Explaining why a card doesn’t have a warrant is terminal defense if you can’t answer with a clear articulation of a warrant.
- Saying “the aff is a good idea” doesn’t mean anything. You have to win arguments to prove this.
- I really like a good CX. People trying to be edgy without the personality for it is cringe, but people with the personality for it can be dominant. I won’t vote on arguments made it in CX, but I getting concessions or making people look silly will boost your speaks.
- This is just a preference but like... Reading T probably isn't violence. False equivalencies from K debaters are kinda whack and I'll vote on conceded arguments but if it's pointed out that it's a false equivalency I probably won't.
- If an argument is conceded it's conceded. Too often I feel like the 2ar is treating me like a lay judge over-explaining things. Be tech, I know what arguments are conceded. Obviously you should still weigh and implicate the argument if that's crucial to the 2ar/2nr strategy, but often that's not what is happening.
Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. If neither debater makes arguments I default to the following:
- There is no impact to a shell without drop the arg or drop the debater warrants so I will just eval substance
- Competing interps
- Norms creation model
- RVIs good
- Fairness is a voter
- Education not a voter
Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.
I also hate the spamming of affirming/negating is harder and will probably hurt your speaks a lil for it.
I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.
T: I don’t like it quite as much as theory but it’s still fun to judge. T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.
T “framework”: To be honest I am sort of agnostic as to whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense.
Tricks: This was my favorite style of debate when I competed and clever tricks are entertaining but that doesn’t mean I will instantly vote for you if you read them without winning why they are relevant (aka you are winning truth testing). The more clever your arguments are, the higher your speaks will be. Despite my old love for them, I usually have a low threshold for responses since the arguments are usually fairly weak. If you obviously just included an a priori because I am judging you and don’t extend a conceded one, your speaks will probably suffer. I also prefer you be more up front with them in CX if your opponent catches them, I have a lot more respect for people who are straight up about their sketchiness. If you are not the best at answering these arguments I wouldn’t worry too much, I will be more than happy to disregard them if you are winning a role of the ballot that excludes them or a shell that indicts them. Also, calling something a trick doesn’t mean anything to me -- tell me what the implication of the argument is. It also bothers me how tricks debaters have become reliant on the same resolved a priori every debate - I'd much rather listen to an interesting phil or K round than watch u extend the same a priori people have been reading for years. Think of new and clever arguments. Also, reading 16 spikes with a Kant framework isn’t a tricks aff and I really don’t like it. I judge these constantly cause I’m probably one of the few that will listen, and that hasn’t changed but don’t expect high speaks or for me to be impressed.
Ks: I feel like this is the section that needs the most updating because I do a lot of reading and coaching for the K these days. I really enjoy a good K debate. Despite my reputation, I’m a big fan of K’s and am fairly well versed in the literature. I really enjoy high theory and find good K affs super fun. I have read Deleuze, Butler, Wilderson/Warren, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Edelman, etc so I definitely think Ks like these are interesting and strategic. I occasionally enjoy judging these debates the most because of how interesting and unique the arguments are. However, I cannot stand unwarranted “this is just another link” arguments, you need to explain or give a warrant as to why what you say is a link actually is one. I also am not a huge fan of identity K's, and I may vote on some responses you disagree with, just as a fair warning. Additionally, I prefer to see line by line debate, and it seems as though a lot of Ks begin/consist of long overviews without much specific reference to arguments in previous speeches, which can be difficult to flow, so you may want to consider this when going for the K in the 2n/1ar/2ar. I also am very open to you kicking the alt and going for disads, and would almost advise this in front of me cause winning the alt can be a pain. The one K I am really not liking these days is set col, cause I think almost every response is just true and most debaters I’ve seen aren’t the best at handling them, but obviously I’ll still vote on it if you win it. Ultimately if this is your favorite/ best style of debate, you should go for it.
My favorite K’s: Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis
Larp: I was never a larper, never judged a high level larp round, and am probably not qualified to judge a really good DA v Util AC debate. I don’t particularly enjoy these debates, and you most likely will not enjoy me judging you but I will do my best to evaluate the round. If you can’t defend util against a dump or well justified framework you shouldn’t pref me, because “the aff is a good idea” will not get my ballot. (Update: For some reason people still stand up and larp and read disads in front of me so PLS don’t pref me or change up the strat, trust me it is best for both of us). (Update for JF20: I find this topic pretty interesting and am more open to listening to some cool plans/advantages. I would also really enjoy some larp innovation like rule util or some other more nuanced framework/new util warrants).
Fwk: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. I enjoy a good framework debate, and it is probably my favorite thing to judge, but it can become fairly difficult to follow at times. As long as you clearly label arguments and make sure to weigh I feel very comfortable evaluating these rounds. However, these debates can often become muddled and devolve into a chicken and egg debate, which makes it near impossible to resolve so be careful of that. My major has given me a new passion for interesting frameworks so I would love to hear whatever unique positions you got. Also extra speaks for meta-ethics that aren’t practical reason – let’s be creative people.
Favorite phil positions: Existentialism, Levinas, any interesting meta-ethic
Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so don’t mind my face. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.
How do I get a 30?
I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:
1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC
2) A trick I haven’t heard before (THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE)
3) A good analytic PIC
4) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting
5) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before
6) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well
7) Really good CX
8) Successfully going for an RVI
9) Making the round super clear
Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time- win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.
I am a history teacher from Bronx Science, and I have limited experience judging Novice/JV LD and PF.
I am a lay judge, which means NO SPREADING!
I am not familiar with progressive arguments, such as Ks, complex frameworks and philosophies, CP’s, DA’s, theory/T, or anything else of the sort. If you still want run it, please explain the concept as clear as possible.
This is my first tournament on this topic, so please explain your arguments clearly. If I do not understand your arguments, that will impact how i evaluate the round.
Give a clear overview, sign post well, make clear extensions with tags and author names, and do not use jargon!
Please keep CX respectful and I will not tolerate any form of bigotry or -isms.
Hi I am a parent who has judged LD and PF on and off for the last three years, most recently at the Sunvitational. In the last year I have judged more LD than PF. While I understand the structure and basic rules of LD I won’t be able to follow hard core spreading...and if possible please keep the debate centered around the resolution. Thanks!
I am a trained parent judge and started judging last year. I consider myself a lay judge. I work in marketing data analytics.
I prefer substantial arguments based on the topic.
I flow but I won’t flow if you’re too fast or hard to understand
I vote off the flow rather than arguments I wish someone had made.
Using clear voters and clearly weighing your best arguments against your opponent's best arguments is a major plus.
If your argument is counterintuitive, be sure to spend time explaining it.
Good speaking always helps.
Don’t be rude and don’t interrupt during cross-ex. (but don't be passive either- ) I know it is a fine line.
Don’t make sexist, racist or otherwise offensive or personal attacks or I will vote against you.
Georgia Tech ‘22
*** Updated for TOC ***
Shortcut: Anything but tricks.
Background: I qualified twice to TOC primarily reading phil (modern German idealism) with specific plans. I occasionally read policy arguments, theory/T, and Kritiks. I debated pretty frequently on both the west and east coasts, so you can assume I have familiarity with every style of debate.
For Online Debate:
Please record your speeches, follow bandwidth maintenance practices, and do not extemp arguments. You can assume that my flowing is up to par and that I can understand whatever it is you want to read.
Especially at TOC, I feel like every debater is there to win. I have no intention of being unfair or lackadaisical as a judge, so do what you must to win. I have outlined the only aspects of my judging criteria that I think are relevant:
1. I will not vote on independent voters or perf cons if you don’t justify why they supersede other substantive issues and are drop the debater.
2. I will not use background knowledge to justify voting for an argument nor will I vote for something under warranted. This is a much bigger issue than most people seem to think it is. E.g. you need to explain why you win under epistemic modesty and not just extend a definition.
3. I will not vote on definition based a prioris or extremely frivolous spikes/shells (shoes theory, evaluate the debate early, etc.)
I appreciate and place a high value on cleverness. This shouldn’t be interpreted as tricks, but instead just being generally strategic or intelligent about the portrayal of your arguments. If you reuse bad tricks, it will make me sad and you will be too after you see your speaks. I also enjoy unique positions or stock positions with some twists to them.
Congratulations on making it to TOC! It is a significant accomplishment and I would like to make it known that your efforts have not gone unnoticed. If you are a senior, congratulations on an exceptional career and I wish you the best of luck for college and your other future endeavors. If you do not want an RFD to be given, please let me know and we can just talk or you can leave the room. Either way, do what you think will be healthy for you. Good luck!
THIS IS SUPER OLD. HAVE NOT UPDATED SINCE ~2012. Please ask if you have questions.
I'm meaning to update soon...
Affiliation: Apple Valley High School (MN)
I default to viewing the resolution as a normative question, not a question of truth. However, that does not mean that what truth is necessarily irrelevant to normative decision making. With a well-developed justification, I will vote on most truth testing arguments. I prefer that debaters have a clear and specific advocacy. Each side needs to defend a world in order to be able to generate uniqueness for offensive arguments. Thus, both debaters need to be able to articulate a world they are defending in a more coherent way than "not x."
I am also generally opposed to voting on defense. In most rounds, I find that the concept of defense being decisive just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That means that I will be very reluctant to vote on presumption or permissibility arguments that rely on defense to function. It is probably a waste of your time to read presumption arguments in front of me at all. While I can come up with extreme hypothetical situations in which I might vote on presumption, it has never happened.
I am not opposed to theory debates, I used to enjoy them, but I think the sheer volume of awful theory debates I have judged over the past view years has made my threshold for taking them seriously much higher than it used to be. I will still be happy to vote for a good and well-developed argument.
The following are some of my default assumptions on theory:
I default to evaluating theory as an issue of "competing interpretations".
I default to "dropping the arguments" not "dropping the debater."
I default to not viewing theory as an RVI.
I default to evaluating Topicality before other theory arguments.
I default to thinking that the status of a counterplan or K alt is dispositional unless specified otherwise. That does not mean I presume that conditionality is illegitimate, just that if neither debater makes arguments about the status I will assume it is dispositional because I believe that best models the way most other arguments are treated, you must defend arguments that are turned.
I default to thinking that fairness and education are important and that whether debate is "good" or not matters. This is a bias that you will almost certainly not be able to overcome.
All of these assumptions can be changed by debaters (except probably the last one) who make good arguments against them in round. I prefer that any arguments about my default assumptions be explained in context of the specific arguments that are at issue in the theory debate and not just be about those assumptions generally. For example, do not argue "you need to drop the debater to discourage bad debate practices." Do argue, " "you need to drop the debater because X argument has Y effect which makes dropping them the best solution."
I think that theory debates are messy because debaters are even worse at weighing theory arguments than they are at weighing most other arguments. The reason for that is that while there is a framework debate that determines the relevance of post-fiat arguments, debaters put no effort into developing what it means to be fair or educational in a way that allows for effective weighing later in the round. If you want me to buy your theory argument spend time developing a concrete conception of what it means to be fair or educational in the context of debate and use it to filter and weigh impacts.
I dislike the strategy that involves including an argument that demands debaters run interps by their opponent. It is just an excuse to change your advocacy after the fact because you are not ready to defend it. As long as debaters establish clear links in CX that is enough for me.
I will use the framework that is justified by the debaters in the round. I do not view the value/criterion as necessary. In fact, I think in many cases the value/criterion model actually makes the debate more convoluted and can create irrational decisions. As a result, I am very open to alternative frameworks. As a general rule I do not enjoy rounds in which the majority of the time is spent on framework. Battling Util/Deont dumps are frustrating and boring to judge. I want to hear a debate ABOUT THE TOPIC. Framework should explain why topical arguments are important they should not become the entire debate unless you are looking for terrible speaks.
I think that credible arguments must be supported by evidence. In general, I will prefer arguments supported by evidence to analytic arguments. That is because in most cases I feel that experts writing on the topic are probably more qualified that a 17-year-old high school student. This is especially true of empirical arguments.
I assign speaks based on a combination of stagey and how much I enjoyed or was annoyed by the round. Debates that I enjoy involve debate about the topic, debaters who I can understand, debaters who are smart and engaging, debaters who are pleasant to each other.
30: Amazing. I think you are debating your positions better than anyone else at the tournament could. You could not only win this tournament but would have a chance to win any tournament in which you debated at the level you did in this round.
29: Fantastic. Very few people could do a better job at debating your position. You have a good shot at making it to late outrounds.
28: Good. You did what you had to do and did not have very many large mistakes. You should clear.
27: All right. You did an adequate job. You will be close to clearing but it could go either way.
26: Below Average. You should not clear.
25: Bad: You need major improvements in pretty much every aspect of debate. Your record should be below .500.
<25: Offensive or offensively bad.
Arguments that I will not vote for
An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.
A strategy that attempts to wash the debate on purpose in order to trigger permissibility/presumption.
A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.
Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for
Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible
Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone who is watching the debate.
Any argument that explicitly argues that something that we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc) is actually a good thing. This could either be an advocacy or a framework THAT THE DEBATER AGREES says horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something horrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason to not accept your framework, but I will not drop you for it.
Old paradigm, I will no longer give extra speaks for anything listed as extra speaks, but I think this paradigm is a classic: https://tinyurl.com/yyhknlsn
[Updated 3/3/2021] In fact, here is a list of things I dislike that I will probably not be giving good speaks for: https://tinyurl.com/55u4juwp
Overall I am willing to vote on anything that isn't an instance of explicit isms (racism, sexism, etc.).
Other than that, here's a bunch of small things in a list. I add to this list as I encounter new stuff that warrants being added to the list based on having difficulty of decision in a particular round:
1. Part in parcel of me not being a great judge for LARP due to my low understanding of complex util scenarios is that I am not going to be doing a lot of work for y'all. I also will NOT be reading through a ton of cards for you after the round unless you specifically point out to me cards that I should be reading to evaluate the round properly.
2. I know it's nice to get to hide tricks in the walls of text but if you want to maximize the chances that I notice something extra special you should like slightly change the tone or speed of delivery on it or something.
3. If you have something extremely important for me to pay attention to in CX please say "Yo judge this is important" or something because I'm probably prepping or playing some dumbass game.
4. "Evaluate after" arguments: If there are arguments that in order for me to evaluate after a certain speech I must intervene, I will do so. For example, if there is a 1N shell and a 1AR I-meet, I will have to intervene to see if the I-meet actually meets the shell.
Update: In order for me to evaluate "evaluate after" arguments, I will have to take the round at face value at the point that the speeches have stopped. However, as an extension of the paradigm item above, the issue is that many times in order for me to determine who has won at a particular point of speeches being over, I need to have some explanation of how the debaters thing those speeches play out. If either debater makes an argument for why, if the round were to stop at X speech, they would win the round (even if this argument is after X speech) I will treat it as a valid argument for clarifying how I make my decision. Assuming that the "evaluate after" argument is conceded/true, I won't allow debaters to insert arguments back in time but if they point out something like "judge, if you look at your flow for the round, if you only evaluate (for example) the AC and the NC, then the aff would win because X," then I will treat it as an argument.
Update P.S.: "Evaluate after" arguments are silly. I of course won't on face not vote on them, but please reconsider reading them.
5. "Independent voters" are not independent - they are dependent entirely on what is almost always a new framework that involves some impact that is presumed to be preclusive. I expect independent voter arguments to have strong warrants as to why their micro-frameworks actually come first. Just saying "this is morally repugnant so it's an independent voter" is not a sufficient warrant.
Also - independent voters that come in the form of construing a framework to an implication requires that you actually demonstrate that it is correct that that implication is true. For example, if you say "Kant justifies racism" and your opponent warrants why their reading of the Kantian ethical theory doesn't justify racism, then you can't win the independent voter just because it is independent.
6. I will no longer field arguments that attempt to increase speaker points. I think they are enjoyable and fun but they likely are not good long term for the activity, given that when taken to their logical conclusion, each debater could allocate a small amount of time to a warranted argument for giving them a 30, and then simply concede each others argument to guarantee they both get maximal speaks (and at that point speaker points no longer serve a purpose).
7. My understanding of unconditional advocacies is that once you claim to defend an advocacy unconditionally you are bound to defending any disadvantages or turns to that advocacy. It does not mean you are bound to spend time extending the advocacy in the 2NR, but if the aff goes for offense in the 2AR that links to this unconditional advocacy and the neg never went for that advocacy, the aff's offense on that flow still stands.
8. Don't like new 2AR theory arguments.
9. I don't time! Please time yourselves and time each other. I highly recommend that you personally use a TIMER as opposed to a STOPWATCH. This will prevent you from accidentally going over time! If your opponent is going over time, interrupt them! If your opponent goes over time and you don't interrupt them, then there's not much I can do. If you are certain they went over time and your opponent agrees to some other way to reconcile the fact that they went over time, like giving you more time as well, then go ahead. I do not have a pre-determined solution to this possibility. I only have this blurb here because it just happened in a round so this is for all of the future rounds where this may happen again.
10. If you do something really inventive and interesting and I find it genuinely funny or enjoyable to listen to and give good speaks for it, don't run around and tell any teammate or friend who has me as a judge to make the same arguments. If I see the exact same arguments I will probably consider the joke to be stale or re-used. Particularly funny things MIGHT fly but like, if I can tell it's just a ploy for speaks I will be sadge.
For traditional rounds: speak and argue however you want (bar racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other ism or phobia)
*WHEN YOU READ TRICKS: I PREFER BEING UP FRONT ABOUT THEM. Pretending you don't know what an a priori is is annoying. Honestly, just highlight every a priori and tell your opponent: "here are all the a prioris"**.
**Seriously, I have yet to see anyone do this. Do it, it would be funny, I think.
I debated for two years at Strake Jesuit High school in Houston, Tx. I've competed at TFA, Nationals, and the TOC. I worked five weeks over the summer with NSD and coach a handful of kids independently. I agree with my old coach Chris Castillo on most things so I'm just going to paste his paradigm below (Matthew Chen's paradigm is another good jumping off point). My email is email@example.com, feel free to email me any questions and include me on the email chain.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.
Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments. D
Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.
Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during cx. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org for the email chain.
I judged 60 rounds at last year at 13 different TOC bid-distributing tournaments. In prelims, I voted Aff 24 of 53 rounds (45.2%). In out-rounds I voted Aff 1/7 (14%) (Oof.) I did not sit out on a panel last year (Stanford, Emory, Big Lex, College Prep, Glenbrooks, Grapevine outrounds).
How To Pref Me:
LARP 1 - I'm a LARP hack. I want good, specific topic lit. Longer cards >>>>> more cards.
Ks - 2/3 - treat me like a college policy judge on these; I want explanation of what the world of the neg looks like. You're solid running Cap, Fem, Set Col, Securitization, most post-fiat stuff. If you're running Deleuze, Weheliye, Foucault; if you are super into sublimating the rhizome, I'm still listening but you probably want to pref me lower. Ks need an alt.
Theory - 2/3 - My threshold for voting is genuine abuse, and I'd prefer to see that in terms of models of debate. I will entertain even frivolous theory arguments but my threshold for answers is very, very low. I vote on RVIs more than most judges. I will vote on Nebel T.
Phil - 2/3 - Happy to evaluate your NCs. The status of most LD phil debate right now is not great - it tends to be a lot of blippy spikes, and I'm definitely on team "give me new 2AR responses on anything extended into the 2N," see tricks below.
Performance/Non-T Affs: 3 - I'm open, and I've enjoyed some of these cases but you probably don't want to pref me high if this is your jam. If you run T/Framework on the neg, I'm likely a very good judge for you.
Lay - 4 - I really love lay debate and can appreciate when it's done well, but I'm tab enough that you're almost certainly better off taking some random parent judge. Note: if you're a circuit debater hitting a lay debater and you adapt to them (i.e., no spreading, no theory args, just run your larp case) and win, I will reward you with a 30. Note: if you're an insecure circuit debater worried you're going to lose to a lay debater and you don't adapt to them, I'll just judge the round normally. If you're the lay debater, be smart in the round.
Tricks - 5 - I will listen. I voted for Nate Krueger all the time, but he was kind of amazing at trix. My threshold for answers here is very, very low.
Stuff I don't like
I'm sticking with 2020's "don't be squirrelly." That means: don't pretend you don't know what an a priori is in CX, don't hide spikes, don't lie about stuff you didn't extend, don't "explain" your crazy-ass Baudrilliard K with 3 minutes of nonsense in CX and then all of a sudden tell a straightforward story in the 2N, don't lie about your super-vague "I'm whole rez!" methods to exclude all clash in the 1AR, etc. Don't be squirrelly!
Longer stuff if you've got time:
Generally I can handle speed. Slow down for tags and when you're giving analytics, particularly in rebuttals and especially if it's not on your speech doc. If you're spreading prewritten analyticals, send those with your speech doc to me and to your opponent. I'll clear you if I have to.
Like I said, long cards >>>> more cards. Don't power-tag. I love love love when debaters re-cut their opponent's evidence in the next speech to show that it was power/mistagged.
I think Nebel is correct, but this winds up being a lot more nuanced in the context of an LD round. Yes, semantics outweigh pragmatics on interpretation, but pragmatics control when we're talking voters/remedy. Here's a real-world example of how that played out. So, I agree with Negs that it's kind of silly that on a topic like "RT: States ought to ban their nuclear arsenals," the most common 1AC was Indo-Pak because that's literally not at all what the topic committee wanted you to debate. That being said, I don't think I ever voted for T on the nukes topic against spec affs because the 1AR answer of "come on, there are only 7 nuclear nations, if you're not prepared for Indo-Pak, you haven't done enough research" was probably sufficient. On the other hand, if your plan was to ban landmines in Myanmar as a spec for "states ought to ban lethal autonomous weapons," then yes I voted for Nebel T every time. The Niemi "indict" is crap and we all know it.
On Embedded Clash
I find that I'm evaluating a lot of embedded clash, especially in late outrounds. Here are my thoughts on that: (a) the best thing you can do is give me a real OV that explains the layers; (b) in the absence of strong ink on the flow, I'm open to applying arguments from one sheet to another, even if the overall sheet is a kick; (c) I'm not likely to credit a single-line blip extension as decisive when there are 130 lines on my flow; (d) you can weigh new in the 2N, but don't make new substantive arguments; and (e) I'm strongly disinclined against 1AR theory that basically forces new 2N/2AR responses unless you have a very strong abuse story.
I'm open, but from a practical perspective, I think you really need to be winning your abuse story since 1AR theory pretty much requires judge intervention since the 2N CIs will be new and the 2AR will be asking me subjectively to evaluate whether they're "good enough." IOW, my threshold for 2N answers is pretty low.
In terms of my familiarity and preferences: give me post-fiat, topic-specific Ks like cap and set col over incomprehensible generics like Weheliye, Baudrilliard, D&G, etc.. That being said, you do you -- for example, I think the fem killjoy K is 100% true.
Also: chances are virtually 100% that I'm not at all familiar with your literature, and it seems (to me, anyway) that a lot of judges are giving K debaters waaaaaay too much credit for warrants in the underlying lit that are not read/explained in round. I'm not going to do that. This means that if you're exclusively a K-debater, you probably want to pref me lower, to be honest. Be explicit about whether your K is pre- or post-fiat. K vs. K rounds need to be clear about uplayering and internal links if on the same layer.
I will listen and vote on it, both for norm-setting and in-round abuse. I still have a relatively low threshold on RVIs on disclosure theory.
I will never use a default if an argument is made on the issue, but in the absence of argumentation:
- T > K
- T and Theory are on the same layer; Metatheory uplayers
- Reasonability over competing interps if not specified
- No RVIs (my threshold for warranting this is low, 'I get RVIs' suffices)
- Drop the arg on theory, drop the debater on topicality
- Presume NEG
- Affirming is harder because duh, 1AR
- Neg gets 1 Condo advocacy
- PICs must be uncondo
- Weigh case against K
I default to a 28.7-ish. I give 30s whenever the debater a) doesn't make any obvious technical or analytical mistakes and b) does at least one really cool/clever analytical thing, so, you know, reasonably often. Oh, I also give 30s when a tech-heavy debater adapts out of courtesy to a lay opponent. The only thing that will get me to tank your speaks is if you're bullying/obnoxious/abusive in the round.
IF YOU STILL DON'T KNOW, ASK! I'm happy to answer any questions about my paradigm before the round. I love LD, and I try to make it so that debaters enjoy debating in front of me.
Lexington High School '19
I debated for Lexington High School in LD for 3 years and in PF for 1.
I prefer a bit more traditional LD debate with logical arguments and clear delivery, presentation, and defense within your framework and contentions. I do not enjoy blippy theory and tricks and have not flowed progressive debates or spreading for a couple of years. So, if you decide to read off cases, please explain your arguments clearly.
I am somewhat familiar with and have run CPs, Ks, and DAs during my career so if you decide to read them, make sure you explain and have good evidence to support your arguments.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! :)
I debated LD for four years at Lexington High School, attending both circuit and local tournaments. I graduated high school in 2016, so it's my fourth year out. So at this point, I have no idea what you kids are up to these days.
As a debater I ran mostly kritiks, but feel free to run what you are most comfortable with. However, I never enjoyed theory as a debater so I cannot promise that I will be able to make the right decision in a convoluted theory round. Here are some other things to keep in mind.
1. Evidence integrity is very, very important to me. If your opponent abuses evidence and you run theory against them, I will be very convinced. If your evidence is bad and the entire round hinges upon it, that will not look good for you.
2. Please no frivolous theory. But if there is actual abuse I will vote for it.
3. Please speak clearly and enunciate. Spreading is fine but if I cannot understand it I will not be doing work for you on the flow.
4. I love kritiks. I especially love a kritikal framework with a plan.
5. I am absolutely fine with non-topical advocacies, as long as they are not abusive. I like when they are disclosed, and have a specific methodology, and other things that make them positions that can be engaged with in the round.
6. I do not love tricks or spikes. The aff can give reasons for why they should get the Rvi in the aff, but other than that I would try to limit them. How about for just this round you take out your spikes and add another card or framework justification instead?
7. You must be respectful of other debaters in the round. You may yell loudly, but please do not spit.
8. I think that trigger warnings are a good idea. If you think one may be necessary, I would suggest giving it.
9. Do not misgender your opponent!! If you are going to refer to your opponent during your speech, please ask their pronouns before the debate begins! I will stop the round if you misgender your opponent
If you want high speaker points, have a good strategy, speak clearly, and be respectful.
Bio - Former CUNY Debater (2013-14) and current high school coach
For the e-mail chain: email@example.com
For PF: You're getting a judge with some policy background and policy (let's just face it) is a more rigorous form of debate. This means you have liberty to run more than the CBI and debate blog vetted positions in front of me. You will be better off taking advantage of that. However, I don't appreciate the mental gymnastics it takes to understand many policy positions and you folks get less speech time to spin arguments so please keep it relatively simple.
For Policy: I'll try my best to be a fair judge and vote based on the merit of the arguments presented in a given round. That being said, I think that debate (at least the way it's done at tournaments) is a game and thus do not appreciate teams who try to avoid being topical or enjoy running far left identity arguments. Beyond that, what you would deem as wise strategy and advice from most circuit judges applies for me as well. Some side notes though....
- I lean generally on the side on Condo good in theory debates.
- Any type of competition works for a counterplan. Explain the net benefit clearly if you plan to go for a CP
- Affirmative teams should spend as much time as possible on the case debate explaining why the aff is a good idea and outweighs the negative
- Good impact calc is necessary to resolve close debates and can clean up messy link clash on the off case flows.
- Politics DA >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nearly every K
I'm Reed (He/Him). I did LD for four years at Lexington High School ('14-'18), went to TOC my junior and senior years, and reached elims at a bunch of bid tournaments & round robins along the way. I've taught at NSD over the summer and currently coach a number of students through Flex Debate.
-You can assume I have a decent background understanding of the topic. However, the more thoroughly you warrant your arguments the more likely I am to err on your side
-Don't waste time with a values debate. Framework clash occurs at the criterion level -- focus on that! Also If your opponent's framework is the same as yours it's okay to concede it
-Arguments should roughly consist of claims, warrants, and impacts -- the latter 2 are often the biggest thing that I see novices having trouble with, meaning they tend to under-explain either the reason a given contention is true or the larger significance of the contention being true - if you can focus on these areas during speeches you'll do great
-Do weighing - if you can explain why your argument is better than theirs with some degree of specificity it will go a long way. This means don't just say something like "LAWs decrease violence" without explaining what violence and how it would be prevented -- the more concrete your explanation the more I have to compare against your opponent's args which is the name of the game in NLD
-I'm generally fine w you reading more advanced arguments as long as you're not intentionally trying to confuse the opponent - same goes for spreading and asking questions during CX - the limit is whatever the other debater is comfortable with
I'll try my best to be objective and will evaluate pretty much any argument as long as it is properly warranted and implicated, with the exception of arguments that are actively exclusionary/racist/homophobic/ableist/etc.
I read mostly policy, philosophy, and theory my senior year, but have experience with and am totally comfortable voting on Ks and tricks. I don't think my preferences as a debater carry over a ton into how I evaluate rounds. I'll be just as happy watching a dense deleuze v. kant debate as I will be judging plan v. counterplan debates. Regardless of the content of your positions, all I really care about is whether you can execute your arguments well, demonstrate strategic vision, and explain things in a clear & understandable way.
Things that will get you higher speaker points:
-good CX :)))
-genuine clash in framework debates
-smart/tricky LARP strategies
-persuasive abuse stories on theory
-demonstration of topic knowledge
-good ev comparison
*I will not make a decision that procedurally excludes any of the 5 speeches. What this means is if you ask me to "evaluate the debate after the 1ac/1nc/1ar/2nr", i will most likely ignore it, as I've found that doing so would create an incredibly arbitrary decision procedure that I don't feel would benefit anyone in the way they are hoping.
Do your best, have fun, and please ask questions if you have them. I am always willing to discuss my reason for decision/give comments after the round. If you feel the need to ask me anything before the round, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Wexler Coach since 1993, Judge since 1987 Debated CEDA,College Parli, HS LD and Policy, College and HS Speech
Current Affiliation: Needham High School Coach (speech and debate) I coach a little with Arlington HS (Massachusetts)
Previous Affiliations: Manchester-Essex Regional, Boston Latin School, San Antonio-LEE, College of Wooster (Ohio) (competitor) , University of Wisconsin (Madison)(coach): Debate and Speech for Irvine-University HS (CA) (competitor)
LD Paradigm is here first, followed by Policy and then PF at the bottom (though much of LD applies to PF and nowadays even policy where appropriate)- Congress and Worlds is at VERY end.
For outrounds and flip rounds, please especially note section marked 'outrounds' at end
Shorter Version (in progress) (if you want to run some of these, see the labeled sections for most of them, following)
-Defaults to voting criterion.
-Theory-will not vote on fairness or disclosure. It will be treated as radio silence. See below for note regarding Arlington HS specifically.
-Education theory on the topic's substantial, topic-related issues OK but if frivolous RVIs encouraged.(i.e., brackets theory, etc ) I will almost always vote on reasonability.
--Will not vote on generic skepticism. May vote on resolution-specific skepticism
-Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in rebuttals are weighed as blips in my decision calculus
-It is highly unlikely I shall vote on tricks or award higher speaker points for tricks-oriented debaters
-No 'kicking' out of arguments unless the opponent agrees with said kicking. "You broke the argument, you own it."
-Critical arguments are fine and held to the same analytical standard as normative arguments.
-Policy approaches (plans/CPs/DAs) are fine. They are held to same prima facie burdens as in actual CX rounds- That also means if you want me to be a policy-maker, your evidence better be recent. If you don't know what I mean by 'prima facie burdens as in actual CX rounds' you should opt for a different strategy.
-Narratives are fine and should provide a rhetorical model for me to use to evaluate approach.
-If running something dense, it is the responsibility of the debater to explain it. I regard trying to comprehend it on my own to be judge intervention.
As I believe debate is an ORAL communication activity (albeit one often with highly specialized vocabulary and speed) I (with courtesy) do not wish to be added to any 'speech document ' for debates taking place in the flesh or virtually. I will be pleased to read speech documents for any written debate contests I may happen to judge.
Role of ballot - See labeled section below- Too nuanced to have a short version
To Access higher speaker points...
Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of opponents, etc. while avoiding being condescending.
If clearly outclassed, stay engaged and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (Plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to winning the round without knowing it...)
If I think you have done either of these, it will always result in bonus speaker points.
-Engage with your opponent's ideas. Clash with them directly, prove them wrong, demonstrate they are actually reasons to vote for you, etc., or at least of lesser importance,
exhibit the ability to listen.(see below for how I evaluate this)
exhibit the ability to use CX effectively (CX during prep time does not do so) This DOES NOT mean 'stumping the chump' it DOES mean setting up arguments for you to use in later speeches.
To Access lower speaker points
1) Act like a rude, arrogant, condescending, ignoramus. (or just one of these)
In other words, making offensive arguments, 'ist' arguments or behaving like a jerk - If you have to ask, chances are you shouldn't. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Being racist or sexist or homophobic means one loses regardless, but behaving like a jerk in a non-'ist' way still means you lose speaker points and if offensive enough I'll look for a reason to vote against you.
2)have your coach fight your battles for you- When your coach browbeats your opponents to disclose or flip- or keeps you from arriving to your round in a timely fashion, it subliminally promotes your role as one in which you let your coach do your advocacy and thinking for you.
3)Avoid engaging with your opponent's ideas. Avoiding engaging through reliance on definitions, tricks, etc., or other methods may win you my ballots, but will earn lower speaker points.
4)Act like someone uninterested in knowledge or intellectual hard work and is proud of that lack of interest. Running theory as a default strategy is a most excellent and typical way of doing so, and in public at that.-- (But there are other ways).
1)The voting standard is the most important judging tool to me in the round. Whatever else you do or say, weighing how the different arguments impact COMPARATIVELY to the voting standard is paramount.
I strongly prefer debaters to focus on the resolution proper, as defined by the topic literature. I tend to be really, REALLY bored by debaters who spend the bulk of their time on framework issues and/or theory as opposed to topical debating.
By contrast, I am very much interested in how philosophical and ethical arguments are applied to contemporary challenges, as framed by the resolution.
You can certainly be creative, which shall be rewarded when on-topic. Indeed, having a good command of the topic literature is a good way to be both.
My speaker points to an extent reflect my level of interest.
2) I evaluate a debater's ENTIRE skill set when assigning speaker points, including the ability to listen. See below for how I assess that ability.
3)One can use alternative approaches to traditional ones in LD in front of me. I am receptive to narratives, plans, kritiks, the role of the ballot to fight structural oppression, etc. But these should be grounded in the specific topic literature- This includes describing why the specific resolution being debated undermines the fight against oppressive norms.
4) I am NOT receptive to generic 'debate is bad' arguments. Wrong forum.
5) Specifics of my view of policy, critical, performance, etc. cases are at the bottom if you wish to skip to that.
I will not vote on...
a)Fairness arguments, period. They will be treated as radio silence. - See famed debate judge Marvin the Paranoid Android's (which I find optimistic) paradigm on this in 'The Debate Judges Guide to the Galaxy.' by Douglas Adams.
"The first ten million (fairness arguments) were the worst. And the second ten million: they were the worst, too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that, their quality went into a bit of a decline.”
And complaints about having to affirm makes the arguer look and sound like this from 'Puddles Pity Party'
Instead, tell me why the perceived violation is a poor way to evaluate the truth of the resolution, not that it puts you in a poor position to win.
b) I will not vote on disclosure theory, it shall be treated as radio silence. I have assisted a little with Arlington High. Arlington High by team consensus does not permit its' members to disclose except at tournaments where it is specified as required to participate by tournament invitation. I find the idea that disclosure is needed to avoid 'surprises' or have. a quality debate to be unlikely.
c) I will vote on education theory. In most cases it must be related to the topic literature. However, I am actively favorable to RVIs when run in response to 'cheap' , 'throw-away' , generic, or 'canned' education theory. Topic only focused, please.
d)Shells are not always necessary (or even usually). if an opponent's position is truly squirelly ten seconds explaining why is a better approach in front of me than a two or three minute theory shell
e) I am highly unlikely to vote on arguments that center on an extreme or very narrow framing of the resolution no matter how much framework you do- and 100% unlikely based on a half or full sentence blurb.-
'Extreme' in this context means marginally related to the literature (or a really small subset of it)
ON BLIPS AND EXTENSIONS
I believe that debaters indicate through analysis and time management what their key arguments are. Therefore, a one-sentence idea in case, if used as a major voting issue in rebuttals, will receive 'one sentence worth' of weight in my RFD. even if the idea was dropped cold. That's not no weight at all. But it ain't uranium either.
Simply extending drops and cards is insufficient, be sure to connect to the voting standard and explain the argument sufficiently. I do cut the Aff a little more leeway in this regard than the neg due to time limitations, but be careful.
OLD SCHOOL IDIOSYNCRASY- THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING
1) On sharing cases and evidence,
Please note: The below does not apply to the reading of evidence cards, nor does it apply to people with applicable IEPs, 504s or are English language learners.
1) I believe that listening is an essential debate skill. In those cases where speed and jargon are used, they are still being used within a particular oral communication framework, even if it is one unique to debate. It makes no sense to me to speak our cases to one another (and the judge), while our opponent reads the text afterwards (even more so as the case is read) and then orally respond to what was written down (or for the judge to vote on what was written down). If that is the norm, we could just stay home and email each other our cases.
In the round, this functions as my awarding higher speaker points to good listeners. Asking for the text of entire cases demonstrates you are still developing the ability to listen and/or the ability to process what you heard. That's OK, this is an educational activity, but a still developing listener wouldn't earn higher speaker points for the same reason someone with developing refutation skills wouldn't earn higher speaking points. My advice is to work on the ability to process what you have heard rather than ask for cases or briefs.
As I believe that act of orally speaking should not be limited to being an anthropological vestige of some ancient debate ritual, I will courteously turn down offers to be added to any speech documents, except at contests designed for such a purpose.
Asking for individual cards by name to examine their rhetoric, context etc, is acceptable, as I don't expect most debaters to be able to write down cards verbatim. I expect those cards to be made available immediately. Any time spent 'jumping' the cards to an opponent beyond minimal is taken off the prep time of the debater that just read the case.
I will most likely only ask for cards at the round's end in the case of ethical challenges, etc, or if I failed to make note of a card's substance through some reason beyond a debater's control (My own sneezing fit for example, or the host school's band playing '76 Trombones on the Hit Parade' in the classroom next door during the 1AC)-
On Non Debater authored Cases
I believe two of the most valuable skills in debate, along with the ability to listen, are the ability to write and research (and do both efficiently).
I further believe the tendency of some in the debate community to encourage students to become a ventriloquist's dummy, reading cases authored by individuals post-HS, is antithetical to developing these skills. Most likely it is also against most schools' academic code of conduct. I reject the idea that students are 'too busy to write their own cases and do their own research'
I will drop debaters -with minimal speaker points- who run cases written by any individual not enrolled in high school.
In novice or JV rounds I will drop debaters who run cases written by a varsity teammate.
Further, if I suspect, given that debater's level of competence, that they are running a position they did not write ( I suspect they have little to no comprehension of what they are reading) I reserve the right to question them after the round about that position. If said person confirms my suspicion about their level of comprehension, they will be dropped by me with minimal speaker points.
THAT SAID my speaker points will reward debaters who are trying out new ideas which they don't completely understand yet- I think people should take risks, just don't let yourself be shortchanged of all that debate can be by letting some non-high school student - or more experienced teammate- write your ideas for you. Don't be Charlie McCarthy (or Mortimer Snerd for that matter)
Finally, I am not opposed to student-written team cases/briefs per sae. However, given the increasing number of cases written by non-students, and the difficulty I have in distinguishing those from student-written positions, I may eventually apply this stance to any case I hear for the second time (or more) at a tournament. That day has not yet arrived however.
ON POLICY ARGUMENTS (LARPING)
I am open to persons who wish to argue policy positions as opposed to voting standard If that framework is won.
Do keep in mind that I believe the time structure of LD makes running such strategies a challenge. I find many policy link stories in LD debate, even in late outrounds at TOC-qual tournaments, to be JVish at best. Opponents, don't be afraid to say so.
Disadvantages should have clear linkage to the terminal impact, the shorter the better. When responding, it is highly advantageous to respond to the links. I tend to find the "if there is a .01% chance of extinction happening you have to vote for me" to be silly at best if there is any sort of probability weighing placed against it.
Policy-style debaters assume all burdens that actual policy debaters have, That means if solvency -(or at least some sort of comparative advantage, inherency, etc. is not prima facie shown for the resolution proper, that debater loses even if the opponent does not actually give a response while drooling on their own cardigan. (or yours, for that matter).
That means if you want me to be a policy-maker, your evidence should be super-recent. Otherwise, I may decide you don't meet your prima facie burdens, even for 'inherency' which virtually nobody votes on ever. Why? The same reason one shouldn't read a politics DA from October 2020.
Side note: If your OPPONENT does so, please be sure to all call them out on it in order to demonstrate CX or refutation skills. (I once heard someone ignore the fact a politics DA was being run the Saturday AFTER the election, it having taken place the Tuesday prior. I was sad.
I do have some sympathy for the hypothesis-testing paradigm where up-to-date evidence is not always as necessary- if you sell me on it. Running older evidence under such a framework may or may not be strategic, but it WOULD meet prima facie burdens.
If you don't know what I mean by 'prima facie burdens', or 'hypothesis-testing' you should opt for a different strategy. - Do learn what these terms mean if interested in LARPing, or answering LARPers.
I am also actively disinclined to allow the negative to 'kick out' out of counterplans, etc., in face of an Aff challenge, during the 1NR. Think 'Pottery Barn'- to paraphrase Colin Powell- "You broke the argument, you own it."
ON NARRATIVE ARGUMENTS
In addition to the 'story', be sure to include a rhetorical model I can use to evaluate the narrative in the course of the round. if you do so effectively, speaker points will be high. If not, low.
One can access the power of narrative arguments without being appropriative of other cultures. This is one such approach (granted from a documentary on Diane Nash)
ON CRITICAL ARGUMENTS
I hold them to the same analytical standard as more normative or traditional arguments. That means quoting some opaque piece of writing is unlikely to score much emphasis with me, absent a complete drop by the opponent. And even if there is a complete drop, during the weighing stage I could easily be persuaded that the critical argument is of little worth in adjudicating the round. When debating critical theory, Don't be afraid to point out that "the emperor has no clothes."
In the round, this functions as debaters coherently planning what both they and their sources are being critical of, and doing so throughout the round.
Identifying if the 'problem' is due to a deliberate attempt to oppress or ignorant/incompetent policies/structures resulting in oppression likely add nuance to your argument, both in terms of introducing and responding to critical arguments. This is especially true if making a generic critical argument rather than one that is resolution-specific.
Critical arguments all take place in a context, with the authors reacting to some structure- be it one created and run by 'dead white men' or whomever. The authors most certainly were familiar with whom or what they were attacking. To earn the highest speaker points, you should demonstrate some level of that knowledge too. HOW you do so may vary, your speaker points will reflect how well you perform under the strategy you choose and carry out in the round
In any case, be sure to SLOW DOWN when reading critical arguments.
ROLE OF THE BALLOT-
I believe that debate, and the type of people it attracts, provides uniquely superior opportunities to develop the skills required to fight oppression. I also believe that how I vote in some prelim at a tournament is unlikely to make much of a difference- or less so than if the debaters and judge spent their Saturday volunteering for a group fighting out-of-the-round oppression Or even singing, as they do in arguably the best scene from the best American movie ever.--
I tend to take the arguments more seriously when made in out rounds with audiences. The final round of PF in 2021 at TOC was important and remarkable. In fairness, people may see prelims as the place to learn how to make these arguments, which is to be commended. But it is not guaranteed that I take an experienced debater making such arguments in prelims as seriously, without a well-articulated reason to do so.
Also bear in mind that my perspective is that of a social studies teacher with a MA in Middle Eastern history and a liberal arts education who is at least tolerably familiar with the literature often referenced in these rounds. (If sometimes only in a 'book review' kind of way.) But I also default in my personal politics to feeling that a bird in hand is better than exposing the oppression of the bush.
if simply invited or encouraged to think about the implications of your position, or to take individual action to do so, that is a wild card that may lead to a vote in your favor- or may not. I feel obligated to use my personal knowledge in such rounds. YOU are encouraged to discuss the efficacy of rhetorical movements and strategies in such cases.
ONE LAST NOTE
Honestly, I am more than a little uncomfortable with debaters from privileged backgrounds running race-based nihilist or pessimist arguments of which they have no historical part as the oppressed. Granted, this is partly because I believe that it is in the economic self-interest of entrenched powers to propagate nihilist views. If you choose to do so, you can win my ballot, but you will have to prove it won't result in some tangible benefit to people of privilege.
ON MORALLY OFFENSIVE ARGUMENTS
Offensive debaters, such as those who actively call for genocide will be dropped with minimal speaker points. The same is true for those who are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
I default to skepticism being in the same category when used as a response to 'X is morally bad' types of arguments.
By minimal speaker points, I mean 'one point' (.1 if the tournament allows tenths of a point) and my going to the physical (virtual) tabroom to insist they manually override any minimum in place in the settings.
If an argument not intended to be racist or sexist or homophobic or pro-murder could be misused to justify the same, that would be debatable in the round- though be reasonable. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Arguing over if general U.S. immigration policy is irredeemably racist is debatable in the round, arguing that an entire group of people should be excluded based on religion is racist on face, and arguing that it is morally permissible to tear gas children is a moral travesty in and of itself.---
Outrounds/Flip Rounds Only
I believe debate offers a unique platform for debaters to work towards becoming self-sufficient learners, independent decision-makers, and autonomous advocates. I believe that side determination with a lead time for the purposes of receiving side specific coaching particular to a given round is detrimental to debaters developing said skills. Further, it competitively disadvantages both debaters who do choose to emphasize such skills or do not have access to such coaching to start with.
Barring specific tournament rules to the contrary, in elimination rounds this functions as
a) flip upon arrival to the round.
b)avoid leaving the room after the coin flip (i.e., please go to the restroom, etc. before arriving at the room and before the flip)
c) arrive in sufficient time to the round to flip and do all desired preparation WITHOUT LEAVING THE ROOM so that the round can start on time.
d)All restrictions on electronic communication commence when the coin is in the air
Doing all of this establishes perceptual dominance in my mind. All judges, even those who claim to be blank slates, subliminally take perceptual dominance into account on some level. -Hence their 'preferences'. For me, all other matters being equal, I am more likely to 'believe' the round story given by a debater who exhibits these skills than the one I feel is channeling their coach's voice.
Have fun! Learn! "If you have fun and are learning, the winning will take care of itself"
In absence of a reason not to do so, I default to policy-maker (though I do have some sympathy for hypothesis-testing).
The above largely holds for my policy judging, though I am not as draconically anti-theory in policy as I am in LD because the time structure allows for bad theory to be exposed in a way not feasible in LD.
I've judged it and coached it since the creation.
I default to voting on the whole resolution. I vote for whichever side shows it is preponderantly more desirable That may include scope, impact, probability, etc.
Most of what I say under Lincoln-Douglas applies here, regarding substance as well as theory/and Ks. The differences OR key points are as follows.
1) I judge PF as an educated layperson- i.e. one who reads the paper but doesn't know the technicalities of debate lingo.
As such your 'extend this" and "pull that" confuse me for the purposes of the round - I will ignore debate lingo unless you explain the argument itself.
1b) I shall ignore 'theory' arguments completely (in PF, I will also ignore 'education' theory arguments, as well as 'fairness'-- '. Frame those arguments in terms of substance if you opt to make them). Theory arguments as such shall be treated as radio silence on my flow. I will default to thinking you are uninterested in doing the work necessary to understand the topic, and that you are publicly announcing you are proud of being ignorant.
If someone's opponent is prima facie unfair or uneducational, say so without running a 'shell'.
I will evaluate K's solely when based on the topic literature.
Your rate of delivery should be appropriate to the types of arguments you are making.
2)Stand during the cross-fire times. This adds to your perceptual dominance.
3) Offer and justify some sort of standard I can use to weigh competing arguments.
4) On Evidence...
--a)Evidence should be fully explained with analysis. Evidence without analysis isn't persuasive to me. (the best evidence will have analysis as well, which is the gold standard- but you should add your own linking to the round itself and the resolution proper).
4b) In order to earn higher speaker points, I expect evidence use to adhere to the full context being used and accessible. This doesn't mean you can't paraphrase when appropriate, it does mean reciting a single sentence or two and/or taking excessive time when asked to produce the source means you are still developing your evidence usage ability. Of course, using evidence in context (be it a full card or proper paraphrasing-) is expected Note #6 below.
You will also want to make note of the 'earn higher speaker points' in the LD section above, it also applies in PF.
--Quantitative claims always require evidence, the more recent the better.
--Qualitative claims DO NOT always require evidence, that depends on the specific claim.
-5)-Be comparative when addressing competing claims. The best analytical evidence compares claims directly within itself.
-6)Produce requested evidence in an expeditious fashion- Failure to do so comes of YOUR prep time, and eventually next speech time. Since such failure demonstrates that organizational skills are still being developed, it also means lower speaker points are likely to be earned.
'Expeditious' means within ten seconds or so, unless the tournament invitation mandates a different period of time
-7)-Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in summary or final focus are weighed as blips in my decision calculus
8)No 'kicking' out of arguments unless the opponent agrees with said kicking. "You broke the argument, you own it."
9) I will most likely only ask for cards at the round's end in the case of ethical challenges, etc, or if I failed to make note of a card's substance through some reason beyond a debater's control (My own sneezing fit for example, or the host school's band playing '76 Trombones on the Hit Parade' in the classroom next door during a speech.
10) What I have to say elsewhere in this document about how to access higher speaker points and how to earn super low points by being offensive also applies to PF.
Most Importantly- as with any event " Have fun! "If you are learning and having fun, the winning shall take care of itself."
To Access better ranks
1) Engage with your opponent's ideas. Clash with them directly, prove them wrong, further develop ideas offered previously by speakers on the same side of legislation as yourself, demonstrate opposing ideas are actually reasons to vote for you, etc
2)Speech organization should reflect when during a topic debate said speech is delivered. Earlier pro speeches (especially authorships or sponsorships) should explain what problem exists and how the legislation solves for it. Later speeches should develop arguments for or against the legislation. The last speeches on legislation should summarize and recap, reflecting the ideas offered during the debate
3)Exhibit the ability to listen. This is evaluated through argument development and clash
4)Evidence usage. Using evidence that may be used be 'real' legislators is the gold standard. (government reports or scholarly think tanks or other policy works. Academic-ish sources (JSTOR, NYRbooks, etc) are next. Professional news sources are in the middle. News sources that rely on 'free' freelancers are below that. Ideological websites without scholarly fare are at the bottom. For example, Brookings or Manhattan Institute, yes! Outside the box can be fine. If a topic on the military is on the docket, 'warontherocks.com ', yes!. (though cite the author and credentials. in such cases)
4b) Souce usage corresponds to the type of argument being backed. 'Expert' evidence is more important with 'detailed' legislation than with more birds-eye changes to the law.
5)exhibit the ability to use CX effectively - This DOES NOT mean 'stumping the chump' it DOES mean setting up arguments for you or a colleague to expand upon a speech later. Asking a question where the speaker's answer is irrelevant to you- - or your colleagues'- ability to do so later is the gold standard.
6)PO's should be transparent, expeditious, accurate and fair in their handling of the chamber.
6b)At local tournaments, 'new PO's will not be penalized (or rewarded) for still developing the ability to be expeditious. That skill shall be evaluated as radio silence (neither for, nor against you)- Give it a try!
To Access worse ranks
1) Act like a rude, arrogant, condescending, ignoramus. (or just one of these)
In other words, making offensive arguments, 'ist' arguments or behaving like a jerk - If you have to ask, chances are you shouldn't. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Being racist or sexist or homophobic or transphobic means one loses regardless, but behaving like a jerk in a non-'ist' way still means I'll look for a reason to rank you at the very bottom of the chamber, behind the person who spent the entire session practicing their origami while engaged in silent self-hypnosis.
2)If among any speaker other than the author and first opposition, rehashing arguments that have already been made with no further development (no matter how well internally argued or supported with evidence your speech happens to be backed with)
3)Avoiding engaging with the ideas of others in the chamber- either in terms of clashing with them directly or expanding upon ideas already made
4)Evidence usage. Using evidence that may NOT be used be 'real' legislators is the gilded standard. Examples include blatantly ideological sources, websites that don't pay their contributors, etc. This is especially true if a technical subject is the focus of the debate.
4b)In general, using out of date evidence. The more immediate a problem the more recent evidence should be. Quoting Millard Fillmore on immigration reform should not more be done than quoting evidence from the Bush or even the Obama Administration. (That said, if arguing on the level of ideas, by all means, synthesize important past thinkers into your arguments)
5) Avoiding activity such as cross-examination
5b)'Stalling' when being CXed by asking clarification for simple questions
6)Act like someone uninterested in knowledge or intellectual hard work and is proud of that lack of interest
7)POs who show favoritism or repeatedly make errors.
What (may) make a rank or two of positive difference
Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of others, etc. while avoiding being condescending. Be inclusive during rules, etc. of those from new congress schools or are lone wolves.
If clearly outclassed, stay engaged, and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (Plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to ranking high without knowing it...)
If I think you have done the above, it will improve your rank in chamber.
First, Congrats on being here. Well earned. One piece of advice- Before starting your speaking in your rounds here in the Virtual Space City, take a moment while in front of the Zoom to fix the memory in your mind. It is a memory well-worth keeping.
I have judged at the NSDA Worlds Invitational since 2015 with the exception of two years, though I have coached the New England teams each year. I judged WSD at a few invitationals and competed in Parli in college.
While I am well-experienced in other forms of debate (and I bloviate about that quite a bit here) for this tournament I shall reward teams that do the following...
-Center case around a core thesis with supporting substantial arguments and examples. (The thesis may- and often will- evolve during the course of the round)
-Refutation -(especially in later speeches) integrates all arguments make by one's own side and by the opposition into a said thesis
--Weighs key voters. Definitions and other methods should be explicit
Effectively shared rhetorical 'vehicles' between speakers adds to your ethos and ideally logos.
---Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in later speeches are weighed as blips in my decision calculus
--Even succinct POIs can advance argumentation
-Avoid using counterintuitive arguments.(often popular in LD/PF/CX) If you think an argument could be perceived as counterintuitive when it is not, just walk me through that argumentation.
Debate lingo such as 'extend this" and "pull that" confuse me for the purposes of the round - I will ignore debate lingo unless you explain the argument itself.
--Use breadth as well as depth when it comes to case construction (that usually means international examples as well as US-centric, and may also mean examples from throughout the liberal arts- science, literature, history, etc.- When appropriate and unforced.
If a model is offered, I believe 'fiat' of the legislative (or whatever) action is a given so time spent debating otherwise shall be treated as radio silence. However, mindsets or utopia cannot be 'fiat-ed'.
To earn higher speaker points and make me WANT to vote for you-
-Engage with your opponent's ideas for higher speaker points. Avoiding engaging through reliance on definitions or other methods may win you my ballots, but will earn lower speaker points. (This DOES NOT mean going deep into a line by line, it does mean engaging with the claim and the warrant)
Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of opponents, etc. while avoiding being condescending.
If clearly outclassed, stay engaged and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to winning the round without knowing it...)
If I think you have done these, it will always result in bonus speaker points.
and needless to say, I'm sure, offensive debaters, such as those who actively call for genocide will be dropped with minimal speaker points. The same is true for those who are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
If an argument not intended to be racist or sexist or pro-murder could be misused to justify the same, that would be debatable in the round- though be reasonable. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Arguing over if general U.S. immigration is irredeemably racist is debatable in the round, arguing that an entire group of people should be excluded based on religion is racist on face, and arguing that it is morally acceptable (or even amoral) to tear gas children is a moral travesty in and of itself.
Again, congratulations on being here!! You have earned this, learn, have fun, make positive memories...
****MUST READ: I do not evaluate fairness as a voter. If you run it in front of me, I will not vote on it. You have been warned.
I am an assistant coach for Harrison High School. I debated for four years in LD at Greenhill from 2009-2013. I was a philosophy major in college and now teach Poetry at Columbia University. I judged semis at the TOC in 2019.
Debate is fun! I enjoy judging good debates full of a lot of nuanced clash and weighing. The best debaters, in my opinion, are clear, well versed on the topic and, above all, persuasive. I think unwarranted arguments, tricks/spikes, and unnecessary/multiple theory shells are bad for debate and an unpersuasive strategy. Above all, I am more likely to drop a claim, no matter how many times it is dropped/extended, than I am add a warrant or impact.
Things I like
-A philosophical framework debate (with standards as opposed to ROB).
-A good topicality debate
Things I don't like and won't vote for
-Fairness as a voting issue. Fairness is not a voter because A) Debate is an inherently unfair activity B) Fairness is not an intrinsic reason why we do debate and C) If fairness were a voter, I would flip a coin to decide the round. If you are interested in running a fairness voter in front of me, I would suggest playing a game of Chutes and Ladders or Tic-Tac-Toe instead.
-Independent voters, as in those arguments that appeal to something outside of an explicit weighing mechanism (value criterion, ROB, or justified voter)
-Unwarranted arguments. Again, I am more likely to drop a claim than add a warrant
-Any argument appealing to the Role of the Ballot/Role of the Judge as an A priori. In general, I do not think any argument in debate is an A priori, but especially not arguments that rely on my status as a judge or educator.
-If a card has been "cut" by a debater (as in, the debater stops reading the card mid way through and then moves on to another card), I will not vote on warrants that were cut.
My Default Assumptions (unless proven otherwise in the round)
-I operate under an offense/defense paradigm.
-The Role of the Ballot is to decide which debater better justified their side of the resolution.
-Debate is good. Philosophy is good for debate. Policymaking is good for debate too.
-Education is a voter, but less persuasive to me than Advocacy Skills, Critical Thinking, etc.
-No RVIs on T.
-Performance debate is fine, but the best performances link back to the topic.
Any other issue should be resolved by the debaters
Lake Highland Prep ’19
I debated for Lake Highland for five years and went to the TOC my sophomore, junior, and senior year.
I don’t really have a preference towards judging any particular type of argument. As a debater, I read a lot of high theory, phil, theory/T, Ks, and sometimes I read tricks. You should read arguments in whatever style you are most comfortable with and I will do my best to evaluate the round. I'll always try to take the route of least intervention when I'm judging. As long as an argument has a claim, warrant, impact, I will vote on it. However, I will drop you for reading anything blatantly racist, misogynistic, ableist, anti-queer, etc.
If you're reading a confusing or dense position, make sure that you explain it well. Don't assume that I'll fill in the blanks for you if you make half-baked arguments just because I read something in that literature base as a debater. Also if you are reading blippy tricks just make sure you slow down enough that I can flow a warrant for all of them.
1. I will no longer evaluate "give me a 30" arguments unless you have an exceptionally good reason for why I should give you a 30. I will just give speaks based on how well I think you debated.
2. I will not vote on "evaluate the theory debate after the [insert speech] if the argument is made in the speech mentioned in the spike. For example, I won't vote on "evaluate the theory debate after the 2nr" if it's made in the 2nr. This is because any answer to the spike is technically a theory argument, making it unclear if even evaluating answers to the argument are legitimate. I will also not vote on this argument in any speech absent a clear articulation of what constitutes the theory debate and just generally have a low threshold for responses.
3. If you are debating someone who is obviously a novice or significantly less experienced, try to win in a way that still allows them to engage with the round. Those rounds should not become an opportunity for you to win on cheap shots.
Here are my defaults (I will only use these if there is literally nothing said about these issues by either side):
- truth testing (what it means for something to be "true" or "false" can be determined through a rob or framework)
- my presumption default works the same as Grant Brown’s: “I default presume negative, unless there is an alternative advocacy (counterplan, kritik) in the 2NR without the choice of the status-quo, in which case I presume affirmative.”
- permissibility negates
- layers (theory, t, rob) can be weighed against each other
You'll get higher speaks for good strategic decisions, smart args, and knowing your positions well. You'll get lower speaks for being rude or patronizing to your opponent.
Here are some judges that I aspire to be like: Tom Evnen, Becca Traber, Grant Brown, John Staunton, Madi Crowley, and Vishaal Kunta.
If you have any specific questions, email me, facebook message me, or ask me before the round starts and I’ll be happy to answer them!
tldr. i am a competent judge for theory, t, phil, tricks, and my competency in other things is only proportional to how well you explain yourself under the assumption of my general unfamiliarity. i don't coach or do prep anymore, so assume that i am unfamiliar with the topic (and any topic-specific jargon/knowledge by extension).
i debated on the national circuit for a couple years and qualified to the toc as a senior ('19). i taught at nsd flagship '19, nsd philadelphia '19, tdc '19 & '20, and legacy debate '20, and i coached hunter college high school in the '19-'20 season. for the '20-'21 season, i coached hunter md and lindale pp. i currently attend swarthmore college ('23), where i debate apda (parli) and study philosophy and math. you are welcome to reach out via email if you have questions about apda or being a student at swarthmore.
in the interest of full disclosure, i am profoundly deaf in both ears and have bilateral cochlear implants. i do not believe that this significantly impacts my ability to judge, as i debated on the circuit and wasn’t horrible at it; you should be clear, give overviews, slow down for anything important, and explain to me how i should write your rfd—as you should with any judge. i will use speech docs in the 1ac/1nc, but will not in rebuttals for anything besides advocacy texts and interps. i will call clear or slow in your speech if i can’t understand you.
i do not have any preferences for style of debate; my only preference is that you debate in the way you choose, as opposed to what you think i’d like to see. i will vote for any argument so long as it is fully warranted, won, and implicated. i won’t vote on links/violations that i can’t verify. i am most familiar with philosophical framework and theory/t debates and least familiar with policy/k debate. i won’t supplement a debater’s explanation of arguments with things i know that weren’t on the flow, so it should not matter if i’m unfamiliar with literature that is read because it is the job of the debaters to fully explain and implicate their arguments—nor will i help you out even if you read a framework that i know well.
i will attempt to operate under the shared assumptions held by both debaters—e.g. if both debaters collapse to theory shells in the 2n/2a but forget to read voters, i will act as if a voter had been read rather than ignore theory and vote on a random substance extension. however, it will always be to your benefit to debate in a non-messy way: even if the 2n collapses to T, concedes substance, and it is assumed by both debaters that substance flows aff, the 2a should still quickly extend the ac. you should also attempt to extend interps & violations. the more i have to think about what the shared assumptions of the round are (and the less clear you are about your ballot story), the more your speaks will suffer.
if i am unable to determine what the shared assumption is, and if no argument has been made on the issue, i will assume the following defaults:
- theory is drop the debater, no rvi, competing interps, fairness and education are voters, fairness > education
- strength of link to weigh between layers, and theory > t > k if strength of link is irresolvable
- epistemic confidence
- presumption and permissibility negate
- evidence ethics, clipping: you need to formally stake the round for me to call tab in & i will defer to tournament policy when that happens. otherwise, i will adjudicate this like any other theory debate.
- in-round safety: if you judge that the round needs to be stopped, please ask me to and i will call the equity ombudspurson or tab in & defer to tournament procedure/tab's judgment. i am highly unlikely to stop the round unprompted, or vote on an in-round conduct issue if it is not made into a voting issue by the other debater. my policy on this is intended to place the judgment of the affected debater in higher regard than my own.
speaker points: higher when you utilize judge direction, make creative strategic choices rather than spamming args, and are good at cx. lower when you clearly haven't read my paradigm, comport yourself in an uncompassionate way, and read largely prewritten args. i average around 28.6 and i don't disclose speaks.
important notes, especially for west coast debaters:
- if you read reasonability without a brightline, say only that “good is good enough,” or tell me to “gut check,” i will gut check competing interps. reasonability should have a brightline that tells me how to differentiate between abusive and nonabusive scenarios.
- i would really prefer it if you read and normatively justify a rob/standard/vc, even if it's short. i tend to think that normative ethic spec is a true argument, and if neither debater indicates a framework and there is not a clear shared assumption of a certain framework, i will be forced to default to my intuitions to frame offense—which you likely don’t want because i’m not a utilitarian.
- i will vote on an rvi if won.
- i will vote on framework preclusion of impacts if won.
- i don’t care if your theory shell is frivolous. "this is frivolous" is not an argument.
- i think epistemic modesty is weird and have never understood it. (if it means strength of link, just say that instead?)
- ethos is created through persuasion/passion/showing you have a ton of knowledge about the subject—not snarky taglines and personal jabs—and good ethos never comes at the expense of safety in the round.
ask me if you have any questions (especially if you're a small school debater). good luck and have fun debating!
Stuyvesant High School ‘18
Conflicts: Stuyvesant High School, Interlake AS, Interlake DB, Interlake AG, Interlake EL, Northview YS, North Mecklenburg PM, Lexington AK.
Please do email chains, flash drives are obnoxious (email@example.com)
If you have questions about my paradigm/preferences/whether or not I would tank speaks for certain things, email me or ask me before the round. This would be preferable to me having to resolve the issue in round or lowering your speaks unnecessarily.
*Brief TOC Update: I have not judged in a long time. I coach a bit still, but I am not caught up on the current meta as much as I was before. This means two things for you: a) you should absolutely not act as though I know what you're talking about and b) really listen/slow down when I ask you to.
*Dogmatism: I have recently written an article with Joanne Park about my position on some of the ongoings in debate culture, specifically on the issue of dogmatism. You can find the article here.
1) Tech>Truth Do whatever. I will not paradigmatically hack against any particular real arguments. I do not care what you do in terms of how I judge. I have arguments that I strongly dislike and arguments that I like, but will try not to reflect this in my speaks as much as possible.
2) Don't be mean. I hold the position that I cannot ethically vote for arguments that would be endorsing acts of particular forms of interpersonal violence. This line might become hard to draw. I am fine with heg good, authoritarianism good, skepticism, etc., and it is a bit unclear to me what the difference between some of these positions and the arguments I might find ethically hard to vote for are such as racism good, sexual assault good, etc. are so this might result in me making judgement calls during round. I will attempt to be as reasonable as possible. I also dislike it when more experienced debaters purposely make rounds exclusionary to younger and less resourced debaters. Of course, this judgement is hard to make sometimes as well, but I will lower speaks if I am certain it is happening.
3) I'll say clear/slow unless its obvious you are not listening when I do.
4) I don't flow off the speech doc.
5) I have done a little bit of policy in college.
1) I did LD for four years and ran whatever. I ran Ks for a year and I ran theory and phil for a year. As a result, I know some range of literature, but that should not be relevant. I go to NYU now and study philosophy.
2) I aim to be as least interventionist as possible. The more irresolvable a round is, the more I have to intervene. I get annoyed when I have to do this. I view having to use defaults as intervention.
3) I make faces sometimes. I aim not to, but sometimes I might communicate annoyance or amusement. Sometimes, I might communicate deep confusion. I've been told by some people that I appear angry or like I'm glaring sometimes. At any rate, some of my faces might not be your fault, but if its obvious I'm reacting to your speech or your opponent's speech, someone has probably done something wrong or right.
4) I don’t flow off the speech doc and I’ll only check it if a) I messed up on my own and missed something or b) it’s a round where the quality of evidence matters. I'm really bad at flowing author names, so reference arguments only by author at your own risk.
5) I pay more attention to CX now.
6) Here's some stuff related to framing that I think makes sense to default to and you probably will not change my mind on:
- Tech > truth
- Truth > Tech requires tech for you to win it. I am extremely unconvinced that judges can have a role in the debate that requires them intervene based on what they think is true. The only exception I can see is when there is an obvious violation of or issue related to the safety of the students. In those cases, I will, if aware of the situation, stop the debate and report it to tab if I deem that it is appropriate to do so.
- Nothing is a voter until you've made an argument that it is.
7) Here's some stuff related to framing that I think makes sense to default to, but would heavily prefer to hear a debate about if it is relevant:
- Lexical Priority > Strength of link (this just means if a claim that “aff theory outweighs neg theory” or something of the type is made, I evaluate aff theory regardless of what is won on neg theory. I also think strength of link/modesty weighing is strange when it is different layers, so if you want to go for that weighing, please justify it.)
- Generally probably low threshold for warrants if they are conceded, but if the argument is directly interactive with other warranted arguments and you are light on your warranting in extension, I will probably be receptive to “no warrant was extended” and not be super persuaded by that argument. Light warranting is also at your own risk because if the debate gets muddled, my threshold for warrants rises as I sift through arguments in an attempt to make the debate more resolvable and if the opponent points out that there isn’t a warrant for the extension of the argument that might hurt you.
- You don’t have to bother extending paradigm issues if they’re conceded, but this might harm you if the opponent makes it an issue.
- Fairness > Education
- T = Theory
- Competing interps
K v Theory or Substance
- Non "Prefiat" Ks = Substance
- K ROBs = Ethical Frameworks
- "Prefiat" Ks = Fairness/education (on theory)
8) Here are some thoughts I believe. Most function indifferently to how I judge rounds if both debaters make good arguments.
- Debate's a game. I have never heard a good argument against it being so. Debate being a game is not mutually exclusive with it having other important things.
- Disclosure is good. Full text disclosure is not preferable to non-full text disclosure. Open source is good. I am, however, unsure as to whether voting on out-of-round violations is a defensible norm.
- I do not like it when people rely on ethos to win rounds. I expect you to make arguments, not assertions said in a nice way. Because of that, I will likely be decently picking when deciding between warrants.
- Nothing is a voter until you make an argument. Theory doesn't have an impact until you make an argument.
- Metatheory does not paradigmatically come before theory.
- A lot of theory is silly. I do not care that much about the content of your shell, but if its not strategic that will be reflected in your speaks.
- Theory/Spikes heavy affs are fine. If I didn't catch it, it doesn't exist.
- I am unsure on whether certain violations e.g. evidence ethics are good enough reasons to stop rounds. I will try avoid doing so while I remain unsure.
- I do not think I can coherently evaluate “evaluate theory after x speech” if x is the speech you’re currently giving. I have the intuition that it is additionally outside of the debater's jurisdiction to make such an argument, but I'm unsure exactly why.
- I am not totally sure what counts as a trick, but "tricks" are a part of the debate lingo, so I figured I'd say a few things about what I think. For the sake of the paradigm, I am generally referencing to what people might refer to as tricks or tricky debate.
- Many tricks are quite unintelligent. It is silly to act as if they're intelligent. I would appreciate if you did not. I do not like unintelligent tricks much, but I find them amusing sometimes. I do not like arguments that purely exist so that your opponent misses them, but I am not sure this is unique to "tricks" as opposed to other areas of debate.
- Some tricks, on the contrary, are quite intelligent. Well-developed logical arguments that reach seemingly odd or unintuitive conclusions might be considered a trick by some, but many of these arguments are really quite fun to me. Tricks or tricky arguments that are well-developed make me really happy!
- If I didn't flow it, it doesn't exist.
- In debate, ethical confidence makes more intuitive sense to me than ethical modesty.
- Probably my favorite part of debate, but also frequently bastardized.
- People who know what they're talking about are good!
- I think tech and efficiency on framework debates is sometimes my favorite part of debate.
- The NC AC 1NC makes me happy.
- I do not like impact justified frameworks.
- I am sad that phil debate is frequently seen as being the same as tricks debate.
- I am not paradigmatically against Non-T affs. I did read them in my career. I do not like it when debaters pretend to be topical when they are not. Consequently, I do not believe there are "pseudo-topical" affs.
- Many word PIKs are silly to me. People shouldn't use slurs, but I am not sure other words are significant enough to justify word PIKs. Part of the reason many of them feel silly to me is because they are very rarely taken seriously by the people who read them.
- I do not think framework Ks are voting issues. I also really strongly dislike the way framework Ks are read. I think there are genuinely interesting points of philosophical interest to consider when thinking about whether an author's personal views can be disconnected from philosophy, but this debate is never had.
- A lot of K debate can be somewhat boring. Debaters frequently only extend taglines and rely on buzzwords and judge familiarity to get away with arguments. Redundancy and lack of specificity are things I strongly dislike and something I observe on a lot of K debates.
- A lot of continental philosophy sounds and looks like actual nonsense. I do not like personally trying to make sense out of nonsense nor do I like it when other people try and do it. The more I study analytic philosophy, the less appreciation I have for the esoteric and often unnecessary language in continental philosophy. Because of that, I also have even less appreciation for the esoteric and often unnecessary language debaters use in debate as they try and replicate that philosophy.
- I am not super into the call-out culture that debate sometimes has. I think this is a particularly untenable model in the context of HS debate, given that many of these people are minors. I think genuinely serious accusations should be brought to administrative adults in the community or, if necessary, other authorities. I am sympathetic to the idea that one might not want to debate someone who has done something problematic, especially to them, but I am unsure whether rounds themselves are a productive or good channel to communicate this issue with. I am also sympathetic to many of the reasons why one might not want to approach authorities or other adults in the community, but this does not wholly convince me that rounds are the solution to this problem. If I am put in the position to resolve issues related to serious violations of personal safety e.g. things that would constitute violations of the law, I will probably contact tab unless I have a very good reason not to. For issues that do not fall into that category, if I feel qualified to evaluate them, I will do so as I would a normal debate. If I feel that your "call-out" appeared unnecessary, unproductive, and done for the purpose of strategic value or for the sake of ethos guised in trying to be good, I will, at a minimum, tank your speaks.
- These debates are cool, but I will preface this by saying that coming from the Northeast means that I come from an area that really sucks at case debate and substance.
- Making creative solves case arguments is awesome, especially against affs that one wouldn’t think could be solved by the PIC (i.e. phil affs, K affs).
- I think LDers should utilize more of some of the weighing mechanisms and rhetoric used in policy (uniqueness args, sufficiency, etc)
- Structural violence makes me sad as a framework.
Non-T/K v Fwk/Theory
- The more I think about impact turns to theory/fwk, the less I am convinced they're voting issues. To me, they're either one of two things: 1) impact turns to the literal content of the shell e.g. fairness/education bad, in which case they warrant an RVI or 2) impact turns to the act of reading theory, which is meta theory. In my experience, it is very rarely justified as either.
- I do not think education is the most important impact of debate. I think fairness is the only thing that debate needs to be debate. It being a gateway to education is just an interesting FYI, not a reason education is preferable.
- Fairness bad arguments are really confusing sometimes.
- Framework is probably true.
1) Be nice
2) Know what you’re talking about
3) Line by line stuff
4) Explain arguments
Not To Do:
- Endorsing oppression
- Being demeaning to people who are obviously not as experienced as you
- Being demeaning
- I will not evaluate "give me higher/30 speaks" arguments.
Technical Debate Things
- Spreading faster than you can
- Saying “gut check”
- Shadow extensions
- Putting case on the bottom of substance
- Not giving roadmaps by flows but instead by arguments
harvard update: “let’s steamroll these bowls”
emory update: "let's seize these keys" - david basile edwards (Charlotte Catholic DE), 12/03/18
apple valley update: "let's grapple these apples" - david basile edwards (Charlotte Catholic DE), 10/29/18
I'm a parent judge who's been judging for 3 years on the nat circuit
Please don't spread - add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I try my best to make decisions off the flow, not based on rhetoric, although speaker points will obviously reflect a mix of both
That being said, please make my decision as easy as possible - I protect the 2NR from shifty 2AR's, and weighing + clear ballot stories are a beautiful thing
Feel free to run any relatively stock positions like CP + DA, etc. - substantive debate should be fine if adequately explained
I've voted on progressive arguments before, including one off K's, performance affs, etc - but these are always a tossup and I don't trust myself to evaluate them very well
I understand basic util/deont (Kant mostly) syllogisms but don't hit me with the a. action theory b. bindingness stuff - just explain it thoroughly and make interacts
Speaks average out to a 28.5 and I'll try to keep it reasonable